Cleansing the digestion system is one, if not the most important aspect of regaining your health and setting yourself up for radiant health. This is because you are what you eat, or rather what you absorb. This fact is under appreciated by most, and the simple act of improving your digestion, can drastically change your health… yes, even for those of you who are “healthy.”
Studies show that the majority of patients with chronic disorders (even disorders without digestive symptoms) have digestive and absorptive imbalances. This is a huge breakthrough because it reveals how vital your digestive system is to every aspect of your health. In fact, most people find that once they cleanse and heal their GI tract, the majority, if not all, of their chronic and acute health symptoms and complaints are taken care of. For example, I started my career in health and nutrition due to underlying digestive issues, and once I was able to clear those, the majority of my symptoms cleared as well. I was able to get rid of chronic hives, dry skin, chemical-sensitivities, intolerance to lactose and many food allergies… not to mention, I was able to reach a healthy weight as well.
Therefore, I always suggest that everyone, regardless of digestive symptoms or not, perform an intestinal cleanse. It is a great way to clear toxins from weekend food and alcohol binges, a history of poor diet choices, prepare for pregnancy, and to set yourself up for peak performance. It is also a perfect adjunct to other cleanses such as the THK Juice Detox (juice cleanse), the Kidney Cleanse and the Liver/Gallbladder cleanse.
The truth is that if your kidneys and GI (digestive) tract are not properly functioning, then you will not be able to see the progress, nor reap the rewards of your hard work and money that you are investing in supplements and a healthy diet. This is because your intestinal tract is in charge of digesting, absorbing and transferring all nutrients from the food that you eat, as well as getting rid of any harmful toxins and waste products. Without these processes intact, even the healthiest food and highest-quality supplements are not going to give you the results you are seeking. Furthermore, you are only increasing the toxin levels in your body, since the food that you are eating is not being properly digested, and is rotting instead. As a result, the rotting food overloads the immune system, liver and kidneys, leading to a host of chronic symptoms, many of which are unable to be “solved” by western medicine. Therefore, bloating, gas, burping and constipation are not the only symptoms of a toxic intestinal tract, there are many more!
To add to the importance of the intestinal tract, research indicates that any dysfunction of the brain is usually connected to what’s going on in the digestive system. Therefore, in order to address conditions such as autism, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, and psychiatric disorders, you detoxify and heal the intestine, rather than treating the symptom itself. Pretty wild huh!
Signs and Symptoms of a Toxic Intestinal Tract:
- Intestinal gas, bloating, burping
- Any GI tract disorder (Celiac, Chron’s)
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Indigestion and intestinal pain
- Food Allergies and intolerances
- Autoimmune condition
- Inflammatory diseases
- Skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, rashes, hives)
- Poor dental health
- Weak, peeling fingernails
- Lung conditions including asthma
- Sinus congestion
- Pernicious anemia
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Hyper and hypothyroidism
- Diabetes and blood sugar imbalance
So what are we going to do about it? Cleanse the intestinal tract of course!
The following is a cleanse I have developed based on the concepts of functional and eastern medical practices. The goal is to remove all toxins, replace digestive enzymes and other digestive aids (if needed), reinoculate the gut with beneficial bacteria, and repair the intestinal lining. While typically this is a 4-step process, I have integrated the steps so that we can get the intestinal tract back into balance as quickly and effectively as possible.
*Important Note: If you are dealing with any chronic diseases or conditions, consult with your doctor prior to beginning with the cleanse.
Easy Intestinal Aloe Cleanse by The Holy Kale
Protocol is for 1 month
Upon rising: 1 quart room-temperature filtered water with the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/4 tsp Pink Salt
Before Lunch: 1 oz Aloe, inner leaf
Lunch: 1 capsule Medi-Clay-FX (open into water)
Before Dinner: 1 oz Aloe, inner leaf
Dinner: 1 capsule Medi-Clay-FX (open into water)
* Water- make sure that you are drinking half your weight in ounces of purified water daily. This will help push the toxins out of the body and ensure that you do not get constipated or dehydrated.
*Aloe Ferox Bitters – this powder is very bitter (be warned), but extremely effective. Add to aloe juice, hot water with a little honey, or tea. Just make sure to get it down. If after 3 days you are not having a bowel movement, add another dose of Aloe Ferox Bitters before bedtime.
To Purchase Cleanse, you will need the following for 1 month:
Suggested Diet: The following food plan is intended to minimize digestive stress, and to reduce the overall toxic load of the intestinal tract. Therefore, we will be eliminating foods that are hard to digest, foods that typically cause immune reactions in the body, and foods that cause mucus build up. In addition, we will be incorporating foods that are naturally cleansing; promoting the movement of the bowels and the clearance of toxic waste. In addition, they will provide the necessary nutrients for healthy digestion such as probiotics, fiber, healthy oils/fats and trace minerals. Finally, we will consume one probiotic-rich food a day, called fermented foods, in order to promote the reintroduction of healthy bacteria into the intestine.
*Note: In order to reap the greatest benefits from the cleanse, please follow the diet as well. With that being said, if it is not possible, you will still improve your intestinal health and clear toxins, even if you stay on the same diet you are currently eating… the power of therapeutic herbs and nutrients!
Foods to Include (organic is ideal):
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (not canned, or processed) – raw or lightly steamed is best
- Cleansing herbs, fresh (parsley, cilantro)
- Gluten-free grains (rice, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, teff) and pasta
- Raw nuts and seeds – sprouted is best
- Beans – soaked and sprouted is best
- Healthy fats (avocado, olives, olive oil, coconut)
- Organic eggs
- Wild-caught salmon
- Nut/seed crackers, breads (raw is best)
- Kale Chips
- Natural sweeteners (raw honey, molasses, Grade B or #2 maple syrup, dates, figs, coconut sugar)
- Almond and coconut flour
- Nut Milk and “dairy” products – almond, cashew, coconut (milk, ice cream, yogurt)
- Superfoods (maca, hemp, chia, chlorella, blue-green algae, cacao, mulberries)
- Organic protein powders (brown rice, hemp, grass-fed whey, cranberry, coconut)
- Fermented foods (sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, kombucha, organic and raw kefir and yogurt, tempeh and kimchi) – choose 1 daily
- Fresh fruit and vegetable juice (no sugar or preservatives added)
Foods to Exclude:
- Red Meat and Pork
- Soy (organic, fermented soy okay – tempeh, miso and nama shoyu 1-2x/week)
- Gluten [wheat (spelt, kamut, farro, bulgur, semolina, durum), barley, and rye – in any form]
- Dairy and dairy products (organic, raw, fermented dairy okay only if not lactose intolerant – kefir, yogurt 2-3x/week)
- White Flour (pastries, crackers, bread, cakes, donuts, cookies)
- Fried Foods
- Frozen Dinners
- Packaged, processed foods
- White Sugar
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (look for on ingredient list)
- Trans Fatty Acids (aka mono or polyunsaturated fats, hydrogenated fat/oil)
Sample Meal Plan
- Oatmeal with walnuts, fresh berries, hemp seeds and cinnamon
- Almond or coconut yogurt with almond butter and banana
- Gluten-free toast with avocado, sea salt and garlic powder
- Organic eggs scrambled with broccoli, tomato and onion
- Turmeric healing breakfast bowl
- Raw apple oats bowl
- Chia pudding
- Green cleansing smoothie
- Kale almond butter smoothie
- Iron-rich veggie bowl
- Probiotic-rich Reuben salad
- Half avocado, black beans, brown rice, tomato and cilantrol
- Green salad with beans, fresh veggies, hard boiled egg and herbs
- Taco bowl with black beans, roasted sweet potato, salsa, guacamole
- Veggie burger patty over a green salad
- Organic chicken salad (homemade using avocado oil mayo)
- Protein-rich veggie burger with a side of bean salad
- Pad Thai Noodle Soup
- Spinach “Meatballs” with Spaghetti Squash Pasta
- Wild Salmon with a side of broccoli and brown rice
- Cauliflower “fried rice” with peas, shrimp, carrots, onions and cilantro
- Japanese sweet potatoes with broccoli and carrot turmeric sauce
- Chipotle Kale Salad with hard boiled eggs’
- Gluten free brown rice or quinoa pasta with tomato sauce
- Baked organic chicken with steamed veggies and quinoa
- Hard boiled egg with sea salt and olive oil
- Almond yogurt with berries and nuts
- Half avocado with sea salt and nutritional yeast
- Fresh fruit
- Hummus and seed crackers (gf)
- Raw superfood snack bites
- Protein food bars (check out the best ones here)
- Protein powder and non-dairy milk
- Other snack ideas here
- Filtered water
- Sparkling water with lemon or lime
- Green Tea
- Herbal Tea
- Non-dairy milk
- Yerba mate tea (unsweetened)
Photo Credit: Evan Kirby
A Closer Look Into the Cleansing Nutrients
Pink Salt by Premier Research Labs
Premier Pink Salt is organic raw sea salt from pre-historic, unpolluted sea beds. This natural, sun-dried sea salt contains unheated trace minerals in addition to unheated sodium chloride, unlike common table salt. These minerals, undamaged by heat, retain their high-energy, unaltered molecular structure which is ideal for helping to maintain fluid balance, hydration, and the promotion of HCL (hydrochloric acid) production in the body. Therefore, it is essential for proper digestion and elimination.
Unlike other salts, Pink Salt is free of flow or anti clump additives. Many salts are highly heated, have chemicals added or are refined, which can damage its chemical properties and reduce its content of trace minerals, making it a damaging substance to the body. In addition, this salt is different than other sea salts because it does not contain heavy metals (which is common in other sea salts). Therefore, I love to use this salt for its therapeutic value, because it is able to promote the natural detoxification processes of the body.
Morning Cleansing Drink: Water, Pink Salt and Lemon Juice
This drink is intended to stimulate the metabolism and the natural cleansing process of the body. Therapeutic sea salt has been included to provide trace minerals to stimulate the adrenal glands which are in charge of maintaining healthy levels of energy, fluid balance and hormone production. In addition, the pink salt will provide the chloride fraction needed by the body to produce HCL (hydrochloric acid), the agent used by the stomach for digestion. Finally, lemon is included to stimulate liver detoxification and to alkalinize the body.
Photo credit: Milo McDowell
Aloe Ferox Bitters
Aloe Ferox bitters is the bitter sap of the aloe ferox plant. Indigenous to the Cape in South Africa, Aloe Ferox contains over 130 biological active compounds including amino acids, minerals, vitamins, polysaccharides, glycoproteins, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignins, chlorophyll, saponins, sterols and other plant chemicals that strengthen and support all body systems. Aloe Ferox is particularly known for its positive effect on the bowel, skin and immune function. The bitters come from the dried sap that naturally drains when the leaf is harvested. It is found in a layer between the gel and skin of the leaf. The active compound called Aloin, is naturally concentrated in the bitter sap and is world famous for its extraordinary bowel cleansing and immune support especially for the liver, gallbladder, spleen and sinus. It is a gentle yet effective bowel cleansing agent that is neither harmful nor additive. It only takes a small amount for effective purging of stagnant waste.
Aloe, Inner Leaf Juice
Inner Leaf Juice of Aloe (aloe barbadensis liquid) is utilized to help heal the intestinal lining. When toxins are present in the gut, the tissue degrades (leaky gut), which then allows the toxins to enter the bloodstream, lymph and then full-body system. Furthermore, if the intestinal lining is compromised, you are not able to fully process the nutrients from your food or supplements. As a result, you will be receiving a small fraction of benefit from the healthy foods you are digesting. Therefore, it is vital for us to heal the intestinal lining so that we can efficiently keep the toxins out of the blood, lymph and organs, and increase the nutrition that actually gets to your cells from the food that you eat.
Medi-Clay-FX by Premier Research Labs
Medi-Clay FX’s™ extremely strong adsorptive and absorptive properties make it ideal for use in deep cleansing of internal waste products such as radioactive compounds, heavy metals, chemicals and other toxic byproducts. This internal clay binds to toxins in the intestinal tract and carries them out of the body for safe elimination. This unique clay does not bind to any minerals or nutrients, but rather increases their absorption.
Medi Clay is utilized as a detoxification and chelating agent
Cathedral Gorge State Park
RenaVen by Premier Research Labs
Finally, we must support the kidneys for they are your prime detoxification organ and filter. When moving toxins out of the body you must support the kidneys. If they become overwhelmed, no other function can properly work as they are the main controller of filtering the toxins from the blood. If the toxins are not filtered from the blood, they continue to recirculate causing damage and a heightened immune response. Therefore, this is a vital step to ensure the efficiency and safety of this cleanse. Furthermore, the RevaVen will support your energy levels and offset any detoxification symptoms that typically occurs with cleanses.
To learn more about the importance of kidneys please read this article.
RenaVen is utilized to support the kidneys, so that any toxins we are introducing into the blood during the cleanse are properly cleared by the kidneys. This is a very important part of the cleanse, because if you cannot properly eliminate the toxins, they will be recirculated, causing more damage to the body. Furthermore, by supporting the kidney, you will reduce the occurrence of any possible side effects such fatigue and headaches.
Who is this Cleanse Ideal for?
- Anyone wanting to achieve radiant health
- Anti aging
- Those with heavy metal or chemical toxicity/exposure
- Any gastrointestinal disorder (including Candida)
- Any skin disorder
- Autoimmune disease
- Chronic disease
- Those wanting to achieve radiant skin, hair and nails
- Hormone imbalance
- Excess weight
- Food and/or environmental allergies
- Weakened immune system
- Abnormal, undiagnosed symptoms
- Those unable to gain weight
- Failure to Thrive
What is to be Expected from the Cleanse?
This intestinal cleanse will be pushing toxins out of the body through the bowels so please expect multiple bowel movements throughout the day. Your bowel movements will typically be looser as the aloes do have a laxative affect. Therefore, please begin this protocol by only doing the first morning dose of Aloe Pro and Aloe Bitters, and wait a few days until you include the dosage before lunch. Repeat this process before adding in the dosage before dinner. Every body is different and therefore has different tolerance levels to aloe so please start slow so that you can manage the cleansing effects.
* Note: if you are particularly sensitive, take the aloe dosage before bedtime instead of the morning and take half the recommended amount.
Typically people have reported feeling an increase in energy after about 2 weeks time. In addition, you will notice your skin clearing up, brighter eyes, a reduction in water weight and an overall sense of well-being.
Are their Any Side Effects of this Cleanse?
If performed correctly, following the protocol listed above, you should feel good, energetic and lively. If you do feel particularly lethargic or fatigued, feel free to take more RenaVen in order to increase your kidney functioning.
After I have Completed the Cleanse, What is Next?
After you have completed the intestinal cleanse, it is best to reinoculate the gut with healthy bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics. While we did begin the process by adding in fermented foods, the introduction of a probiotic and prebiotic supplement will further your progress. I suggest taking Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic and Galactan by Premier Research Labs. Typically 3 capsules a day for 1 month of the probiotics is a good dose, in addition to 1 tsp- 1 tbs of Galactan. The Galactan is arabinogalactan, a powerful prebiotic that acts as food for the healthy bacteria, therefore increasing the healthy bacteria quickly.
If you are still feeling like you have unresolved digestive issues, consider following the Easy Intestinal Cleanse Part II: Heal Leaky Gut. This cleanse is the follow up cleanse designed to heal and repair the gut. The Easy Intestinal Cleanse Part II is especially effective for those dealing with leaky gut and intestinal permeability.
Easy Intestinal Cleanse Part II
What if my constipation does not resolve itself after a couple weeks of being on the cleanse?
In this case, I would suggest going to see a colon hydrotherapist for a colonic, or to utilize enema treatments at home. You can learn about enemas in my post The Covert Coffee Enema. These therapies will help to clear the stagnant waste in the intestinal tract, therefore promoting normal bowel movements. Plus, they help the detoxification agents used in the cleanse to work more effectively.
I am still having digestive issues, what can I do?
In some cases the addition of digestive agents are needed. I would suggest taking the supplements, Premier HCL and Premier Digest by Premier Research Labs with every meal. HCL (hydrochloric acid), will support digestion at the stomach, specifically of proteins, and the Digest will provide key digestive enzymes that your body is not producing properly. For some, the supplementation of HCL and Digest will be lifelong, while for others it will be more temporary. With that being said, HCL is a powerful disinfectant, protecting the body from any ingested pathogens (parasites, bacteria, molds), so I recommend always taking HCL when eating out or traveling in another country.
* Note: If you have acid reflux, do not take HCL. While acid reflux indicates low hcl production, you will not be ready to supplement with it. I would suggest taking a product called GastroVen by Premier Research Labs instead.
I am pregnant, can I still do the cleanse?
No. It is not advised to undergo any type of cleanse while pregnant.
Can I use another brand of liquid Aloe or Bentonite Clay?
I recommend only using the brands of products I suggest, because I can personally vouch for their quality and effectiveness. They are free of excipients, additives and toxic preservatives. Furthermore, they are live-source. In regards to the Aloe Pro, it only uses citric acid and grapefruit seed extract (non-toxic preservatives), compared to most brands which use potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, both of which can be harmful to the body. In regards to the bentonite clay, almost all forms of bentonite clay come from sources that are exposed to heavy metals. Therefore, the clay is contaminated, leading you to be at risk for heavy metal exposure. Furthermore, almost all other forms of bentonite not only bind to toxins, but to your minerals as well, which causes mineral deficiency. Medi Clay does not do that.
When cleansing, it is vital to only utilize the highest quality, most pure supplements available. To learn more about supplements, and how they vary, check out my post series Dirty Little Supplements.