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Vegetable juicing and detoxification
Kathryn Alexander D.Th.D.


Vegetable juicing is making a comeback. When we look back at the early 20th century naturopaths we find that juicing and diet was the mainstay of treatment - in fact they said that unless you consumed at least 4 pints (2 litres) of juice daily then you could expect no long-term improvement. The diet was referred to as the mucousless diet, a diet that would loosen hardened deposits in the body, remove them to the outside restoring vitality and the healing potential of the tissues - in modern-day terms detoxing.
That was, of course, in the days before nutritional supplements and currently we find ourselves in the heyday of pill-popping. But is our health improving? We spend $100s on nutritional aids then rush next door to the supermarket to fill our shopping trolleys with every chemicalised, processed, preserved type of dead food that makes life a convenience.
The truth is that nutritional deficiencies and toxicity go hand in hand. If you treat deficiencies without addressing toxicity you make little headway and likewise if you treat toxicity without addressing deficiencies then no long-term benefit will apply.
Vegetable juicing does both simultaneously. That organic vegetables are rich in nutrients goes without saying. But their ability to detoxify the body is outstanding. Have you ever unblocked your drains with caustic soda? Those of you who have will know the power of this compound, sodium hydroxide, in dissolving grease to the satisfying glug of the drain as it breathes its first gulp of air. Vegetable juices work in the same way. They break down to potassium hydroxide, a more powerful cleanser than sodium hydroxide. As the cells are bathed in this alkaline cleanser they take up the potassium and release the acidity (toxicity) which can be safely disposed of by the lungs and kidneys. Vegetable juicing is the only way to achieve this. Don't be fooled into taking sodium preparations such as sodium bicarbonate, which although an alkaline compound, the sodium will poison the cells and increase acidity. Once the toxicity is removed the body is cleansed and the self-healing process begins. You are truly pulling the weeds of disease up by the roots not merely clipping at the heads.
What about the deficiencies you may ask? Will vegetable juices really be as good as taking supplements? The answer is - better. You see it is not the supply of nutrients that is the problem but rather, their placement. Take an acid environment, for example, such as a cup of lemon juice and add some milk. What happens - curds form or more precisely, the calcium is leeched out of the milk and precipitates to form salts. Likewise, toxicity within the body generates acidity and in this environment calcium cannot be used and hardening occurs outside the skeleton; bones weaken and soft tissues calcify. Putting more calcium into the system without reducing the acidity will only serve to accelerate the problem. And it doesn't stop there. As the problem deepens the muscles and nerves become affected and we have the onset of asthma and later, when the brain becomes involved, ADHD.
We inherit these constitutions, consequently we can see disease moving forward in leaps and bounds with each generation, sometimes within the same generation as eczema gives rise to asthma or allergies and then hyperactivity.
Vegetable juicing will establish an environment where nutrients can be used by the body. The nutrients are rich in supply and taken directly to the cells. Iron levels will normalise very quickly just on green juices alone. Mothers are amazed when I show how just 100g of fresh spinach and 50g of parsley, when juiced, will yield more iron than 300g of beef and more calcium than 300g of milk. What's more - the juicing really works; you build your blood and feed your tissues and naturally your energy rises.
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In our enthusiasm over the nutrient value of organic vegetables and their detoxifying capacity we mustn't forget the oxidising enzymes. Freshly prepared juices are a rich source of live enzymes. These enzymes are not only essential to the digestive process but they absorbed and recycled to the digestive tract. On their journey they are able to scavenge debris and effectively vacuum clean the blood of fungus, bacteria and undigested food particles which may have escaped digestion. These enzymes are so important to the healing system that Max Gerson, a physician famous for his successful cancer therapy, found that patients using centrifugal-type vegetable juicers did not respond to the therapy unlike those who used a grinder and press. There are two factors to bear in mind here: centrifugal juicers tend to kill the enzymes and the juices are generally nutrient-poor, a good proportion being left in the moist pulp. The test of a "live" juice is how long it retains it's colour before it goes "brown". If you are going to seriously juice I would recommend a more expensive juicer that masticates and presses with a slow RPM (keeping enzymes intact and generating no heat) that guarantees to juice the more fibrous green vegetables and grasses. You will find that it will more than repay itself both in the quantity of juice extracted (a third more in many cases) and in its mineral quality which can nearly double that from the more traditional juicers.
I recommend starting at three juices a day - two apple and carrot and one green juice. I mix equal quantities of vegetable to apple so for each 250ml juice use 250g apple: 250g vegetable (carrot or a combination of greens). A good combination of greens would include 1/4 green capsicum plus a selection of 2 or 3 of the following: silver beet, parsley, wheat grass, red or green lettuce (not iceberg), red cabbage, beet tops, watercress. I don't tend to recommend beetroot as it is very strong and can act as an emetic. Be sure to buy organic produce for juicing as you don't want a concentrate of a cocktail of chemicals. Did you know that apples have usually been sprayed around 22 times before they reach the shops and commercially grown carrots are often used as a crop to "clean" the soil? Maybe this property is why they are so effective in the detox process. Bottled juices won't do - they are "dead". You have to kill the enzymes in order to preserve juice whether through pasteurisation (heat treatment) or common pickling devices such as using whey which denatures the enzymes.
Start gently on 3 juices a day and build up to six. It's a good idea to buy your vegetables in bulk to last the week. There are quite a few good organic retailers who will deliver to your door and make life really simple for you. On a weekly basis you will need to order around 10Kg of both apples and carrots, 4 bunches of silver beet, 4 green capsicum, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 bunches of watercress, 1 bunch of beetroot and a red cabbage. The Peak Fresh bags from any supermarket will prevent your greens from going slimy in the 'fridge.
The benefits are enormous. The green juices in particular will build your blood, carry oxygen to the tissues and irrigate the system removing stagnation. Do go slowly as your liver may need a little help in the detox process. Watch out for next month's article to show you how you can practically help a flagging liver.
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