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By Nadia McMorran

There is a lot of conflicting information regarding detoxing, particularly when people are looking to lose weight. From drastic lemon juice and maple syrup detoxes to gulping down olive oil and apple juice, there are certainly a lot of what claim to be magic fixes out there, if you’re game enough to try!

These radical detoxes though, are far from safe without the guidance of a health professional and are usually too extreme to facilitate real change in the body. They instead cause undue stress on the organs and often leave you feeling worse than when you began.

Our bodies are constantly in a state of detox – the liver, kidneys, colon and lymphatic system are continuously working hard to eliminate toxins, waste and free radicals. The job is becoming much harder though, as these days our bodies are subject to much harsher assaults than they used to be with added pollutants, chemicals, pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs and the average kiwi diet.

Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulphate, is a great regular addition to your bath to aid detoxification. It works by osmosis to draw out toxins from the body while replacing them with magnesium to help with cleansing, relaxation, sleep and tired, sore muscles. Soaking for 15-20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to get maximum benefit. Start with 1/4 cup and build up to 2 cups over a period of time.

It can be a good idea to give your body a regular ‘spring clean’, just as you would for your house. Our detoxification organs get bogged down in the day to day cleansing of everything we consume, breathe and put on our skin. Some of the underlying toxins can build up and are stored in our fat cells. Our body needs a break from the everyday routine with easily digested juices, smoothies and particular foods. The addition of specific medicinal herbs and probiotics will maximise elimination and allow these organs to work on the back log of toxins that can accumulate in our bodies over time.

A gentle detox can also be used as a great ‘kick start’ to a healthier way of life and a positive change in dietary habits.