Written By: Nelson Narciso, DNM®
We are all under an enormous chemical burden that is challenging us like never before. There are somewhere between 23,000 - 35,000 chemicals in com the EPA states “today more than 84,000 chemical subsmercial use in Canada alone and 900 new compounds are being introduced annually." Detoxifying our bodies has become more important than ever before.
Although not all the chemicals reported by thee EPA are toxic, many are known to cause cancer and negatively impact reproduction, respiration, hormone balance and the brain. The toxic challenges we face daily must be effectively handled by our body if we are to stay healthy. All too often this is not the case and we fall ill due to the enormous strain these persistent environmental toxins place on our bodies. This strain is often referred to as our “chemical burden” and can be linked to chemicals like benzene, dioxin, organophosphates, mercury, lead, arsenic, PCBs and DDT, all of which are present in many if us.
The Toxic Nation study published in 2006 highlighted the challenges we face in Canada. Of the 88 chemicals they tested for in the blood and urine of Canadians, 60 were found. Of these 60 chemicals, 41 are suspected of causing cancer, 53 impact reproduction and the development of children, 27 disrupt our hormonal balance, and 21 can lead to respiratory illnesses.
We’ve all heard the word detoxification and, yet, so many of us poorly understand this concept. Simply put “to detox” is to support the bodies own existing detoxification systems and, in turn, help lessen the impact of our chemical burden. Supporting and strengthening the so-called “7 Channels of Elimination” is a good place to start. These include the liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, lymphatic system, colon and blood. One of the age-old ways of supporting these systems is through the use of herbs, many of which have some sound scientific backing. Each of these herbs offer support to one or more systems and can support the body in eliminating some of the chemical challenges we face. These challenges can impact us on many levels and can manifest themselves through numerous symptoms:
- Low energy
- Weight issues
- Digestive problems
- Bad breathe
- Sugar cravings
- Trouble concentrating, irritability and anxiety
- Slow recovery after exercise or repairing from injury
- Hormone imbalances
The following herbs have a long tradition of helping the body detoxify
- Nettle Leaf
- Red Clover
- Dandelion Leaf
- Lemon Balm
- Pau d’Arco
- Dandelion Root
- Milk Thistle Seed
- Angelica Root
- Burdock Root
The need for detox support has never greater. Using these herbs, drinking clean filtered water, following a sensible diet, exercising, reducing your exposure to chemicals by eating organic foods, and reducing exposure to airborne contaminants will go a long way toward helping you achieve optimal health!
Nelson Narciso B.Ed., ECS, Nutritionist Nelson Narciso DNM®, has been our chief educator for 13 years. He’s a holistic nutritionist, herbalist and Reiki practitioner with 20 years’ experience in the holistic health and wellness field.