• Dr. Heidi Lescanec

Decrease Inflammation and Increase Metabolism Through Cleansing Lungs and Large Intestine.

Updated: Jun 22

The Function of the Lungs and Large Intestine in detoxification


While it is certainly helpful to make dietary changes that lighten the load of toxins that your body has to detoxify, it’s just as important to ensure that all elimination organs are functioning optimally! In this article we’ll focus on two organs that are actually paired in traditional Chinese medicine- the lungs and the large intestine (or colon).

Detoxification --What is it?

The creation and elimination of “toxins” is a normal part of the healthy functioning of the human body. Toxic acids are expected by products of cell breakdown, and the body has efficient methods of collecting and removing these toxins through our emunctories, our organs of elimination- their job is detoxification!

How do we encounter toxins?

Toxins can also enter the body from the environment. Chemicals from fertilizers, insecticides, plastics, and heavy metals can enter our body through air, water, food. Even everyday common household products like cleaning sprays and cosmetics can have toxic components that can enter your body.

It's all about balance:

When our detoxification pathways and organs are working optimally, these toxins move through and out of our body without causing problems. However, when these pathways are functioning ineffectively, the body can enter a state of toxicity as it becomes overwhelmed with these substances and can contribute to imbalances in the intricate ecosystem of the human body.

When does a chemical load start to create inflammation and impact our metabolism?

  1. When toxins are being assimilated or created in the body faster than they can be eliminated

  2. When one or more of the body’s elimination systems is underactive


What is their job?

Our lungs are responsible for taking in our most important nutrient – oxygen.

The lungs are often not appreciated in their other critical role—the elimination of waste. They are responsible for eliminating waste gases from our bodies – and not just carbon dioxide. Exhaled breath can contain a mixture of other gases including volatile organic compounds [VOCs] (methanol, isoprene, acetone, ethanol and other alcohols), ketones, water and other hydrocarbons.

How to support this pathway and cleanse the lungs?

Include more anti-mucus foods and breathing exercises


What is it's job?

It is the body’s main avenue for removal of solid waste, including toxins. When the intestinal tract is functioning optimally, you can expect:

  • 1 - 3 bowel movements every day (depending on food consumption)

  • Stool passes easily and is well formed

  • Optimal transit time is 24 hours

How to support cleansing the Intestinal Tract:

  • Drink water. Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of clean, filtered water per day. But be sure not to drink with meals as liquids will dilute your stomach’s natural juices and enzymes which are needed for proper digestion.

  • A high fiber diet. Be sure to include whole grains, seeds, and vegetables with your meals.

  • Exercise daily. Movement is a great way to stimulate the bowels. Yoga and twisting poses are a great way to help with any symptoms of constipation.

  • Abdominal massage, only if not contraindicated (for example: pregnancy, bowel obstruction). Start at the lower right of your belly, massage up to your ribs then across your upper stomach and then down the left side, making a big circle around your navel.

  • Castor oil (external), see castor oil treatment guide.

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