Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxins from the body. It is an important process as toxic exposures are an inescapable fact of life. In just being alive, our bodies generate a steady stream of wastes and harmful substances. For instance, life needs energy to function. But energy generation in most life forms creates toxic byproducts.
As if that was not enough, we are exposed to several environmental toxins. These exposures range from harmful petrochemicals in body lotions to noxious fumes from diesel trucks.
Thankfully, our bodies are more than equipped to face this toxic barrage. We possess robust systems to identify, neutralize, and eliminate toxins. In fact, detoxification is as fundamental to life and health as breathing. Even as we must breath every second of every day to remain alive. The cells in our bodies must continuously clear out toxins.
The liver is the master controller of detoxification processes. It receives toxins dumped into circulation by cells throughout the body. The liver neutralizes these compounds and sends them to where they will be eliminated. There are various channels of elimination, such as skin, lungs, colon, and urinary tract.
Managing this toxic burden is important for good health. However, our detoxification systems can be overwhelmed. The stream of toxins from processed foods, air pollution, chronic stress, and so on can simply overrun the liver. This leads to the accumulation of toxic wastes in the body.
This is called toxicosis and leads to organ damage. It is this organ damage and associated loss of organ function that is disease. For example, damage to arteries leads to hypertension. Damage to the liver leads to type 2 diabetes. Damage to joints leads to arthritis. And so on.
Detoxification is something that the body does. That is to say, a particular herb or tonic does not detoxify of itself. The body simply uses the nutrients in it to achieve detoxification. Indeed, detoxification refers to networks of protein-based machines in certain cells. These molecular machines assemble into complex structures that search out and neutralize toxins. An example is the cytochrome p450 family of enzymes.
However, these machines need to associate with certain nutrients to function. They need to physically bind vitamins, minerals, and other substances to become activated. This is where processed foods become problematic. They are deficient in these critical raw materials. Detoxification simply cannot proceed without magnesium, B vitamins, iron, vitamin C, and many others.
Processed foods inhibit detoxification. The required machinery is there, but cannot be activated due to certain nutrient deficiencies. It is a bit like owning a Ferrari and not knowing how to drive. This represents a lost opportunity for the body to heal and repair itself. And it allows organ damage to gradually accumulate. This is the long march of chronic disease.
NN says: A good example of a cheap, locally available natural detoxifier is Hibiscus Calyx a.k.a Zobo. Read more about it here.
Ezenwa Onwugbenu is a nutritional healer and public speaker on natural health matters. You can find out more about him and his passion for natural health and living on Creative Juices.