Naturopathic Health: Cleanse and Detox 101


J.ChasseDr. Jaclyn Chasse, N.D. is a licensed naturopathic doctor and the Medical Educator for Emerson Ecologics, a distributor of dietary supplements to medical professionals. Dr. Chasse’s clinical practice, Northeast Center for Holistic Medicine (, focuses on women’s health, pediatrics and infertility, with an emphasis on botanical medicine. Dr. Chasse is also a master gardener and spends her free time cooking, playing in the woods with her family and taming her small yard into an urban permaculture oasis. 

You clean your home, you clean your car, you clean your kids’ faces. You clean your hair, you clean behind your ears and you clean your teeth. But, have you thought to clean your insides?

Last weekend, at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, I presented on the importance (and simplicity) of detox and cleanse programs. Here’s a summary of what you missed!

10-5-2011-water faucet
It was recently reported that in 24 major cities,
the water supply was contaminated with pharmaceutical medications.
Photo by Joe Shlabotnik/Courtesy 

More than 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the United States. Those chemicals get into our bodies through our food, air and water. We are aware of heavy metals in fish, paints, and building products and carcinogenic chemicals in cleaning products, beauty products and plastics. Last year, it was even reported that in 24 major cities, the water supply was contaminated with measurable levels of pharmaceutical medications! For some of these toxins, we know there are harmful effects, such as with mercury in fish. With others, we can use our common sense to make assumptions that these unnatural chemicals may have detrimental effects in our bodies when they build up to high levels. So, do we need to think about cleaning our bodies and eliminating toxins?  Absolutely!

Our body was designed to be able to identify, break down and eliminate compounds that may be harmful. Even our own metabolic processes create products that, when built up, can cause us harm.  Some examples are carbon dioxide (the air that we breathe out), lactic acid, hormones, and cholesterol. Thankfully, we are born with the innate ability to detoxify. Our liver, kidneys, lungs, skin and digestive tract are constantly detoxifying and eliminating these toxins that we create and are exposed to.

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