Best-selling author Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, has long been considered a visionary and pioneer in the health field. Three decades ago, she was writing about cutting-edge approaches to nutrition. But in spite of her pristine diet, she struggled with blood sugar issues and skin problems.
“I did my first deworming cleanse more than 20 years ago,” she says. “After seeing roundworms emerge from my ‘pristine’ body, watching my skin clear, and noticing my hypoglycemia vanish overnight, I became devoted to writing about and helping to create the most effective parasite cleanses on the market.” Since then, Gittleman has written 30 books, 10 of which are dedicated to detox and cleansing. Here, she shares her thoughts on internal cleansing.
Q: Why is cleansing so important?
A: Over the last 60 years, changes in diet, lifestyle, and the environment have placed a tremendous burden on our organs of elimination and detoxification. We eat too much sugar, dairy, low-quality meat, and refined foods. Our lifestyles are hectic and stressful, our food supply is often contaminated, and we’re exposed to more toxins and pollution than ever before.
Q: What kinds of toxins and pollution?
A: Food may be contaminated with bacteria, parasites, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and other chemicals. The water supply contains pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and residues of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Environmental toxins include plastics in food containers, water bottles, and household items; chemicals in cleaning and personal care products; and electromagnetic pollution from cell phones, computers, and household appliances. All of this adds up to an enormous burden on the liver, gut, kidneys, and lymphatic system.
Q: What can we do to avoid these toxins?
A: You can eat organic and local food; wash your foods thoroughly; minimize plastics and electromagnetic fields (use the speaker function on your cell phone, or text instead of talking); buy natural personal care items; and use nontoxic cleaning compounds.
Q: How do you know when you need a cleanse?
A: When you feel lethargic, sluggish, bloated, or just not “right.” Generally, I think everyone should detox twice a year, in the spring and fall.
Q: What kind of cleanse do you recommend?
A: Both liver and gut. You really can’t do one without the other. The liver has to be fortified to adequately process and remove toxins from the body and the gut has to be ready to eliminate them from the system.
Q: What about the lymphatic system?
A: The lymphatic system is essential to detox. It carries toxins and fats to the liver, where they’re metabolized, and as a second circulatory system, it contains six times as much fluid as blood. When it’s clogged, the signs are more subtle; but if you’re struggling with fluid retention and cellulite, you may need a lymphatic detox.
Q: Do you think herbs and supplements are necessary for everyone?
A: I do. The days are gone when you can just eat a balanced diet to get enough nutrition. I think you can’t really reach optimal health without supplements.
Q: Any last words on cleansing and detox?
A: One of my fat flushers said it best: “We can’t expect shining spirits and sharp minds when we are a toxic waste dump.”