Have you ever wondered if your child needs some support when it comes to detoxification? Or perhaps you were curious if cleansing and detoxing are safe for kids?
Many parents are afraid when I first discuss the concept of supporting detoxification in their child. But small changes can make a massive difference to symptoms including digestion, sleep and mood.
Doesn’t the liver detoxify us enough?
In theory, we have a thorough system for detoxification. You have the liver, but also the kidneys, gut, skin, lymphatics and lungs. These organs and tissues were designed to remove toxins, heavy metals and excess hormones.
But in practice, it’s a different story. We are exposed to more toxins than ever before! Even babies are being born with an average of 200 chemicals and pollutants in their umbilical cord blood. As amazing as our detox organs are, they were not created to withstand this heavy a burden.
Then you have the issue of low nutrient levels. Many children don’t consume enough vital nutrients such as B vitamins. These nutrients play a vital role in the process of detoxification. So if they don’t have the nutrients to power the process, it can lead to a build-up in the body.
If that wasn’t enough, many kids are born with a predisposition to poor detoxification. They can have gene variations such as MTHFR that can have a negative effect on detoxification.
If you combine these 3 factors together, you can see why we often can’t just leave the liver to do it all alone!
Are cleanses or detox diets safe for our kids?
This really depends on the type of program. When it comes to cleanses and detox diets that you buy from the chemist or read in a magazine, steer clear. Many of them incorporate potentially unsafe products and ingredients.
On the other hand, a wholefood approach that supports detoxification is a different story. There are also some supplements and herbs that may be useful to incorporate. As with any supplement, it’s best to seek tailored advice from your nutritionist or naturopath.
How to support optimal detoxification in kids
Let’s look at some ways that you can support detoxification that are relatively safe and easy to incorporate into your family’s routine.
Epsom salt baths
Adding Epsom salt to your child’s bath is a simple way to support detoxification. Epsom salts are a source of magnesium, so having regular baths using Epsom salts can increase magnesium levels. Magnesium supports the function of glutathione, a crucial antioxidant that protects the body.
The best part is that Epsom salts are easy to find at the supermarket or your local health food store. Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salts to each bath.
Another simple way to give the detox process a boost is moving and working up a sweat. When we move our bodies, it moves lymph through the lymphatic system. The lymphatics are essential for removing waste products from the cells back into the bloodstream, so that the liver and kidneys can do their job.
Encourage the kids to run around, jump on the trampoline and do some form of physical activity every day. Just remember to keep them hydrated as well – lymph is liquid and is mostly water, so hydration is key.
Boost up the greens
Bitter vegetables such as greens are great for supporting the liver and gallbladder. Add in greens such as rocket, kale and endive whenever you can squeeze them in.
Have kids that dislike veggies? Smoothies, pesto and homemade dips are a few ways to sneak in a serve of greens without them noticing.
Detox your home
When it comes to detoxification, prevention is just as essential as management. You can’t protect your children from every single chemical – they are everywhere! But you can reduce the amount of toxins in the family home to lighten their toxic load.
Work with a practitioner
The most effective way to target your child’s detox systems is to work with an experienced practitioner. We are able to identify and test for factors that reduce detoxification and tailor a plan to support it. A naturopath can also prescribe gentle liver herbs and nutrients at an appropriate dose.
If you want to have a chat with me about your specific situation, please book in for a free 20 minute chat using this link.