“Cleanse and clean are codewords for damage and destroy.”
In our pursuit to get rid of bacteria and “bad” dirty things, both externally and internally, we are damaging and destroying life.
Anti-bacterial soaps, liver cleanses, vaginal douches, detox regimes, antibiotics, anti-fungals, anti-virals…anti… anti…anti… LIFE.
The result? A clean…mean…machine?
Why is it that we go to such great lengths to “purify” ourselves from our perceived dirtiness?
To what end?
For what reason?
If we look back in history “cleansing” was associated with many (actual dirty practices) such as ethnic cleansing ~ removing “impurities” ~ people, places… getting rid of what was wild, “untamed”… This pursuit for “clean civility” only took us further and further from the ground, the soil, the dirt… the source of all LIFE.
Cleansing and ridding ourselves of toxins is in fact a beautiful lie.
Because the ugly truth is that there is no getting rid of anything.
Where do we suppose these toxins come from and where do we suppose they will go?
We live in a closed system - toxins aren’t leaving the planet nor are they entering the planet.
We are breathing the same oxygen that our ancestors breathed.
We are feeding the ancient trees with the same carbon dioxide that they received from the dinosaurs.
Toxins live within this closed system and thus cannot be separated from us.
On Liver Cleanses: "LIVER ME ALONE", Cried the Liver.
When we feel we have over-indulged it can be very seductive to opt for the quick fix of a liver cleanse or some kind of juice fast. Of course, indulging is a normal part of being human, but what if our approach to getting well again is not actually making us well?
If toxins did indeed build up in our livers and bodies in a way that our bodies couldn’t excrete, we would likely be dead or in need of serious medical attention.
Our liver is a living organ that has a specific function.
Brilliantly designed to do the miraculous job of circulating blood through it. Our liver knows when to move excess waste out the body via our stools and urine.
Our liver also knows when to store nutrients, and when to release nutrients back into our blood.
Our liver rebuilds itself, cell by cell, every 6 weeks.
Yes...our liver is literally capable of miracles.
Our liver, therefore, deserves the utmost respect, dignity and NOURISHMENT.
Not punishment or “flushing” like some kind of toilet.
When we seek harsh regimes to “cleanse” our liver we take away the miracle of our liver and put it under tremendous strain. Most herbal detox protocols unnaturally increase digestion and thus add more metabolic by-products for the liver to process.
Making your liver work extra hard because you binged on alcohol or sugar will not make your body "cleaner" quicker.
There is no quick fix that will make the perfect systems of our bodies work any better than they already do.
Unnecessary cleansing and detoxifying for superficial (or guilty) reasons is meddling with the natural flow of life and is only a petty substitute for making better consumption choices.
Bacteria = Building Blocks of Life.
Cleansing and detoxing destroy bacteria.
Bacteria are the building blocks to thriving health.
When we do intense cleanses we wreak havoc on our bacterial microbiome and thus our bodies ability to adapt and thrive.
Commercial detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they aim to remove or the mechanisms by which they eliminate them.
The whole detox industry rests on the notion that chemicals can be neatly divided into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories. Just like we try to categorise people into neat little boxes…
The reality is far more complex.
Wholeness is the knowing that good and bad, and black and white, and shadow and light are all working in beautiful union.
This is the holiness of wholeness.
There is also no actual substantial evidence to support the use of cleanses for toxin elimination.
In fact, detoxes and cleanses lead to health risks including severe energy restriction and nutritional inadequacy.
Extreme fasts, which have become increasingly popular, can result in protein, vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well as a serious electrolyte imbalance.
50 000 cells will die and be replaced in your body all while you have been reading this sentence.
We have a new skin every month and a new skeleton every 3 months.
And so… we pose the question, rather than trying to cleanse and eliminate, how can we nourish and support our ever-changing and naturally renewing bodily systems?
How can we fill ourselves up with more LOVE - like actual unconditional love - for the shadowy “dirty” parts we have tried so desperately to deny or destroy?
Knowing now that this fallacy of throwing something “away" is in fact not possible…
Because there is no “away...”
Then perhaps we need to accept?
Can we for forgive ourselves for being seduced by the allure of “cleanliness…”?
The promise of purification and redemption? (Yup, religious dogma, the Heroic tradition, Humoral Theory... play a sneaky role in this story)
Can we let die this old, outdated belief that our holiness is separate from our beautiful bodies?
That God lives somewhere up there, far away from the salt of the Earth down here?
When we equate food and life with sin, guilt and contamination, we set ourselves up for separation and a very sad and unhealthy relationship to nourishment.
To keep believing that there is something wrong with us that needs constant fixing, is to keep ourselves locked in a cycle similar to that of bingeing and purging.
Filling ourselves up only to feel guilty so we can purge and punish ourselves once more.
What if we trusted our bodies?
What if we trusted the miracle of life?
What if, today, we decided that we were whole and holy exactly as we are?
We are here on Earth to live a full and wholesome life. If our bodies feel exhausted, and if we have been eating too much crappy food, maybe we need to look at recharging and rejuvenating, rather than restricting and resenting...
Maybe we need to un-educate ourselves on what is "healthy" and listen to our bodies wisdom that signals what is good and what is not so good...
Be wise with your choices of what you consume and you will live well.
If you fall off the wagon, turn your guilt into nurturance and love yourself back to living well once more.
The ultimate detox diet is to eat a range of fruits, vegetables, meats, fats, to drink wild weeds infusions and herbal tinctures, and to move your body and to love and be loved.
You are divinely perfect exactly as you are, right now.
Believe that your body is capable of healing itself (because it is!)
Toxins are not the enemy, our obsession with them is.
Clean does not exist.
We are nature and one day we will inevitably be eaten by the bacteria, viruses and animals inside and around us.
This cannot, should not, and will not ever be escaped.
Susan Weed (a dirty witch who inspired a lot of this article).
(*PS - this article is not offering “medical” advice and not intended for those experiencing severe dis-eases or illness. This is a radical reflection on the general obsession with detoxing for superficial purposes that has no founded evidence of actually working and is in fact shown to be quite harmful.)