Detoxification Therapies

This Topic Covers: The importance of detoxing; In-depth overview of your cleansing organs: liver, colon and kidneys; in-depth information on  how to effectively remove toxins with detoxing methods and therapies from premier sources.   

Introduction - © Copyright Holistic Integrative Medicine 

Toxin Exposure from Daily Living - Life in the 21st century has challenged our ability to eliminate toxicity from our bodies. Tap water, prescription drugs, chemicals, environmental pollutants, personal care products, processed food, food additives, electromagnetic radiation (EMR from cell phones, cordless phones, microwaves and computers) and mineral depletion of the soil in which our food is grown are all saboteurs of good health. Our present state of health is the result of many years of exposure and decisions about what we have taken into our body, mind and spirit.


What Is Detoxification - © Copyright  | Stram Center for Integrative Medicine | All Rights Reserved 

Detoxification is a term that is often used for chemical and alcohol dependencies. However, it is also a term, which describes the removal of normal metabolic wastes that accumulate from the body’s normal functions. It also includes the body’s process of removing foreign substances which invade us through living in a polluted world. This includes chemicals and organism that are found in our air, water, food and homes.

Our bodies have a resilient ability to process these environmental substances, but sometimes we need additional support for these processes. It is now appearing that some people have an inhibited ability to maintain these functions. These people are often diagnosed with conditions like chronic fatigue, multiple chemical sensitivities, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, and immune deficiencies such as autoimmune conditions.

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Detoxification refers to the process of eliminating toxins from your body. There are two major types of toxins that your body accumulates over time:

Environmental Toxins: Sometimes called exogenous (made outside your body) toxins, environmental toxins include all the chemicals and pollutants that you're exposed to through air, water, and food.

Common environmental toxins include pesticides, herbicides, prescription and over-the-counter medications, carbon monoxide, triclosan, bisphenol A, phthalates, and volatile organic compounds.

Metabolic Toxins: Sometimes called endogenous (made inside your body) toxins, metabolic toxins are produced by each of your cells as they go about their everyday metabolic processes. Metabolic toxins can also be produced by microorganisms that act on incompletely digested food in your digestive tract.

It's normal for your cells to contain some toxins at all times. After all, your cells need to manufacture energy on an ongoing basis, and the manufacturing process results in waste (toxin) production.

Toxins only present a challenge to your health when they accumulate to a point where they interfere with cellular function - we call this state toxicosis.

The first effect of toxicosis is disruption of cellular function. If a group of cells experience significant toxicosis, specific health challenges develop, examples being thyroiditis, hepatitis, prostatitis, unexplained chronic fatigue, and problems with vision. If toxicosis persists, it's possible for the DNA in your cells to become damaged, which may lead to abnormal cellular growth of the affected cells.

While the majority of chronic health challenges are caused by more than one factor, I hope that it's clear that allowing your body to accumulate toxins over the long haul can result in you developing any one of the chronic diseases that are plaguing people in industrialized countries. To be clear, toxicosis can contribute to coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, respiratory illness, kidney disease, liver dysfunction, autoimmune illness, hormonal imbalances, skin conditions, and most types of cancer.


Why Detox 

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Your Body is Constantly Detoxifying and Cleansing: The good news is that your body is designed to constantly gather up and remove toxins from your cells. Most of the toxins that are stirred up from your cells are broken down in your liver, and then eliminated from your body via your kidneys, colon, skin, lungs, and mucus linings in your nose and ears.

Put another way, every time that you urinate, defecate, exhale, cough, sneeze, and experience an inside-out reaction with your skin, your body eliminates toxins from your system.

If your exposure to toxins rises, your body increases its output through the eliminative channels mentioned above. If your eliminative mechanisms cannot keep up with the number of toxins that are coming in and being generated in your cells, in an effort to preserve your health, your body attempts to store some of the toxins in your fat tissues. Even if you are lean for your body type, your body can store toxins in fat tissues that can be found interspersed between your muscle fibers and surrounding your organs.

The bottom line is this: Your body is committed to eliminating harmful toxins from your system at all times. Toxins can become problematic to your health if you accumulate enough of them to experience cellular dysfunction.

www.naturopath © Copyright The Naturopaths Ltd. All rights reserved.

There are many sources of toxins. Some of these toxins include those produced in the body during normal functions, such as the ammonia produced during the breakdown of protein, and chemicals you use around your home or work environment such as pesticides, household cleaners, food additives, pharmaceutical drugs, industrial pollution, cigarette smoke, and heavy metals like lead that enter the body when we ingest or inhale them through for example hobbies or your occupation.

It is quite naive to think that the body has developed mechanisms sophisticated enough to completely remove all the thousands of toxins we come into contact with during our lifetime. With over 70,000+ chemicals now in existence, and most developed in the past 100 years, the human body simply has not evolved quick enough to detoxify all these chemicals! Apparently, there are only about 200 of these chemicals which we can adequately test for in the human body. Many thousands of chemicals now in existence have NOT been thoroughly tested on humans, particularly pregnant women and children.

…A diet that lacks certain nutrients may also impair our natural ability to detoxify chemicals, which further leads to their build-up in the body. The cumulative load, called the "body burden", is thought to lead to illness and has been linked to hormonal imbalance, impaired immune function, nutritional deficiency, and an inefficient metabolism. Signs are thought to include indigestion, bad breath, fatigue, poor skin, and muscle pain.

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Your immune system protects against many infectious agents. Some, however, can be formidable and others that are fairly harmless in small numbers can breach the immune system’s defenses when present in force.

You are constantly exposed to toxins, which is worse if you live near heavy pollution, pesticide spraying, eat poor quality food, drink unfiltered water, or live in a moldy house. Your body also produces toxic trash metabolites that must be cleared, which is worse if you have digestive problems, sinus problems, are under high stress, are fighting a bug, are recovering from surgery or an accident, do not sleep enough, or physically wear yourself out (including exercise).

A toxin can be anything that not only has no nutritional or other value to the body, but actually causes harm or costs the body valuable energy and resources just to get rid of it or store it in the tissues. There are two different types of toxins that affect the body:

  1. Exogenous toxins are chemicals that are made outside of your body and can harm your cells if they are ingested, inhaled, or absorbed into your bloodstream through some other channel.
While it’s unrealistic to live and work in an environment that’s free of exogenous toxins, you should strive to minimize your exposure to the following most common exogenous toxins:
  • MSG and aspartame - both are especially toxic to your nerve cell
  • Recreational drugs
  • Any over-the-counter or prescription drug that comes with a warning that use of the drug in question may lead to liver damage
  • Most personal care products, especially cosmetics that are applied around the mouth, which are easily swallowed in trace but potentially significant amounts
The exogenous toxins mentioned above may not be as harmful in one shot as other obvious toxins like carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds, but the four groups mentioned above tend to be used regularly by large segments of the population, so they’re definitely worth highlighting.
  1. Endogenous toxins are toxins that are produced inside of your body. Some of these toxins are waste products from normal metabolic activities – carbon dioxide, urea, and lactic acid are examples of endogenous toxins that your body churns out by the second. Unless your health is severely compromised, your body is well equipped to eliminate these endogenous toxins from your system.

An often overlooked source of endogenous toxins is an unhealthy gut. Over time, a diet that’s rich in highly refined foods, poor eating habits (lack of chewing is a big one), and emotional stress can lead to an unhealthy balance of microorganisms in your gastrointestinal tract, a state that’s called intestinal dysbiosis.
Intestinal dysbiosis is accompanied by steady production of endogenous toxins by undesirable yeasts, fungi, bacteria, and in rare cases, even parasites. These toxins include various aldehydes, alcohols, indols, phenols, and skatols, just to name a few.
While some of these endogenous toxins are eliminated as gas, some make their way into your bloodstream by traveling through your intestinal walls, and once they make it into your bloodstream, they can get into your cells.


What Is a Detox Program? © Copyright  The Naturopaths Ltd. All rights reserved.

These programs may use herbs, specialised nutritional supplements such as protein powders and other methods of removing environmental and dietary toxins from the body for optimum health. The program may include the recommendation of sauna therapy, skin brushing and perhaps in some instances colonic therapy. There are many different types of detox diets. Generally, a detox diet is a short-term diet that:

  • Minimises the amount of chemicals ingested by way of understanding where toxins come from in the diet, for example focusing on organic sources of foods.

  • An emphasis on the right foods that provide the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification.

  • A focus on the right proteins.

  • An emphasis on special foods which aid the liver's detoxification pathways.

  • An emphasis on foods which aid in the movement of bowel motions, such as high fiber foods and water that draw out and eliminate toxins by increasing the frequency of bowel movements and urination. - © Copyright  Health and Wellness Institute – Integrative Cancer Treatment

Detoxification isn’t some 3 day or 21 day juice fast; it is a way of life. The body’s capacity to detoxify is unrivaled, but it requires daily nourishment.  If the avenues of detoxification are not nourished and open, the human frame will stagnate, stiffen, and age at rocket speed! It is important to realize that mental, emotional, spiritual and physical detoxification must all be taken into consideration, if radiant health is to be achieved.

So although we have a body with remarkable detoxification and elimination skills, we have in many cases handcuffed its ability to perform. A carefully designed program will assist your liver and other important detoxification systems in the process of efficient clearing.


Symptoms That You Need a Detox ©  Natural Health Research Institute. 

Ramifications of toxic overload - The ramifications of toxic overload can vary from one individual to another.  One possible ramification is multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS).  MCS is a condition in which a person experiences various symptoms in response to being exposed to certain types of chemicals, primarily (but not limited to) those of petroleum and coal-tar derivation.  The possible symptoms are many and may include headaches, fatigue, depression and an overall feeling of malaise and being sick.  MCS seems to develop after consistent, long-term exposure to certain chemicals at home or in the workplace.  Eventually, the person develops intolerance to these chemicals, and starts suffering from MCS.  For many MCS people, a sensitivity reaction will occur when exposed to even minute amounts of the offending chemicals which, in turn, can lead to severe symptoms characteristic of the MCS condition. (3)

Of course an individual may suffer from toxic overload without having full-blown MCS.  In fact, the most common symptom of toxic overload is probably fatigue. Other common symptoms include headache, muscle and joint pain, irritability, depression, mental confusion, gastrointestinal and/or cardiovascular irregularities, flu-like symptoms or allergic reactions including hives, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and coughing. (4) (5)

Furthermore, some researchers have suggested that toxic overload may contribute to autoimmune diseases including inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis (6) (7), and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. (8)

Source - ©  Harpo, Inc., All Rights Reserved

How do you know if you are toxic and need to properly cleanse? Usually a constellation of complaints helps you determine whether or not you are toxic and to what extent you need to cleanse. Some examples of what might infer a toxic system are:

  • Constipation

  • Persistent headaches, muscle aches and muscle fatigue

  • Eating a lot of swordfish, tuna, shark etc.

  • Several mercury fillings and dental amalgams

  • Food allergies

  • Stubborn weight loss

  • Hormonal imbalances and consistent use of hormone replacement treatments such as birth control or creams like progesterone.

  • Consistent use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen

  • Skin abnormalities such as acne, rosacea or eczema

  • A lifetime of consuming the SAD Diet (Standard American Diet)


Benefits of a Detox Program © Copyright The Naturopaths Ltd. All rights reserved.
People often report improved energy, clearer skin, regular bowel movements, improved digestion, and increased concentration and clarity after a detox diet. The benefits are numerous and include reducing the chances of prematurely developing chronic illness.


Detox Cautions © Copyright  The Naturopaths Ltd. All rights reserved.

Who Shouldn't Try a Detox Diet? Anyone considering a detox diet should consult a qualified health professional and/or their medical doctor first. Pregnant or nursing women or children shouldn't go on a detox diet. People with anemia, eating disorder, diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, terminal illness, certain genetic diseases, and other chronic conditions shouldn't try this diet or should do so only under the supervision of their primary care provider. It is not intended for alcohol or drug detoxification.


Side Effects of a Detox Program

Reference -

"Written by Jon Barron at The Baseline of Health Foundation." On occasion when detoxing, particularly during your first few detoxes, you may experience some symptoms, often referred to as a healing crisis (Herxheimer's reaction). It is characterized by a temporary increase in symptoms during the cleansing or detoxification process. Reactions, when they occur, are almost always mild, but on rare occasions can be severe.

There are three primary triggers for a detox reaction:

  • Any large-scale die-off of bacteria can release a significant amount of toxins present within the actual bacteria. The stronger those toxins are and the more bacteria present to release them, the stronger the cleansing reaction. Colon cleansing, the use of probiotics, digestive enzymes, immune enhancers, and pathogen destroyers can all trigger bacterial die-off.

  • Any detox that causes the organs of the body (particularly the liver, which is a storehouse of drug and poison residues) to purge their stored poisons and toxins, can trigger a cleansing reaction, as can the use of an herbal blood cleanser.

  • Any program, such as fasting or the use of weight-loss herbs, that causes a rapid breakdown of fat cells (which are a storehouse for toxins) can be accompanied by a detox reaction.

The bottom line is that the body must go through an elimination process to achieve good health. There will be ups and downs. Symptoms, if they appear, are usually mild, but in some cases can be severe. Understand, the symptoms you experience are indicative of the cleansing, purifying process that is underway. Go as slowly as your body needs to so that your elimination is gradual and comfortable. Also, keep in mind that this is not an endurance contest. If symptoms become too severe, stop the detox and regroup. You can always restart the detox again at a later date.

Easing Your Way through the Healing Crisis

  • Drink plenty of fresh water, juices, and herbal teas to flush the body of toxins.

  • Use a colon stimulation formula to make sure that you are eliminating waste promptly. Symptoms frequently disappear immediately after a good bowel movement.

  • Use psyllium seed husks, ground flaxseed, or oat bran daily to absorb toxins and to help speed their transit through the system.

  • On occasion, a good enema or colon irrigation can provide relief.

  • Sometimes, rest is the best therapy.

  • And, on rare occasions, a reduction of the dosage or temporary cessation may be required.


Good Detox Tips Copyright ©  - Dr. Frank Lipman

To be completely effective, a detox program has to address both internal and external toxins. We obviously need to deal with the toxins we eat, drink, breath and put on our bodies. But, it’s just as important to address the internal toxicity created by the body as it performs it’s normal everyday functions. These biochemical, cellular, and bodily activities generate substances that need to be neutralized and or eliminated, as do the external toxins. 

A comprehensive detox program must supply the appropriate nutrients to do this – and should include nutrients specifically to support the 2 most important detoxification organ systems, the liver and gastro-intestinal tract.

Although there are additional ways to boost a detox, these should be the key components of any detox. 

Decrease the Number of Toxins Going In: Limit external toxins by decreasing or removing the amount of irritants that we put into our bodies. This means eliminating the foods that often cause sensitivities or reactions, like gluten and dairy, irritants to the gut like alcohol and caffeine and sugar and all processed foods that also trigger inflammation. For a complete list of what you can and cannot eat while detoxing please check out my CLEANSE DIET.

Assist the Body’s Capacity to Neutralize and Eliminate the Toxins 

1) Support Gastro-Intestinal Function

  • Give the digestive system a rest by decreasing the amount of food and supplying key nutrients via juices and or powders.

  • Help balance and maintain healthy flora by removing abnormal bugs in the gut. These abnormal bacteria, yeast and parasites can release toxins and overload the liver’s capacity to deal with the flood of toxins.

  • Aid digestion with digestive enzymes which assist the body to break down food properly ensuring fewer negative effects from undigested foods.

  • Add fiber to “sweep” the intestines. Fiber promotes the elimination of toxins and also binds to toxins, which helps to prevent their absorption. Dietary fiber is also metabolized by gut bacteria into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which feed the cells lining the intestines and thereby support cellular integrity, therefore decreasing inflammation.

2) Support Liver Function

Assist liver function, as it is the main organ involved in transforming toxins into metabolites that are easier to excrete. Nutritionally supporting the liver boosts it’s function during detox preventing the accumulation of toxic products in the tissues.

A comprehensive detox program must include the targeted nutrition you need to boost your body’s own detox system. Supplying the right mix of nutrients to balance the body and optimize function is essential for an effective detox. To see what this looks like in practice, please check out my CLEANSE program which is specifically designed to do all of the above, safely and gently. © Copyright  The Naturopaths Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Have ample amount of fiber foods along with brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables which have been lightly steamed, stir fried or raw. Some of the best detox foods include beetroot (not from tin cans - fresh please), cabbage, radishes, artichokes, broccoli, chlorella, spirulina and seaweed serve as best detoxifying foods. See further on our handout - the 21-Day Detox. — and remember, the best diet is a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein.

  2. Practice hydrotherapy regularly by having a hot shower followed by tepid and cool. While having a shower, allow the water to flow across your head, neck and back for about 4-5 minutes. Follow the same with cooler water for fifteen to twenty minutes, if you can gradually reduce the water until it is cold. Do this two to three times a week and then rest on a bed for half-an-hour.

  3. You can also protect your liver by having herbs such as burdock, dandelion root and milk thistle and by drinking green tea. Try Liver Support.

  4. Keep that bowel working. Is it sluggish? Then you may want to take some good quality Constipation Relief.

  5. Alkalise your body with Green Barley Powder. This is particularly good if you were consuming lots of meat, or coffee, tea, flour products, sweets and alcohol. Green Barley Powder is an excellent alkalising drink and can assist with detox. Take one drink daily.

  6. Take more Vitamin C, as it is a premium antioxidant and helps your body produce glutathione, which drives toxins away from your body.

  7. Breathe deeply, so that oxygen flows all through your body.

  8. Drink at least two to six glasses of water every day.

  9. Reduce stress by emphasizing more on positive emotions.

  10. Take a steam bath in a sauna to eliminate toxins and waste materials through perspiration.

  11. Dry-brush your skin or buy a detox foot spa. You can also buy special brushes (loofah or a natural sea sponge) available at all natural product stores to eliminate toxins from your body.

  12. One of the most effective ways to detoxify your body is to exercise. Skipping rope and yoga are two of the best ways to get rid of wastes from your body. You just have to spend a half an hour daily to do these exercises and witness remarkable outcomes within a month's period. In addition, these workouts give many health benefits such as delayed ageing, energy and remarkable zest. Copyright ©  Demand Media, Inc.

The five-day detox diet plan is a short-term program that jump-starts an internal and external cleansing process, removing toxins from the body to promote optimal cell function.

Step 1 - Eliminate processed foods, dairy, red meats from your diet and plan a menu for five days that consists of fruits and vegetables. Use organic fruits and vegetables, if possible, buying locally grown organics over store-bought produce, for wholesome nutrition. Restock your kitchen with health foods, using recipes made with legumes, grains, seeds, sprouts and whole grains.

Step 2 - Use a juicer to extract all the vitamins and minerals from organic fruits and vegetables. The peel of most fruits contain vitamin P, a bioflavoin, which helps vitamins go to work harder. For convenience, store extra juice in the refrigerator, for up to three days, and consider using the recipes offered in the juicer's operating manual.

Step 3 - Fill several pitchers of fresh, filtered water and store in the refrigerator for quick access. Eliminate coffee, caffeine, sugary soft drinks and alcohol. Drink only the juice of fruits and vegetables or water during the five-day detox diet.

Step 4 - Drink a cup of warm lemon water one hour before breakfast. Drink lemon water throughout the day, squeezing a quarter lemon into a glass of filtered water. Sip throughout the day.

Step 5 - Dry brush your skin daily in the morning. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells and encourages blood supply to the skin, aiding in the elimination of toxins and promoting cell renewal. Always brush towards the heart, such as from the ankles to the thighs, and wrists to the shoulders.

Step 6 - Take a daily eucalyptus detox bath, using hot, filtered water, as hot as you can tolerate. Add 1 cup of Epsom salt, 2 tsp. of glycerin, 15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, and 2 cups baking soda to hot bathwater. Soak for 10 to 20 minutes. Use a shower filter to remove chlorine and other additives from the water.

Step 7 - Participate in mild to moderate exercise during the five days on the diet, committing to at least 30 minutes of cardio each day, such as walking, jogging, swimming or taking an indoor cycling class. Mix it up, but always remember to warm up for 10 minutes and cool down for at least five minutes to prevent injury and soreness the next day.

Step 8 - Take a detox supplement each night before bedtime with a full glass of water. Look for detox supplements containing herbs such as burdock, horsetail, echinacea, ginger, licorice, milk thistle, cranberry, dandelion, slippery elm, cayenne, chickweed, chlorella, golden seal or turmeric. Other herbs may aid in the five-day detox diet, so talk to an associate at a health food store or consult a naturopathic doctor for more information or consultation.


Avenues of Body Detoxificatio

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Preventing and Removing Toxins: The body’s first line of defense is to prevent toxins from entering the body. The skin serves as a protective barrier. Bacteria cannot penetrate intact skin, and the salt concentration in sweat creates a hostile environment for most bacteria. The parts of our mouth, lungs, digestive tract and other orifices such as eyes, nose, and ears that come in contact with the environment are protected by saliva, mucus, tears or minute hairs. Stomach acidity and friendly bacteria provide additional protection from things we ingest.

These passive defenses are very effective at prevention. More active responses to rid the body of unwelcome guests include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, vomiting and diarrhea, which help the body quickly expel unwanted substances. Elevated temperature helps kill invading microorganisms, and the digestive tract excels at differentiating between what to keep and what to expel as waste.

In general there are four primary toxin removal systems that must all be working in harmony with each other. These involve:

  • The disposal of cellular waste products, especially lactic acid.

  • The removal of larger waste products through your lymph (smaller waste products go into your veins and are exhaled or sent directly to your liver).

  • The processing of toxins by your liver, most of which then go into bile and then into your digestive tract for final clearance (some are made water-soluble and go to your kidneys to be excreted in urine).

  • The final clearance of waste products by your digestive tract.

Your gut: we all know that we get rid of most of our waste through our bowels. If your digestive system is not working properly, it can’t get rid of unwanted waste and toxins properly. Our body empties many toxins into our excrement, but if it is sitting in the bowel too long (i.e. you are constipated) — it can get reabsorbed and go through our detox systems again — increasing their workload and making them less effective.

For advice on nursing your gut back to health have a read of the right foods to eat. In addition, an overgrowth of the wrong types of bacteria or fungus in your gut will result in their harmful toxins entering your body, increasing your toxic load. If you are suffering from digestive problems it is not only your nutrient status and your comfort that it can be harming — poor gut health also impacts on your body’s ability to detox. So this must be a first step in any programme that aims to clean up the body.

Your liver: This is where the really clever stuff happens, your blood enters the liver full of toxins and bacteria and leaves clean — that is if it is working properly. The unwanted pollutants are neutralised in the liver to make them less harmful to the body using a series of complicated chemical processes. Some of the chemicals are recycled and the rest are dumped into your excrement in a substance called bile. Your liver is also responsible for many other functions including digesting fats, storing vitamins and energy supplies plus more! Many of the recommendations below promote the function of the liver by supplying it with nutrients that it uses to ensure that the chemical processes we describe are working and that the production of bile is maximised — speeding up our cleansing process.

When your cells are working well and making energy properly they are fairly clean burning engines, making less trash. As cell function declines they start to pour a lot of black smoke out their exhaust, in the form of lactic acid and other inflammatory by-products. This changes the pH in the fluid around cells, stressing circulation to and from cells. Since you have 100 trillion cells, solving this problem or preventing it is a good idea. One key principle of detoxification is to make less cellular trash in the first place. Integrative Wellness Center All Rights Reserved

The Liver: Your Best Ally against Toxins - Most detoxification processes happen in the liver, intestines, and kidneys... the detoxifying organs require specific nutrients to do their jobs. The most active detoxification organ, the liver, is the largest solid organ in the body. If it is given the right raw materials, it does an amazing job of filtering toxins out of the blood, altering them to make them less toxic, and, eventually, sending them out of the body as waste.

The subtle but important differences between one person's body and another's-in other words, biochemical individuality-really show up when it comes to liver function. While one person's liver might be able to meet the detoxification demands of a highly polluted environment and a junk-food diet, another person's may be overwhelmed by ordinary everyday exposure to seemingly normal chemicals such as cleaning products. While one person may take a given medication and do just fine, another person may suffer intense side effects from the same drug. These differences can be traced back to the detoxification ability of each person's liver.

Whether you find yourself at one end or the other of the detox spectrum, or somewhere in the middle, you can improve your liver's ability to detoxify by ensuring that it has all of the nutrients it needs to do its job. 


What Does The Liver Do

Functions of the liver: The liver can lose three-quarters of its cells before it stops functioning.  In addition, the liver is the only organ in the body that can regenerate itself.

The liver regulates most chemical levels in the blood and excretes a product called bile, which helps carry away waste products from the liver. All the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver processes this blood and breaks down the nutrients and drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body. More than 500 vital functions have been identified with the liver. Some of the more well-known functions include the following:

  • Production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion.

  • Production of certain proteins for blood plasma.

  • Production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body.

  • Conversion of excess glucose into glycogen for storage (glycogen can later be converted back to glucose energy).

  • Regulation of blood levels of amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins.

  • Processing of hemoglobin for use of its iron content (the liver stores iron).

  • Conversion of poisonous ammonia to urea (urea is an end product of protein metabolism and is excreted in the urine).

  • Clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances.

  • Regulating blood clotting.

  • Resisting infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream.

When the liver has broken down harmful substances, its by-products are excreted into the bile or blood. Bile by-products enter the intestine and ultimately leave the body in the form of feces. Blood by-products are filtered out by the kidneys, and leave the body in the form of urine.  


Symptoms of Liver Dysfunction 

Reference - - Dr. Sandra Cabot, author of The Liver Cleansing Diet 

All of the following symptoms are common manifestations of a dysfunctional liver. However, they can also be due to other causes, of a more sinister nature, so in all cases of persistent symptoms it is vital to see your doctor.

Abnormal Metabolism of Fats

  • Abnormalities in the level of fats in the blood stream.  For example; elevated LDL cholesterol and reduced HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides.

  • Arteries blocked with fat, leading to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

  • Build up of fat in other body organs (fatty degeneration of organs).

  • Lumps of fat in the skin (lipomas and other fatty tumors).

  • Excessive weight gain, which may lead to obesity.

  • Inability to lose weight even while dieting.

  • Sluggish metabolism.

  • Protuberant abdomen (pot belly).

  • Cellulite.

  • Fatty liver.

  • Roll of fat around the upper abdomen – (liver roll).

Digestive Problems

  • Indigestion.

  • Reflux.

  • Haemorrhoids.

  • Gall stones and gall bladder disease.

  • Intolerance to fatty foods.

  • Intolerance to alcohol.

  • Nausea and vomiting attacks.

  • Abdominal bloating.

  • Constipation.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome.

  • Pain over the liver – (upper right corner of abdomen & lower right rib cage).

Blood Sugar Problems

  • Craving for sugar.

  • Hypoglycaemia and unstable blood sugar levels.

  • Mature onset diabetes (Type 2) is common in those with a fatty liver.

  • Nervous System

  • Depression.

  • Mood changes such as anger and irritability.

  • Metaphysically the liver is known as the “seat of anger”.

  • Poor concentration and “foggy brain”.

  • Overheating of the body, especially the face and torso.

  • Recurrent headaches (including migraine) associated with nausea.

Immune Dysfunction

  • Allergies – sinusitis, hay fever, asthma, dermatitis, hives, etc.

  • Multiple food and chemical sensitivities.

  • Skin rashes and inflammations.

  • Increased risk of autoimmune diseases.

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

  • Fibromyalgia.

  • Increase in recurrent viral, bacterial and parasitic infections.

External Signs

  • Coated tongue.

  • Bad breath.

  • Skin rashes.

  • Itchy skin (pruritus).

  • Excessive sweating.

  • Offensive body odour.

  • Dark circles under the eyes.

  • Yellow discoloration of the eyes.

  • Red, swollen, itchy eyes (allergic eyes).

  • Acne rosacea – (red pimples around the nose, cheeks and chin).

  • Brownish spots and blemishes on the skin (liver spots).

  • Red palms and soles which may also be itchy and inflamed.

  • Flushed facial appearance or excessive facial blood vessels (capillaries/ veins).

Hormonal Imbalance

  • Intolerance to hormone replacement therapy or the contraceptive pill (eg. side effects)

  • Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes may be more severe.

  • Premenstrual syndrome may be more severe.


Detoxification By the Liver © CHI   ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Liver Performs Two Phases of Detoxification

As Dr. Leo Galland explains in his book, Power Healing, the liver performs two phases of detoxification; Phase One (oxidation) and Phase Two (conjugation).

In Phase One, the liver uses oxygen and enzymes to burn toxins.  This process is called oxidation, and makes the toxins more soluble in water.  Making them more water soluble is necessary so they can be more easily excreted from the body by the kidneys or the liver.  Most environmental toxins are fat-soluble to start with, and therefore difficult or impossible to eliminate without the liver’s help. (6) 

Although Phase One is crucial for detoxification, it poses risks.

Sometimes the end product of Phase One detoxification is more dangerous than the compound being detoxified. Benzene, for example, is a dangerous organic solvent, is present in gasoline and cigarettes, and a known carcinogen. (7) Phase One enzymes oxidize benzene, producing benzene quinones, which are a source of increased toxicity. (8) To complete the detoxification of benzene, your liver relies on Phase Two enzymes, which are described below.

The bottom line on Phase One detoxification is: you need it but you don’t want Phase One activity to exceed the ability of your liver’s Phase Two enzymes to finish the job, otherwise you’re in trouble.

Increased Phase One Liver Activity without a balancing increase in Phase Two activity can be caused by: Tobacco smoke, High alcohol intake, Consumption of standard vegetable oils, Eating char-broiled meats, Consuming BHT. Medications can also increase or decrease Phase One liver activity in ways that are highly specific to the drug and its duration of use

Intense scientific research being done around the world is examining how nutrition can help facilitate the detoxification process. Scientists from the University of San Francisco note, “A judicious choice of food will counteract noxious agents. Therefore, the diet can be a major factor in determining who does and who does not show toxic symptoms following exposure.” (9)

Foods Can Increase Phase One Liver Detoxification and at the same time balance it with an increase in Phase two detoxification. They include:  

  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts (10-12)

  • Oranges and tangerines

  • Caraway seeds and dill seeds

Zinc plays an essential role in Phase One detoxification. A deficiency of zinc doesn’t stop Phase One detoxification, but shifts the activity of Phase One enzymes in a direction that encourages the formation of cancer promoting chemicals. In my clinical experience, zinc deficiency, as measured by low plasma zinc levels, is quite common in the United States. Few foods are really rich in zinc, so supplementation is often useful.

Phase Two Liver Detoxification

To rid itself of toxins produced by Phase One detoxification, the liver performs a second phase, called conjugation.   In this phase, oxidized chemicals are combined with sulfur, specific amino acids, or organic acids, and then excreted in bile. (13)

This phase of liver detoxification is inhibited by nutritional deficiency, toxic exposures, and medications such as acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol), alcohol consumption, and low protein intake that deplete glutathione which is needed for acetaminophen detoxification.

The most important amino acids for Phase Two detoxification are cysteine and methionine.

These two amino acids are the main dietary sources of sulfur, and are found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products.  Vegetarian sources of cysteine and methionine include nuts, seeds and beans.  The usual adult RDA of cysteine and methionine is 700 to 1000 mg. per day, but is never fixed, because it fluctuates with the liver’s burden of toxic compounds.  The body’s stores of these amino acids are depleted in the process of detoxification, so the greater the toxic stress, the more the body demands. 

Bioflavonoids may also be beneficial for stimulating Phase Two enzymes in Detoxification.   

Bioflavonoids are abundant in fruit, vegetables and tea, and are the active ingredient in many herbs.  Research indicates that bioflavonoids can facilitate the detoxification process. (14) Scientists from the University of Seville in Spain note that the bioflavonoid luteolin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities and may help detoxification.  (15) Luteolin is found in vegetables such as peppers, celery, carrots, in herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano and peppermint, and in olive oil.  (16)  

A prime example is milk thistle, an herbal (folk) remedy for the liver.  The active ingredients are a group of bioflavonoids collectively called silymarin.  Research indicates that milk thistle may offer protection from liver disease. (17) The standard amount of silymarin taken is 70 to 210 mg. three times a day.  

Phase Two Liver Detoxification Helpers include

  • Adequate protein intake

  • Alliums such as onions and scallions, (18)

  • Citrus fruit (19)

  • Curcumin (20)

  • S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) (21, 22)

  • Milk thistle (silymarin)

  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts (See 10-12)

Our understanding of what the body needs to detoxify has been revolutionized by scientific research, teaching us the powerful role that enhanced nutrition plays in the process.  Source: Dr. Leo Galland ©  Natural Health Research Institute

Every drug, chemical, pesticide and hormone, is broken down or metabolized via detoxification pathways in the liver called “phase 1” and “phase 2.” (9) (10) (11)

Now that we’ve briefly examined the process of liver detoxification, let’s take a look at how we can use dietary supplements to support and promote liver detoxification.


Using Dietary Supplements for Liver Detoxification ©  Natural Health Research Institute

Amino acids and trimethylglycine - Certain amino acids are used in phase 2 as the water soluble substance that is conjugated (attached) to the toxic molecule.  These amino acids include glycine, taurine, and glutamine. (17) Clinically, supplementation with these amino acids has shown great benefit for patients with toxic overload, especially when body cleansing was undertaken contemporaneously. (18)

Likewise, methyl groups also act as conjugating agents in phase 2. (19)Trimethylglycine (betaine) is a donor of methyl groups, and may be useful as such in biochemical reactions in the liver. (20)

Milk Thistle - In herbal medicine, Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is arguably the premium liver herb. The active component in Milk Thistle is its flavonoids collectively called silimarin; and the majority of Milk Thistle-related research has been conducted on this component.  Silimarin has long been recognized for its ability to benefit people with liver disorders, including hepatitis (21) (22) (23) (24) and cirrhosis. (25)

Some toxic molecules pass through the glutathione conjugation pathway. A deficiency of this conjugating amino peptide can reduce the clearance of solvents from the bloodstream.  Research shows that silimarin protects against glutathione depletion (26), and increases liver glutathione status. (27) Since glutathione is one of the primary conjugating agents in phase 2, this is a significant contribution by Milk Thistle in supporting detoxification by the liver. (28)

In addition, Milk Thistle also provides liver protection by stabilizing liver cell membranes. It alters the structure of the outer cell membrane in such a way as to prevent the penetration of the liver by toxins into interior of the cell.  Milk Thistle also increases the regenerative ability of the liver and the formation of new liver cells. Further studies concluded that other actions of silimarin include preventing the recirculation of toxins and regeneration of damaged liver cells. Other studies indicate that Milk Thistle may prevent liver damage from liver poisoning prescription medications. (29) (30)

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a bright yellow, ancient spice and a traditional remedy that has been used as a medicine, condiment and flavoring based on records dating back to 600 BCE.  Turmeric and its curcuminoids also exhibit strong antioxidant activity (31), enhance cellular resistance to oxidative damage (32), and enhance the body’s natural antioxidant glutathione levels; which in turn aids the liver in detoxification. (33) Turmeric has also been found to have hepatoprotective (i.e., liver-protective) properties against a variety of liver-toxic chemicals and drugs. (34) (35) (36) (37) (38)

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is the precursor to glutathione. (39)] It stimulates glutathione synthesis and promotes liver detoxification; as well as acting as a powerful scavenger of free radicals. (40 (41) Historically the most prevalent and well-accepted use of NAC has been as an antidote for acetaminophen (Tylenol®, paracetamol) poisoning. (42) The resultant liver toxicity is due to an acetaminophen metabolite that depletes the liver cells of glutathione and causes liver cell damage and possibly even death.  NAC has also been effective for heavy metal poisoning by gold, silver, copper, mercury, lead, and arsenic, as well as in cases of poisoning by carbon tetrachloride, acrylonitriles, halothane, paraquat, acetaldehyde, coumarin, and interferon. (43) Since detoxification of mercury depletes glutathione, the use of NAC doubly makes sense.

Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) compounds increase both phase 1 and phase 2 enzyme activities. (44) Research shows that green tea may have liver protective properties. (45) (46) (47) (48) In addition, green tea has been shown to block chromosomal (DNA) damage from chemicals in cigarette smoke. (49) Perhaps not surprisingly, green tea polyphenols are associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers in humans. (50) Other research has also shown an anticancer effect from these polyphenols (51), including an inhibition of metastasis in skin cancer cells. (52)

Calcium D-glucarate - Another phase 2 pathway is the glucuronidation pathway.  In this pathway, glucuronic acid is attached to certain toxins as well as hormones such as estrogen to facilitate their removal by excreting them via bile into the intestinal tract.  The problem is that beta-glucuronidase, a bacterial enzyme found in the intestines, can break the bond that attaches the glucuronic acid to the toxin.  Now the toxin can be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream, thereby contributing to the total toxic load on the liver; not a good thing.  There is, however, a way to inhibit beta-glucuronidase from breaking the bond in the first instance.  It involves D-glucarate, or calcium D-glucarate.

D-glucaric acid is a natural substance found in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, grapefruit, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.  Calcium D-glucarate is the calcium salt of D-glucaric acid typically used in dietary supplements.  Calcium D-glucarate has been shown to inhibit beta-glucuronidase. (53) As a matter of fact according to data released from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Calcium D-glucarate inhibited beta-glucuronidase by 57% in the blood, 44% in the liver, 39% in the intestines, and 37% in the lungs. (54) Such an inhibition of beta-glucuronidase may do much to protect the action of the glucuronidation pathway.

Schizandra - In traditional Chinese medicine, Schizandra (Schizandra chinensis) is mainly used to treat cough and wheezing, spontaneous sweating, nocturnal emission, chronic diarrhea, insomnia and forgetfulness. (55) In Russia, it is regarded as an adaptogen. (56) Research indicates that Schizandra can improve work performance, build strength, reduce fatigue, and increase endurance (57) (58); all consistent with the effects of an adaptogen. 

Schizandra also appears to have significant value for the liver.  For example, it appears that the lignans in Schizandra protect the liver by activating the enzymes in liver cells that produce the antioxidant glutathione, (59) so this herb is beneficial for phase 2 detoxification reactions. Furthermore, in-vitro (i.e., test tube) studies have shown that constituents of Schizandra decrease the mutagenicity of mutagenic toxin benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). (60)Schizandra also induces phase 1 detoxification enzymes (61), yet has not been shown to cause any drug interactions.  Schizandra’s Studies from China indicate that Schizandra helped patients with chronic viral hepatitis. (62) (63)

Garlic appears to induce both phase 1 and phase 2 enzymes. (64) (65) In addition, aged garlic extract may increase the glutathione level and glutathione related enzymes which aid in detoxifying the body. (66) (67) (68) (69) Research has also suggested that garlic extract may help to protect the body from heavy metal poisoning. (70) When garlic extract was combined with red blood cells it prevented lead, mercury and aluminum from destroying them. Without the garlic extract, these heavy metals ruptured the red blood cells.

Rosemary contains carnosol, an antioxidant that inhibits bioactivation of BaP and induces glutathione-S-transferase (a detoxification enzyme) and other important phase 2 enzymes. (71) (72) In a study (73) where mice were given Rosemary, the researchers concluded that liver activities of phase 2 liver enzymes were significantly increased, and that the results indicated that components of rosemary extract have the potential to protect the liver and stomach from carcinogenic or toxic agents.

Bladderwrack extract (Fucus vesiculosus) is a type of brown algae that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Baltic.  In research (74), Bladderwrack has been shown to consume and metabolize toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, particularly BaP.  Likewise, Bladderwrack has been shown to absorb certain heavy metals such as tin. (75) Finally, an antibacterial compound has been isolated from Bladderwrack, and is effective against various Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

The dietary supplements discussed in this article are certainly not the only natural compounds capable of supporting and facilitating the liver’s detoxification process.  Compounds from citrus fruit and the Brassica or cruciferous group of vegetables (e.g., cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc.), as well as the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid are some examples of other effective detoxifying agents. (76) Nevertheless, the compounds listed can be effective adjuncts to a program for detoxification.

Although the focus of this article is on the use of dietary supplements which may help promote liver detoxification, it should be understood that toxic overload should be treated with a comprehensive approach that also includes adapting to a healthier diet and reducing exposure to xenobiotics.  Furthermore, since there can be side effects associated with a serious program of detoxification, it should generally be attempted with the help of a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable about the process.


Natural Liver Treatments

Source -

Good nutrition is essential to help the liver function properly. Foods that feed the liver include:

  • Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables and try to aim for at least 30% raw. Especially good for the liver are: artichokes, garlic, onion, leeks, beetroot, radish, turnip, watercress, fennel, broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, apples and pears, apricots, grapes, berries, lemons, papaya, pineapple, avocado, cranberries, banana and watermelon. However, they are all health promoting and delicious!

  • Take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement or a multivitamin and mineral formula designed for liver support. You are going to need tailor made support to keep your liver going and help it to process all this waste! The nutrients that you are especially looking for in a supplement to a minimum of 100% RNI include: Vitamin A, C, E, Selenium, Zinc, Copper, Iron, B Complex including Folic Acid, Magnesium.

  • Ensure that you have enough healthy sources of protein in your diet. These include: eggs, lean meat, fish and beans and pulses, or try quinoa (it is like couscous but contains a loads of protein).

  • Buy a pot of good quality lecithin granules and sprinkle them on your cereal or in yoghurt, on porridge or eat with fruit. These help your liver to break down fats and ease its overall burden.

  • The herbal supplement ‘milk thistle’ is traditionally used to promote liver function 2. When taking herbals it is best to do so with the advice of a healthcare professional.

There are so many areas that we can address to clean up our act and help your body deal with the toxins in our body. We all know that the results can only be to feel better and be healthier in the long term:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking

  • Avoid processed food

  • Avoid refined or ‘white’ foods e.g. white bread, pasta, sugar, cakes and biscuits

  • Avoid fried foods and any type of fats including butter, margarine and processed vegetable oils

  • Lower exposure to environmental pollutants e.g. traffic fumes, chemical household and personal hygiene products and air fresheners

  • For a full detox, eat food only in the ‘green’ box

  • Make sure you eat protein with every meal

  • If you have digestive problems, address these urgently

  • Check out your potential food intolerances

  • Drink at least 1 1/2 litres of water a day

  • Go organic where possible

  • Take an appropriate multivitamin and mineral formula

  • Add lecithin to your cereal at breakfast

  • Consider taking the herbal supplement ‘milk thistle

Reference -

Milk thistle is believed to have protective effects on the liver and improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), and gallbladder disorders. Treatment claims also include:

  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Reducing insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have cirrhosis
  • Reducing the growth of cancer cells in breast, cervical, and prostate cancers.

There have been some studies of milk thistle on liver disease in humans, but these have been small. Some promising data have been reported, but study results at this time are mixed.

Although some studies conducted outside the United States support claims of oral milk thistle to improve liver function, there have been flaws in study design and reporting. To date, there is no conclusive evidence to prove its claimed uses.

Recent NCCAM-funded research includes a phase II study to better understand the use of milk thistle for chronic hepatitis C. Additional research, co funded by NCCAM and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, includes studies of milk thistle for chronic hepatitis C and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (liver disease that occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol).

The National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Nursing Research are also studying milk thistle, for cancer prevention and to treat complications in HIV patients.

Dandelion historically was most commonly used to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, and spleen problems. Less commonly, dandelion was used to treat digestive problems and skin conditions.

Today, dandelion is used by some as a liver or kidney "tonic," as a diuretic, and for minor digestive problems.

Kava Linked to Liver Damage: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers of the potential risk of severe liver injury from the use of dietary supplements containing kava (also known as kava kava or Piper methysticum). Recent reports from health authorities in Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom have linked kava use to at least 25 cases of liver toxicity, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver failure.

Although liver damage appears to be rare, the FDA believes consumers should be informed of this potential risk. Kava, a member of the pepper family, is an herbal supplement. Products containing kava are sold in the United States for a variety of uses, including insomnia and short-term reduction of stress and anxiety. These products are marketed to men, women, children, and the elderly. ©  National Integrated Health Associates

The Power of Garlic, a Detoxification Super Food: Detoxification, or removing the “bad stuff” from the body is a key component to health and longevity. There are many foods, herbs and drugs that are in the arsenal of a holistic patient and their doctor’s tool kit to help the body detoxify in a natural manner. Garlic is one of the most important!

This ancient longevity food has so many functions that it truly ranks as one of the most important super-foods. Garlic has two major functions:

  1. A super detox food supporting many liver enzymes, the body’s manufacturing of glutathione and other factors critical for detoxification including multiple sulfur compounds and bio-active selenium.

  2. Garlic is the most effective broad spectrum anti-microbial agent possessing 39 different anti-fungal, bacterial, parasitic and viral agents.

There are two dosages and strategies for garlic and detox. For its detox support role, garlic once a day will suffice; to be most effective in reducing the “bad bugs”, garlic 2-3 times a day is recommended (keeping the blood levels up).

Organic Freeze Dried Garlic: Why organic freeze dried garlic? Because the anti-microbial components in garlic have a short shelf life of about 14 days and freeze drying organic garlic preserves the potency. However it must be reconstituted by opening up the capsules in water before ingesting. Non-organic garlic will absorb the toxic pesticides.

How much? Eat garlic until you reek then back off so that you are not socially unacceptable, usually 1-2 capsules (per dosing) will be sufficient… Copyright ©  Demand Media, Inc.

Due to the detoxification properties of the liver, eating certain foods can help facilitate and encourage toxin removal from the body.


Onions, green onions and shallots are sources of sulfur-containing amino acids. According to Patrick Holford and Fiona Joyce, authors of the book "The 9-Day Liver Detox Diet," sulfur drives a critical liver detox pathway known as sulfation. The amino acids present in onions provide the raw materials to make glutathione, a detoxifying compound in the liver. Glutathione detoxifies acetaminophen and caffeine that pass through the organ, the authors write. Holford and Joyce recommend eating a small onion, a shallot or four green onions raw every day to garner the full detoxifying effect. Raw red onions are particularly beneficial as they contain quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory that enhances liver function.

Turmeric is a common spice present in a variety of cuisines, specifically Indian. Michelle Cook writes in her book "The 4 Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan" that turmeric helps increase bile production to expel toxins and reduce liver inflammation. It functions by increasing liver-supporting enzymes that encourage detoxification, Cook notes. Turmeric also helps lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation throughout the body.


Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy and Brussels sprouts boost both phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification systems, according to James Meschino's book "The Wrinkle-Free Zone." Phase I detoxification involves activating a group of enzymes that eliminate food color, preservatives, additives, medications and environmental toxins, Meschino notes. In phase 2 detoxification, enzymes interact and neutralize potentially damaging compounds passed on from the initial phase. 

Cruciferous vegetables naturally contain the substance indole-3-carbinol, which enhances enzymatic function in both phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification. Eating these veggies with additional foods such as lemons, limes and other citrus fruits, which contain phytochemicals like limonene, enhances liver detox.


So Where Do I Start? Copyright © - All Rights Reserved

One of the most important principles of detoxification is that you need to clean your bowels first and replenish its normal ecology through the eradication of pathogens and the reintroduction of good bacteria through pro-biotics. The phrase: “You need to clean downstream before you can clean upstream”, implied that you should clean your bowels first, otherwise you will be sending dirty water from the gut to a clean chemical plant at the liver! This is a common cause for so called detoxification-illness. Practically that means assess the ecology of the bowels with a stool test. Thereafter follow these common gut-cleaning principles:

- First, Weed (remove offending foods and pathogens), then
- Seed (take appropriate pro-biotics), and thereafter
- Feed (eat the correct foods for your body).

Many people will have developed a leaky gut by the time they are ill, and so often the gut lining needs to be repaired during the initial weeding phase by using certain products containing glutamine, DLG (DeGlycerized Licorice so as to remove the cortisol retaining properties) and aloe (with the laxative properties removed). An example of a good product that can achieve this is Glutagenics by Metagenics.

Make sure you get your gut health better before taking compounds to assist your liver pathways. This is a vital step not to miss out!

Another vital consideration before beginning a detoxification program is to ensure that your metabolism is up to the task, by addressing your adrenals and thyroid. Your body temperature indicates just how well your adrenal and thyroid hormones are having an effect at a receptor level. You need your daily average (based on three oral temperatures taken around 9am, 12noon and 3pm) to measure 98.6 degrees F/37 degrees C and stable for good health.

If they are higher one day and lower the next, it indicates adrenal problems – because the adrenals control the stability of internal temperature. If they are low but stable, it indicates thyroid problems – because the thyroid hormones (T3 in specific) lift the temperature. Saliva testing of the adrenals by DiagnosTechs Labs, and temperature testing and thyroid blood tests, will help you figure out if these glands are making sufficient adrenal and thyroid hormones to keep you healthy.

The thyroid labs will measure the glandular output (how much hormone is been secreted by the glands in the blood), while temperatures will measure the effectiveness of the hormones at a receptor level i.e. are they actually doing what they are supposed to.

  • Tackle your gut first. Get a stool test and use pro-biotics, diet, and supplements to heal the gut lining.
  • Look into your hormonal system. Important: work on your adrenals first, and thereafter look towards your thyroid, via thyroid support, in order to begin moving your body temperature, closer towards 37 degrees C (98.6F) and towards stability.
  • Address your liver pathways if necessary (as above), and:
  • Continue down your detoxification path to remove offending metals e.g. with oral chelation.


Benefits of Colon Cleansing

Reference - - Dr. Jordan S. Rubin, author of The Maker’s Diet

Dr. H. H. Boeker believed “that over 90 percent of diseases are caused or complicated by toxins created in the intestinal tract by unhealthy foods that are not properly eliminated.” Autointoxication occurs when, due to poor elimination, certain toxins escape from the bowel into the blood stream and poison the body, causing a silent form of self-poisoning.

Two Keys to Optimal Health:  Guidelines for optimal health and nutrition can be reduced to two vital keys:

  • Optimize the nutrition entering your body.

  • Reduce the toxins in your body.

Virtually every disease can be related to those two guidelines in some way-and it all starts in the small and large intestines.

"Written by Jon Barron at The Baseline of Health Foundation". The foundation of any health or healing program must begin with the intestinal tract -- not necessarily because it is more important than any other system or organ in the body, but because it's the area of the body upon which we focus our greatest abuse, and because it impacts virtually every other system in the body. This point is so important that it's worth reviewing the core issues.

  • The colon is the main elimination channel of the body. It is the means by which we eliminate the toxic waste of the digestive process, including massive amounts of E. coli bacteria and parasite larvae. If that waste hangs around longer than necessary, its impact on the body is profound. And yet, because of dietary and health habits, many people store, between 10-20 pounds of old (sometimes decades old) fecal matter in their colons. (Most doctors who do colonoscopies tell you they don't see this accumulated fecal matter, but that's because they give their patients purgatives the night before they do the colonoscopy, which purges the fecal matter the morning before the exam. What they do see, however, are its effects, diverticulosis, polyps, Crohn's disease, and colon cancer.)

  • Physically, the colon is not designed to store large amounts of old fecal matter. There just isn't room for it. If you have 10, 20, 30 pounds of extra garbage in there, there's only one thing that can happen; the colon must distend and expand. This causes the walls of the colon to thin out (like blowing up a balloon more and more). As the walls extend out, they press on and compress other organs in the abdominal cavity.

  • Old fecal matter is an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria and dangerous parasites.

  • Intestinal flora are an essential part of health. If you eat foods laced with antibiotics and drink water with chlorine in it, you eliminate virtually all beneficial bacteria—providing an absolutely open environment for the proliferation of harmful bacteria, such as E. coli.

  • Your intestinal tract is the source of all nutrient access to your body. If it isn't working properly, you have two major problems.

  • First, you have a hard time digesting food properly—breaking it down sufficiently so that your body can use it.

  • And then, even if you can digest it properly, if the intestinal wall is covered with hardened waste and colonies of hostile bacteria/flora, you'll end up absorbing only a fraction of the nutritional value of the food you eat.

  • Your liver is the main detoxifying organ of your body. It filters out dangerous drug residues and poisons from the blood and passes them out of the body -- through the colon via the bile duct. Plug the colon and it's like flushing a toilet plugged with toilet paper; everything backs up. The net result is sickness and disease. The important point to remember here is that you shouldn't begin to cleanse and repair the other systems in the body until you clean out the colon so that the toxic material will have a clean path out of the body.


Detox & Weight Loss Program

Source -

Random fat sampling by our EPA shows that all Americans store fat-soluble toxins from common chemical exposures in their fat. This is a testament to the amount of pollution we face. Some of these like PCBs, which are proven to elevate in your blood as they are released from fat when you lose weight, can be quite toxic. You must be able to get toxins out of your system fully as you lose weight, otherwise your fat will simply not release them easily and you will struggle to lose weight past a certain point.

The detox diet helps your body wash out the bad chemicals and toxins that are left inside your body. The toxins that you get originally come from the food that you eat. Thus, you have to be wise and think of other ways to eat healthy. The procedure of the diet is simple as long as you follow them properly… © Copyright Naturopathic Doctor News & Review. All Rights reserved

Kristen Haabala, ND - With all of the diet programs out there, how do we support our patients and assure that they are utilizing healthy and safe weight loss? The first step is to ensure that the patient’s liver and bowels are ready to endure a fat loss program. The best way to do this is through an initial bowel and liver detox and support regimen.

Because the toxins are lipid soluble, they are attracted to the lipids in cell membranes. The toxins can then be transported inside cells, where they wreak havoc on our daily function and may be stored for many years.2 Furthermore, because these toxic substances are lipophilic, they are commonly stored in neurological tissue and body fat.3 The fact that the body tends to store these toxins in our body fat is the exact reason it is so important to support detox before a fat loss program. When fat loss begins, these dangerous stored toxins become released back into circulation. It is absolutely critical that they must be properly excreted from the body.

The body’s detox mechanism is similar to a river. At the end of the river is the gastrointestinal tract, where the toxins ultimately get excreted. Should there be any dysfunction in the ability to excrete through the bowel, the toxins risk being reabsorbed and entering back into circulation. At the middle of the river is the liver’s detox pathway. If either phase 1 or phase 2 of the liver’s detox pathway is not functioning properly, the toxins can get backed up and remain in circulation for ultimate redeposition into our cells. Due to the decreased fat mass available, the toxins risk being redeposited into our neurological tissue. All systems in the detox river must be flowing properly for ultimate clearing from the body.

The first step in any detox program must begin with decreasing toxin exposure. This gives the intestines and liver a break in processing new toxins and enhances their ability to focus on past stored toxins. So where do we begin to decrease toxin exposure? Start with foods and products used on a daily basis. Buy more organic foods to limit exposure to pesticides, and eat more whole foods to decrease exposure to additives. Look closely at cleaning products, and opt for natural alternatives. Consider alternatives to the chemical-ridden soaps, lotions, and beauty products used on a daily basis. Finally, be sure the air you breathe and the water you drink are free of contaminants.

The next step in a medically guided program is to cleanse and support the gastrointestinal tract for ultimate removal of toxins. The intestinal mucosa is very active in the processing of toxins. In fact, 25% of the biotransformation activity in our body takes place in the intestines, where the mucosa converts some lipid-soluble toxins into water-soluble molecules for excretion before they are even transported to the liver for processing.2 Ultimately, both toxins that are processed in the intestinal tract and those that come from the liver require healthy fecal production for removal from the body. 

Healthy fecal production can be supported through dietary fiber. Fiber has also been shown to actually bind some toxins for removal from the body before they are even digested and absorbed into circulation. Along with dietary fiber comes the necessity of adequate water intake to help maintain healthy kidney functioning and processing of toxins already in circulation.2 

In supporting the functional integrity of the gastrointestinal mucosa, there are 4 important questions to ask yourself in your patient assessment (the 4 Rs of a functional medicine approach to gastrointestinal restoration).

  1. The first important question is “What may need to be removed to support healthy gastrointestinal function?” This may be an underlying infection of pathogenic yeast, bacteria, or protozoa. There may also be a history of chronic exposure to a particular food or additive to which the patient is intolerant. Your full history will give clues to any of these issues.

  2. After this question is addressed, you can move on to the second important question: “What may need to be replaced?” Consider the possibility of digestive enzymes, bile salts, or stomach acid supplementation.

  3. Then, the third important question is “Does there need to be reinoculation with probiotics and/or prebiotics?”

  4. And last, the fourth important question: “Is anything needed for regeneration or repair of the mucosal layer?” This can be supported through tailored nutrition therapy, as well as by gastrointestinal supportive botanical medicines.4


Kidney Function Overview

Reference -

What do my kidneys do:  Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They are located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The waste and extra water become urine, which flows to your bladder through tubes called ureters. Your bladder stores urine until you go to the bathroom.

The wastes in your blood come from the normal breakdown of active tissues and from the food you eat. Your body uses the food for energy and self-repair. After your body has taken what it needs from the food, waste is sent to the blood. If your kidneys did not remove these wastes, the wastes would build up in the blood and damage your body.

How do kidneys fail: Many factors that influence the speed of kidney failure are not completely understood. Researchers are still studying how protein in the diet and cholesterol levels in the blood affect kidney function.

Other Causes of Kidney Disease:  Poisons and trauma, for example a direct and forceful blow to your kidneys, can lead to kidney disease.

Some over-the-counter medicines can be poisonous to your kidneys if taken regularly over a long period of time. Products that combine aspirin, acetaminophen, and other medicines such as ibuprofen have been found to be the most dangerous to the kidneys. If you take painkillers regularly, check with your doctor to make sure you are not putting your kidneys at risk.  


Full Body Detox

Reference -  

"Written by Jon Barron at The Baseline of Health Foundation". The following Detox Program incorporates a series of seven detoxes, making sure you go step-by-step and thoroughly cleanse everything from toxins & heavy metals to stones and even excess fat from the liver. Learn everything you need to know about detox diets, juice fasting, colon health, liver detoxing, blood cleansing, and much more.

The Baseline of Health® Foundation supports Jon Barron's emphasis on a natural, full body detox because a natural detox of ALL major organs is essential to maintaining health. It is simple: you can down all the vitamins, herbs, and antioxidants, but you won't see your health turn around if your colon is filled with putrid fecal matter or if your liver can't clean toxins out of your blood and perform its daily functions.

...Although general juice fasting definitely provides overall benefits, targeted detoxing takes advantage of certain herbs, nutraceuticals, or alternative health protocols to greatly accelerate the process -- particularly in regards to specific body systems and/or organs. The combined juice fast with an organ-specific natural detox offers the most powerful cleansing program for overall health.

The nine specific detoxes include the Colon Detox, Intestinal Cleansing, Heavy Metal Detox, Gallbladder Cleansing Prep, Kidney Detox, Pancreas Flush, and finally the Liver Detox, Gallbladder Flush, & Blood Cleansing (specifically in this order). Let's look at all of them:

  • Phase 1 – The Colon Detox & Intestinal Cleaning: It is vital that you do a colon cleanse before proceeding with the rest of the detoxes. When the kidney and liver dump, they dump through the bile duct and out into the colon. If the colon (the drain pipe if you will) is plugged, the waste backs up into the blood stream and can make you feel extremely ill.

  • Phase 2 – The Kidney Detox, Pancreas Flush and Gallbladder Cleansing Prep: As the incidence of kidney problems has soared to epidemic levels over the last ten years, the need for a dedicated formula for doing a regular kidney flush has become paramount. A kidney flush softens the stones so they can pass through the bile ducts easily, without causing pain or blockage. This is really mandatory for anyone who has any worry about gallstones, and highly recommended for anyone who has never done a liver detox before.

  • Phase 3 – The Liver Detox, Gallbladder Flush and Blood Cleansing: By cleansing the liver, we're talking about inducing the liver to purge all of the fats, old cholesterol deposits, gallstones, poisons, drug residues, and toxic waste stored therein. Probably nothing else you do (including even the bowel cleanse and detox) will make a greater difference in your overall health.

There is an old saying, "Death Begins in the Colon." Although an oversimplification, the road to health begins with intestinal cleansing and detoxification--no matter what the disease or problem. And, you miss the big picture when you think it is just about drawing out old fecal matter. We are talking about enhancing each function from your mouth to your anus: digestion, nutrient transfer, waste processing, metabolic functions, toxic drainage, and boosting your immune system. For the entire program to work, you MUST do a colon detox before a liver detox or you risk having major toxins push back into the blood stream (since your drain pipe is plugged). 

Colon detoxing and intestinal cleansing is the foundation for the liver detox (Phase 3) because if the intestinal tract is clogged, many of the toxins being dumped by your liver will back up into your bloodstream, making you feel very unwell…