When we work hard, we rest. But what about the body systems that constantly clean and detoxify our bodies? To perform optimally, these systems also need rest, and this is where cleansing comes in. In this episode, Jen shares the incredible health benefits you can receive with cleansing and how to do it so that it doesn’t create more stress on your body.

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“Jen, I have body systems that are meant to detoxify and clean me, don’t I, so why do I need to cleanse?” I get asked this all of the time. The reality is that while our body does have many systems that are designed to clean us – sometimes they need extra support because we push them so hard.

Body systems responsible for cleaning

  • Digestive System cleanses through vomiting or diarrhoea. 
  • Kidneys detoxify by filtering toxins out of the blood into the urine. 
  • Lymphatic System is like the vacuum cleaner for your blood. It’s like our body’s ‘sewerage system’. It maintains fluid levels in our body tissues by removing all fluids that leak out of our blood vessels.
  • Liver detoxifies by changing the chemical nature of many toxins.

Giving your body a rest day

These detoxifying body systems are constantly working; they don’t get a break. Even if you are healthy, your body can still benefit from a rest day.

Many of us eat five times a day or more, including meals and snacks, so there is that steady flow of nutrients coming into our bodies. Every time you eat, your body digests the foods you consume, absorbs and transports nutrients to all of your body’s cells through the bloodstream. 

Your cells can either use these nutrients right away or store them for later. If you eat more than you need your body needs at any one time, this leads to a back-up of excess nutrients for your metabolism to manage. We keep adding in more food, which takes priority over what’s been stored for later. 

If you don’t give your body a break from all-day eating, you can start to experience metabolism problems. It’s not just weight gain; some processes within your cells are put on hold while your body manages what you are putting in all the time.

One of these processes, called autophagy, is your cells’ own internal cleansing process. When we slow the intake of foods, autophagy becomes activated. It’s where old, worn-out, or obsolete components in your cells are tagged for disposal and broken down to their parts. Taking a periodic break allows autophagy to be activated naturally.

New discoveries related to the central role of autophagy within cells led to the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which was awarded to Dr Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.

Autophagy helps to support the health of the heart and the brain and is essential to the long-term maintenance of good health.

How regularly should I cleanse?

Ideally, one day a week, but your body would be ahead of the game even if you do one day a month. Like I mentioned in Episode #79 – The F Word, about fasting, it’s not about calorie deprivation. It’s about supporting your body on any detox with herbs.

Using Herbs to support your cleanse

I never put anyone on a cleanse unless they are also on adaptogen herbs. Adaptogens help your body deal with stress. Ashwagandha, Eleuthero and Rhodiola are all good Adaptogen herbs.

Burdock root skin is a really cool herb that is used to clean the skin from the inside out. I also love Suma Brazilian Ginseng as it’s really soothing on your gastrointestinal region. Aloe Vera is also great, but it needs to be the inner leaf gel from the plant as this is what contains polysaccharides that provide digestive support and the take up of nutrients.

As a naturopath, we look at the Doctrine of Signatures, which looks at a part of the plant and how it relates to our body. When we look at that with the types of herbs we’re using, we’re not telling the body to detox; we’re supporting the body to function naturally.

Helpful Links

Healthy Life Hacks

The Healthy Life Hacks I want to share with you today are:

  • Try a cleanse day. If you can’t do one a week, do one a month or a season and get some herbs to support your body release impurities and support the natural body system.

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

Are you looking for more great resources? Get a free copy of my Feed Your Body ebook here and be sure to explore my blog while you are there.


You’ve no doubt heard the saying that food is fuel - it really is. What you put into your body will determine how much you get out of it. In this information-packed free guide, I help you understand the nutritional necessities to help you eat well, think well and live well.


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