Detox drinks are the buzz words associated with a variety of healthy drinks – but the truth is that detoxification is a complex daily practice that’s best supported by regular healthy habits.

Your liver, one of the main detoxifying organs, benefits much more from everyday practices that help support it daily. So, instead of purchasing that three- or five-day cleanse, keep on reading to understand the best ways to support detoxification holistically—today, tomorrow, and every day that follows!

How does natural detoxification work?

Our body’s detoxification system is complex. It is a multifaceted process that involves multiple organs – our liver, kidneys, lungs, skin and intestines, and physiological systems – our digestive, lymphatic, and respiratory system.

Whilst these intrinsic cellular pathways are quite intricate, the ultimate goal of detoxification is simple.

The act of detoxing simply means – the body metabolises key compounds which it then proceeds to remove from the body. This process happens automatically and consistently at our cellular level.

Daily bowel movements, sweat secretions, and urination are all indicators that we are removing toxic substances.


The detoxification process involves three predominant phases.

  1. Detoxification enzymes work to transform toxins into intermediate substances – this is phase I.

  1. They then make them water-soluble to prepare them for elimination -phase II.

  1. They then excrete them via urine phase III.

Fat-soluble compounds that need to exit are incorporated into bile -phase II and eliminated via regular bowel movements -phase III.

Assuming your stools are regular (this means at least one poop per day), this is what happens in your major organs where all these process’s take place.


The gut is the first spot where detoxification takes place. Here, vital nutrients are absorbed while most toxins are transported down the GI tract which consists of the small and large intestines known as the colon, rectum, and anus- to be excreted as faeces (poop).  The more complex toxins that the intestine cannot eliminate on its own get passed along to the liver.


Phases I and II of detoxification primarily take place in the liver. In a healthy liver, many lipid-soluble molecules are converted to water-soluble compounds so they can be excreted as urine, whilst the fat-soluble compounds get incorporated into the bile and exit the body as poop. When the liver isn’t functioning at its best, toxins can pass through unchanged and become concentrated in fatty tissue in our brains, nerves and glands. 


The kidneys do the final filtering of the blood to make sure only excess water and water-soluble toxins are being converted to urine, which will then make its way to the bladder to be eliminated. 

In other words, your body is working 24/7 to filter and remove unwanted substances so your body has everything it needs (and nothing that it doesn’t). 


So, does that mean my body doesn’t need my help detoxing?

If you lived in a clean, unpolluted, completely natural perfect world, under perfect circumstances, healthy detoxification pathways would operate at peak performance and wouldn’t require any support. Unfortunately, our modern world is filled with toxins and stressors that can overburden your intrinsic pathways and keep detoxification from running smoothly. Because of this – our bodies struggle to detox all by themselves.

Our environment is contaminated with everything from heavy metals to plastics, causing us to end up increasing our toxin load without knowing it. The more toxins we take in, the harder our detoxification organs need to work in order to keep our cells healthy, clear, and functioning optimally. When left unchecked, pollutants, chemicals, and other toxins from the air, water, and yes, even our food can build up in our bodies and have major health implications over the long term.

Not everyone has an issue excreting what they take in, but some people do. They may not have the full capacity of their gut, liver, kidneys, or skin to excrete effectively due to circumstances related to their environment or from having key genetic variants for enzymes necessary for efficient metabolism of these toxic compounds.

No matter how effectively or ineffectively your body processes toxins, there are a number of healthy habits and practices that we can implement to actively support the body’s detoxification process.

How to support your body’s daily detoxification processes.

  1. Reduce toxin exposure.

Most of the offending substances our bodies have to deal with come in through food, water, packaging, and air, so helping your body do less work by choosing organically grown foods, using air and water filters, and avoiding plastics of all types is the first step in the right direction you should and can take.

Some toxins—such as pollutants in the air and water—can be more difficult to avoid. Make changes where you can, like swapping any chemical-based cleaning agents, hair and skincare products, makeup, and fragrances such as perfumes and fragrances for nontoxic alternatives with clean ingredients.

This process can be challenging and overwhelming at first, so start small – swap one thing at a time as you run out of it and remember that each swap makes a big difference in your body’s ability to detoxify.

  1. Support your detox organs.

It is important to bolster the health of your elimination organs – your liver, kidneys, colon, skin, and lungs.

Ensure the proper elimination of waste by ensuring you poop every day, at least once, exercise so that you sweat, and keep up your water intake so that you pee.  

And give your primary detox organ extra care – the liver is considered one of the most important organs of detoxification, and the detoxification pathways in liver cells require adequate clean water and vitamins and minerals as well as natural antioxidant compounds found in plant foods.

  1. Stay hydrated & eat well.

A whole-food, plant focused diet will help provide many nutrients needed to support healthy liver function. I am not saying you have to become vegan – I am saying that you have to prioritise vegetables and fruit every meal. Taking supplements containing milk thistle, glutathione, NAC, selenium, acerola fruit, and vitamin C will help to bolster the liver’s everyday detoxification efforts.

And of course – drink water – filtered water that is – tap water is loaded with chemicals such as chlorine which puts huge amounts of pressure on the body’s detoxification process and kills gut friendly bacteria.

Brian Day, Ph.D., professor of medicine at National Jewish Health says eating a clean diet to support detoxification efforts can be quite challenging, as the typical Western diet doesn’t provide enough antioxidants to protect against our ever-increasing exposure to environmental pollutants.

If you cannot afford to go organic – try to buy fresh fruit and vegetables from your local markets – many of these growers grow clean foods which are equal to organic but are not classified as organic (because it is extremely expensive to apply to become certified organic).

  1. Sweat it out.

Try to have an infrared sauna or sauna at least once per week – or use an infrared sauna blanket.  Follow this with an ice bath, or icy cold shower or cold bath with a few trays of ice cubes in it. No money or no time? Sweat it out in a hot shower or even better a hot bath, followed by a cold shower or icy bath.

An easy way to stimulate your lymphatics is to have a hot shower followed by a cold shower – doesn’t have to be long only a minute or two of cold water following your hot shower– but should be done daily.

If you would like one on one  holistic beauty and wellness advice – book a glowing skin and wellness consultation via zoom with me!

Yvette xx

Thank you for reading my blog!


I am Yvette van Schie, I am a holistic beauty therapist, skin nutritionist, skincare developer and makeup artist. I am passionate about sharing real beauty advice with a whack of reality.

For over 30 years I have worked with the best in the beauty and health industry as a trainer, educator  and product formulator and I still do – so my knowledge is diverse – I am not blinkered when sharing my information with you because everyone I speak to shares what they know, and I turn it into easy to digest information because I want my readers to feel empowered to make their own decisions and to feel that they are fully in control of their beauty and well being.


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