Rethinking Elimination

Thoughts about how well your body is eliminating don’t really make it to the top of your list unless you are faced with a sudden change of too much or not enough. It turns out that your elimination should get as much attention as what you are feeding yourself each day. That is because how your body eliminates is actually a very clear barometer of your health.  Imbalances in the organs that clean your body negatively impact your immune system

I talk a lot about elimination in my practice and I admit I am a bit obsessed, but for good reasons! Time and time again I see radical health shifts occur simply by improving the frequency and quality of bowel movements, urination and, in women, menstruation. What is particularly interesting is that when these shifts are made in children, all secondary symptoms just heal.

The restoration of optimal elimination for adults is more complex because the years of built-up waste damages tissues. When change is made however, the shift towards healing is apparent and significant.

Important to note:

  1. Elimination patterns that you have come to believe are “just how you are” can and should be shifted.
  2. Other secondary symptoms such as migraines and asthma cannot be healed until this occurs (see this article on secondary symptoms of poor elimination)

Bowel Movements

Let’s take a look at healthy bowel elimination. Our bowels should clean twice a day and optimally every time you eat a meal. Those of you with a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables may already experience this type of elimination pattern. While there are many individualized reasons why your bowels may not clean efficiently, we can be sure one factor pertains to lymphatic stagnation in this region and another pertains to your diet. Just take a look here at all the lymphatic vessels and organs in this region.

Over 50% of our lymph nodes reside in our abdominal region. The lymph fluid carries away the acidic wastes from digestion.  When the lymph is stagnant, so is bowel activity. Your diet directly influences lymph movement, so eating high-alkaline foods to stimulate the elimination of acids is one of the best things you can do for your well-being.

What about over-active bowels? Simply put, the body is working overtime encouraging your bowels to dump the acidic wastes which are not being processed by your kidneys.


Signs of urinary distress are usually quite obvious. Frequent urging, involuntary urination, painful urination, and night waking to urinate are all symptoms to raise concern. All are signs that the kidneys are overworking. In my practice, I most often see that when these symptoms appear the bowels are not doing their job. When bowel elimination is optimized these symptoms typically resolve themselves.


Women are fortunate in that they have a third method of elimination which engages the lymphatic system and helps the body clean itself. However, painful periods, spotting, no period or irregular periods are all symptoms of weaknesses in other organ systems and should be taken into top consideration when assessing your health. Blocking that flow or reducing it through the use of hormonal birth control methods not only puts increased responsibilities on the bowels and kidneys to eliminate acid wastes, but causes a variety of secondary symptoms due to the toxic build-up.

Answers for You

Simply put, we are living in an environment and leading lifestyles that our bodies were never designed to handle. The natural correction would be to make the necessary modifications so that these align. That means returning to eating, working, and living in a way that support the functions of the body we have. It means eating whole foods as close as possible to their natural state, taking breaks from our chairs and getting exercise outdoors in nature, and turning off the constant stimulation and noise of the world when we can.

The human body has not changed in the last three generations, our lifestyles, however, have changed dramatically. Just one generation ago we did not sit in chairs working in front of a screen 8-10 hours a day. Two generations ago fast and processed foods simply did not exist, families cooked real food together at home. Three generations ago they likely grew their own food in gardens and the gardening process provided exercise, sunshine and time in nature!

Because of the natural processes of our body, functions such as elimination often need support, and that is exactly what Gemmotherapy extracts can offer. The inclusion of meristem cells, the part of the plant with the ability to regenerate tissue, gently restores the organs of elimination. You can read more about Gemmotherapy here.


This post was originally posted on September 23, 2014. Updated on February 16, 2018