The gallbladder is an overworked gland. It’s a small gland that sits under the liver. The liver produces a substance called bile and the gallbladder (GB) stores it. Bile is used to break down fats from your diet and also binds to toxins and unwanted hormones such as excess estrogens to be eliminated through your bowels. When the GB is under functioning it will cause fat malabsorption, a build up of toxins in your body and estrogen dominance. AND it will predispose you to gall stones.
Symptoms associated with a under functioning gallbladder include
- Pain/tenderness under right rib cage
- Pain between shoulder blades
- Indigestion, especially after eating fatty food
- Feeling of fullness after eating
HRT and the Pill causes alterations with gallbladder function as theses hormones affect the stickiness of bile and make the gallbladder more sluggish, leading to potential gallbladder problems and stones. And for those of you women in perimenopause, who are estrogen dominant, then the GB can be a contributor.
Thyroxin or T4, is a thyroid hormone that influences GB function. If this hormone is low, it can cause slow bile flow and contribute to formation of gall stones.
What can you do to look after your GB?
Diet should include;
- Lemon juice in warm water on rising
- Regularly eat raw beetroot, bitter greens and olives
- Dandelion root tea
- Coconut oil, nuts and seeds, oily fish, omega 3 oils
- Avoid trans fats, red meat, fried foods, reduced processed foods and sugar
- Avoid over eating!
Supplements can include;
- Lethicin with meals – sunflower is best, or supplement with choline
- marys thistle
- Dandelion root
- Use castor oil packs of the GB area at night
- Rub a few drops of rosemary oil (in a carrier oil) over your GB
Get in touch if you need support or have questions.
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IBS, leaky gut, SIBO and oxalates.
Have you tried many diets, supplements and treatments for your gut issues, yet you still struggle with your symptoms? Do you have IBS, IBD , SIBO, leaky gut, diarrhoea or bloating?
Oxalates, the crystals that can form anywhere in your body including your gut, may be to blame. Oxalates, if not removed efficiently by your gut bacteria / flora, can cause inflammation and irritation to the gut. If you have leaky gut or candida you will be more sensitive to oxalates in foods and these crystals will accumulate more. Kidney stones are the most well known problem related to oxalates. They can affect your joints, muscles, eyes, liver and thyroid and cause inflammation throughout the whole body.
What are these oxalates?
Oxalates are a molecule (with no nutritional value) that is found in many healthy foods including most nuts and seeds, black beans, kidney beans, spinach, carrots, buckwheat, rye and potatoes.
These crystals care meant to be removed through the bacteria in our gut. But if this balance of bacteria is disturbed – for example after food poisoning, gastro, antibiotic use or poor diet, then the body doesn’t do a very god job of this and the oxalates build up in the body and wreak havoc!
Why do plants contain oxalates?
‘ Plants use oxalate to protect themselves from infection or from being eaten. Oxalate crystals can tear up the “teeth” of the bugs that eat them, and the bugs will stop and leave the plant alone! That’s why oxalate is a good protection for plants that taste good to bugs, but they are a secret surprise for larger creatures who don’t detect oxalate when they eat high oxalate foods, and who lack the ability to sense its toxicity and lack the means to protect themselves from oxalate’s effects.’ (1)
If you are eating lots of nuts and greens and adding raw cacoa to smoothies , then you are getting a HUGE oxalate overload.
Some of the high oxalate foods you may like to avoid are –
- Brussel sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
- Sesame seeds
- Black beans
- Navy beans
There or other foods such as FODMAPS and Histamines that also may need to be taken into consideration when helping to heal your gut issues. If you have parasites, candida or a bacterial overgrowth including SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), leaky gut then you will most probably need to take natural supplements to rectify these issues.
Note - If you decide to try this out, please cut down these foods slowly to avoid a ‘ dumping ‘ reaction, where the body releases stored oxalates and can make your symptoms temporarily worse. Please contact me for support with this or if you would like a consultation to work on your gut issues. In clinic I use live and dried blood analysis to find out the state of your health and whether you have parasites, leaky gut or candida.
For more information on oxalates, check you this website - http://lowoxalate.info/index.html
1 - http://lowoxalate.info/index.html
Are you exhausted? Fatigued? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Moody? Depressed ? Wired and tired at night? Are you getting sick all the time or constant hay fever or allergies ?
If you have any of these symptoms, fatigue on waking or throughout the whole day and you have been suffering long term, your adrenal glands are probably to blame. These small, walnuts sized glands produce our ‘fight or flight’, or stress hormones. They therefore help regulate the stress response, but also other hormones, the nervous system, cardiovascular system, regulate the sleep wake cycle and inflammation, and the immune system. With many people in today’s busy world, they get over worked and then they cannot keep up with the ongoing demands our bodies put on them.
To rebuild the adrenals, you should avoid all stimulants where possible. This includes caffeine in chocolate, coffee, cola and guarana in supplements, sugar, alcohol, and white flour products/ refined starches. Reduce stress and get plenty of sleep.
EATING FOR YOUR ADRENALS!
- Eat within 2 hours of waking up
- Eat frequently through the day to regulate your blood sugar levels, at least every 4-5 hours. This will prevent a drop in your blood sugar levels and will make a difference to your adrenal health and energy levels.
- Eat good quality protein at every meal. These can include organic free range eggs and chicken, fish and nuts and seeds.
- Eat a wide variety of whole, natural foods
- Combine a healthy fat, protein and carbohydrate source with every meal
- Eat lots of vegetables, especially the brightly coloured ones and preferably organic
- Use a mineral salt such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt; ½ a teaspoon daily.
- Avoid fruit in the morning
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of fresh essential oils (cold pressed olive or flaxseed oil) into wheat free grains, vegetables and meats daily. Do this after cooking as they are not meant to be cooked with! Cook with coconut oil which is anti-inflammatory and has a high burning point.
NUTRIENTS FOR ADRENAL HEALTH
Magnesium is a very important mineral for adrenal gland function. It is estimated that at least 80% of the population are magnesium deficient. Please be aware that there are many forms of magnesium and they are not all the same! Practitioner ranges have the most bio-available forms, meaning they are very efficiently absorbed. Potassium and magnesium together are the ‘nervous system Nutrients’.
B complex vitamins are important but may be too stimulating for some people when they are extremely adrenally fatigued. In these cases, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C are the best nutrients to nourish the adrenals glands. ‘Activated’ B vitamins should be used for more efficient absorption. Vitamins B5 and B6 especially help to restore adrenal function. Always take a B- complex if you are taking singular B vitamins to avoid an imbalance occurring. Be careful during intense anxiety as the B vitamins maybe too stimulating, also when there is Chronic fatigue, take small amounts to begin with and see how you feel.
HERBS FOR ADRENAL HEALTH
There are many herbs for the adrenal glands that can help strengthen the adrenals, but also act as adaptogens. Adaptogens help your body adapt to stress and protect the adrenals from any ongoing stressors. An example of an adaptogen are; siberian ginseng, panax ginseng, withania and Rhodiola. Withania can help when there is insomnia and Rhodiola is great for energy, stamina and cognitive function. I use other herbs simultaneously to strengthen the adrenals glands, such as Rehmannia and licorice, along with homeopathics.
When there is anxiety, herbs such as withania, skullcap, magnolia and ziziphus, are great to reduce the flight and fright hormones. It is important to check your Thyroid function through a basal body temperature testing or a thyroid function test. The thyroid gland may need support also. The adrenals and thyroid work together to help regulate the nervous system.
RELAX AND MEDITATE
The adrenals cannot rebuild themselves when they continually stimulated. It’s like whipping a dead horse! If you are tired, avoid ‘soldering on ‘, as this will only make the adrenals weaker. De- stress often, by meditating or doing yoga or Tai chi. Have regular massages and enjoy some time to yourself every day. During times of anxiety more intense exercise may be needed to help the body rid the stress hormones and relieve tension.
Have an Epsom salt bath before bed to get you into a deeper sleep. If you haven’t got a bath, have a warm shower and afterwards rub some lavender oil on your temples. Magnesium oil can be rubbed on the tops of your feet before bed to give the same effect as the Epsom salt bath (Epsom salt is magnesium). Sleeping well and for at least 8 hours a night is an integral part of helping the adrenals recover.
AND BREATHE !!
Try and practice breathing from the lower part of your diaphragm. Too many people shallow breathe when they are stressed or have anxiety. Breathe in for a count of 3, and out for a count of 5, when you feel anxious or finding it hard to get to sleep.
Also our adrenals are patterned from birth, we pick up stresses in utero (the womb) and during childhood, which can have long term effects on our adrenal glands. In families, there may be a genetic pattern, where the all of family members have a similar weakened adrenal response.
No matter what stage you are in, there IS a sure road to recovery! I am here, to help you recover also!
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Or an in clinic appointment here - CLINIC APPOINTMENTS
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1; an excerpt From Angela Hywood on ‘The Adrenal insufficiency syndrome’
NLS Salivary hormones training manual, 2009
WHAT STRESS DOES TO YOUR HORMONES
Stress comes in many forms. It can be emotional (ie; relationship issues at work and home, grieving ), physical (ie; overwork, over exercise, over sedentary )and environmental (ie; hay fever, chemicals, pollution). When your body is under constant stress, such as being busy. working too hard and not sleeping well we are usually in the continual ‘fight or flight’ response. We produce more cortisol than usual, a hormone produced by our adrenal glands.
High cortisol over time reduces progesterone levels. This is because we produce cortisol and progesterone from the same hormonal precursor- pregnenolone. Progesterone is our anti-anxiety hormone and gives a feeling of contentment. And if you feel like you have constant PMT/PMS then you probably are low in progesterone!
If this keeps dropping over time because of stress, lowered thyroid function or a sluggish liver, then you end up with estrogen dominance. Excess estrogens can cause more frequent, painful and heavier periods, slow down the thyroid function and contribute to an under active thyroid.
And when the thyroid function slows down, this slows the liver function down and it becomes a cycle. Prolonged cortisol levels also can decrease the livers ability to clear excess estrogen from the blood.
A sluggish liver can mean you end up with insulin resistance and weight gain. Insulin is the hormone which ‘unlocks’ glucose from your food. If you are not unlocking the glucose for energy, it is stored as fat in your body, usually abdominal fat after age 40, which I known as the middle-aged spread…. Eeek! I know no-one really want this to happen!
Also, as we age we become more resistant to insulin, this can cause weight gain. Our body doesn’t utilise glucose from food as efficiently as it did when we were younger. The way around this is to exercise more and eat less sugar and carb’s.
All the endocrine glands and hormones work together like an finely tuned orchestra, so when one hormone is out of wack it will inevitably effect the others.
But don’t let this be you! You can change it, naturally .
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A few of you have asked what alternatives to use to replace mainstream chemicals, so I thought I would write a short list. You can Google anything nowadays, so I am sure you will find plenty more!
Garden and bugs
A great bug deterrent for plants is a mix of garlic, grated soap, chilli flakes, mixed in water and use in spray bottle on your plants. White vinegar on its own or with soap flakes, sprayed directly onto weeds can ‘wither’ them within a few hours.
Some plants are not as susceptible to vinegar. A waxy coating or a “hairy” (fuzzy) surface may interfere with the absorption of the vinegar. This is the type that would suffer more by adding the soap to a vinegar weed killer recipe. (1)
If you can pull out your weeds it is much better for our soil and our health.
To deter flies coming in your house try putting basil plants near the doors. There are also some great bug zappers, fly traps and mosquito deterrents and zappers available in camping stores and online.
White (home brand) vinegar, Its antibacterial, antifungal, inhibits mould, and has been shown to kill the Flu virus. Anti bacterial sprays and soaps don’t do this. They just break down the natural barrier of your skin and expose you to some nasty toxins. There are some great natural antibacterial soaps and hand washes based on olive leaf extract and tea tree oil and other essential oils. Lemon essential oil is highly antibacterial and clove essential oil is great for killing mould (be careful with this one as its pretty potent).
Bi carb soda is great for dirt you have to ‘scrub” and mixed with white vinegar makes a pretty potent cleaner!
White vinegar and newspaper makes a great glass and mirror cleaner! You probably already know that one…..
If you would prefer to buy one, the ‘Eureka’ eucalyptus and citrus spray is a great multi purpose cleaner. Its great for bathrooms and cleaning tables. I use it in my clinic and it smells great! It doubles up as a relief of aches and pains and can be sprayed onto cuts to disinfect them.
‘Eco store’ are a natural range of cleaning products and include dishwashing and clothes detergents.
Most soaps contain animal fats (sodium tallowate) and synthetic fragrances. Not really that nice to rub all over your body. There are now some great natural soaps in the supermarkets. I prefer the coconut oil based ones, but olive oil and goats milk soaps are also very soothing and nourishing for the skin. Dr. Bronner’s do an organic range of soaps and skin care. Check out:
The one big thing to avoid in skincare and make up is parabens. They have been shown to contribute to cancers. Try and avoid any long sounding chemical names. A must have is ’The Chemical Maze’ book. This pocket seized book has a comprehensive listing of chemicals in food, cosmetics and household products , analyses them and tells us what the potential sides affects can be. Get it at Booktopia here: http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-chemical-maze-bookshelf-companion-bill-statham/prod9780957853584.html?source=pla&gclid=CN_x8-XJttACFQqAvQod6kgGUQ
I have come across some great natural skin care over the years, and it just keeps getting better! Depending on your skin and your needs you can choose from Antipodes, who also have a completely natural face moisturiser with sunscreen. They have a range that suits every skin type. I also love the local ‘Renew me’ natural anti-aging skincare range for mature skin, made in Adelaide and available only online.
A range of body moisturisers I like are Avalon organics , Weleda and Dr. Bronners. Trilogy do the best hand cream I have ever come across- their ‘Ultra Hydrating hand cream “. For anyone that washes their hands a hundred times a day like me and needs to give them extra hydration.
And talking about washing hands, avoid those antibacterial washes. Apart from making bacteria more resistant, they destroy the natural barrier and of your skin, causing a ‘leaky ‘ skin barrier which is more susceptible to dermatitis. Look for a natural pH balanced hand wash. The best I have found is Melrose liquid castile soap was made from lots of lovely organic oils such as olive and flaxseed.
There are a lot of mineral make ups out there. Beware of the powders as they clog your pores. Try the liquid minerals from Inika, a fairly new and organic range of make up. I am using it right now and find its great! I also love Young Blood and Vani -T (also local). Miessence also have a range of very pure makeup, skin care and toothpaste.
Pure by phytocare make a great Papaya ointment for lips and cracked irritated skin. This one doesn’t have any petrochemicals in it like the Lucas paw paw has (the one in the red tube).
Sunscreens without the nasties
Moogoo have a great sunscreen with an SPF of 40+. UV natural have a range from sports to baby. You cant go past the popular coconut oil , although I would not recommend to rely on it if you are in the sun for hours on end. But it acts as a natural sun protectant and the more you use it, the more effective it becomes.
I really love the Biologika organic range of deodorants. They smell divine! They double up as perfumes as the essential oils they use are quite strong. But there are plenty of others that are natural and aluminium free. You can also use essential oils instead of perfumes, and make up your own unique scent with a mixture of a few of them.
Vicco , Miessence and My magic mud are some great natural toothpastes, free of chemicals and fluoride. They are great for sensitive teeth also.
Watersco. Australia have great portable water filters. They get rid of 99.9% of fluoride and alkalise your water. There are also Alkaway filters and for plumbed under the sink filters ‘Wellness Filters’ are very good.
There are a huge amount of natural alternatives out there, to help make ourselves healthier and create a healthier, safer planet to live on.
I was going for my morning jog down to the beach today, like I do every day (but sometimes it’s a bike ride on the beach or inside Pilates when it’s raining ) and it is the most beautiful spring day we have had so far. Fresh air in my lungs, about to get the sea air into my lungs. A man was in his front yard spraying weed killer (glyphosate) everywhere. And when I say everywhere, he wasn’t spot spraying he was spraying the whole lawn. So I ran down a side street to get away from this poison.
Such as downer, but the good thing is it has inspired me to write a blog on toxins! Well, some of them anyway….
Pesticides are chemicals which destroy the cells or nervous system of a living thing, be it a weed or an insect. It makes sense it can affect the cells and nervous systems of any living thing!
When I worked in a naturopathy clinic in the Adelaide hills I saw some of the most unhealthiest people from farms and vineyards who regularly used chemicals on their gardens, crops, vineyards and around their own homes.
The Australian department of health have warned the public about the use of pesticides,
please see the excerpt below. The first sentence is a bit scary!
Disadvantages of using pesticides
- If pesticides are not used correctly, they can affect human health or cause serious injury or death to the pesticide operator, other people or household pets.
- Pesticides can also directly affect other non-target animals. For example, a gardener spraying his garden to kill caterpillars will probably also kill harmless ladybird beetles and praying mantises.
- If pesticides are used incorrectly or applied wrongly, they may find their way into places where they are not wanted, for example, they might be washed into rivers or into the soil.
- Pesticides can enter the food chain
And here is a Government list of pesticides and their trade names https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/publications/ocp-trade-names
1 WEED KILLERS / ROUND UP / GLYPHOSATE
Glyphosate (Round Up) is a chemical used in weed killers that has been around since the 1970’s. This was after DDT was banned. DDT has been found to be effecting the environment 20 years later (1)
The Environmental health association or EPA, have been long interested in the reduction of chemicals in your environment. This link tells about the so called ‘inert’ chemicals have been proven to kill human cells
And if you think it is safe, think again. We were once told asbestos and DDT was safe and look at what has happened years later. They are both now banned worldwide because they are dangerous. Also, Monsanto, the people who make these chemicals are one of the biggest companies in the world (who produce GE/ GMO seeds and Round Up ) they clearly have the money to make it sound safe and try and stop any bad press. (and I am sure no one can afford to sue them, as they a multi billion dollar corporation).
2 FLY SPRAY AND INSECT SPRAYS and DEET
Fly sprays are used regularly by many people without a thought. Permethrin is a common ingredient in fly and surface sprays and has been found to a potential endocrine disruptor and to be mutagenic in humans (2)
It is a very wise idea to use fly spray when only absolutely necessary, as there are many natural options available such as fly traps and insect ‘zappers’.
Brad the ‘bug man’ from March Biological control says;
‘ Was using chemical sprays ever safe? Certainly not. Sure the fly sprays don’t affect us right away like it affects the flies and other insects. But when fly spray is used, we do inhale it and repeated use of it enables the toxic chemicals to accumulate in our body till it reaches an amount when it will affect us. ‘ (3)
DEET which is a common ingredient in mosquito repellents, is absorbed through the kidneys and skin and its highly toxic with repeated usage.
“ It’s a scary chemical, and it’s definitely to be used only as a last resort, if at all, to protect yourself from insect bites” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association, based in Minnesota. (4)
I think that’s enough said to encourage people not to use it.
3 WHITE ANT KILLER
This is a personal story for me. I became very ill when I was exposed to white ant treatment (done against my will as I was not the owner of the house ) in a home I was living in some time ago. It affected my nervous system so much I could hardly walk for 2 or 3 months. It was debilitating and similar to Multiple Sclerosis. It was frightening. It made me very concerned that it may happen to others.
There are a few commonly used white ant treatments which are all considered toxic to humans. This information from the government will tell you how toxic these chemicals are. Some are highly toxic. Check this out!
PERFUMES AND COSMETICS
Our skin is our biggest organ. So it makes sense not to cover it in chemicals! We absorb everything we put on our skin. Did you know before a woman leaves the house in the morning she can potentially expose herself to around 100 chemicals. This is from soaps, hair products, perfumes, deodorant or antiperspirants, skin care and make up! Then hopefully she doesn’t get into a brand new car as it will out gas formaldehyde (nervous system toxin) and plasticisers (hormone disruptors) for up to a year. Keep your windows down if this is you! A good tip is to place cut up onions around the car to absorbs the outgassing. Weird I know, but it really works….
Parabens in cosmetics are now well known as contributing to cancer. These chemical are used as a preservative and can be called anything from ‘methylparaben’ to ‘butylparaben’.
Aluminium is used in antiperspirants. It gets absorbed directly into the lymphatic system and has been linked with Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. See more at Pub Med https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12123643 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9575492.
CHLORINE and FLUORIDE IN WATER
Chlorine and fluoride are known are ‘ halogens’ and both Inhibit the absorption of iodine. Iodine deficiency is leading to more people becoming pre-disposed to thyroid gland dysfunction or disease and to some cancers.
Chlorine is a pesticide and its sole purpose is to kill living organisms. When we consume water containing chlorine, it destroys cells and tissue inside our body. Dr. Robert Carlson, a highly respected University of Minnesota researcher whose work is sponsored by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, sums it up, “the chlorine problem is similar to that of air pollution” and adds that “chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times!” (5)
‘Research conducted on the health effects of chlorinated drinking water have demonstrated a variety of toxicity issues. Several studies have found that communities using chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water have an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and rectal cancers ‘(6)
Hopefully you filter your drinking water so you don’t ingest chlorine, but what about showering or bathing In it? Studies show that we absorb up to 50 times more chlorine through our lungs and skin than when we drink it.
“The steam we inhale while showering can contain up to 50 times the level of chemicals than tap water, due to the fact that chlorine and most other contaminants vaporize much faster and at a lower temperature than water. Inhalation is a much more harmful means of exposure since the chlorine gas (chloroform) we inhale goes directly into our blood stream”. (7)
We are all going to get exposed to heavy metals unwillingly, whether we like it or not. Petrol fumes contain lead or cadmium and even some light globes contain mercury!
But willingly, you have a choice. Heavy metals we can avoid are found in makeup/ cosmetics (especially the well-known brands), Dental amalgam fillings, in some fish and our water supply.
The law states that mercury is not allowed to be placed in landfill because of its toxicity, yet its placed into our teeth!
Mercury is also found in some vaccinations in the form of thimerosal (8) along with formaldehyde (commonly found in flu’ vaccinations).
We all know the incidences or cancer are a lot higher in places like Port Pire and Broken Hill from lead exposure. Lead is known to be unsafe in any levels in the body. This link will show you the evidence
Arsenic is found in insecticides and pesticides. (9) It’s worth buying organic produce for that reason, especially rice which is very high in arsenic. (unless of course its organic, which is very readily available in supermarkets).
PLASTICS AND BPA
Most people know about BPA nowadays. Or have at least seen the BPA free bottles you can buy everywhere. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a well know endocrine (hormone system) disruptor. But plastics still contain other chemicals that are harmful such as phthalates and diethylstilbestrol which can leach from the plastics especially with heating. Cling wrap is also toxic and the chemicals can leach into your food. See this article for more information.
THE ALTERNATIVES MEAN BETTER HEALTH FOR EVERYONE AND OUR ENVIRONMENT !
There are also many chemicals in household cleaning products and clothes detergents. If you are using a highly perfumed clothes ‘brightening and whitening’ detergent, then it is being absorbed from your clothes through your skin. Some use very fine glass crystals that make the clothes appear brighter. This can irritate the skin and break down its natural barrier. Household cleaning products commonly contain ammonium and bleach which are toxins I would suggest to avoid. There are so many natural alternatives, even white vinegar and Bi-carb soda do the trick for most cleaning jobs!
Will you re-assess your chemical exposure? There are so many natural alternatives nowadays that it would be healthier and wiser to reduce your exposure to chemicals. After all, we are killing our planet, but in the meantime, we are killing ourselves with toxin overload. Some scientists are predicting that we are sending ourselves into extinction as a human race…….now that is scary……
Supermarkets and health food shops all have natural alternatives to these chemical laden products. They are easy to find, and even easier online! This company has a passion for it
And for people who have the time and love ‘do it yourself’ for natural recipes check out Australia’s Shannon Lush at http://shannonlush.com/
For anyone that is interested to find out more and maybe explore the option of doing a detox (and I don’t mean starving yourself), then please come in for a consultation and I will give you a complimentary book, “ Your guide to detox” .
You can contact me on 0419 106 019 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
5 METAGENICES DETOX GUIDE
6 & 8 http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/chlorine-cancer-and-heart-disease/