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Detoxing and the Flagging Liver
Kathryn Alexander
I’ve come to the conclusion that nowadays treatment follows the premise "the more that is wrong with you, the more you put in." Many clients comes with a bag full of nutritional supplements, homoeopathic remedies and herbal preparations and have been following a diet that I couldn’t fault on a scientific nutritional basis and yet they have seen no significant impact on health or real reversal of their condition. Why? – they ask. The answer is simple – if you don’t address the toxicity then you can expect no long-term results. In fact, with detoxification – the more that is wrong with you, the less you put in.
There are three questions that need to be answered: how great is the toxic load, how well can it be eliminated and how fast can we safely do this? For although a person may come with specific problems in reality these only reflect varying degrees of toxicity. The more toxic, the lower the vitality and the more severe the illness. In any case history you see a gradual deterioration on all levels; the impairment of the digestive system which may have started with simple food intolerances leading to severe allergies and chemical sensitivities; the gradual impairment of the immune system giving rise to recurrent infection, candidiasis and later parasites; the gradual decline of thyroid activity (closely connected with immune function) where the slight drop in body temperature allows persistent activation of viruses including HIV; poor blood sugar control leading to addictions and later depression and last, but not least, the general decline in fertility.
So how do we handle toxicity and remove it? Detoxification involves firstly getting the tissues to release toxicity and secondly, ensuring its elimination to the outside. The second part of the equation is the most important of all for you may be unleashing years of accumulated toxins that have been "safely" tucked away (albeit lowering the vitality of the tissues) into the blood stream at one go. This can be a greater toxic insult to the tissues and organs than the small doses received on a daily basis leaving the body in a more weakened condition than before. Unfortunately this is the first mistake that people make. They feel that the greater the toxicity, the more aggressive the treatment should be. The strongest impetus is fasting, next is fruit juice fasting, then fruit and vegetable juices, then just vegetable juices. Next comes foods – first fruits, then vegetables, first raw and then cooked. A recent case I had provides a fine example of the famous saying by the late Dr. Christopher who said "Fasting is like fire – it can either gently warm you or it can kill you."
A 47 year old man suffering with chronic fatigue over the last four years sold his business and decided to take a six week holiday and go on a water fast. His previous history showed that he suffered tonsillitis as a child, later developed food intolerances, hay fever, and recently had had gall stones. There was a very strong family history of heart conditions and cancer. Almost immediately following the fast the man was diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis which carries a 30% mortality. He underwent treatment but is left with a permanently compromised a heart valve where he may require a valve replacement within the next 2 years.
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When we unlock such poisons in our system unless we ensure their removal to the outside they will damage the body and leave it vulnerable to infection. We assume that the body detoxifies as it goes along including drugs and yet it becomes apparent when a patient who has undergone chemotherapy starts to detox the bone marrow may become depressed in the initial stages as the chemotherapy residue is shifted into the circulation and the patient effectively gets a second dose. If this is managed properly no ill-effects occur. It is obvious from the case history of the example above that this man was not able to complete the second stage of the equation – elimination to the outside because his liver, a major route of detoxification, was blocked (gall stones).
The more toxic we become, the more "stuck" we are and the treatment must be more carefully managed. The liver is like the slip road from a congested freeway. If the slip road is blocked, the traffic will jam. If we then decide to send in a bull-dozer to shift the traffic you will have a pile up. This is exactly what happens when you detoxify too aggressively without ensuring that the liver can cope with the amount of toxicity released. The liver is like a filter which can clog and become weakened. This is especially true if you have suffered from glandular fever, Ross River Fever, hepatitis, digestive problems and gall stones.
We need to support the liver in its task of detoxification and there are various ways to do this. You can take specific herbs which promote the production and flow of bile by the liver (major route of detoxification of drugs and chemicals) but this may not be totally efficient as a good proportion of the toxic bile is reabsorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract. Or there’s the coffee enema! This miraculous little method was used by Dr. Max Gerson in his famous cancer therapy. Gerson’s genius lay in the fact that he recognised the dangers of toxic release into the system and he found a way to deal with it. He was working against time with many of his terminally-ill patients and it was vital that he secured maximum detoxification right from the beginning. Gerson found that if he matched the rate of elimination of toxicity from the tissues with it’s rate of removal to the outside then over a period of time total healing occurred. It was the coffee enema that made this possible.
Gerson knew that the coffee enema dilated the bile ducts and caused a flushing of toxic bile from the liver. (Drinking coffee constricts the bile ducts). He also knew that this was the most effective method for detoxification. Since Gerson’s time various active ingredients in coffee have been identified and most interestingly, the palmitates present in coffee increase the binding of toxic elements by the bile 7-fold and this enzyme-enhancing ability in the liver and small intestine does not allow reabsorption of the toxic bile. Most cholerectic herbs do not ensure this complete removal of toxins but only an increase in bile flow.
In order to assist detoxification I often recommend the coffee enema. They guard against a toxic build-up that can make you feel so dreadful and in this way help the body to heal. Full details on how to prepare and administer the coffee enema are found in my book "Get a Life: the detoxification diet made easy!" It is important to remember that the coffee enemas go hand-in-hand with the juices: no enemas – no juices and no juices – no enemas. The juices will remove toxicity from the tissues and the coffee enema ensure it’s removal to the outside. If used without the juices they will ultimately have a depleting effect on nutrients. The rule of thumb is – 3 juices (3 x 250mls) per coffee enema. If you increase the juices then you can safely increase the enemas.
"Get a Life: the detoxification diet made easy!" (ISBN 0-646-31829-2) explains the art of detoxification in simple terms, shows you how to assess your own vitality and adjust the speed of your detoxification. Included are many recipes and menu plans to help you. It is available through some book stores or from the author direct (order on-line). Kathryn  holds regular workshops and lectures on the topic of detoxification. She also runs courses for students and practitioners of natural therapies. For details on any of the above call Kathryn on 0414 702520.
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