Basic Detoxification Guide

By Dr. Tonya Fleck

Keeping the body free from toxic materials is the most powerful way to ensure optimal health and the prevention of dis-ease.  

Effective detoxification is a 2-part process:

1)  Reducing exposure to foreign chemicals (Check Mate and all others).

(For more information regarding identification of foreign chemicals that can potentially harm health go to

2)  Stimulating the elimination of foreign chemicals.

The information below will address the stimulation of elimination of foreign chemicals and toxins.

Stimulating the elimination of foreign chemicals is broken down into 3 parts:

1- Physical Detoxification Techniques

2- Dietary Support for Detoxification

3- Nutraceuticals to stimulate Detoxification

Supporting the physical body involves supporting the body’s 6 main organs of elimination: skin, liver, bowels, kidney, lungs & lymph.


We don’t often think of the skin as an organ, however, it is our largest organ of elimination:

   1. Sauna Therapy- Low temperature sauna can be a very effective way of eliminating toxins.  The recommended temperature range is 140-160 degrees for periods of up to two hours.  Repeated several days a week.  This may not be appropriate for everyone, so check with your doctor before embarking on a sauna therapy regimen.

2. Epsom Salt Baths are a great alternative to sauna therapy.  This acts to enhance elimination through the skin.  Add 2 pounds of Epsom Salts to a hot bath and soak for 20 minutes.  Repeat several times a week or daily if desired.

3. Exercise with sweating also greatly enhances elimination of toxins through the skin, lungs, and lymphatics.

4. Contrast showers enhance circulation and aid in detoxification.  Alternate between 3 min. hot water, and 30 sec. cold water.  Repeat several times, but always end with cold.

* With all of these physical detoxification techniques hydration and electrolyte replacement is essential.


Limit substances that especially burden the liver such as: alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, preservatives, and dyes.  Also limit exposure to environmental toxins such as car exhaust, chemical fumes, and work-related toxic substances.

1. Castor oil packs topically over the liver.  Castor oil helps to stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation.  Saturate an undyed piece of cotton or wool flannel and place it over the liver (the liver is located below the right breast & extends down the bottom on the rib cage). 

Place a dry towel over the pack & place a hot water bottle on top, 20-30 minutes 2-3x per week. (Caution- never wash your pad after use- simply place it back in its Ziploc bag for your next use.)

2. Supplementation support (see below).


Having healthy, daily bowel movements is another main pathway for elimination of toxins from the body.  To ensure healthy bowel function:

1.  Eat raw vegetables, salads, and fruit daily to decrease the transit time of food wastes through the gut.

2.  Include high fiber natural grains in the daily diet, such as brown rice, oats, barley, millet, and quinoa, which help soften stool and increase absorption of bowel toxins.

3.  Note that aerobic exercise also helps to positively regulate bowel function.

4.  Limit dietary intake of highly processed foods, which tend to constipate and increase the body’s toxic load.


Drink at least six to eight glasses of pure water daily.


Exhaling is the body’s way of getting rid of unwanted gases.

1. Practice deep relaxed breathing twice daily (before rising in the morning and falling asleep in the evening are often convenient times).  Technique: while lying on the back, place one hand over the chest and the other on the lower abdomen: inhale deeply; first feel the lower lungs fill with air as the lower hand rises, then the upper lungs fill as the upper hand rises; exhale deeply; feel the upper then lower lungs empty of air.

2.  Do aerobic exercise (according to an individual’s fitness level.)   This may be walking, running, biking, swimming, or aerobic dance, for example.  Sessions should last 20 to 45 minutes and be done three to five times weekly.


Our lymphatic system is the super highway of our immune system.

1. Perform a regular stretching program to release muscle imbalances and constrictions, which, in turn, increases the blood and lymphatic circulation.

2. Receive regular massage therapy or lymphatic drainage to increase blood and lymphatic circulation.

3. To get your lymphatic system moving, dry brush the entire body (except the face) before bathing, gently but thoroughly, three times a week.  Use small circular strokes, starting at your extremities and brushing towards the heart.

Dietary Support for Detoxification

“Let medicine be thy food; let food be thy medicine.”  Hippocrates

Receiving nutrients through the foods that we eat is an important way to support health & detoxification.  A nutrient dense, adequate protein, whole foods diet is important to maintain adequate detoxification chemistry in the body.  If nutrient deficiencies exist in a chemically exposed individual then the individual may exceed their capacity to clear that chemical, allowing it to react with the body’s tissues.

   1. Foods which specifically support detoxification:  Eggs, flax, walnuts, beets, dandelion greens, carrots, leeks, shallots, mustard greens, collards, chard, daikon radish, burdock root, artichoke, lemon, onions, garlic, and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower & kale.)

2. Water should be purified and stored in non-plastic containers.  Bottled water stored in plastic exposes us to pthalates and Bisphenol A, which are toxic to the body’s endocrine system.  Daily intake should be roughly half your body weight in ounces of water daily.

3. Adequate protein is especially important in maintaining liver detoxification capacity.  50 grams of protein is a minimally sufficient daily intake for the average sized individual.  Good sources of protein include low fat meats, fish, beans, sprouted nuts and grains such as quinoa and millet.  A high biological value protein powder (whey, egg, hemp) is a great way to supplement necessary amino acids (the building blocks of protein.)

4. High ORAC value foods including cacao, berries, apple, pear, walnut and pecan supply antioxidants to lessen the impact of chemicals on the body.

Nutraceuticals to support Detoxification

Replacing nutrients that are depleted and using safe substances to support detoxification chemistry is an important part of healthy detoxification.  Naturopathic physicians generally use specific nutrient formulations to address the unique metabolic needs of patients.  If you feel you are chemically sensitive you should consult a naturopathic physician or environmental medicine specialist before embarking on a supplement protocol.  Also, before embarking on any supplement protocol, check with your physician to determine if this is appropriate for you.

Here are our recommendations for basic detoxification support:

         1. A good multivitamin, including molybdenum and 200mg.+ magnesium
         2. Extra vitamin C (1000-2000 mg. 3 times daily)
         3. Whey protein powder (low temp. extraction--30 g.+ protein daily, dairy sensitive use hemp protein powder.)
         4. Milk thistle seed in capsule or powder form.  (250-500mg. Daily)
         5. Antioxidant blends (grape seed, lipoic acid, green tea, etc.  (1-2 capsules 3 times daily)

IV Therapy
Introducing high dose vitamins and minerals into the body intravenously is a highly effective means to support the body's detoxification processes.  Glutathione, one of the body's main antioxidants/detoxifying agents, given intravenously is a powerful way to support Phase 1 and Phase 11 liver detoxification.   IV therapy is especially recommended in patients with allergies and environmental and/or chemical sensitivities.

Our Doctors offer IV Therapy and are certified in IV Nutritional Therapy.   For more information on IV Therapy, call 831.477.1377.