Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxins from the body. Detoxification is one of the key pillars of each of our programs we offer at Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center. To prevent disease or to recover from chronic illness or addiction all require a thorough medical detoxification. Detoxification is a natural process for the body, but our modern lifestyles make this natural detoxification increasingly challenging for the body to accomplish. For this reason taking part in a medical detoxification treatment will go a long way to support your body in “healing itself”, because it will get a rest from the daily toxic load and can direct all its energy to eliminating toxins and cleaning up and rebuilding the organs.

Detoxification from tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals and drugs can entail a more complicated process than general detoxification from common toxins that everyone gets exposed to on a daily basis. Our programs are customized for different levels of toxic exposure and medical history (chemotherapy, heavy metal exposure, long term pharmaceutical use, alcohol, drugs, parasites, candida, etc.).

Why The Body Needs Detoxification

Toxins build up in the tissues as a result of a back up in the elimination process. The organs of elimination (liver, kidneys, bowel, lungs and skin) either have too many toxins to deal with and/or are not working properly at doing their job. An overburdened liver will become sluggish and as a result the process of detoxification from harmful medications, alcohol, foodstuff, air pollutants, chemical cleaners, chemicals and heavy metals in our environment will slow down.

When the liver, kidneys, bowel, lungs and skin become burdened by toxic overload they do not function optimally and toxic material build up in the tissues and accumulates in the blood.

As clean as our diet can be and as conscious as we can be about our environment, we all breathe the same pollutants carried by the wind far away from their source, rivers move toxic material from mountains to oceans. We cannot avoid eating some processed or genetically engineered food, drinking some chlorinated water, sometimes showering/bathing in unfiltered chlorinated water, or absorbing mercury from the fish we are eating.

As time goes by, the organs of elimination become overloaded and toxins build up in the tissues.In our clinical approach at Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat we stop adding to the toxic body burden and allow time for clean up. Our programs are designed to support proper detoxification allowing 10 days or longer providing the necessary break for the body to –

  • eliminate accumulated toxins
  • rejuvenate the tissues and
  • optimize the function of the organs of elimination

The Body’s Toxin Elimination Pathways

There are five organs of elimination:

  1. The liver,
  2. the kidneys,
  3. the bowel,
  4. the lungs, and
  5. the skin.


Water-soluble toxins are eliminated through the kidneys, fat-soluble toxins are eliminated through the bile and the feces, the lungs eliminate carbon dioxide. The kidneys filter the blood and eliminate the end product of protein metabolism in the form of urine. The kidneys regulate the concentration of ions such as sodium, potassium, phosphate and hydrogen. They have the important task of conserving the acid-alkaline balance of the blood. These functions may be disturbed when the kidneys are overloaded and cannot detoxify the blood efficiently.


The liver detoxifies the blood, secretes bile and excretes bilirubin and other waste materials made elsewhere in the body.


The small intestine completes the process of digestion and through absorption provides the body with nutrients, water and electrolytes. The principal functions of the colon are absorption of water and electrolytes from the chyme and storage of fecal matter until it can be expelled.


The lungs provide oxygen to the blood and the tissues and remove carbon dioxide


The skin assists the kidneys in their elimination function. The pores of the skin eliminate waste material in the sweat.

Our programs are designed to intensify and support the elimination of toxins through these pathways by using specific natural detoxification procedures.

What Are Toxins?

Toxins are poisons. A poison is a substance that “when ingested, inhaled or absorbed or developed within the body has a chemical action that may cause damage to structures or disturbance of function, producing symptomatology, illness or death” (Dorland’s Medical dictionary).

There are two types of toxins:

  1. Endotoxins (produced by metabolic processes), and
  2. Exotoxins (coming from the environment)


Endotoxins are toxins that are created by our own system. Endotoxins may be metabolite intermediates formed during phase 1 liver detoxification that has not been eliminated because of a sluggish phase 2. Endotoxins may be bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic waste products. Endotoxins may be the results of food allergies and sensitivities. Stress may be producing toxins.

Some toxins are created due to the body’s natural detoxification systems not working sufficiently: poor digestion, poor elimination, colon sluggishness, colon dysfunction, reduced liver function, poor elimination through the kidneys, poor elimination through the respiratory tract and poor elimination through the skin.

Normal products of metabolism act as toxins and free radicals are produced. All of this adds to increased toxicity.


Exotoxins are toxins that come from the environment.

Exotoxins may come from foreign chemicals absorbed through the lungs, from the food we eat and the water we drink or the medication we are taking. Exotoxins may be toxic metals. Heavy metals are absorbed from cigarette smoke, aluminum pans, mercury fillings, traffic fumes, carpets, furniture and lumber from new houses. (See Toxic Element Chart). The most frequent exposure to exotoxins comes from the house. Because we are unable to feel, see, smell, or taste many household toxins at first contact, it is important to be aware of the most common household toxins and to proactively prevent or reduce our exposure to them.

Numerous animal studies have linked many of the more than 24,000 toxins that exist in our environment to negative health effects on the following systems:

  • Cardiovascular system
  • Nervous system
  • Endocrine system
  • Respiratory system
  • Reproductive system
  • Immune system
  • Many household toxins have also been linked to mental and physical developmental problems in children.

Habitual and Chronic Illness Toxin Factors

Toxins that are used as stimulants or as part of a medical treatment regimen add a unique toxic load to the body. People who use alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, smoke marijuana, use recreational drugs or take pharmaceutical drugs long term have an accumulated toxic load in the body far beyond the average person’s endo- and exotoxin load. The side effects of these toxins create its own problems in the body. It is necessary to devote an extended time to detoxification of the organs and then the body will eventually establish equilibrium again.

Natural Detoxification at Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center

At Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat supervised natural detoxification is used as a medical procedure to –

  • overcome addictions,
  • to regain health and recover from disease and/or conventional medical treatment (chemo,long term prescriptions drug use),
  • or, preventatively to attain a high state of health, high vitality and longevity.

Our programs are extremely comprehensive and combine several components of which the key pillars are: detoxification, nutrition, counseling therapies, exercise therapy, yoga and meditation and stress reduction.

All chronic illness recovery programs, our signature Lifestyle Change Program, include a medical and natural detoxification. Our Addiction Recovery Program, Lifestyle Change for Addiction, includes a supervised medical detoxification. Our preventative Wellness and Longevity Programs have natural detoxification and rebuilding as the main purpose of the program. Furthermore our medically supervised Fasting Programs are prescribed by our physician when a deep detox is appropriate. In our special cancer treatment program, natural detoxification is achieved through Gerson Therapy and cancer detoxification procedures.

Our natural detoxification approach uses procedures that are non-addictive and that support the organs of elimination:

Detoxification Procedures Incorporated Into Our Programs:

Explore the everyday toxins in your home by visiting the Metametrix Toxic Effects Everyday Exposures.

Read more about environmental toxic factors in our cancer detoxification section.