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Detoxification and Cleansing to Support a Healthy Immune System

Source:By RAM CHAUDHARI, Ph.D., FACN, C Date:2010-06-22
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HELPING the body to detoxify and cleanse can be key to developing and maintaining an optimum immune system. Practiced for centuries around the world, most notably within Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine systems, this 'ritual' is gaining ground with mainstream consumers who are taking a much more active approach to their overall health and wellness. People are exposed to countless toxins on a daily basis through the foods they eat and the air they breathe. By removing and eliminating these toxins, and then feeding the body with healthy nutrients, detoxification can support a strong immune system and renew our ability to maintain optimum health. In a nutshell, detoxification means cleansing. The frequency of how often one should detoxify their body is different for each individual. Some people do it once a year, whilst others may do it four times a year to coincide with the change of seasons. Each season can bring its own unique set of toxins that can manifest themselves in a variety of conditions such as sinus congestion, bad breath, excessive flatulence, red itchy eyes or skin rashes. Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic for the stomach and liver and as a blood purifier The liver - central to oxification and supporting immunity Our liver is our major detoxification organ. It is responsible for breaking down the toxins we get from the foods and beverages we consume, as well as from a variety of other sources such as air pollution, prescription medications, chemicals in everyday cleaners we use in our homes and even the water in which we bathe, just to name a few. Additional 'channels' within the body that also eliminate toxins include the kidneys, lungs, the gastrointestinal and lymph systems and, surprise, the skin. If you think about it, these systems are working 24/7 without rest. They occasionally need some respite, much in the same way we need to sleep to recharge and energise our bodies on a daily basis. This is where detoxification can play a vital role in how well they do their individual jobs and collectively contribute to overall health and supporting the immune system. That being said, I would however like to point out that for as many proponents there are for cleansing/detoxification, there are just as many who believe that there is no need for this process One of the most popular botanicals used to cleanse the liver is Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), or its active compound called 'silymarin'. Historically, it has been used as a digestive tonic, a general tonic for the spleen, stomach and liver, and to promote bile flow (bile acids are essential for the digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins, proteins and starches and also regulates your intestines' level of good bacteria. There have been a number of human clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of milk thistle as a hepatoprotective agent (meaning it has the ability to prevent damage to the liver). The mechanism of silymarin's reported hepatoprotective activity includes inhibition of the transport of toxins into the liver cells, stabilisation of the hepatic cell membranes, stimulation of new liver cell regeneration through increased protein synthesis. Additional nut r ients that can aid in detoxification and cleansing In Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine), Turmeric has been used for centuries internally as a tonic for the stomach and liver and as a blood purifier. Laboratory and clinical research indicates that turmeric and its phenolics have unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic seems to detoxify chemical carcinogens and prevent carcinogenesis and is reported to stimulate immunity. It may also help in the detoxification of heavy metals from the body, including lead. The mechanism of action appears to be that garlic protects theChuck Taylor All Star

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