Spring Detox

Spring Detox 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Cleansing Your System! Spring is a season of rejuvenation and renewal. The days are getting longer, the flowers are blooming, and the air is crisp and fresh. It’s the perfect time to clear the cobwebs, cleanse body and mind, and start fresh for the new season.

As Naturopathic doctors we believe that supporting your body’s detox and repair processes is one of the foundations for building higher health.

You see, toxins, inflammation and associated deficiencies can be a root cause of many health problems; which is why supporting your body’s detoxifying pathways is an excellent way to improve your health and well-being. By removing toxins from your body and repairing cellular processes, you can reduce your risk of disease, improve your energy levels, and even lose unwanted weight.

At our Naturopathic clinic, we emphasize the use of natural, non-invasive methods to support the body’s natural detoxification processes.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some natural ways to detoxify your body that you can do at home and one of our favorites that you can do at Higher Health.

Why Detoxify Your Body?

Happy and Detoxed

Your body is constantly exposed to toxins, whether from the air you breathe, the food you eat, or the products you use. For many people that will also include the foods they eat (which would be whole article on its own. So, we won’t be diving into that here.)

Simply living in the GTA amidst the busy main streets and nearby highways will greatly increase your toxic load. There are many papers that have been published about the increased risk of health issues the closer you live to busy roadways.

That being said, we all cannot just pick up and move to Northern Ontario, so it’s important to know how to help your body reduce its toxic load.

Toxins can build up in your body over time and lead to a wide range of health problems, resultant inflammation, blocked detox pathways, and nutrient depletion. Some common symptoms of toxin buildup include fatigue, brain fog, headaches, skin problems, digestive issues, and unwanted weight.

By detoxifying your body, you can remove these toxins, reduce inflammation, repair and restore function, and improve your overall health and well-being.

When it comes to unwanted weight, toxins can disrupt your body’s natural processes, including your metabolism.

By removing toxins from your body, you can help your metabolism function more efficiently, which can help lead to weight loss.

What Are Some Natural Ways to Detoxify Your Body

As Naturopathic doctors, we have many ways to help you detox your system. Here are a few examples you can do at home. They may seem simple, but they are powerful and you can start doing them right away.

A little further down, we’ll get into one of our naturopathic clinic’s preferred treatments.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest and most effective and simplest ways to flush toxins out of your body.  It also helps keep your body hydrated. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and more if you’re exercising or doing any type of sauna routine.   Quality of water matters, and that is a separate conversation…

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is another essential part of detoxifying your body, and it is underappreciated!  Focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains (avoiding refined), and lean protein. These foods provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, and they also help support your body’s natural detoxification processes.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is another important part of detoxifying your body. Exercise helps improve circulation, which can help flush toxins out of your body. It also helps support your body’s natural detoxification processes by improving the function of your liver and kidneys.

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can also help detoxify your body. Stress can lead to the buildup of toxins in your body, so finding ways to manage your stress is important for detoxification. Try practicing yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to help reduce your stress levels.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is another essential part of detoxifying your body. Your body does most of its detoxification while you’re asleep, so getting enough sleep is important for this process. Aim to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

Lemon Water

Lemon Water Detox

Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is a great way to stimulate organ systems like your liver to preform it’s natural detoxifying processes. Lemons are rich in antioxidants, which can help remove toxins from your body (I don’t think this is accurate…) They also help alkalize your body, which can help improve digestion and boost your immune system. Squeeze half a lemon into a glass of warm water and drink it first thing in the morning.

Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is a technique that involves brushing your skin with a dry brush. This can help stimulate your lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing toxins from your body. Use a natural bristle brush and brush your skin in circular motions, starting at your feet and working your way up. Do this for five to ten minutes before taking a shower.

Epsom Salt Bath

Taking an Epsom salt bath is another natural way to detoxify your body in the spring. It is rich in magnesium and helps to draw out toxins from your body while also improving your sleep, reducing stress, and supporting your digestion. Add two cups of Epsom salt to your bath and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.

At Higher Health we use Ancient Mineral magnesium salts (magnesium chloride) because they are naturally-occurring trace minerals that deliver the fastest, most potent therapeutic benefits. It contains essential elements that no longer exist in ocean water today, and is totally free of any toxic contaminant.

Now we’re going to dive into an actual therapy to help you detoxify your body.

IV Drip bag

Our naturopathic clinic has been offering IV Vitamin Therapy for 13 years. Our naturopathic doctors have literally administered thousands of IV Drips.

While IV Therapy is great for many health benefits, it can also be great as part of a detox protocol.

IV (intravenous) vitamin therapy can help support detoxification in several ways:

  1. Increased hydration: IV vitamin therapy delivers fluids directly into the bloodstream, which can help support hydration and aid in the elimination of toxins and waste products from the body.
  2. Boosted immune system: Certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and zinc can help boost immune function and promote the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  3. Antioxidant support: IV vitamin therapy can provide high doses of antioxidants such as vitamin C and glutathione, which can help protect against cellular damage and support the liver’s detoxification processes.
  4. Improved liver function: IV vitamin therapy can provide nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium, and amino acids, which can support liver function and aid in the elimination of toxins from the body.
  5. Reduced inflammation: Certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and magnesium can help reduce inflammation, which can support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  6. Improved digestion: IV vitamin therapy can provide nutrients such as vitamin B12 and magnesium, which can help support digestion and aid in the elimination of toxins from the body.
  7. Reduced oxidative stress: Certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and glutathione can help reduce oxidative stress and support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  8. Better sleep: Certain vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and vitamin B6 can help support the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin, which can help improve sleep quality.
  9. Hormonal balance: IV vitamin therapy can provide nutrients such as vitamin B6 and magnesium, which act as cofactors for hormone production.
  10. Reduced inflammation: IV vitamin therapy can provide nutrients such as bicarbonate, vitamin C and magnesium, which can help reduce inflammation and support the body’s natural detoxification processes.

Supporting the body’s natural detoxification process is essential for optimal health and wellbeing. With our range of natural therapies, including IV vitamin therapy, we can help support your body’s natural detoxification processes and help you achieve your health goals.

Why Detox in Spring?

Spring is a good time to consider detoxifying your body for several reasons:

Fresh Start

Spring is a season of renewal and fresh starts. Detoxifying your body in the spring can help you start the new season off on the right foot and give you a fresh start for the rest of the year.

Increased Activity

As the weather warms up, you may find yourself more active and spending more time outdoors. Regular exercise is an important part of detoxifying your body, so taking advantage of the warmer weather can help support your body’s natural detoxification processes.

Less Comfort Food

During the winter months, many people tend to indulge in comfort food and may not make the healthiest food choices. Spring is a good time to break this cycle and start eating a healthier, nutrient-dense diet.

Our team of naturopathic doctors are dedicated to helping you feel your best, and we are here to answer any questions you may have about detoxification and health in general.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards a healthier you. We look forward to working with you!




Energized Woman

IV Drip for Energy

IV Drip for Energy

An IV Drip for energy is one of the more requested IVs that we do in our Toronto IV Lounge.

This article will share:

  • How an IV Drip for Energy works for you
  • What goes into your IV Drip and why it can help you
  • We’re going to talk about the causes and symptoms of chronic low energy
  • We’re going to get a little technical on how are cells make energy and the mighty mitochondria

Before you get into this article, if at anytime you want to speak to one of our Toronto Naturopathic Doctors about an IV Drip, we have a free consultation call available. Click here to book one..

Is “I’m so tired” consistently a part of your daily vocabulary? Fatigue and low energy are one of the most common complaints we hear at our Naturopathic clinic. Our busy lifestyles and constant on the go schedules, running from one place to another often leaving our gas tanks empty.

People will often say that they need that extra cup of coffee in the afternoon just to make it through the day. Some people identify feelings of physical exhaustion, stating that they just want to lie down on the couch after work, and feel like they can’t get up the remainder of the night.

Others identify feelings of mental exhaustion, that feeling of “blah”, a lack of motivation, brain fog, and feel like they are going through life on auto-pilot.

It’s Not Normal To Feel Tired All The Time

Sometimes fatigue can be temporary, because maybe you lost some sleep with a sick child, or trying to finish a project at work, or maybe were battling a cold and just feel a little sluggish.

However, constantly feeling like you’re running on empty can be a sign that a deeper root cause is at play.

IV drip therapy can help provide you with the vitamins, minerals, and targeted nutrients you need to replenish your energy stores. IV therapy bypasses the digestive system, and is delivered directly to your blood stream so that cells can get the boost of energy they need quickly.

How an IV Drip can help boost energy

IV therapy formulas can specifically be made to replenish nutrients, and the helpers that mitochondria need to function properly. This may include B vitamins, Vitamin C, carefully selected amino acids, minerals, and antioxidants. Not only can this provide all the helpers our mitochondria need to produce energy, but it can also correct for any overall underlying deficiencies so our cells are healthy and happy.

In addition, glutathione, the master antioxidant, can neutralize harmful free radicals to help prevent further damage to our cells, while also assisting detoxification pathways in the liver.

At Higher Health, our Naturopathic Doctors have specialized training to customize an IV formula specific to your needs, and to help boost energy, taking action against low energy.  You don’t have to continue relying on coffee to just make it through the day.

What Would Go Into Your IV Therapy Drip for Energy?

We start with a Higher Health base bag which includes:

Vitamin C
B Vitamins
Amino Acids (which promote cellular repair and optimal function)

From there we add on the nutrients to target more energy! The amazing thing about IV Drip therapy, is that when we’re targeting more energy, you’re also getting nutrients that help with your immune health, sleep, brain fog, digestion, pain relief and quite a few other conditions!

Here are the add ons to your IV Drip for Energy.

Additional Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and prevents our DNA from damage. By supporting detoxification in the body, it ensures the health of our cells where we can utilize energy more efficiently.

B5 – Vitamin B5 is essential for producing energy from food in the form of ATP. It plays a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which provide us with energy.

B6 – Vitamin B6 is a cofactor in several pathways in our bodies, meaning we use it for a variety of functions. It plays a role in energy production by supporting the production of ATP.

Carnitine – Carnitine works as a shuttle where it transports fatty acids into the mitochondria (the part of the cell where we house our energy) for cellular respiration. It helps metabolize ketones and convert amino acids into energy for our bodies.

Amino Acids – Branched-chain amino acids are essential nutrients that our muscles break down to supply our bodies with energy. We require adequate levels of amino acids to provide our tissues with energy.

NAC – By replenishing glutathione levels in the body, N-acetyl-cysteine supports the antioxidant pathway which helps clear oxidants from the body. When oxidants are built up, they can cause fatigue as a symptom.

Glutathione – Glutathione is our master antioxidant that helps clear free radicals (oxidants) from the body. Similar to the function of NAC, glutathione neutralizes oxidants which results in more energy available to our cells.

What Are The Root Causes of Low Energy Anyways?:

There are several reasons why you may be feeling fatigued, and/or that have less get up and go compared to your usual self.

Some of these include:

  • Poor diet and exercise habits
  • Medications
  • Anemia (Iron, B12, folate deficiency)
  • Illness or weakened immune system
  • Chronic pain (ie fibromyalgia)
  • Mental health concerns (anxiety, depression)
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Stress
  • Sleep disorders
  • Thyroid disorders

Your Toronto Naturopathic Doctor will complete a full assessment, and detailed history to identify what may be cause of your fatigue. They can customize your IV drip therapy treatment with carefully selected nutrients to replenish and supplement according to your health concerns.

Symptoms of Low Energy and Fatigue:

When someone has low energy the first thing that comes to mind are exhaustion, and the desire to sleep. However, there are a plethora of symptoms one can experience.

These can include:

  • Lack of concentration or focus
  • Brain fog
  • A tendency to drift off during the day
  • Headaches
  • Moodiness including irritability
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Muscle weakness
  • Unrefreshed sleep upon waking
  • Impaired decision making and judgement
  • Chronic tiredness or sleepiness

How Our Cells Make Energy

Our bodies make energy in form of something called ATP. ATP is the molecule that the body uses as energy currency in every cell, like spending money to buy food, gas, clothes, etc. This molecule is made by what is known as the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria.

Think of mitochondria as tiny energy producing organelles, that live in each and every one of our cells, with their own DNA and protective cell membrane. Some cells that use a lot of energy, like muscle cells, have thousands of mitochondria, where other cells have only hundreds such as the skin.

We need our mitochondria to be working optimally, in order for ours bodies to function properly and to have the energy it needs to work at its best. Mitochondrial dysfunction is often at the root of low energy and fatigue. Even a slight decrease in the production of energy from our mitochondria can produce symptoms like physical weakness, fatigue, and brain fog.

Mitochondria take macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates, proteins) from the food we eat, and convert it into the energy currency, ATP, through what’s known as the Krebs Cycle, and the Electron Transport Chain.

These two processes are complex biochemical reactions that occur in our cells, involving many steps, enzymes and co-factors. Co-factors are like helpers, and they help the enzymes at each step of the way to be able to do their job and continue through the cycle. Without these cofactors, all comes to a halt and adequate energy cannot be made.

Which Helpers are Needed for the Mitochondria to Make Energy?

  • B vitamins, but especially B1, B2 and B3
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Glutathione (the master antioxidant)
  • NAD
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Carnitine

What can impair mitochondrial function?

Medications, Pesticides, Plastics and Toxins:

Certain medications and things like pesticides, plastics, and toxins need to be modified by the liver in order to be eliminated in the body. This process is called “Phase 1” detoxification, involves a family of enzymes called Cytochrome P450 and takes place in the mitochondrial membrane and endoplasmic reticulum. Some of these substances inhibit the family of P450 enzymes, while others promote it.

When there is an imbalance in this system, it uses a lot of energy and can cause excessive oxidation. Oxidation damages mitochondria, affecting their primary responsibility of producing energy for the cells.

Heavy Metal Exposure:

Heavy metals are things like mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium, and arsenic. These specific metals inhibit the Kreb’s cycle in the mitochondria. Recall, Kreb’s cycle is one of the most important biochemical processes the mitochondria uses to help produce energy. In addition to that, heavy metals also increase reactive oxygen species which can further damage the mitochondrial membrane, and subsequently energy production.

Free Radical Damage:

When cells need more energy, the mitochondria step up to the plate, working in overdrive and in turn can become overworked. Think about this in times of stress, your body in a constant fight or flight, requiring excess energy to keep it going. When you’re younger, mitochondria can divide and replicate quickly, in an attempt to increase energy demands. However, over prolonged periods of stress, or as we grow older, the mitochondria can’t keep up. They become burnt out.

They start to break down. They can begin to “leak” electrons across their membranes as they become damaged, leading to the formation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. As mentioned earlier, reactive oxygen species can further damage the mitochondria, ultimately leading mitochondria that are ineffective energy producers. In addition, we know that reactive oxygen species can also wreak havoc elsewhere in the body.


Glutathione scienc eimage

Glutathione IV Drip for Glowing Skin and Radiant Health

Before you get into this article, if at anytime you want to speak to one of our Toronto Naturopathic Doctors about Glutathione for health or a Glutathione IV Drip, we have a free consultation call available. Click here to book one.

Glutathione IV Drip for Glowing Skin and Radiant Health

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a magic potion you could take that would help your skin glow, slow down the aging process, improve your immune health, energy, sleep and more?

You’re probably laughing and saying yea right, something like that is too good to be true.

What if we told you that even better, it is a natural, safe, and an indispensable molecule?

Something like this exists right now in your body, actually it is found in every cell in the body.

Although not a magic potion, this molecule deserves a lot of attention when it comes to health and wellness. Drum roll please… this molecule is called glutathione!

Glutathione is a very small protein called a tripeptide. This means it is composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid (aka glutamate).

You may have heard this molecule being referred to as the master antioxidant in our body, and this is because it boosts the utilization and recycling of other antioxidants including Vitamin C, Vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10.

How Does Glutathione IV Drip Impact Skin And Cosmetic Health?

Excessive exposure to sun, wind, stress, poor nutrition, lack of exercise and hormonal changes can wreak havoc on our skin ranging from increased wrinkles, age spots, to dry skin and acne.

Glutathione has the ability to help cells heal and regenerate internally. Glutathione has been found to decrease melanin production (age spots and pigmentation), decrease the appearance of wrinkles and increase elasticity of your skin.

Glutathione works on the skin pigment production primarily by inhibiting an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is involved in the process of making melanin.

Additional studies have attributed its master antioxidant properties for improving skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles from the inside out.

Targeted Glutathione Supplementation:

Many things can deplete glutathione stores including but not limited to medications, alcohol, stress, poor nutrition, heavy metals, and pollution.

Our bodies have the ability to synthesize glutathione when provided with the right building blocks, and in addition it can recycle it back into its active form.

However, we know for a variety of reasons that many times demand exceeds production.

Glutathione is a picky molecule in terms of how it likes to be absorbed.  When supplemented orally, our digestive enzymes can break it down and it does not always make its way into our circulation.

Glutathione is most readily absorbed either by inhalation in the form of a nebulizer, or by intravenous therapy. A Glutathione IV Drip. 

Our Naturopathic Doctors at Higher Health offer both options, and can discuss Glutathione IV Drip treatments with you as part of your Naturopathic health plan. We have 2 IV drip lounges  as well as private rooms available.

The benefit of a Glutathione IV Drip is that it can be the most efficient way to deliver glutathione, while also providing targeted nutrients to support skin health, energy, and radiance.  Reach out to one of our Toronto Naturopathic Doctors today to discuss which option may be best for you!

You can book a free consultation info call with one of our Naturopathic Doctors by clicking here.

In this section we re going to get a little more technical on what exactly Glutathione is and how its working in your body

There are two main forms of glutathione: the active form which is reduced glutathione (GSH), and the inactive form, which is oxidized glutathione (GSSG). In its reduced form, it is on full patrol circulating the cellular environment to clean up free radicals, once this clean up occurs it becomes its oxidized and inactive form, GSSG.

In order to be recycled back into its active GSH form, an enzyme called glutathione reductase is needed. The issue is that when we are exposed to high toxic and inflammatory loads, meaning glutathione is working overtime to help clean up the damage, this enzyme becomes overwhelmed, and levels of oxidized, inactive GSSG accumulate.

This leaves our cells with insufficient amounts of the active glutathione molecule, and our protection against toxins, infections, and oxidative damage impaired.

What does Glutathione do in the body?

Glutathione has several key roles throughout the body that contribute to your health. Let’s dive into some of these in more depth.

Glutathione helps with Antioxidant protection:

We throw the word antioxidants around a lot, but what does it actually mean? Think of antioxidants like the anti-agers in your body. They work really hard to help protect your body from free radical and oxidative damage.

When our body produces energy, it also releases by-products known as free radicals. Free radicals can also accumulate due to external toxins, inflammation, and infection that our bodies have a hard time neutralizing leading to oxidative damage.

Free radicals are highly reactive forms of oxygen with one less electron. This means that when they come into contact with stable molecules (like healthy cells), they want to steal an electron, which can damage both the healthy cell and its DNA. Antioxidants are really important to fight and counteract the damage caused by free radicals by binding its oxidative compounds and neutralizing them.

Let’s think about this in a different analogy. When apples, pears, or avocados are cut and left open to the air, they oxidize and you see browning of the fruit.

In order to prevent this, we often sprinkle lemon juice or store them in water. We can think about antioxidants in the same way, they prevent browning of our cells and body.

Glutathione IV Drip helps with Detoxification:

Our bodies have a very organized process for waste collection, recycling, and elimination. This detoxification system is mainly controlled by our liver, but glutathione is essential in each phase.

Detoxification Has 3 Main Phases

Phase 1: Toxins such as car exhaust, smoke, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, heavy metals, drugs, and others are partially processed by these special proteins inside our mitochondria called cytochromes.  These fat soluble toxins are transformed into intermediate, slightly water soluble substances. These intermediates can sometimes be more reactive than the original molecules. In an unhealthy liver partially processed toxins can become dangerous free radicals leading to damage throughout the body, depleting glutathione levels which is essential for protection. Phase 1 enzymes also naturally produce free radicals that need to be transformed by antioxidants into a harmless molecule; you can see why adequate levels of antioxidants are so important.

Phase 2: Phase 2 detoxification is where the toxic slightly water soluble intermediates will be neutralized. The reactive intermediates formed in phase 1, will be converted into non-toxic water soluble molecules by various enzymes. Phase II reactions attach the toxins to other water soluble substances to further increase their solubility and prepare for excretion. Glutathione is an essential part of this binding in a process called “conjugation”. Without glutathione, this process cannot work efficiently.  Once conjugation is complete, toxins are ready to be eliminated from the body.

Phase 3: Excretion of toxins by the kidneys and urine, or by the liver in bile, and subsequently eliminated in our bowel movements. Fibre becomes important in this step as it helps to bind biliary and intestinal toxins to excrete in our bowel movements.  Glutathione also appears to play a role in the phase 3 detoxification for its anti-porter activity, which are proteins involved in this phase.

Glutathione IV Drip helps with Mitochondrial support and energy production:

Almost every cell in the body has mitochondria, which is where our energy is produced, and how the mitochondria received the nickname “energy powerhouse of the cell”. Glutathione plays a huge role in protecting our mitochondria from free radical and oxidative damage. If the mitochondria are attacked and damaged by free radicals they slow down and start to make less ATP, our energy molecule. Less ATP = sluggish cells.

In addition to this, when mitochondria become damaged they don’t work as well. They become sloppy and more error prone, which means they create more free radicals in their process of trying to produce energy. You can see how this turns into a vicious cycle of both less energy and more damage.

Stress also plays into this equation. When our bodies are under a state of stress whether that be physical, or mental stress, our energy production and needs are higher. This means we ask our mitochondria to work harder, and as a result they produce more free radicals.

As mentioned several times throughout this article, glutathione is needed to help bind the free radicals, and reduce oxidative stress not only to our mitochondria but also to the rest of the cell.  When we ask our cells and mitochondria to work harder, this means we also are asking glutathione to work more and harder.

This can deplete active glutathione levels, as the enzyme needed to recycle inactive glutathione to active glutathione becomes overwhelmed.  Therefore, maintaining adequate levels of active glutathione is essential to our health, and for energy production.

Symptoms associated with low levels of active glutathione may appear as fatigue, lack of mental focus, and brain fog. Any of these sound familiar?

We also know that low levels of active glutathione are found in many chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease to name a few.

To sum it up, higher levels of glutathione in your body, are associated with healthier cells and mitochondria. Lower levels of glutathione are associated with cellular breakdown, increased risk of illness, and cell death.