December 24th 2009 - CLEANSING IS A PATH TO YOUTH AND HEALTH
By Rene David Alkalay, PhD, ND, DD
In all mammals we can observe the behavior of cleansing the inner as well as the outer body. Generally, animals will stop eating when they are diseased and turn instead to either complete abstinence from food and drink, or to drinking water only. And this behavior may continue until the animal is healed or dies. We, the human animal, however, often go against this natural wisdom and although our bodies may be quite toxic and already in a state of overload, we continue to add more “stuff” to a body that is struggling to regain its balance.
Before cleansing, it is useful to understand the basics of a good diet. The word “diet” is problematic as it all too often implies weight loss. By diet I am referring to intelligent eating that will nourish and nurture us toward optimal health and well-being. Assuming then that you have taken a little time to educate yourself about healthful eating and that you have initiated this system to some degree, now we are ready to begin a process of cleansing and detoxifying. That, in fact, is going to be an important theme throughout our lives, nourishing and cleansing. We nourish the body and strengthen it and periodically, as toxicities build up, we cleanse before once again nourishing. It is really a simple idea and one that is reflected in every area of our lives. Expand your thinking for a moment away from nourishing and cleansing the body to applying this principle to your emotions, your intellect, and your spiritual life.
Cleansing is perhaps the most effective way, in most cases, to begin a healing process. Freedom, as the sages have taught, is not gotten by accumulation of things, but rather by a ridding process.
So now we are cleansing and what happens next? In almost every case we begin to feel much worse than before we began. Many people will stop the process at this point believing that they are becoming ill. This is actually the moment of truth. As toxins are shaken up or dislodged from the tissue, where they may have been buried for decades, they re-enter the blood stream for elimination and a slew of symptoms may accompany this process of elimination.
What are the symptoms that may arise? Dizziness, headaches, skin rashes (as toxins move from inside to the surface), nausea, cold and flu-like symptoms, This is the time to “hang tough,” to be courageous, and to have faith in the process in the knowledge that we will emerge to a healthier state of being. One course of action when symptoms arise is to hydrate the body, drink more water. During this process the pH balance begins to restore itself as the waste we have built up is removed. We may experience a “healing crisis,” an idea that was put forth by Dr. Herring who theorized that illness and disease comes out of the body by the same progression of symptoms as it entered, only in reverse order. This is called Herring’s law of cure.
Although many people accomplish this cleansing by fasting, this is not the only way, nor necessarily the best way. Admittedly, there are several conflicting opinions on this point. What I will recommend here is a cleanse that utilizes certain foods and nutritional supplements that will help the body to cleanse and that will provide the materials the body needs to rebuild itself.
The first consideration is to make sure the bowel is open. Constipation will not be useful in cleansing no matter what program we follow. Therefore, some products to aid in elimination are needed. It is not my aim in this brief article to endorse specific products or companies, but rather to provide you with information by which you can explore further on your journey to better health.
During a cleanse, I recommend the use of freshly squeezed vegetable juices in order to give the body a concentrated form of the minerals it needs for rebuilding.
When juicing, use fresh, green vegetables. Good choices are kale, spinach, parsley, celery, cucumber, broccoli, wheat grass, cabbage, barley grass, and collard greens. Drink three or four 8 oz. glasses per day in addition to 6-8 8 oz glasses of water. Examples of a juiced vegetable cocktail are,
o carrot, cucumber, celery
o cucumber parsley, spinach, alfalfa sprouts
o carrot, cucumber, kale
Vegetable broths are also very useful during a cleanse and can be made in such a way as to help the body rid itself of bad bacteria, and fungal infestations. Making fresh vegetable broth with the addition of garlic and onions will increase the power of the cleanse and will help to give you energy throughout the day. Have a vegetable broth at least three times daily during the cleansing process.
Taken in gel cap form, essential fatty acids are also an important addition. Fish oil gel caps, if you are not vegetarian are probably best. For vegetarians, there is the choice of flax seed oil or borage oil. These will provide the omega 3 and omega 6 that the body needs.
What about nutritional supplements like vitamins and minerals. Well, as you know, I am not a big fan of vitamins and minerals in an isolate form. Nevertheless, some supplementation is probably a good idea since we are taking in a very small, notwithstanding concentrated, form of nutrient. There are several good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral herbal formulas that come in a distillation. There are particular ones that I use with my clients, but as I said earlier, I will not use this venue to endorse particular products. With a little homework, you can discover several good formulas.
No two people are alike and so the next to last consideration is the duration of the cleanse. A minimum cleanse would be three days, but the norm is seven to ten days. In that time, the body has enough opportunity to rid itself of toxic waste, to re-establish a good pH balance, to reduce or eliminate cravings for high sugar foods and other foods that may not have served us well. This then is the time to introduce healthy eating and to build the body’s strength and youth. Yes, youth! What have all those toxins been doing? They have been busily aging us prematurely. Staying younger, more vibrant, more mentally alert – well. Perhaps these are motivation enough to consider this idea of nourishing and cleansing as a system to integrate into our life styles.
And the last consideration in a cleansing program is how to stop the cleanse and resume normal eating. It would not be too useful to have just come off a fast or cleanse and go out for pizza, diet coke, and a cup of coffee. Resuming “normal” eating is a process for which we need to allow four to five days by the gradual introduction of the different food groups.
Rene David Alkalay is a Naturopathic doctor and has been in practice since 1970. He has worked with thousands of individuals with “incurable” and terminal diseases and helped them to re-discover their birthright of good health. He has worked specifically with cancer and heart disease patients, as well as diabetics, and individuals with chronic liver disease. He is in private practice and the spiritual director of the Tree of Life Yoga and Wellness Center in Forest Hills, NY. If you have health concerns or health questions, you may reach Dr. Alkalay: 718-544-5997. See the website at
Genesis Tree of Life Wellness
102-02 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills, NY 11375