We have received an enormous volume of questions about cleansing. This article attempts to answer the basic cleansing questions. Cleanses should never be attempted during illness. During most cleanses, the toxins that begin flowing throughout the blood prior to being flushed can cause hormone irregularities that lead to mood swings. Loved ones should be warned to expect this before a cleanse is begun.
We have a comprehensive article about gallbladder cleanses elsewhere. Please reference that article for more information about cleansing the gallbladder, because there is too much information to include here. A gallbladder cleanse is only necessary if there are ongoing problems that are specific to the gallbladder, such as gallstones. Gallbladder cleanses are stressful on a body, and should not be utilized as routine preventative care.
Always begin a cleansing regimen by cleaning the liver. Never bypass the initial liver cleanse. A body will not function optimally whenever a liver becomes burdened, but there is a greater reason for cleaning the liver first. Until the liver is cleansed, its toxic load will prevent a body from coping best with new toxins and flushing them out. This is why a liver cleanse is so vital, because no other cleanse will work effectively until the liver is functioning well again. Cleansing any other part of the body while the liver is partially dysfunctional is like cleaning a floor with a filthy mop and filthy water.
The liver works in close partnership with the kidneys to clean the blood. Toxins are stored inside the liver whenever a body becomes too toxic to excrete them, or whenever materials are too toxic for the kidneys to expel them. In a sense, a liver will self-sacrifice to defend the rest of the body when all else fails against antibiotics, heavy metals, chemicals, and etc. Thus, many people have extremely impaired livers as a result. The worst toxins accumulate in the liver, and tend to remain permanently, unless there is intervention. The eventual result of years of chemical onslaught against the liver is a crippled liver that is too impaired to efficiently eliminate future toxins. This is the genesis of many chronic diseases; and in the worst cases, death by liver failure. Extreme liver toxicity can cause an avalanche effect, whereby the more toxic the liver becomes, the less a body is able to prevent the accumulation of further toxins, so it must therefore store even more of them in the liver. This is surprisingly common for people of the Western world, and it partially explains why Western societies are constantly becoming more sensitive to chemicals and allergens.
There are a wide variety of herbal liver cleanses available that are prepackaged to make the process easy, and there is an equal variety of reasons to choose commercial turn-key formulas. There is a complex array of herbs and supplements that must be properly combined and properly administered to effectively flush the impurities from a toxic liver. Such formulations are exceptionally difficult for any individual to create. The research alone takes weeks for a skilled researcher. It is even considerably more expensive to purchase all of the ingredients separately. Eventually, we determined that doing-it-yourself for liver cleanses is unwise, so we purchased the Nature's Way Thisilyn Daily Cleanse brand for ourselves. As always, we recommend reading the ingredients before purchasing any product to ensure that it does not contain any toxic additives. The ingredients for Thisilyn Daily Cleanse may have changed by the time that you read this, so buyer beware and examine the ingredients carefully for any product that you consider using.
St. John's Wort *
* Do not use Saint John's Wort if you are pregnant or if you are attempting to get pregnant. It can cause pregnancy complications or abortions.
The above supplements will help with a weakened liver and various liver problems, but they will not necessarily provide the level of cleansing needed. If taken in excess, they can stress the liver more, so use common sense.
Heavy Metal Cleanse
For a healthy person with limited candida albicans (yeast) growth, we would recommend a heavy metal cleanse after a liver cleanse. Heavy metals are toxic to almost all living things, including candida. Metals constantly keep candida in the body suppressed, so removing the metal can result in an immediate candida overgrowth. The aftermath is general sickness, lethargy, yeast infections, confusion, and mental fogginess.
The wise approach is to first kill the candida colonies by eating a good diet for one to two weeks. Avoid carbohydrates and all sugars (except honey), get plenty of fruits, vegetables, and organic meats. Honey actually helps the process. Alongside this good diet, get some plain unsweetened yogurt (preferably organic) and eat some each day. The beneficial bacteria in yogurt will attack the candida inside the intestinal tract. Commercial yogurts are homogenized, so supplement with vitamin C and folate (or the inferior folic acid) to protect against inflammation and arterial damage. It would be wise to mix the yogurt with flax seed oil for extra health benefits. Read about the Budwig Protocol for a full explanation of this combination.
Finally, the actual heavy metal cleanse can be done using a variety of substances. The following recommended supplements should be taken for about 10 days for a general purpose metal cleanse:
Cilantro (supplement 100 mg. per 50 lbs. of weight)
B complex vitamin
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) (Optional)
With all heavy metal cleanses, selenium should be used, because it neutralizes the metals in the blood from a toxicity standpoint, and it prevents them from being harmful. DMSA is used in alternative medicine to cure autism. Sweating further helps to expel some toxins, and exercise is the only way that the lymph nodes expel toxins. EDTA also chelates metals, including mercury and lead. It is used by hospitals for metal poisonings, but it should be reserved for emergencies.
Apple pectin is a food-based cleansing agent that is much more gentle than most. Yet, it is surprisingly effective. It should be used by individuals who need a long-term constant cleanse, such as those with mercury (so-called "silver") dental fillings. It has been studied for its ability to remove lead, mercury and cadmium. It performs the dual task of dislodging toxic compounds from the tissues, and it assists the body in discarding them through the stools. It can also remove radioactive particles from the body, so it was used by victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The standard dose for heavy metal removal is 500 mg. per 100 pounds of body weight. The dosage increases to 800 mg. per 100 lbs. when treating radiation poisoning.
"Silver" Dental Fillings
Silver dental fillings are not really silver, and they are largely made of mercury. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances on Earth. Cilantro is able to remove mercury from the body. Japanese physician, Dr. Yoshiaki Omura, demonstrated this by using cilantro (chinese parsley) to remove the mercury that had leached into patients' bodies during amalgam filling removal operations. The mercury concentrations in the patients was so great that it resulted in abnormal heart rhythms. He successfully chelated mercury out of patients using 100 mg. capsules of cilantro extract, four times a day, for two weeks.
People who have mercury fillings removed should cleanse the mercury from their bodies, regardless of the precautions that are taken during the operation. Those who have mercury dental fillings are constantly exposed to mercury, so it would be wise for them to regularly supplement with cilantro and selenium. Mercury exposure causes routine mental disturbances, lowered intelligence, confusion, weakened immunity, and potentially Alzheimer's disease.
We highly recommend the regular intake of grapes, raisins, grape juice, or red wine for adult males. Resveratrol is a compound in these foods that men require. It can be obtained in supplement form too, but the supplements are quite expensive. Without regular resveratrol intake, an adult male will accumulate toxic levels of iron in his blood. It happens to practically all adult men who lack grape products in their diets. The only men who are not at risk of having excessive iron are those who have been life-long vegetarians, and it can sometimes happen to them too. Resveratrol is critical for men because typical heavy metal cleanses do not remove iron from the blood. Without regular resveratrol intake, a man's iron level tends to grow constantly throughout his life. The fastest way for a man to rid himself of excessive iron is to donate blood, so that his body must create pure blood to replace what is lost. His body otherwise recycles the iron endlessly. The toxicity of iron overload in adult males is a huge component of heart disease. Alongside truly toxic metals, iron is likewise involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Excessive iron can also cause strokes. Excessive iron can be an issue for post-menopausal women too. The avoidance of beef is not a wise solution. Beef or lamb are a critical part of a healthy diet. They provide nutrients that are not found elsewhere, and the best type of vitamin A (retinol).
Metal Cleanse Completion
The procedures outlined above (liver cleanse followed by candida cleanse and then a metal cleanse) should remove most of the stress from cleansing, so that life can continue relatively uneffected. Nevertheless, even with the best protocol, it will not happen entirely without incident. In the very least, the patient should expect to become moody and to suffer from bouts of fatigue. These are normal signs that the cleanse is working. These symptoms are a result of the stagnant toxins migrating through the body again, which triggers the immune system to activate, as if the body were being invaded. The result is what some people refer to as a "healing crisis", which is also known as the "Herxheimer reaction". Initially experiencing mild flu-like symptoms means that the immune system is working like it is supposed to, so the patient should be emotionally supported to maintain a positive attitude throughout the process.
Having a combination of bad body pH and tiny undetected kidney stones are the most common reasons for kidney dysfunction, alongside infections and toxicity. Hormone imbalances often cause kidney problems too. Everyone knows about using cranberry juice, but it causes acidic body chemistry, so it should always be used in conjunction with lemon juice, pineapple juice, or something else that has a significant alkalizing effect. The following will cleanse the kidneys if used for a week, 2-3 times a day.
Homemade Lemonade (sweetened with honey)
Lots of healthy (e.g. spring) water
If you have ever been a smoker, then your lungs could probably benefit from a good cleanse. This is also true for most asthma sufferers. One way to cleanse the lungs is with harmless and non-addictive Indian tobacco. If you smoke commercially-made cigarettes in the U.S., then you are in more danger than you know, because carpet glue is being added to every U.S. brand. Taurine supplementation has been shown to reverse some of the damage caused by smoking, even when smokers continue to smoke during treatment. A 2003 study by the Royal College of Surgeons found that damage caused by chronic smoking can be reversed in as little as five days with a dosage of 1.5 grams of taurine. The inner lining of the blood vessels, and the diameter of blood vessels returned to normal in the study.
A colon cleanse should not be necessary for anyone having a high fiber diet. In other words, people who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables should never need a colon cleanse. A lifetime of poor diet may merit a colon cleanse, but prevention is always preferred. There are natural do-it-yourself colon cleanse protocols, but we do not recommend them. They generally entail living on top of a toilet, for days, in a manner reminiscent of having salmonella. The do-it-yourself solutions are insanity, and such cleanses give the allopathic doctors justification to laugh at our community. If you feel that you need a colon cleanse, then we recommend using a commercially-formulated product from a reputable health or herbal store. These products are often the result of years of research, and they have been perfected. Most of the products are "gentle" cleansers, which means that you will not be spending a week on a toilet. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend any specific brands.
Activated charcoal is an old do-it-yourself method, but be advised that it can cause malnutrition, constipation, and it neutralizes virtually everything (including medications). Reference the Activated Carbon article to learn more information about using it for poison emergencies.
Extra Cleansing Aids
Chlorophyll has been shown to flush a wide variety of substances out of the body. It removes dioxins, benzene, and aflatoxin. All of which are extremely carcinogenic. It has the rare property of aiding a body in excreting such chemicals, while simultaneously drawing beneficial nutrients into cells, due to its special effects upon cell membranes. We get a tiny bit of it every time we eat green vegetables. It is the source of green coloring in plants.
Niacin (vitamin B-3) is well known for its ability to flush the body of various toxins. We recommend reading the article about niacin before supplementing with it, because of its bizarre side effects.
Throughout alternative medicine, there is a drink which many believe to cleanse the blood. We call it "The Blood Cleanser". Current scientific understanding tells us that the resveratrol present in grape juice removes excess iron and copper from the blood, and this drink seems to have unique properties in detoxifying after immediate exposure to unhealthy ingredients. It is extremely invigorating, and it can keep a person awake all night if taken too late in the day. We recommend that it be used alongside heavy metal cleanses.