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Do the Detox Plans and Products work ??

No Many Do Not. Well, not as they claim - That is:  

There are many experts promoting products and plans for detoxifying your system. Some claim to be effective after only a week or so. Most of them are definitely beneficial in that they have a short term effect and get rid of a little of the rubbish resulting from junk food and over indulgence, however heavy metals such as mercury have a half-life of fifteen to thirty years in the human system, Dioxin and other 'nasties' can be found in the body decades after exposure, so there is not much hope that one of the miracle plans will get rid of all of it overnite. Certainly some of the more bizarre products; pads and poutices that one attaches to the soles of your feet are ridiculous confidence tricks --  All is not lost, however as one can adjust one's diet and begin to notice benefits almost immediately. Successful detoxing needs both short and long term strategies.

Why Detox?

Do I really need to? -- Is there a real benefit? -- How effective are the treatments on offer? -- Are we really suffering from an increase of toxic substances in our bodies? Breast Cancer in the UK has increased by 80% since the 'seventies'. Other forms of cancer have also increased significantly. Some of the increase can be explained away by the fact that people live longer and modern living is more stressful, however the increase in cancer can not be explained by these factors alone. Other problems afflicting most developed societies are; an increase in the incidence of dementia, unruly behaviour in children and a loss of sperm count. Mental health problems too are on the increase.

Green Garlic
Green Garlic -

All of these problems are complex and affected by several factors, but one undeniable fact is that there is an increase in the uptake of toxins from our diet and the materials we are surrounded by, and that the increased toxic load is responsible for some of the problems affecting us. Some experts suggests that our liver and kidneys and a glass of water are all we need to eliminate the toxins in our body, well they do an amazingly good job but it just might be possible to help them along a bit.


Fruit Juice Detox

Drinking juice is very effective in eliminating toxins. Some studies have shown that people who drink fruit juice - that they themselves have squeezed, enjoy better health and live longer than average. Consumed first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) fruit acids are very effective detoxifiers, a word of caution though, if prepared in the wrong kind of metal equipment they can actually be harmful and the fruit acids can carry toxic metals deep into the cells of the body. Avoid mixing fruit juices with water other than low aluminum spring water. Under no circumstances should you take fruit juices after using an aluminum based antacid.

Drinking a glass of lemon juice in pure water first thing in the morning is probably the best advice you can be given. Some recent research has shown that people who have fruit juice daily are up to three times less likely to suffer from Alzheimers in later life than those who don't. Watermelon is an excellent detoxifier, it also contains lycopene, and beta carotene which are useful nutrients. The seeds too, are extremely nutritious; containing a plentiful supply of minerals such as zinc and selenium.

Sulfur Rich Foods

Dietary detox measures should include sulfur-rich foods; cabbage, garlic (see update at the foot of this page) beans and egg yolk; all contain sulphur in a form that locks on to metallic toxins. Asafetida too is an extremely powerful detoxifying agent, it has even more of the sulphhydryl compounds that are found in garlic and onions and is reputed to be an even more powerful detoxifier. Green garlic and shallots are also very effective; and depending on the soil they were grown in, they may also contain some beneficial trace elements such as germanium. Some experts even recommend a Cabbage Detox Diet where almost every meal for an entire week is cabbage, cooked cabbage, raw cabbage. cabbage rissoles, cabbage and custard? Perhaps not the custard!. Not only does the sulphur compounds clear out toxins but there seems to be some antioxidant effect. Restricting one's diet to just cabbage for such a long period is extreme and such measures, even when they are advocated by aparently highly qualified people, are definitely to be discouraged.

If you can afford it go to a Terme (Italian name for a  hot spring) the sulfur-rich waters will do you no end of good but the month-long stay will probably empty your bank account. Alternatively you can take your sulphur as the Victorians did and swallow a half-teaspoon of flowers of sulfur mixed with treacle or honey.
A teaspoonful of Brimstone and Treacle, as it was referred to in Victorian days, would be administered to the children once a week. There was a purgative effect but the combination of the sugars and the sulphur produced sulfhydral compounds that would do the trick exactly as the doctor described. Our great-grandparents would administer the foul tatsting medicine to "Cleanse the Blood".

You could, of course pack your bags and go and live in a volcanic area. So many of the people who live to exceptional age seem to come from such regions of the world.


Doing without food for a time really works and can increase life expectancy and improve general healrh.

Fasting is not as popular as it was in past times, but is an extremely effective measure. Fasting and (sensible) carbohydrate restricted diets have both been scientifically proven to extend life. Fasting or going 'on a detox' can result in headaches and feeling dreadful, one explanation given for this is that the poisons stored in fatty or Adipose tissue flood the system as the fat is used up to provide energy, it is essential to drink sufficient pure water. Serious damage can result from overloading the liver and kidneys in this way. Avoid the more extreme regimes and if the resulting symptoms are severe do not be afraid to seek medical help. As with extreme dieting, damage can result from longer periods of fasting. Another word of warning - Fasting can be addictive.

Chelation Therapy

Some people recommend Chelation Therapy, which is a treatment where specially shaped molecules bind to a toxic metal and it is then removed from the body by the kidneys. (Do an internet search and see what others say about it). Some medical experts rubbish chelation therapy, but chelation can be very effective in removing specific metals from the body and is regularly used to save lives in cases of poisoning e.g. iron overdose.

Overdoing chelation therapy can cause problems, it is not recommended for use on children, at least one child has died from calcium deficiency brought about by chelation therapy.

Cilantro, a herb that is popular in Mexican and Far - Eastern cuisine is believed to help remove heavy metals, especially mercury. Do a "Google" Web search on Mercury and Cilantro. An infusion made from a small amount of the herb is one way of taking it.

Another natural detox is Chlorella.

The most obvious form of chelation therapy is eating sulfur rich foods but garlic, beans etc. are not effective on all toxins and other methods have to be used as well.

Forgetful and Feeble at Fifty!

Is it inevitable if you live in the West????

Rule # 1 - AVOID the flippin rubbish in the first place
Rule # 2 - Eat frugally, even good quality foods clog up your system.
Rule # 3 - Include Sulfur-rich foods
in your diet.
Rule # 4 - Drink pure water, and make sure you get sufficient.
Rule # 5 - If you have the will power fast occasionally. (sensibly) 

Avoid Junk Food

Prevention is always better than cure, avoid junk food, eat moderate quantities and drink pure water. Note that Chelation therapy and eating sulfur-rich foods will probably reduce trace elements so taking a mineral supplement after such treatment is probably a good idea. Healthy Kidneys and an intact Blood-Brain Barrier are essential to protect the delicate brain cells from damage from neurotoxic substances accumulating and poisoning brain cells. Many substances find it much easier to get in to the brain than to escape thru the kidneys. Mercury and aluminium are two such substances.

Some cancers have doubled in incidence since the 'seventies' ! 

Juice Detoxifies

Detoxing Can Help :  
Although some of the increase in cancers is due to people living longer much of it has to be down to the increased toxic load we experience

Some of the problem is what we eat. In addition to the additives and harmful impurities, food has become less nutritious and we eat more of it these days, some of this increase is probably related to the lack of natural nutrients in the food as the body finds such foods less satisfying. So in addition to ensuring that the toxins are eliminated from the body one should ensure that the food his high in nutrients in the first place.

Less, but more nutritious food will result in better health and reduced toxic build-up.


Why detox? and some more Questions from the Martin Family.

Q. What are the toxins that pose the greatest dangers?
Q. How do they get in to our system, where do they come from?
Q. Can herbs and medications help to remove toxins from the body?
Q. Name some herbs that work!
Q. Why do sulfur-rich foods cleanse the body. Will any purgative do?
Q. Name some sulfur rich foods.
Q. Are we all equally susceptible to toxins?
Q. What is the role of the blood-brain barrier in avoiding toxins and can it influence a detox program?
Q. Is fasting an effective way of detoxing?
Q. Are free-radicals the same as toxins? 
Q. Are we allowed more than one question? -- Murray Martin

Research into Toxic Load. Ongoing research into advanced scientific methods of detoxing appears to be minimal, too few people are interested in adopting a serious approach. Perhaps the neglect of the subject for investment is because there is much more money to be made from drug therapies to 'cure' the effects of long term exposure to toxins. Chelating large doses of poison from the system is a well proven medical procedure but many physicians ridicule the idea of using the technique to reduce the toxic load even though it is well established that most of us are overburdened with dioxins and toxic metals. -- Judy Martin

Sulphur Enhanced Onions can be produced by adding sulphur (obtained from garden centres here in the UK) to the soil, it gives them real bite but you can get used to this and my family except for my teenage daughter all love it. I expect garlic would similarly benefit from the soil treatment. We will be doing it next year also the cabbages. Thanks for your site. - R.  Daubneyl

There was no need for detoxing our bodies centuries ago, food was pure and unaltered. Now we know that lots of food contains chemicals, to preserve it, to colored it, to make it look good, to make it grow faster. We know that the makers don't care about our health only about their sales increase, that the governments are corrupt etc. We see increasing cases of cancer, strokes etc. just a sign that our body can not cope anymore not only with what we take in orally but also what we inhale. We have to take care of our self and our environment to keep our species alive.
Annet Lobbezoo, Al Khobar / Saudi Arabia -

Warning to 'detoxers' and 'fasters'. The loss of fat from the Adipose sites can also increase the toxic load on the level as the fat acts as a store for toxins to keep them away from the liver. As soon as these sites are emptied and the fat used for metabolism (during weight loss), the toxins are released back into the blood stream and hence have to be dealt with by the liver which can cause toxic overload and actually harm the person who is supposedly detoxifying. - Ben Moiser, Guildford Surrey

It is pretty obvious that many of the detox programs are overblown and pretty useless but it is easy to lose the baby with the bathwater. Sulphur compounds found in cabbage, garlic, onions and beans have a near miraculous power to remove heavy metals, (very similar compounds were used in World War One against arsenic gas). Hot suphur springs allowed the wealthier ancient Romans to drink lead sweetened wine with little effect and fruit juices can remove other nasties. Fasting is very hard to do and two months at a hot sulfur spring is beyond most people's budget, however a determined detoxer can get good results if they persevere and are prepared to dig down beyond the hype and spin.

Toxins To Avoid:-


In the ancient world and the middle ages, sugar of lead (lead acetate) was used to sweeten wines, usually resulting in severe and widespread lead poisoning. Something similar happened in England in the 18th Century when the cider producers used it for the same purpose. The resulting symptoms were so common that they became known as Devonshire Colic. Its use in sweetening beers was banned in England in the early part of the 20th century.  Although no longer so common in our environment it is estimated that over half a million children in the USA have dangerously high levels.


The Victorians used mercury compounds in ointments and as a cure for diseases such as syphilis but they were also quite capable of dishing it out to their children as a cure for constipation. Experts rate it as being between 1000 and 5000 times more toxic than lead. Replace these amalgam tooth fillings as soon as you can! The UK is a curious case, most countries are eliminating amalgam in dentistry, some even paying citizens to have their old stoppings replaced, however the British State discourages removal. There are probably economic reasons for this.  Symptoms are too numerous to mention. On the Hints and Tips Website we have had several people posting tips on health who say that having their fillings removed made a dramatic difference. 


A serious poison, however it is no longer a high risk in the developed countries. The metal was until quite recently used as an anti-corrosion coating. Like Aluminium it is known to cause a type of damage to brain cells that are characteristic of Alzheimer's Disease. Search Keywords; neurfibrillary tangles, Early onset dementia (EOD)

Aluminum (also Aluminium)

Not by definition a heavy metal but definitely to be avoided. Aluminum is perhaps the most serious toxin in our environment. By far the most serious threat is the use of alum to take the cloudiness out of drinking water. Other sources are to be found in antacids and food additives such as aerating or raising agents. The body has several systems in place to prevent it from reaching the brain as, once past the blood-brain barrier it is more neurotoxic than cadmium or mercury. If you are pregnant or lactating then avoid.

Like lead it has been implicated in behavioral problems (such as Attention Deficit Disorder) in children. Aluminum intoxication is usually a slow process and it can take 15 to 20 years for the symptoms to develop. No figures appear to exist regarding its duration in the brain, however some experts set the half-life at 100 years plus. Older people have less effective kidneys and blood-brain barriers and are therefore much more at risk. Other groups at risk are those with the chromosome 21 disorder that is common among Alzheimer's sufferers also the abnormal condition that results in Downs Syndrome. The widespread use of aluminum in additives and medications is reminiscent of the 'sugar of lead disaster' of the last century - see Lead. Aluminium is used as a catalyst in the production of some margarines and spreads. A dangerous new fad is using Alum crystals to rub under arm areas to inhibit perspiration. Even some apparently reputable health food stores stock them, claiming falsely that they do not have the type of aluminum that gets in to the body. Ask if they are from Bauxite and the assistant will usually agree but be quite unaware that Bauxite is the principal source of aluminum.


Present in groundwater in some countries. When visiting Bangladesh take note of where the water you drink comes from. The practice of obtaining drinking water from tube wells has led to what is perhaps the world's worst environmental disaster. The government there has been slow to respond to the problem and some of the measures taken to try to correct the problem has added more toxicity to the water. There has been some concern in the USA that the relaxation of regulations has allowed some groundwater to reach levels that could be harmful over long periods of time. The mining industry is usually the cause of the problem. If there are mining activity in your area make enquiries.


Like Aluminum, Nickel has increased in the human environment over the past few decades, getting in to our bodies via industrial pollution and stainless steel cookware. Nickel has until recent times not been considered a serious toxin, however it is one of the many pollutants known to cause allergies. Margarines, even some so called healthy options have traces as it is used as a catalyst in the production process.


An essential nutrient in small quantities, copper from water pipes can in theory pose a problem, especially in soft water and acid water regions, however copper is of much lower toxicity than many other metals and only very rarely poses a problem.


The "Wrecking Ball" of the elements. The only substances that are more damaging to living cells than free fluorine atoms are the radioactive isotopes. In my opinion the only valid medical uses of fluorine compounds are in anti-cancer treatments where fluoride "killers" are steered to the affected cells to wipe them out.

Before "Molecular Biology" appeared as a subject of study and the havoc wreaked by many fluorine compounds was fully appreciated, it was decided that fluorides should be added to drinking water to strengthen our teeth, however it has since become apparent that general health is damaged significantly by the practice. Fluorine compounds soon leaves the body as it is such an active substance. Some experts suggest that tea can prevents fluorine from entering the bloodstream.


Pretty rare these days to find someone with acute silver poisoning, but it adds to the toxic load. Body piercing, tooth fillings and the bactericide in some water filters can contribute.  Silver poisoning is known as Argyria. - David Edwardes with some contributions.

Update:- Garlic as a detox agent for arsenic reduction:- Arsenic in groundwater is a serious problem in Bangladesh and parts of India, so scientists at the Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata India treated rats with garlic/water mix and found that the amount of arsenic in the blood dropped by as much as 40% and that the damaging effect of the remaining arsenic was reduced. (Ref: In vitro and in vivo reduction of sodium arsenite induced toxicity by aqueous garlic extract - Rajdeep Chowdhurya, Abhishek Duttaa, Susri Ray Chaudhuria, Nilendu Sharmab, Ashok K. Giria, Keya Chaudhuria)

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