Archive for the ‘Detoxing’ Category

MTHFR & Lyme

MTHFR detoxification in Lyme disease by Marty Ross MD image

updated 6/26/20

Marty Ross MD on MTHFR & Lyme

In this video article, Marty Ross MD discusses MTHFR detoxification genetic defect in Lyme disease. Watch the video to learn:

  • what the MTHFR genetic defect is,
  • how MTHFR defect can interfere with detoxification,
  • why it is not always necessary to correct for this defect,
  • how the gut microbiome can fix this problem even if you have a genetic defect,
  • when to take supplements to correct this problem.
(See link for article and video)
__________________________  Pharmacist Suzy Cohen states 100’s of diseases are the result of methylation problems, including Lyme, chronic viral infections, schizophrenia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, addictive behavior, insomnia, cancer, and more. (Wonderful 1 minute video explaining methylation in link)

While methylation problems do not directly cause Lyme (it is caused by a pleomorphic bacteria called borrelia) it causes severe symptoms due to the inability to clear infections & their by-products, as well as repairing the damage they cause.

If you are extremely sensitive to medicine you probably have a methylation problem.


Can You Really Sweat Out Toxins? The Truth About Exercise & Detoxing


Can You Really Sweat Out Toxins? The Truth About Exercise and Detoxing

By Beth Janes Posted 06-01-2020

Exercise is one of those things that’s so good for you and has so much science backing up its advertised health benefits, it’s not hard to believe one more proclaimed benefit: That a good, sweaty workout would help expel toxins. After all, your body only has a few ways to get rid of waste, and it makes sense it would do so through the pores of its largest organ — skin — if given the chance.

In reality, the link between exercise and detoxification isn’t quite so simple. Exercise does play a huge role in the process, but it doesn’t have much to do with sweat. While researchhas found traces of heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium in the sweat of those with high blood levels of the toxins, for example, whatever toxins are released through perspiration (if any) are likely an overall drop in the bucket compared to what’s eliminated via urine and stool.

Man in the gymnasium after workout. He is sweaty, exhausted and wiping the face with a towel

“Sweat is certainly an area of interest, and there’s the possibility that some things do come out in sweat,” says Dr. Bill Rawls, M.D., medical director of Vital Plan. “But sweat’s primary function is thermoregulation, not detoxing. The main way your body removes toxins is through the liver and kidneys, which process them and turn them water soluble so they can be expelled through urine and stool.”

Even so, being active does play an integral role in the detoxification process. Keep reading to learn more — plus natural ways to maximize the cleansing power of exercise.

Movement Matters for Detox

For all of you who hear the word exercise and automatically think it means you must hit the gym, break into a jog, or otherwise go hard, relax — literally. While there’s certainly benefits to intense physical activity, low-to-moderate intensity activities are also extremely good for you, especially when it comes to detoxing.

“What we all really need is to just be active and move more throughout the day, and that can mean anything, really,” Dr. Rawls says. For example, everyday leisure activities like walking, biking and kayaking count.

Woman in denim apron and hat working with rake in public garden

So does housework, gardening, and other “work” you might otherwise have a machine do, which might mean raking leaves versus blowing them, or washing dishes by hand instead of loading them into the dishwasher. “Our bodies were designed to move, and up until about 100 years ago, when we started processing and using petroleum, that’s what we did,” Dr. Rawls says.

Unfortunately, the modern world has dealt most people a one-two punch when it comes to toxins: Not only are we moving much less than our ancestors thanks to machines, appliances, cars, and industrial processes, we’re also exposed to many, many more toxins because of those exact things. We’re also exposed to toxins from cleaning and other household items, self-care products, as well as in food in drinks in the form of herbicide and pesticide residue, plus chemicals from plastic packaging.

Shot of young woman with back pain sitting on the sofa in the living room at home.

“All those toxins are not compatible with human life; they damage cells and DNA, they inhibit normal functioning of cells, and they interfere with cellular messaging systems,” Dr. Rawls explains. Many also are free radicals that directly attack cells.

All combined, toxins put an enormous amount of stress on cells, causing them to burn out faster, which ultimately accelerates aging. In other words, detoxing is not only key for your health and healthy functioning of your systems now, it’s an investment in longevity, he says. And that’s why exercise, especially, which is already a multifaceted, well-known age decelerator, is the perfect detox tool.

3 Ways Exercise Supports Your Body’s Detoxification Processes

1. It Improves Circulation.

All cells are water-based and bathed in what’s called extracellular fluid, which helps encourage cells to release toxins and carry them away to the liver and kidneys for disposal, Dr. Rawls says. However the less you move, the more that fluid stagnates and the more toxins build up in your system and can do damage.

“You don’t have to do triathlons or run 10 miles a day,” says Dr. Rawls. “Just make it your goal to move more throughout the day, which is enough to flush out toxins from cells and the fluid around cells and keep it flowing.”

2. Exercise Lowers Inflammation.

Physical activity has also been proven time and again to help control inflammation, which reduces your body’s overall toxic load. Because while there are plenty of toxins we take in from the external world — from air pollution or pesticides, for example — chronic inflammation is itself toxic to our cells and produces an overabundance of natural “toxins.”

Here’s what’s happening: Under normal, healthy conditions, the body uses free radicals to break down cellular waste — the byproducts produced by cells as they make energy as well as other debris like bacteria or neutralized viruses. That waste is then carried away through the lymphatic system and filtered out in lymph nodes. The process is typically tightly controlled because free radicals also break down healthy tissue.

human cells receiving attack from free radicals

However, when cells are stressed due to environmental toxins, as well as psychological stress, a poor diet, lack of sleep, and other factors, cells produce more waste and burn out more quickly. That leads to a flood of excess free radicals, which also begin breaking down more and more healthy tissue, leading to more waste. It’s a vicious cycle that contributes to chronic illness and accelerates the general aging process.

“In short, chronic inflammation is a reaction to the whole plumbing system of the body becoming overwhelmed and getting clogged and backing up,” Dr. Rawls says. “Your cells are so polluted that your system is collecting waste at a faster pace than the normal flow can get rid of.” Physical activity is effective because it helps both reduce inflammation and help clear lymphatic congestion.

3. It Helps Reduce Places For Toxins to Hide.

Fat tissue seems to be one place certain toxins like to hide once they get inside your body. And research suggests those who are overweight or obese tend to have higher body burdens of common environmental toxins. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, helps reduce fat tissue and keep your weight and, potentially, the amount of toxins in your system in check.

Herbs That Support Your Detox Efforts

Increasing your daily activity will go a long way toward more effective detoxification. Add supportive herbs into the mix, and the results are likely to be even better. Here are a few areas and specific herbs to focus on, according to Dr. Rawls:

Multitasking Adaptogenic Herbs

Adaptogens are very beneficial overall because they help balance and support a number of different functions and systems. One of their most important jobs, however, is supporting the immune system, which controls your body’s inflammatory response. So while they’re well-known for their anti-inflammatory powers, they also help protect the vascular system and liver.

Look for:

Herbs That Enhance Blood Flow

Plants known to help protect cardiac function and your vascular system help ensure good circulation and blood flow for the carrying away of toxins. They also contribute to the cardio-protective effects of exercise, Dr. Rawls says.

Look for:

Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

Most herbs have anti-inflammatory (as well as antioxidant) powers. However certain plants and other substances are known to help system-wide inflammation, as well as the inflammation that can contribute to the painful joints that otherwise may make exercise uncomfortable.

Look for:

Herbs That Support Healthy Liver Function

“We’re exposed to so many toxins these days that we’re burning out our liver cells quickly,” Dr. Rawls says. Herbs that help protect liver cells do so by increasing their natural antioxidant protection. And the healthier your liver, the better the detoxification process.

Look for:

No matter what you do when you start to think about optimizing your body’s detoxification powers, be wary of products that claim too-good-to-be-true cleansing powers. Most of them simply pump you full of natural laxatives without actually addressing the bigger, underlying issues, Dr. Rawls says.

The truth is, you already have the best detox tool available — the ability to move. Look at products, then, that help support healthy functioning of your cells and body so you feel motivated, energized, and ready to get up and go.

1. Sears, Margaret E., Kathleen J. Kerr and Riina I. Bray. 2012. “Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review.” J Environ Public Health. 184745.
2. University of Arkansas Medical School. “Can you sweat toxins out of your body?” UAMC Health. March 8, 2019.
3. Hammer, Mark, Sabia Severine, G. David Batty, et al. 2012. “Physical Activity and Inflammatory Markers Over 10 Years: Follow-Up in Men and Women From the Whitehall II Cohort Study.” Circulation. 126(8):928–933
4. Ertek, Sibel and Arrigo Cicero. 2012. “Impact of Physical Activity on Inflammation: Effects on Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Other Inflammatory Conditions.” Arch Med Sci. 8(5):794-804.
5. Dimitrov, Stoyan, Elaine Hulteng and Suzi Hong. 2017. “Inflammation and exercise: Inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β2-adrenergic activation.” Brain, Behavior and Immunity. 61:60-68.
6. La Merril, Michele, Claude Emond, Min Ji Kim, et al. 2013. “Toxicological Function of Adipose Tissue: Focus on Persistent Organic Pollutants.” Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Feb; 121(2): 162–169.
7. Kim, Min-Ji, Philippe Marchand, Corneliu Henegar, et al. 2011. “Fate and Complex Pathogenic Effects of Dioxins and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Obese Subjects Before and After Drastic Weight Loss.” Environ Health Perspect Mar;119(3):377-83.


Heavy Metals & Their Impact on Health Podcast

Cindy Kennedy, FNP, is joined by the dynamic duo of Jane Barlow and Dr. Brandon Nielsen, who discuss how using select nutrition and herbal support can assist the body in eliminating heavy metals.

Jane Barlow is an herbalist who owns and runs Barlow Herbal Specialties. She lives in Salt Lake City where she enjoys hiking all over the mountains of Utah and teaching fitness classes. Jane loves everything natural, holistic, wellness, fitness and nutrition oriented and believes it is our right as humans to be vibrantly healthy and that if given the right tools our body knows how to heal.She believes that each of us are responsible for ourselves and the love, joy, spiritual and physical health that we experience.

She is the 2nd oldest of 14 kids and grew up in rural Idaho. Jane has two grown sons and two grandchildren.

Dr. Brandon Nielsen graduated with his doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine from SCU and his second doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the American Naturopathic Institute of Medicine. He has been practicing functional medicine for the past 15 years and is the founder of Emotional Stress Release. He currently resides in Utah with his wife and 4 children. He has the blessed opportunity to live by his motto of, “Living In Wholeness Every Day” by Restoring the Health of the Family.For information on a special event Dr. Nielsen has coming up, click here.

Join our Facebook group:

Check out Pursue Wellness:


What are heavy metals?
Where do heavy metals come from?
How can we avoid these toxic substances?
How does herbal support play a role in prevention and elimination?


For more:


The Benefits to Dry Brushing & How To Do It

The Benefits to Dry Brushing and How to Do It

UPDATE: People kept asking me for an affordable brush and I don’t sell anything, but I found one on Amazon for under 7 dollars.

Many people carefully tend to the skin on their face, regularly exfoliating, cleansing, and moisturizing. But when’s the last time you tended to the skin on the rest of your body?

Your skin is your largest organ, after all, and there is one simple step you can add to your morning routine that can greatly improve its health – dry skin brushing.

I’m not only referring to your skin’s aesthetic appearance, either (although many would agree this is important to). The benefits of dry skin brushing go beyond skin deep, offering whole-body benefits to your health.

Dry Skin Brushing: 7 Key Benefits

Your skin is a complex system made up of nerves, glands, and cell layers that, when healthy, serves as a buffer that helps protect your body from extreme temperatures and chemicals.

It also produces antibacterial substances to protect you from infection and enables your body to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Your skin even contains densely packed nerve cells that act as messengers to your brain, making your skin a crucial part of your interactions with the world around you.

Another crucial role your skin plays is supporting optimal detoxification. But if your skin is overrun with toxins or dead skin cells, it will not be able to eliminate wastes from your body efficiently.

This is where dry skin brushing can be invaluable, not only in brushing off dead skin cells but also in activating waste removal via your lymph nodes. Beyond this, dry skin brushing offers multiple benefits including:

1. Stimulate Your Lymphatic System

In your body, your lymphatic system is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.

When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid.

2. Exfoliation

Dry skin brushing removes dead dry skin, improving appearance, clearing your clogged pores, and allowing your skin to “breathe.”

3. Increase Circulation

When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.

4. Reduce Cellulite

Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.

Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary (and mostly a result of skin become more plump and swollen after brushing).1 The Huffington Post reported:2

When we’d heard dry skin brushing was an effective method for reducing cellulite, we knew we had to include it in our anti-cellulite road test. Sure enough, it was indeed one of the more successful ways to smooth away less-than-perfect spots on your legs.”

5. Stress Relief

The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.

6. Improve Digestion and Kidney Function

Dry skin brushing may go even deeper, helping to support your digestion and organ function. According to one skin care and spa expert:3

“…many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. One of the immediate effects of dry brushing is smoother skin, but it can also help improve digestion, kidney function, and more.”

7. It’s Invigorating

Many people become “addicted” to dry skin brushing (in a good way) because it simply feels so good. Along with glowing and tighter skin, regular dry skin brushers report feeling invigorated after a quick session.

Dry Brushing: How to Do It

First you’ll need a high-quality dry brush. Look for one with bristles made from natural materials. They should feel stiff but not overly so. Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.

Dry skin brushing should be done daily for best results, or even twice a day if you like. Try incorporating it into your normal daily routine, such as doing your brushing before your morning shower and then again after work (avoid doing it too close to bedtime, as it may leave you feeling energized).

When brushing, always brush toward your heart, which is best for circulation and your lymphatic system. You can brush your entire body (including the soles of your feet). Start at your feet and work your way up your legs to your arms, chest, back, and stomach. Avoid brushing your face (unless you have a special brush designed for this delicate skin), your genitals, or any areas with irritations or abrasions (including varicose veins).

The pressure you apply while brushing your skin should be firm but not painful (avoid “scrubbing”). Your skin should be pink after a session (not red or irritated) and you can brush for as long (or as little) as you’d like. An average dry brushing session may last between two and 20 minutes.

Try It… You’ll Probably Get Hooked

The investment in dry skin brushing is small – you can find a high-quality brush for under $20 – but the pay-off is large. If you’ve never tried it, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised. As one new devotee described in the Examiner:4

“I’ve only been at this for about two weeks, but I’ve already experienced many of the benefits listed above. For one thing, dry skin brushing just feels really good. It’s one of those miraculous practices that manages to be both relaxing and energizing all at the same time. For another, it cured my cellulite! …Dry skin brushing also helped heal some ingrown hairs and some innocuous though unsightly bumps on my arms. My skin is softer and no longer dry or flakey. Additionally, though I’m not sure whether or not it’s related to dry skin brushing, I must say that I’ve been sleeping better and experiencing less ‘brain fog’ throughout the day!”

A Surefire Plan for Flawless Skin

Eating a healthy diet as described in my nutrition plan, which focuses on whole, bioavailable organic foods, is your number one strategy for helping your body detox naturally while supplying the necessary nutrients your skin needs to thrive. Adding dry brushing on top of a healthful diet will only magnify its benefits. That said, certain foods are particularly effective at promoting beautiful, clear, healthy skin, so if you’re not yet eating the following on a regular basis, now is a great time to start:

  •  omega-3 fats
  • Vegetables: Ideally fresh, organic, and locally grown. Fresh vegetable juice is also wonderful for your skin, as are carotenoids, which give red, orange, and yellow fruits their color, and also occur in green vegetables. Studies have shown that eating foods with these deeply colored pigments can make your face actually look healthier than being tanned.
  • Fermented vegetables are even better as they can be made with the same vegetables but are converted by bacteria into superfoods. Fermented vegetables help promote the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria and aid in immune balance and digestion.
  • Astaxanthin—a potent antioxidant—has been found to offer effective protection against sun damage when taken as a daily supplement. Some sunscreens are also starting to use astaxanthin as an ingredient to protect your skin from damage.

Once you’ve addressed the dietary suggestions above, the following routine can help you to remove excess flakes to reveal the glowing skin underneath:

  1. Use a dry body brush to get rid of flakes, stimulate your lymphatic system, and more as described above (do this for a few minutes on your dry skin, before getting wet)
  2. Avoid using soap or use the least amount possible, especially in winter or in dry climates, as this may promote and aggravate dry skin
  3. Instead, apply a natural body scrub to exfoliate your skin (also apply this to your skin before getting wet, and choose one that also contains oil to moisturize)
  4. After your shower, apply a heavy natural body butter or natural moisturizing oil (not mineral oil or baby oil) to help seal in moisture; coconut oil works well for this purpose

Dr Mercola is the founder of the #1 Natural Health Site for nearly 20 years:

Copyright 2020 – permission to reprint fully granted, WITH links to original story


Dear Lyme Warrior….HELP!

lyme warrior

By Jennifer Crystal

Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Below she answers some that she’s recently received. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at

Did you stop your medication during a Herxheimer reaction?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question; it all depends what works best for you. A Herxheimer reaction occurs when antibiotics kill Lyme bacteria faster than your body can eliminate it, causing a build-up of dead toxins. The process can make you feel downright awful. Often a Herx” involves an increase in symptoms such as fatigue, night sweats, migraines, and joint pain.

The body needs time to eliminate the killed bacteria, and for some patients the best way to do that is to give it a break from antibiotics, so that more build up isnt happening while your system is working to detox. Some doctors advise a pulsing method, taking antibiotics for a certain period and then stopping them for a certain amount of time, for precisely this reason. Other doctors have patients push through the Herx with continued antibiotic treatment.

For me, I almost always stayed the course throughout my Herxheimer reactions, even though I felt terrible during those periods. When symptoms got unbearable, my doctor would advise me to take a one-or-two day break from antibiotics, and that helped. Talk with your Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) about the duration and severity of your Herxheimer reactions, and decide together on the best course for you. Your doctor can also advise you on ways to help your body with the detox process itself.

My child wants to go to college in the Northeast, but Im nervous about sending her somewhere where Lyme is so prevalent. What do you advise?

Once you or a family member has been impacted by tick-borne illness, your whole perspective on the outdoors changes. Sometimes I want to wrap myself in a bubble and stay indoors. But I cant live in fear—besides, ticks can come inside, too!.

What I can do is be vigilant. To deny myself time out of doors would be to deny myself that which brings me the most joy. However, I no longer go walking in the woods or running through high grasses. I stick to worn or paved paths, stay away from lawns when possible, and do activities that are on the water or in the snow. I always wear bug spray, and undergo a thorough tick check after returning inside.

Nevertheless, I still have fears about getting another tick bite, so I can understand why you have concerns about sending your child to a highly endemic tick area. While New England does have a great deal of infected ticks, there are now documented cases of Lyme in all 50 states. Your child could get a tick bite while walking through the woods in the Northwest or the Southeast; ticks are no longer limited to New England. And while ticks can live on campus lawns, its less likely that your child will get a tick bite there, no matter what part of the country it’s in, than if he or she went for an off-campus hike.

I went to school in Vermont. That rural college won my heart the minute I set foot on campus. I think its more important to go to a school you love, and take whatever health precautions you need to while there—prevention, bug spray, rigorous post-outdoors tick checks— than to go to a school that doesnt feel right, just because you might have less chance of getting a tick bite there.

What type of brain scan did you get?

In some of my articles, I have mentioned having a brain scan that showed inflammation and a lack of oxygen on the left side of my brain. This was called a SPECT scan, which can show more than an MRI. But that was over a decade ago; there may be even better scans available today.

Related blogs:
What Does it Mean to Herx?
Dealing with Lyme-related Fear
Stop the Music! How to X Out the Songs and Words That Keep Playing in Your Head

jennifer crystal_2

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. Her memoir about her medical journey is forthcoming. Contact her at