Humorism, or humoralism, is a now discredited (but historically important) theory of the makeup and workings of the human body, adopted by Greek and Roman physicians and philosophers, positing that an excess or deficiency of any of four distinct bodily fluids in a person directly influences their temperament and health.
Accurate. For example, if you had too much phlegm in your body you would be cold and tired (this is where the word ‘phlegmatic’ comes from). The phlegm is based on the element of water so to reverse the effect you needed to eat foods associated with the element of fire, thus dispelling the phlegm from your body. If you had too much blood in you, thus being sanguine and perhaps too impulsive, the doctor would let your blood. Such rubbish, right? Right? Everyone knows this is just ridiculous! That is, everyone knew this for a few hundred years up until the Alkaline Diet came along. It has just reverted a few thousand years backwards in its view on human health when it states that by eating certain types of food you can dispel the acid from your body. What acid? All we have is the gastric acid in our stomachs, and amino acids in our cells. Amino acids are also known as proteins by the way, and essential to our survival. Without them your cells won’t work and you would die.
Anyway, back to the subject. Can you dispel this so called acid from your body?
The scary part is that a lot of Q&A pages on the net about health and diet and acids claim that this supposedly poor pH level is really dangerous. The thing is, though, that you cannot change the pH level in your blood. Let’s have a closer look at all this.
What is the Alkaline Diet?
The alkaline diet is a diet which is supposed to dispel the acid from your body, if you make certain to eat the listed ‘alkaline foods’.
Why should you follow the Alkaline Diet?
I have done a bit of Googling and found these ‘facts’ about this ‘diet’. Apparently, according to this site, which sells ‘alkalizers’ for your water (I’ll get back to that one), these are the reasons you should eat alkaline foods:
Alkaline foods and acidic foods are all around us each day! Can you guess what is better for us…Alkaline or Acidic foods? Well, if you guessed Alkaline then you were right. It is recommended that we eat 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods. This helps us keep our bodies in an alkaline state which is good thing. No disease can live in an alkaline environment but thrives in an acidic environment.
Who is recommending this? As usual with these kinds of sites there are absolutely no references.
Another site says this:
Alkaline ionized water the best water to cure many diseases and to avoid cancer. As mentioned in the Cancer Regime to keep the Ph-level alkaline by drinking alkaline ionized water is the best you can do for your health. In a alkaline cell environment cancer cells for example can’t live or grow. The immune system will boost up and is able to fight viruses, infections, bacteria and parasites better and stronger. When we realize the fact that every person develops hundreds or thousands of cancer cells every day it is easy to understand that the Ph level is one of the most important measures.
The body fluids are highly toxic and this is the best fertile ground for cancer and many other diseases. The table below shows some of the common soft drinks pH and the pH of Battery acid and Alkalized Ionized Water.
By the way, this site received 9 canards at the Quackometer!
I don’t even know where to begin with that one. You cannot cure cancer with water, ionized or not. And the body fluids are not highly toxic. If they were, I’m pretty certain we’d die instantly.
The third example I have for you claims that an alkaline diet will give you this:
A disease-free life and saying good bye to health issues like acid reflux, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, back pain, and disease for good.
So what do we have this far?
According to the top sites on Google, some of them presented above, you need to dispel the acid from your body. If you do this, by eating special kinds of alkaline foods and by drinking ionized water, your health will improve massively and you will never again be ill and you can also cure your cancer. Robert Young is one of the pioneers for this diet. A woman named Kim Tinkham adopted this regime in 2007. She died in 2010 from her untreated breast cancer. Perhaps she is only one victim among many?
On Young’s website you can read:
Whether you’re wanting to improve your diabetes or cancer situation, lose weight, or just want more energy, there is a wealth of knowledge here for your benefit. You’ll find FREE healthy recipes, educational videos, and scientific articles. We offer superior health supplements like our organic greens drink, alkaline water ionizers, as well as health coaching and other services to support your well being. It’s never too early to start feeling better today.
Yes we see how well that went for Kim. What does that even mean? Improve my diabetes or cancer situation? It says nothing of what he claims to provide. Personally I’d rather let my dog Zigge treat me than that man. My canine would certainly do a better job. By the way, Young’s website received 10 canards. The quackery is deafening.
What do you need to do to follow the alkaline diet?
There is of course the food. Just follow this chart:
Wait a second… One of the foods listed as alkaline on that chart is apple cider vinegar? According to this site:
A good PH level for high quality apple cider vinegar is between 2.8 – 3.0.
They also list lemon as alkaline foods.
Alkaline? No. Oh wait, apparently you are supposed to eat 20% acidic foods and 80% alkaline. Why? I have no idea. How to measure it? Beats me. Neither does this make lemon and apple cider vinegar alkaline. Not that it matters, because you can’t actually change your pH level in your blood, but more on that in a minute.
You also need to drink ionized water. Apparently this is alkaline and would increase the pH level in your blood. There is just a minor issue…
If you do drink alkaline water, its alkalinity is quickly removed by the highly acidic gastric fluid in the stomach. Just like everything else you eat or drink, making it completely pointless. That doesn’t stop the scammers though. The price of these ionizers? Young sells them on his website. The cheapest one costs a mere $1295. So you can both become poor and die from cancer. Deal of the century.
Now we come to the most interesting thing of all. You see, all of these products are useless because:
It is impossible to increase or decrease the pH in the blood. Why? Because we are supposed to have the pH level we already have! If it is increased or decreased we will die.
Dr. Mirkin, an actual expert, has this to say:
Dietary modification cannot change the acidity of any part of your body except your urine. Your bloodstream and organs control acidity in a very narrow range. Anything that changed acidity in your body would make you very sick and could even kill you. Promoters of these products claim that cancer cells cannot live in an alkaline environment and that is true, but neither can any of the other cells in your body.
However, there is another very interesting thing to take notice of, and that is that a lof of bacteria can in fact live in alkaline environments. According to University of Missouri this is the case:
The pH of the environment affects bacterial growth. Most bacteria grow best in the pH range from about 6-8; however, there are many acid-tolerant bacteria as well as alkaline-tolerant strains. In general, bacteria survive alkaline pH better than acid pH, but a few strains actually grow better in an acidic environment. Some can even use sulfuric acid as an energy source. […] Control of pH is also a method of food preservation, used primarily in pickling. The acidic environment of the pickling solution prevents microbial growth.
You can find this on page 6 in this information sheet from them.
You know? Because bacteria adapt. All the time. They have been adapting forever. That is why they in the end become resistant to antibiotics. So if this alkaline diet would in actual fact work, which it doesn’t, and we could change our pH in our blood, which we cannot, and the bacteria would die… they would only be doing that for a little while. Then they would adapt and we would have diseases again. Just to make certain I asked my mother, who is a biomedical analyst, if they could survive in alkaline environments. Her reply was:
I am uncertain if any bacteria or virus would be able to, since different conditions are required for each type. But the optimal environment for all pathogen bacteria and viruses, is the same one as is inside the human body. This also means that the environment cannot be too acidic. In fact, the best pH for them should be around 7.
In other words, the exact pH as spokesmen for this diet propose. So basically, there are bacteria and viruses which can survive acidic or alkaline environments. Some bacteria cannot, but neither can the cells in human body. And it’s not true that bacteria thrive in acidic environments: some are annihilated all together. But if we could change our internal environment then the bacteria would adapt. I suppose then we’d all start to drink acid. Brilliant.
However, the only pH level we can change is the one in our urine. In our blood, it’s impossible. And should we somehow succeed, we would all die.
So why do people report success with this diet?
Because, again, if they eat only crap before they try this, as in fast foods and whatnot, of course they will notice a difference in their well-being when they begin eating vegetables and fruit. However, their blood pH will be no different, and they will not be cured from cancer.
This kind of diet belongs in the mediaeval ages along with the arbitrary theory of the four humors, and should be kept there. It has no place in a modern, enlightened world. It’s in fact life threatening, like all other health hoaxes. So stay well away. If you want the mediaeval feel I recommend Elizabeth Chadwick’s books.
… I’m going to post one post about the alkaline diet and hopefully another if I can finish it on time! Also I want to publish one about conspiracy theories, I just need to finish all the illustrations…
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a Swede born and bred, though I have lived some years abroad and might do it again some time. Because of this and because of working in an international environment I meet a lot of foreigners and get to hear their views on us. I find this pretty fascinating. This post will not be bursting any bubbles in particular because a lot of the observations made by non-Swedes are actually accurate. This is, rather, more of an educating (or so I hope) post which brings some of these things to light, explaining why they’re there- perhaps.
You think this doesn’t belong on my blog? Perhaps not. Though my blog is about dispelling misconceptions and that is what this is too.
Are we really that neutral, sitting on the fence, while at the same time freely discussing sex related questions?
How come this is the case, then? I have no bloody idea. Let’s examine some of the stuff we do. I picked out what I think is most common.
The first thing foreigners usually point out is that we are reserved. Are we? I have pondered this a lot lately and to be perfectly honest I don’t know. The thing is that the foreigners pointing this out come from cultures where it is normal to be more outgoing, perhaps using more hand gestures when speaking, emphasising with your voice, have heated discussions et cetera. It’s true that a Swede, normally, won’t do any of those things in conversation. We do use hand gestures when speaking but typically much smaller ones. We don’t have a big body language which is all over the place and uncontrolled. To others this may seem reserved, but that is in comparison to what they are used to. For me, Swedes are not reserved, you just need to learn to read. Most of the Swedes I know are pretty curious, we just don’t express it the same way. Don’t judge the book by its cover!
Again, compared to what? When we know someone we have warm discussions, where pretty much any subject will be brought up. We just don’t have those kinds of discussions with people we don’t know. Why would we? Also, we hate to interrupt: it is so impolite! I have found myself in situations with foreign people where I don’t get a word into the discussion because I don’t interrupt by default, whereas that is their natural way of speaking to each other. I have actually had to teach myself to interrupt others the last couple of years, to get over this obstacle. Why don’t we interrupt? Because we really value the other person’s right to talk.
One foreign person once told me we are impossible to discuss subjects with because we will go to great lengths to not be rude and fall out. If we don’t agree we probably won’t say it aloud, though if you are adept at body language you will notice. The consequence is that we won’t find ourselves in heated discussions, because they might be interpreted as being fights with others which is not okay.
What is this ‘personal space’ thing?
It’s possible that this is the most difficult thing for foreign people to grasp. Just don’t intrude on my personal space. Like, really. I mean it. In many cultures people stand close when talking. We don’t (unless it’s really crowded or you know the person well). I think that an arm’s length (a long arm) and a bit is a good distance. If someone steps closer than that, unless it is necessary, we freak out a little. Once in a staff meeting at work we were sitting on two sofas, and one of the guys sat down a little bit close to one of the other girls. She turned to him and said, very politely mind:
Could you please move away? You are intruding on my personal space.
He duly apologised and moved away. Nobody reacted. The only reason I did is because I have spent time abroad, I imagine. Anyway, imagine the personal space like a (large) bubble. Unless the situation requires it you are to stay outside the bubble. Easy-peasy. Please, see my illustrations!
We don’t always have direct eye-contact when speaking. If you continuously try to catch our eye when speaking we will grow uncomfortable and wonder what the heck you are up to. We just don’t have that kind of culture, and I think this can be interpreted as a lack of interest by some. However, did you know that less eye-contact in a conversation actually signifies a deeper trust to the person talking? If you don’t feel you have to keep an eye on the person you are talking to, this is a good sign. And again, who said that looking each other in the eyes all the time when talking is the norm and to not do it is strange? People who stare at each other more, of course!
Don’t dwell on the past
When I come across foreigners staying here I usually ask them what they think about Sweden, and what they think is most noticable in Swedes with regards to traits. A foreign man I met this summer said that he has noticed that we don’t discuss our pasts. I asked what he meant, of course, and he said that when you get to know a person in Holland, where he came from, you ask them questions about their past and childhood. I raised an eyebrow and asked why ever you would do such a thing, and he said it is to understand the person better why they are the way they are today. Admirable, to be sure, but surely it’s not necessary to pry?
I told my mum about this and her response was absolute surprise and then she asked:
Why would I do that? It’s not polite to ask about a person’s past. If they want to share I would listen, but otherwise I would never ask.
I think she hit the nail on the head. I would never actively decide to ask a person about their past. I never even reflected upon this before this man commented on it. It comes up naturally as time goes by, and your friendship deepens. Also if someone started asking me about my past I would grow uncomfortable. I have even have boyfriends whom I have basically never discussed childhoods with, until details arose naturally. Quit snooping. If I want to tell, then I will. Otherwise you will, literally, never know.
Emotionally cut off?
I was dating a guy some time ago who once suddenly blurted out that he thinks Swedes are emotionally cut off, at which point I got pissed off (see! This at once proves he was wrong). His reasons? Because we don’t discuss our emotions openly and my friends hadn’t told him about their lives when they met him the first time. Excuse me?
Why would anybody discuss their emotions openly? Why would I want everyone to know what I am feeling? Maybe that is my private stuff? If I want people to know, I will tell them, otherwise I will not show it or talk about it because it is my business, nobody else’s. It’s true that we are more reserved and don’t talk about our emotions, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there. I find that Swedes generally contemplate their emotions a lot in silence and we have complex emotional lives. Read any poetry by Swedish poets and you will see this at once. Besides, in the most quiet waters…
My reply to him was, without any understanding:
Why would my friends discuss their lives with you? They don’t know you.
And that’s just it. We love to discuss things with people we know. We just don’t do it with strangers.
Aha! You think now, that you have found the fatal flaw: if we never discuss things with strangers, then how do we get to know new people! It is impossible!
It isn’t impossible at all, it’s just that in the beginning of the friendship, we don’t speak about deep stuff. Then it is more defined by practical things, doing stuff together, then as it deepens and trust follows, we open up. This is nothing we do to strangers, which I think is, frankly, pretty healthy.
No Touchy Feely
This is another thing I have noticed quite a few foreign people having problems with: Swedes generally do not use touch as an emphasis in conversation. The same ex I mentioned above said that because of this our communication is faulty, that we can never convey as much as people in cultures where people are more tactile.
I’m not certain why we touch less than other cultures, but I am pretty certain that this does not affect the communication value because as a people we simply put significance on different communicational cues, rather than a touch to the arm. So be very careful with this. I remember at my first job in London, the other receptionist sometimes helped me with stuff and she used to stand really close behind me (unnecessary invasion of personal space) and also sometimes touch my arm and linger with her fingers. It freaked me out massively, but in retrospect I have realised that’s just how people sometimes communicate. Swedes just don’t do it.
On the other hand, once we actually touch sparks may fly. I was flirting with a guy some time ago and he with me, and then the first time he touched my upper arm it was so intense we both stopped moving- because we don’t generally touch each other. It means something to us, a great deal in fact. It’s not just a touch to emphasise something in a conversation but genuinely means something important.
Sex in the Forest?
With regards to the above points I find it pretty funny that foreign people also think that along with us being really reserved and stiff, we are also sexually promiscuous. It’s absolutely true that in general we don’t have any problems at all discussing sex in detail, and in public! It’s all fine. Though some of the things I hear foreigners think are well… way out there. The funniest thing I heard was pretty recently when a Colombian girl, who is working here for a bit, sat at my table for lunch. After a while she said, in a hushed voice, that her husband was really worried. I asked why of course, and she told me that:
He’s really worried that I will cheat on him, because he has read that in Sweden the Swedes go out in the forest and there they have sex with each other! So he said I cannot go into the forest!
I was almost dying, choking with laughter, before I asked where this awesome forest was located. I tried to make her tell me where he has read this fantastic little snippet of information, but she didn’t know. Of course I have tried to google it, but I can’t find where. The only thing I can think of is that he has read some legend about the Huldra and completely misunderstood the meaning of it!
I mean, because the legend about the Huldra is exactly that. It’s folk lore and not actually real, you know that right? We don’t have women with fox tails luring men into the forest. Honest.
Yes, to many we are a strange people. Distant, aloof, stiff, neutral… but beneath that, once we trust you and open up, there is actually a great depth of emotions, seas of sarcastic humour and an intense curiosity about others and their lives. Give us a chance!
I was surfing the net the other day, looking for some subject to shred. As I did I saw this link to an article about cancer research carried out by Swedish professor and researcher Magnus Essand. Here is a quote from the beginning of the article, written by Alexander Masters:
On the snow-clotted plains of central Sweden where Wotan and Thor, the clamorous gods of magic and death, once held sway, a young, self-deprecating gene therapist has invented a virus that eliminates the type of cancer that killed Steve Jobs.
‘Not “eliminates”! Not “invented”, no!’ interrupts Professor Magnus Essand, panicked, when I Skype him to ask about this explosive achievement.
‘Our results are only in the lab so far, not in humans, and many treatments that work in the lab can turn out to be not so effective in humans. However, adenovirus serotype 5 is a common virus in which we have achieved transcriptional targeting by replacing an endogenous viral promoter sequence by…’
It sounds too kindly of the gods to be true: a virus that eats cancer.
Now, apparently, being Swedish means you are kind (though I think Prof Essand is perhaps just a particularly wonderful person) so Prof Essand and his team have already published their findings in journals so that others can share this knowledge. This means that you can’t patent the virus, which means you can’t make money on it. Meaning nobody will invest in it. So basically it cannot be used at the moment.
This may come as a shock, but I’m a pretty suspicious person so an article generally won’t convince me. Prof Essand works 20 minutes on the train away from me, so I decided to check him out on the Uppsala University website. I found references to the journal articles about this virus, so it’s actually true. I emailed him to make certain, and he confirmed that Mr Masters’ article is correct.
Sooo, people, they basically lack one million pound to make this stuff become reality. Two million to make it outstanding. That’s a lot of money, but not impossible. Uppsala University has one website (<– click the link) where you can donate, and there is also another website (<– click it!) set up connected to them. I will donate, because I have already experienced people close to me suffering from cancer. What if that happens again? If this virus was put in use, who knows how many lives could be saved? So go ahead. I know you’re all dying to buy me gifts for my birthday 23rd December, but instead donate a few pounds to this cause.
Oh and tell your friends. This is too important to go unnoticed.
Here is another food oriented post, though I suppose breatharianism is more about a lack of it. And trust me, not even I was aware this detox business was such a nest of maggots.
First: detoxification to get you started on recovery from drug or alcohol abuse is one thing which I approve of. This is carried out in clinics under medical supervision and this is a well-established thing. So far so good, but there is another kind of detox written about frequently in health magazines and overflowing Google when you search for it. It’s the detox to lose weight and eliminate ‘toxins’ from your body, which might actually kill you in the process- or at least leave you significantly poorer but not really any thinner. Or cleaner.
Let’s have a little looksee.
Why do you need a detox?
Because (apparently) you might be tired, bloated, congested and full of toxins. Oh, or your colon might be full of hardened feces(?!), which both can spread posion in your body and prevent it from absorbing nutrition.
This can be removed by a detox, apparently. But that is not all!
What are you promised to gain from a detox?
According to NOSH , you will be given this:
Losing weight on a detox is simply one of the by-products of eating good, healthy food. Primarily you detox in order to bring your body up to its optimum functioning levels. You will see improvements in your mental processes, sleeping habits, energy levels, and beyond.
Obviously this sounds pretty amazing, until you start reading the smallprint. So all the benefits of a detox are byproducts of eating good and healthy food? It’s not that they are a product of having a healthy diet and ‘detoxing’ has nothing to do with it at all? It feels as if somebody is just trying to make money on well, serving people normal, classic food. Anyway, I checked their shop and you can buy a 7 day detox program with nutritional food for £307.79.
Or why not try their Body Smooth & Tone programme for one day? Then you will get:
A gut healing, collagen full, toxin-mopping, fat-busting, skin smoothing virtuoso of a diet programme.
We deliver a breakfast smoothie, an antioxidant snack, a protein rich lunch, a superfood smoothie with all your vitamins and minerals of the day and a soup at night to mop up toxins and rest your intestine.
The price (for one day) is £42.97. A bargain? Probably not. I wonder how much money they make on this crap?
The founder of this site is a healer and Medical Intiutive. What is that? According to Wikipedia:
A medical intuitive is an alternative medicine practitioner who uses their self-described intuitive abilities to find the cause of a physical or emotional condition.
Sounds completely safe, right, to put my nutritional care in her? I googled the term and I got up a lot of sites about it, and Wikipedia is right. I feel dirty just thinking about it.
By the way, I put the site into the Quackometer and it received 5 Canards:
Web site titled ‘Nosh Detox‘
The black duck says…
The quacking noise is deafening. This web site is riddled with loosely defined terms and possibly pseudoscientific language. It shows no sceptical awareness and so should be treated with a suspicious mind.
Enough to make me suspicious as the Quackometer is neutral and works based on keywords.
How do you know if you need a detox, then?
According to the site Dr Natura, if you experience any of these symptoms you are in grave need of one:
- Lethargy and low energy
- Flatulence, gas and bloating
- Excess weight gain
- Digestive problems
- Irritability and mood swings
- Bad breath
- Strong-smelling stools
- Detoxification & body detox
- Inflammation of the colon – Diverticulitis
- Recurring headaches
- Bloated belly
- Strong food cravings
- Skin problems
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Vitamin & supplements
- Flatter stomach
- Fibre / Psyllium
Not sure why ‘Detoxification & body detox’, ‘vitamins & supplements’ or ‘flatter stomach’ are signs you need a detox, but there you go. They also claim that:
Research has evidently shown that our bodies are not capable of eliminating the variety of chemicals and toxins that we ingest and inhale on a daily basis. These harmful waste products simply build up in our cells (particularly our fat cells), tissues, blood and organs (such as the colon, liver and brain) and can remain stored indefinitely, causing all sorts of implications for our health.
But there is no link or reference to this ‘research’. The same is true for many of these sites. They talk of research, but what research? Where is this research?
This site goes on by saying:
Do you know of anyone who would not like to be healthy, young and full of energy? I don’t think so. But how do you maintain health, the freshness and vitality of youth and avoid diseases – which concern all of us, causing troubles and pain? The only way to achieve this goal (apart from eating properly) is by doing a regular body detox, in order not to contaminate the body or choke it with toxic poisons and waste. Body detox is a preventative process. If it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle it’ll prevent various diseases. Moreover, it slows down the aging process.
I know it sounds really good, as they say: who wouldn’t want all that? But when you start to analyse they even say themselves that the only way to achieve it all is to eat properly, if you don’t do a detox- which doesn’t work anyway. I do wonder though where they found the claim that it slows down aging. And by the way, Dr Natura received 10 canards! I think that is some sort of record.
Web site titled ‘Detoxification: Colonix is the best detox program for bowel and colon cleanse’
The black duck says…
This web site is heavily laden with loosely defined terms and possibly pseudoscientific language with a smattering of alternative medicine speak. It is heavily using scientific jargon and may be doing this to bamboozle. Using lots of physics terms like this rarely has any meaning outside of physics books. It shows little or no sceptical awareness and so should be treated with caution! It also looks like this site is trying to sell stuff. Buyer Beware!
My my my.
This site have similar claims. If you experience anything of below symptoms you need a detox:
Who needs to detox?
Anyone who experiences some of the following symptoms will benefit from undergoing a detox programme. The more you experience, the more you need help.
– age spots
– bad breath
– digestive problems
– excess weight
– mood swings
– skin disorders
– dull skin and hair
– sluggish metabolism.
Once you’ve completed your detox, your body will feel and look great – and people will notice.
Another site again, Gaiam Life, says this, quoting some researchers:
How do you know if you need to detoxify?
Bennett suggests that everyone should detox at least once a year. A short detoxifying program or whole body cleanse is generally safe; in fact, scientific studies show that a detox is beneficial for health. […]
Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, “it’s critical to detox,” says Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D., the author of Detoxification (Healthy Healing Publications). Page recommends detoxing for symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, sluggish elimination, irritated skin, allergies or low-grade infections; bags under the eyes; a distended stomach even if the rest of your body is thin; menstrual difficulties; or mental confusion.
First let me point out why this is so dangerous.
‘Menstrual difficulties’ can be anything ranging from something fairly harmless to endometriosis.
‘Mental confusion’; what does that even mean? Some people with this ‘mental confusion’ might in fact need medical psychological help- not a detox! So, who is Linda Page, the doctor? Why, according to her site Healthy Healing (5 canards), she holds degrees in Naturopathy and Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of natural health.
Naturopathy and holistic nutrition? Let me remind you again of how many people have died of that shit. According to What’s The Harm, 200 people have been injured and a fair amount of them died by naturopathic ‘treatments’.
And that college? It has apparently been closed down. Why? Because it was an infamous diploma mill.
I can’t say I’m surprised. So, in other words, this woman pretending to be a doctor dishing out ‘detox remedies’ is potentially really dangerous. It doesn’t matter that she smiles in her picture, though, since I have done some studies in body language it is pretty clear it’s not even a real smile. Fancy that! Not even her smile is for real.
So how do you go about a detox?
A first step for your detox, according to Gaiam Life is this:
Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.
As step ten they have this:
What is the most important way to detoxify? “Exercise,” says Bennett. “Yoga or jump-roping are good. One hour every day.” Also try Qigong, a martial-arts based exercise system that includes exercises specifically for detoxifying or cleansing, as well as many other exercises with specific health benefits.
Oh my goodness. Good food and exercise? It’s like a whole new thing. This is novelty stuff, this is.
This site also lists a lot of vegetables and fruits to detox, but then it also lists processed things like quorn and tofu. Which is pretty strange to me. But what do I know?
So, now you know why you would need a detox. And included in this detox procedure is often a colon cleanse. I mean… why would anybody want to go through that voluntarily? Apparently you need this colon cleanse because, according to the site Detox.net.au (8 canards!) it’s really important your bowels are clean if they are to perform their tasks. Seriously? Why would my body, which is awesome in all its processes, not be able to do this on its own? After the colon cleanse, you should, apparently:
[…} regularly exercise, get fresh air and sunshine, enough sleep, and take up some form of meditation. The Convenient Method of meditation from Supreme Master Ching Hai can be learned online from here.
Really? That is totally new for me with regards to keeping healthy. And see, they make some advertisement for their classes there too! There is no end to how effective these fellas are.
Though I can’t deny the symptoms you might be suffering because you need a ‘detox’ are pretty scary. However, there is something which is very interesting here… Want to know?
The symptoms they list as being symptoms of toxins in your body are very similar to these:
- weakening of the muscles, which then begin to waste away
- feeling tired all the time and lacking energy
- increased vulnerability to infection
- delayed wound healing
- your nails become brittle
- your skin becomes dry and flaky
- persistent diarrhoea
- in women, periods become irregular or stop altogether
Do you know what those symptoms represent? They are clear signs of malnourishment in adults. I fetched them from the NHS (National Health Service) website. Malnutrition is something we commonly associate with starving children, for example, but let us have a look at what malnutrition means:
Malnutrition is a serious condition that occurs when a person’s diet does not contain enough nutrients to meet the demands of their body.
Right, what does this mean in reality? It means that if you are a person who does not get enough nutrition in your food, you will become malnourished. This means that even if you are over-weight you can be malnourished because you don’t get enough of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Now, how much of this do you think you get if you eat too much junk food? Not a lot. So, plenty of people can actually be malnourished because of junk food and when they start to eat the detox stuff of fruit and vegetables, of course they will notice a massive difference- because they are no longer starving and their bodies are rejoicing. However, they are not detoxified because there is no such thing. They’re just… normal again.
Let’s have a look at the scary thing this might result in: malnourishment can be a symptom of serious diseases such as HIV. Now imagine if some self-proclaimed detox expert tell a HIV positive person to start a detox program because this person suffers malnourishment as a symptom of their disease. In worst case scenario that person would die because the illness was not treated. Pretty nasty scenario, right? The scary bit is that it’s not at all impossible.
Along this line, Detox.net.au claim:
Some other things that may be removed during a detox are parasites, heavy metals, tumors, cancerous cells, or anything the body sees as toxic that it has been holding onto.
This is extremely dangerous if people don’t seek medical care, which may be the case if you are severely ill but trying to deny it to yourself; and in fact 10 people have died and 7 been injured from detox according to Whatstheharm.
Anyway, by now we are all dying to know:
Are there toxins in your body and can you remove them by detox?
According to the Skeptic’s Dictionary, we find this:
The fact is that most of us are carrying around in our bodies traces of many toxic substances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/ published a study in 2005 that evaluated more than 2,000 people across the country. Traces of more than 60 toxic compounds were found in the blood and urine of participants. Nobody really knows what these substances are doing to our bodies, including the many people who want to sell us products promising to get rid of these allegedly nasty things.
My guess is that yes, perhaps we have traces of toxins but if we do then they are soaked up and incorporated into our muscles and a hundred oranges won’t make them go away. So stop falling for the tricks of these sites, desperate to trick you out of your money! They don’t care if you go bankrupt or die, as long as they get your hard earned pennies.
Detox Retreat – Expensive and Dangerous
Just to show you my point, let me introduce you to one of the ‘detox retreats’ first up on Google when I searched:
I had a look at all of their staff, and none was actually medically educated. One was a naturopath and we all know by now what that means. It received 8 canards, and it’s superbly expensive. For their ultimate detox program of 7 days, you will have to pay between £995 and £1425 depending on which sort of room you want. And for that you get a lot of information from people with no medical background of how to care for your body. All I can say is:
NO! What is that shit?!
Let’s go shopping
One last thing, I put together a shopping list at Tesco with healthy food for a person for a week, much like the packages mentioned above. It might need a bit of tweaking to get some more variation and be enough for all the lunches, so add perhaps food for another £5. Anyway, it contained:
- 2 red peppers £1.6
- 400 g beef medallion steaks (enough for four servings) £4.24
- 1 Organic Chicken (2 kg, actually enough for an entire week’s food for one person) £11.18
- 2 pints milk £0.89
- 1 Cheese (Cheddar, 450 g) £3
- 250 g butter for cooking and sandwiches £1.4
- 250 g mozzarella cheese £1.75
- 10 freerange eggs £3
- 0,3 kg ginger root (great for cooking) £0.63
- 1 Garlic £0.63
- 1 red chili £0.65
- 1 Courgette £0.31
- 1 bundle of Asparagus £1.5
- 260 g baby spinach £1
- 1 kg potatos £1
- 2 onions £0.38
- 600 g carrots £0.78
- 500 g cabbage £0.36
- 3 broccoli £1,5
- 4 oranges £2
- 7 bananas £0.86
- 7 apples £2.07
The price? £40 (perhaps £45 then). Pretty cool, huh. Pretty much the same as a day’s cost of ‘detox food’ that I listed above and I can guarantee this is just as healthy for your body.
That’s it for me tonight folks. Have a great evening and don’t soak up too much toxins (<– sarcastic again).
If you want to know more, this site provides a lot of stuff about why it’s a hoax.