The first thing that most people in the health world think of when they have a skin condition is that they need to detox. If you have acne, eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, melasma, tinea versicolor, etc, it usually is related to your INTERNAL health, specifically the gut and liver.
When your gut (intestines) are out of balance and dysbiosis is present, you can begin to develop what is known as leaky gut (aka intestinal permeability). Overtime, as the toxins present in the gut (bacteria, undigested foods, heavy metals, etc.) seep into the bloodstream, they are transported to the liver and kidneys for elimination via urine and stool.
Your body has several elimination pathways or ‘emunctories’ that allow the transport of toxins out of the body. The primary emunctories are liver, kidneys (uric acids formed by stress and poor diet) and lungs (excreting CO2). The secondary emunctories are things like your skin and mucous membranes which allows toxins to be excreted from the body via sweat.
What happens though, when your primary elimination pathways are “blocked” or overburdened from the constant seepage of toxins into the blood from the gut? Where do all these hormones, heavy metals, yeast, parasites, inflammatory and acidic toxins go? Well, they will be discharged from the body through the secondary emunctories which is most often the skin. The skin is not a great emunctory and should not be used for this level of toxicity but when there is no other exit for these toxins, they have no choice but to be eliminated via the skin! And THIS is why you get a flare in your skin conditions when you are detoxing. THIS is called the “healing crisis”.
The toxins you are bringing up from deep body tissues, colon, organs etc are released into the bloodstream and if you are not supporting your primary emunctories correctly, the toxins will exit via the skin and cause a worsening of your already existing skin issues. Often times, people will develop a skin condition they never had once starting a detox. Many times not just the skin is utilized as a emunctory but also the mucous membranes and nasal passages which is why you also experience runny nose, post nasal drip or increased vaginal discharge during times of strong detoxification.
Having a flare in these body systems is NOT a good sign. It means you are overwhelming your already overwhelmed emunctories and as a result, your body is getting much more inflamed by these toxins you are bringing up. It is better to begin a cleanse VERY slowly as to not overwhelm your main pathways (liver, kidneys, lungs) and as they adjust and improve over time, you can slowly increase your detoxification efforts. The idea is that you DON’T want to bring up more toxins into the blood than your body can handle at one time.
When your body is overloaded with endogenous and exogenous toxins, it buries them deep into fat cells, joints, mitochondria of cells, etc. When you begin to detoxify and supply your body with nutrients, it begins to pull these toxins back out of the cells and releases them back into the blood to be eliminated. If you do this process too quick without draining the emunctories, too many toxins will be released into the blood from the body and they will have nowhere to go. They end up bouncing around the body damaging organs and tissues and causing inflammation until they eventually are eliminated through the skin, mucous membranes or stored in lymph nodes.
So what should you do BEFORE starting a detox? Before beginning phase 1 of detoxification, support your primary emunctories using homeopathic drainage remedies (UNDA #s, Gammadyn and plex remedies). These remedies are deep acting remedies that stimulate the drainage of toxins through these primary emunctories.
What should you do during a detox? Start SLOW! Less is ALWAYS more when detoxing. Don’t go from 0 to 100 instantly when starting a cleanse as I can guarantee you WILL overburden your body. Start slow, make dietary changes first before incorporating antifungals, colon cleansers, heavy metal chelators, etc and always support your emunctories throughout the WHOLE cleanse and afterwards.
Written by: Marla Pietruszko BSc RHN
If you’d like to learn more about liver cleansing, watch my youtube video!