A Peek Into The Toxic Life of an Average Londoner

– Tina Andersen – BSc Psychology, Naturopathic Consultant

Jolted out of a dream by an annoyingly loud alarm clock, barely able to stagger to the kitchen for the first fix of caffeine of the day brewed with some chlorine, fluoride, lead, aluminium, nitrates, traces of radioactive iodine, steroids, oral contraceptives and antibiotics (found in the tap water).

Then off into the shower steaming up the bathroom with the fumes of the same substances found in your morning drink, which with every breath will find an even faster way into the blood stream. Washing your hair with some Sodium Lauryl sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Ammonium Laurel Sulphate amongst other unrecognisable substances that are directly absorbed into our systems through the scalp. Don’t forget the lathering of the body with formaldehyde and phenol of course.

Now wide-awake from the caffeine you realise you will be late. After running around madly, spraying on some aluminium, which for some reason is needed to prevent you from smelling, and throwing on your clothes you have five minutes left to spare. It is either breakfast or make-up.

Seeing how you always wanted to lose weight and how you could just grab an egg Mc Muffin at the corner, you opt for making yourself more attractive- externally. Carefully applying the potassium hydroxide, chlorate and polyacrylamide you rush out the door.

While you run out the house and down your street your lungs start to breath more deeply but they are in for a shock when the carbon monoxide from the congested road hits them. Waiting for the bus you quickly manage to buy your breakfast – the healthy option from Mc D. Well it does contain eggs…somewhere, however, they have been fried with hydrogenated fats causing a good deal of free radical damage in the body!

When you arrive at work the caffeine is starting to wear off so another fix is supplied and drunk. Busy day at work, feeling stressed, not eating lunch until quite late, while you are leafing through some work.

The salad makes you feel good about yourself, fibre and minerals are important parts of the human diet especially since you have had problems going to the toilet lately. Little do you know that the salad has been sprayed with herbicides, fungicides, and fertilisers about 40 times before reaching your plate.

Salad does not fill you though so a nice ham and cheese sandwich on white bread will do the trick. This sandwich, however, contains a lot more than you bargained for including bleach in the bread and Organochlorine insecticides, Anticholinesterase insecticides, Pyrethroid insecticides, and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in the meat and dairy.

Slight indigestion but at least the building is cool since the air conditioning is running – the fact that CFC’s are being produced is hardly noticeable although you do feel quite drained towards the end of the day you blame that on the milk that looked a bit off.

On the way home through the thick traffic you are too tired to cook and the Chinese take away is still open. Temptation overrides everything else and once home you happily indulge in the wonderful tasting stir fry – yum, you wonder what spices they use or is it just that addictive substance called Mono sodium glutamate that keeps you going back for more?

Watching your favourite TV show, while drinking your larger containing pesticides and fungicides, you grab the last ice cream that’s in the freezer. Your favourite with vanilla flavouring, another name for piperonal, a chemical used for killing lice!

Suddenly the urge is too strong. You have been trying to give up, but what the hell it’s Friday night.You light up and breathe in the nicotine, tar, and pesticides neatly wrapped up in some candidly bleached paper. You are glad you gave in. Your body becomes tired overwhelmed by today’s toxins and dreading tomorrows.

As your head hits the pillow your organs start to work hard trying to get rid of those toxins but alas there are too many and the organs are too exhausted so the toxins are transported to the fat cells where they will remain until a major detoxification is undertaken!

Naturally, not everyone indulges them self to the same extent as described above, however, there are certain aspects of toxicity, which are unavoidable in the society we live in.

In addition to the examples mentioned above there are plenty of other substances causing damage. Hundreds of food additives, colourings, preservatives and artificial sweeteners are consumed on a daily basis, many of which, have been found to cause asthma, eczema, psoriasis, even cancer.

Amalgam fillings, which release mercury into the system is another toxin adding to the total overload of the body.

But probably the most important of all are the bowels, which are filled with toxins that are continuously being reabsorbed by the gut. No matter how health conscious you are toxins cannot be fully avoided although certain precautions can be taken to minimise the amount entering the system. Also there are different kinds of detoxification methods, which will help eliminate the toxins that are stored in your body tissues.


Precautions to take

Do not drink tap water. Instead use filtered, bottled or even better distilled water.

Always shower with the window open in order to avoid breathing in the toxic fumes.

Avoid long periods of swimming in public pools due to the high amounts of chlorine that are used to disinfect the water.

Try to drink green tea or herbal tea rather than black tea or coffee. Green tea works as an antioxidant as well as mobilising toxins out of the fat cells.

Try to eat organic where possible. Especially root vegetables, for they have been found to absorb the greatest amount of toxins from the ground.

Wash all vegetables and fruits. If non-organic wash them in water containing vinegar. Also do not buy the ones exposed to street traffic fumes.

Buy beauty products, which contain substances less harmful to the body. I recommend the millet shampoo from Haar Sana, which can be bought in any of the bigger health shops. As soap try Oliva – made solely from olive oil, mineral salts and water.

Avoid artificial preservatives, colourings and additives in your diet. Always read the labels of products for their contents of flavourings and colourings indicated with E numbers. There are a small percentage of E numbers that are harmless but many have been found to cause asthma, eczema, attention deficit disorder and even cancer.

Minimize the amount of alcohol you drink and cut out cigarettes.

Try to fry as little as possible as this produces free radical damage in the body. Steaming is the best cooking method as this preserves the nutrients and does not require any oils, which can be converted to saturated fats when heated at high temperatures.

Methods of eliminating toxins from the body

Eat more fibre. Buy wholemeal bread rather than white. Brown rice and brown pasta. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, preferably organic. Fibre acts as roughage helping to eliminate toxins out of the colon.

Eat fewer animal products. Other than the fact that meat is filled with toxins such as antibiotics it also produces a lot of mucous in the stomach and intestines, as do dairy products. Try to substitute animal products with other sources of protein such as beans, nuts and pulses.

Removing amalgam fillings is the best way to stop the emission of mercury into your body system. However, a dentist who is familiar with the specific method in which further leakage can be avoided must do this. It has been found that when removing the fillings a large amount of mercury can be released during the process. If the removal of fillings is not an option due to financial or time restrictions there is the possibility of lowering the leakage of mercury through the use of an Amalgam Blocker toothpaste from Tuebingen.

Drink plenty of water – approx. 2 litres daily (filtered, bottled or distilled)

Buy a skin brush and get into the habit of dry skin brushing daily. This will increase the mobility of the lymphatic system allowing toxins to be moved out of the body.

Take 3 grams of Chlorella daily. This is a blue green algae, which besides its highly beneficial nutritional qualities is also an extremely good detoxifier.

Think about doing a 3-day water fast. The water must not be tap water. During fasting the body can use all its energy on healing and detoxifying the body rather than on digesting food. If a pure water fast sounds too intimidating try opting for a juice fast. The juices must be organic and free from additives, sugar and preservatives. If you wish to fast for longer than 3 days you should consult a naturopath first.

The bowels are a place where toxins are stored especially if bowel movements are less than twice a day. It is very important to keep the bowels clean in order to remain in good health. If there is a build up of faecal matter in the colon, toxins are continuously being reabsorbed through the gut lining into the blood stream. The thick layer covering the intestinal walls makes it difficult for nutrients to be absorbed efficiently. It is therefore extremely important for the bowels to be cleansed at least once a year. There are different methods of doing this, for example by using certain herbs such as psyllium husk. Fasting is another very good method of eliminating toxins from the bowels as well as from the rest of the body. A product, which I can recommend is the Robert Gray Intestinal Cleansing Program. This is a product that combines herbs such as psyllium husk, dandelion root, rosemary as well as Irish moss and spirulina amongst others. Towards the end of the programme you will be given lacto bacteria food, which nourishes the friendly bacteria needed for a healthy gut.

The liver is another major organ for dealing with toxins and due to the vast amount of these consumed daily it is important to support the liver. Firstly this can be done by, as mentioned above, trying to limit the toxins that are consumed and secondly by taking certain herbs that help strengthen the liver. Milk thistle is the main herb for supporting the function of the liver. A useful liver tonic is dandelion, meadowsweet, fringe tree bark and golden seal. There is a fairly inexpensive liver detox programme available at the Nutri Centre called 10 days organic liver detox.

Indulge in some Epsom bath salts, which draw toxins out through the pores of the skin. Another useful product is the Alkaline health cure from Orgon which helps to rebalance the systems ph level. This consists of Alkaherb, a herbal tea which detoxifies and dissolves impurities; Alkalife, a vegetable food supplement which provides a rich quantity of minerals and energy and Alkabath which are bath salts that remove the accumulated toxins of the body through the skin.

Most of the products can be purchased in any of the bigger health shops.

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