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Natural Health from A to Z
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 • Posted October 7, 2009

Detoxification is a basic natural health solution. It is particularly important in this day and age when toxic chemicals are in our homes, our food, our air and our water.

A toxin is a substance that creates irritating and/or harmful effects to the body. Toxins tend to overwhelm our bodies and undermine our health over time. Signs of toxicity include lack of energy, forgetfulness, insomnia, digestive problems, arthritis and other joint related problems, bad breath or offensive body odor, acne, allergies, colitis, lower back pain, depression, neurological problems, etc.

There are currently 80,000 chemicals that are licensed for commercial use, with approximately 2,000 new chemical compounds being introduced each year. What most of us fail to realize is how and where these toxins are used. Many of these chemicals are in products we are exposed to every day. Much of our food contains chemicals that do not have to be disclosed.

The Sinatra Health Report published a list of 20 toxins found in everyday life which are as follows: insecticides, prescription drugs, alcohol, air pollution, cigarette smoke, formaldehyde from carpets and processed wood, soft drinks made with phosphoric acid, trans fats in many prepared foods, char-broiled meats, hair dyes, cosmetics and other personal products, petrochemicals, heavy metals, nitrates found mainly in processed meats, radon, gasoline, chlorine, mercury contaminated fish, industrial chemicals in home cleaning fluids, and phtalates from plastics.

The list of toxic chemicals and their effects can go on and on. If you are interested, read about them. I like Dr. Don Colbert’s What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You and Ann Louise Gittleman’s The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet.

There are many good detoxification plans. I like using herbal detox products that clean the body’s basic channels of elimination such as the colon, kidneys, skin, lymph system, liver, and lungs. There are also cleanses for heavy metals such as lead and mercury. There are products that help remove xenoestrogens which are toxins that mimic estrogen causing many problems including cancer.

Fasting is another method of cleansing; however, it must be used with caution when getting rid of toxic chemicals. The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet has a great 7 day preparation for a one day fast followed by a 3 day plan that allows the body to heal before reintroducing foods that are hard on the body.

One of the most fascinating aspects of toxicity is that the toxins can store as fat in the body. Many practitioners are beginning to blame the obesity epidemic on the toxicity of our food.

Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas.

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