Your Body’s Detoxification System
To sustain life, your body system needs inputs of food, water, and air and—equally as important—it needs to eliminate wastes. When your body doesn’t eliminate wastes, it’s like having the garbage in your home pile up because you haven’t put it outside in the garbage can to be taken away. Not a very pretty sight either way. Your body has many ways to eliminate the toxic chemicals that may cause it harm. Every minute of every day, your body is at work draining and purifying itself, through the excretion of urine and feces, as well as sweat and every breath you exhale. Your body has four 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”): • liver (which works together with the intestines) • kidneys • skin • lungs. 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. These organs process the chemicals and send them off to be excreted from your body:
- through your liver via bile, which goes into your intestines and leaves your body through the stool,
- through your kidneys as urine,
- through your skin via sweat, and
- through your lungs as you exhale.
When the primary emunctories fail, 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—such as coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination, and mucous membrane secretions—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. 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 fail to detox your body, your body will begin to store toxics it cannot excrete. They may accumulate in your joints as arthritis or gout. They may affect your brain and show up as fatigue, depression or memory loss. When your sweat glands fail to do their job to detox your body, your skin tries to drain toxics through its oil glands, resulting in rashes, acne and eczema. As lack of fiber in food slows defecation, or not drinking enough water reduces urination, when liver function is hampered by alcoholic beverages, 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.
Our detox systems are the most important part of our bodies, yet few people know about them. When writing this book even I had to do a lot of research to learn about how my body’s detox system works and how to care for it. In Toxic Free you will find 50+ pages devoted to detox, including: * How Toxics Move Through Your Body * How You Can Support Your Detox System * How You Can Protect and Strengthen Your Detox Organs * How You Can Remove Toxic Chemicals From Your Body Detox is the foundation of good health. Learn about it!