DETOX - WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND IS IT NECESSARY?
Detox has become a buzzword over the last few years, but what does it mean, and doesn't the body just detox itself anyway?
'Toxin comes from the Greek word 'toxicon', meaning poison. This originally referred to a substance applied to arrows to make them more deadly. Toxins in the body create an excess of free radicals, and these damage cells, making the organs age more quickly. Free radicals deteriorate cell membranes, making them harder and less pliable. This, in turn, affects cellular respiration, resulting in a reduction in the absorption of essential nutrients and a build up of metabolic wastes.
The body produces its own toxic waste through normal functioning. In fact, the body is always creating new cells and destroying damaged, worn out ones. These are eliminated via the bowel. There are two categories of toxins present: endogenous toxins (originating from inside the body) and exogenous toxins (originating from outside the body).
Endogenous toxins originate from natural, normal, on-going metabolic waste; toxic by-products at cellular level, such as Ammonia, Uric Acid, Creatinine, Bilirubin etc. Whilst exogenous toxins are from substances such as:
- Heavy Metals
- Pesticides, Herbicides, Hormones fed to animals that get into our food chain
- Food Processing
- Colourings, Preservatives and E numbers
- Cleaning sprays, Bleach, Spray Polishes
- Perfumes, Deodorants
- Medical Drugs
- Impure Air and Water
According to research, it is now considered that up to 80% of cancers can be attributed to environmental causes. This includes chemicals from the environment, factors such as radiation, ingestion of medical drugs and diet. Some of these toxic substances can be incredibly persistent in lingering in the body.
How to Detox
The body does an incredible job in detoxifying the waste products that naturally build up. However, we are now being exposed to chemicals that we are not designed to deal with, especially when we consider that around 4,000,000 man-made chemicals have been described in scientific literature since 1965.
The body will use the organs of excretion to eliminate unwanted substances, primarily the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs and skin, and the body will always attempt to get itself working properly and heal itself.
We can flush the liver through with cleansing drinks and by taking herbs like Milk Thistle, which increase the production of substances in the body called glutathione, a powerful anti-oxidant, which is extremely important for detoxification.
Patients often find that after a thorough detoxification, they notice:
- Fewer headaches
- More energy
- Clearer skin
- Fewer infections
- Clearer thinking
- Better sleep
These are all signs that the body's processes are working more efficiently.
I am never amazed why people get ill, but constantly amazed why people are still well!! Our body has a huge capacity to repair damage and heal itself of illness, and a good starting place is cleaning out our external and internal environment so that it has a chance.