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6 Natural Remedies To Cleanse Your Congested Colon
February 10, 2018 03:59 PM
The colon is part of the digestive system whose function is to assimilate the nutrients of food, however, due to poor eating habits, this organ houses a large amount of toxic material that eventually wears it and generates health consequences; In this sense it is very important to consider healthy practices to improve the functioning and restore the health of this vital organ, such as drinking between 10 and 12 glasses of water and if it has a high level of alkalinity, excellent; the consumption of seeds of linanza provides a high content of fiber and omega3, the juice of lemon contributes with its detoxification and the consumption of plums helps its mobility. Finally these simple habits, can improve the health and life of your colon .
"It just so happens that one of the most effective ways to cleanse and detoxify your colon is also one of the easiest: drink more water!"
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/6-natural-remedies-cleanse-congested-colon/
Does Quercetin Help Fight Allergies?
Every year, thousands of individuals suffer from seasonal allergies. Although many people will head to the pharmacy to fill prescriptions to cover the symptoms of this condition, there are those who seek a more natural approach. Natural treatments are available that have been clinically proven to alleviate itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing associated with allergies. One such natural treatment comes in the form of a supplement called quercetin.
Quercetin is a flavonoid with antioxidant properties, and is naturally found in green tea, onions and apples. Aside from being high in antioxidants, quercetin has also been found to have the same effect as over-the counter antihistamines. By controlling the release of histamines, quercetin can alleviate many, if not all, of the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
When an individual encounters an allergen, such as pollen, the body releases histamines in response. These histamines trigger an inflammatory response within the body, causing congested nasal passages, swollen eyelids, etc. An antihistamine keeps these compounds under control, therefore eliminating any uncomfortable symptoms.
Quercetin has been proven to reduce the symptoms and duration of viral illnesses, and to also prevent the release of histamines. Because it can be difficult for the body to assimilate, researchers have advised that allergy sufferers take a vitamin C supplement along with quercetin to ensure the maximum benefits are being received. Vitamin C also contains antihistamine qualities, and is most potent when taken alongside quercetin. The recommended dosage of vitamin C for allergy sufferers is 500 to 1000 milligrams, three times per day. The recommended dosage of quercetin is 500 milligrams per day, for a period of six to eight weeks. It would be most beneficial to begin taking this supplement one to two weeks before allergy season begins, and for six to seven weeks throughout allergy season.
Allergy season doesn't have to mean weeks of watering eyes and stuffy noses. By supplementing with quercetin and vitamin C, you can alleviate your symptoms naturally and enjoy the outdoors without worry.
What Is Marjoram Oil?
February 21, 2014 04:52 PM
What is marjoram
Marjoram oil is extracted from the marjoram plant. The plants’ flowering leaves are distilled (using steam) to obtain the yellow marjoram essential oil. The plant is cultivated primarily for its leaves. Though the name marjoram is derived from French, the plant is indigenous to the Southern regions of present-day Turkey and Cyprus.
Historically, marjoram oil has been used by traditional healers thousands of years back. It is mentioned in old medical texts as an essential oil with healing properties for many illnesses. Up to date, the plant’s oil is renowned for its great medicinal value. The essential oil has a woody and spicy aroma when dilute and pungent-smelling when concentrated. Some of marjoram oil’s health benefits are discussed below.
Benefits of marjoram
Marjoram oil has therapeutic properties. Rich in antioxidants, it is used to calm nerves and relieve headaches when massaged on the temple. The essential oil is also used to soothe and relieve muscles of pain. A body massage with the oil helps ease stiff joints. Inhaling the marjoram oil’s aroma helps clear mucous from the breathing system as well as easing a congested nasal tract. It helps stem severe coughing.
Marjoram oil is best known for improving digestion and easing digestive tract disorders. It is a common essential oil used in aromatherapy as well. Adding a few drops of marjoram oil to bathing water or using it for massage helps relax the mind, bringing calmness. This can be used to pacify people who are stressed because it is a great sedative.
As an antiseptic, marjoram oil can be applied on wounds to help prevent these sores from becoming septic. For ladies who have to endure painful menstruation, this essential oil can be used to relieve menstrual cramps. Studies have also shown that this oil has the ability to lower blood pressure, slightly. Marjoram oil has quite a number of medicinal uses making it a versatile essential oil.
The Health Benefit Of Grapefruit Oil.
February 18, 2014 06:47 AM
Grapefruit oils are known to be very important in improving and maintaining body health. Herbalist and medical doctors have recommended regular use of grapefruit oil because of variety of benefits it has.
Some of the amazing health benefits of grapefruit oil includes
Helps in Losing Weight
Grapefruit oil is rich in enzymes that burns excess fat in the body, they contains low sodium which helps to fight body weight since there is no absorption of excess water in the body.
By eating grapes and taking small exercises that will no strain your body, you are assured of fast weight loss.
Prevents Arthritis and antiseptic properties
Grapefruit oil contains salicylic acid which is effective in breaking down inorganic calcium in the body. Accumulation of inorganic calcium would lead to arthritis as it builds up in cartilage joints. Regular intake of grape fruit oil will also lower arthritis severity.
Additionally, it has antiseptic properties, it helps to clean congested skin.
Helps in Cancer Prevention
Grapefruit oil contains a compound known as lycopene, lycopene is a carotenoid which makes grape fruits have a red color. It eliminates cancer causing radicals and cancerous tumors.
Grapefruit oil is also rich in compound called naringenin which has anti-oxidant properties, naringenin will also repair damaged DNA in prostate cancer cases, by repairing damaged cell, naringenin helps in cancer prevention by preventing production of cancer cells.
Grapefruits will help to prevent mood swings and ant-depression properties. They are also very energizing and with a refreshing property.
It is also very effective in maintaining the color of your hair, maintaining healthy hair follicles and treatment of dandruffs.
Grapefruit essential oil is rich in fiber, which encourages better digestion by creating a laxative effect for more consistent bowel movements. It stimulates secretion of gastric enzymes to help break down of food and maintains digestion.
st johns wort and depression
October 10, 2012 12:10 PM
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort, also scientifically known as hypericum perforatum, or Klamath Weed, is a herb with yellow flowers. It has numerous composition of strong compounds like hypericin and hyperforin thathave shown evidence of antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antioxidant properties.
St John Wort can be used to treat mild session of anxiety depression and mood swings, the hyperforin chemical found in it, elevates the level of the neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin) that relay information in between cell and play a vital role in the nervous system. The herb has the ability to inhibit chemical associated with anxiety and depression and thus induce a sense of wellbeing and help moderate depression, anxiety, mood swings, chronic fatigue and low energy level.
Other benefit of the St John Wort is that it can help treat hangover and alcoholism; it also helps prevent the risk of getting Parkinson disease. It antibiotic and anti-viral properties can help treat congested sinus or a chronic cough its antibacterial and analgesic propertied help to treat wounds and burn.
Reduce Inflammation, Nasal Drip, And Respiratory Infection With Natural Andrographis
August 11, 2011 01:02 PM
Can Andrographis Help Improve Respiratory Health?
Andrographis is an herb noted for its health effects on the respiratory tract. It has been recognized as an effective treatment for the common cold in several countries all over the world, though it is most popular in China and India. Practitioners of natural remedies have ascribed a number of medicinal properties to andrographolide, which is the major phytochemical constituent of this herbaceous plant.
Andrographis paniculata is a plant species that belongs to the family of plants native to the tropical regions of the Old World. It is found in large concentrations in Southern Asia, but it is also cultivated in the Americas. It grows up to 40 inches in height. It prefers shady places that retain a fair amount of moisture, but survives in open spaces, such as hills, farms, roadsides, wastelands, and even coastlines.
Alleviates Nasal Secretions
Rhinitis is a medical term that refers to the irritation of the nasal cavity. Otherwise known as stuffy nose, it often leads to uncontrolled nasal dripping. Excessive release of mucus characteristic of a congested nose or runny nose stems from the irritation caused by infections, or allergens in the case of allergic rhinitis. It is one of the most visible symptoms of hay fever and cold infections.
Andrographis has been utilized as an all natural remedy for excessive nasal secretions for centuries. In particular, it is an essential ingredient in herbal preparations associated with Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Recent studies have shown that it produces a drying effect on the nose of participants suffering from colds after they took extracts of the plants in less than a week’s time.
Inhibits Inflammatory Mediators
Nasal dripping is tied to inflammatory responses in the employ of the immune system. Pathogenic microbes, such as viruses, bacteria, or even allergens, trigger immune responses that make use of endogenous chemicals known as inflammatory mediators. The process of inflammation attempts to contain infection, alerting immune cells. Production of mucus increases in the process.
The bitter taste of andrographis has been attributed to an organic compound called andrographolide, which is a natural diterpenoid now under investigation due to its pharmacological activity in vitro. It has been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory action that even works as an antipyretic. It suppresses mediators of inflammation in the respiratory tract and allays fever tied to flu.
Combats Respiratory Infections
Modern herbalists have dubbed andrographis an immune booster. Indeed laboratory studies have documented that the organic compounds found in this plant prompt immune responses and modulate the disease fighting capacity of immune cells. Due to promising results of preliminary studies, it has often been linked to the amelioration of infections of the upper respiratory tract.
Andrographis is now becoming increasingly popular as an alternative treatment for sinusitis, cough, colds, and even flu. While it has been in use throughout the centuries, its efficacy remains under scrutiny. On the other hand, it is generally considered safe, and no side effects have been noted so far.
Grab some andrographis today and feel the difference!
July 06, 2006 02:18 PM
Restoring optimum liver function is one of the most important and vital actions people can take to improve their health. The liver is the largest organ in the body and carries a greater workload than all other organs. The liver works full time both converting the food that one eats into substances vital for life and neutralizing and destroying toxic matter.
If your customers have tried many ways to improve their health and energy level and nothing has seemed to adequately help, it is very possible that an overworked liver underlies their difficulties.
The natural course of life can cause the liver to get stressed, overworked and exhausted. Toxic chemicals, preservatives, poor diet, cigarettes, alcohol and prescription drugs all cause the liver to deteriorate, drain its energy and make it hard or even impossible for it to perform its functions. This can create a “State of energy” within the body that debilitates and damages other organs, leading to numerous chronic conditions.
As the detoxifying center of the body, the liver has a daily workload of neutralizing toxins such as pesticides, caffeine, alcohol, medications, chemicals, preservatives, auto exhaust and cigarettes. The liver helps remove these materials by breaking them down, enabling us to survive the enormous toxic challenges in today’s environment.
Symptoms of a congested liver
Ultimately, one’s health can only be as good as the health of his liver. A poorly functioning liver will affect all other organs. Weight gain and depression are two menifestations of a congested, overworked liver. Other common symptoms and conditions include being on edge (easily stressed), emotional roller coaster, elevated cholesterol, skin conditions, skin irritation, sleep difficulties, fat indigestion, kidney damage, heart damage, brain damage, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, poor memory, PMS, mental fog, blood sugar disorders, allergies and obesity.
When the liver gets congested and toxic, it will remain that way and get worse until it is detoxified and rejuvenated.
Liver Rejuvenator is a breakthrough product the most powerful liver formula available today. Made from a unique combination of the finest Chinese herbs and the best of Western herbs, Liver Rejuvenator detoxifies as well as rebuilds the liver.
No other formula can renew liver health as effectively, rapidly and gently as Liver Rejuvenator. This product sets a new standard for efficiency and results. The liver has everything to do with a person’s energy level. If your customers want high energy, great stamina and overall good health, tell them to be sure to keep their liver in excellent shape. Not detoxifying the liver is like never changing the oil filter in one’s car!
A healthy liver can mean much more energy, greater mental clarity, better mood, improved health, protection against countless ailments, and finding relief for conditions that may have been plaguing your customers for years.
Here are just some of the benefits Liver Rejuvenator users report: reduced stress, higher energy, mood elevation, feeling calmer and more relaxed, reduced or no headaches, less muscle or joint pain, eye or vision improvement, relief from skin irritation, enhanced mental clarity, less congested (sinus and chest), improved overall health.
HERBS FOR A HEALTHY LIVER
July 14, 2005 03:38 PM
HERBS FOR A HEALTHY LIVER
The liver is extremely important in ridding the body of toxins. It is the key channel of elimination. Good health is impossible without adequate liver function. It is one of the most important organs in the body and often is not considered when it comes to health. The liver cannot function if digestion is poor or the colon is congested. Everything the enters the liver must be detoxified.
Everything we breathe, eat and absorb through the skin is refined in the liver; it becomes overburdened when too much is required. The liver is required to detoxify at a much higher rate than ever before. The exposure to toxins has increased rapidly over the years. The liver works by using enzymes to break down toxic material. The liver then converts the material from a fat soluble form to a water soluble form to be eliminated through the kidneys.
Milk thistle has a complex of compounds known as silymarin. These substances are actually known to protect the liver against some toxins and help increase the function of this important organ. Silybin found in this herb is used as an antidote to the deadly deathcap mushroom which is known to destroy liver cells. It also contains amines (thyramine and histamine) which are known to help stimulate the production and flow of bile. Milk thistle has been proven to be very beneficial on liver function.
Studies done recently indicate that milk thistle is beneficial for severe liver disorders such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, as well as general liver restoration, protection and strengthening. The properties of milk thistle have been confirmed in animal studies to be a protection in liver disorders.
Turmeric has been found to contain liver protective properties similar to the glycyrrhizin found in licorice. This ability may be due to its powerful antioxidant activity. It also has been found to increase enzymes in the liver to pre vent inflammation. Turmeric has also been found to increase bile acid output. Turmeric has the ability to breakdown carcinogens and toxins allowing them to be excreted from the body without doing damage. It seems to protect the liver from toxic damage.
Licorice contains glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid which help stimulate interferon in the body which is essential for protecting the immune system. It also contains liver protective properties preventing damage due to toxic exposure. Glycyrrhizin found in licorice is thought to inhibit cell injury. Glycyrrhizin has been found in studies to be beneficial in treating cases of chronic hepatitis B. It seems to improve liver function as well as reduce liver enzymes that are known to determine liver damage.
Scientific studies have found that schizandra protects the liver against toxins. Problems with the liver and lead to immune disorders because of the build up of toxins. Schizandra has also been found to protect against the effects of alcohol in mice. Other studies have found this herb to have a mild regenerative effect on the liver . It is used in China to treat infectious hepatitis. It helps to protect the liver from damage and encourage liver regeneration after injury or illness.
ESTROGEN-RELATED DISEASES AND SILYMARIN
July 12, 2005 10:25 AM
ESTROGEN-RELATED DISEASES AND SILYMARIN
Like other bioflavonoids such as quercitin and proanthocyanidin, Silymarin helps to control the risk of estrogen - related diseases such as breast tumors. Research suggests that when the liver is functioning properly, bad forms of estrogen can be filtered from the body. If the liver is congested or damaged, these substances continue to circulate and may be responsible for the development of specific diseases such as breast cancer. Keeping the liver healthy is vital for women because they must deal with estrogen / progesterone peaks and valleys. Frequently, the role of the liver is helping the body deal with hormones is not stressed enough by standard medical practitioners.
THE ACTION OF SILYMARIN ON THE LIVER
July 12, 2005 09:56 AM
THE ACTION OF SILYMARIN ON THE LIVER
The liver is responsible for detoxifying the body. Anytime we ingest potentially harmful chemicals, which include drugs or alcohol, liver cells must filter out these compounds. Michael Moore, author of Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West says:
“When the liver is overworked, or unequal to the task our brain gives it, its blood vessels enlarge, the fluids move m o re slowly through it as it tries to increase its working area; it gets enlarged and congested.” He goes on to say that Milk Thistle improves the quality of blood proteins which help move toxins out of the blood.
The chemical components of Silymarin are referred to as true hepato-protective or “liver friendly.” The capability of Milk Thistle to protect the liver and enhance its function is due largely to its ability to inhibit certain factors, which result in liver damage. The most significant of these are leukotrienes or free radicals. What makes the silymarin compounds in Milk Thistle even more impressive is that while they protect, they also stimulate liver protein synthesis.2 This explains why even an injured liver can regenerate tissue more rapidly when Silymarin is present.
Leukotrienes, which harm liver tissue, are compounds which are created when oxygen transfers to a polyunsaturated fatty acid. Silybum compounds can help to inhibit the formation of these molecules. The flavonoid-like compounds which comprise silymarin have two specific actions on the liver:
1. Silymarin binds hepatocyte (liver cell) membranes which protects them from the potential damage of environmental toxins, (such as the death cap mushroom), foreign chemicals, endogenous poisons and free radicals.
2. Silymarin enters the liver cells and promotes their ability to produce certain enzymes which are vital to liver health. This action can speed the healing of liver cells from injury or disease. By enhancing the production of these enzymes, liver cell regeneration is also stimulated.
Hayfever & Allergies - Herbs To Help You Breathe Easier
June 30, 2005 09:36 AM
Hayfever & Allergies By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt Runny nose, watery eyes, itchy skin...oh no, it's that time of year again! Are you one of the 30 million Americans who suffer from hayfever? If so, breath easier and let the herbal world replace your antihistamines and steroids with both preventative and therapeutic remedies.
Allergies and hayfever are abnormal reactions to everyday substances such as pollen, dust, dander, etc. and involve many different organ systems of the body, primarily the respiratory, liver and adrenal glands. Using herbs to strengthen these systems will give your body a preventative edge over allergic reactions, and will further help decrease the severity of uncomfortable symptoms.
Licorice is a wonderful ally to the adrenal glands and is probably the most widely studied adrenal herb. Licorice has anti-inflammatory actions similar to the glucocorticoids (which are produced by healthy adrenals) and are involved with resolving allergic reactions. It also preserves the effects of cortisol, and adrenal hormone involved in clearing allergies.
A second well-known herb used to strengthen the adrenals is Ginseng. Often times, the onset of allergies can be attributed to stress. The adaptogenic properties of Ginseng allow the glands to balance stress and energy while creating an overall resistance to allergic reactions, colds, flus and infections.
A strong liver is also vital to a healthy balanced body, acting as a protective factor against allergies. Dandelion is one of the most nutritive and strengthening herbs to the liver. It helps clear toxins and stimulates the energy of the liver to work towards the resolution of the allergic reaction. Milk Thistle acts as both a protector and regenerator of the liver. This herb helps repair damaged tissue and support the actions necessary for dealing with allergens and their accompanying symptoms.
When confronted with the copious secretions commonly experienced by allergy sufferers, Nettles and Eyebright are two of the best herbs to choose to control the "drip". Both work well for short-term relief, but may be taken before the season begins as a means of prevention. For those people who become congested and need a remedy which allows them to breathe while draining occurs, Ma Huang is a good choice. Due to its stimulating nature, use Ma Huang with caution if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. Additional herbs suitable for allergy relief include Red Clover, Elder Flower and Bayberry.
For a potent synergistic formula, try Allertone. This outstanding product featrues a blend of the well-known Echinacea and Goldenseal, along with Red Clover, Bayberry and Mullein to combat both the discomfort of allergies as well as reduce excess mucous from the nasal and respiratory tract.
Cleanse That Body!
June 14, 2005 11:59 AM
Cleanse That Body! by Lisa James Energy Times, January 6, 2005
When toxins accumulate in your tissues, you can become fuzzy and sluggish. Here's how a New Year's internal cleansing can make you feel fresh and energized.
What's your New Year's resolution? Losing weight? Getting fit? Kicking the [fill-in-the-blank] habit? Whatever the shape of your dreams for 2005, it won't be easy launching a self-improvement program unless you give your body a fresh start. Where to begin? Detoxification-an internal cleansing that can supply the energy you need to succeed in achieving your goals.
No one can avoid toxins in our contaminated world, so many of us suffer from toxic overload, which can lead to fatigue, digestive problems and reduced immune function. " When we get out of balance, we get congested and toxic," says Elson Haas, MD, founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California (www.elsonhaas.com), and author of The New Detox Diet (Celestial Arts), "and our bodies' regular elimination systems cannot keep up with it. We have problems with our skin, our intestines, our sinuses. We also become deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Most people have both congestion and deficiency, and they would benefit greatly from detoxification."
Toxins Within, Toxins Without
Life's fundamental activities-breathing, eating, walking around-generate waste in the form of free radicals, the unstable molecules that can ravage cells and tissues. What's more, Dr. Haas says that just "being under stress, being afraid, being anxious all produce more free radicals in the body" (like when a work deadline hits on the same day your car dies). When you add to your internal toxins all the noxious items coming from the outside, including the dietary ones, the recipe is very unhealthy.
" People are making poor choices in what they're putting in their mouths," says Dr. Haas. "They're taking in too much refined flour and sugar. There's a common problem in our country I call 'obese malnutrition'-people eating too many calories and not getting enough nutrition. People do a lot of junky fats and have a deficiency in the essential fatty acids that help protect cells."
Our bodies are also awash in manmade poisons such as food preservatives and additives, and residues from pesticides and herbicides. "The amount of toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our environment is staggering," says Susan Lark, MD, clinical nutrition expert and author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books). She notes that the average American is exposed to 14 pounds of such assorted chemical junk each year.
The body, however, does do its own housekeeping-and all of our cells detoxify every second of every day. "It's always a balance of garbage in, garbage out," says Dr. Haas, who has 30 years of experience in helping people detoxify. "Some of the toxins we break down into smaller components, some we just dump into the intestines for elimination."
Problems arise when there's more dirt than the internal maid service can sweep away. Dr. Lark notes that toxins wind up being stored in cells, especially fat cells, where they can hang out for years. When they are finally released "during times of low food intake, exercise or stress" complaints can range from tiredness to dizziness (sound familiar?).
That's where detoxification comes in, says Dr. Haas: "I think detoxification is a vital health care tool, particularly in this day and age when people are exposed to too many chemicals."
The process of detoxification starts with cleansing the intestinal system. Alternative health practitioners observe that discombobulated bowels can become overly permeable (a condition called leaky gut syndrome) and allow in all sorts of things that they shouldn't, such as semi-digested food particles, leading to inflammation and complaints that include rashes and joint pain.
Cleansing can be as simple as cutting down on what Dr. Haas calls the SNACCs-Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals-or as thorough as a complete diet-and-supplement program with colonic irrigation (a sort of super-enema, professionally administered; if you're interested, contact the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy at 210-366-2888 or www.i-act.org). The more powerful the program, though, the more likely you are to experience toxicity reactions such as nausea and headaches because of the volume of material being released. As Dr. Haas puts it:
" If you did water and green salads for a week, you'd detoxify more intensely than if you just gave up sugar and white flour." If you're feeling extremely rundown, take a gentle approach at first or consult a nutritionally aware practitioner, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition.
Getting more fiber is essential. Laurel Vukovic, a natural health teacher and author of 14-Day Herbal Cleansing (Prentice Hall), suggests following this daily regimen for two weeks: a teaspoon of psyllium (a fiber supplement); at least seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables, especially fiber-rich ones like apples, cabbage and carrots; and six glasses of water, along with daily exercise. Extra fiber "supports the intestines in eliminating the larger amounts of toxins that are released," says Vukovic, "prevent[ing] their reabsorption into the bloodstream." Some people find premixed cleansing formulas convenient; check your health food store shelves.
Fasting is a more intense detox approach that, according to Dr. Haas, "promotes relaxation and energization of the body, mind and emotions, and supports a greater spiritual awareness." He especially recommends fasting in the spring and autumn, which are times of transition. Some people do water-only fasts, but fresh vegetable juices are probably a better option, particularly if you haven't fasted before. Juices and plenty of fresh water also help cleanse the kidneys, another vital detox route.
Instead of juices you can use a special cleansing formula, such as the Spring Master Cleanser: 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of spring water. Dr. Haas recommends drinking eight to 12 glasses daily (and rinsing your mouth after each glass to protect your teeth from lemon's acids), augmented by water, laxative herb tea, and peppermint or chamomile tea.
Try fasting for a day to see how you feel. Dr. Haas suggests starting out by fasting from early evening through the night, and eating a light breakfast the following day. Subsequent fasts can gradually increase in length-experienced fasters may go up to two weeks without food.
Break your fast properly; for juice or cleansing formula fasts, eat a raw or cooked low-starch vegetable, such as spinach or other greens. "Go slowly, chew well and do not overeat or mix too many foods at any meal," says Dr. Haas.
Don't forget your liver, the organ that transforms noxious chemicals into substances your body can eliminate. The herb milk thistle, used since ancient times as a liver tonic, contains silymarin, which protects the liver from pollutants and helps it renew itself after toxic damage. Dandelion not only promotes the flow of bile from the liver, which helps clean out the junk, but also acts as a diuretic, helping the kidneys do their job. Green-food supplements, such as spirulina and cereal grasses, help neutralize toxins.
To maintain your cleansing gains, eat a healthy diet after detoxing. Focus on fresh organic foods, especially produce, beans and peas, whole grains and seeds (add organic poultry if you eat meat). Organic yogurt provides healthful probiotics, while fresh fish and ground flaxseeds provide omega-3 fats.
Clean Living Pays
The body's largest organ-the skin-provides a valuable contaminant exit path. Sitting in a hot tub or sauna "benefits the internal organs of detoxification," according to Dr. Lark, "by lessening the amount of toxins they must process." When sweatin' out the bad stuff, drink plenty of water and replace the calcium, magnesium and potassium lost through perspiration.
Another way to stimulate skin circulation is dry brushing, which also removes dead skin cells for a healthy glow (and is easier to fit into a daily routine). Using "a moderately soft, natural vegetable-fiber bristle brush" (Dr. Lark's suggestion), work in from the hands and up from the feet with light, short strokes that always move towards the heart. Vukovic says that a hot towel scrub is another option; put three drops of lavender essential oil in a basin of very hot water, dip in a rough terry washcloth and wring out, and then rub the skin briskly, starting with your feet and working your way up.
Once you've detoxified your body, you can start in on your immediate surroundings. Dr. Haas warns against using plastic food storage containers: "When food is heated in plastics some of the plastic material ends up in the food, especially if the food contains acids." Use glass containers instead. He also recommends avoiding aluminum pots and pans, and using stainless steel as an alternative.
Dr. Haas has seen what a good detox program can do: "It's amazing the kind of results people get-looking and feeling younger, more vital and healthy. They say, 'I'm sleeping like a baby,' they have fewer aches and pains. They have more peace in their bodies. I think detoxification is one of the keys to preventive medicine." So cleanse that body and let detoxification bring balance and renewal to your life.
June 10, 2005 04:08 PM
Basic Detox by Harriet Epstein , February 4, 2002
Basic Detox By Harriet Epstein Trying to stay healthy and clean in a dirty world can prove a difficult task. The rise of modern industry and agriculture has meant the widespread accumulation of toxins in our environment that can cause health problems.
As Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin point out in their book The Road to Immunity (Pocket), "Fat soluble chemicals are readily absorbed by the body but are difficult to excrete. To be excreted, they must first be enzymatically converted into water-soluble substances. Some of them can't be converted at all."
Bock and Sabin point out that a 1990 survey by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that looked at people's tissues found that everyone the agency examined had styrene (a chemical used to make plastic) and xylene (a paint and gasoline solvent) stored in their bodyfat.
The toxins that you encounter every day are not only present in air and water, but also may be found in food and medicines. If we eat beef that's been exposed to pesticides, those chemicals may be shunted into our bodyfat. Pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables may end up in a similar place.
To cope with chemicals, the human body has evolved methods for detoxifying. When we breathe out we often release inhaled toxins. Other toxins are purged through urine, feces and sweat.
One of the chief organs responsible for cleansing the body is the liver. This organ utilizes a pair of chemical pathways for breaking down and eliminating toxins. In our hectic, industrialized world, this flow of toxins can overwhelm the liver's ability to detoxify. In addition, the dual processes the liver uses to eliminate noxious substances may become unbalanced, allowing toxins produced by one pathway to build up to dangerous proportions.
Once liver function falters, toxic havoc ensues. Toxins may remain in the body, often stored indefinitely in bodyfat. The body's detoxifying systems may be swamped with toxins.
In protecting the liver and enhancing its detox functions, many naturopathic practitioners recommend the herb milk thistle (silybum marianum). According to Steven Bratman, MD, and David Kroll, PhD, authors of the Natural Health Bible (Prima), milk thistle helps the liver cope with its toxic load. Consequently, milk thistle is frequently used in Europe for liver problems like jaundice.
Bratman and Kroll point out that milk thistle "is one of the few herbs that have no real equivalent in the world of conventional medicine." As Lise Alschuler, ND, medical director at the Bastyr Natural Health Clinic, told Natural Digest, "Milk thistle protects the liver against toxic damage (and) helps prevent damage to the rest of the body."
The compounds in milk thistle that help zap toxins, known as silymarin, protect the liver by binding with substances that would otherwise interact with the liver and slow its function. They also help the liver repair itself and regenerate new liver cells.
As an extra bonus, silymarin acts as an antioxidant, protecting liver cell membranes from oxidative damage.
Dandelion has a place as another traditional treatment for toning the liver and boosting the body's filtration system. The leaves are a cornucopia of antioxidants and nutrients including B vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, plus boron, silicon, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They help detoxify by acting as a mild diuretic: they cause the body to eliminate excess fluid.
But herbalists worldwide have found the compounds in dandelion root most useful for helping alleviate liver and gall bladder malfunction. (If you think you suffer these difficulties, consult your health practitioner.) Two unique and helpful natural substances found in dandelion root are chemicals called germacranolide and eudesmanolide. The root, according to the Natural Health Bible, has traditionally been used to speed up a sluggish or congested liver as well as detoxing the body by eliminating constipation. Research indicates dandelion root may stimulate bile flow (Arzneimittel -forschung 9, 1959: 376-378).
Juniper berries (Juniperus communis), may also be taken with dandelion as a diuretic. This botanical, often used to combat urinary tract problems, is also an anti-inflammatory (Phyto Res 1, 1997: 28-31).
Heavy metals rank as dangerous toxins unleashed by modern industry. As Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, explain in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum can "accumulate within the (body) where they can severely disrupt normal function."
Public health experts estimate at least one in five Americans has been a victim of heavy metal poisoning. Lead may be the most common villain. In your everyday life, you may be ingesting metals from your cookware, from pesticides, cigarette smoke, dental fillings, polluted fish, and chipping house paint.
Signs that you may suffer from toxicity linked to heavy metals: Unusual fatigue, Persistent headaches, Unexplained muscle pains, Anemia, Ringing in the ears or dizziness and Tremors.
Of course, if you think you suffer from heavy metal poisoning, you should see a knowledgeable health practitioner as soon as possible. Murray and Pizzorno recommend an array of precautions to protect yourself against heavy metals in the environment:
Take a daily multivitamin and mineral.
Take extra amounts of vitamin C and B-complex.
Take amino acids that contain sulfur (taurine, cysteine and methionine) and high sulfur foods like onions and garlic (or supplements). (Consult your pharmacist of health practitioner before taking individual amino acids.)
In addition, Leo Galland, MD, in his book The Four Pillars of Healing (Random House) offers these tips for keeping your digestive tract functioning at top capacity:
Take supplements of lactobacil-lus acidophilus and lactobacillus plantarum, friendly bacteria that in-habit the large intestine. These microorganisms can help break down toxins and eliminate them.
Use aspirin and ibuprofen as little as possible. They increase the permeability of the digestive system, allowing allergens and other problematic substances to enter the body.
Do not use antacids. The stomach's acidic environment is designed to kill ingested bacteria and parasites.
To fight digestive problems or heartburn, cut back on saturated fat; eat smaller meals. Chewing on calcium tablets after meals may help. Foods that can exacerbate heartburn include coffee, alcoholic beverages and very spicy foods.
Dr. Galland also recommends not eating for four hours before bed.
Environmental Free Radicals
Detoxing the body may also require taking antioxidant nutrients to fight off what are called free radicals.
Free radicals are caustic molecues thought to be involved in causing many chronic problems such as cancer and heart disease. Free radicals are created within the body and its cells every time a metabolic activity takes place. While the human body has developed its own mechanisms for defending itself against these byproducts of metabolism, exposure to pollution, radiation and other toxins may overburden the body's free radical burden. Scientists believe that taking extra antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E and carotenoids (natural substances found in many vegetarian foods) may help prevent damage by free radicals.
Environmental oxidizing agents include ionizing radiation (from industry, sun, cosmic rays, x-rays) ozone and nitrous oxide (from auto exhaust) heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead) and cigarette smoke, along with other chemical and compounds from food, water and air. Free radicals are believed to play a role in more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer and arteriosclerosis. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993;90:7915-7922).
The good news? Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients can shrink the risk of these health problems.
"Antioxidants can't get rid of heavy metals and solvents," says Dr. Glidden, "but they do cut down on the damage they do while they're there. As toxins wander through your body, they generate metabolic reactions, resulting in free radicals. And anti-oxidants mop them up." The liver is the last line of defense in handling toxins; supplements help it regenerate itself.
The body itself does produce enzymes like Superoxide dismutase (SOD) catalase, and glutathione peroxidase which can defend against and defuse many types of free radicals.
Supplements of these compounds are also available to augment the body's supply.
These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase. Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants. Dr. Crinnion recommends a multivitamin with "a lot of B, especially magnesium."
Since chlorinated pesticides like DDT "rob the body" of B1 and Vitamin A, he says, it's a good idea to supplement these as well.
In addition, acidophilus, a beneficial bacteria that grows in the digestive tract (and found in yogurt) may restore immunity hurt by pollutants. A study on women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis found that acidophilus cut their infections by 300% (Annals Int Med 1992; 116:353-357.)
Another immunity enhancer, colostrum, a natural immune enhancer that promotes cellular repair (Food Res Intl. 1995, 28(1):9-16) can also help the immune system battle pollution.
Vitamin C vs Pollution
A study of vitamin's C's antioxidant properties, conducted by University of Buffalo epidemiologists, and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Epidemiologic Research, revealed that people with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum have lower levels of a marker of oxidative stress.
"It is well known that oxidative stress (cell damage caused by free radicals) plays a role in arteriosclerosis, cancer, pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions," said Holger Schunemann, M.D. a research assistant professor of social and preventive medicine at the University of Buffalo and lead author on the study.
"In this population, vitamin C was negatively associated with oxidative stress, suggesting it may play a role in protecting against these diseases." Vitamin C is the "greatest antioxidant," says Dr. Crinnion. "It has even been shown to clear lead from the blood."
A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E scavenges free radicals protecting cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E, "reverses toxicity of various toxic chemicals," says Dr. Walter Crinnion, "it is also a stabilizer of membranes." A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regarding antioxidant vitamin supplementation and lipid peroxidation in smokers even indicates that an antioxidant-supplemented drink can reduce lipid peroxidation and susceptibility of LDL to oxidation in smokers and may ameliorate the oxidative stress of cigarette smoke.
Dr. Glidden recommends E preferably in the form of mixed tocopherols )If you take blood thinners, check with your health practitioner.)
Unfortunately, completely avoiding toxins in today's world is probably impossible. Civilization and toxic chemicals accompany each other hand in rubber-glove-encased hand. Still, with proper attention to nutrition and supplements to keep our bodies detoxifying, we can probably minimize health difficulties linked to these undesirables.