by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDN

Every practitioner of alternative medicine will tell a prospective patient  that before health can be rebuilt, the body must be cleansed. 

I liken the state of a body needing detoxification to a city where the sanitation units have gone on strike: as the garbage bags pile up curbside, the entire city slows down and if the situation were to continue to crisis levels, disease and filth would bring illness and epidemics. The crews in our body that do this work, our detoxification systems, are designed to find and eliminate toxins in our body: but when they are severely overworked they too, go on strike, and inefficient channeling of nutrients, overload of toxins, and various disease states, are the inevitable consequence. Detoxification

In contrast, the purified body is like a country road, running free and unobstructed, with fresh air and sustaining views… among my clients, I have seen many instances of persistent poor health overcome by cleansing and supporting these supremely important functions of the body. Detoxification

The chief causes of toxic overload are faulty elimination, and poorly chosen input; in other words, a bad diet and constipation. If food is not digested properly in the intestines then the work of the colon is made even harder: originally, when our diet consisted mainly of raw and unprocessed foods, much of the enzyme power and fiber we need was  provided by the actual food we ate. Detoxification

Now, however, the body can be exhausted just by the demand to manufacture enzymes to digest the denatured, devitalized foods that make up much of our daily diet. Detoxification

When partly digested food lacking in fiber is dumped in the colon it ferments and decays there, causing constipation and inflammation, and toxins are re-absorbed into the bloodstream to recirculate in the body. Detoxification

Add to these problems other sources of toxins such as: Detoxification

  • stress Detoxification
  • antibiotics and other drugs, Detoxification
  • lack of exercise Detoxification
  • pesticides Detoxification
  • cigarette smoke Detoxification
  • smog, lead Detoxification
  • problem substances (to include pharmaceutical drug residues)  in the water Detoxification

and the road to disease is soon paved with a slew of toxins: many of these bind to enzymes at the cellular level and inactivate them, so that the cell no longer functions optimally. Holistic health professionals consider this to be the underlying cause of most diseases. Detoxification

Some of the signs our body sends to tell us that we need to detoxify are:

  • muscle pains (usually my warning signal), Detoxification
  • fatigue, lack of energy and headaches, Detoxification
  • constipation and indigestion. Detoxification

In fact. it was a  recent painful bout with stiffness & inflammation in my neck that led me to ponder anew  the mysteries of the body, and how wise it is to take the time now and then to clean it out and set one’s house in order. Detoxification

Some effects people claim to have experienced from detoxification

  • joint pain relieved Detoxification
  • eyesight improved Detoxification
  • elimination improved Detoxification
  • digestive problems alleviated Detoxification
  • more energy Detoxification
  • better sleep Detoxification
  • clearer skin Detoxification
  • better concentration Detoxification

Interesting research suggests that fasting just one day a month positively affects cardiovascular health, possibly through reduced exposure to glucose.  Researchers theorize that this one day without food gives the organs time to rest and work more efficiently. Detoxification

Many experts are convinced that such chronic conditions as arthritis, sinus, psoriasis, and acne, together with lowered immune function and the more serious conditions that follow that, are all connected to high toxin levels in the body, & they will not proceed with diagnosis and treatment until the patient has been thoroughly detoxified since only then can the underlying cause of the symptoms be determined. 

Read my article on Cellular Health to learn how toxins interfere with RNA DNA expression at the heart of our cells Detoxification

One of the most serious causes of toxicity is mercury overload, from dental fillings.  There is a great deal of literature on this subject, and many websites devoted to the problem (see RESOURCES), so I just mention it here.  It is a difficult problem to address because of the danger of detoxing before the fillings are removed, which can actually withdraw MORE mercury from the fillings and deposit it in cells.  Do not underestimate the power of Homeopathy to address this problem – I have one link in RESOURCES that may help you. Detoxification

No discussion of cleansing would be complete without a mention of parasites. Detoxification

No one wants to consider the possibility that they are infested, but the sad fact remains that parasitic infections are common.  One estimate suggests that as many as 50, 000, 000 American children have this problem.  Some of the possible symptoms are: Detoxification

Bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation, cramps, and maldigestion/malabsorption.Less frequent enteric symptoms include bleeding, irritable bowel, leaky gut, and excess mucus secretion.Extra-intestinal symptoms include allergies, fatigue, nausea, nervous-sensory disorders (ex., brain fog, memory loss, poor coordination), skin rashes and disorders, pain, and muscle problems.

Less frequent extra-intestinal disorders include fever, headache, immune deficiencies, insomnia, and weight changes. Some of these symptoms are probably related to parasite toxic metabolic byproducts particularly in immune compromised patients.

Some parasites  are sufficiently invasive to become blood-borne, and can cause cause serious liver or brain damage.

If you have been abroad, have pets, work with the soil, have been bitten by insects, have ever drunk from a stream, and have any of the above problems, you would be wise to have your stool tested to see what might be there!    The kit below UroKeep Kit to the Parasitology lab, where their diagnostic fee is $100.00 . This includes the testing of fecal, blood, tissues and skin specimens to diagnose and taxonomically identify human and animal-borne parasitic organisms and agents of medical and public health importance. Detoxification


Having addressed the WHY of cleansing our bodies, let’s go into the HOW. Let’s look at the organs of the body most involved in this process, one by one, starting with the liver. I’m sure we are all familiar with the old bon mot “is life worth living? It depends on the liver!”, but perhaps not all of us realize the essential truth contained therein. To a very large extent, the health and well-being of an individual is dependent on the proper functioning of this important detoxifying organ. Detoxification

Without the good offices of your liver, 3 extremely vital functions would fail to be performed:  Detoxification

  •  the blood supply would not be filtered, which is your body’s method of removing bacteria, allergens, and other undesirables from circulation,  Detoxification
  •  bile would not be secreted, which means the absorption of fats and certain vitamins would be inhibited, and  Detoxification
  •  metabolic functions, such as controlling hormone secretion, extracting toxins and fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals, together with the regulation of blood sugars through the thyroid hormones and the production of GTF chromium would not take place efficiently. Detoxification

What causes less than optimal liver function? High on the list are oral contraceptives, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and exposure to many drugs and chemicals. All drugs are foreign to the liver, and put a great strain on it. Next are alcohol use, and faulty diet . Detoxification

Some of the symptoms of a “sluggish liver” are: Detoxification

  • fatigue,
  • general malaise,
  • digestive problems,
  • blood sugar regulation disorders (such as hypoglycemia),
  • high cholesterol,
  • psoriasis,
  • allergies ,
  • chemical sensitivities
  • hormone imbalances
  • constipation. 

Extreme examples of liver problems would be jaundice, hepatitis and cirrhosis. Detoxification

Many experts recommend a 3 day juice fast every month to detoxify the liver using carrot and beet juices, aloe vera in small amounts and distilled water with a little lemon juice. ( Obviously many people would be wise to consult a health expert before doing anything radical.) Detoxification

An extension of this approach is to come gently off the fast on a diet of vegetables, fruits and grains to provide high fiber, while at the same time following a course of nutrients for organ support, such as Choline and Inositol from lecithin, the amino acid Methionine, herbs such as Milk Thistle, Artichoke and Dandelion, and the antioxidant Alpha Lipoic Acid, which has been known to normalize liver enzymes in a matter of days. Detoxification

The art of Ayurveda, Indian medicine in existence for thousands of years, places great emphasis on liver function. Detoxification

Picrorrhiza Kurroa is one of the herbs they recommend to support the liver not only in everyday situations, but in cases where severe viral infections attack: a 1996 study by Vaidya (Better Nutrition June 1999 p. 29) found protection against viral hepatitis, and other studies have demonstrated its helpfulness in protecting against alcohol. Detoxification

Phylanthus has been researched for its effects on hepatitis, and in 1988 Thyagaran et al. (ibid) reported that 22 of 37 cases of Hepatitis B lost their “carrier” status after using the herb for a month. In the placebo control group only 1 person out of 23 had equivalent results. Detoxification

Outstanding results in people suffering from jaundice have been obtained using a herb called Tinospora Cordifolia: In 1993, Rege et al. (ibid) used the herb in malignant obstructive jaundice: half of the group received conventional treatment – drugs and drainage – the other half were treated with drainage plus T. Cordifolia. After conclusion of treatment, 50% of the drug-treated group were found to have blood poisoning while none of the herb treated group developed this problem. After surgery, only 40% of the drug-treated group survived, whereas an amazing 92.4% 0f those treated with the herb lived.

It is important to take into account that a poor diet, which is effectively a daily insult to the health of the liver, can cause it a great deal of damage: regular consumption of food fried in often rancid oil, high intake of alcohol, foods low in protein and high in carbohydrates and fats, frequently with chemical preservatives, colorings and flavorings not only do not support the liver, but actually add to its workload. Detoxification

Overeating is also a common cause of liver malfunction, causing it to overwork and become fatigued, no longer able to efficiently filter toxins out of the bloodstream. I frequently recommend adding a good green food to your regimen when you are detoxing, since these are not only excellent for the detoxification process, but also contain enzymes and compensate for the lack of vegetables in so many people’s diets. Detoxification

Above are two reasons why concentrated green foods, and in particular Chlorella, can be important additions to your supplement regime.  Not only is Chlorella a nutritional powerhouse, but it is a rich source of enzymes, and an effective detoxicant. Chlorella offers rich amounts of chlorophyll, Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF is high in RNA/DNA), proteins, beta carotene, B vitamins and various minerals. The phytonutrients in  Chlorella support healthy cell growth and development and promote detoxification, especially heavy metal excretion. Detoxification

Give this hard-working and essential part of your body a rest and a tune-up, and you will be rewarded with better health, more energy and higher disease resistance. Detoxification

Now let’s look at  some strategies for avoiding problems of digestion and elimination that can often set the stage for ill health. Detoxification

When someone comes to me and says they are doing everything they can think of right, and are still not feeling well, my immediate thought is that for some reason, they are not absorbing their nutrients properly. It stands to reason that if this is the case, it doesn’t matter how optimal your diet:  there’s no fuel getting to the engine! And while we are using the engine as a metaphor, the most common complain of civilization is constipation, and we all know what happens to an engine when the exhaust system is blocked! Detoxification

Proper functioning of the colon begins in the mouth and stomach where the digestive enzymes are secreted: if the food that arrives in your colon has not already undergone the necessary preliminary digestive stages, it will be moved through the colon much more slowly and incompletely, often becoming highly toxic during its stay there, even putrefying and allowing poisons to escape into the blood stream. Needless to say , this is also very damaging to the cells that line the lower intestine. The good news is that those cells are replaced very quickly, so that by first cleansing and giving the area a rest, and then supplying it with some of the nutrients needed to reproduce, the function of the colon can be greatly improved. Detoxification

What follows I suggest not only for those who already have a problem, but for those who would like to AVOID a problem. Detoxification

We all know that the engine that runs well for years is the one that has undergone regular maintenance, and so I recommend a gentle cleansing fast, combined with the use of herbal detoxifiers, followed by a week of supportive digestive enzymes while limiting your diet to mostly raw foods with no animal products. Detoxification

 Repeat this once or twice a year. Detoxification

Instructions for a fast follow, which is really not as terrible as it sounds: many people actually experience increased energy after the first day! Detoxification

Do not overlook the role of the skin in detoxing Detoxification

The skin is actually our largest organ of elimination:  proper sweating is an age old method of cleansing, see my article on the subject here. Detoxification

I recommend two approaches which can be done simply at home.  Detoxification

  1. A Mustard Bath  – essential oil of mustard contains isothiocyanate of allyl, which has the effect of enlarging the blood vessels in the skin,  creating circulation, opening the pores and allowing the body to get rid of poisons. Hippocrates himself was familiar with this usage of Mustard! Detoxification
  2. Foot Pads which incontrovertibly pull toxins our of the body through the soles of the feet.  Wear these while you sleep, and you will be amazed at the gunk you find on them in the morning. You can even send the results off to be analyzed to determine which toxins have been removed. Detoxification

Lastly, we need to take care of the kidneys , which are the hard-working regulators of many functions in the body,  mostly concerned with maintaining balance. Detoxification

Every minute, app. one liter of blood passes through our kidneys, where the Ph, water content, hormonal secretions, blood pressure, and blood sugar content are all modified by their actions. Detoxification

A disturbance in their function can mean problems as different as osteoporosis and uremia (a toxic blood stream), and no one who has ever had one needs me to tell them what a kidney stone is like. Detoxification

 A gentle fast with plenty of liquids gives these important organs a chance to rest, detoxify and get back on track, and some herbs that are beneficial for supporting kidney function are Goldenrod (Solidago), Parsley and Juniper Berries. These all have a cleansing and astringent effect on the kidneys. Detoxification

Consider this article  part of a manual for proper body maintenance! This is, after all, the only body we will be issued, and taking good care of it on a regular basis is repaid a hundred-fold in good health. Detoxification

What can be done? I have written before about the value of periodic fasting, because I believe that fasting and detoxification go together hand in hand. Detoxification

The right time to rejuvenate the digestive and cleansing systems – the kidneys, the liver, the stomach and the colon – is when you have cut back on your intake of food. Detoxification

They will all be glad of an opportunity to cleanse and rest, and nearly always (particularly if this is a process you repeat at regular intervals) benefit considerably from the break, and function at increased efficiency thereafter. Detoxification

A gentle cleansing fast,

Find the recommended supplements here

Related articles you may find interesting:

Quick Links

Best and Closest Organic Food –

Depleted Soil increases cancer risk

Safe Carpeting –

Greener Cleaning –

Safer Paint –

Non-toxic Floors –

The Empty Bowl Project –

Becoming a Vegetarian –

The Complete Cleansing Breath –

Get A Top Drinking Water Filter System Here! –

Reverse Osmosis may be the best and most economical way to remove toxins and pharmaceutical drugs  from your water.

The Toxins within us – a National Geographic Report –

Overview of Mercury filling problems –

3 times FASTER than FASTING itself…The Negative Calorie Diet ™ — Download the most popular weight loss e-book on the web!

The “Smoking Teeth” Video –

Books and pamphlets on the subject of Mercury Toxicity –

Sources of Acrylamide in popular cereals –

Guest article by Dr. Lindsey Duncan

Dr. Dalpe is a Classical Homeopath who consults both on-line and by telephone on mercury toxicity  (and other things).

More information about Parasites –

Sticking it to non-stick – TEFLON and your health –