Integral Shamanics, with Shamanic Healer Katherine Turner, MPH
I’m a health educator, not a physician and therefore cannot prescribe. This class can provide you with educational information and suggestions, but cannot be prescriptive as there is no way I have enough of your personal data to understand what will and won’t interact with your particular body’s needs and reactions. If you have questions or concerns, please see your physician before taking any of the herbs or supplements, or following any of the suggestions mentioned in this class. Your health is in your hands. With the help of health professionals and your own research, you choose what’s best for you. Choose responsibly!
What is a Detox?
Detox is short for detoxification, which is the removal of potentially toxic substances from the body. The term can refer to alcohol or drug dependence treatment, but for the purposes of this class, it means the use of herbs/supplements, diet, and other methods of removing environmental and food induced toxins from the body for the purpose of improving health and well-being.
Some general symptoms that a detox is needed:
• Feeling sluggish, low-energy
• Fuzzy, muddied thinking, absent-mindedness
• Bloat, digestive discomfort
• Rashes, allergies
• Chronic bronchial/sinus issues
• Depression, anxiety, anger
There are different degrees of detoxing. It can be as straightforward and simple as taking an herbal blend that will aid colon cleansing or boost liver function, or it can be a multi-level detox that combines diet, herbs/supplements, and health practices for a deep cleanse. A strong detox works best when done in conjunction with a cleansing diet, where some or all of the more acidic/toxicity causing foods are eliminated for at least the duration of the detox.
Detoxing can also be an extreme water or juice only fast. Although this may be helpful on some levels for some people, it has to be done under the supervision of a skilled, trained naturopath/physician/nurse. I don’t usually recommend such an extreme measure as it can be difficult to function normally in your life, as energy tend to run low during a cleanse this intense.
Detoxing elements that will help speed the process, as well as make it more comfortable for you are
• baths (with essential oils & salts)
• plenty of sleep
• fresh air
• breathing exercises
What to Expect From the Detox Process
In the beginning, you may feel to one degree or another:
• Some colon cramping
• Cravings for the foods you’re fasting from
• Emotional detoxing in the form of sadness, fear, etc.
During the detox, you will begin to feel lighter, cleaner, clearer, even as more of the funkier effects may come and go in waves. Afterwards, expect things like more energy and feelings of well-being, weight loss, and a stronger immune system.
Eating lightly is important for a strong detox. How lightly you eat depends on what sort of activities you need to do while you’re detoxing. If you’ll be doing a normal work and lifestyle schedule, you’ll want to eat more protein than if you are able to take it easier for a bit.
Many of the foods we eat these days are processed, and therefore are difficult for the body to break down for use. They also often don’t contain adequate nutrition, which adds to the toxicity load when the body’s systems don’t have the building blocks and fuel they need to function optimally. While doing a detox, it’s best to cut out all processed foods, which means that simpler foods, prepared simply, become the basis of your diet. A sample of a day of meals is:
Breakfast – oatmeal (not packaged), with sliced banana, raisins, and blueberries, sweetened with stevia
Lunch – green salad with avocado, grated raw cheddar (from the coop), homemade vinaigrette (see recipe)
Snack – live, whole milk yogurt with strawberries and walnuts
Dinner – homemade soup with soup stock, onions, garlic, caraway seeds, carrots, potatoes, green peas. (can add miso if you’d like, some organic chicken if you need the extra protein)
Snack – fruit salad
The most important foods to avoid are sugar, flour products/baked goods, and anything processed/packaged (ie anything you don’t cook yourself - unless it’s a super high quality restaurant that you know has super clean food). Try to cut down as much as possible on meat, dairy, and eggs. If you can’t cut out caffeine, cut the amount down as much as possible, and quit soda altogether. If you drink coffee, switch to tea.
Foods to avoid while detoxing:
• Soft drinks
• Baked goods (anything made with flour: cookies, cake, crackers, bread, etc.)
• Sugar (& all sweets, ie maltose, sucrose, fructose, maltodextrin, etc.
• Artificial sweeteners (stevia is fine to use as it’s an herb, not a chemical)
• Chips (or any such snack food)
• Eggs (unless you need them for protein, then use local, organic eggs)
• Dairy: Milk, cream, cheeses, Butter/margarine
• Oils (except for olive oil)
What food to eat while detoxing:
• Fresh fish (organic chicken/turkey if needed)
• Live whole milk yogurt
• Olive oil
• High quality protein shakes w/ almond milk (Must not contain sugar!)
A great way to get some extra cleansing in is to eat your last solid food by four or five pm. Then afterwards, only have herbal tea, or very light foods such as fruit or vegetable soup or Green Juice.
Green Juice is made from green veggies, fruit, and raw local honey. It is incredibly vibrant for your body, full of vitamins and antioxidants. It sounds odd, it looks downright funky, but it actually tastes delicious, like a banana shake. Using a Vitamix (not a regular blender, which doesn’t chop the veggies fine enough), blend:
• a half bunch of kale or collards
• a banana (no peel) and/or hunks of apple with core removed (leave skin)
• you can also add celery, parsley, or cucumber
• add raw local honey to taste
• you can add a couple of cups of steeped herbal fruit tea such as peach, berry, or kiwi strawberry if you’d like a sweeter taste
Lots of water (with lemon)
Everyone knows this. And it’s so very true: we need plenty of water to keep our body hydrated. This is especially true during a detox. Adding some lemon, or even lime, will help flush toxins from your system.
Herbs & Supplements & Superfoods
What is it?
• Cleanses the digestive system, especially the colon
• An herbal laxative that contains a blend of herbs and flowers that work in harmony with the body to relieve chronic or sporadic constipation and promote regularity without the side effects of synthetic laxatives.
• 100% natural herbs:
- The gentle laxative effect of senna
- the digestive benefits of papaya leaves and centaury herbs
- the anti-spasmodic benefits of calendula and caraway
- the anti-gas benefits of peppermint leaves, parsley and anise
- the tonic benefit of lemon verbena
- the mild diuretic benefit of dandelion leaves
- the relaxing benefit of peach tree leaves
- the natural flavoring of hibiscus flowers.
• 1-3 tablets nightly an hour or two before bed. Take with a 4-6 oz. water.
• Not meant for long term use
What is it?
• For cleansing and tonifying all systems of the body, especially the digestive system
• An Ayurvedic herbal blend of equal parts of three myrobalans: harada, amla, and behanda
• potential anti-cancer properties, digestion, blood sugar regulation, fat reduction, and detoxification/tonification of the colon. Supports the body’s natural cleansing process
• Been used for thousands of years and is one of the mainstays of Indian herbalism
• most clinical trials haven’t been translated to English yet.
• A popular folk saying in India is, "No mother? do not worry so long as you have Triphala." The reason is that Indian people believe that triphala is able to care for the internal organs of the body as a mother cares for her children.
• Each of the three herbal fruits of Triphala takes care of the body by gently promoting internal cleansing of all conditions of stagnation and excess while at the same time it improves digestion and assimilation.
• Once or twice a day as directed by dosage listed on bottle.
• Okay for regular use
What is it?
• A proprietary blend of herbs to aid internal detoxification
• Contains over 50 essential herbs and fibers, as well as enzymes and acidophilus to help promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
• 100% natural, simple, two-step program
• Helps detoxify all five channels of elimination (bowel, kidney, lungs, skin and lymphatic system) as well as other organs, blood cells and tissue
• Take morning and evening as directed by dosage listed on bottle
• Not meant for long term use
What is it?
• A proprietary herbal blend that helps support normal liver function.
• A blend of an extract of Milk Thistle seed, Dandelion root, Yellow Dock root, Salvia root, Hyssop leaf, Red Clover herb, Burdock root, Bayberry root, Barberry root, Bupleurum root, Sage leaf, Ginger root, Licorice root, Japanese Honeysuckle flower and Chrysanthemum flower.
• Just like your home or your car, your body needs regular upkeep and an occasional deep cleansing in order to feel its best. Periodic intestinal cleansing and liver detoxifying is beneficial for maintaining good health and rejuvenating the body.
• Use 1-4 times a day as directed on bottle.
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
What is it?
• Niacin causes the small blood vessels (capillaries) to increase in size. This enables the body to begin to allow toxins to release from surrounding fat cells, and to be carried out of the body. As the toxins release, this can cause histamines to release, which can cause the surrounding area to turn red (also from increased blood flow), and possibly to itch. This redness and itching is known as “the niacin flush” and although it can feel odd, it isn’t harmful or dangerous.
• It’s important to use niacin and not niacinamide, the latter of which was created to eliminate the factors in B3 that cause the flush. In terms of detoxing, the flush is good, it’s positive.
• Tips for taking niacin:
- Do NOT take niacin with hot beverages, alcohol or spicy food.
- If any problems arise, other than skin flushing or itching, which goes away in 30-60 minutes, consult your health practitioner.
- If you take niacin in combination with steams, be mindful to spend short amounts of time (~10 minutes) at the beginning until you get more comfortable with the flush and the effects of the steam.
• Take daily
• Begin with 100 mg./day, increase dosage in 100mg increments up to 500mg at a time.
Raw local honey
What is it?
• Unprocessed honey, straight from the hive, has been used worldwide for millennia to promote healing. Raw means the live, active ingredients are still whole and fresh. Pasturizing and processing kills off most (some say all) the benefits.
• Aids stomach and digestion, ulcers.
• The laxative value of honey, on account of its lubricating effect, is well known. Its fatty acid content stimulates peristalsis.
• Much of the effectiveness of raw honey to help treat respiratory problems has been traced to the bee pollen and propolis suspended within it. Honey has anti-allergic, anti-imflammatory, and expectorant properties that insure an immunobiological defense and give it the capacity to regenerate its attacked cells.
• Raw honey contains all the pollen, dust and molds that cause 90 per cent of all allergies. By ingesting the honey, you build up an immunity to pollen, dust or mold.
• Use as a daily tonic: 2 tbs in the morning in a glass of water
Raw apple cider vinegar
What is it?
• Clear vinegar has very few health benefits. Organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar on the other hand is packed with good stuff. It’ll have a brownish tinge to it, with a tiny cobweb-like substance floating in it. This is known as "mother", and means that the apple cider vinegar is of good quality with all the nutrients and health giving properties intact. The “mother” appears as molecules of protein connected in strand-like chains. The presence of the mother shows that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed. Vinegars containing the mother contain enzymes and minerals that other vinegars may not contain due to overprocessing, filtration and overheating.
• Only raw vinegar has the full health properties. Pasteurization is the heating process intended to remove potential problem bacteria from consumable liquids such as milk, juices etc. However, this process also removes delicate nutrients and enzymes that may constitute a major portion of the food’s value.
• Hippocrates used this vinegar around 400 B.C. for its health giving qualities, and said that he had only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar.
• Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh ripe apples that are fermented and undergo a stringent process to create the final product. It contains a host of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulphur, iron, and fluorine.
• Pectin in the vinegar is a fiber which helps reduce bad cholesterol and helps in regulating blood pressure.
• Once you start growing older, calcium supplements become important. This vinegar helps extract calcium from the fruits, vegetables and meat it is mixed with, helping in the process of maintaining strong bones.
• Potassium deficiency causes a variety of ailments including hair loss, weak finger nails, brittle teeth, sinusitis, and a permanently running nose. Apple cider vinegar is loaded with potassium. The potassium in vinegar also helps in eliminating toxic waste from the body.
• The beta-carotene helps in countering damage caused by free radicals, helping one maintain firmer skin and a youthful appearance.
• Apple cider vinegar helps aid weight loss by breaking down fat which helps in natural weight reduction.
• Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid which is very helpful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. This acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around joints, helping relieve joint pains. This dissolved uric acid is gradually eliminated from the body.
• It is claimed that apple cider vinegar is helpful in ailments such as constipation, headaches, arthritis, weak bones, indigestion, high cholesterol, diarrhea, eczema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning, hair loss, high blood pressure, obesity, along with a host of many other ailments.
• Use as a daily tonic: 2 tbs in the morning in a glass of water with 2 tbs of raw local honey
• Use in salad dressings
Cayenne, Ginger, Garlic Tea
What is it?
• Grate ginger, slice a couple of garlic cloves, and heat, turning it off just before it boils
• Cover and let steep for 20 minutes or so
• Sprinkle in a small amount of cayenne (you can build up to more, but you might want to start with less than an 1/8th of teaspoon)
• Add raw local honey to sweeten the taste
• Facilitates mucus elimination, to speed the detox process (it’s also great for colds/sinus problems)
• Get at least 7 hours each night
• Nap if you feel like it, if you can find time for it in your schedule
- Detox essential oils include: rose, black pepper, cypress, juniper berry, fennel, coriander, parsley, sage, frankincense, carrot seed, grapefruit, bitter orange, lemon and nutmeg
- Make sure you use clean oils, pure essential oils and not “fragrances” which are chemicals
• Epsom salts
- Wonderful for pulling toxins out of the body, especially if you are feeling muscle fatigue
• Mineral salts
- Also good for pulling toxins out of the body (especially Dead Sea Salts)
• Raw cider vinegar
- Add a half cup to your bath water to help detox
Exercise, fresh air
• Do we really need to say anything about this that you don’t already know???
• In combo with niacin flushes they are especially detoxifying
• Eucalyptus essential oil misted into the air will help clear the lungs
Amazing and Simple Vinaigrette Recipe
The basic rule is 2 parts oil to 1 part acidic (vinegar and citrus juice). The garlic and citrus act as natural preservatives and this will keep unrefridgerated for a few weeks.
• 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
- some folks like the light stuff, but the heartier stuff is good, too. choose for the tempo of your own tastebuds
• 1 cup of a combo of vinegars
- whatever you have: raw apple cider, rice, red wine, a dash of balsamic or umeboshi, a little japanese mirin. go out and buy a few if you don't have these as they really change the taste of the dressing into something outrageously delicious
• Citrus juice, either1/2 of a lemon or lime.
- the coop/health food store has small bottles or plastic squeezers of organic lemon and lime juice, but fresh is the best and really makes a difference in the taste. but whatever you do, don't use the juice from the regular grocery store. it's terrible and will ruin the taste of the dressing.
• 1 or 2 cloves of garlic run thru a garlic press
- if you don’t have one, get one. they make garlic amazing
• oregano or herbs de provence (to taste, approx. 1 tablespoon)
• salt and pepper to taste
• Feel good Fridays at the coop: 5% discount. The coop also has an excellent organic wine selection.
• Lovey’s members get 10% off everything every day (but they can be more expensive to start with).
• The farmer’s market at Poplar Grove Plantation and downtown.
• www.iherb.com - definitely the least expensive way to go that I’ve found
• Elson Haas – Staying Healthy with Nutrition, The False Fat Diet
Basic Detox Cecklist:
❍ Baked/flour goods
❍ Coffee/tea/soft drinks
❍ Meat (esp. beef, pork, lamb)
❍ Chocolate (& other candy)
❍ Beans and legumes (split peas, lentils, etc.)
❍ Oatmeal (not packaged) w/ stevia or honey, raisins, banana, other fruit, sliced raw almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds
❍ Raw salad w/ homemade dressing (add some nuts, roasted seeds, or if you need extra protein fresh goat cheese)
❍ Soups – homemade (with miso if you’d like) (sautee garlic, onion; add veg stock, veggies, spices)
❍ Protein shake w/ almond or rice milk (Joe Robb’s or other high quality from the coop/health food store)
❍ Whole milk yogurt (Brown Cow or Seven Sisters or Greek yogurt) with fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, banana, raisins, sliced raw almonds or walnuts or sunflower seeds)
❍ Lots of water (with lemon)
❍ Green juice
❍ Swiss Kriss & Triphala
❍ Psyllium seeds/powder
❍ Thistle cleanse
❍ Niacin flush (be gentle with this one!!!)
❍ Cayenne, ginger, garlic tea (with raw local honey)
❍ Raw local honey with raw apple cider vinegar
❍ Fresh air
❍ Breathing exercises/yoga
❍ Plenty of sleep
❍ Journaling (to help facilitate emotional detoxing)