If you’ve been following our cleanse and made it to day 3, I’m guessing you may be experiencing one or more of the following:
- body aches
- hot flashes
- inability to focus
These symptoms are your body’s response to the toxins freed from the nooks and crannies of your fat cells, gallbladder, and the other deep recesses of your organs where they have been safely stored for months – even years – waiting for a safe time to release, metabolize and excrete!
A word of caution here, since we’re going for the ever-so-gently-please approach to cleansing: if the symptoms are too much, if you find yourself on the brink of taking pain medication to counteract the discomfort from freely circulating toxins (which can be excruciating), STOP cleansing. I don’t mean to say go out and have a hamburger with fries, I do mean to say that this may be as far as you need to go with this cleanse. Continue at your present level, if possible, for the next few days. Or gently begin easing yourself into your regular diet.
Besides the effects of freely circulating toxins, you may also be experiencing the discomfort of withdrawal. Withdrawal can be severely painful, and even make you very sick if you are quitting hard drugs, alcohol or tobacco cold turkey. Believe it or not, sugar can cause similar symptoms of withdrawal. In these cases, it may be best to detox under professional supervision, or to slowly taper off your intake in the case of severe addiction.
Listen to your body, trust your instincts!
Now for some good news: you are nearly over the “hump” of your cleanse! The first three days are always the hardest for me, and sometime around days 4 or 5 you start to feel the benefits of cleansing like:
- lightness in body
- reduced cravings
- sharpened vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch
- reduction in chronic pain levels
- regular, easy bowel movements
- improved digestion
- increased mental clarity
We’re not trying to “tough it out” when we might be doing damage to our bodies by ignoring the body’s signals….and yet, we’re committed to persevering with our plan to care for ourselves on this deep level, and to offer ourselves the deep nourishment for which we have been longing.
Say “Thanks!” to your liver
The last meal on day 3 should be very light, usually just a bowl of soup or broth and some gluten free crackers. Follow this meal with an herbal supplement with beneficial liver herbs like Planetary Herbals Bupleurum Liver Cleanse formulated by Michael Tierra. (ps, I don’t get any compensation for telling you about my favorite products, I sincerely encourage you to research and try them for yourself!)
Then, right before bed prepare a castor oil pack by covering the inner layer of a washcloth with castor oil and placing over your liver (upper right quadrant of your abdomen). Over that, you can put a hot-water bottle or electric heating pad to warm the oil on your skin. This should feel soothing and relaxing.
Make sure your stomach is empty for the last part: drink a shot-glass full of olive oil, and chase it with a shot-glass full of grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed is best). Yuk! The olive oil is hard to get down, and you’ll be grateful for a mouthful of grapefruit juice afterword. Immediately lay down on your right side (with castor oil pack in place) for at least an hour. I usually just fall asleep this way.
Why all this? The olive oil chased with grapefruit juice encouraged the secretion of bile and softens any deposits that you probably have waiting in your gallbladder to cause you trouble. According to “the doc of detox” :
“Castor oil packs speed up your healing process; you can place the castor oil pack on any area of the body to increase circulation, range of motion, aid in detoxification, to alleviate tension and to reduce pain, inflammation, stagnation and internal scar tissue formation within the joints, tissues and organs. The most common place that castor oil packs are used is over the liver, gallbladder and/or the intestines.”
I didn’t add any of this to my cleansing regimen until my husband woke up one morning with excruciating, pin-point pain directly below his bottom-right ribs. After a thorough differential diagnosis (to rule out anything more serious or complicated) we determined he had gallstones. He was in so much pain he was doubled over, wouldn’t drink or eat, and was crying. Read how we treated and cured his gallstones in three days!
Now I include it religiously for every day that I am cleansing.
Pro cleansing tip: get lots of rest! plenty of rest! seriously, go home, take a nap. Take a day off of work. Tell your boss you need a “wellness day” instead of a “sick day” – and spend the day pampering yourself with foot soaks, castor oil packs, relaxing baths with candles, meditation. You’re body is working hard to clean house, give it every opportunity to make the most of this cleanse!