Detoxing Therapies: What are your Options?
Detoxing Therapies – What are your options?
Detox therapies abound. What needs to be taken into consideration are the person’s goals, their lifestyle, the current state of their health and whether there are other goals such as a fast weight loss diet plan or healing of a health challenge. This list is by no means exhaustive when it comes to detoxing the body. In addition to the detox therapies on this page, one may also detox with herbs, homeopathics, ayurvedic medicines and more.
Some types of detoxing are more intrusive than others. Some are less natural than others. The length and degree of detox matters too. If you are planning a full system cleanse, it’s a good idea to do that under the guidance of a qualified detoxing practitioner, particularly if fasting.
The major detoxification therapy categories are: fasting, specific diets, vitamin therapy, colon therapy, chelation therapy, and hyperthermia. Detoxification therapies run the gamut from self-directed fasting to intravenously-administered synthetic drugs, and none should be undertaken without medical supervision.
Although there is limited research data available to prove that detoxification therapies work, proponents report lower blood pressure, reduction in blood fat levels, and better vitamin and mineral absorption as benefits.
While there is no doubt that processed food contains additives and preservatives, that drinking water is far from pure, and that air is contaminated, more scientific studies need to be performed to prove that a particular therapy can purify the body of these toxins.
This is certainly the least expensive and easiest therapy to attempt, but it should always be preceded by a visit to a qualified health professional or nutritionist. Fasting is generally done for a limited, specific number of days. All fasting regimens permit water to be consumed, for it is essential to prevent dehydration. Others allow juice as well, although purists consider this to be food. The main rationale for fasting is that since far fewer toxins are taken in, the body is able to rid itself of those already present.
Proponents say that a strong immune system founded on a plant-based diet is the best defense against environmental toxins. As opposed to fasting, detoxification or detox diets as they are more commonly known, can be undertaken for extended periods of time.
Although there are many different types of detox diets, most are based on eating organic rather than processed foods, minimizing meats and maximizing fruits and vegetables, and drinking filtered water. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners also hold that certain foods, like radishes, turnips, soybeans, swiss chard, and vinegar, can actually counteract or neutralize toxins.
3. Vitamin Therapy
The use of antioxidants is generally recommended as an ongoing, daily regimen in people’s lives, especially if they are in a compromised, or particularly unhealthy environment. Some feel that certain vitamins, such as C and E, are antioxidant nutrients capable of neutralizing certain toxins
called free radicals. A free radical is a particular type of atom or group of atoms that can damage cells and impair a person’s immunity system. While our bodies contain natural enzymes that work against these free radicals, some argue that vitamins C and E as well as the beta-carotene in vitamin A function as free-radical scavengers, thus neutralizing the toxins that harm our immune systems.
4. Colon Therapy
Colonics or cleansing the large intestine with purified water, herbs, or other cleansing agents, is sometimes combined with fasting to flush out toxins from the body. A step beyond a simple enema, this procedure is performed by a trained therapist who introduces from 5-25 gal (19-941 l) of water, or other cleansing agents, directly into the rectum using a tube and nozzle. This technique is supposed to remove toxic stool that remains in the folds of the intestine. If performed improperly
or too frequently, it can be dangerous.
5. Chelation Therapy
The most common type of chelation therapy involves the use of a chemical agent that is recognized as being able to effectively treat heavy-metal poisoning (like lead or mercury).
The synthetic drug ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is administered intravenously or orally and binds to heavy metals in the blood. The toxic metals are then flushed out naturally through the kidneys. Doctors also use natural chelating agents like zinc, garlic, vitamin C, and amino acids like cysteine.
Oral chelation, while less expensive and more convenient, has been reported to work considerably slower than the intravenous method. Chelation therapy has also been used to treat artherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. It has been theorized that chelation removes calcium which is part of the plaque that coats arteries.
While some patients have reported remarkable results with this treatment, no reliable scientific data exists to support their statements. Research is also needed to confirm reports of success with treating heart and cancer patients with chelation therapy.
EDTA Chelation Benefits: EDTA chelation therapy may be a new term to you but the benefits of this type of therapy have been established well. In the future, results of EDTA chelation will be significantly better known due to studies like the one you’ll read about below, a 5 year double blind study already began.
I was surprised to learn that the FDA (not always known for their wisdom in what to allow and what to pull) has allowed EDTA chelation for the last 50 years – although its use has been restricted to the removal of toxic metals (i.e. lead, cadmium, uranium, etc.) Given the role of EDTA as a standard treatment for the removal of unwanted toxic metals from the body, any argument that “EDTA doesn’t work” is reduced to nullified.
Utilizing the properties of EDTA to help the body remove arterial plaque and prevent bypass surgery is an expanded role that could very directly impact the financial balance of those in the heart medicine industry so…those of us who believe in our right to self-medicate may have another fight on our hands to have the freedom to care for ourselves in the way we think best.
More on Oral Chelation: The National Institute of Health recently began a five-year double blind study on the effects of intravenous chelation. Since qualified doctors have offered their patients chelation treatments for over thirty years, we all look forward to these results. Extreme Health has a doctor’s label featuring the exact oral chelation formula that we sell directly to the public. We’ve sold this to doctors for over four years!
Also known as heat stress detoxification, hyperthermia essentially uses a sauna or a steam bath to sweat out toxic chemicals from fat cells.
The various detoxification therapies all claim to be able to eliminate chemicals and pollutants from the body’s systems, to alleviate the symptoms of this toxicity, and to help the patient return to good health.
Holistic Health Minute – Detoxing the Liver: The liver is the second largest organ in the body and is often seen as the most important one. In traditional Chinese medicine, for example, a healthy liver
is seen as the most critical element in the body’s ability to fight disease and function optimally. Amongst other important functions, the liver is responsible for eliminating and detoxifying the poisons that enter our blood stream. It also produces bile which is essential in the breakdown of fats and is the organ which stores Vitamin A, D, E and K. Environmental pollution, fast foods, drugs, alcohol and sedentary lifestyles all contribute to sluggish and diseased livers. The result?
- Depressed immune systems
- constant fatigue
- sluggish livers and digestive systems
- respiratory ailments
- unhealthy skin
- many other health problems.
How homeopathy addresses liver cleansing
Holistic Health FAQ – Is Milk Thistle an effective liver cleansing herb?: The answer is yes.
After medical research on the medicinal effects of Milk Thistle, Germany’s Commission E approved an oral extract of Milk Thistle as a treatment for liver disease which includes alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver, mild liver cirrhosis, liver poisoning and acute viral hepatitis.
Milk Thistle can protect the liver from the effects of liver-toxic medications. Evidence has shown anti-cancer effects against breast and prostate cancer, and it is also recommended for gall bladder and psoriasis, though there is no conclusive evidence that it works for these conditions. Webmaster Endorsement – I personally use milk thistle for liver cleansing. I think it is particularly important to use it if you drink alcohol more than once a week or drink more than two drinks when you drink.
Milk Thistle extract is a potent antioxidant which prevents harm from free radicals and lends nutritional support to the liver. Milk Thistle seed extract contains silymarin, a unique type of flavonoid-like compound considered the active ingredient of milk thistle.
Stop Smoking Resources: You will find many excellent, informative, and practical smoking
cessation resources to give you the tools to change your smoking habit. You can get the kind of support you need to become a nonsmoker. Once you stop smoking, your body can detox and heal from the abuse of tobacco. You can quit, today! it’s not to late.