We’re all exposed to toxins every single day – do something about it with these 10 cheap and easy detox methods!
No matter how hard we try, we’re all touching, breathing, and ingesting man-made chemicals every day…and we have no idea how they are affecting our health.
In fact, many practitioners advise adding regular chemical detox protocols into your health routine simply as a “cost of living” in today’s increasingly toxic world. I’m beginning to agree.
Last week the city of Houston announced that military aircrafts would be used to drop the insecticide Naled (trade name: Dibrom) across 600,000 acres of our city following unprecedented flooding and mosquito swarming brought on by Hurricane Harvey. The image of a low flying military plane dusting the 4th largest city in the nation with insecticide like powdered sugar on strawberries didn’t sit well with me.
Apparently, I wasn’t alone. My Facebook feed lit up with fellow Houstonians who were horrified by the short notice and proposed timing of the drops – between 6-8pm, when many would still be out and about, and while high school football games and other events were scheduled all around the city.
You may not live in Houston, but odds are that your area faces its own large scale chemical exposures from time to time. In fact, the EPA reports more than 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the air, water, and ground every year in the United States.
What are the long term effects of occasional, acute exposures, especially when added to chronic exposures from everyday chemicals in plastics, cleaning products, fabrics, fragrances, etc? The truth is, no one really knows.
We have very good ideas of what individual toxicants can do to people. However, you cannot predict what the ultimate human health impacts might be from simply knowing what the individual toxicants can do. Mixtures can interact in ways that are unforeseen and give you toxic ramifications that are much greater than what can be predicted from the single exposures.
– Howard Hu, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.D., University of Michigan School of Public Health
As my 7 year old daughter recently said, “I wish we were in Little House on the Prairie times so we could just live in God’s nature and not have so many chemicals.” …Me too, honey.
But the reality is we live in a world of both modern comforts and modern risks. So we may as well have some tools to counteract chemical exposures, right?
10 Cheap + Easy ways to Detox from Chemical Exposure
1. Remember, Detox is a Process, not an Event
Our bodies were designed to detox. The liver, gut, skin, lymph, and immune systems are hard at work every day to detoxify our bodies from excess chemicals and other harmful substances. But, like any well-designed machine, they will fall behind if they are constantly bombarded with . The most effective, full body detox efforts will support each of these systems. Depending on the type and degree of acute exposure, effective detox can take weeks or months, not just a day or two!
2. Minimize Other Chemical Exposures
Now’s the time to be extra vigilant about additional toxins coming in through personal care products, plastics, pesticides on your foods, etc. This will help reduce the overall burden to your liver and other detox organs, and will minimize the risks of unwanted interactions between multiple chemical toxicants that Dr. Hu warned against above.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE LIST OF ALL MY FAVORITE NATURAL SKIN CARE AND CLEANING PRODUCTS!
3. Drink lots of Water
This may seem obvious, but drink plenty of water – this would be a great time to purchase a good water filter. We have this affordable under-sink water filter and love it! Fluid intake is a great natural tool to help flush out excess toxins more quickly since fluids also help keep the bowels moving, which leads me to…
4. Keep your bowels moving
The gut is the primary “exit route” for toxin elimination and the path should be free and clear to prevent build up and possibly even re-absorption of toxic byproducts due to slow moving bowels. Fermented foods, organic veggies, healthy fat, probiotic supplements, you know the drill.
Sweating is a fantastic and completely free detox method. My preference is always to exercise outside but, if you’re avoiding outdoor toxins, use free workout videos on YouTube that can be done in your living room. If you have access to a sauna, that would be a great way to sweat out some toxins too! (Check out this free and easy method for getting sauna benefits without the sauna!)
6. Eat nutrient-dense whole foods
Give your body the nutrients required for proper detox. Plenty of fruits, vegetables, and high quality animal and marine products are essential.
Here are some superstar detox foods:
- Citrus fruits – vitamin C, fiber
- Leafy greens – vitamin C, B vitamins, fiber
- Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables – sulfur compounds, fiber
- Beets – vitamin C, folate, betaine, fiber
- Fermented vegetables – prebiotic fiber, probiotics
- Brazil nuts – selenium
- Pasture raised eggs and animal products – vitamins A and K2, zinc, choline
- Raw milk – vitamins A, D, and K2, glutathione, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
- Wild caught fish – vitamin D, omega-3
- Cod liver oil – vitamins A, D, and K2, omega-3
I strongly encourage taking a high quality multivitamin-mineral as a back up to your diet. Every major body process – including detox – is fueled by specific vitamins and minerals and a deficiency in even one or two of them can drag on your detox capacity.
7. Cut out sugar and processed foods
Sugar and processed foods are inflammatory, suppress immune function, and slow down the GI tract, all of which compromise detox. I’m all for enjoying occasional sweet treats, but now’s not the time.
8. Consider Herbs and other Supplements to Support Detox
Detox is a huge industry and, frankly, there’s a lot of hooey out there when it comes to teas, tinctures, and supplements that claim to magically rid the body of toxins. It’s true that some herbs and supplements are particularly supportive of detoxification, but some can be counterproductive too. Discuss specific supplement recommendations with myself or another licensed practitioner.
And, don’t forget, you can’t out-supplement a bad diet. Be sure you’re following Steps 1-7 before spending more time and money on detox supplements.
9. Try Gentle Detox Practices
There are several very gently detox methods that are cheap and easy, and can be done at home with very few supplies. These won’t single-handedly resolve chemical toxicities, but they will help coax the liver, lymph, and skin to detox properly.
- Epsom salts soaking baths
- Dry brushing
- Castor oil packs
- Gentle massage
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have heavy menstrual flow, or have chronic health conditions, check with your practitioner before trying these. More aggressive detox protocols should only be performed under the care of a licensed practitioner, and only if your gut, liver, and immune function are healthy.
Hi! I spilled a Wallflower from Bath and Body Works on my living room couch where my 6 month old and 3 year old play … I didn’t realize it had happened initially, until after a few days my headache was terrible and I had already gotten rid of the wallflower (we don’t generally use them due to the toxins)… I had my husband put the couch in the garage and it was certainly the root of the problem… but now I’m worried about that exposure to my kids. Should I be worried?
I wouldn’t worry too much about a short term exposure to those products, especially if your kids aren’t exhibiting any concerning symptoms. Removing the couch, maybe giving it a good cleaning and letting it air out, while focusing on some of the tips in this post are all good ideas. Of course, if you see anything worrisome developing in your symptoms or theirs, get a medical evaluation just to be safe. Take care!
I was exposed from cyanide,mercury and nitric acid for 22 yrs,now I am suffering from feet burn
I was in mining industry for about 22 yrs ago, exposed to cyanide,nitric acid and mercury and now I am suffering from foot burn,chest pain,leg joints sometimes it seems my body is overweights my legs
I’m so sorry to hear that. Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful, but it sounds like guided detoxification efforts with a doctor who specializes in that may be helpful as well.
I’m expose to Toluene diisosycante. Having throat and chest pain. What should I take
This is a question best answered by a doctor. I hope you’ve seen one and gotten the care you need.
I was poisoned for over a year. I’m now allergic to EVERYTHING I touch and inhale. I’m doing everything I can to be healthy but my health is still declining quickly. I’m gaining so much weight but follow a strict gf df diet. Any suggestions?
Hi Serenity, I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this, and so sorry to hear about your experience. I suspect you’d get the most help from a provider that specializes in environmental illnesses – usually these are MDs or NDs. They can be hard to find but I have a short list of names I’ll email to you now in case any of those are good leads for you. I’d also be happy for you to schedule a Discovery Call so you could share more about your symptoms and what you may have tried already, and I’ll tell you whether I… Read more »
Hello! In December I cleaning with Ajax and didn’t put my plastic gloves on. The chemical burnt my skin non my right hand and it has taken so long to heal. During this time I began to experience insomnia, fatigue, constantly getting sick and so much restlessness. Do you think this is an effect from being exposed to this chemical? If so what can I do to get rid of it?
I’m sorry to hear this! It seems unlikely that a single topical exposure would be the only cause of that many systemic symptoms. I would guess it may have been the “straw that broke the camel’s back” – maybe there were already stressors/nutrient deficiencies/inflammation, etc. putting pressure on your body and that was the final straw? All 10 steps outlined in this article are gentle and supportive, so good things to consider. But it also sounds like you’d benefit from working with a practitioner 1-on-1 to determine whether you also need more aggressive detox, gut healing, etc.
I was intentionally poisoned by what a private lab I hired says was paint remover about three months ago. I went to the hospital and the doctors actually dont believe me. I have since been detoxing myself by drink tons of water and taking detox supplements. Any suggestions for me?
Wow, Roxanne. I’m so sorry! The suggestions in this post are great bases to cover, but you may want to consider an evaluation with a functional medicine practitioner who can assess whether you have any lasting effects from the exposure that need to be cleared.
Greetings, yesterday I was rushed and treated at the ER for chemical exposure to a concentrated amount of gasoline. It really made me feel horrible. Now, I’m very concerned about the side effects. In addition to the recommendations posted , do you have any specific recommendations to gasoline exposure? Thank you very much!
Goodness, I’m so sorry to hear that, Habibatullah! Unfortunately, I don’t know of additional measures to help detox from gasoline specifically, but I would say it underscores the need to cover the bases mentioned here. Wishing you a quick recovery!
I am healing from a leaky gut that I’ve had my entire life. My food choices are extremely limited at this point, although getting a tiny bit better. On top of this, now, the farmers all around me have been spraying chemicals non stop on the crops for the past 6 months! I am weak, have core tremors, and am extremely tired. I’m taking bentonite clay to try to detox the chemicals as well as Mirorcore, an ionic foot bath, installed an ozone air purifier, take golden milk, beet juice powder, good oils, and a medical protein shake to try… Read more »
Hi Carol, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had such a rough time. You’ve done a great job by giving a lot of basic support to help your body detox, but it sounds like you may need a more focused approach at this point. If you aren’t already working with one, I’d encourage you to seek out a functional medicine/holistic practitioner who can order testing (comprehensive stool test, organic acids test, and food/chemical sensitivity tests would all be good considerations in my opinion) and create a personalized plan for more concentrated detox and gut healing efforts that your body can… Read more »
My ozone air purifier just poisioned me. Are you still using yours?
I’d love more details on this Lori?
I was exposed to formaldehyde three years ago. I’m now extra sensitive to air fresheners, perfumes, colognes and other scents. How can I stop being senstive to these things? I haven’t been able to find an answer yet. Thank you.
Hi Sharon, I’m so sorry to hear that your formaldehyde exposure has caused so many problems. This sounds similar to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), which is a rare but increasing problem and is essentially a situation where the body is having trouble detoxifying properly. It’s important to reduce toxic exposures, but also to investigate other specific factors that can inhibit detox in the body – things like genetics, leaky gut, compromised liver function, etc. Here are a couple of articles on the topic from trusted resources that I hope are helpful to you: (1) Shining a Light on a Mysterious… Read more »
There are neuroplasticity programs you can use to help with multiple chemical sensitivity. I’m using one right now called DNRS by Annie Hopper. Detox and everything else, it’s the only thing that has been helping me with that.
I’ve heard very good things about Annie Hopper’s program . So glad it’s helping you!