The Vigilent Citizen
Aug 2, 2010
The first two parts of this series describes the negative effects that some commonly consumed chemicals have on the body and brain. This third and final part looks at some natural ways to keep the brain healthy and provides tips to rid the body of dangerous substances. In other words, how to fight back against the dumbing down of society!
Parts I and II of this series of articles identified some toxic substances found in common foods and medicines and described some of their effects on the human brain. The main culprits discussed were aspartame, mercury, fluoride and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Whether these substances disturb the nervous system, decrease cognitive function, impair judgment, or affect the memory, the net result is the general dumbing down of society.
All is not doom and gloom, however. Nature, with its wonderful tendency to restore equilibrium, provides us humans the cure to almost any affliction we might develop. Ancient healers even believed that nature helped humans discover the cure to their illnesses in subtle and mysterious ways:
“The plant might also be considered worthy of veneration because from its crushed leaves, petals, stalks, or roots could be extracted healing unctions, essences, or drugs affecting the nature and intelligence of human beings – such as the poppy and the ancient herbs of prophecy. The plant might also be regarded as efficacious in the cure of many diseases because its fruit, leaves, petals, or roots bore a resemblance in shape or color to parts or organs of the human body. For example, the distilled juices of certain species of ferns, also the hairy moss growing upon oaks, and the thistledown were said to have the power of growing hair; the dentaria, which resembles a tooth in shape, was said to cure the toothache; and the palma Christi plant, because of its shape, cured all afflictions of the hands.”
– Manly P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages
So, after dwelling in the awful world of poisonous chemicals and corrupted officials, the only fitting way to conclude this series of articles is to explore the all-natural ways to restore health.
Stop the Toxification
Warning: This article provides tips to naturally detoxify the body. If you are in need of a serious detox program, please consult a professional.
The first step in ridding your body from poisons is, quite logically, to stop ingesting poisons. It sounds simple enough, but this step is probably the most difficult, as many toxins are found in everyday foods and even tap water. An increased vigilance is necessary in everyday life and, sometimes, some annoying actions must be taken to keep the toxins out of your body. Nevertheless, once you actually feel your body and mind healing, you’ll be proud of your efforts.
Before we look at the ways to avoid specific toxins, here are some general guidelines any health-conscious person should apply at all times: Avoid processed foods and artificial drinks. Instead, look for organic and locally grown produce or, even better, grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs. By doing so, you automatically avoid many harmful substances, including MSG, HFCS, pesticides, sodium fluoride and mercury. You also save money, which is always nice. When buying groceries, always read the labels and, as they say, if you can’t read it, don’t eat it.
Here are specific ways to avoid particular toxins:
There are two types of fluoride: calcium fluoride and sodium fluoride. Calcium fluoride is naturally found in water sources, while sodium fluoride is a synthetic waste product of the nuclear, aluminum, and phosphate fertilizer industries. Guess which type is found in our water? Right, the nasty one. Regular water filters such as Brita do a good job in reducing the taste of metals and chemicals in the water but they do not filter out the fluoride. Purifying the water through reverse osmosis is the most effective way to remove sodium fluoride from water.
Some processed foods also contain high concentrations of sodium fluoride, including instant tea, grape juice products, and soy milk for babies, so once again, avoid processed foods. Also, switch to a fluoride-free toothpaste (or at least try not to swallow the $0.93 Colgate you bought at Walmart).
Consuming foods rich in calcium and magnesium help prevent fluoride intoxication, as they prevent the poison from attaching to the body.
“Magnesium is a very important mineral that many are lacking. Besides being so important in the metabolism and synthesis of nutrients within your cells, it also inhibits the absorption of fluoride into your cells! Along with magnesium, calcium seems to help attract the fluorides away from your bones and teeth, allowing your body to eliminate those toxins. So during any detox efforts with fluoride, it is essential that you include a healthy supplemental dose of absorbable calcium/magnesium as part of the protocol.”
– Paul Fassa, How to Detox Fluoride from Your Body
First, if you or your children are being vaccinated, always request a Thimerosal-free shot. Second, avoid fish and seafood with high mercury levels; fish with the highest levels of mercury are marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish and tuna (ahi, albacore and Yellowfin). Some seafood has low mercury levels, making them safer to consume, including anchovies, catfish, clam, crab, shrimp, flounder, salmon, sardine, tilapia and trout. As rule of thumb, bigger fish contain more mercury since they eat smaller fish and absorb all their mercury, and live longer, allowing mercury to build up.
As seen in Part II of this series, some foods containing HFCS are also contaminated with mercury. Here’s the chart produced by the EPA:
Always read labels and avoid “sugar-free” products. Aspartame is found in soft drinks, over-the-counter drugs & prescription drugs (very common, listed under “inactive ingredients”), vitamin & herb supplements, yogurt, candy, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, coffee beverages, instant breakfasts, gelatin desserts, frozen desserts, juice beverages, laxatives, milk drinks, shake mixes, tabletop sweeteners, tea beverages, instant teas and coffees, topping mixes and wine coolers.
Read the labels and if you find high fructose corn syrup at the top the list of ingredients, tell the product “oh no you didn’t!”, snap your fingers with attitude and put it back on the shelf. Ignore the confused looks of other shoppers.
We will now look at some all-natural ways to detox the body from harmful substances.
The standard procedure for removing heavy metals from the body is called “chelation.” It is accomplished by administering a chelating agent – usually dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) – that binds to the heavy metals in the body and cause them to be naturally flushed out. This type of treatment is quite strenuous, has many side-effects and should be undertaken only with medical supervision.
If, however, you believe that ridding the body of a harsh substance with another harsh substance might be self-defeating, I tend to agree with you. Fortunately there are herbs and spices that naturally act as chelating agents: Cilantro does a great job at it.
The most widely used and loved herbs and spices worldwide are derived from the same plant, Coriandrum sativum. The leaves of this plant are frequently referred to as cilantro, while the seeds are most commonly called coriander. Other than making any dish spectacular, the herb has the unique power of neutralizing mercury.
“This kitchen herb is capable of mobilizing mercury, cadmium, lead and aluminum in both bones and the central nervous system. It is probably the only effective agent in mobilizing mercury stored in the intracellular space (attached to mitochondria, tubulin, liposomes etc) and in the nucleus of the cell (reversing DNA damage of mercury).”
– Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, Chelation: How to remove Mercury, Lead, & other Metals
Studies have however suggested that cilantro only moves the problem to other parts of the body and thus must be used with another agent to complete the detoxification process.
Chlorella: Cilantro’s Side-Kick
In addition to repairing and activating the body’s detoxification functions, chlorella is known to bind to all known toxic metals and environmental toxins and facilitate their evacuation. This makes chlorella cilantro’s perfect sidekick.
“Because cilantro mobilizes more toxins then it can carry out of the body, it may flood the connective tissue (where the nerves reside) with metals, that were previously stored in safer hiding places.
This process is called re-toxification. It can easily be avoided by simultaneously giving an intestinal toxin-absorbing agent. Our definite choice is the algal organism chlorella. A recent animal study demonstrated rapid removal of aluminum from the skeleton superior to any known other detox agent.
Cilantro causes the gallbladder to dump bile — containing the excreted neurotoxins — into the small intestine. The bile-release occurs naturally as we are eating and is much enhanced by cilantro. If no chlorella is taken, most neurotoxins are reabsorbed on the way down the small intestine by the abundant nerve endings of the enteric nervous system”
We may not be sure if garlic actually repels vampires, but we can be certain it repels toxins from the body.
“Garlic contains numerous sulphur components, including the most valuable sulph-hydryl groups, which oxidize mercury, cadmium and lead and make these metals water-soluble. (…) Garlic also contains the most important mineral, which protects from mercury toxicity, bioactive selenium.”
So, garlic zaps mercury and lead and helps the body evacuate the metals from the body. Perhaps bad breath is the way to good health.
This plant from the ginger family is widely used in Southeast Asia as a spice and its cleaning powers have been renowned for centuries. Turmeric is enshrined in Ayurvedic medicine as the king of spices. The bitter spice helps cleanse the liver, purify the blood, and promotes good digestion and elimination. It possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties, but none of the unpleasant side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. It has been used for skin cleansing, color enhancement and food preservation.
Turmeric steps up the production of three enzymes–aryl-hydrocarbon-hydroxylase, glutathione-S-transferase, and UDP-glucuronyl-transferase. These are chemical “knives” that break down potentially harmful substances in the liver. Turmeric offers similar protection for people who are taking medications such as methotrexate and other forms of chemotherapy, which are metabolized by, or shuttled through, the liver.
– James A. Dukes, Ph D., Dr. Duke’s Essential Herbs
Scientific studies have recently discovered that mixing black pepper with tumeric exponentially increases its healing properties on the body. No wonder traditional South Asian recipes often combine the two spices. So don’t hold back … grind some black pepper into that tumeric!
It is not a secret that consuming the fatty acids found in fish brings many healthy benefits. The acids do wonders for our brains. In fact, Omega-3 is literally our brain’s fuel, helping to maintain its core functions. Our most important organ heavily relies on Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies cannot create. The only way to obtain those acids is through diet.
“Most health professionals believe that DHA is the fatty acid that is most important for healthy structure and development of the brain and for vision so it is vital that there is enough DHA in the diet during pregnancy and in the first few years of a child’s life. EPA on the other hand, is essential for healthy functioning of the brain on a day to day basis, which means that throughout your life you need a constant supply of EPA.”
– David McEnvoy, Why Fish Oil is Brain Fuel
Here are some facts about Omega-3 that are of particular interest in the context of those articles:
- Research by the University of Western Australia found that women who took fish oil supplements during the latter part of their pregnancy had babies with better hand-to-eye coordination, were better speakers and could understand more at the age of two and a half than babies whose mothers who were given olive oil instead.
- A study by Aberdeen University, led by professor Lawrence Whalley, found that fish oil helps the brain to work faster, increases IQ scores and slows down the aging process.
- The Durham trials led by Dr. Madeleine Portwood have consistently found that fish oil improves behaviour, concentration and learning in the classroom.
- Researcher Natalie Sinn in Australia found fish oil to be more effective than Ritalin for ADHD.
- Hibbeln et al. looked at diet in 22 countries and found an significant association between low fish consumption and post-natal depression.
- Dr. Malcolm Peet found that ethyl-EPA, a highly concentrated form of Omega 3, dramatically reduces depression.
Fish oil also plays an important role in ridding the brain of unwanted substances:
“The fatty acid complexes EPA and DHA in fish oil make the red and white blood cells more flexible thus improving the microcirculation of the brain, heart and other tissues. All detoxification functions depend on optimal oxygen delivery and blood flow. EPA and DHA protect the brain from viral infections and are needed for the development of intelligence and eyesight. The most vital cell organelle for detoxification is the peroxisome. These small structures are also responsible for the specific job each cell has.
In the pineal gland the melatonin is produced in the peroxisome, in the neurons dopamine and norepinephrine, etc. It is here, where mercury and other toxic metal attach and disable the cell from doing its work.”
– Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, Chelation: How to remove Mercury, Lead, & other Metals
That is all well and good, but what are the best sources of fish oil? Consuming large quantities of fish would be the logical choice, but knowing that many species contain high levels of mercury, doing so might actually cause further damage to the brain. For this reason, Omega-3 supplements are probably the best way to keep the body well-stocked with EPA and DHA.
When selecting an Omega-3 supplement, you need to make sure it is molecularly distilled and is high in both DHA and EPA, especially DHA. Molecular distillation is a special process that removes all the toxins from the oil (including mercury), ensuring it is safe for human consumption. Avoid low-grade products. They often contain low levels of fatty acids and are filled with other oils and preservatives.
Final Advice: Sleep, Sweat and Stimulate
- Sufficient sleep is vital to keeping the body and the brain in good condition. Conversely, sleep deprivation impairs one’s ability to think handle stress, maintain a healthy immune system and moderate one’s emotions.
- Regular exercise is critically important for detoxification. It allows the evacuation of toxins through skin while improving the entire metabolism.
- Stimulate your brain: read, think, meditate and challenge it constantly.
This article examines the ways to avoid harmful substances in everyday products and looks at a handful of all-natural ways to free the body from their poisonous grasp. In addition to providing us the necessary nutrients used by the body to evacuate toxins, the natural substances described in this article also help maintain general heath. Regularly consuming cilantro, garlic, turmeric and Omega-3 boosts the immune system, improves rational thinking and increases memory. The amazing properties of those simple ingredients are only now being (slowly) documented by science, but they have been used by cultures worldwide for centuries.
We are conditioned to treat ailments caused by artificial products with other artificial products, that, in turn, can cause other ailments. It is only by breaking this vicious circle that we can reclaim ownership of our brains and reach our fullest potential. So, today’s a new day: Put down the cheeseburger-flavored Doritos … and change your life.