It's always interesting to me when a subject "arrives" like pieces of a puzzle coming to me from various directions. Different people bring me different pieces and then I have an "ah ha!" moment and see something in a new way.
Today's post is a result of such a process.
This morning I did an interview on Toxic Free Talk Radio called "How Your Body Tells You it has Toxic Overload". I intervied Dawn Roberts, author of Warnings of Disease: Your Body Uses Symptoms to Communicate. We talked about how illness shows up in small symptoms far in advance of full-blown illness, and I referred to a passage in my book Toxic Free in which I had given the progression of symptoms that indicate greater and greater degrees of toxic overload.
Then this afternoon a friend of mine who is having dental problems asked me about indicators that would tell if his teeth were deteriorating before a big problem developed. Well, that's the same subject. The indicators are symptoms or pain or problems of various sorts.
In our culture we are taught to disregard these common symtome and suppress them with over-the-counter or prescription drugs, or even natural remedies.
But in fact, there is nothing "wrong" with symptoms. In fact, symptoms are your body doing the right thing—communicating to us that there is something wrong that needs to be fixed.
Talking with my friend, I realized that I had given a list of symptoms in my book in the form of a narrative, but it would be more effective and useful to have them in the form of a chart. So you could just look down the list and see how toxic your body is and how urgent it is for you to remove toxic chemicals from your body for good health.
This is from pages 134-135 in my book Toxic Free.
Your body has five detox organs, that make up your “detox system,” collectively called the emunctories (from the Latin emunctus, past participle of ex mungere —“to blow one's nose”):
If your body is healthy, with good function, toxic chemicals that enter your body are transported to these organs through your blood and your lymph system.
When the primary emunctories (your detox organs) fail to eliminate the incoming toxic chemicals (because the organs are damaged or overwhelmed with too much exposure), your body will continue to try to eliminate toxics through secondary emunctories, which are all the mucous membranes of your body. Many symptoms we think of as common are actually your body at work, trying to remove substances that do not belong within it. Keep in mind that these symptoms are the second-line effort after the first emunctories have failed, so if you have these symptoms, they may be indicators that your detox system needs some help.
Signs of early toxic overload:
These are also the symptoms that are frequently suppressed with over-the-counter drugs or natural remedies. It’s actually better to let your body use these symptoms to remove toxics from your body, rather than try to “relieve” them with a drug or remedy.
When the secondary emunctories (your mucous membranes) fail to detox your body, your body will begin to store toxics it cannot excrete. Symptoms depend on where the toxic chemicals accumulate. Symptoms from accumulation include:
As lack of fiber in food slows defecation, or not drinking enough water reduces urination, when liver function is hampered by alcoholic beverages or excessive chemical exposure, when sweat is stopped by an antiperspirant or breathing is diminished by cigarette smoke, or these systems are compromised in any other way, detoxification becomes less and less efficient and over time illness occurs.
How toxic chemicals in consumer products and in the environment affect the health of YOUR individual body depends entirely on the condition of your body’s detoxification system. So it is very important for you to understand how your body’s detox system works and how to keep it in tip-top condition.
This blog is full of suggestions for detoxing your body. When you do them, you remove toxic chemicals that can accumulate in your body and cause illness in any and every part of your body. Also read the Body chapter in
Look at your symptoms. Your body will tell you if you need to detox.
Do you wear glasses? Having trouble with your vision? Then this might interest you.
The other day I received an email from Touchstone Essentials with a success story about a man who is taking their Pure Body liquid zeolite along with their organic wholefood nutritional products.
I've been taking Pure Body since the company began and have been recommending it since, but this story was different. I also take their organic wholefood nutritional products because they are among the purest I can find.
I just want to share this story with you, to give you yet another way that removing heavy metals and other toxic chemicals can improve your body and enhance your life, sometimes dramatically.
For years I’ve had big issues with my eyes, to the point that driving at night “safely” was no longer an option. It had gotten to the stage that my eyes became a 24/7 issue, always squinting and feeling very uncomfortable.
My eye specialist had me on pharmaceutical medicine which came with an added bonus; permanent black rings around the eyes, blurred vision and mega headaches. That’s nice.
I started believing that these were the cards dealt to me and that I would just have to live with it. Surgery on both eyes was another option, but that came with no guarantee of solving the problem. I scheduled my surgery and then cancelled it four different times.
Then everything changed… I joined Touchstone Essentials and started taking the products. I believed in plant-based organic green powder supplements but I had never taken them on a consistent basis, until Touchstone. Taking greens in small capsules was a lot easier to swallow. In addition, I was not on any detox program until starting Pure Body.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
After 30 days of being on the complete line of Touchstone products, my wife Robin and I were riding our bicycles. It was in that setting that I suddenly realized how clearly I could see. For the first time in years, my eyes were feeling normal and I was not squinting.
The feeling was overwhelming; I felt so much joy and excitement, I yelled to Robin to stop riding so I could tell her. Now, I’m not saying my eye issues are cured or I will not need surgery in the future. However, having my eyes feel normal and to be able to drive safely at night once again, feels like a miracle!
A recent seminar I attended shed light on why my eyes may have improved. A leading plant-based organic whole food expert spent an hour talking about how important detoxing is for better health.
He talked about how the brain and body build up toxins over time which affects the nervous system. The nervous system communicates to all of the body’s organs and functions. Once you detox and get the chemicals and toxins out, every aspect of your body will function in a much more efficient way, starting at the cellular level.
The average person has over 200 active toxins in their bloodstream, and many, like me, may have no idea how immeasurably better their life can be when you take out toxins, and put the good of whole food nutrition, back inside.
People are having successes like these every day detoxing their bodies. So much so that leading edge doctors around the world use detox as the first treatment for many of their patients, before doing anything else.
Whatever symptoms you have...eyesight problems, overweight, headaches, depression...all can be improved by removing toxic chemicals in your body because every body system is affected by toxic chemicals. So any detox program you do could benefit any part of your body.
This story represents the personal experience of an individual and is not intended to imply you or anyone else will have a similar experience (everyone is different). These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
PHOTO: depositphotos | olga semicheva
A few weeks ago Environmental Working Group did a whole week on water in their blog, including a piece on toxic chemicals in bottled water.
Back in 2008, their own commissioned testing found 38 pollutants in 10 brands of bottled water, "including disinfection byproducts, industrial chemicals, radioactivity and bacteria. Some of the chemicals detected have been linked to health effects, including cancer and methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome). Two of the brands tested even bore the chemical signature of municipal tap water, meaning that they were chemically indistinguishable from what comes from the faucet."
The bottled water industry doesn't play by the same rules as municipal tap water. Water utilities must test their water on a regular basis and report the results to their customers. Bottled water as a product requires no such labeling.
You can read more about EWG's investigation of bottled water at: Bottled Water Quality Investigation: Bottled water contains disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue, and pain medication
Between all these pollutants and the plastics that can leach from the bottles, I gave up bottled water long ago.
Our bodies need sufficient water to process and eliminate toxic chemicals from our bodies. Tainted tap water is less effective than drinking pure water.
I don't want to give the impression that all bottled water is bad. Some spring waters bottled in glass can be good quality. But overall, the best and most affordable choice for water is to filter your own.
I've been reviewing home water filters for more than thirty years, and the one I like best is Pure Effect Water Filters. I like it so much I even replaced the filter I had been using with this one. Read more about my evaluation of this filter at Why I Chose PureEffect Advanced Filtration Ultra Water Filter?Revitalizer to Install in My Home.
A home water filter is one of the best investments you can make in your health. Water is vital to life. With your own water filter, you can know the quality of your water.
When I was writing my book Toxic Free, I came across an article that I wanted to quote, but I couldn't get permission for the quote without paying a huge sum.
Today, while cleaning out emails, I came across it again, and want to share it with you.
I still don't feel like I can quote it now because I asked them and they said I had to pay, but I want to point you to that article as the source of some information I want to give you.
The article begins with a doctor who chairs the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. She has treated thousands of patients with reproductive disorders, including low sperm count and little girls who begin puberty as early as age six.
This doctor says, "There is increasing evidence that environmental contaminants may be playing a role in these disorders."
We know this, but here's the part I want you to read...
A young mother was found to have high levels of toxic chemicals in her blood during her pregnancy. After several miscarriages, she dramatically changed her lifestyle to the make the toxic free choices I have been recommending for years.
Despite these changes, blood tests showed she still had high levels of certain toxic chemicals in her blood. She said, "These chemicals have become ubiquitous in the environment and, as clean as I tried to be, it was not enough to protect my baby boy."
In this case, blood tests showed that her toxic free lifestyle wasn't enough to completely clear toxic chemicals from her body.
I spent many years thinking that if I reduced the amount of toxic chemicals going in, my body would be under less stress and would eliminate stored toxic chemicals on it's own. Yes, my health improved greatly, but when I started doing things to assist my body's detox function, it made a noticable difference. So much so, that I am quite excited to continue to try different detox methods to achieve greater and greater results. And as I do, my health continues to improve.
We certainly need to do everything we can to choose nontoxic products for our homes and workplaces, improve regulations and support manufacturers who make nontoxic products, but in today's world, it isn't enough. We need to remove the toxic chemicals that have already accumulated in our bodies and continue to remove any new chemcials we are exposed to.
This is why I am giving you in this blog a variety of ways to remove toxic chemicals from your body. Any of these methods will give your body a boost in eliminating the stored toxic chemicals that result in ill health.
Here's the article:
Guest blogger Diann Dirks is a researcher whose main focus in the past several years has been finding solutions to the growing challenges to health and well being, physically, we face today. Our food grown with industrial means lacks the nutrition we need to sustain vigorous life, especially minerals. We are exposed to an atmosphere lacking in sufficient oxygen and filled with pollutants. Our water is energetically tainted as well as chemically when our body is 70 to 90% water. And the general population is not well or vigorous without pharmaceuticals generally or without a great deal of trouble to maintain health. The current mainstream solutions have clearly failed. So, she has gone looking for a better way. The data is out there, it just takes a lot of weeding out and searching. Here are some of the things she has discovered.
Recently there has been a growing interest in a family of life forms which have been known and revered since ancient times but which in the modern world got overlooked in favor of a different view of health management. This is the world of fungi and yeasts (except where used in bread making and beer) which have gotten relegated to the subject of ‘folk medicine’ or simply ignored. It wasn’t until penicillin was discovered in the middle of the last century that their uses were resurrected in Western culture.
Now everywhere you look in the cutting edge of nutritional research and alternative medicine you are seeing how important they are, especially in the form of fermented vegetables and various other kinds of fermented foods such as yogurt and natto (a highly nutritious Japanese fermented food). It has become a big deal because the health benefits are particularly important in a world where we are being subjected to ever more potent toxins and pollutants which destroy the immune system.
When you realize that 75 to 85% of our immune system resides in the friendly gut flora, it becomes clear why keeping those beneficial microbes healthy in the intestine becomes vital. Many biologists are now saying that in numbers of microbes compared with the number of our own cells, they out number ours by many times, and the layer of them which line the alimentary tract from the stomach to the end of the intestines is actually a symbiotic separate organ. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of different strains and kinds of micro-organisms which make up this living body along the small and large intestines and many which live in the stomach and even the mouth. They help digest food and protect our health.
Our modern food system has been adding antibiotics to our meats and dairy foods for some time now, giving us the false sense of security that our food is pure and safe. Yet every mouthful of these foods which contain trace amounts of anti-microbial chemicals kill off more of these beneficial microbes, which make up optimally 75 to 85% of those microbes overall. Those antibiotics aren’t meant to be a medicine for people, but they are having the effect of dosing people constantly with something to kill off pathogenic (harmful) germs – bacterial, viral, and fungal – in animals. But they are not selective so they end up killing off the good with the bad in the animals they are fed to, as well as speeding up their growth for more profit. This has led to resistant strains of the pathogenic microbes which aren’t touched by modern antibiotics now, giving us a terrific human health risk. Our food contains both the antibiotics and if you read the newspaper, outbreaks of the resistant strains of bacteria and virus as well. An even more compelling reason to have the strongest natural immune system we can build.
The solution for this consistent die off of our beneficial gut flora is to replenish and recharge the microbes we do have, and provide a constant source of new ones to replace the lost ones. Microbes live off fiber in the intestine. This is the key reason to have a high fiber diet, not generally known. Of course we need the roughage to move the matter through the gut, but the fiber keeps the beneficial microbes fed and strong so they can do what they are meant to do – digest and break down food for absorption into the body, destroy pathogenic microbes (for every pathogenic microbe of a given family there is at least one and often many beneficial ones which are their opposition), and process toxins as they pass through. Some even attack parasites.
This is where those fermented foods come in. They provide the replacement for the lost beneficials. Kim chi, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, pickles – particularly the live kind made in Japan and Korea which are salted down or rice wine or vinegar added but not cooked, made by pressing in a special press over a few days and eaten as a condiment with rice and other foods – are especially good sources. They give the fiber for microbe food and recharge the beneficial microbes as well. Kefir, Yogurt, natto, sauerkraut, and Kombucha tea all are ‘probiotics’ – live beneficial microbe sources. An added benefit to fermented foods are that they provide partially digested food which is easier for the body to utilize, and they are loaded with enzymes which the body constantly needs for many other metabolic processes.
As a note, there is a difference between toxins and poisons. Toxins are something the body generates all the time as part of the digestion and metabolism of foods. Various processes in the body generate these things and the liver is supposed to take care of that. But we are adding poisons in the form of artificial chemicals and heavy metals such as lead, aluminum, strontium, barium and many others which are not digestible being inorganic, and which disrupt the systems of the body – both physiologically and energetically. These poisons overload the immune system and eat up energy which we would rather have for activities we choose – like a good game of baseball or running after a toddler. Instead we find ourselves tired, not sleeping well, feeling mentally dull and physically lackluster. This is because the body is overwhelmed handling the internal works and can’t put that energy to use by muscles and brainpower. However, for this article I’m including toxins and poisons under one heading ‘toxins’. Getting rid of all these things in a way that keeps them under control has to be a key aspect of staying healthy.
This knowledge about fermentation, yeast and fungi were known by a few wise people in Asia several hundred years ago. In 430 BC, a Japanese emperor sent his emissaries around Japan looking for a way to become physically immortal. They found a Korean man named Kombu who brought this emperor a kind of fermented beverage. Made from a symbiotic bio-mass like a mushroom made of yeast and bacteria which when added to a sweet tea and allowed to ferment for a week or two gave a drink that had innumerable health benefits. This was kept as a secret by the royalty of Japan for a long time but eventually it leaked out and found its way to Korea, China, Russia and other places around the world.
The ancient name for Kombucha in Chinese translates to "Immortal Health Elixer."
The word for tea in Japan and China is Cha. Thus the name Kombucha – or Kombu’s tea. Kombucha is anti-aging, immune boosting, highly nutritionally loaded with vitamins and enzymes, detoxifying, anti-cancer, liver cleansing, and a very prolific beneficial microbe source to name but a few properties. It has been passed from person to person for over 2000 years. The mushroom ‘scoby’ makes a ‘baby’ every several batches which can be shared with another to grow a separate batch of Kombucha on its own. The scoby I use is the direct descendant of that one used by the ancient Japanese emperor as is every other one on the planet. It is a forgiving living organism easy to use for making Kombucha. The Scobys I have available along with the booklet I have written on the subject from a great deal of deep research on the subject can be utilized by anyone to make your own Kombucha and share it with those you care about. It isn’t brain surgery. If you can make a batch of sweet tea you can make it.
Did I mention it’s delicious? After it has reached its peak flavor (about 7 to 10 days) all but about 6 oz. can be poured off and double fermented with fruit, herbs, juices or other flavorful teas to add interest to it as a beverage (like a sparkling wine or soda), or left as-is (my favorite way). Then the scoby and the remaining 6 oz. used as a starter can make the next batch. This process has been repeated for 2000 years.
All it takes to make is the Scoby, 3 quarts of purified or pure spring water, a cup of sugar (no substitutes please, but organic cane sugar is my favorite, or Sucanat which is dried sugar cane juice), and black or a combination of black and green tea (no flavored teas and no tea substitutes or decaf) and a gallon glass jar, a bit of cheese cloth or a tea towel and a rubber band to keep it on once the fermentation process begins. The sugar gets eaten up by the yeast, the tea feeds the bacteria in the symbiotic scoby, and once fermented properly, the natural molecules and microbes formed constituting the overall mixture is beneficial. Even if you have Candida or cancer which usually prohibits using sugar, this effect is handled by the scoby. The longer you let it ferment, the more tart it becomes so if you are worried about the sugar, just let it get almost to vinegar, then dilute it with water to make it palatable. [You can order the scoby and a book about Kombucha Tea with complete instructions from Diann directly by emailing her at email@example.com]
Kombucha has numerous other uses. When really tart it can replace vinegar in salad dressings. It can be added to fruit juice or cooled down tea (you don’t want to kill off the living microbes), and the extra scoby babies which eventually build up can be blended and used as a skin toner or mask for wonderful complexion. Or you can add them to your compost pile to raise the soil microbe level.
It is recommended that people start with a couple of ounces a day or every other day because the body will start to detox, so that is best done gradiently. Once you get going, after a week or so start to increase it to two ounces, three, four once a day, then eventually up to 4 oz. 4 times a day.
Usually I keep two gallon jars in action because with 16 oz. a day, it takes two to provide enough. Gallon glass pickle jars cleaned well make great Kombucha jars. But wide glass bowls can be used. Just take some tape and criss cross over the top so the tea towel or cheese cloth doesn’t fall into the liquid. You want to keep out fruit flies or other insects. Once the tea is fermented and poured off, the resulting product can be tightly covered and kept on the counter or in the frig. But the fermenting tea with scoby needs to have air exposure.
You can purchase already prepared Kombucha in some health food stores, but you will pay up to $15 a bottle whereas you can make it for about $.50 a gallon if you make it at home. And the beauty is that you can play with the flavors to suit yourself. I like Oolong or simple black tea, or mostly green tea with a tea bag or so of black tea for variety. Oolong is good for the metabolism per Dr. Oz on TV. Don’t use herbal tea, it doesn’t work. Add herbal tea later after the fermentation if you like. The caffeine in tea is pretty much neutralized by the fermentation process but if you aren’t allowed caffeine, use other fermented foods to replace your probiotics. I haven’t noticed a caffeine effect in drinking Kombucha though myself.
President Reagan used Kombucha to cure his stomach cancer while he was in office. His friend Solzhenitsyn (Nobel Peace Prize - Russian) cured himself of it while he was in the gulag in Russia earlier and told him of it when Reagan was diagnosed. Two regions of Russia were kept cancer free by the daily use of it as a folk beverage in the 1950s during a cancer epidemic across most of the country. It has glucoronic acid which bonds with toxins in the liver and removes them. It can be drunk after drinking alcohol to nullify both the intoxication and the hangover, it’s such a good liver cleanser. It has numerous other health benefits. But the bottom line is that this is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body period. It’s worth the 6 square inches of counter space in your kitchen and the fifteen minutes of your time every week or so to make. It can add years to your life and maybe even save it. And it is a delicious little treat several times a day.
When in our society when we eat grocery store food, and we’re getting pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and sometimes chemicals sprayed on to increase shelf life – even mercury sprayed on grains – we build up those toxins in our bodies. Breathing air loaded with metals and general junk like tobacco smoke, more toxins are loaded in. And the process of metabolism using the food we eat generates natural toxins as part of cell regeneration and digestion.
If we don’t keep some sort of regimen in to draw out those toxins, they clog the immune system and have other far reaching effects on the energy systems of the body as well. Even small amounts of aluminum or other metals can cause a great deal of damage and shorten our lives.
The liver naturally generates Glucoronic Acid but it was never designed to make as much as we need now to pair up (bond) with toxins as they go through the liver’s chemical processes. So when it runs out during the day, the toxins which aren’t paired up go through and re-toxify the blood letting it build up in the liver and other organs and tissues.
Kombucha is loaded with Glucoronic Acid to make up for the deficit and when drunk several times a day, a constant flow of it goes into the liver to help bond with the toxins and remove them in a natural way. And the added Glucoronic Acid being in abundance now goes to work on the stored toxins in the liver which gradually restores it to a clean bill of health so it can do its job efficiently.
Glucoronic Acid is such a great detoxifier, when drunk on a regular basis will take care of alcoholic beverage intoxication (in-toxication means being toxified by alcohol) – something to know after a big party night.
The beneficial microbes (probiotics) in Kombucha replace the ones killed off by the commercial anti-biotics in animal meat and eggs, and dairy products. These good microbes when not present allow the pathogenic (harmful) bacteria, viruses and funguses to grow exponentially because the antibiotics are not choosy what they kill off, and the pathogenic ones bounce back faster than the good ones. So, every time a person takes a course of antibiotics or eats meat loaded with them from commercial feed they are all pretty much depleted, leaving the bad ones left to multiply without the good ones to balance them. This causes great pressure on the immune system to fight the toxic byproducts of the harmful pathogens (it isn’t the germs that harm the body, it’s their metabolic waste). By restoring balance (75% good, 25% bad) the good ones digest the toxins so they aren’t re-introduced to the blood stream. That takes the pressure off the immune system so it can do its job normally. And relieves the liver of having to process more toxins from infection. It’s a circular system so what happens in the liver and the gut happens all across the body’s cellular community. As toxins are removed and discarded in the natural way, and backlogs of toxins are removed, the body and all its systems including its energetic systems, all the glands and organs pick up and start to function more efficiently.
When the beneficial microbes are lacking, waste builds up in the intestines because they can’t do their job being absent. Among its many beneficial bacteria, Kombucha provides lactobacillus – one of the prime good bacteria – which is known for its ability to digest things: waste, food, toxins, poisons and industrial chemicals etc. It’s like the Pac Man in the video game. It eats everything. So, by increasing the lacto population in the gut, the waste layers get broken down and slough off and out. This waste can generate tremendous toxic output and host parasites, so getting rid of it is a key factor in cleaning up the body’s overall toxic load.
When I think of all the extraordinary measures people take all the time in order to clean out the body – the blood, the liver, the gut, and every organ and system – it is just amazing how a simple and delicious drink takes so much of the effort out of detoxification. Of course it is a good idea to keep taking those antioxidants, fiber supplements, other sources of probiotics (fermented foods, kefir, yogurt, etc.) and drinking lots of water because the body does so much better when there is an overall regime. But just from personal observation, when I take Kombucha 3 or 4 times a day, I notice how much more energy I have, how much clearer my thinking is, how much nicer my skin is, how much more regular I am, and just in general how much better I feel. That old Japanese Emperor kept this secret to himself but I want to share this with as many people as possible. Long Life and Bon Appetit!
The Garden Lady (thegardenladyofga.wordpress.com)
Mothers School of Self-Reliance
Hillside Gardens, Auburn, Ga.
Certified Permaculture Designer
Student of herbology and natural healing
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* All you need to know to start making your own Kombucha Tea.
* Contains an easy to read and easy to follow book and
* Your own "Scoby" - the mushroom which makes it.
The Kit will be sent to you by USPS mail. Shipped in triple plastic bags, the Scoby is alive and will be ready to use immediately upon arrival. The book contains all you need to know to understand what Kombucha Tea does for you health-wise as well as all the benefits and how to use it to best advantage. The instructions are so simple a child can make Kombucha, but it also includes any questions you may have about it. And it will give you ideas about doing double fermenting to get all those “health food store” flavors purchased Kombucha Tea is known for at a fraction of the cost to you.
Compare $8 to $15/bottle to $.50 a gallon! And you have your choice of flavors any time you want.
Enjoy the anti-aging, liver protecting, detoxifying, anti-cancer (an historic fact), immune boosting benefits of drinking Kombucha Tea several times a day along with the wonderfully delicious flavor of a beverage drunk for over 2000 years by people around the world starting with an Emperor of Japan in 430 BC.
The Kit: The Book "Kombucha Tea," and the Scoby: $30 to $32 includes S&H.
Kit does not contain the glass container to make it in or the sweet tea ingredients which can be purchased at any usual grocery store.
[This post is my slightly edited version of a post from the Touchstone Essentials blog, reprinted with their permission]
Most people get too much of the wrong kind of fats in their diet, and need more of the right kind. The fats that are good for you are called essential fatty acids (EFAs), so called because your body can’t make them on its own, and must get them from food.
Why are these essential fatty acids so, well, essential?
Simply put, every cell in the body (50+ trillion of them) is surrounded by a protective membrane, which is made up (in part) of phospholipids, which in turn is made from fatty acids. A lack of these essential fatty acids can lead to poor cell health.
Because all our cells require fatty acids, the health benefits associated with essential fatty acids are wide-ranging, from cardiovascular support, joint health, skin appearance and brain function. Research suggests these fatty acids help maintain a non-inflammatory state in the body.
The “essential fatty acids” in fish oil are commonly called omega-3s (EPA and DHA). However EPA and DHA are not actually essential fatty acids. By definition, “essential” nutrients are those the body cannot make and must get from food. Our bodies can and do make EPA and DHA when needed, so long as the foundational nutrition is provided through parent essential oils.
According to Darrel Hestdalen, D.C., DIBAK, FASA, “The need for proper plant-based parent essential oils (PEOs) is now understood for supporting eyesight, reducing muscle strains, cardiovascular health, and maximizing the function of all cells.”
Parent essential oils are LA (linoleic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). These parent oils are the foundational nutrition that our body recognizes and converts to EPA and DHA. These oils are present in plants renowned for their healing qualities, such as borage, flax seed and pumpkin seed.
Consuming fish has many health benefits, yet concerns about levels of mercury and toxic PCBs abound for many fish species. As a result, millions have turned to “purified” fish oil. However, the refinement process used to convert fish into fish oil renders the finished product into something akin to semi-synthetic oil, making it less likely to be absorbed in the body.
How does this happen? In their natural form, omega-3s in fish oil occur as triglycerides. But to remove harmful mercury from fish oil, a molecular distillation process is used. To undergo molecular distillation, fish oil is first exposed to the solvent ethanol then the oil is heated under high vacuum, which concentrates the omega-3s to ethyl esters (not the natural triglycerides).
While this process removes some contaminants such as mercury, it leaves others behind. Recent ConsumerLab.com testing shows low levels of PCBs were found in almost ALL fish oil supplements.
Flooding the body with derivatives of essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) can even be harmful as scientist Brian Peskin has documented in his research.
A recent, well-publicized study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed a 43 percent increase for all prostate cancers—and a 71 percent increase in aggressive prostate cancers—associated with high blood levels of EPA and DHA.
Another reason to be concerned about fish oil is its potential to oxidize. Time, air, heat and light can all cause fish oil to degrade and turn rancid. Oxidized oils have a strong “fishy” smell, and if consumed, can contribute to cellular damage.
Unlike fish oil, plant-based oils provide the building blocks to help your body form omega-3s, including EPA and DHA, naturally. For natural essential fatty acids that your body can readily use, turn to healing plants, including organic borage, organic flax seed and organic pumpkin seed.
I personally take Touchstone Essentials Wellspring formula of organic vegetarian oils, which provide a rich source of essential fatty acids from plants, combined with broad-spectrum whole food antioxidants—turmeric root, ginger root and astaxanthin—creating a unique blend to soothe joints and support heart health.
I don't take fish oils because of the high level of pollution in the ocean, and the amount of processing needed to remove those chemicals. Organic vegetable oils are an excellent source of the raw materials our bodies need to make omega-3s.
I have the most interesting guests on my Toxic Free Talk Radio show!
A few days ago I interviewed Dina Falconi, author of Foraging & Feasting - A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook.
During the interview we were talking about edible wild plants and the first plant she mentioned was dandelion, which has been used for millenia as a liver cleanse. Dandelion is also a wonderful colon cleanse. Together these two functions support your body in the removal of toxic chemicals: first the chemicals are processed by the liver, and then eliminated through the colon. And dandelion is in practically every garden everywhere! Free!
Dina and I talked about how it is common in our culture to think of weeds as been useless plants that we need to kill with herbicides or pull and dispose of, but often weeds have gifts we should be using for our own well-being. And dandelion is certainly one of them.
If we look around, we often find that Nature has the remedy for whatever ails us.
Dr. Oz recommends eating 3 cups of bitter greens daily to "restart" your liver, including arugula, endive, spinach and dandelion greens.
There are many resources online about using dandelion for detox, and all their health benefits. Here are a few to get you started:
It's apple season now, which prompted me to wonder if the that old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" has anything to do with helping our bodies detox.
Well, there are quite a few apple detox diets on the Internet, but there's a difference between clearing out your body's metabolic wastes (called toxins) and clearing out toxic chemicals.
Toxic chemicals, in fact, technically are not toxins at all because a toxin is a naturally-occurring poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues. Toxins are things like the food poison Botulinus toxin, or cellular wastes that have built up in your body instead of being eliminated.
Frequently the word toxin is used incorrectly to refer to a manmade poison when the noun toxic or toxicant should have been used.
But I digress. Back to apples.
Apples are good for us because they are high in insoluble fiber and the soluble fiber pectin, which soak up toxins and waste and carries them out of the body through the intestines. Any food that helps waste move through your intestines is good for detox because the intestines are one of the primary exit routes for toxic chemicals. As I've said many times before, if toxic chemicals sit in your intestines because they aren't moving, those toxic chemicals get reabsorbed into the body. And apples help your intestines move.
Another reason apples are a good choice is that their sugar is absorbed slowly, with a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin instead of a quick spike. So they give sustained energy rather than an up and a down. But that has nothing to do with detox.
Now here's an interesting thing. Apples are one of the foods that contain the highest levels of glucaric acid, which can help your body remove cancer-causing substances from your liver. And anything that helps your liver helps your body detox.
You would have to eat a lot of apples to remove a significant amount of toxic chemicals from your body (it's faster and easier to take PureBody liquid zeolite for that purpose) but eating apples in season is a plesant way to give your body a bit of a boost in the right direction.
I like to just eat apples crisp and raw, spread with a little nut butter or with a few bites of cheese. But there are many recipes that feature apples to enjoy this time of year. And try different varieties of apples. You don't have to stick to Red Delicious. Farmer's markets have many wonderful varieties now...even my local natural food store here in Florida has half a dozen varieties of organic apples.
So enjoy eating apples and know they are helping your body detox.
Since we are all exposed to a good many industrial chemicals that cause cancer, it's a good idea to do things in our daily life that counter that effect. You could remove every carcinogen from your home and you would still be exposed to these chemicals out in the world, in cigarette smoke, car exhuast, pesticides sprayed on lawns, and many other exposures in public places.
Fortunately, there are some foods fight cancer. This month a new review of flaxseed, published in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapy. showed that flaxseed not only can precent breast cancer, but it also kills cancer cells.
The review also noted that flaxseeds improved mental health by 76 percent!
My natural doctor recently suggested to me that I eat flaxseeds every day and I've been trying to find a way to enjoy them. I think I finally found it today.
Soak the flaxseeds in water for about eight hours. It will create a kind of gelatenous mush. Then I spread a thin layer evenly on a piece of parchment paper and dehydrated it for about three hours at 115 degrees (to keep the enzymes active). If you don't have a dehydrator, use the lowest setting on your oven. The result was a nice crispy chip, which I can pulverize to a powder if I want to or eat as a chip. I sprinkled some organic garlic salt on it and it totally satisfied my desire for something crunchy.
It's best to soak flaxseeds before you eat them because all nuts and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors, which lock the enzymes inside the seed until they are needed for the seed to sprout and grow. Water unlocks the enzymes so they are available to benefit our bodies. These are considered to be an excellent natural source of digestive enzymes.
So, many benefits to flaxseeds, that can help our bodies recover from the ravages of toxic chemical exposures.
Here are a couple of articles about the health benefits of eating flaxseeds:
I know I've been writing a lot about thyroid lately, but there is a lot of new information. And it's something I'm dealing with personally so I have attention on it.
Before I tell you about this new study, I want to tell you about my own recent success.
First, after reading Dr Kharrazian's book that I told you about in Why a Well-Functioning Thyroid is Vital for Detox, I had a blood test for "thyroid antibodies" to see if my body was hypothyroid or if I had the autoimmune disease Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. These are two different conditions and each needs to be treated differently.
I found out that I do not have Hashimoto's, but in the course of doing this blood test, I also found--to my surprise--that my thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was normal. I was surprised because I have been struggling with this for three years. After many years on Armour Thyroid with normal blood tests, my TSH went off for some unknown reason. Nothing seemed to help. Last month my TSH was 89. On this last test it was right in the middle of normal at 1.49. Yes, you read that right. It came down 87 points.
I had changed only one thing: I had been on a 100% gluten-free diet for 30 days when the test was taken. So if you have thyroid problems, please try a gluten-free diet. Just that has been known to handle thyroid problems completely. In my case, the gluten was interfering with my thyroid supplement, and when I removed the gluten, my supplement was effective.
Now my TSH is normal, taking Armour Thyroid, which is a natural thyroid hormone.
For thyroid supplementation, the choices are a natural hormone made from animal thyroid glands (such as Armour brand, but there are others), or Synthroid, made from petroleum. Often patients have side effects from Synthroid which result in them being given psych drugs. Sometimes they even end up in the psych ward of hospitals, as happened to someone I know personally.
This reminds me of what we've been discussing about vitamins. Here we have a "wholdfood" thyroid hormone versus a synthetic hormone made from petroleum, akin to wholefood vitamin supplements versus synthetic supplements.The reasons that natural thyroid supplements are better than synthetic supplements are all the same reasons that wholefood vitamins are better than synthetic vitamins.
Now, a new study found that almost half of the study patients preferred natural thyroid to synthetic. They lost more weight and their symptoms improved.Dr. Thanh Hoang, a staff endocrinologist at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, who did the study, said,"We didn't find any differences in the neurocognitive measurements between the two therapies...We now know that once-daily desiccated thyroid extract is a safe alternative treatment for patients with hypothyroidism who are not satisfied with levothyroxine treatment. It's an option for them to try, and also desiccated can cause modest weight loss in these patients as well."
Another problem with taking synthetic thyroid is that the one hormone it provides (T4) needs to then be converted within your body to it's usable form (T3). But there are many factors that can interfere with this process.
An article at Discovery Fit & Health explains this fully. Here's an excerpt:
Nutritional deficiencies such as iodine, iron, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and B12, along with the use of certain medications including beta-blockers, birth control pills, estrogen, iodinated contrast agents, lithium, phenytoin, and theophylline, can inhibit the conversion of T4 into T3. Other factors that can cause this inhibition include aging, alcohol, alpha-lipoic acid, diabetes, fluoride, lead, mercury, pesticides, radiation, stress, and surgery.
Natural thyroid contains all the hormones, including T4 and T3.
I think I've said enough here to make my point: your body not only prefers natural substances for health and healling, but needs them.
Here' are two excellent articles that explain more about the history of natural and synthetic thyroid replacement hormones and how they function in the body:
Alliance for Natural Health: Help Us Protect Natural Thyroid Hormone.
Simple things you can do to help your body eliminate toxic chemicals. Read more...