After over-indulgence at Christmas and New Year, January is often the month when we think about detoxing.  During the digestive process everything you consume is broken down to release products that are useful to the body, while the unwanted by-products and toxins are converted into waste and expelled in the form of urine, faeces, sweat and carbon dioxide. The vital organs, comprising kidneys, liver, lungs, lymphatic system and skin, work together to rid your body of potentially harmful toxins.

Normally the body is very efficient at processing waste. However, if it becomes over-burdened with toxins, ie. when we over-indulge over several days, the elimination process is compromised and the body begins to store toxins instead. As the level of harmful toxins builds up, the efficiency of the organs is reduced and the immune system is suppressed, impairing your overall state of health and wellbeing. By adjusting your diet and lifestyle, you can reduce your exposure to toxins and aid more efficient excretion.

Symptoms of Toxic Build-Up

Toxic overload manifests as a general feeling of being unwell with the following symptoms:-

  • Regular headaches
  • Constant fatigue
  • Poor complexion and dull hair and eyes
  • High levels of catarrh and congested sinuses
  • Cellulite, water retention and a feeling of bloatedness
  • Sluggish digestion and susceptibility to constipation and irritable bowel syndrome(IBS)
  • Mood changes, depression and anxiety
  • A weakened immune system.


Your health is more or less governed by what you eat. Helpful bacteria in the gut play an important part in the digestive process. If these become depleted however due to poor diet, antibiotics or toxin overload, food can remain in the intestines in a semi-digested state and a number of digestive problems can arise, including constipation, painful wind and IBS. Supplements such as digestive aids and probiotics can help improve general gut health.

The Role of the Excretory Organs in the Digestive Process

Kidneys: The kidneys work together to filter your blood, removing toxins and expelling them in the form of urine. They also play a vital role in regulating the amount of fluid in the body and processing the by-products of digestion. Too much alcohol and persistent infections can damage your kidneys.

Liver: The liver processes everything that enters the body, including medication as well as food and drink. It has a number of functions including the removal of toxins from the bloodstream. Harmful substances are neutralised by the liver and passed into the intestines in the form of bile where they are eventually expelled as faeces. If the liver becomes overworked, it begins to store toxins rather than neutralise them. This can lead to problems such as diabetes, hepatitis and liver cirrhosis.

Lymphatic System: This is a series of vessels carrying lymph fluid that runs alongside the blood vessels. Toxins and waste drain into the lymphatic system and are transported to the lymph nodes where they are filtered out. High levels of toxins slow down the lymphatic system, leading to a poor immune system and the build-up of cellulite.

Skin:  Every poor in the skin eliminates waste in the form of sweat and sebum (an oily substance that moisturises the skin). The state of your skin is a reflection of your health since stress, poor health and toxin build-up can all manifest as a poor complexion.

Lungs:  These organs filter out airborne pollutants such as carbon monoxide, allowing oxygen to enter the bloodstream and waste products to be removed in the form of carbon dioxide. However when levels of toxins in the body build up, this can lead to recurrent health problems such as excess catarrh.


  1. The Aqua Detox Foot Spa treatment is on offer for just £19 during January 2014. During this treatment toxins are released through the pores in the soles of the feet while the ionisation unit helps to restore the correct balance of positive and negative ions in the body to boost wellbeing.

2.  Reflexology, which can promote detoxification; massage treatments to promote lymphatic drainage, and a range of facials to boost the appearance of the skin, are also available from Helen Shortland.

3.  Digestive aids and probiotics are available from Little London Herbal Stores, 9 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE. Please visit website at

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. Please ring her on 07748 591690 to book a treatment or visit her website for further information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s