We’ve had millions of years of pure, clean food and water. Changes were made in the last 100 years that are threatening to take that from us. We don’t evolve fast enough for how much our environment is changing. We weren’t designed to live in our current world of man-made chemicals, toxins and pollutants.
For instance, there was a study done that looked at the blood of babies born in American hospitals. They looked for 415 chemicals and found traces of 287 of them in the babies’ blood.1
They couldn’t have gotten there through contact or breathing. They had to get there directly from their mothers and their environment.
Toxins are everywhere – in the air, in the things we handle, in the household and workplace items we use every day … even in our food and water. Things like:
- Clothing fabric
- Paper coatings
- Fossil fuel emissions
- Burning Garbage
There are more than 80,000 chemicals used in the industrialized world. Accumulate enough of these toxins and you might suffer, at the very least, fatigue, headaches, muscle soreness, bloating, depression and, at the worst, chronic disease and cancer.
The government will tell you that there are only a few parts per billion of toxic chemicals in the products we use, and conventional medicine is telling you a few parts per billion are OK for you. It’s low risk. It’s acceptable.
Meanwhile, only a few parts per billion are exactly how much active ingredient is in some medications. Thirty parts per billion of the active ingredient in a popular ED drug can lead to conception, and 30 ppb of the ingredient in Paxil is plenty to take care of your anxiety.
What would 30 ppb of mercury or PCBs do to you? No one could possibly know, because the effects are still happening to us, but look at these diseases and how much they’ve increased:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia in children has increased 84 percent.
- Childhood brain cancers have increased 57 percent.
- Chest development now happens about one year earlier in white girls and nearly two years earlier in black girls than 50 years ago.
- One in 100 children now develop autism, most of them boys.
- The number of hypospadia cases, a birth defect of the urethra in boys, has doubled.
But it’s not just kids and newborns that are full of chemicals. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at around 2,400 people and found 215 toxic compounds in their urine and blood. Almost every single person had measurable amounts of the fire retardant BDE-47.2
Meanwhile, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has revealed that nearly 40 percent of Americans have toxic levels of lead in their bodies.3
Other studies have confirmed harmful levels of pesticides, aluminum, mercury, benzene and vinyl chlorides acquired from everything from second-hand smoke to grain-fed beef to dental amalgams.
This is why regular detoxification is so important in our modern world. It helps your body eliminate toxic waste stored in your tissues. Plus you’ll get:
- More energy
- Stronger immunity
- Faster fat burning
- Fewer allergies
- Fewer aches and pains
- Healthier skin, hair and nails
Natural Ways to Detox
You’ll find plenty of detoxification kits – or “detox in a box” – at pharmacies and health-food stores. But there is little if any scientific evidence that any of these quick fixes work. Instead, you’re better off using natural detoxification methods that are safe and reliable. Here’s what I recommend:
Step 1: Live without Toxins
There are many natural ways to rid yourself of toxins to look and feel your best:
- Limit your exposure to hormones. If you eat grain-fed meat, eat only lean cuts and trim off the fat. If you eat grass-fed beef, it’s okay to eat the fat – it’s good for you.
- Reduce your intake of caffeine, grains, carbohydrates and sugar. They make it harder for your body to fully process estrogen.
- Stretch and massage your limbs. This will release acids and toxins stored in your own tissues so your body can eliminate them.
- Hit the sauna. Perspiring in the heat releases toxins through your skin.
Step 2: Eat Purifying Foods
Did you know there are everyday foods that act as detoxifiers to help your body discard built-up toxins? Foods rich in vitamin C like fruits, berries and fresh vegetables will help do the trick, along with fiber-rich nuts, seeds and grains.
Signs You Need to Detox
- You have unexplained headaches or back pain
- You have joint pain or arthritis
- Your memory is failing
- You’re depressed or lack energy
- You have brittle nails and hair
- You’re suffering from psoriasis
- You have abnormal body odor, a coated tongue or bad breath
- You’ve experienced an unexplained weight gain
- You have frequent allergies
Grapefruit is another food that binds to toxins and helps flush them from your body. It contains a flavonoid called naringenin, a potent antioxidant that decreases your body’s insulin resistance to help prevent diabetes, and reprogram your liver to melt excess fat, instead of storing it.
Why is this important to detoxification? Because toxins tend to collect in the fat around your tissues, like your liver, and eating grapefruit will help you stop this process.
Another food that can help clean out your body is garlic. Garlic increases phagocytosis. This boosts the ability of your white blood cells to fight the effects of toxins in your body.
Eating three cloves of fresh garlic per day will help you detox. If you don’t like the smell of garlic, you can get odorless aged garlic supplements at any health food store.
There’s also chlorella. You can find in most health-food stores, and C. Pyreneidosa is the form with the best metal-absorbing properties.
Most people can tolerate high doses of it with great success. Take 1 gram with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can increase the dose to up to 3 grams 3 to 4 times a day.
Another option is fresh cilantro, one of the best detoxifiers for your central nervous system. It mobilizes so much mercury, it can’t always carry it out of the body fast enough. So use it in combination with chlorella.
Eat organic cilantro, make a pesto or tea, or buy a tincture. Take 2 drops 2 times a day before meals or 30 minutes after taking chlorella. Increase your dose to up to 10 drops three times a day.
Step 3: Cleanse Your Internal Organs
Herbs can help clear toxins from your bloodstream, restore liver function and help flush out your kidneys. Detoxifying your liver a couple of times a year can also lower your cholesterol.
Here’s a list of herbal products that work well:
Milk thistle – I recommend 200 mg in capsule form twice a day. Look for dried extract with a minimum of 80 percent silymarin – the liver-cleaning active ingredient.
Alfalfa – This herb has been known to lower cholesterol by 25 percent in lab animals. It’s a good source of protein, vitamins A, D, E, B-6 and K, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, trace minerals and digestive enzymes.
Dandelion – This root stimulates bile and acts as a diuretic for excess water. Asians use it to treat hepatitis, jaundice, swelling of the liver, and deficient bile secretion. Use 4-10 grams of the dried leaf or 4 to 10 milliliters (1:1) of fluid extract.
Sarsaparilla – This is one of my favorite teas. It tastes great and acts as an effective blood detox. Native Americans have used it as a restorative tonic for centuries. Use 1-4 grams of the dried root, or 8-12 milliliters (2 to 3 teaspoons) (1:1) liquid extract, or 250 milligrams (4:1) of solid extract.
Burdock Root – This ancient remedy is a diuretic and a diaphoretic. It increases urine and perspiration production by exercising and strengthening these natural purging systems.
Step 4: Cleanse Your Colon
For an effective, natural way to flush out your colon, find and take the following herbs in combination:
- Cascara Sagrada bark
- Aloe leaf
- Marshmallow root
- Flax seed
- Rhubarb root
- Slippery Elm bark
Take them all at once, but be careful not to take too much because you could get some gurgling and it could loosen up your stool. They’re pretty powerful when you use them in this combination.
Step 5: Rid Your Tissues of Heavy Metals
These two compounds will remove chemicals and keep your body clean and pure like it’s supposed to be.
DMSA – This is a compound that removes heavy metal toxins (its real name is meso-2, 3-dimercaptosuccinic acid, but forget that tongue twister… it’s known simply as DMSA).
DMSA has receptor sites that the toxins bind to. The toxins reside inside the cells of the body and DMSA cannot enter the cells. Instead glutathione (your body’s natural toxin remover) residing in the cell pushes the metals out of the cell, where they’re picked up by DMSA and excreted.
DMSA should be taken in on-again/off-again cycles – ideally, three days on and 11 days off because your body needs 11 days to regenerate its glutathione levels.
Activated Charcoal – This is a form of carbon that’s been processed into a fine, black powder. It’s odorless, tasteless, safe to consume and very potent.
In fact, you can take a small amount of charcoal and wipe out decades of toxic heavy metals like arsenic, copper, mercury and lead that have been building up in your body.
You can find activated charcoal in any health-food store. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to take. Because it’s a powder, you can take it just like you would your favorite protein drink, mixed into a liquid.
Take 20-30 grams a day of powdered activated charcoal (in divided doses) mixed with water over a period of 1-2 weeks.
Step 6: Detoxify Naturally with Citrus Pectin
Modified citrus pectin is made from the inner peel of citrus fruits and is one of the most powerful detoxifying substances I’ve found in the world. It’s also been proven to work in human clinical studies.
In one U.S.D.A. study, scientists gave modified citrus pectin to people for six days and measured the amount of toxins excreted in their urine before taking it and 24 hours after taking it. Here’s what they found:
- The amount of deadly arsenic excreted increased by 130 percent
- Toxic mercury excreted increased by 150 percent
- Cadmium excreted increased by 230 percent
- Toxic lead excreted increased by 560 percent4
What’s great about modified citrus pectin is that while it eliminates toxic metals and pesticides, it doesn’t deplete your body of zinc, calcium or magnesium. However, consult your physician before taking modified citrus pectin capsules and caplets to make sure they are the kind used in clinical studies and the proper dosage.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1 “Body of Burden – The Pollution in Newborns,” Environmental Working Group, July 14, 2005
2 “Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals,” U.S. CDC 2009
3 Menke A, Muntner P, Batuman V, Silbergeld EK, Guallar E., “Blood lead below 0.48 micromol/L (10 microg/dL) and mortality among US adults,” Circulation Sept. 26, 2006;114(13):1388-94
4 Alternative Therapies, Jul/Aug 2008, Vol. 14m, No. 4
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