Christmas is around the corner.  And for this Gorgie girl, it’s also my favourite time of year :). It’s true. I’ve already got my outdoor lights up and Holiday tunes on repeat.

And to get my body into holiday-ready shape, I’m considering doing a quick detox. Something to clean out the insides, reduce any bloat and let’s be real, enjoy a few more glasses of bubbly – guilt-free.

With so many detox options, how do you choose?

I’ve done some homework, consulted with those in-the-know, and narrowed my selects down to a handful. While I haven’t done any of these protocols quite yet, I’ll be making my selection soon. Here are my top 3:

FlorEssence Herbal Cleanse

FlorEssence Herbal Cleanse

What: Contains a special blend of eight cleansing herbs including burdock root, slippery elm bark and kelp.

Why take it: Stimulates the liver, promotes healthier bowels and digestion. Also helps the body better cope with stress, including mental fatigue and weakness.

How to take it: Take 3 tablespoons 3 times daily. Dilute with an equal amount of hot water, sip slowly. Preferably take 1/2 an hour before breakfast and lunch, and on an empty stomach before bed.

What the reviews say: Side effects are not common for most, however some people may experience mild symptoms such as loose stools, headaches or upset stomach. On the flip side however, positive effects include improved digestion, better skin and sleep quality.

The Wild Rose Detox Kit

Wild Rose Herbal Detox Kit

What: This Detox kit has been around for over 30 years and popular among Canadian friends. Along with taking a bunch of tablets (including a laxative one) and a cleansing tincture daily, there’s a specific diet that goes with it.

Why take it: According to its website, it provides a complete multi-system detoxification of the colon and kidneys; acts on the urinary tract and the gastro-intestinal system; and has an effect on the liver. If followed as intended, you get a healthy balance of assimilation and elimination to clear a congested system for improved health, including energy, digestion, mental clarity and sleep.

How to take it: Take two tablets from each bottle and 40 drops of the CL Herbal Extract with both breakfast and supper. Allow at least 6 to 12 hours for laxative effect to occur.

Along with the above, one has to follow the Wild Rose Detox Eating Plan which is mostly vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. No processed foods, sugar, fruit juices, grains, dairy or alcohol.

What the reviews say: Depending on your state of health, you may find yourself on the toilet for the first few days. So prepare ahead of time. Along with this, you may feel tired or irritable as your body comes off sugar and processed foods that spike blood sugar levels. By day 3 or so, expect to feel much better and if you can make it to day 12, much lighter, healthier and zero bloat. You may never go back to dairy or grains again too :).

The Whole Body Cleanse by Pascoe

The Whole Body Cleanse by Pascoe

What: Contains 3 different tinctures to target the main organs involved in detoxification, including the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system.

Why take it: You’ll find this kit in most high-end drug stores, or at the recommendation of knowledgeable naturopaths for good reason. It addresses the main organs of the body, including the lymphatic system. This is the most important detoxification organ as it removes waste from every cell in our body. And while you won’t be driven to the toilet per-say, you’ll likely notice improved energy along with the elimination of various health issues, as your body’s main organs are re-charged and able to perform at their best.

How to take it: Add 30 drops from each bottle to water, in tea, etc. and drink throughout the day. Where possible, remove or reduce intake of processed foods, alcohol and other stressful irritants. This kit takes about 5 weeks to complete.

What the reviews say: Side effects vary, but overall, expect to feel an improvement of overall health, including energy, skin, digestion and inflammatory-related issues. On a personal note, I know one person who swears by this kit for improving her body’s natural ‘drainage’, eliminating completely a swollen foot and ankle.

More Detox Tips and Tricks

For  other ways to cleanse, here some detox tips recommended by friends and/or info I’ve read on the web:

  • Every morning upon rising, drink a cup of warm water with squeezed lemon, cayenne and apple cider vinegar.
  • Try replacing a meal with a bowl of soup or broth (soothing liquid) instead of a smoothie that can bloat.
  • Eliminate alcohol, sugar, dairy and all grains for 3-5 days.
  • Try the 2-week diet from the German Institute – apparently you drop a few pounds very quickly.
  • Try Intermittent Fasting. Finish your evening meal by 7pm, and then don’t eat again until noon (or later) the next day. Coffee and water is fine, but avoid sugar-containing creamers, artificial sweeteners or dairy in your caffeine of choice.
  • Give up food altogether, and try the raw Goat Milk cleanse as featured on Goop! Oh my.