By Barbara Bourke (Nutritionist)
I guess cleansing is part of living if you want to live a healthier and more vibrant existence that is. Yes, you are right nobody loves cleansing – it is much more exciting to eat drink and do all the things which make us enjoy life so much more, but for how long. There comes a time when we have to balance the good with the bad. Elimination, detoxification, cleansing and purification are all words used for the process of removing toxins from our body. We have all heard the saying “You are what you eat”. However, we need to broaden this saying to:
“You are what you eat, you are what you assimilate, you are what you eliminate”
In a perfect world, eating a perfect diet and leading a perfect lifestyle, the need for detoxification and cleansing would probably not arise. Detoxification happens naturally in healthy bodies, but it can only occur when we stop and break the cycle of re-intoxication. Eating healthier foods including lots of fresh vegetables and some fruit, using less toxic products around the house and for personal hygiene, drinking cleaner water without chemicals and exercising in fresh air, will all help. However, we do not live in a perfect world and as hard as we might try to live a healthy life, cleansing our body once in a while is imperative.Our liver metabolizes and breaks down toxins, making them more water soluble for excretion. Toxins are carried by the blood stream and lymphatic system to the organs of elimination – the kidneys, the bowel, the lungs and the skin. What if the liver and the organs of elimination are over-burdened with excess toxins? Our body knows best and in its infinite wisdom will store an excess of toxins where it can do the least harm. Where do we store toxins; mostly in our fat tissue. This is the reason why we sometimes can feel unwell when we lose weight. Fat released from the fat cell carry with them the stored toxins and both are dumped into the blood stream. Toxins stored in our body as well as the release from fat tissue can provoke symptoms like: Headaches Muscle aches and pain Extra mucus production A coated tongue Flu-like symptoms Irritability Insomnia Cravings Nausea Constipation and/or diarrhea Flatulence Loss of energy TirednessToxins are produced within our body through the process of metabolism including chemicals and hormones as well as microorganisms likeviruses, bacteria, and fungus and their by-products. External toxins we receive from our environment, our diet and lifestyle.
What is the correct and healthy way to rid the body of excess waste products? There are certain rules which make detoxing more successful. The first course of action is the bowel. A clean bowel means less stress on the liver. If we do not clean the bowel first and move right on to a liver cleanse then part of the rubbish from our bowel will be reabsorbed back into the blood stream and back again to the liver. Often, after a bowel cleanse, the liver can take care of itself as the burden from re-pollution from the bowel has be lifted.
Best to start a liver cleanse with a flush and then continue for 3 to 5 days with the Psyllium Cleanse. This will rid the whole intestine of excess waste.
The Flush: Take a tablespoon of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) or magnesium chloride in a large glass of water. Drink some more water afterwards. If you are constipated or overweight you may even take 2 tablespoons. When using it for the first time make sure that it quickly comes out at the other end. To make it taste less bitter you may refrigerate the dissolved magnesium salts overnight. In the morning you crush a large clove of garlic or use grated ginger, mix and drink it with a small amount of water, and follow this with the refrigerated drink and some more water. Alternatively, you can take a strong laxative of your choice in the evening so you will have a good bowel movement in the morning. Take a probiotic and/or fresh raw garlic/ginger about ½ before food. If needed you can do this for two nights in a row. If you dislike garlic you may put the crushed or chopped garlic into gelatine capsules.
The Psyllium Cleanse: Psyllium is excellent and most recommended for long-term use. Psyllium is especially effective for removing endotoxins from the intestines and reducing allergic and autoimmune reactions.
Do this Intestinal Sanitation for a minimum of 3 to 5 days but best for two weeks before starting with the systemic therapy to reduce the intestinal load of microbes and toxins, and continue taking psyllium and sodium bicarbonate until you feel well again. The Psyllium Cleanse is recommended to thoroughly clean out the intestines and with it biofilms sticking to the bowel walls.
For 3 to 5 days drink only fresh vegetable juice, predominantly of celery and green leaves. Drink it spaced out and very slowly. Add sufficient pure water to drink about 2 litres of diluted juice daily. Instead of using juice you may puree a handful of fresh leaves at high speed in a blender and drink without straining. If that is not possible you may eat, spaced out, some green or tart apples or some raw salad vegetables.
Every 3 hours, or 5 times daily, take a teaspoon of psyllium with a microbicide and sodium bicarbonate. Dissolve half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in a large glass of water, add the microbicide, and finally a teaspoon of psyllium hulls. Stir and drink immediately, followed by some more water. Add to each glass of the psyllium/sodium bicarbonate drink either one of the following microbicides: Either 4 to 5 drops of Lugols solution or 20 ml of the concentrated borax solution, or chopped garlic or grated ginger, or ½ teaspoon of 3 or 6% hydrogen peroxide or ¼ teaspoon of Olive leaf extract powder. If you encounter strong detox symptoms and if they are too severe then stop for a day and start on a lower dosage again.
After the flush and psylium cleanse it might be advisable to do a systemic cleanse as described in Walter Last’s article the ‘Ultimate Cleanse’ http://www.health-science-spirit.com/ultimatecleanse.html
If you have done some cleansing in the past and have been on some kind of antimicrobial cleanse consider a liver cleanse now. If there are no serious health problems or symptoms it can be done alongside a systemic cleanse as well. However, you might just feel that your liver could do with a bit of a spring clean and support then start now. But be careful and if detox symptoms are too strong then slow down and always start on the lowest dose of your liver cleanse product and increase slowly. Read about the healing crisis another great article by Walter Last. http://www.health-science-spirit.com/healingcrisis.html
The diet during a liver cleanse should be of high nutrients dense fresh foods. Fruit – one or two pieces a day, no sugar and minimise your carbohydrates. (no refined carbohydrates) Fresh raw or steamed vegetables, legumes (soaked and cooked or sprouted), a little lean protein like fish, chicken or a little red meat or some pea or isolated protein powder for a shake. Include all kinds of green vegetables and leafy vegetables and greens like our Gorgeous Greens. Drink plenty of good fresh water, at least 30 ml for each kg of bodyweight is recommended. This will help the kidneys release more toxins to be eliminated with the urine. Reduce stress as much as possible and introduce a light exercise program. Walking is great as it will help with lymphatic flow and detoxification. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep. The liver is most active in rebuilding the body during the night Therefore, try to get enough sleep.
Below is a short explanation why we should look after our liver and give it all the help it needs to perform the important tasks of keeping us healthy.
The liver’s detoxification mechanism includes:
- Filtration of the blood
- Formation of bile Phase
- 1 detoxification reactions Phase
- 2 detoxification reactions
Filtration of the blood: Almost 2 litres of blood passes through the liver every minute. When the liver is functioning properly it can detoxify about 90 % of bacteria and other toxins found in the blood. If the detoxification process is not optimal those toxins and bacteria etc will be allowed back into the general circulation.
Formation of bile: Each day the liver manufactures about 1 litre of bile. Bile released from the gallbladder can absorb toxic substances to be eliminated through the digestive system.
Phase 1 detoxification process: This process occurs in the liver itself. As the “unclean” blood enters the first lobe of the liver an enzyme system called “cytochrome P450 (a combination of about 50 different enzymes) activates and begins a step by step breakdown of toxins. This system either neutralizes, making it water soluble, and so rendering toxins less harmful, or it breaks them down into an intermediate form.
A shortage or slow action of the P450 enzymes causes a buildup of dangerous toxins within the liver, thus lessening the livers detoxification ability. The activity of the cytochrome P450 system can also be influenced by genetics. The more efficient this system works the faster the liver can break down toxins with less harm to the individual. Making the phase 1 system working efficiently is only useful if the phase 2 system is also working well. If this is not the case and the phase 2 system fails to further breakdown those toxins and eliminate them, accumulation in the second lobe of the liver will result.
Phase 2 detoxification process: This process involves what is called the “conjugation process”. Enzymes in the liver attach small chemicals to the toxins. There are essentially six phase 2 detoxification pathways, depending on which toxins need to be neutralized: glutathione conjugation, amino acid conjugation, methylation, sulfation, sulfoxidation, acetylation and glucuronidation. These reactions are protective steps, turning them into less harmful compounds and easier to be excrete through the urine or bile.
A spring clean can be done anytime so don’t wait – start it now – and your whole body, not just your liver will benefit. A healthy strong body is able to resist the many onslaughts of our modern lifestyle much better.