Y’all, we’re diving into three health practices you may be hearing about a lot lately: castor oil packs, dry brushing, and coffee enemas.
And while you might think these “trends” will be the next here-today-gone-tomorrow health hacks, they’re anything but that! These are ancient practices with benefits that have only been proven by science and experience over time.
I want to walk you through each of them and tell you what they are, why they’re beneficial, and how to do them.
Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like… Brushing a dry brush over your body and moving from one area to another using strokes in a particular way in order to facilitate both external and internal benefits.
Stimulating the skin via dry brushing has been used in medicine and across cultures for thousands of years – from Ayurveda (ancient Indian medicine) to Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and traditional Chinese medicine.
Dry brushing is done on a dry body (different from exfoliating in the shower or bath). And the brush typically has medium to firm bristles.
Dry brushing is beneficial on many levels. Externally, it improves the appearance of the skin. Dry brushing encourages the production of collagen as well as reduces the look of cellulite. Dry brushing is an incredibly effective means of gentle exfoliation, leaving you with smooth and glowing skin!
My favorite effects of dry brushing, however, are internal. Dry brushing increases circulation. Through the gentle strokes of a dry brush against the skin, blood flow is stimulated. This allows nutrients and oxygen to be delivered appropriately as well as waste to be flushed out more effectively.
As I alluded to in the previous paragraph, dry brushing is one of my favorite ways to gently detoxify the body. It not only stimulates blood circulation, but lymphatic circulation as well. Lymphatic drainage is important for health because when lymph is stagnant or blocked, it causes toxic buildup. Dry brushing stimulates lymph flow in order to flush out toxins and waste. When lymph is flowing properly, it strengthens the immune system and even increases energy.
In short, dry brushing benefits include:
Softer, smoother skin
Stimulation of collagen production
Increased blood flow
Improved lymphatic drainage
I like to dry brush prior to showering. Primally Pure (use code TAYLORDUKES) makes my favorite body brush. Always make sure your strokes are moving toward your heart.
Begin on the tops of your feet. Brush upwards. Use gentle, short strokes. Work your way all the way up your legs. Move to the other leg and do the same.
When you get to your abdomen, brush upward and in a circular clockwise motion over your belly to improve digestion.
Start at your hands. Brush upwards from your hands to your heart.
To finish, brush down your underarms to help flush out toxins via lymphatic drainage. Be gentle!
Here is a video explanation on how to dry brush from my favorite skincare specialist company!
Coffee enemas are a colon-cleansing practice that involves channeling coffee water into the rectum and colon via the anal opening in order to induce various health benefits.
Although documented in practice around 100 years ago, coffee enemas are thought to be an ancient practice. Coffee enemas were most popularized in the 1930s by Dr. Max Gerson for the treatment of degenerative diseases, and most notably, cancer.
Coffee enemas have so many powerful benefits.
They’re an effective means of resolving constipation and encouraging bowel regularity. They stimulate the smooth muscles of the intestines in order to “get things moving.” This has big implications when it comes to proper detox. Having daily bowel movements is necessary for carrying waste and toxins out of the body.
During a coffee enema, compounds from the coffee open up blood vessels to improve circulation. When the compounds are circulated to the liver, they are believed to help open up bile ducts and increase bile production and flow. This aids in both digestion and toxin excretion.
Coffee enemas have also been noted to strengthen immunity, improve the appearance of the skin, boost energy, and even improve mood.
Perhaps the strongest case for the benefit of coffee enemas is that they cleanse the liver while stimulating the production of glutathione. Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant, and it plays an important role in cleansing the blood and down-regulating inflammation throughout the body.
In short, the benefits of coffee enemas may include:
Opening of bile ducts, allowing for easier bile flow
Helps fight parasites, candida, mold, and other unwanted pathogens
Increased glutathione production
Helps with constipation, bloating, IBS symptoms
Part of certain cancer treatment protocols
1. Purchase and clean your coffee enema kit. Look for one that has a tube and nozzle attached to either a bucket or bag that hangs above you when you lie down.
2. Purchase your coffee enema coffee. Light, medium, green or white is best, and it must be caffeinated. I suggest starting with a light or medium roast. Certified organic regular beans that are free from all chemical sprays is preferred. I like Purity coffee.
3. Prepare 3 cups of water, which is used for one enema session. Place 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds in the three cups of filtered water. Bring coffee and water to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain all the coffee, so the water is free of particles.
*Coffee can be made the night before each use. If it was made the night before, reheat to body temperature before using. If made fresh, then let it cool to body temperature.
4. Place a thick towel on the floor to lay on, preferably near the toilet. Some people will lay in their bathtub too the first time, if it is in close proximity to the toilet.
5. Hang enema bag nearby, at least 3 feet above the ground. If using an enema bucket, place the bucket on a stool, chair or tub platform so that it is elevated. People will also use towel racks, etc.
*Make sure the tubing on your enema bag or bucket is clamped closed before pouring in the liquid into the enema bucket or bag.
6. Lubricate the tip of the insertion tube using olive oil or coconut oil.
7. Lie on your left side and insert the colon tube slowly, 1-2 inches into the rectum.
8. Release the clamp, letting coffee flow slowly in. If it feels like too much pressure, slow it down.
9. Hold the liquid for 10-15 minutes. At first, it may be difficult to retain the enema. That’s okay. Gradually work up to 10-15 minutes. Holding longer than 15 minutes is counterproductive.
10. Expel the liquid in the toilet.
11. When finished, clean the enema bag/bucket and tubing. Hang it to dry completely.
Some notes on coffee enemas:
-It is best to do a coffee enema immediately after having a bowel movement if possible.
-Some practitioners recommend taking a binder before and after a coffee enema to help excretion of toxins.
-I suggest doing an enema about twice weekly or more frequently if you have cancer, but it is important to talk to your healthcare provider
-Supplement with minerals/electrolytes after each enema, as they have the potential to dehydrate and drain the body of these. I like Quinton Minerals, which you can purchase via my Fullscript account.
-Store coffee in the refrigerator or freezer.
Castor oil packs are when a piece of natural fiber fabric, such as cotton flannel or wool, has been generously blotted with high-quality organic castor oil, and then compressed over the skin in a particular area. This is typically done over the liver, although castor oil packs can be done over the kidneys, ovaries, thyroid, and even the eyes.
Although castor oil as a remedy dates back to the time of ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans, castor oil packs as we know them were widely popularized by Edgar Cayce in the early 1900s. He used them for detoxification purposes and as a treatment for inflammatory disorders, and notably, to treat uterine fibroids.
Castor oil has omega 3, 6, and 9 oils. This particular oil has a specific blend of fatty acids that are known to have anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing, anti-microbial, and detoxifying properties.
When placed over the liver, ricinoleic acid from the castor oil stimulates and speeds detoxification by aiding the liver in shuttling toxins out of the body.
Castor oil packs are beneficial for digestive disorders including treating: IBS, bloating, constipation, abdominal pain/cramps and bowel irregularity. They promote smooth muscle relaxation and movement, which helps the bowels excrete toxins more easily and effectively.
Castor oil packs help put the body in a parasympathetic state, which is beneficial for hormonal health, detoxification, and downregulation of inflammation.
In short, castor oil packs are beneficial for:
Relief from constipation and unwanted digestive symptoms
Gut + Microbiome health
Liver support and detox
Boosts deeper detoxification
Upregulated glutathione production
Relaxation + helps put the body into parasympathetic state
Promotes hormonal balance
Queen of Thrones makes my absolute favorite castor oil and castor oil packs, which take any and all confusion out of this practice. Seriously, it takes two minutes to prep, and it’s a total breeze to do!
Apply a generous 2 tablespoons of castor oil to your cloth/pack if it is your first time using the cloth/pack. If not, you can reduce the amount to just under 2 tablespoons.
Fold the cloth in order to blot the oil around and distribute it throughout the cloth/pack.
Tie the pack so that the cloth is compressed against your abdomen under your right rib cage (the location of your liver). However, you can also use the pack to target different areas such as lower back, uterus, etc. if desired.
Keep the castor oil pack compressed against your skin for at least one hour, your first time, and then you can build up to doing them overnight.
For “amped up” benefits of using a castor oil pack, add a heating pad over the castor oil pack in order to further stimulate the absorption of the castor oil into your body.
If you prefer to watch a video on how to do a castor oil pack, here is a short and easy to follow clip!
Some notes on castor oil packs:
-Castor oil packs do not need to be cleaned after each use; however, it is recommended to replace them every 3 months or so.
-Use a quality castor oil that is 100% pure, organic, extra virgin and cold-pressed. Preferably it should be stored in a dark-colored glass bottle.
Three incredibly easy, effective, and beneficial health practices. I hope you feel confident in how to do them as well as equipped with the knowledge on how they’ll benefit you!
Get started – choose one to implement this week. Do it a few times and feel comfortable with it. Then, add in the next. Before you know it, you’ll have all three practices down with no confusion and no stress. Your body will thank you for it!
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