The first week I got a sty, a cold sore, and the cold that was coming when I went for my appointment developed into a stinker. But the following week I felt fantastic. My skin glowed, the whites of my eyes were brighter, my energy levels were off the scale and I felt generally lighter. By week three I was down a jeans size and had to go to Trilogy to replenish my supply of denim (no hardship there!).
The reality is that our bodies are constantly being exposed to a huge variety of natural and synthetic chemicals. Air is chemicals. Food is chemicals. Drugs are chemicals. Herbs are chemicals. The presence of any chemical in the body, (natural or synthetic) does not mean that it is doing harm. Many naturally-derived substances can be exceptionally toxic, and consequently the human body has evolved a remarkable system of defenses and mechanisms to defend against, and remove unwanted substances. The skin, kidneys, lymphatic system, gastrointestinal system, and most importantly, the liver make up our astoundingly complex and sophisticated intrinsic detoxification system.
What about the detox kits found in pharmacies? Contents vary, but typically contain two categories of ingredients:
There’s a reason we fall for the marketing of detoxification — we seem hardwired to believe we need it, perhaps related to our susceptibility to ideas of sympathetic magic. Purification rituals date back to the earliest reaches of recorded history. The idea that we’re somehow poisoning ourselves and we need to atone for our sins seems to be a part of human nature, which may explain why it’s still a part of most of the world’s religions. It’s not miasmas or sin that we’re as worried about today, however. As our knowledge of biology grew, these fears manifested as “autointoxication.” Clean out the bowels, went the theory, and you could cure any illness. Science discarded autointoxication by the 1900’s as we gained a better understanding of anatomy, physiology, and the true cause of disease. Yet the term persists today – but now it’s marketing slogan. Today’s version of autointoxication argues that our environment is increasingly toxic, and it’s making us ill. Depending on who you ask, some combination of food additives, salt, meat, fluoride, prescription drugs, smog, vaccine ingredients, GMOs, not “eating clean”, or perhaps not “eating paleo” are causing a buildup of “toxins” in the body. And don’t forget gluten. Gluten is evil and therefore it is a toxin. (Never mind the science.) So what is the actual “toxin” that is causing you vague but apparently real harm? Detox kits and treatments never name the toxins that they remove, because they’ve never been shown to remove toxins. Picking one common drug store detox kit, Renew Life says:
If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.
Turning an eye on the profession, separating fact from fiction on both sides of the counter.