by Patricia S. Lemer, M. Ed., NCC

Detoxify or DieA fantastic book, Detoxify or Die by Sherry Rogers MD, certainly got my attention. A leading environmental medicine authority for over 30 years, Dr. Rogers shares her insights on the irrefutable relationship between toxins from the environment and personal health. After scaring you to death, she puts you on the track to recovery.

Everyone’s Toxic

Even though I had read, and was impressed by, the Environmental Working Group’s “Body Burden” report on widespread human contamination by industrial chemicals, I assumed I was fine. Yes, I have a few dental amalgams, grew up in a filthy, industrial city and bike ride behind putrid cars.

What a surprise to learn that my body was a “toxic waste dump,” full of mercury and PCBs. My only symptom: extra weight, despite an excellent diet, ample exercise and “clean living.” According to Rogers, I had grown larger every year to store the toxins, rather than put them out into my blood stream, where they could damage my vital organs.

The Phases of Detoxification

So off I went, on a detox odyssey. Bennett and Barrie in their book, 7-Day Detox Miracle, Revised 2nd Edition: Revitalize Your Mind and Body with This Safe and Effective Life-Enhancing Program, compare the detoxification process to a two-phase wash cycle. In Phase One, the cells must be cajoled into breaking down stored toxins into intermediate forms. Some toxins are ready for removal at this stage, but others need a second wash cycle. Phase Two requires that toxins be excreted safely, usually in partnership with an “escort” nutrient. If the process stops after Phase One, sickness, and even death can occur.

What’s a Family to Do?

I have learned about some extremely easy, powerful detoxification techniques that are both reasonably priced and generally available. While all would agree that heavy metal detox must be done under the strict supervision of a qualified health care practitioner, everyone should consider adding these activities to your already full “To Do” list.

Use foods as natural detoxifiers

Specific foods can have beneficial effects on detoxification. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) from cold water fish and flaxseed oil can heighten detox. Broccoli sprouts stimulate the glutathione pathways, thus supporting Phase 2 activity. Less familiar vegetables, such as artichokes, beets, Jerusalem artichokes and burdock root are also powerful immune system boosters, intensifying the body’s efforts to clear out poisons.

Consider having your “silver” amalgams removed

Yes, while you are not sick. I am now convinced that even a couple of them can undermine health by contributing to the “total load.” Make sure you work with a holistic dentist who is well-trained in removal and uses all precautions.

Sweat out the toxins

The skin of the average adult is 11,000 square feet of surface area. When we sweat, poisons from blood and lymph are excreted. One of the safest and oldest methods of detoxification is a sauna, the treatment of choice for firemen exposed to toxins at the World Trade Center. Both aforementioned books have detailed descriptions of how to use dry and wet heat alternately with cold to release toxins and stimulate the blood.

The Thermal Life far infrared sauna from High Tech Health (800-794-5355) and at is recommended by many health care practitioners. Although the price tag is high, doctors can recoup their investment quickly as their patients enjoy its benefits. It is the best “health insurance” a family can buy.

Try a footbath

The electro-magnetic footbath, available at many chiropractors’ offices, claims to help the body excrete toxins through the bottoms of the feet. Although little research has been done on this novel technique, it is difficult to refute that something is happening when after an hour of soaking, the water looks like a polluted river. It would certainly be interesting to analyze the sludge chemically to determine its composition.

Detoxification Is Key to Health

Detoxification appears to be the key to restoring health and reversing everything from hearing loss to autism to cancer, according to Sherry Rogers. Take your daily Detox Cocktail of anti-oxidants and fatty acids. If we all dextoxify, we can look forward to a natural, not a chemical death. For more ideas on what you can do, subscribe to the Green Guide blog.

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