We've heard of double cleansing our faces. It's when you use a cleansing balm, oil or micellar water to remove all your makeup first then you cleanse again to really get the job done. According to pharmacist Shabir Daya from Victoria Health, we should really be applying the double cleanse principle to our bodies, too.
He suggests a first cleanse for the gut. "The gut or intestines are exposed to a host of pollutants, chemicals and toxins from the food we eat, as well as from air, water and environmental toxins," he says. "We have thousands of toxic chemicals in our surrounding environment that we are interacting with regularly and it is estimated that the average person is carrying between 500 and 700 toxins in their blood, skin, fat tissues, liver, brain and of course the intestines."
We now know that the gut is incredibly complex and numerous studies have demonstrated the link between gut health and the immune system, mood, cognitive function, skin conditions and autoimmune diseases. Things like stress, sleep deprivation, sugary foods and antibiotics can mess around with the gut and its bacteria.
"I think it prudent to cleanse the gut using Complete Fibre Cleanse," says Shabir. "This supplement contains soluble and insoluble fibres that cleanse the gut including the colon gently but efficiently. The insoluble fibres scrape the gut of residues that build up as a result of the mixture of food and digestive enzymes. This residue hinders nutrient absorption and harbours pathogens."
Complete Fibre Cleanse also contains Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm to soothe any inflammation together with a probiotic blend to repopulate the gut of the friendly bacteria that is vital for many functions. Shabir suggests using the Complete Fibre Cleanse every few months because a healthy gut contributes to a stronger immune system, improved mood, heart health as well as effective digestion.
After that, Shabir recommends doing a second cleanse for your body, this time with the liver. "Like double cleansing the skin, the second part of cleansing should concentrate on removing toxins from the bloodstream before they deposit in our tissues such as the brain, skin and other organs. Although cleansing the gut will help to remove numerous chemicals, nothing works 100% and some of these toxins will pass through the intestines into the bloodstream."
Our livers convert toxins, chemicals, pollutants and metabolic waste products into compounds that are neutral and can be easily eliminated by the body. Normally, the liver also works to cleanse itself but this is not always the case.
"Unfortunately, our bodies are bombarded with chemicals, preservatives, pollutants and artificial colourants to name a few. With this toxic overload, the liver’s capability to remove toxins declines and some of these will remain active for longer periods affecting numerous processes including metabolism, circulation and respiration."
Signs of poor liver function include fatigue, complexion problems, itchy skin, frequent mood swings, gain and sensitivity to chemicals and medications.
Shabir suggests using Healthaid’s Milk Thistle Complex as a liver cleanse. It's a supplement that contains milk thistle, dandelion root and artichoke leaf extract.
"I believe that cleansing the body is important," says Shabir, "and double cleansing is a programme that one should undertake periodically especially when accompanied by some lifestyle changes."