The Best Way to Detox

Have you ever been constipated? Felt bloated? Had excess gas? Felt like something just wasn’t right? Many people don’t realize that some of the physical ailments they feel on a daily basis are a result of a body that is loaded with toxins in desperate need of detox.

If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Death Begins in the Colon,” you might also know that many coroners, upon autopsy, discover diseased, toxin-laden colons. Constipation, which is related directly to a sluggish or in many cases toxin filled colon, accounts for more than 2 million doctor visits a year. And according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Americans (NIDDK) alone spend $725 million on laxatives annually. (What these suffering consumers don’t know is that these laxatives may only make their problem worse in the long run.)

According to the American Cancer Society, this year alone, 569,490 Americans will die from cancer. That’s about 1,500 people per day suffering and dying from cancer. Sadly, the past few decades have seen a significant increase in cancer diagnosis and death from cancer despite our highly advanced medical technology and early detection initiatives.

It’s vital that all Americans wake up to these deadly facts and take action. The question remains for many, “If we have the most advanced medical care in the world and early detection has become a focus of most, then why are cancer rates soaring and death from cancers killing off so many?”

Check out the following symptoms to see if your body is sending you the signals that you need to detox – soon!

Signs of Toxic Overload that a Detox can Improve:

  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Belly fat (hard to lose)
  • Skin problems
  • Food cravings (especially for ‘fake foods’)
  • Low energy
  • Bad breath
  • Irritability, mood swings

Death Begins in the Colon

The colon is the body’s sewage system. But like all healthy and properly functioning sewage systems it needs to be cleaned, emptied, and maintained to function properly.

When we eat highly processed, refined, or what I call ‘fake,’ foods our colons become laden with the unhealthy debris from these foods. As you know if you’ve visited my site before, I highly advocate the removal of all fake foods from your diet for just this reason (plus a few more).

These fake foods so many Westerners consuming in huge quantities are filled with toxins in the form of high fructose syrups, hydrogenated oils, dangerous food dyes, seasonings with unknown ingredients, MSG, preservatives and other ingredients that not only do our bodies not need but really do damage to our vital organs and entire body systems.

I strongly recommend that if you (or your loved ones) currently eat a mainly fake food diet to begin to eliminate these fake foods and replace them with real foods. These are any foods from nature; as close to the source as you can get; fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, pure water, and more organic foods that are grown locally and have no processing involved before they reach your mouth.

But many times this isn’t enough if you’ve been eating a highly processed, fake food diet for any period of time.

The Detox Bandwagon: What You Must Know First

Like I said, your colon is like a sewer, the cleaner it is, the better it will function and the healthier (and happier) you’ll be. But if this system is clogged up, slow moving, and laden with substances you don’t want sitting inside of you, it becomes a cesspool of waste stewing inside of your precious body – the only body you have.

It’s vital, let me repeat, vital, to help your colon to remove these deadly wastes. The colon is on overload and in most Westerners simply unable to keep up with the demands being placed on it. We need to take action and rid our bodies of these deadly toxins stewing in the colon.

People have become more aware of colon detoxification in recent years, however, the approach many have taken, is again, simply not helpful to the body. If you do a Google search for colon detox you’ll get back close to 2 million results. Most of these are advertisements for colon detox products being sold. Let me tell you, most of these products being sold are simply ‘fad detox’ kits with the motive not of getting you healthy but of profit.

If you want to really rid your colon of unhealthy, accumulated debris and boost your vitality and overall health you simply don’t need any of these advertised detox products to do so. In fact, these aren’t even the best means to achieving a healthy, debris and toxin-free colon. There’s a much easier, healthier way. Let me tell you exactly how to do the most effective and all natural detox for robust health.

The Daniel Detox: Achieving Optimal Colon Health the Right Way

I don’t know if you read the Bible but if you do, I’m sure you’ve heard of Daniel. Daniel went through a three week fast that consisted of eating only fruits, vegetables, and drinking water in order to purify himself.

If you want to do the easiest and healthiest detox you can follow Daniel’s advice consuming only raw, whole foods like fruits, veggies, vegetable juices, and pure water for a period of time. This period of time depends much upon the individual person, state of health, prior lifestyle habits including eating, exercise, alcohol and/or drug use, smoking habits, and exposure to pollutants in the workplace or elsewhere.

A good time amount to start with is one week, but consider doing up to three weeks. It’s best if you have any pre-existing health conditions to first consult with your health care practitioner and a holistic health care provider for suggestions and precautions.

What to Eat, What to Avoid

Not only should you eat plenty of organic, raw fruits and vegetables you should also drink lots and lots of water. Be sure that the water you’re drinking is free of fluoride or other chemical additives common in public water. If you’re able, opt for water that has a high alkaline level.


There are some other whole foods you’ll want to work into your eating while detoxing. Consider garlic, wheatgrass, blue algae, hemp protein and hemp seeds, flax seed, legumes, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, and herbal and green teas.

Avoid dairy, meat, processed foods, grains, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine during your detox.

No matter how healthy you may eat, we are all exposed to toxins on a daily basis. Our bodies were not meant to cope with such an excess of toxins, and it’s vital to do regular detoxing to support your colon and body in the fight to remove these deadly, disease causing toxins. Engaging in a raw food detox is the best way to improve your health and give your body the help it needs to get rid of toxins.


American Cancer Society (2010)

OM-X (2002)

NIDDK (2010)

Josh Axe

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43 comments so far - add yours!

  1. jessica anglea says:

    How many times a year do you recommend a detox?

    • Dr. Axe says:

      Jessica – It really depends. But generally doing a more thorough detox 2x a year is good, but then in general I detox daily and weekly. It’s good to do a vegetable juice fast 1x a week or at least 1x a month. Then I also drink lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, spinach, and berry greens powder daily for a good daily detox.

  2. Renny says:

    Is it possible to detox when pregnant? & if so, how? Thanks!

    • Dr. Axe says:

      Renny – I wouldn’t do any major detoxes while pregnant. However I would increase your intake of healthy fat and vegetables and fruits which will help you detoxify.

  3. Cindy says:

    Are there any shakes or drinks from your cookbook that would work during a detox?

  4. Brian says:

    Dr. Axe I am looking to do a 3 day fast consuming only water followed by the Daniel fast for another week. What would be the best foods to eat coming off the 3 day fast (bannanas, apples, raw veggies,steamed veggies………?

  5. My wife and I are doing a lot of the raw food diet. What would your thoughts be on doing a colonic or at home coffee enema?

  6. Anne says:

    So on the Daniel Detox everything must be raw? No steamed/roasted vegetables or anything? Is there still a detox effect if you cook your vegetables (only using ingredients from the What to Eat portion) or do they have to be raw to get the benefit?

    • Linda says:

      You can steam, saute in olive oil, grill, bake, no frying though. Good Luck!!

      • There are reasons for eating raw on a cleansing fast or anytime. Cooking depletes the nutrients that your body needs, so you end up eating more. The body knows what to do with raw foods. By eating raw, you don’t have to eat as much to get what the body needs to do it’s job so you save money & time. Eating a good variety of fresh foods & drinking lots of water with fresh lemon also helps. Don’t go into this process like you are being deprived of something. You are doing this for you! I think you will find it very satisfying because you won’t be hungry, you’ll have more energy, less pain, clear thinking. I did a 3 day Daniel fast & now eat at least 80% raw, fresh food on a regular basis. I found that I preferred actually having intense flavor. It is truly unreal how little I eat until I’m satisfied. God bless you in your journey.

  7. Will says:

    Right now as I’m typing this, I’m very worried. I have had episodes where my lower lip and chin go numb, usually after I eat certain things, but I got to looking this up online and I keep finding references to numb chin syndrome being a sign of a TERMINAL malignancy! I have also found a lump on the right side of my neck behind my jaw, and I am scared to death this might be cancer! I’m only 51, and have a boy in the tenth grade. My wife is 46. My oldest son is 20.
    Doc, I just don’t know what to do! I have no insurance! Can’t afford to buy it on what we make, and haven’t been able to get TennCare, so I am setting here freaking out not knowing what to do! I hope you can get in touch with me and walk me through some steps to take!

    • Sarah says:

      WILL, Have you ever had any head or neck trauma? Have you seen a wellness chiropractor? What about testing your urine Ph? Cancer can not exist in an alkaline body, but you need to get some Ph testing strips to see where you fall on that acid/ alkaline spectrum.

      • Stop eating the foods that cause the numbness! You are probably having an allergic reaction. Start eating real, raw foods & drink lots of clean, fresh water to flush the toxins out. I get those lumps behind my jaw, too. Your lymph glands run right through there & may be hung up. My massage therapist friend showed me how to gently rub to get things flowing again. If there is a stoppage anywhere in the lymph system, it can sometimes cause pain, too. Get a book from the library (free) of the body systems. Have your wife give you a lymphatic massage to get things flowing again. Don’t panic & trust me, I know that’s hard. I just don’t go to the medical professionals. I try everything I can think of, research, learn from others to deal with my physical problems. I don’t have insurance either & I’ve learned that what most doctors would say to do, wouldn’t heal the problems. I’m almost 57 & healthier than I was at 30. I don’t take so much as an aspirin. Let your food be your medicine. I will be praying for you, Will. May you find the answer & peace & calm.

      • Will says:

        Hmmm…The only head trauma I’ve had was falling off my bike and knocking myself out in 1982 while in the Air Force, lol. I’ve heard about Alkalining oneself but have no idea how to go about it.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Hi Dr. Axe. I’m 26 years old and have been getting muscle twitches for 4 years now along with other things like ringing in my ear.The past two weeks some tingle in my leg and foot. I don’t know what to do anymore!! I stop going to doctors, they coudn’t find anything and didn’t help me.Ive also had some stomach issues. I feel like I’ve tryed everything I know to do. I have a vitamix. I take supplements. I ‘ve tryed to change my diet many times. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thank you!

  9. kimberley marie says:

    I have noticed my hands and feet go numb(while i am sleeping)whats up with that….I do have carpel tunnel because of my job

  10. Linda Marsh says:

    Will this detox get rid of bio-film in the intestines?

  11. Amanda says:

    Would you recommend a Daniel detox while nursing a 1 1/2 month old baby? Also when is a good time to start burst training after a c-section?

  12. Erin says:

    I recently had blood work done for food sensitivities. It seems there is a tie between food sensitivities and digestive problems. After seeing a nutritionist for several months, she said I would probably always have an issue with certain foods (apples, olive oil, broccoli, carrots, beets…etc.) that I tested negatively to and that I would have to eat them in moderation for the rest of my life.

    I was curious if a detox could help clean out my digestive system, so I could “start over” and not have to deal with foods sensitivities for the rest of my life. Through this journey I have learned to eat a very clean diet, and was curious if detoxing and maintaining a clean diet would allow me to bring those healthy foods I tested negatively to back into my diet. Thoughts??

    • Vickie says:

      My whole family had a food sensitivity test done. Our ND said that we should stop those foods that we are sensitive to for about six months. Since those foods cause inflammation, this period will allow the body to heal from the irritation. Then, slowly add them one at a time to see if there are any problems. That way, you know which ones your body still has a problem with. Some you may never be able to eat again. But, probably, a lot you will, after healing. A good probiotic, like Garden of Life, is always a good thing. It’s been a journey, but I have been able to introduce every one of the foods that I was having trouble with. I found that some I really didn’t want anymore. Bless you in your search for what your body really needs. You might check out the Maker’s Diet book by Jordan Rubin. It totally makes sense.

      • Carol Dozier says:

        Will, you need to be evaluated by an M. D. The Faith Family Clinic on Charolette Ave. accepts those who cannot afford the normal costs of health care. I urge you to get diagnosed immediately! Continue on a healthy diet and aviod those foods that cause you problems. Hope that is helpful. God Bless you! Carol R.N.

  13. Amy says:

    Hi, thanks for your awesome site! I’ve just started the Daniel Fast to help my body detoxify from a serious chemical overload. The two or three other sites I’ve used to research the Daniel Fast include grains in their food plans. Is there a particular reason that you don’t use them during the Fast?

    Thanks so much!

  14. Carol says:

    Dr. Axe, If you eat well, Why would you detox so often as you do? It seems a bit obcessive to me! Carol

  15. Carol says:

    Dr. Axe, Were you aware that flax seeds need to be ground up in order for the beneficial flax oil to take effect in the body? I notice that when you mention a receipe calling for flax seeds, you don’t mention that fact. I grind mine up in my Blendtec. It’s great! Just some info! Carol Dozier

  16. Dee says:

    I’ve cut way down on carbs and sugar, and try and fill up on protein (meats & cheese) and fruits & veggies (raw & cooked). I’ve noticed that I get extremely constipated to the point where I feel my insides are going to tear apart when I finally am able to go. I try and drink water (5-6 glasses/day). What can I eat (or not) to help alleviate this. I’m eating way less than I’m used to, and only going to the washroom every 3-4 days. I am used to having IBS, so this is really new to me. Love your site, look forward to your advice.

    • mary lee says:

      I have been eating 6 prunes every morning for years and am never constipated. I have perfect bowel movements and often 3 or 4 daily. I do mix grains such as flax seed meal and sesame seeds with a homemade hummus almost daily. I never mix my fruits with any other foods and wait a half hour before I eat any other food group. I believe my fruit is my natural enema and have been eating this way for almost thirty years..

      • Will says:

        I am thinking of getting some prunes today. I’m having a dreadful time of it of late. my lower left side is hurting, and I’ve not been able to eliminate for two days without straining, which has probably caused the pain in my side to begin with..

  17. Will says:

    This is what I definitely need to do. I’ve been constipated for at least two days, and have a nagging, dull pain in my left lower waist. I started increasing my zinc intake yesterday, didn’t drink any coffee at all yesterday either. It is scary when you go to the bathroom and then can’t without straining really hard to no avail.

    • Sarah says:

      Will, you may think this crazy, but with all the build up of possible old stool and toxins people hold in their intestines, sometimes a colon flush is in order. It disimpacts the old, hard, possibly fermenting stool and can make way for the newer waste. Along with that I would eat a cup full of beans each day, as they are an intestinal “scrubber” and help everything move along. I’m assuming you are taking probiotics, which need to live in your gut for a healthy environment. along with drinking pure clean water- half in ounces of your weight. I weight 130lbs, I drink 65-70 ounces of water/ day.

      • Will says:

        Actually, I’ve never taken Probiotics. I don’t know which ones to trust and a lot of stuff I see at health food stores I flat out can’t afford. I am very limited as to what I can get. I usually wind up having to go to GNC for supplements. My wife uses Ultra Chromium Picolinate 800 which has done a wonderful job regulating her glucose levels, but I’d much rather find a way to do this without having to take a bunch of supplements. Our primary problem is we simply CANNOT afford health insurance, which worries me since she has a small swollen spot in the center of her chest over the sternum that is causing her pain. I’m worried it might be a tumor. As for beans, I definitely love pinto beans, and am planning on getting the old crock pot out in the morning and slow cooking some. I am also putting out a garden this year, and will be growing Scarlett Runner pole beans I bought from a non-GMO seed company. Also, San Marzano paste tomatoes, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Hale’s Best Cantaloupe, etc… I am quite new to all of this, so there is a great deal I don’t yet know!

  18. Will says:

    in response to Vickie Turner, I DID find that commercial spices containing SILICON DIOXIDE and peanut butter apparently were the two main culprits in my lower lip and chin going numb. I’m also wondering if black mold might have played a role in this. We were stuck living with my sister-in-law for almost four years after I got sick and we lost our home. They don’t much believe in housework and the place was FILTHY which is an understatement. Dog feces ground into the carpet, tobacco smoke, etc.. First chance we got to get out, we took it – with the last .46 CENTS we had in the bank after they got through with us (we got stuck paying all THEIR utility bills and lot rent..). We have been out of that situation for a year, and I stopped using commercial spices containing Silicon Dioxide as a non-caking agent. This problem has gone away since then…Now, I just need to get my body readjusted and get the weight off! Vickie, thank you for your prayers!

    • Will, I am thrilled that you are making some progress finding out what your triggers are. Mold is a very dangerous thing. I’m glad you all are out of that situation. For your issues with constipation, you might try heating prune juice just as hot as you can stand to drink it, without burning yourself. It has proven to be very effective for almost immediate relief. Drink as much as you can at one sitting. You will probably find yourself heading for the bathroom in short order. Much better than having to go to the Dr. and have them dig it out. You must get that stuff out of you. All of those toxins are doing you a lot of damage. Garden of Life has an excellent probiotic called Primal Defense. Even starting with just 1 a day, 1st thing in the morning, on an empty stomach will help you tremendously. I know that there are cheaper brands, but they just aren’t effective & usually have a lot of additives that you should not have. As they say, you get what you pay for in most cases. I live in central Indiana & got mine at a little health food store for $23 for 45 caplets. Dr. Axe has them cheaper on his online store, somewhere around $38 for 90 capsules. We can’t get what we need for our gut health totally from the food we have available today. You have to supplement with the probiotics. Drink as much water as you can. Adding a little lemon juice to it also helps detoxify your body. Eating raw greens will also help you eliminate. Prayer is an amazing thing to do for yourself & especially for others. I will continue praying for you & your wife. You have had many responses that should get you started toward health. Dr. Axe has a healing foods diet on his website, too, that can give you some direction. We have nothing without God, our family & our health. Personally, I will do without other things just so that I can get the right food for me to stay healthy. May you receive God’s sweetest blessings, Will.

      • Will says:

        Vickie, Our greatest hurdle is having the funds to get the Primal Defense, etc.. The economy here is in a shambles, so we’re just barely squeaking by, even with no water bill (we have well water) and our rent is only $300 a month. Tennessee has the highest sales tax in the country at 9.75 percent, and Manchester is one of the top five highest property tax cities in the state and we have nothing to show for it (population here is just over 10,000!). We pay taxes on everything including groceries. Things are still extremely tight and the tax rate here exacerbates the problem. I’m wanting to get Josh’s book but it’ll be awhile. I am originally from Indiana, so you may be familiar with Franklin, Trafalgar and Nineveh. I was born in Franklin, grew up in Nineveh, and went to High School in Trafalgar.

      • Hi, Will, I understand. And yes, I lived in Prince’s Lakes (Nineveh) for 10 years while I was in the Guard (active duty) at Camp Atterbury. My kids went to school at Indian Creek in Trafalgar, as well. Small world, huh? Josh’s book is great, but there is a healing foods diet on his web site you can look at free. It will give you some idea of how to start. The whole website is loaded with information you can do without buying anything. Go with that to start. Another suggestion would be to start oxygenating your body by taking deep belly breaths several times a day. All God’s best to you & yours.

  19. Allie says:

    Dr. Josh–

    I have been drinking your secret detox drink once per day for over a week. Since then, I have noticed that my large muscle groups are really sore. I walk 30-45 minutes daily, have just purchased new shoes and have inserts in the shoe because I have what I believe is a Tailor’s bunion (right foot, baby toe) AND high arches. Is this pain due to my body detoxing? If so, I can tolerate it…for awhile.

    Thank you.

  20. Petey says:

    Dr. Axe, Is the Martha vineyard detox safe?

  21. Ashlyn says:

    I know this article was written 4 years ago and i may not get a response… BUT! I was wondering what research has been done to actually prove that there is buildup in the colon or that there are toxins sitting there. There seems to be a lot of controversy about colon cleansing. I clicked on the links at the bottom of the page but nothing really came up. Do you have any sources for colon cleansing? I am very interested. Thank you!

  22. Jessica says:

    Hi Dr. Axe, thank you so much for your ministry. My family had been on a journey toward health & revamping our eating habits. The knowledge you share has been very helpful for us! Question: How should we follow this Daniel fast with children? My kids need the health benefits of cleansing their gut too, after all the years of our unhealthy eating. I assume the raw fruits & veggies & lots of water is great for them too, I just want your advice before we proceed. Anything we should avoid for the kids? Add? Should we do just 1 week or 2 to 3? Thanks!

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