The History of Detox: Who Started This Growing Trend?
Everywhere you go, you’re bombarded with the term, “detox.” Between juice cleanses, herbal remedies, diets, shakes, and “clean” cleaning products, it can be overwhelming. Have you ever wondered why we detox or where detoxifying the body got it’s start? Did someone just make it up one day and decide it was good for us? Read on to discover the History of Detox throughout the centuries and see how truly varied the practice is.
Rome, Greece, Norway, and the Bible…
Heavy metals such as mercury and lead were some of the first discovered toxins. Lead was thought to be toxic as early as 2000 B.C.! That makes me wonder why they decided to put it in our PAINT in modern times…
According to THIS website, “Ancient Biblical regulations for life and for temple activity include dietary restrictions, physical cleansing, and aromatic cleansing.” There are also historical traditions for detoxifying the body in Native American, Ancient Greece and Rome, and Nordic cultures.
Many of these traditions involve cleansing the body and drinking and eating herbs and herbal teas. Others, such as the Nordic traditions, involve sitting in a sweat bath for extended periods of time to “sweat out the toxins.” I have another blog about that HERE.
The point here is that detoxifying your body is not a new concept. Throughout history, civilizations have developed their own rituals and methods of detoxing.
So Who Started the Trend?
It is not fully known which civilization came up with the idea of detoxification, but the history of detox is written in nearly every culture. Some scholars think India started it with Ayurvedic medicine.
Ancient Chinese medicine focuses on herbs, acupuncture, and acupressure to cleanse the body of toxins. Native Americans use rituals, incense, peyote and other herbal tonics, and sweat lodges. The Nordic culture also has a deep history of detox using sweat rooms such as saunas.
The History of Detox Through Different Cultures
India: Ayurvedic Medicine
In Ayurvedic medicine, it is thought best to avoid toxins. They even have a process of removing toxins from the plants they use before they consume them. Of course, no one wants to purposely consume toxins, so I suppose that is a good practice.
Ayurvedic medicine also uses the processes of purging, fasting, and stimulation to remove toxins from the body. While these processes may seem extreme, they are thought to be essential to a cleansing detox.
China: Traditional Chinese Medicine
The Chinese culture has used their traditional herbs for detoxification for centuries. Traditional Chinese Medicine is still widely practiced today, and it has made its way to the United States and infiltrated into our culture here. It is a great complement to Western Medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also uses cupping, acupressure, acupuncture, and foot detox methods along with the herbal cleanses.
The act of using glass cups to create suction on the body at specific pressure points. It is thought to draw out toxins through the pressure points.
Applying pressure at specific points of the body. The idea is to relax and rejuvenate the body through certain pressure points.
The Chinese also use acupuncture to relax and rejuvenate the body. It is the act of applying tiny needles to specific points, depending on the ailment affecting the patient. It releases toxins and cleanses the body.
The Chinese believe that you should draw out the toxins as far away from the heart as possible, so what better area than the feet? Foot detox is based on the belief that there are areas on the feet that correspond to organs and other areas of the body.
Foot detox is the act of drawing toxins out using a water bath. You can make the bath with various minerals and tonics mixed with warm water. You can use salt, clay, and other substances and minerals to help draw out the toxins.
Presently, we have special foot pads that stick to the bottom of your feet. You can put them on at night and they will draw out the toxins. If you get up in the morning and take off the pads and they are dark the process was a success.
South America: Shamanistic Native Rainforest Cultures
There are several native Shamanistic cultures in the rainforests of South America that use the same types of detox processes. These cultures use complex ritual ceremonies involving herbs and plants. They also use herb-based diets lasting from days to years to cleanse the toxins from the body.
North America: Native American Cultures
As mentioned in the previous section, Native American tribes use sweat lodges. Often, they will use incense and smoke from burning herbs to cleanse and purify the air. They try to induce visions to guide the mind and help detoxify the body.
Current Times: What’s Happening in the History of Detox Now?
These days, detox methods surround us. Some are gimmicks, some are based in traditions dating back centuries. How do you determine what to use? My recommendation is to go with something gentle, natural, and something that feels right for you.
I would not go for the extreme methods. Use a product or a process that is kind to your body, that doesn’t deprive you of anything you need. Something that helps your body go through its natural detoxification processes.
Check out my blog on the best detox methods HERE. This blog also lists the Traditional Chinese Herbs used for detoxification and a description for each!
The best product I’ve found for detox is Bioterra Herbs’ Detox supplement. It is a very gentle herbal supplement based on Traditional Chinese herbs that help support the body.
I know, I have a bias, as I work for the company, but I seriously never see anything better on the market. If you’d like to try it out, click the image below. It will take you to the page to purchase the Detox supplement.