Questions? We're here to help. Health advisors on staff. Call us toll-free at (866) 947-6789.

Cleansing & Detoxification – Ultimate Education Program – Renew Life

Brenda Watson, ND, CT

Hi. My name is Brenda Watson. Welcome to the first in a series of lectures on health and wellness. The topic of this DVD is cleansing and detoxification. Let’s start by defining what it means to cleanse. Cleansing is generally thought of as the process of increased bowel elimination or colon cleansing. The colon, or large intestine, is a major organ of elimination. Therefore, the body can greatly benefit from increased colon cleansing. Many people view detoxification in a very narrow sense, seeing it as synonymous with colon cleansing or strictly as a means to detox from drug addiction. Detoxification does include colon cleansing, but is a much more in-depth process the body performs in order to rid itself of toxins and impurities.

Detoxification is a natural function of the body, which involves what I call the seven channels of elimination. These channels are the liver, the lungs, the lymphatic system, the kidneys, the blood, the skin, and the bowel or colon. I will be going into more depth about these channels of elimination a little later in the lecture.

Some, including myself, will refer to detoxification as internal cleansing. While detoxification is a natural function of the body, this process and our elimination channels can become stagnant due to toxic overload including environmental toxins, poor diet, and poor lifestyle choices. Doing what is called an internal cleansing process can greatly improve the ability of the body to detoxify itself of impurities. This will usually involve an herbal cleansing product as well as diet modifications and things like forced sweating with sauna. But before we go any further, we should look at the history of internal cleansing and detoxification.

Now there’s a long history of cleansing. From the beginning of recorded history people have been fasting as a way to purify their bodies. The Chinese have the first written herbal prescriptions dating back to 2700 BC. Colon hydrotherapy, also known as colonics, was first recorded in 1500 BC, and sauna has been used since the year 1112 as a form of cleansing. All cultures have traditionally used eliminative herbs that have laxative, diuretic, and blood purifying properties to remove toxins from the body.

So, why is internal cleansing so important? Well, when the body is not working properly, toxins can be retained causing ill health. Therefore, internal cleansing is indeed very important. Let’s look at what a toxin and toxicity is and how it affects the body. The word toxin has its roots in the Greek word toxicon, which means poison. In the dictionary it is defined as a poisonous substance, especially one that is produced by bacteria and causes disease.

We have come to know a toxin to mean any substance of a chemical or organic nature foreign to the human body, and which will eventually cause disease or harm. Anything that does not naturally become part of the cells and tissues of the human body needs to be eliminated. And broadly speaking, there are two types of toxins; internal toxins, meaning those toxins produced from within our body, such as digestive toxins produced from the metabolic breakdown of our foods, and external toxins, meaning those generated outside the body and enters it from the environment, air, water, or food.

Let’s discuss in more depth internal toxins. When the digestive process is working correctly, you are properly breaking down your carbohydrates to glucose, your protein to amino acids, and your fats to fatty acids so that you can use all of these nutrients as nourishment for your body. With this process there will always be a small amount of toxic byproducts produced. It is normal with any metabolic process, especially digestion, after the food is broken down and the nutrients are used, much of what is left is waste and toxins.

However, if this part of the digestive process is not functioning properly, it’s known as impaired digestion. There will be undigested matter in your small and large intestine and this undigested matter will basically ferment and will result in more digestive toxins than normal. If this toxic load is too great, or you are unable to eliminate them, they will be absorbed right into your bloodstream. They will then be distributed throughout the body, stored in your tissues, and ultimately lead to chronic disease and inflammation.

The reasons for impaired digestion include; stress, which we all know, inadequate chewing, processed food consumption, and lack of hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes. Intestinal toxemia is the immediate consequence of impaired digestion, and if we fail to digest our food, it will react with a bacteria in our digestive tract producing waste products that poison our bodies. This intestinal toxemia can cause symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, weight gain, skin disorders, brain fog, chronic fatigue, headaches, irritable bowel, inflammation, and joint and muscle pain.

Constipation will further compound the problem as the colon is a main elimination channel. With chronic constipation we will absorb further toxicity from the bowel right into the bloodstream. What you are seeing is the cecum area of the large intestine, and that’s the very beginning of the large intestine. And when the matter enters from the small intestine into the large intestine, it should be in a liquid state. So what you’re seeing here is this person was extremely constipated because their solid matter backed all the way up into the cecum. So this person was very toxic.

Another route of internal toxicity is called candidiasis, or the overgrowth of the yeast organism called Candida. Candida albicans is the most common and well known digestive yeast, and can become problematic when it proliferates out of control in the digestive tract. The overgrowth of Candida can produce a wide range of symptoms including depression, headache, fatigue, skin problems, allergies, and can be a contributing factor to the production of intestinal toxins and long term health conditions such as autoimmune diseases, and through proper cleansing and restoring intestinal balance, Candida organisms can be brought back under control.

Another concern with the internal environment that can contribute to toxicity is intestinal parasites. That’s right, I said parasites. Lots of us do not want to consider that we harbor parasites, but studies indicate that at least one third of the American population has active intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites such as Giardia or Blastocystis can cause a wide range of symptoms including those similar to irritable bowel syndrome. Those are diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and abdominal cramps. Long term parasites can be contributing factors to intestinal toxemia and chronic ill health.

The combination of digestive toxins, Candida and parasites can contribute greatly to the condition called leaky gut. With leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability, the intestinal lining becomes increasingly porous, leading to the entrance of toxins, Candida, bacteria, and parasites into the bloodstream. This of course leads to greater toxicity.

Now let’s talk about external toxins. External toxins include industrial chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and toxic metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic. External toxins also include air pollution, tap water, solvents, food additives, dyes, drugs, household chemicals, personal care products, and alcohol just to name a few. How exposed are we really to these, and how does it affect our health?

A study conducted by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Environmental Working Group took volunteers for testing blood and urine. From the nine volunteers they found 167 different chemicals with an average of 91 industrial toxins in each person. They found 76 that are known to cause cancer, 91 that are toxic to the brain, and 79 that could cause birth defects.

Another comprehensive survey of more than 1,300 Americans has found traces of weed and bug killers in the bodies of everyone tested. The National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute have a booklet called Cancer and the Environment. And in it they state, “It is estimated that as many as two thirds of all cancer cases are linked to environmental causes”, and the number may even be bigger. It’s not just adults that are affected by toxicity, it starts at birth. In this study from NeuroToxicology they tested the very first bowel movement of 426 infants. Look at what they found! 83.9% had mercury. 26.5% had lead. And 26.5% had DDT. That’s right. I said DDT, the banned pesticide. And along with that there were seven other insecticides.

Toxic metals are trace metals that serve no nutritional benefit to the body, such metals like mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead, and arsenic. They can get into our body very easily. And if our detoxification pathways are burdened, they can accumulate in our central nervous system, organs, and tissues.

Over time this accumulation can reach toxic levels, and can induce impairment and dysfunction in every system in the body -- which includes the nervous; the cardiovascular, the reproductive, and the immune system.

Remember I told you that detoxification is a natural function of the human body, and they are what I call the “Seven Channels of Elimination.” So now let’s look at each of these channels, and how they work to eliminate these toxins.

The liver plays a major role in detoxification. The liver is also part of the digestive system. Everything that goes through the digestive lining, into the bloodstream, goes to the liver. One of its main functions is to detoxify the blood, through processes called Phase I and Phase II Detoxification.

The liver depends on a lot of enzymes, and a lot of nutrients, including amino acids to perform properly. When we have too many internal and external toxins, it puts tremendous stress on the liver, and will cause the liver to become sluggish, which will compound the problem.

The liver uses bile as its main vehicle to get toxins out of the body. The bile dumps into the small intestine. Now your liver is depending on you to be taking in enough fiber in order to absorb these toxins, and to get them out in your bowel movement. If not, you can reabsorb the toxins back through the digestive lining, and then they go back to the liver putting even more stress on an already over-stressed liver.

The liver also sends water soluble toxins to the kidneys to get out in the urine. When the liver is over-burdened, it will use the rest of the body to store the excess of toxins it cannot deal with immediately. It will send them to the fat cells for storage, which can cause weight gain - to the muscle cells which can cause fibromyalgia - and to the synovial fluid in the joints, which can cause joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

In addition to detoxification, the liver performs some 500 other bodily functions. It plays a role in blood sugar regulation; metabolization of fats, proteins, and carbs, usage and storage of vitamins and minerals, blood-clotting, cholesterol production, regulation of hormones, and thyroid function. If the liver’s over-burdened and sluggish due to toxicity, then all of these other functions in the body are affected as well. Now there are many herbs, including milk thistle, artichoke, dandelion, and beet, which help the liver produce more bile. These herbs also thin the bile, so that it flows easier from the liver and helps protect the liver cells against toxicity damage.

The lungs filter and clear foreign particles that are in the 10,000 liters of air we breathe every day. Certain cells inside the lungs produce mucus, which traps particulate matter. Other cells called “ciliated cells,” are like tiny little hairs that beat rapidly in an upward motion. This motion moves the mucus and particulate matter upward, and results in foreign particles being expelled from the lungs within 24 hours. Damage to either of these two cells can result in too little mucus, and the inability of the cilia to move. This can result in accumulation of foreign matter in the lung cavity leading to infection, and chronic lung disease.

The herb mullein works as an expectorant in the lungs to help your body expel mucous and foreign particles. The lymphatic system is a network of organs, tissues, ducts, and tubes including the thymus, and the spleen. It contains a fluid called lymph which bathes the cells providing oxygen and nutrients and carrying away metabolic byproducts and toxins from the cells within our organ’s and tissues. Unlike the circulatory system the lymph system does not have a pump and depends on physical movement and plenty of water to circulate. Herbs such as larch have been shown to stimulate the activity of the lymph fluid.

Everyday your kidneys process about 50 gallons of waste products and extra water. This waste often sent from the liver and extra water becomes your urine. There are herbs such as corn silk which may help increase the urine output which will also increase waste excretion.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It represents both an important physical barrier to toxic substances as well as a portal of entry. The skin, hair, and especially sweat are a root of excretion of toxins or their byproducts. Encouraged sweating such as sauna can be very helpful in a detoxification program especially in the excretion of heavy metals. Infrared saunas are preferable as the heat objects without heating the air. This means it could be used with greater comfort for longer periods of time. Herbs such as red clover and burdock that help purify the blood can also affect the skin's excretion of toxins.

The blood is the medium in which dissolved gases, nutrients, hormones, and waste products are transported. There are several kinds of white cells within the blood and each has a different function. All of the functions however are related to the defense of the body against invading microorganisms and other foreign substances. Herbs such as chlorella, red clover, and burdock have a history of being used as blood purifiers.

The bowel or colon is a major organ of elimination for getting digestive waste out of the body. You should always have at least one and ultimately two to three bowel movements daily. Any internal cleansing process must always include increased bowel elimination as it carries with it waste and toxins received from the liver. Herbs such as aloe, buckthorn, rhubarb, triphala, and minerals such as magnesium can help encourage proper elimination, but getting enough fiber both soluble and insoluble is also a key to proper elimination. Many people are under the misconception that fiber is a stimulate laxative, it is not. Fiber adds bulk and provides resistance to the colon which will help promote bowel tone and regularity.

All of these channels of elimination work in unity to detoxify our body. They work continuously every minute every second of our lives to help purify our body of toxins we come into contact with each and every day. Some of the toxins our body deal with on a daily basis are air pollution, household chemicals, pesticides, nicotine, alcohol, and second hand cigarette smoke, drugs, food additives, coloring agents, preservatives, cosmetic ingredients, and digestive toxins. Ingredients like the following are also poisoning our foods: propylene glycol, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, chlorine, BHT, BHA, and even lye.

You may be thinking at this point, “OK, so I may have some stored toxins in my body. What harm is that really going to do?” If it continues long-term, how about nervous system dysfunction; hormonal dysfunction, respiratory conditions, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, reproductive dysfunction, immune system dysfunction, psychological and brain dysfunction, metabolism and weight control dysfunction, kidney and liver dysfunction or damage, birth defects, and even cancer.

With all that going on, do you think you may not feel well? How do you know if you’re toxic? Well, if you are alive on planet Earth today, you are toxic to some degree, guaranteed.

In my book “Essential Cleansing for Perfect Health,” you will find a questionnaire that can give you an indication of just how toxic you really are. Now that you understand better what toxicity is and how it can impact your life, let’s talk about how to encourage your body’s detoxification and cleansing ability.

Here are some tips for a better cleansing lifestyle:

* Drink plenty of clean, purified water – half your body weight in ounces per day, and avoid tap water.
* Choose organic food products whenever possible.
* Avoid processed and packaged foods with food additives, dyes or chemicals.
* Eat plenty of dark green, leafy vegetables, or try juicing them.
* Exercise regularly. Try a mini-trampoline for lymphatic circulation.
* Experience a sauna frequently.
* Choose natural household cleansing and personal care products.
* Avoid cooking with aluminum, copper, or Teflon-coated cookware.
* Avoid artificial sweeteners.
* Most of all, perform cleansing and detoxification programs regularly.

Now let’s go over that last tip in detail. Herbal cleansing programs can be extremely beneficial to support your body’s detoxification pathways. These can be programs that are specific to a type of internal cleansing like Candida or parasite cleansing. They can also be specific to a certain channel or an organ like kidney or liver cleansing, or they can be a whole body detoxification program that addresses the seven channels of elimination.

Some of the mechanisms by which herbs enhance the detoxification processes are:

  • Stimulation of bile production, and flow in the liver. Remember, the liver uses bile as it’s main vehicle to get toxins out of the body.
  • The stimulation of urine output, water soluble toxins are excreted in the urine.
  • Stimulation of lymphatic activity. The lymphatic system destroys foreign invaders in the body.
  • The stimulation of peristalsis. You must have proper bowel elimination during cleansing. 
  • Support of Candida and yeast detoxification, and,
  • Support of parasite elimination.

One of the first questions people like yourself usually ask is, “How do I get started?” Let’s go through what I call, “The Steps to Essential Cleansing.” There are two phases to my internal cleansing suggestions. Phase I includes the whole body internal cleansing and Phase II includes a specific targeted internal cleansing and detoxification.

In Phase I, if the internal cleansing is a new experience for you or if you have a bowel movement daily and don’t think you need to cleanse, you would want to start with a very gentle 15-day program. Look for a product that is formulated to be gentle for the first time cleanser.

It should be a two-part system. Part I that supports the channels of elimination and Part II that will gently encourage bowel elimination. This gentle process will prepare you for deeper, more intense cleansing. Look for a product that contains whole herbs such as parsley, artichoke, burdock, dandelion, garlic, kelp, milk thistle, nettle, oat straw, yarrow, buckthorn, rhubarb and triphala. The next step in Phase I would be an advanced internal cleansing product. This would also include an herbal formula for organ detoxification and a second formula for bowel elimination.

The advanced formula would be a 30-day cleansing program and should contain therapeutic extract form of herbs. The bowel elimination formula should contain magnesium hydroxide and not harsh stimulant-type herbs such as cascara or senna. If you are an experienced cleanser of you’re constipated with less than one bowel movement daily, then you could go directly to this advanced program. Look for a product that contains extracts of artichoke, ashwagandha, beet, burdock, dandelion, hawthorn, larch, and turmeric.

Phase II of internal cleansing would consist of more specific targeted cleanses. These can be done in the order that best suits your health needs. The first of the specialized cleanses would be a parasite cleanse. This is something everyone should do as a preventive measure. Look for a product that includes herbs that have been traditionally used to help your body eliminate intestinal parasites like black walnut, wormwood, quassia, garlic, clove, pumpkin seed and pippli. Also look for ingredients such as caprylic acid that can help manage a yeast overgrowth that can make you more susceptible to harboring parasites.

The next of the specialized internal cleanses that should be part of your cleansing regime is the Candida or yeast cleanse. You want to look for a product that is an effective blend of natural ingredients that have been traditionally used to decrease a Candida overgrowth and to maintain a healthy balance of yeast organisms. Look for a product that contains herbs such as uva ursi, garlic, barberry, neem, oregano and olive leaf. Also make sure the ingredients include caprylic acid.

I spoke earlier about the kidneys and their role in detoxifying your body. It is important to support this process with a product directed toward kidney and urinary tract health. Look for a kidney cleanse product that contains herbs such as cranberry, uva ursi, parsley, nettle and buchu as well as potassium citrate. Potassium citrate will help make the urine more alkaline which will deter bacteria growth.

It is also important to give extra attention to the liver. Using a product that is directly formulated to enhance liver function is critical. Look for herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion, artichoke, green tea and turmeric as well as an Ayurvedic herbal blend. Also look for a product that contains nutraceuticals such as the amino acids methionine and taurine, and N-Acetylcysteine and alpha lipoic acid. This type of liver detox can be used by anyone who wants to maximize their liver function or for those with a particular concern about their liver health.

You learned earlier in this lecture about the danger of toxic heavy metals. Using an internal cleansing product that is directed towards helping your body detoxify heavy metals can be very beneficial. Look for a product that gives you a vitamin mineral formula that can help replace the nutrients that heavy metals can displace from the body. Also look for a product that contains chlorella, cilantro, different types of kelp as well as leucine, N-Acetylcysteine and alpha lipoic acid.

Detoxifying the body of heavy metals is a slower process and a product like a heavy metal cleanse should be done anywhere from a month to three consecutive months depending on toxicity. No matter what type of cleansing program you decide to do, whether a full body internal cleanse or a specific cleanse, you should always take a fiber supplement as well as an omega oil supplement.

The human body is an amazing machine and like any machine in addition to cleansing, the body needs clean fuel to run at optimum capacity. A whole food multi-nutrient supplement can both enhance the internal cleansing experience and provide needed nutrients to support the renewal of a healthy body. Look for a powdered multivitamin and mineral supplement with an added whole food complex, amino acid complex, antioxidants and a berry fruit and vegetable blend. Also look for a supplement that uses non-genetically modified pea and rice protein as a base.

While internal cleansing provides the benefit of eliminating toxins from the body, a multigreen formula will help alkalize and rejuvenate the body. Greens such as wheat grass and barley grass help to stop free radical damage and will boost the immune system. Taking a green formula daily will boost your body’s ability to detoxify itself and is a perfect companion to any cleansing and detoxification program. Look for a liquid greens formula that uses aloe as a base and contains wheat grass, barley grass, kelp, green tea, alfalfa, broccoli, spinach, brussels and chlorella.

We at Renew Life make the process of internal cleansing easy for you with our steps to detoxification brochure. This brochure will guide you through the different types of cleansing programs that will benefit your health.

Everyday we focus a lot of time and energy on cleansing the outside of our bodies. We shower, we bathe, we brush our teeth, we floss our teeth and we wash our hair. But how much have you given to cleansing the inside of your body. We live in a toxic environment, we eat toxic chemicals, breathe toxic air and bathe in toxic water. I am Brenda Watson and I commend you on making this step towards better health. Thank you.

Health Disclaimer. Content provided by Renew Life. Copyright ©2007-2021. Published with permission.