Toxins are substances that produce physical, emotional and psychological imbalances in an individual.
We are constantly exposed to toxins everyday in our life. In the last several decades our food supply, drinking water, air and soil had become increasingly contaminated with toxic chemicals. Never before has the human body been presented with such a heavy burden of foreign substances to metabolize and eliminate. In addition excessive use of fast food, caffeine and alcohol continue to be wide spread .the body has a certain capacity to detoxify itself, but when this is exceeded, toxins deposit both within and around the cells, causing a wide variety of health problems. Several chronic health problems appear to be related to environmental chemicals.
Toxins are of 2 forms.
Endogenous-the normal waste products the body creates in the process of cell function. If the body does not eliminate them adequately, they will remain in the body. Uric acid, a byproduct of protein metabolism is a fine example.
Exogenous toxins are those that are not normally found in the human body such as environmental pollutants like haze, food additives, chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides. Chemical or microbial toxins enter the body through food, water, air or physical contact with the skin or mucous membranes.
Under normal circumstances the body is able to eliminate toxins through urine, faeces, exhalation and perspiration. Thus the major organs involved in elimination are kidneys, colon, lungs and skin. In addition WBC’s of the immune system are designed to metabolize microbial toxins. The liver is the organ primarily responsible for breaking toxins into harmless byproducts which are eliminated in the stool or through the kidneys into urine.
The process of elimination can be hampered for one reason or another. When a particular toxin overwhelms the normal excretion mechanism, the body produces inflammation in the area of the toxin trying to rid itself of the problem. These inflammatory areas signal the initiation of a disease. They are actually signals the body is sending, stating that it cannot get rid of the accumulating toxins by itself. If the toxins remain, the body then moves into next stage where they are deposited in areas where they will do the least harm like hair, fat cells, cysts etc. after years of storage these toxins eventually move into body cells and tissues. They ultimately produce diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer etc.
Common chemical triggers that produce toxicity symptoms in the body include
- gasoline or diesel
- petroleum based products like petroleum jelly, tar, asphalt
- pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals
- industrial cleaning chemicals such as dry cleaning fluids
- formaldehyde and aldehydes
- glues, varnishes, polishes, paints, solvents, paint thinners and volatile organic compounds.
- bleach, fabric softeners, wool wash, laundry detergents
- perfumes, lotions, aftershave lotion, nail polish or skin care products
- air fresheners, deoderisers, scented candles
- shampoos, hair sprays, haircare products
- Dishwashing liquids and detergents-
- marking pens
- chemicals from tap water
Common toxicity symptoms
- unexplained fatigue
- mood swings
- cold hands and feet in warm climate
- muscle twitches
- out of breath easily
- painful joints
- coated tongue
- swelling under eyes
According to Ayurveda detox is not just a procedure you follow 3 days or a week to get rid of all the toxic accumulations in your body rather it is an ongoing process lifelong including your Dinacharya(daily routine),Seasonal routine and lankhana Sodhanas.
Dinacharya or daily routine is living in tune with nature respecting its major cycles that support our physical existence.
special care is advised starting with your daily brushing, gargling of sesame oil , karna poorana(dripping medicated oil in your ears), nasya(instilling nasal drops)all are ways of cleansing mucous membranes of sense organs that comes in contact with exogenous toxins and refreshing all the channels of the body.
Daily Abhyanga (oil massage) before regular exercise in the morning is to improve circulation and enhance flushing of toxins through sweating.