By Kimberly Marrone L.Ac, AP –
Every day, millions of molecules from different compounds enter our bodies through voluntary and involuntary ingestion. These chemicals come from foods, beverages, medicines, food additives, personal care products, and numerous other sources.
Whenever a system, whether living (humans and animals) or mechanical (different machines), becomes polluted, normal function is affected. Excessive pollution in a system may result in a malfunctioning or serious degeneration of that system.
You may have experienced this occurrence with the mechanics of your car. Every so often you need to change the oil, air filter, etc. in order to keep the systems clean so the car will run more efficiently and last longer. That is why when your car’s engine needs repair, the mechanic first cleans the engine before any attempt is made to fix it. It is always easier to repair a clean system than a polluted one. If you are not successful in fixing a polluted system, you are never sure if it is the system that has not been fixed, or if it is the pollution that is causing the problem.
Every working system, including the human body, as a result of normal functioning, produces pollution. Some of the pollutants that are produced within the living systems are eliminated through processes naturally built into those systems. Unfortunately, no living system has the ability to rid itself totally of all the naturally produced or foreign pollutants.
As a result, the system can slowly produce and accumulate pollutants to a point of self-destruction. Again, the human body is no different than any other system. It has excellent built-in mechanisms to cleanse itself from all kinds of pollutants, but the system is not perfect.
We live in an ever-increasing toxic environment. This fact is difficult to deny. Many of the toxins abundant in the environment today did not exist 30 years ago, including certain pesticides, herbicides, and industrial chemicals that can enter our bodies through food, water, and air supplies. These toxins can become trapped in our body’s organs and tissues, which over time negatively impact our health, reduce our vitality, and eventually may contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
We believe that a guided detoxification program should be part of an overall wellness program. While many people are familiar with the idea of detoxification, there is a great deal of confusion about how to do it safely. For example, trendy water or juice fasting, this may cause muscle wasting and an increased feeling of fatigue. In order to detoxify properly, the body needs nutrients such as quality protein, carbohydrates, and fats as well as targeted nutritional support. In our practice, our detoxification programs enhance the body’s natural metabolic detoxification process while providing adequate fuel for both cleansing and other daily activities, supporting energy metabolism and over-all wellbeing.
We have designed easy to follow, effective and most importantly safe detox programs for our patients. By supporting the body’s natural two-phase detoxification process, toxins can safely and effectively be removed from the body.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF DETOXIFICATION:
. increased energy and vitality
. weight loss and reduction in body fat
. healthier skin, softer hair
. more restful sleep, clearer thinking, and
. establish healthy habits for improved long-
SYMPTOMS THAT YOU MAY NEED A DETOX
. digestive problems
. bad breath
. general malaise
. weight loss resistance
. joint pain
. poor concentration
The steps you need to take to detoxify a congested liver depend on how severe the problem is. Start with the simple dietary and lifestyle measures outlined below and see how they make you feel. If you feel your liver needs further support, begin using herbs that support liver function.
Choices That Support the Liver
1. Start your morning with fresh lemon juice in water; this helps flush and decongest the liver.
2. Eat beets or drink beet and vegetable juice regularly. Beets are an excellent liver cleanser.
3. Chlorophyll drinks and other green drinks can be used regularly to aid in liver cleansing
4. High quality protein foods are necessary to restore and sustain the liver. Free-range eggs, fish, raw nuts and seeds and whole grains are beneficial.
5. Nutritional antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc and selenium are essential for protecting the liver from free radical damage.
6. Liver restoration also requires lots of fresh air, exercise, adequate rest, natural foods and a minimum of 2L (approx. 2 quarts) of pure water daily. Other liquids do not count toward the required water intake.
The liver is a remarkable organ and is the central chemical laboratory in the body. In a world in which new toxins are introduced daily, it’s more important than ever to make sure our livers are happy and healthy.
The liver plays an important role in metabolism. Perhaps one of the most important metabolic functions of the liver is the detoxification, or inactivation and excretion, of toxic chemicals, drugs and hormones, both those made by the body and those that come from outside sources. The liver inactivates these substances and sends them onto physiological, biochemical pathways that eventually result in their excretion by the bowels, lungs, kidneys or skin. The liver is also involved in fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism and vitamin and mineral storage.
The liver is a major blood reservoir, filtering more than 1.4 liters of blood per minute. It removes bacteria, toxins, and various other unwanted substances from the blood.
Every day the liver manufactures and secretes approximately 1 L of bile. Bile is necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble material from the intestines, including many vitamins, and its secretion helps eliminate many toxic substances.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers the liver the “General” of the body, overseeing how the body as a whole functions. It is also the organ most strongly affected by our emotions. Conversely, TCM practitioners and many others have long recognized that when the liver is stressed then anger, depression and irritability are more likely to arise. When a person’s liver is functioning harmoniously, the person stays calm and relaxed.
Many factors determine whether the liver performs its critical functions well. Too much pressure on the liver from overeating, too much rich or poor quality food, environmental stresses, overwork or emotional stress can cause liver overload. This leads to a decreased ability to clear toxins and hormones and manufacture bile. An overloaded liver allows toxic waste material to pass into the blood and the body. This can lead to allergies, digestive disorders, auto-immune conditions and overall “dysfunction” in the body.
Civilizations throughout history have been aware of the healing action that specific herbs have on the liver. Known as cholagogues (the Greek word khole means bile), these plants trigger the liver’s production of bile. Increased bile production gently cleanses the liver. As toxins are cleared, the liver cells can more easily access nutrients and becomes toned.
During a cleansing or detoxification program, I suggest that with the help of a licensed practitioner you find herbal/botanical support for the complete detoxification processes that need to occur. Your health care practitioner will most likely incorporate the use of such herbs such as dandelion, turmeric, milk thistle or burdock be taken for the length of the program. To keep the liver healthy in our toxic and stressful world, a liver-supportive herb should be taken periodically.
Burdock root has traditionally been used as a blood cleanser to support the liver and hormonal health. Studies show that it is also effective as an immune system enhancer, in the stabilization of blood sugar and as an antibiotic, antifungal and anti-tumor agent.
Dandelion root is considered the ideal liver remedy because it is completely non-toxic and gently restores liver function. It enhances the flow of bile and supports the kidneys during cleansing and detoxification of the liver and bowels.
Milk thistle contains some of the most potent liver-protective substances known, including silymarin, which inhibits the action of free radicals that damage liver cells. It also stimulates protein synthesis, which results in the production of new liver cells to replace the damaged ones.
Turmeric has long been considered a powerful healing plant. Curcumin, the principal active ingredient, has demonstrated potent liver protective, detoxifying, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Other effects of turmeric include lowering of cholesterol, improvement of fat metabolism and improvement of digestion.
The liver energy system governs the peripheral and central nervous system, the eyes and tendons and provides energy and vitality to the sexual organs. When the liver is stressed, emotions such as anger, depression, moodiness, aggression, resentment and irritability are more likely to arise. Physical symptoms such as allergies, fatigue, indigestion and distended abdomen, eye problems (spots, red, watery), headaches, hot flushes, insomnia, hormonal imbalances such as PMS, muscular pain and neck tension can occur.
Everyone could benefit from a cleanse involving the bowel, liver and blood at least once a year.
Kimberly Marrone is a board-certified Acupuncture Physician in the State of Florida and is certified by NCCAOM (National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).
Kim received her Bachelor of Health Science and Master’s Degree of Oriental Medicine from the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She has received advanced training in Auricular Acupuncture (including training in NADA), Cranial Sacral Therapy, Acupuncture Injection Therapy, and Advanced Herbal training.
Kim devoted herself to the study of acupuncture and Chinese medicine after being involved in a debilitating bicycle accident several years ago. Kim has been a lifetime athlete competing in marathon, triathlons, and bike races. During her recovery, Kim used acupuncture and herbal medicine to help attain a complete recovery. Kim was also inspired by her sister who has suffered from manic depression for several years. Like Kim, her sister turned to acupuncture and herbal medicine to assist her in her recovery from this illness.
In addition to her degree programs, Kim received advanced training at Shanghai University of TCM in the Yue Yang Hospital of Integrated Medicine. Her training focused on Oncology, Gynecology, and Post-Stroke Neurological Conditions.
Kim holds an advanced certification from Memorial Sloan-Kettering for “Acupuncture for the Cancer Patient” and is currently on staff at the Sari Asher Center for Cancer Care at the Palm Beach Cancer Institute.