Detoxification — An Indispensable
First Step To Wellness

By: Sheila McKenzie-Barnswell B.Sc., R.N.C.

Every living organism including human beings ingest nutrients and release waste products from the cells continually. If waste products are allowed to accumulate cells are prevented from receiving proper nour­ishment. An excellent diet will not help your immune system to protect the body against disease if the cells are suffocating in their own waste.

The first step to a healthy life and a strong immune system is detoxifying... that is ridding accumulated toxins from the internal organs of the body. Most cleansing programs should aim at detoxifying the main organs of elimination: kidneys, liver, bowels, lungs, skin and the lymphatics. There are several methods of detoxifying. Some are used every day while others are done periodically.

AVOID Polluting the body:

Toxins (poisonous waste) are natural by-products of digestion, even a healthy diet produces toxins. The body is constantly bombarded with substances which were never meant to be a part of the human diet (coffee, tea, alcohol, refined sugar, refined flour, tobacco smoke, soft drinks, drugs, chocolate, exposure to airpollution, artificial colouring, flavouring, preservatives, etc.) All such substances provide absolutely no nourishment, only an overload of toxins for the body to eliminate and a great burden to the immune system. Another threat to the body is overindulgence. Even the most nutritious diet can produce too many toxins in the body, if excess amounts are eaten. The first step to take to detoxify the body is to STOP PUTTING TOO MANY TOXINS IN TO IT.


Exercise is of prime importance to the strength of the immune system of the body. Exercise stimulates lymphatic drainage, the lymph system has no pump like the heart, it relies on exercise for drainage.

The lymphatic system serves as the "SEWAGE system of the body". The lymph fluid is the intermediary between blood and bodily cells, nutrients are exchanged and the waste from the cells are carried off. Lymph fluid is much more abundant than blood and has to circulate without the benefit of a pump so exercise is most crucial to maintain the movement of this fluid , especially because lymph nodes are concentrated in the neck, armpits and groin areas which receive a massage-like action when the body is in motion. Aerobic type activities are best and does not necessarily mean aerobic dance. Any exercise should be done at least three times per week in which you develop and sustain perspiration for at least thirty minutes i.e. swimming, jogging, cycling, tennis etc.

An excellent device for massaging the lymphatic system is a mini-trampoline. It produces exercise in every cell in the body while cushioning the effect of stress to the joints by the force of gravity. It can be done all year round in the privacy of one's home.


The human body is comprised of approxi­mately 65 to 70 percent of water. All bio­chemical processes take place in a medium of water the body filters. The water is most important to the proper function of the kidneys and bladder. Most individuals do not drink enough pure water. One of the results of not drinking enough water is impeded colon function. Pure water is wa­ter that is filtered or distilled, as free from pollutants as possible. Drinking large amounts of water will not overburden the kidneys as some individuals may think. The kidneys are filters, the less concen­trated the substance which passes through them, the less work the kidneys have to do in filtering it. Individuals who suffer from fluid retention may actually benefit from increasing their water intake. Excess of various salts in the tissues tend to let the tissues retain fluids.


The human colon is a convoluted tube approximately five to six feet long to two-and-a- half inches in diameter. Lots of fiber is needed to fill out such a tube. Fiber acts like a broom in the colon to clean out the intestinal walls. When the body is clean and healthy we experience a feeling of well-being. When it is congested with stagnant waste, poisons back up into the system and pollute our inner environment. This is called autointoxication —literally self poisoning. Many individuals are constipated without knowing they are, they assume that if they have bowel movements every day every-thing is normal. A most critical factor which determines if one is constipated is transit time. It is the time it takes from the time food is eaten until it is completely eliminated from the body. A simple test of transit time is to eat some beet and to observe how long it takes for the red stain from the beet to show up in the stool. An ideal transit time is less than 20 and preferably from 12 to 18 hours. The individual would be astonished to find that for them it takes 60 hours or longer.

Some individuals suffering from diarrhea are actually suffering from the symptoms of constipation. Sometimes such individu­als are so congested that the body tries to step up peristaltic action which results in only the escape of fluids since the colon is so blocked. A healthy bowel movement should be well formed, about one-and-a-half inches in diameter, over 13 inches long, medium to dark brown in colour, semi-floating and with relatively little odour. Only a diet high in fibre can help you achieve such a result.

If one eats three meals per day it is only natural that one should produce three nor­mal bowel movements every day, fewer if the transit time is slow. It is false to think that someone whose bowels move once every three, five or seven days is simply following a rhythm that is natural for him or her. Colon cancer is high on the list as a leading cause of death and the colon can be the root of most illness in the body.

For the colon to function efficiently, a diet consisting of at least 65 percent plant sources, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, potatoes in skins, peas, beans, lentils, corn and 100 percent whole grains would be required. Animal products do not contain fibre. Supplemental fibre is essential to the diet of most individuals since modem diets, even the best of them, have undergone some form of refinement which robs fibre from the body. Some supplemental fibre sources are wheat bran, but be careful if you are sensitive to wheat, rice bran, oat bran, psyllium, pectin etc. These can be added to cereal, yogurt, baking etc. Psyllium is used in a popular bowel regulator known as METAMUCIL, unfortunately this product is sugar-laden. Pure psyllium is more effective.

Laxatives and the Colon: Laxatives, even herbal ones or prune juice, should be used with extreme caution, and can actually lead to constipation if used regularly. Laxatives work by irritating the colon causing it to go into spasm and empty its contents. The more the bowels are artificially stimulated the lazier it becomes. Laxatives can become an addiction.


A colonic irrigation or high enema is an internal bath that helps cleanse the colon of accumulated poisons and gas and hardened fecal matter. A person receiving a colonic irrigation lies on a table at the foot of which is a colonic machine consisting of flow control, temperature control, observation tube and monitoring gauges. A special sterile hygienic specilum is gently inserted into the rectum. Water flows into the colon via a small water tube and out through a different tube called the evacuation tube, carrying with it excess impacted waste matter when it passes through a special viewing window in the tube. A series of Colonics is sometimes necessary to dislodge hardened waste. Colonic irrigation is most effective when employed in combination with a cleansing fast or herb and exercise.

A note of caution: Colonics are for periodic full-scale cleaning and are not practical or recommended for every day internal clean­ing. For more information about colonic irrigation look for "Colonic Irrigation" in any yellow pages directory.


There are many herbal combinations which assist the kidney, liver and bowels to elimi­nate more effectively. One of the most simple combinations is a product marketed by Pure Life nutritional products in Canada known as COLO-VADA PLUS. It consists of garlic, chapareal, fenugreek, quassia, red sage, black cohosh golden seal and also acidophilus, vitamin C, alfalfa and many other ingredients too numerous to list here. This product is available by contacting a Pure Life distributor in your area. There are also many other herbal cleansers available at most health food stores.


Rudolph Salentine M.D.

Fasting is a cleansing method of depriving the body of food for brief periods in order to help the body catch up with house cleaning. By taking a rest from digesting food, the load on the digestive organs is eased enabling the liver to catch up on blood cleansing functions. The body needs protein on a regular basis, when it is deprived of taking protein it starts to cannibalize itself. It starts with weakened and diseased tissues because they are the easiest to breakdown. Learn from the example of animals. Anyone who lives on a farm or close to any domestic animal will tell you that when the animal is not feeling well they will slip off into the woods or some quiet area for a day or two with absolutely no food until they feel better. Individuals who think they should eat to keep up their strength while they are feeling sick are very misguided. A common misquotation, "FEED A COLD AND STARVE A FEVER" is from the original expression "IF YOU FEED A COLD TODAY YOU WILL HAVE TO STARVE A FEVER TOMORROW". Depriving the body of food while you have a cold or fever can lessen the severity and help the body to work in removing infectious organisms more quickly.


Fasting is not a substitute for weight loss, only a proper diet and exercise program can help with permanent weight control. There is also a rare form of hypoglycemia which causes liver dysfunction and blood sugar levels drop dangerously low when no food is consumed. Most of the other hypo­glycemics can safely fast since it is only the ingestion of concentrated carbohydrates which causes the blood sugar level to drop. When no food is eaten the blood sugar levels remain stable.

Fasting can be overdone. Carried too far one can lose lean muscle tissue and do damage to organs. Fasting practised in moderation can be a valuable detoxifica­tion technique. For more information on fasting or how to get started, contact a holistic practitioner who specialises in fast­ing techniques or try your local health food store for books on fasting.

Some suggested books: Rational Fasting for Physical, Mental and & Spiritual Reju­venation, by Professor Arnold Ehret, The Miracle of Fasting by Patricia & Paul Bragg.


In the process of detoxifying and rejuvenat­ing the body, you may experience a condi­tion known as "Healing Crisis". This is the outward manifestation of disease process, but it is only the body discarding its burden of toxins that it has been carrying for years. During a healing crisis the body may relive a disease condition it had in the past but only fora period of two to four days and not usually with the same severity as the origi­nal disease. It happens most often with individuals who in the past suppressed their original disease with drugs. Weak organs in the body tend to store toxins and are unable to properly utilize nutrients. As weakened organs become stronger they are able to get rid of the burden of stored drug biproducts and waste products. A milder form of heal­ing may be the manifestation of headaches, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea etc., usually lasting from five to ten days. For individu­als who experience some discomfort as the body cleanses and adjusts to the releasing of toxins, it is important to understand that this is a time of rebuilding health.

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