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Friday, April 6, 2012

What is Detox and What are You Detoxing?

What is Detoxification?
Simply put, it is the safe and gentle removal or elimination of toxic substances or waste matter from the body using diet or herbal supplements, or a combination of both.  The most common method for detoxing is the use of herbal supplements.

What are the two Types of Toxins?
“Toxins” is a general term for any type of built up waste – the gunk that is left over after your body has broken down food, drink, alcohol, smoke, the air we breathe and thousands of other substances our body’s consume and comes in contact with daily. Toxins can be divided into two categories - Internal or endogenous, and external or exogenous toxins.

What are internal toxins?
Internal toxins are the wastes that are created inside of the body during the course of normal daily functions. These toxins are the bi-products of these normal daily functions and occur during biochemical, metabolic and cellular processes; and they require elimination. A common and well known example is free radicals, which cause oxidation damage to every cell in the body, and have been linked to degenerative diseases. Even our thoughts, emotions and stress can also create biochemical toxins in our body.

Internal toxins are part of our body’s normal processes; others are only produced when we are sick. 
Internal toxins include:
  • Organisms living inside our bodies- bacteria, worms, fungi, parasites, yeast, etc.
  • Disease- many disease organisms produce waste material in the body’s tissues, which can produce of prolong disease.
  • Normal digestion and food breakdown – the body will produces toxins in the course of normal digestion and will produce more toxins when low nutrient foods are consumed.
  • Negative thought patterns and stress –can cause chemical changes in the body, increase the body’s storage of toxins, and increase the damage that toxins cause.
What are external toxins?
External toxins are any toxic substances that come directly from outside our body. Common examples include substances like pesticides found in our food sources, pollution in the air and water, medications, recreational drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. The body has to work hard to deal with all of these exogenous toxins.

External toxins are part of our everyday lives. They are the substances we eat, drink, breathe and have contact with our skin.  External toxins include:
  • Herbicides, pesticides and insecticides (often found in food)
  • Food additives such as preservatives and colorings
  • Polluted water
  • Air pollution and smog
  • Pharmaceutical medicines – taken orally or topically
  • Pollution, household/industrial chemicals (including makeup, shampoo, etc.)
Left unchecked, toxins build up in the body creating cell damage which eventually leads to poor health and illness. This is why many leading health professionals are strong proponents and advocates for regular detox programs, to keep the body in tip top operating shape and ultimately reducing the risk of degenerative disease and illness.  

In Health,
Naturally Botanicals Team