“Death begins in the colon.” - Hippocrates
I was hesitant about this cleanse at first. I thought, “how could ingesting a liter of warm water with two tablespoons of salt actually be good for my body?!” After reading a massive amount of literature on the topic, however, I became convinced of the methods behind this madness. To my knowledge, there are few (if any) negative side effects to the cleanse and it’s a process that dates back to the ancient yogis.
As far as cleanses go, the salt water cleanse is one of the safest, cheapest, and most natural options. It beats buying expensive cleanse kits, pricey laxative teas, and other uncomfortable tools that are not so light on the wallet.
Below are the insane benefits of salt cleanses, three simple steps I took to completing my cleanse, my reactions, and the results. Hopefully this will inspire you to give it a try and ease any anxiety you might have about the whole process!
THE BENEFITS: WHY YOU NEED A SALT CLEANSE
Properly balance electrolyte/mineral levels
Encourage the digestive system to release old waste and toxins
Decrease fatigue and sluggishness and increase energy
Improve digestion and immunity
Establish optimal PH levels and balances hormones
Clear up digestive issues
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO
1. Perform the flush first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Otherwise, the saltwater will combine with food and not act as a flush. Make sure that you don’t have to be anywhere for at least two hours after you start the cleanse (just to be on the safe side).
2. Mix two tablespoons of high quality unrefined salt (I used Pink Himalayan) with 32 ounces of warm water. Shake, blend, or mix these two components together really well!
*It’s extremely important to use high quality, unrefined salt. Table salt and even sea salt are definitely a no go because they can actually dehydrate the body instead of replenishing it. On your next trip to the grocery store, splurge a little and buy some Pink Himalayan Salt.
3. Drink the mixture... I’m not saying you need to chug it, but try to get it down pretty quickly.
If it’s your first experience with a salt water cleanse, go easy on yourself. Basically, if doing this makes you want to dramatically message your friend with something along the lines of this… (see image), do it! Just like cleansing of any kind (emotional, physical, or mental), this takes practice!
Add half a lime to your mixture; it takes the edge off a bit.
Drink the solution standing up… like you have a purpose. I noticed that I drank the mixture faster on mornings that I drank it standing up.
I also noticed that I felt much better doing the cleanse on mornings after I had eaten a light vegetarian meal the night before. Things just seemed to go down and come out easier haha.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Disclaimer: If talking about shit is not really your thing, please skip this part of the post. Thanks!
I’m sure this process is different for everybody, as every body is different :) I started experiencing nausea when I was only halfway through drinking the solution. The nausea wasn’t to the point of extreme discomfort, so I persevered.
About fifteen minutes after I had downed my 32 ounces of salt water, I felt the need to use the bathroom. However, it is recommended that you not use the bathroom until 30 minutes after drinking the solution.
I definitely heard some gurgling, churning, and rumbling in my tummy, as the salt water moved through - this is completely normal! Most people experience a flush reminiscent of diarrhea within .5 - 2 hours after performing the cleanse.
If don’t experience a flush after two hours, this may indicate that you are sodium deficient and your cells are simply soaking up all that nutrient-rich salt they’ve been missing. Just be sure to drink another quart of water and go about your day as planned.
You’ve guzzled down your salt water solution, flushed yourself clean, and probably wondering, ‘when and what can I eat?’ There’s no hard rule that I’ve found on this, but wait at least an hour or so before eating… or at least until after you’ve flushed completely.
I started with some hot water with ginger, lime, and a dash of cayenne pepper before eating any food. This helped soothe my stomach, ease lingering nausea, and move along any stubborn remnants of the cleanse.
Below are some guidelines of the best post-cleanse foods/which foods to avoid:
Avoid dairy, as it tends to clog and congest the gut.
Steer clear of processed, sugary foods, and artificial sweeteners.
Stay hydrated! Drink more water than you’re used to drinking and go easy on coffee and tea for the day.
Get your whole foods fix and lean toward a plant-based diet: veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains… you know, the good stuff :) If the thought of giving up meat for a day makes you feel like there’s no purpose in living, go for lighter meats that are easier for the digestive system to process such as wild-caught fish and organic chicken breast.
REMEMBER YOUR WHY
There were moments when I found the salt water cleanse to be challenging and even a bit uncomfortable. However, those moments of discomfort became less important when I remembered why I wanted to try the cleanse in the first place: to purify my body and cleanse my system of shit I didn’t need anymore. You too, might experience moments of discomfort and think back to this post muttering, “what was Emily thinking?! Why am I even doing this?!”
My hope for you is that before you pour your first grain of salt into your 32 ounce water bottle, you set an intention.
Why are you doing this cleanse? Are you doing it to feel lighter? To feel more vibrant and energetic? Maybe you want to let go of a mental or emotional burden, so you use this cleanse as a catalyst for saying goodbye to that thing, person, habit, or thought that isn’t serving you anymore.
Whatever your intention may be, come back to it in times of discomfort or doubt. Let it be your motivation to preserve when things get a little dicey!
What mental, physical, and emotional cleanses have you experimented with that produced positive results? Have you tried any cleanses that you would not recommend? I’m always interested in learning about alternative ways to purify the mind and body! Interpret the term “cleanse” however you’d like. I remember my first Vipassana course felt like an extreme emotional cleanse! Share your experiences and stories in the comments below; anything goes :)