Why Cleanse?

Doctor of traditional Chinese medicine Angela Warburton tells us what a cleanse is and why a mild cleanse is important to get your body up and running again. After you've brushed up with this primer, check out Angela's healthy cleansing recipes here.

Why Cleanse?

What is a cleanse?

A cleanse is about giving your organs a break from processing toxins and chemicals found in the diet and environment as much as possible and then adding in foods that support your system and aid in the cleansing process. Specific and stronger cleanses should be done with the help of a professional so it can be customized to your specific condition and body type.


Our liver system is a huge detox organ and important in getting rid of prescription drugs or bacteria. It also secretes the bile that helps us get rid of cholesterol. According to Chinese Medicine, signs of a congested liver may show up as irritability, PMS, tendon issues, pounding headaches, waking early in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep, nail or eye issues. Try green foods to help your liver like kale, chard or spinach. 

Digestive System and Bowels

Having a strong and healthy digestive system is key to good health. Not only do we need to make sure that we’re able to digest the food that we’re eating to nourish our body, but also to excrete impurities, fat soluble toxins and waste products effectively. When this system is off balance you would see things like bloating after you eat, lethargy, heavy headed or heavy limbed feeling, you might bruise easily, have looser bowels or have chronic phlegm or congestion. Some of the simplest things to help our digestive system and bowels is eating warm cooked foods, eating adequate fibre and drinking ample water.

Lungs and Skin

The skin and the lungs are big detox organs. What we breathe in, but also what we put on our skin is absorbed into our body. When this system is out of balance in TCM, someone may be prone to frequent colds or tend to get sick easily, they may suffer from skin irritations or rashes, or shortness of breath. You can help your skin through a good sweat! 


Our kidneys are another of the big detox organs and help rid the body of water soluble toxins. In traditional Chinese medicine, when the kidney system is off balance we might see things like frequent UTIs, lower back pain, knee pain, increased cavities or bone issues, premature greying of the hair or ringing in the ears. Making sure we have adequate rest is important for the kidneys as is drinking adequate fluids like water or herbal, non-caffeinated teas.