Detoxification medicine is the hallmark of the hygienist movement. It was founded at the turn of the 20th century by doctors such as Herbert Shelton, Max Gerson, Paul Bragg and Norman Walker to name a few. These doctors believed that modern diseases were the result of toxicity and used natural detoxification strategies such as juicing, fasting, exercise, hydrotherapy and coffee enemas to treat and prevent disease.
Unfortunately, this branch of medicine was severely suppressed by the pharmacological interventions and died out until it resurfaced as a branch of medicine 20 years ago. Today detoxification medicine is becoming mainstream. This is brought on by a growing interest in alternative approaches from a public disenchanted with conventional medicine.
Recipes for home protocols such as “The Master Cleanse” or gallbladder and liver flushes flourish on the internet. Detox formulas and products are in high demand and found in the main chain stores selling the very products responsible for the toxic burden of the body. Detoxification medicine is becoming a modality in the practices of cutting edge MDs and NDs alike.
Why Detoxification Makes Sense
First, we live in a toxic world. There is no doubt that the level of pollution attained on the planet has reached alarming levels threatening our health and the environment. Our air, water and soil contain carcinogenic, neurotoxic and genotoxic chemicals that have been implicated in the etiology of the diseases that kill us: heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease to name a few.
Second, increased environmental exposure overburdens the innate ability of the liver to detoxify. The liver is the master organ responsible to remove ingested, inhaled or absorbed toxins and toxicants from circulation through phase 1 and 2 detoxification pathways. It does so by transforming these chemicals to a water-soluble form that allows them to be excreted in the urine. With excess toxins, the vitamins, minerals and amino acids necessary to conduct the chemical process of liver detoxification become depleted, detoxification is impaired and the body becomes burdened by a chronic toxic overload.
Third, this chronic toxin overload impairs organ and cell function. A weakened immune system allows parasites, pathogenic bacteria and fungal infections to colonize our digestive tract increasing the toxic burden. We start feeling the diffuse symptoms of an overburdened liver such as fatigue, depression, headaches, lack of clarity and skin rashes as the hepatocyte cells of our liver are destroyed.
It is time to act before the toxic burden evolves to a full-blown disease.
10 Strategies to Detox the Body and Liver
1. Stop Toxic Exposure
Avoid coffee, alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical drugs, recreational drugs, processed foods and sodas.
These substances have the effect of stimulating phase 1 liver detoxification but not phase 2. Phase 1 creates more dangerous intermediary metabolites than the original products themselves. If not eliminated via phase 2 detoxification, these intermediates build up in the skin, blood and tissues of our system causing inflammation and disease.
Reduce lung exposure and direct skin absorption by using non toxic building materials, organic household cleaners and personal care products.
2. Keep the Organs of Elimination Open
Use sauna, dry skin brushing and exercise.
The liver is the most important organ which breaks down toxins for elimination. Before stimulating liver detoxification it is important to make sure that the bowels, the kidney, the lungs and the skin are functioning optimally.
The skin is an important organ of elimination. It contains glands that secrete sweat. Sweat eliminates fat-soluble toxins like pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals stored in the subcutaneous fat. The excretory function of the skin can be improved through the use of a FAR Infrared (FIR) Sauna, daily dry skin brushing and avoidance of soap.
The bowels and the kidneys eliminate the water-soluble waste products from digestion. Fat-soluble toxins are more difficult to eliminate and often time are recycled to the liver through the blood, overwhelming the liver and finding their way to subcutaneous fatty tissues and the brain. The excretion function of the bowels and the kidneys can be increased with the consumption of fiber and nutrient rich whole foods, colon hydrotherapy and water. Colon hydrotherapy will stimulate the peristaltic movements, reshape and restore the integrity of the colon and improve its efficiency. Implantation of friendly bacteria following a colonic displaces pathogenic bacteria and fungi for living space in the colon.
The lungs eliminate carbon dioxide and inhaled pollutants. Aerobic exercise such as jogging will increase the excretion capacity of the lungs.
3. Support Proper Digestion
Consume bitter herbs and vegetables. Add digestive enzymes and probiotics.
Bitter herbs and foods are important for digestion and elimination. Bitter herbs stimulate receptors on the tongue that signal the brain to increase the production of digestive enzymes and saliva. Adding dandelion leaves, arugula and mustard leaves to a salad mix at the beginning of a meal will increase appetite and launch an efficient digestive process.
Digestive enzymes are required to break our food down into component molecules that can be readily absorbed through the gut and into our tissues. Stress and old age are associated with lowered digestive enzyme production. Molecules that are too large to be absorbed, sit in the gut and ferment. Fermentation in the gut leads to inflammation and eventually leaky gut syndrome. In leaky gut syndrome, intestinal cells lose their tight junction allowing these larger food particles to escape into the blood. Once in the blood, our immune system recognizes these molecules as foreign invaders and mounts a reaction. Our body becomes constantly inflamed and allergic to many foods. Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome is gas and bloating, cramps, diarrhea, fatigue, food sensitivities and frequent illness.
Probiotics make up the beneficial flora living in our gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). It is estimated that our GI tract contains 8 lbs of bacteria working to digest our food, protect against infection and support a healthy immune system. Antibiotic use, stress and eating processed foods and antibiotic containing foods like farmed fish and the meat from industrially farmed animals are a few ways our healthy colonies are destroyed. Supplementing with probiotics and eating prebiotic foods is part of the second stage of healing the gut, after cleaning up the diet.
4. Support Proper Liver Detoxification Pathways
Use antioxidants and a nutrient rich diet.
An efficient liver detox requires the necessary nutrients to balance out phase 1 and 2 detoxification pathways to avoid recirculation of toxins and ensure that fat-soluble toxins will be transformed into water-soluble compounds for elimination by the kidneys. Antioxidants are also needed to protect from free radical damage by the detoxification intermediates. Dr Baylac recommends the sulfur containing compounds vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower cabbage, onion and garlic. Dr Baylac is fond of fresh artichoke, turmeric, dandelion root and leaves for their liver regenerative function. In more advanced cases of toxicity it is necessary to supplement with Vitamin C and E, B complex, magnesium, selenium, milk thistle, SAM e, glycine, taurine, methionine and NAC. Glutathione is the body’s most powerful antioxidant with the higest concentration found in the liver cells. It is essential for detoxification and is injected intravenously. Milk Thistle contains sylimarin, a flavonoid anti-oxidant, thought to repair liver cells.
5. Promote Bile Flow
Practice coffee enemas.
Coffee enemas and artichoke leaf extract will increase the amount of bile produced by the liver and therefore will increase the dumping of non- soluble fat toxins in the bile. Coffee enemas will also increase the production of glutathione by the liver. Read about liver detoxification with coffee enemas, here.
6. Treat Bacterial and Viral Infections of the Liver and the Digestive Tract
Candida detox, parasite cleanse, probiotics. Avoid white flour, raw fish and meat.
Poor digestion and toxins ingested with our food compromise the equilibrium of our microbiome. Imbalance in our intestinal flora has been implicated in many illnesses from digestive disorders to neurologic disorders. Chronic Hepatitis B or C, Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), H Pylori, candida overgrowth and pathogenic bacteria must be actively treated.
7. Remove Allergenic Foods
Eliminate dairy, wheat, soy and genetically modified foods.
Dairy products, grains, and in particular wheat have deleterious effect on the intestinal mucosa creating inflammation. With gut permeability, undigested particles will spread into the blood generating an autoimmune response. Glyphosate, more commonly known as Roundup, is sprayed on crops to speed up the harvesting process. Residues of glyphosate has been found on processed sugar, corn, soy and wheat. The effects of glyphosate on the system include but are not limited to: autism, Crohn’s, Colitis, infertility, allergies, Parkinson’s disease, MS, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), Alzheimer’s, depression and obesity.
8. Remove Heavy Metals and Chemicals
Remove your silver mercury fillings, avoid large fish, vaccination, filter your tap water and chelate heavy metals.
Almost every single person we test at our center for heavy metals is high in lead and mercury. Lead is stored in the bones where it displaces calcium and it is also is implicated in atherosclerosis. Mercury is mostly stored in the brain where it generates neurologic symptoms. Mild exposure can be treated with NDF, cilantro and chlorella while heavy exposure requires chelation with EDTA and DMSA. Chemical exposure is extremely varied due to the high prevalence of chemicals in our food and water supply. Out of thousands chemicals, we are only mentioning glyphosate found in Roundup herbicides and chlorine and bromide found in our water supply. The hypothyroid epidemic can be traced back to the general use of chlorine as a disinfectant in our public water supply.
9. Provide Your Body with a High Nutrient Diet
Juices, non-GMO organic fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Juices concentrate vitamins and minerals and are highly absorbable. Raw organic fruits and vegetables have the fiber to bind toxins and hormone metabolites for excretion plus the nutrients to support radiant health. Seeds are a source of essential fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory to our system (omega-3 in particular), promote good cell communication and mental health. Nuts contain saturated fats which are necessary in all cell membranes and in making hormones.
10. Give Your Digestive System a Rest
Periodic fasting is a powerful method for giving your digestive system a chance to rest and for the body to focus its energy on doing a proper clean up. A fasting program can be a broth fast during colder months, or a juice fast in the summer. It is generally good to try and fast for at least 7 – 10 days, however any period of fasting (even 24 hours) will do wonders for your health. It is extremely important that prolonged fasting be done correctly. Here we are referring to breaking the fast as not to do damage to your digestive system. Read more about fasting HERE.