Fasting as a detoxification agent

Fasting is often used as a detoxification method, as it is one of the quickest ways to increase the elimination of wastes and enhance the body’s healing processes.

It is defined as abstinence from all food and drink except water for a specific period, usually for a therapeutic or religious purpose.

Although therapeutic fasting is probably one of the oldest known therapies, it has been largely ignored by the medical community even though significant scientific research on fasting exists in the medical literature.

Numerous medical journals have carried articles on the use of fasting in the treatment of;

  • obesity,
  • chemical poisoning,
  • rheumatoid arthritis,
  • allergies,
  • psoriasis,
  • eczema,
  • thrombophlebitis,
  • leg ulcers,
  • irritable bowel syndrome,
  • impaired or deranged appetite,
  • bronchial asthma,
  • depression,
  • neurosis,
  • and schizophrenia.

One of the most significant studies regarding fasting and detoxification appeared in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine in 1984.

This study involved patients who had ingested rice oil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

All patients reported improvement in symptoms, and some observed “dramatic” relief, after undergoing 7- to 10-day fasts.

This research supports past studies of PCB-poisoned patients and indicates the therapeutic effects of fasting as an aid to detoxification.

It is important to point out that caution must be used when fasting.

Please consult a physician before going on any unsupervised fast.

If you elect to try a fast, we strongly advise supporting detoxification reactions while fasting, especially if you are carrying a particularly heavy toxic load or have a long history of exposure to fat-soluble toxins like pesticides.

The reason is that during fast, stored toxins in our fat cells are released into the system.

For example, the pesticide DDT is released from body fat during a fast and may reach blood levels toxic to the nervous system.

The best way to support detoxification during a fast is to choose a 3-day fresh vegetable juice fast (instead of a water fast or a longer fast).

Longer fasts require strict medical supervision at an inpatient facility, while a short fast can usually be conducted at home.

For a three-day juice fast, each day you will consume three or four 8–12-fl-oz juice meals spread throughout the day.

During this period your body will begin ridding itself of stored toxins.

Drinking fresh juice for cleansing reduces some of the side effects associated with a water fast such as light-headedness, tiredness, and headaches.

While on a fresh juice fast, individuals typically experience an increased sense of well-being, renewed energy, clearer thought, and a sense of purity.

Be sure to use vegetable juices (preferably fresh and organic), not fruit juice, as the high level of sugars in fruit juice can cause widely fluctuating blood sugar levels.

To further aid in detoxification, follow these guidelines:

  • Take a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula to provide general support.
  • Take a lipotropic formula to provide a daily dose of 1,000 mg choline and 1,000 mg methionine and/or cysteine.
  • Take 1,000 mg of vitamin C three times per day.
  • Take 1–2 tbsp of a fiber supplement at night before retiring, preferably a soluble fiber such as powdered psyllium seed husks, guar gum, or oat bran.
  • If you are carrying a particularly heavy toxic load, take silymarin at a dosage of 70 to 210 mg three times per day.

Other Tips on Fasting

  • Although a short juice fast can be started anytime, it is best to begin on a weekend or during a period when adequate rest can be ensured.
  • The more rest, the better the results, as energy can be directed toward healing instead of other body functions.
  • Prepare for a fast by having only fresh fruits and vegetables as the last meal the day before the fast begins.
  • Some authorities recommend a full day of raw food to start a fast, even a juice fast.
  • Only fresh vegetable juices (ideally prepared from organic produce) should be consumed for the next three to five days.
  • As noted above, have four 8- to 12-fl-oz glasses of fresh juice throughout the day.
  • In addition to the fresh juice, drink pure water.

  • The quantity of water should be dictated by thirst, but it should be at least four 8-fl-oz glasses every day during the fast.
  • Do not drink coffee; bottled, canned, frozen juice; or soft drinks.
  • Herbal teas can be quite supportive of a fast, but they should not be sweetened.
  • Exercise is not usually encouraged during fasting.
  • It is a good idea to conserve energy and allow maximal healing.
  • Short walks and light stretching are useful, but heavy workouts tax the system and inhibit repair and elimination.
  • Rest is one of the most important aspects of a fast.
  • A nap or two during the day is recommended.
  • Less sleep will usually be required at night since daily activity is lower.
  • Body temperature usually drops during a fast, as do blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate all measures of the slowing of the body’s metabolic rate.
  • It is important, therefore, to stay warm.
  • When it is time to break your fast, reintroduce solid foods gradually by limiting portions.
  • Do not overeat.
  • It is also a good idea to eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and eat foods at room temperature.


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