Detoxification and Drainage
The poisons in our environment effect our bodies everyday. These poisons, or toxins, permeate the environment so completely that they are often beyond our senses. They are as insidious as the pesticides farmers use on their crops and in their animal feed, the hormones and drugs the ranchers inject into their livestock, the insecticides sprayed on suburban lawns, the chemicals in our household cleaners, the exhaust from our automobiles.
However wonderfully convenient it is to live in a modern and industrial society, there is a cost. That cost is reflected in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. That cost is the toxic waste that invades our bodies and that our bodies must handle everyday.
It is the purpose of this writing to explain what we can do about the ill effects these toxins have on our bodies. By helping our bodies handle these toxins, we can live healthier and happier, as we will be less prone to degenerative diseases and the common aches, pains and organ dysfunctions of aging. Natural supplements will be described that aid in the detoxification and drainage of environmental toxins. Detoxification can be defined as the ability to neutralize poisons that enter the body. Drainage is then the elimination of those neutralized poisons via the bowel, kidneys, skin, or lungs.
Taking A Different Point Of View
"My doctor says that if I eat a good diet, I don't need vitamins."
This would be true in a perfect world. That is a world where our soil is not depleted of minerals, the growth of our fruits and vegetables is not artificially accelerated, we do not have genetically altered foods, we do not need preservatives to increase the shelf life of our food, and a world where our food is not so refined as to hardly have any real nutritional value left. Food should be our medicine as nature planned, but in this extraordinary world, we must take extraordinary means to live as healthfully as possible.
"I'm already taking so many pills; I don't want to take anymore."
The great majority of illnesses can be traced back to a long-term lack of nutritional support especially for the immune system. As the body becomes more and more toxic, the immune system has a bigger and bigger job to do in keeping the body functioning, and a lesser ability to do so. Therefore, as the years go by, patients are typically prescribed more and more pharmaceuticals that do nothing to enhance the immune systems ability, but rather suppress it. Only natural, nutritional support can restore the immune system's function and get the body healthy again. Only then will all those pharmaceuticals that we often rely upon to keep us feeling good become unnecessary.
"This is just another expense I don't need."
On March 11, 2001, USA Today writes, "The nations bill for health care has risen to a record $1.2 trillion, with prescription drugs accounting for nearly 10% of the cost." Much of these costs could be avoided. Often, it just takes a cleaner body, and hence a less taxed immune system that can function more efficiently, to ward off disease. In the long run, supporting the body with nutritional supplementation not only saves money, but it also helps you to be more productive with less sick days needed to take off from work.
What Do These Toxins Really Do To Me?
Are you experiencing bouts of diarrhea alternating with constipation, sometimes diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Do you get stress headaches or headaches for no reason at all? Do your joints ache some days and not others? Are you more tired than you think you should be? Are your sinuses very stuffy every morning and/or do you experience a constant post-nasal drip? Do you have adult-onset allergies? Are you plagued with skin rashes and irritations that come and go? Do you take pain relievers and over-the-counter medications? Have you been diagnosed with a condition you are told is incurable and that you'll just have to learn to live with it?
All of these and more are, to a greater or lesser degree, related to toxic accumulation in the body. Even if the toxic accumulation is not the cause of the problem, it is at least an exacerbating factor (i.e. it worsens the condition). You could continue to mask the symptoms with medication which, of course, would insure a continued rise in the toxic accumulation, or you could choose to detoxify your body and have a much better chance of living healthier. Often people do not even realize how unhealthy they have become over the years until they regain a more youthful health.
How It All Works
Homeostasis is the ability of the body to maintain balance. In so doing, there is a flux and flow of chemical reactions within every cell of every living organism. Cells make up each organ and tissue in the body and are the basic functioning unit of that organ or tissue. The human body has approximately 250,000 billion cells with approximately 35,000 chemical reactions taking place per second within each of these cells. Many of these chemical reactions are involved in the healing and repair.
Toxins disturb the natural flux and flow of homeostasis. The body's immune system must defend against these toxins. The battle waged by the immune system between toxins and homeostasis is expressed as disease. A strong immune system quickly identifies the enemy and works to destroy it, hence causing fast and possibly more severe symptoms that quickly abate. A weakened, worn out, overloaded immune system is slow to respond to the toxic invasion, or does not respond at all, and thereby does not cause much, if any, symptomatology. How many times have you known or heard of someone who was "so healthy" and who "never got sick", but ate very poorly and maybe even smoked cigarettes, that suddenly died of cancer "with no warning" at a relatively young age? What happened? Let's examine the body's normal, physiologically programmed methods of maintaining homeostasis, the key to health.
Six phases of disease have been outlined by Reckeweg in Homotoxicology, Illness and Healing through Anti-homotoxic Therapy. Depending upon the severity and quantity of the toxin, the body will pass more rapidly or slowly through these phases. These phases in order are Excretion, Reaction, Deposition, Impregnation, Degeneration, and Neoplasm. In the first three phases, the cell remains intact and in control and essentially is winning the battle against the toxin. The body's natural ability to heal is not so impaired.
In the last three phases, the toxin has entered the cell causing internal damage and, hence, destruction to the organ or tissue involved. The ability of the body to heal itself is greatly impaired due to terrific interference of the homeostatic chemical reactions within the cell. This is the beginning of organ and tissue deterioration with the end result as cancer. In the first three phases, the outcome is more hopeful. In the last three phases, the outcome is more uncertain.
Here's how it happens. A toxin enters the body. The immune system's first defense is to excrete, or expel, the toxin. This is accomplished through perspiration, saliva, urine, feces, menstruation, ear wax, sinuses and nose, and the eyes. In fact, often when a person has "a cold", they are actually detoxifying and draining out some toxin. That toxin may be a virus or another live organism, or it may be some chemical the person got a dose of without even knowing.
If that toxin gets past this first line of defense either due to the strength of the toxin, the high quantity of the toxin, or the weakness of that immune system, the body's second line of defense is stimulated into action. Now inflammation sets in. This is when the person is diagnosed with some kind of "itis" which simply means "inflammation of." For example, tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, colitis is inflammation of the colon, dermatitis is inflammation of the derma or the skin, etc..
If the immune system still cannot handle the toxin, the body will create storage spaces outside of the cell in which to put the toxin. In this manner, the body does not allow the toxin inside the cell where it could do irreparable damage. These spaces also act as holding tanks so the body can deal with the toxic invasion a little at a time. Examples are cysts, swellings, engorged fat cells, and benign tumors.
Typical diagnoses are colon polyps, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors, lipomas, and obesity to name a few. Up to this point, the body has kept it's organs and tissues safe. Beyond this point is where real trouble occurs. If the toxin is allowed to enter the cell, it may do irreparable damage to the chemical reactions that take place in that cell and that allow the cell to do it's job. It may also do damage to the DNA of the cell, the replicating factor of the cell, which leads to the creation of sick, malfunctioning organs. Examples are liver cirrhosis, heart attacks, impotence, Crohn's Disease (this is a wearing away of the lining if the intestines), Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases, etc..
If these sick cells continue to replicate with no reversal of the situation, the likelihood of these cells turning cancerous is great. Therefore, the end stage of a toxic invasion gone unhandled by the immune system could be cancer.
The use of medical drugs to handle the symptoms of disease up until the toxin invades the cell, only serves to weaken the immune system's ability to handle the toxin and, in effect, pushes the toxin deeper into the organ/tissue. Remember, symptoms are the expression of immune system function . When the symptom goes away with the use of a chemical drug, is the illness cured or has it just gone deeper into the body only to rear it's ugly head some time later? This author believes the later is true.
Consider this: A young child, Janie, has pain in the ear that is keeping her, and the rest of the family, awake at night. Janie also has a low-grade fever of 101 degrees. The parents are careful with their child's health, so they take the child to the pediatrician. The doctor diagnoses an ear infection and prescribes antibiotics.
After about 2 or 3 days Janie is better. Two months later, the same problem occurs, the same diagnosis is made, the same prescription is carried out. Only this time, it takes about one week for Janie to feel better. About three months later, the same thing happens only this time Janie also has a sore throat with swollen tonsils.
Now the parents are distraught that their child keeps getting sick. The pediatrician agrees that stronger medicine is needed. A stronger, full spectrum antibiotic is prescribed with a longer course of care. Approximately two weeks go by before Janie feels better in the ear and throat. But, in the meantime, Janie has started complaining of tummy aches off and on and seems to always have a slight fever of 99.5 degrees.
This goes on for several months before the parents decide that it may be a problem that they'd better get checked it out by the doctor. The doctor says that Janie has allergies and will likely grow out of them, but to help with the pain and fever, it's O.K. to give Janie baby aspirin whenever needed. This seems to have proven true because within about a year, Janie stops complaining of tummy aches and the fevers go away. However, Janie has developed headaches that escalate to migraines at the onset of her periods.
Janie is now a teenager and has had a terrible time with her periods ever since they started. She takes over-the-counter medication to help with the horrible cramps she gets every month that keep her out of school, as well as medication for the migraines she gets every few months that also keep her out of school. She also gets depressed easily and can't concentrate on her studies. Although her I.Q. is quite high, her grades are well below average. Her parents accuse her of not applying herself which severely strains their relationship.
Several years pass with no change in these situations. Janie gets married and has a very difficult time getting pregnant. After two miscarriages, she finally does get pregnant. After a very difficult pregnancy, there are complications during delivery and the obstetrician is forced to do a hysterectomy. But she does have a beautiful baby and Janie is very happy. except Janie can't lose her pregnancy weight, her migraines aren't as bad but her stomach always hurts, she's either constipated or she has diarrhea, she's always bloated, she's tired all the time even when she can sleep through the night, and she has this horrible rash on her hand that just won't go away. Oh, and her baby has ear infections like she did.
Now, consider this: Janie brings her baby to the doctor for ear pain. This doctor understands the normal physiological processes of detoxification and drainage. The doctor explains to Janie that her baby is detoxifying yeast. Since Janie is nursing her baby, the problem is that Janie is drinking commercial cow's milk. The doctor explains that milk is very mucous producing and commercial cow's milk has the added problems of having residual hormones and antibiotics that are given to the cows.
As the hormones stimulate the production of yeast in the body, the antibiotic kills off the good bacteria in the intestines further allowing the yeast overgrowth. Janie's ears are being used by the body to drain out the excessive yeast build-up that her immune system is fighting. The prescription is for Janie to stop drinking commercial cow's milk and eliminate from her diet any foods with commercial cow's milk in it.
The baby is given a powdered probiotic (this is the good bacteria that should be in the intestines) and Janie is told to give her baby pure spring water frequently throughout the day.
In one week, Janie returns to this doctor for a follow-up visit. Janie reports that her baby has started sleeping through the night, is not pulling on her ear and generally seems brighter and happier. She also tells this doctor that consequently, her own problem of abdominal bloating and cramps has subsided a bit she thinks. She asks if stopping the commercial cow's milk could be related and, if so, would the probiotic help her, too.
The doctor says that most likely it would, but since her problems have become chronic conditions, it is a better idea to be thoroughly examined and tested so that her problems can be handled fully and completely. Janie's baby is put on a healthy diet of organic, whole foods (foods that are made without chemicals and that are minimally processed), and very limited dairy and wheat. She does fabulously well and only occasionally needs some natural medicines to support her immune system.
Janie reports often through the years that she is amazed at how healthy her daughter is and that she never seems to get sick like all the other kids at school, and if she does at all, the natural medicines handle the problem within a day or two. Janie's daughter never misses school! As Janie's daughter grows, she learns to eat truly healthy foods, she drinks plenty of water, she exercises and takes vitamins daily.
Her female cycles start at the average age and she has no problems with cramping or headaches like Janie did. She graduates college with honors. She gets pregnant and has 3 children without difficulty. She returns to her normal weight after each birth and is able to maintain it easily.
Throughout her life, she only ever needed natural medicines to help her body whenever she got sick, which was rare. She was never plagued with any "usual" condition like headaches or abdominal bloating like her mother. She lived happily and healthfully and passed her healthy habits on to her children, teaching them the importance of vitamins and the use of natural medicines.
Note: These two situations, Janie and her daughter, are based on real people.
What To Do
To regain vital health, the first thing the body must do is clean up any chemicals or latent pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungus) that are being harbored in, between, or around it's cells and fluids. This is best accomplished if done in the reverse sequence that the body normally detoxifies and drains. The kidneys and lymphatics function as the main drainage systems of the body. The large intestine, or colon, is the body's main solid waste removal organ.
It is important to be sure these are fully functioning before attempting to detoxify the organs, tissues and cells. It is not wise to put more waste into an already overloaded removal system as that waste may just go right back into the organs, tissues and cells.
Life After Detox
Once the body is detoxified, the organs and tissues will begin repairing any damage that had been done. This requires plenty of raw materials in the form of high quality protein, essential fats and whole carbohydrates. A diet of whole, organic foods (no chemicals, hormones, fillers, colorings, etc.) is of extreme importance as to not get the body in the same condition it was prior to it being detoxified.
Every body has it's own biochemical individuality, ie. it's own specific needs for foods that it works best with. For example, some bodies need more protein than others, some need more minerals or even a specific mineral, some need more water. When the body is healthy, you can trust it's cravings.
Give the body what it is asking for. An unhealthy body will crave unhealthy things like chocolate, sugar, white bread, etc.. This is a clue as to whether or not your body is healthy.what is it craving? Healthy bodies ask for vegetables, water, protein, etc. Unhealthy bodies crave foods that supply quick, easy energy. This is because a healthy body can derive energy from whole food sources whereas an unhealthy body cannot.
Realize that no matter how clean a life we live, our planet is still very toxic. This is why it is very important to control the toxic invasion on our bodies whenever we can. There is so much we cannot control. Our bodies are constantly detoxifying and draining. So when you do a detoxification program, what you are really doing is handling the backlog of toxins that are clogging the liver, lymphatics and intestines. Once the backlog is handled, the body repairs and rejuvenates as it continues to detoxify the everyday toxins.
So, the more vigilant one is in keeping toxins out of your life, the better chance you have of living healthfully. Unfortunately, in this day and age, we must take extraordinary means to live an extraordinary life. With heart disease, diabetes and cancer on the rise, what is extraordinary today is what nature intended to be normal.
Look around you. Do you want to be as sick as everyone else? Do you want to have the afflictions that are considered a normal part of aging, and "old" to be 40? If not, then detoxify, eat whole organic foods, drink pure water, keep the air extra clean in your home and workplace, exercise regularly, get a little sunshine everyday, take daily vitamins and minerals, and "don't sweat the small stuff".
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