In June, 2006, the World Health Organization reported that nearly one-quarter of global disease is caused by environmental exposures and that well-targeted interventions can prevent much of this environmental risk, “saving what could amount to millions of lives every year.”
In addition to the external toxins that assault the body daily, our own bodies produce toxins, called metabolic waste products as a result of digestion and respiration. Although many mainstream doctors feel that the body is capable of detoxifying itself without “intervention,” we are impacted by many more pollutants than ever before.
In 2000, the Environmental Working Group and Commenweal began the Human Toxome Project to analyze human tissues for chemicals that enter the body. Utilizing the latest technology, the project thus far has shown that all 75 participants ranging in age from newborn to the elderly tested positive for a combined total of 455 out of 528 chemicals.
As the skin is the largest organ of the body, it is imperative that we are conscious of what we put on it. That includes some of the more “technologically advanced” ingredients touted by many skin care lines. It is tempting to grab a bottle of the “latest, greatest” product with the “latest, greatest” ingredient(s), but “buyer beware.”
Most molecules are too small to penetrate the skin, (And do you really want them penetrating deeply into the skin?), some ingredients (Vitamin C) are highly unstable and lose any effectiveness they might have had very quickly, and some ingredients actually cancel out their effectiveness by being utilized together. Be a knowledgeable consumer and don’t be taken in by the “hype premium.”
There are many different methods of detoxifying – from merely eliminating the obvious toxic contenders from our body to the most extreme case of water fasting, the latter of which has resulted in death if not medically supervised.
Certain asanas in yoga (see this newsletter’s article on “twists”) help the natural detoxification process by increasing circulation, compressing and twisting organs, and encouraging relaxation.
One needs to know that extremities of any kind are considered stressful from the Ayurvedic standpoint and therefore not encouraged. In Ayurveda, the treatment of Panchakarma is utilized to release physical and emotional toxicity, restoring the body’s natural balance and health.
A conservative, environmentally friendly approach is to eat organically as much as possible starting with animal products (including dairy) that are free from antibiotics, hormones and ideally as cruelty free as possible. Eating less animal food is always a good idea… moving toward organic fruits and vegetables is a close second. It costs more but in the long run, your life is worth the investment.
Many skin diseases, on some level, can be attributed to accumulated toxins and until a person is willing to go beyond the external remedies, there can be no permanent change. This includes dietary changes as well as a “mental fast.” You must consistently cleanse, nourish, and lubricate the body internally as well as externally if you want to have truly flawless and radiant skin and hair. REMEMBER, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT– OR DON’T EAT!
Owner & Director of Education, Better Botanicals