April 9, 2021
By Christine Cheng, R.Ph and Fred Cheng, R.Ph.
With spring in the air, many of us will be going through an annual process of “Spring Cleaning” our houses. Just as our houses can accumulate dirt, so can our bodies. So, where does the “dirt” come from? Our daily activities expose our bodies to many different toxins. Whether they be in the form of drugs that we take for medically necessary reasons, additives or preservatives found in our food, environmental toxins found in the air around us, or cellular debris from normal metabolic processes as well as disease processes, it is virtually impossible to avoid exposure. A buildup of toxins can lead to fatigue, degeneration, aging, and weakening of our immune defense. Toxins can lead to inflammation, which has been associated with many diseases including diabetes and cancer.
Detoxifying our bodies involves removing toxins from the cells and encouraging their expulsion via the lymphatic system as well as the liver and kidneys. Herbal products are effective for cleaning structures outside of the cell, i.e., the lymph, blood, liver, kidneys and bowel. In other words, herbs are good for cleaning outside the “house” or cells. Homeopathic remedies can also clean the inside of the “house” by stimulating the cell to kick-out toxins by activating intra-cellular mechanisms. WHOLE BODY CLEANSE by Pascoe is an easy to use kit that uses homeopathics to support and stimulate the body’s natural detoxification pathways. Detoxifications can be done for general cleansing, ongoing cleansing, or for preparing the body for upcoming therapies.
The liver is a major organ of detoxification because it metabolizes drugs and other toxins making it a natural target for ongoing support. As always, diet plays a role in supporting a healthy liver. Stay away from fatty, deep-fried foods as the process of cooking them actually forms toxins that add to the liver’s workload. Additionally, too much fat can accumulate in the liver, which “crowds out” the healthy hepatocytes (i.e., liver cells) and over time can translate to a less efficient liver. Include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, which are great sources of sulforaphane, which promotes the action of enzymes in the liver that function in detoxification. Cruciferous vegetables also help minimize the absorption of fats which can decrease your risk for developing fatty liver disease. Similarly, eating too much sugar can be bad for the liver since sugar is converted in the liver to fat, much of which will hang around where it’s made.
Herbal supplements can play an important role in supporting liver health. Amongst the many products available on the market, a Canadian company called NEW ROOTS HERBAL makes an aptly named product for liver support called, LIVER. The formula includes milk thistle (standardized to 80% silymarin; a strong antioxidant flavonoid), DL-Alpha-Lipoic-Acid (minimizes cell damage; helps restore vitamin C and E levels), shizandra (for its liver-protective abilities) and 5 other herbs used traditionally to support liver function (i.e.c dandelion root, beet root, oriental radish root, curcumin, artichoke leave), all in standardized form.
Although this product is safe for most to try, if you suspect you have issues with your liver, you must be assessed by your doctor. If interactions with other medications or supplements are the concern, check in with one of our Integrative Health pharmacists.
Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Find them on Instagram and Facebook! Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.
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