The Role of Detoxification in Health:
- Our digestion / liver / elimination systems are under constant pressure to cope with inflammation and toxicity from multiple sources.
- Low level digestive health results in inflammatory conditions and imbalances in our digestive microflora that are poorly diagnosed in Western medicine.
- The liver in particular has to deal with a far greater toxic burden as a result of "modern living". These toxins and free radicals can overwhelm our bodies ability to handle them and this "oxidative stress" plays a role in most chronic diseases.
- Specific herbs are powerful antioxidants that greatly assist the process of detoxification and restoring balance.
Proper functioning of our liver and digestive system is the foundation of good health. The digestion and absorption of nutrients from our diets and removal of wastes and toxins is a continual process and many factors can impede this normal function leading to systemic inflammation and toxicity overwhelming our bodies own detoxification and free radical scavenging ability. Intestinal dysbiosis occurs when unfavourable microrganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and parasites colonize our digestive system. These microflora imbalances are poorly diagnosed in modern medicine and thus usually remain untreated, contributing to nutritional deficiencies, inflammation, toxicity and increasing the likelihood of developing food allergies and "leaky gut syndrome".
The digestive system are called upon to produce high levels of antioxidants to neutralize free radical damage and prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative damage to our cell's DNA by free radicals leads to a process that can cause cells to mutate and become cancerous if our antioxidant enzymes are insufficient to meet the demand.
The most important organ in the process of detoxification is the liver. The liver performs hundreds of functions, and it's not surprising that if the liver does not function well, our health is affected in many ways. One of the liver's primary tasks is to filter toxins. If your body has to handle too many wastes, then the filter may be unable to eliminate toxins sufficiently and they recirculate through your blood and affect many organ functions and bodily systems. Toxins can also affect the nervous system and mental function, leading to fatigue, depression or anxiety.
The major causes of toxicity and inflammation are:
|Bacteria e.g. H. pylori, shigella, campylobacter, E.coli etc
|Dental problems / mercury fillings
|Food additives / hormones / antibiotics fed to animals
|Lack of exercise / lack of sleep
|Industrial chemicals / environmental pollution
|Yeasts / candida
|Myotoxins (produced by microbes)
|Pesticidies / herbicides / fungicides
|Poor diets and oxidative stress
|Stress and high cortisol / intestinal secretory immunoglobulin A
|Byproducts of metabolism
|Zoonosis (carried by animals / insects)
Western medicine has little answer for liver detoxification and free radical protection, nor is it equipped to diagnose or treat intestinal dysbiosis and inflammation. Because of this many Doctors today are recommending natural herbal liver protective antioxidants that have been used by traditional herbalists for centuries. Three of the most important herbs from Asian herbal medicine for this purpose are as follows:
Andrographis paniculata (Hempedu Bumi) contains a group of active ingredients known as andrographolides that have been shown to have powerful free-radical scavenging properties for the digestive system and liver. These compounds have also shown potent anticancer and immunostimulant properties as shown in hundreds of scientific studies. As a systemic antioxidant that also markedly improves white blood cell immunity and liver detoxification, Andrographis is uniquely suited to protect human health in the face of oxidized fats, dietary and environmental free radicals.
Curcuma longa (Kunyit) contains the active ingredient known as Curcumin, responsible for the yellow colour in curry and which is the most intensively researched herbal antioxidant in the world. The unique property of Curcumin is its ability to penetrate its free radical scavenging ability throughout the body and has been shown to have an anti-cancer potential for multiple types of cancer.
Phyllanthus niruri / amarus (Pokok Dukung Anak) is well researched for its liver protective and antiviral effects and shows potential in treating viral hepatitis infection. It contains ellagitannins that have potent antioxidant and superoxide radical scavenging ability and enhance glutathione.