Body Detoxification Defined
Detoxification is defined in The Rebellious Body as “activities involved in assisting the body in the mobilization and excretion of toxins, with the net effect of reducing the burden to the immune system, thereby allowing greater health.” Body detoxification is simply the process of clearing toxins from the body. [see Toxins]
Symptoms of Toxic Overload
There are many symptoms of toxicity however Dr. Elson Haas states that headaches, fatigue, mucus problems, aches and pains, digestive problems, “allergy” symptoms, and sensitivity to environmental agents such as chemicals, perfumes, and synthetics are the most common. He further states that general bodily detoxification systems are as follows:
Respiratory – lungs, bronchial tubes, throat, sinuses, and nose
Gastrointestinal – liver, gallbladder, colon, and whole GI tract
Urinary – kidneys, bladder and urethra
Skin and dermal – sweat and sebaceous glands and tears
Lymphatic (Immune System) – lymph channels and lymph nodes
Body Detoxification - All or Nothing?
Detoxification isn’t an all or nothing proposition. There are many levels. Simply drinking additional good fresh water will aid in the detoxification process. So will eating more fruits; enjoying bananas and cantaloupe (potassium), and vegetables.
They are cleansing foods. Saunas can aid in the removal of toxins, so can perspiration from exercise, and psyllium husks or ground flaxseeds (elimination). Any extreme detoxification program should be undertaken with the guidance of a health care professional as you can go too far and over-detoxify.
Going to extremes could mean the loss of nutrients and the greater likelihood of discomfort. A basis of oriental philosophy is, “Elimination equals illumination. Reduce excesses, but not excessively.” ArgIsle-izms
[Reference: Elson Haas, M.D. and Janice Wittenberg, R.N.]
The Liver – Central To Detoxifying - Supports Immune Function
“By supporting your liver with nutrients essential to it and by helping it to detoxify itself, you are in fact supporting your immune system.” Dr. Jesse Stoff
“The liver is responsible for breaking down and processing toxins such as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, drugs, alcohol, chemicals found in processed foods, and other chemicals in the environment (basically all potentially harmful substances in the body).
Because of the increasing number of poisons in the environment, such as polluted air, contamination of water supplies, and chemical cleansers, the liver has to work harder and harder to detoxify the poisons. It is the organ most directly strained by pollution and environmental damage.” Janice Wittenberg, R.N., The Rebellious Body
Note: A Caution From Janice Wittenberg, R.N.
“It is important to make sure that the colon is in good shape before stimulating the healing of the liver. If toxins cannot be excreted, the liver may store them, causing harm.”
As Dr. Jesse Stoff says, “if constipation is a problem, get it fixed, now”.
Two Phases of Liver Detoxification
“The liver, our chief detoxifying organ, uses a two-step enzymatic procedure to remove the bulk of toxins from the body, and both of these steps must work perfectly to properly eliminate poisonous compounds.” Dr. Jesse Stoff
He states that Phase I makes fat-soluble toxins more water-soluble and prepares them for elimination by Phase II. Phase II uses enzymes to bind to the changed toxins and inactivate them to be excreted.
A couple of supporters of this activity according to Dr. Stoff are D-glucarate and NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine). Janice Wittenberg states in The Rebellious Body that Milk Thistle can also be important.
Now Is The Time
“ I believe that fasting/cleansing/body detoxification is the missing link in Western nutrition, and if we used this process more in our daily lives and our medical system, we could heal and prevent a great deal of disease. Now is the time for all of us in the world to listen – and to clean and clear our bodies, homes, offices, our relationships, towns, cities, countries and the entire planet, lest we perish from toxicity.” Elson Haas, M.D.