Spring Detoxicant: Start Simply, Learn Deeply, and Move Slowly
Spring? Spring, where are you?
It seems this has been the longest winter ever! And although I am thankful for every cup of tea or bowl of delicious soup that I cozied up to these cold winter days, I'm ready to curl my fingers around some fresh, crunchy things! I long for the tiny green leaves coming up through the dark soil and the sound of birds singing and screeching. (I can now identify 3, the robin, blue jay, and cardinal...which are the only birds that visit my city yard aside from the sparrows and rowdy starlings.) That said, I have been giving some thought to spring cleaning as well. I can at least get ready for Spring! Not by washing windows and airing rugs, I'll get to that later. I'm referring to my bodily house. I have been reading about a variety of detoxification drinks, diets, pills, etc, that all claim to clean your system of "toxins", but I wanted to start a bit more simply, learn more deeply about detoxification and move slowly.
What are "toxins" anyway?
When I hear the word "Detox", I think of getting the "tox" out, or toxics. In my limited knowledge, I used to think this only meant getting clean from drug and alcohol abuse. As I began to learn more about how to change my eating habits, I heard of "cleanses" as detoxification processes, and they did not seems focused solely on happy hour habits. So, what exactly are these "toxics"? A Google search produced the definition of a toxin (toxics, plural) as "an antigenic poison or venom of plant or animal origin, especially one produced by or derived from microorganisms and causing disease when present at low concentration in the body." In other words, a biological substance that only requires a small amount to do you in.
Interesting! Because I don't think that is what we are trying to detox from. Seems we wouldn't have time to suck down a smoothie in the presence of an authentic toxin.
The word "toxin" is commonly used to refer to a broader range of things that are bad for our health. While the "offical" definition of toxin reflects a biological origin, the term "environmental toxin" mainly refers to synthetic contaminants such as industrial pollutants and other artificially made toxic substances. At the same time, many health professionals use the term toxin to refer to ingested or absorbed substances that cause ill health, such as pesticides, refined sugar, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Looking a little more deeply, I came across the term "toxicant". Aha! "A toxicant is a type of poison that is made by humans or introduced into the environment by human activity." (Source: Wikipedia) I think this is a useful tidbit in understanding how I got "toxed", or is it "toxicated", or "intoxicated" in the first place.
But before we peek inside to see what lurks in our livers, let's review:
In health and wellness conversation, what are commonly referred to as "toxins", are more likely "toxicants".
All toxins and toxicants are poisons. All poisons are not toxins nor toxicants.
A poison is a substance that, when introduced into or absorbed by a living organism, causes death or injury. (Source: Wikipedia)
Ok, so, I admit, I'm a little afraid here. What has been going on in and around me? Is everyone toxic? Or is it only certain people in certain areas? And where did the toxins come from? and who is responsible for this? And most importantly WHAT can I DO about it? More to come in the next posts!
Learn with me.