Posted by Tina 02/21/2005
The Importance of Body and Lymphatic Detoxification
in the Treatment of Lymphedema
According to Dr. Bernard Jensen, PhD., D.C. ,"Every tissue in the body is fed by the blood which is supplied by the intestines. When the intestines are dirty, the blood is dirty and so are the organs and tissues. It is the intestinal system that must be cared for, first, before any effective healing can take place". This thought was echoed by Joseph D. Beasley, M.D. and Jerry Swift, M.A. authors of the 1989 Kellogg Report, "In today's conditions, most adult patients have to be detoxified and nutritionally restored before specific diagnosis can be formulated"
Today's conditions refer to the amount of external and internal toxins bombarding us every day1. External toxins were quantified in 1989 by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Toxic Substances. There results follows:
551,034,696 pounds of industrial chemicals were dumped into public sewage storage.
1,180,831,181 pounds of chemicals were released into the ground threatening our natural aquifers.
188,953,884 pounds of chemicals were discharged into surface waters.
The total amount of air emissions pumped into the atmosphere was 2,427,061,906 pounds.
A grand total of 5,705,670,380 pounds of chemical pollutants were released into the environment in 19892
Toxic chemicals easily find their way into our body through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. Obviously these toxins must be eliminated before they can disrupt normal metabolic systems and processes. Yet, although the body is designed to eliminate toxins, it cannot always handle the overload present in today's environment. In addition to external toxins, our own bodies produce internal toxins through normal metabolic processes such as digestion, muscle movement and cellular activity.
Consequentially annual or bi-annual detoxification is routinely recommended by many health care professionals regardless of health status. However, healthy detoxification takes on an even more important role when a disease like, Lymphedema, which is characterized by a breakdown in the detoxification mechanism itself, is present.
"Lymphedema is characterized by edema and blockage of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system has three very important functions." according to Dr. Gerald M. Lemole, Chief of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Deborah Heart and Lung Center, Browns Mills, N. J.
"First of all, the lymphatics return protein to the bloodstream. As much as 50 percent of our serum protein can leak out of our bloodstream during a 24-hour period and it is the job of the lymphatics to return this protein to the blood. Second, the lymphatics clear the spaces between our cells and carry away toxins and foreign particles such as bacteria, large proteins, cholesterol, and viruses. We were taught that the liver and kidneys clear away toxins but it is actually the lymphatics that clear away the fluid that bathes each cell of our body. Third, the lymphatics are an integral part of our immune system. The white cells, called lymphocytes, circulate in and out of the lymphatics and they help destroy foreign particles like bacteria, viruses, and parasites."
"The trouble begins when the lymphatic system becomes blocked or the flow of lymph slows down appreciably. It is like the kitchen sink. If the drain is clogged and you leave the water running, the water will eventually run all over the floor."
Not only is the lymphatic fluid blocked, but so are all the toxins, bacteria, and viruses that the lymphatic fluid normally drains from the body. It is no surprise that Lymphedema patients are prone to chronic and severe infections. It is also no surprise that many Lymphedema patients suffer from other varied health ailments. The stagnant lymph fluid is a breeding ground for bacteria, parasites, viruses and a cesspool of toxic waste.
Peter Glasser, MLDT, LMT, ICMT of Ultimate Health Center, Asheville, N.C. uses herbal cleanses as an integral part of his treatment for Lymphedema. The results show improvement, not only in the Lymphedema, but also in the overall health and well being of the patient. Peter has also found that when an herbal cleanse is initiated before treatment begins, treatment time itself is shortened and results are improved. His typical treatment period is between two to four weeks, with 90% of his patients requiring only two weeks of one treatment per day.
However, it is critical to undertake an herbal cleanse under the care and scrutiny of a qualified health care practitioner. Each individual may react differently to the cleansing process itself and to the herbs contained within the cleanse. A cleansing program needs to be established for the circumstances and needs of the individual patient and closely monitored for any adverse reactions.
The herbal cleanses remove some of the toxins in the blocked lymphatic fluid and start the process of lymphatic drainage. Patients have reported a decrease in swelling of affected limbs and a softening of hardened tissue before treatment even begins. Some patients chose to use an herbal cleanse after their CDP treatments and still noticed improvements in their Lymphedema and their overall health.
The herbal cleanses preferred by Peter Glasser include both a commercial tablet and a specially prepared liquid formula. The commercial tablet is available in most health food stores as Nature's Secret, A.M./P.M. Multi-Cleanse. The liquid formula is specifically created for Peter Glasser by Herbalist and Alchemists of New Jersey and GAIA herbs.
The A.M./P.M. cleanse contains the following herbs: alfalfa leaf, black cohosh root, burdock root, cayenne fruit, cascara sagrada bark, chickweed herb, dandelion root, echinacea angustifolia leaf extract, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, ginger root, guar gum, hawthorn berries, horsetail herb, marshmallow root, milk thistle extract, mullein leaf, papaya leaf, peppermint leaf, plantain herb, psyllium seed, red clover leaf, safflower oil, slippery elm bark, yarrow flower and yellow dock root.4 The herbal cleanse works by cleansing the body, blood, and lymphatics. Waste is eliminated by stimulating additional bowel movements. The amount and type of bowel movements need to be monitored so that they do not exceed two to three per day and do not become too watery. Additionally, because toxins and bacteria are being mobilized, some symptoms of detoxification should be expected. They can include flu like symptoms, tiredness, flatulence and even a slight rash.The A.M./P.M. cleanse contains the following herbs: alfalfa leaf, black cohosh root, burdock root, cayenne fruit, cascara sagrada bark, chickweed herb, dandelion root, echinacea angustifolia leaf extract, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, ginger root, guar gum, hawthorn berries, horsetail herb, marshmallow root, milk thistle extract, mullein leaf, papaya leaf, peppermint leaf, plantain herb, psyllium seed, red clover leaf, safflower oil, slippery elm bark, yarrow flower and yellow dock root.4 The herbal cleanse works by cleansing the body, blood, and lymphatics. Waste is eliminated by stimulating additional bowel movements. The amount and type of bowel movements need to be monitored so that they do not exceed two to three per day and do not become too watery. Additionally, because toxins and bacteria are being mobilized, some symptoms of detoxification should be expected. They can include flu like symptoms, tiredness, flatulence and even a slight rash.
Peter normally recommends going very slowly with the cleanse, monitoring progress and including a natural antibiotic such as colloidal silver in the regime. The natural antibiotic is to ensure that, as the bacteria are mobilized from the system, they are destroyed before they can multiply.
Also included in the regime is a good multi-vitamin, pcynogenol and dandelion root/leaf. The multi-vitamin provides necessary vitamins and minerals to strengthen and revitalize the body, pcynogenol combats free radical production in the blood and lymph system and dandelion helps the liver and kidneys deal with the elimination of toxins while also aiding in edema reduction.
The liquid formula contains herbs historically used to cleanse the lymphatic system: echinacea, cleavers, golden seal and poke root. This formula is taken three times a day with a usual starting dose of between 10 to 30 drops. To date, no side effects have been reported using the liquid formula.3
Either one of both of the herbal cleanses is an excellent way to start the process of lymphatic drainage. The benefits obtained can shorten the treatment time and help the patient achieve a greater level of overall health and well being.
Copyright © Diana Brady
1. Beasley, J.D., Swift, J.J., The Kellogg Report. Institute of Health Policy and Practice, The Bard College Center., Ch 4:171. 1989
2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1991, Toxics in the Community: National and Local Perspectives, The 1989 Toxics Release Inventory National Report, Office of Toxic Substances, Washington, D.C.
3. Hoffmann, David, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Books, Inc., Rockport, MA., pg 32. 1995
4. Herbal Research Publications, Naturopathic Handbook of Herbal Formulas. Herbal Research Publications, Inc., Ayer Massachusetts. pg(s) 133-156. 1996
Response from Pat
Just wanted to say a word about the concept of "lymph flushsing."
I'm going to sound a bit like a broken record here. However, there is absolutely no scientific basis for the concept of lymph flushing. There are also no independant clinical studies showing that these so called flush remedies are either effective or safe.
It all sounds great on the outside...your system is clogged down and you need to "cleanse" it. I must strongly warn readers that many of the ingrediants are very strong and can do damage to your system.
I'll be totally honest with you, at the price of these remedies, it sounds more like someone wanting to make a buck than to provide clinically proven and safe medicinal therapy.
We with lymphedema already have an impaired lymphatic system, we must be careful not to further damage it.
If you want to cleanse your system, the safest way would be to drink the needed amount of water to help flush out impurities.
Be safe...be wise...don't jump on something simply because someone with a title says "try this."
Always demand independant clinical studies to validate their claims, if they can not prouce them....stay away from the product.
Pat's right. Be very careful with any herbal meds, lymph flushing or detox etc.
I've done what I call cleaning but not anything like this. About 1 day a week I'll have just liquids, soups, and veggies. Just foods to help push anything through the body but at the same time provide nutrients we need. I'm a big fan of veggies, broccoli especially. I usually call it my healthy day! lol. I'll have tomato soup, maybe vegetable soup, then a salad with broccoli, mushrooms, the usual chef salad condiments in it, then alot of liquids.
I honestly don't think it's healthy to do the detox's you see in magazines or on tv. Just drinking only water a day or two is not giving your body the daily things it needs and it's just more of a survival tool. But that's just me and my opinion, some of you might feel great doing just water for a day, and that's great if it works for you
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people
My thought on natural medicines
I would love to be able to take all things that are natural
I dont know enough
I have a thought though
Where do all these billions of pre packed herbs come from?
how long have they been stored in warehouses before they hit the store shelves? Where are they grown? as i feel theres so many about
there not picked by some naturlist walking thru the woods
What are they grown in? as to mass produce on the level we need to
keep the health industry going would take an awful lot of herbs etc
I think the old ways are wonderful unfortunately we live in a wolrd of acid rain smogs chemical carnage and dumping by industry with the blessing of our governements.
Is there anything natural and not tainted anymore on this once
Really makes you wonder doesn't it? Now we have to think of anything from coral reefs due to the Tsumani. So much was destroyed. Seems we're slowly losing all the naturalness of the world to chemicals and disasters.
One of my biggest pet peeves is water. So many of the bottles on the shelves tout natural spring water, well how much chemicals get into those springs and if they clean them what gets into them? I usually buy Poland Springs water but I have no clue if it's really pure or not, then I boil my tap water and refrig to drink after it's set a few days.