Sweeping the temple

Isn't it strange that a weekly cleaning of one’s lodgings (house, flat, cave) is not only seen as normal but even mandatory, while housekeeping of our fleshy lodgings (our bodies) is looked upon as something a little bit weird and even unnecessary?
However, cleaning the body and cleaning the house works in the same way: if it’s not done regularly, lots of gunk will gather in the nooks and corners and getting rid of it will be more difficult the longer you leave it.

This is why I want to share with you an array of useful tools to detox and support the body: the enema, face masks, body scrubbing and brushing, the detox bath, hair and scalp treatments, the castor oil pack and the neti pot.
It’s a lot, I know, but I hope to inspire you to during this cold and quiet seasons delve into your personal spa at home and really clean out the gunky corners of your fleshy household.
And who knows, maybe you establish a new routine for all seasons?

 One of my favourite posessions: my body brush

One of my favourite posessions: my body brush

In today’s modern society it is difficult to avoid environmental toxins no matter how health conscious our diet and lifestyle.
Pharmaceutical drugs, while sometimes helpful, are still toxic to the body and residue and after-effects may linger in unexpected places.
A cure of antibiotics still affects the body’s natural flora 2 years after it is taken.
The polluted air that we breathe, pathogenic microorganisms in our drinking water, chemicals in household cleaning products as well as in body lotions, makeup and hair products, pesticides and heavy metals in our vegetables… The list goes on and on.

These are poisons which are very hard to avoid if we wish to live in a modern society today, especially if we enjoy the pulsating life of a big city!
As humans we are equipped with eliminatory organs such as the lymphatic system, the liver and the kidneys, but these organs need support in order not to buckle down under the pressure of filtering out a serious load of toxins every single day.

As these poisons are impossible to avoid (although I of course encourage you to do your best!), our focus should be on limiting the effect these harmful substances have on our bodies.
A brilliant way to do this is to frequently give yourself time to do some bodily housekeeping; sometimes a light vacuum and sometimes deep cleanings.

Here are a few things that I do at home to support my healing and well being, both when going through a cleanse such as a juice or water fast or when I am just doing some “general housework” on a weekly basis:


 The turmeric face mask, aloe vera hair mask and – dare I say it? – coffee enema all in action this very morning!

The turmeric face mask, aloe vera hair mask and – dare I say it? – coffee enema all in action this very morning!

FACE MASKS

I make my own simple face masks at home, different ones for different purposes. I will not take credit for any of these recipes! They are simply recipes I’ve picked up on the way and modified to suit my needs.
There are three: one for oily skin, one for blemish prone skin (that time of the month, hello!) and one for dry skin.

The best way to prepare your skin for a face mask is by opening the pores using a clean face towel rinsed in hot water. Keep the towel on the face until it cools, pat dry with a clean towel and then apply the face mask.
 

SPIRULINA FACE MASK – for oily skin and clogged pores

You will need:
1/2 teaspoon spirulina
1 tbsp water OR 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

Instructions:
Vinegar will dry the skin somewhat so it is best used on particularly oily skin. This mineral heavy face mask will dry up on your skin, balance your PH and suck lots of crap our of your pores. Spirulina and apple cider are both antibacterial foods and this will help keep your pores from irritation which causes blemishes and redness.
Leave for max 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.
 

TURMERIC FACE MASK – for blemish prone skin

You will need:
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions:
Turmeric and raw honey are both very antibacterial and will deeply disinfect your pores. Lemon juice cleanses, tones and reduces pore size.
This mask gets kind of grainy because of the turmeric, so you can scrub your face with it for 30 seconds before leaving it on as a mask.
Leave for max 15 minutes.
Note that this mask may leave your face a little bit yellow for a couple of hours after you have removed it! Fear not, it will fade. Just wipe your face with a cloth after the mask before moisturising.
 

RAW HONEY FACE MASK - hydrating

You will need:
1 teaspoon refrigerated raw honey

Instructions:
Refrigerating the honey is key as this will make the sugars in the honey crystallise and you will have a fine scrub. Raw honey is antibacterial, moisturising and it smells nice; this is the one I use most frequently. Scrub the cold honey into your pores and then leave it on your face for 20-30 minutes before washing with warm water.
 

MOISTURISE

Moisturising is always important, but especially after a face mask like the spriulina or the turmeric face mask as these put your skin though a lot. I prefer an oil after a face mask, either argan oil or, if my skin is not going through an oily phase, rose hip oil.
 

 Raw honey

Raw honey


ENEMA

The health benefits of enemas, in particular my favourite coffee enema, are too numerous to list in one small post and there have been written books on the subject. But believe me, having your morning coffee this way is much better for you!
This is something I do once a week.

Coffee in the colon causes the ducts in the liver to dilate and release bile and the coffee that is being absorbed through the enema dilutes the bile, causing it to flow more easily in order to be flushed out.
Proper bile flow helps your body rid itself of waste products so this is crucial to detoxing properly.
Enhancing bile flow is a great way support for the liver, an organ which works so hard for us in particular during times of illness or after a period of drinking alcohol to excess and showing this organ some love can feel very intimate and powerful.

Substances found in the coffee (kahweol and cafestol palmitate) gives a 600% activity boost to the liver enzyme glutathione-S-transferase which is known to remove free radicals from the blood stream.
If you manage to hold the coffee enema in for 15 minutes, all the blood of the body will pass through the liver at least 4 times (roughly just below every 3 minutes) and you will effectively cleanse the blood of free radicals.

In addition to this, an enema is excellent for colon health as it properly washes out old material that otherwise can get stuck in the colon and block the intestinal lining, preventing nutrient assimilation, water uptake and proper digestion.
You especially see the effects of the enema when on a juice or water fast as you keep passing solids several days after your last solid meal… It is really quite revolting and inspiring all at once.

As you clean out both good and bad bacteria when doing an enema I recommend having a probiotic supplement or food when you're done.
I usually do my enemas first thing in the morning before I eat anything (drinking water is fine), but this is a preference and not strictly nescessary.

Coffee enemas are vigorously employed in alternative cancer treatments and were a cornerstone in Dr. Max Gerson’s cancer therapy. The method I am using is borrowed from the Gerson therapy.

 My trusty enema kit

My trusty enema kit

You will need:

A bag of ground ORGANIC coffee
An enema bag or bucket
Filtered water
A timer or a phone with a timer
A comfy place to rest
Coconut oil for lubrication
A good book or a podcast (my favourite enema-time-podcast is SMNTY!)

I always do two enemas: a flush and a coffee enema. The flush enables me to hold the coffee enema for a full 20 minutes and it cleans far up into the bowels.
Prepare both enemas before you start.


THE FLUSH ENEMA

Boil 500 ml of filtered water
Add this to a bowl along with 1 litre cold filtered water
(you are aiming for water that is warm, almost hot)


The coffee enema

Bring 1,2 litres of filtered water to a boil and add 4 tablespoons of coffee.
Turn off the heat and let the coffee infuse for 20 minutes before straining.
The coffee will be too hot to use at this point, but I find that it cools down during my flush enema.

Then we begin.
Hang your enema bag or bucket up on a door handle or a picture hook in your bathroom and release the clamp on the hose into a sink so that you release some air.
Clamp the hose again, lubricate the tip with coconut oil and lay down on a towel, on the floor, in the bathtub… Wherever you can be comfortable.
Laying on your left side, insert the hose and try to relax your muscles and your breath.
Once all of the water has been inserted, go to the toilet and release at once.
This may take some time as the water can get lodged far up. Massaging clockwise on the lower abdomen can help, as can getting up and walking around for a bit – I assure you that 2 minutes will be more than enough!

Then it is time for the coffee enema.
Strain the coffee infusion into the enema bag, checking the temperature. If it is too hot or cold, tweak it with water.
Again, release air over the sink and lay down on your left side.
After all the coffee has been inserted, start a timer for 5 minutes.
Every 5 minutes, turn around as turning like this ensures that you give your bowels proper “wash”.
Turn from the left side to laying on your back, on your right side and finally (this is the hardest one!) come to rest on your knees with your forehead on the floor (child’s pose) before going to the toilet to release the enema.
Massaging anti-clockwise throughout the coffee enema can help retain the enema as this moves the water further up the colon.
Breathing exercises and mediation is also helpful and so is a good podcast!


BODY SCRUB

The perfect thing to do with your left over coffee grounds from your enema is to make an exfoliating body scrub.
This recipe is very simple and while the coffee exfoliates and tones the skin, the coconut oil moisturises and the essential oil of your choosing can either uplift or relax.
This is also a great way to enjoy the benefits of mineral rich salts if you don’t have a bath tub.

Scrubbing vigorously aides detoxification as it stimulates the lymphatic system at the same time as removing dead layers of skin which allows the skin to breathe and sweat to properly exit the pores.

You will need:
2 parts coffee grounds
1 part epsom salt or other mineral rich salt crystals
1 part melted coconut oil at room temperature
A few drops of essential oil of your choice. I like eucalyptus or orange for an uplifting experience and lavender for a more soothing feel.

Instructions:
Mix all the ingredients together and keep in a jar in your shower or bathtub.
Scrub the skin vigorously, then rinse.
In order to further moisturise the skin, resist the urge to wash off with soap and instead gently pat your body dry and enjoy the feeling of the oil entering your pores.

 Finished body scrub and essential oils

Finished body scrub and essential oils


BODY BRUSHING

Body brushing has become a bit of an addiction of mine: I have to do it every morning and I don’t really feel that I have woken up properly without! I even travel with my brush.

Body brushing has the same detoxifying effects as a body scrub in that is stimulates the lymphs and allows the skin to breathe properly.
It is a great way to wake up the body in the morning as well as preparing the pores for an epsom salt bath or a ginger bath (see below). 
Needless to say, please purchase an all natural brush for your skin. I use this one (not sponsored, I just love it!).

You will need:
A body brush

Instructions:
In order to best stimulate the lymphatic system try to follow the guidelines of the lymph drainage map below, scrubbing from the extremities towards the core using circular motions.
Try to be as enthusiastic as possible: the goal is to make your skin really pink and a stiff brush takes some getting used to!
 


DETOX BATH

A nice, hot bath is very relaxing, but did you know that it can help you detox as well?

Epsom salt, coming from Epsom in Surrey here in the UK, is well renowned for it’s high compound of magnesium and sulphate and has gained popularity as THE bath salt.
However I will say that any mineral rich unrefined salt such as dead sea salt and Himalayan pink salt will do the job nicely.
The point is to have a bath with a high mineral content as these minerals help relieve muscle cramps, improve circulation and draw toxins out of the pores, more efficiently so if the skin is prepared with a body brush as outlined above.
In addition to this a hot bath of course helps the body sweat, which is a powerful cleanse in itself. It is important to replenish with at least a large 500 ml glass of lukewarm water (as lukewarm is more hydrating) to replace lost fluids after a hot bath.

If you want to get a serious sweat on you can add powdered ginger to you bath. This will make you sweat and feel very hot for a good hour after your bath so it is best to do just before bedtime.

After a salt bath with or without ginger I prefer not to apply any moisturisers or oils to my skin as I want to keep the pores open and the sweat going for as long as my body feels is necessary.
Try not to stay in the bath for more than 25 minutes as the toxins you draw out of the pores will slowly begin to go back in after half an hour and that ruins the whole point!
Rinsing off with cold water before stepping out of the bath is a great way to get both the blood and lymphatic circulation going.

You will need:
A bathtub
Good quality salt
Ground ginger (optional)

Instructions:
Run a hot bath (as hot as you can handle) and add a few good handfuls of salt and, if you wish, 1 1/2 tablespoons of powdered ginger. Stir the bath to dissolve the salt and ginger.
Soak for no longer than 25 minutes. Keep drinking water to stay hydrated!
Rinse off with cold water, pat dry and lay down while your body sweats and returns to normal temperature.


SCALP AND HAIR TREATMENT

Our scalps and hair needs some love as well, especially if we subject them to chemical laden hair products and heat through blow drying or otherwise heat treating the hair. And let’s not even begin to think about the toxins in hair colour!

A hair mask is perfect for when you are having an enema, a bath or a face mask and I keep returning to these three masks depending on what my hair and scalp needs.
I have a very sensitive scalp and suffer after using hair colour and/or products as well as when the winter temperatures set in so the aloe vera mask is especially helpful to me.

Essential oils can be very helpful in a hair and scalp treatment. I like lavender as it soothes and relaxes and itchy scalp and also rosemary which promotes hair growth and decreases hair loss.


ALOE VERA MASK

You will need:
Freshly harvested aloe vera inner gel from an aloe vera plant (instructions here), puréed, or 100% aloe vera inner leaf extract.
Essential oil of your choice can be added to the mix.

Instructions:
Damp the hair and scalp with a warm cloth as to open the pores.
Massage into the hair and scalp for a few minutes, leave for as long as you like and wash your hair as normal.
Brushing your hair as you add the gel will help expose the scalp.
This mask will treat a dry, flaky and itchy scalp as well as provide moisture to the hair.

 

COCONUT OIL HAIR MASK

You will need:
Organic coconut oil

Instrictions:
Damp the hair and scalp with a warm cloth as to open the pores.
Melt coconut oil on in a pan on the stove and allow to cool before massaging into hair and scalp.
You can add essential oils to this mix as well as raw honey.
Massage into the hair and scalp for a few minutes, leave for 30 minutes and wash your hair as normal.
This mask will soothe a dry scalp as well as give plenty of moisture and bounce to the hair.

 

AVOCADO MASK

You will need:
An avocado
You can add a banana (deep conditioning and promotes natural curls), raw honey (protects the hair if you often subject it to heat), an egg yolk (strengthens hair and reduces hair loss) or olive oil (fights frizz and helps remove tangles) to the blend.

Instructions:
Blend smooth 1 avocado with any essential oil/other ingredient(s) of your choice.
Damp the hair and scalp with a warm cloth as to open the pores.
Massage into the hair and scalp for a few minutes, leave for 45 minutes and was your hair as normal.
This mask thickens the hair and promotes shine and growth as well as soothes a sore scalp.


CASTOR OIL PACK

A castor oil pack is made by soaking a flannel in castor oil and letting it sit on the abdomen for an hour or more.
Used this way, castor oil greatly improves detoxification as it supports the liver and the lymphatic system.
Castor oil packs are able to help regulating menstruation and support ovarian and uterine health and can be used before or after a cycle (not when menstruating).
In addition to this a castor oil pack relieves digestive issues such as gas, bloating, inflammation, congestion and bowel toxicity.

A 1999 study found that “castor oil packs produced a significant temporary increase in the number of T-11 cells that increased over a 7 hour period following treatment and then returned to normal levels within 24 hours later”.
A T-11 cell lymphocyte is a powerful antibody that kill viruses, unwanted bacteria, fungi and cancer cells. We want more of those, please!

You will need:
A flannel or face towel made from a natural fabric such as wool or cotton
Good quality hexane free castor oil (I use this one)
A small cotton towel you don’t mind dedicating to castor oil packs as the oil won’t wash out (but feel free to reuse the towel again for castor oil packs)
A hot water bottle or heating pad
Cling film or a castor oil pack holder
Old clothes or blankets you don’t mind staining or a medical grade toxin free plastic sheet if you can find one. Or, if you have a bath tub, you can do your castor oil pack there and won't need a plastic sheet.

Instructions:
Make sure your flannel is the right size to cover the lower part of your abdomen, either folded or unfolded. A thinner flannel should be folded, whereas a thicker flannel or cloth can have one layer only.
Thoroughly saturate the flannel in castor oil. One way to do this is to keep the flannel in a glass jar or bowl and add a tablespoon of oil every 15 minutes until the flannel is saturated. It may sound like a lot of work, but you can reuse the flannel once it’s done!
Lay down on a towel or plastic sheet in bed or on the floor or in the bath tub, wearing clothes or blankets you won’t mind stain.
Place the oil soaked flannel on your lower abdomen (roughly from under the ribs to the hip bones) and wrap around with the cotton towel followed by the cling film or, if you have it, a castor oil pack holder.
Place the heating pad or hot water bottle on top of your abdomen.
Relax! Read a book, listen to a podcast or meditate for an hour. If possible, keep your feet elevated using pillows, a stool or a ledge nearby.
When done, store the castor oil flannel in a glass jar or box in the fridge.
Wash the oil off using natural soap or baking soda and water.
Make sure to drink plenty of water.


NETI POT

A neti pot is a small pot that may be shaped like horn or a small tea pot and is used for cleaning the sinuses.
By simply mixing salt with water, the neti pot offers relief from congested sinuses either from a cold or from air pollution.
The fancy word for it is nasal saline irrigation, but it is basically the use of lukewarm salt water to flush out the sinuses.
The inside of the nasal and sinus cavities is lined with tiny little things called cilia and these are the ones that move mucous back and forth in the sinus passages. Saline solution seems to boost these cilia so that they coordinate more easily and can remove allergens and irritants from the sinus passages. Neat, isn’t it?
Thus, the neti pot can provide relief from allergies as well as ward off infections without the use of pharmaceutical treatment.

You will need:
A neti pot
High quality, finely ground salt

Instructions:
Fill the neti pot with lukewarm water and add a pinch of salt.
Shake the neti pot for 30 seconds to mix the salt and the water.
Insert the tip of the neti pot into one nostril and tilt your head in the opposite direction of the pot. The salt water should begin to trickle out of your other nostril.
Keep breathing through your mouth! When halfway through the water in the pot, switch sides.
Blow your nose after. You may feel temporarily more congested, but this will last only for a few minutes.
Use the neti pot as often as you like, either to treat specific ailments or as a maintenance tool.


Finally, I want to assure you that it is okay – more than okay, necessary – to take the time to do these things.
Our bodies work so hard for us no matter what we put them through and one of the few things we can be certain of is that we will spend the rest of our time in this life inside the bodies we have been given.

In order to be the best we can be, to be most efficient, to achieve our goals and to have spare energy to care for other beings we need to be as healthy and pain free as possible.
We need to help ourselves before we can help others and treat our bodies as if they belong to someone we love. This is why caring for oneself shouldn’t be seen as or thought of as a selfish act but a necessary act, something that ultimately supports the wellbeing of all that cross our path.
Take good care of yourself.

 

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about any of the treatments outlined and I will do my best to answer them!