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The bizarre history of detox; These methods may sound bonkers, but they've been around for centuries. Nutritionist Lauren Eyre gives her view on the detoxing methods that have stood the test of time...

Byline: MELANIE HANCILL. LAUREN

Colonic irrigation

This detoxing technique dates back to the Ancient Egyptians and it is even mentioned in the Bible. The Egyptians believed toxins formed as a result of decomposition within the intestines causing fever.

What it involves: Water is pumped into the colon through a tube in the anus, to release matter from the bowel wall and expel it out again.

How it works: Colonic irrigation is used to gently decongest the body and clear out waste.

Lauren says: 'A diet low in fibre or poor bowel regularity can leave toxins in the colon which will eventually be reabsorbed into the body. Colonic irrigation ensures toxins are removed from the digestive system.'

Foot detox pads

Traditional Chinese medicine believes the body sends toxins as far away from your heart as it can - such as to your lower legs and feet, where acupressure points connect to corresponding body parts. Stick detox pads to the soles of your feet at night. The pads will appear darker in the morning, showing the toxins they have drawn out. The more frequently used, the lighter the pads become.

How it works: Detox foot pads stimulate the pressure points, which opens them up and draws toxins. Lauren says: 'The vinegar contained in the patches helps to stimulate circulation and remove toxins through the feet. Detox foot patches are great for use with other detoxification techniques.'

Dry skin brushing

Dry skin brushing is another Oriental technique that has been used for centuries and is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to detox at home. What it involves: Spending a few minutes each day brushing your skin with a dry brush.

How it works: When pores become clogged from toxins in the air, cosmetics or from the food, the skin cannot detoxify fully. Brushing the skin removes toxins accumulated in dead skin cells and enhances circulation.

Lauren says: 'Dry skin brushing is a must during any detoxification programme. It targets both external and internal toxin elimination while improving overall vitality. It stimulates circulation, enhancing the immune system and improving skin tone.'

Coffee enemas

The idea of an enema originates from Ancient Egypt and then Greece. Coffee in a detox was first used in the 1920s when German scientists discovered it helps stimulate the liver.

What it involves: Like colonic irrigation, the coffee solution is inserted through the anus and held in the body for 10 minutes before being released.

How it works: Caffeine solution opens the bile ducts and stimulates the liver to work more efficiently processing toxins.

Lauren says: 'The effectiveness is largely due to the stimulatory effect of caffeine. They should not be employed long term. Seek professional guidance before trying this at home to avoid potential side effects such as anal perforation and infection.

Cupping

Cupping is a detox technique practised by the Chinese for thousands of years. It has become popular for freeing up energy pathways in the body and treating a variety of ailments.

What it involves: Cups made of strong glass are placed directly on the skin at various pressure points on the body. A suction is created with the use of a pump and the skin inside the cup rises.

How it works: Cupping stimulates blood circulation on acupressure points and helps prevent stagnation, freeing up blockages throughout the body.

Lauren says: 'Cupping is often used for conditions such as arthritis. It has also been used to treat blood disorders and can help induce deep relaxation. Always seek professional advice before undertaking this practice.'

Lemon

Lemon Fresh lemon juice has been a staple of any detox for years, especially when added to water and drunk first thing in the morning.

How it works: Lemons stimulate digestive enzyme secretion and promote optimal levels of hydrochloric acid, both of which are needed to aid proper digestion.

This encourages elimination of toxins through the digestive tract.

What it involves: Adding a drop or two to water helps the body detox naturally.

Lauren says: Lemons are high in ascorbic acid, an antioxidant that neutralises free radicals which cause deterioration and damage to cells. Drinking only lemon juice for long periods is not recommended.

The liver needs a wider range of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to perform detoxification.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2012
Words:708
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