The following is a reply that I wrote to a man inquiring about detoxification cleanses and asking for recommendations. Here I review 18 different detoxification methods that I have used since 1998. I will be adding more methods to this webpage as I continue to explore health, nutrition and longevity science. Enjoy!
18 Detoxes and Cleanses for Health and Longevity
I have personally tried numerous cleanses over the past 18 years. I’ll list the ones that I remember here along with my opinion of them. I’ll list in chronological order. You’ll see those later on the list as being more effective. At first glance, it may seem like a lot of cleansing – and it was. For over 10 years I was on cleanses more often than I was not. My goal was the best health, motivated by longevity. Currently, I use cleanses a lot less (2 to 3 times per year, 15 to 30 day cleanses usually) but eat a very strict calorie restricted diet that keep my body very clean. Water fasting single days or shorter periods is now my preferred method.
1) Master Cleanse (Used 5 times. Longest was 21 days). When used for 1 to 5 days, this cleanse is effective. Longer use creates too many imbalances due to large amounts of sugar. Cleansing actions is similar to a fruit juice fast, but not as deep or quick as a good herbal detox cleanse with dietary adjustments.
2) Fruit Juice Cleanse/Fast (Used too many times to count. Longest was over 90 days). I was exploring a strict raw food vegan diet with fruitarian segments for over 8 years. Numerous times I’ve consumed only fruits and fruit juice. Ultimately this fruit juice cleanse/fast was only good for about 10-14 days maximum. Most people would do best with 7-10 day maximum. After which time, the high amounts of sugar cause too much imbalance. Candida and bacteria problems are very common side effects of fruit juice cleansing and fasting. Also a long time absence of healthy fats and protein will cause the body to digest muscle tissue, and later organ tissue. In my opinion, and supported by numerous research studies, protein is the most important component of the diet. Long term protein deficiency will cause numerous health problems. Plus, too much carbohydrate foods (particularly fruits which lack minerals) will leach minerals from the bones. These sugars require minerals, like calcium, for digestion.
* * Link to recommended juicers and books: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=40
3) Fruit & Vegetable Juice Cleanse/Fast (Used too many times to count. Longest was over 90 days.) The vegetable juice provides more minerals that are lacking in just fruits. Vegetable juice will help the body to nutritional health for a longer time. Still lacking proteins and fats (unless avocados are used), so up to 30 days is maximum. The body can go longer, but I don’t recommend it. The body gets too cold, muscle mass is lost, and energy levels sink.
* * Link to recommended juicers and books: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=40
4) Dr Schulze 30 Day Cleanse (Used 6-8 times, sometimes for 2 week but usually for 4 weeks). This program uses herbs and herbal teas, along with fruit and vegetable juices and absorbers (charcoal, psyllium, etc). The program uses 4 different week-long cleanses combined to detox the major organs (bowel, liver/gb, kidney/blood, bowel). This program is more beneficial than fruit/vegetable juice cleansing along. The herbs powerfully stimulate the organs to detox. Expect results in 1/3 the time. The only downside to this cleanse is the cost of $500 for herbs.
5) Arise & Shine 28 Day Cleanse (Used 5-6 times, full 28 days). This is a an excellent cleanse product for deep intestinal (colon) cleansing. Essentially this cleanse uses herbs that break down mucoid plaque and other intestinal toxins to improve digestive health and strengthen immunity. The cleanse includes dietary recommendations, allowing the person to deepen the cleansing action by simultaneously juice fasting or water fasting. This is the strongest intestinal cleanse that I recommend using. Detoxing the intestines are one part of the cleansing process. All the organs must be specifically addressed for the highest health.
* * Link to Arise & Shine Cleanse: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=62
6) HealthForce Cleanse Kit Level 3 (Used twice). I used these back when HealthForce first started. There was only one cleanse at that time, but it was the full one they call “Level 3” at present. This cleanse is similar to Arise & Shine, in that it uses a vegan or raw vegan diet, with emphasis on juicing. Unlike the A&S cleanse, it does not layout the diet/juices in as specific a program. A&S has much better instructions. This HealthForce cleanse focuses on the intestines, like A&S. The SCRAM parasite herbs help to cleanse the intestines and blood at a deeper level. Because of SCRAM, this cleanse goes a little deeper than A&S. A&S does not have parasite-specific herbs. But I feel that A&S has a much better drawing formula (bentonite and psyllium). The Drawing Forumla and ZeoForce is weaker, in my opinion. Plus the Drawing Formula always caused a nauseous feeling in my stomach. No other brands drawing formula made me nauseous. I know it’s not “detox symptoms” because of how many cleanses I had done prior and after. I do feel that Vitamineral Greens is one of the best nutritional supplements available (better is Green Vibrance and Maximum Vibrance), much better than A&S Herbal Nutrition. All in all, HealthForce has created a great cleanse, but I feel that A&S is better and easier to perform and Dr Schulze and Dr Christopher are more complete.
* * Link to HealthForce Cleanse: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=46
7) Dr Christopher 6 Week Cleanse. (Used twice, full 6 weeks). Dr Christopher was the teacher of Dr Schulze. Dr Schulze uses all the same herbal formulas as his teacher. But the cost is 1/5th the price, $100. Missing from Dr C’s cleanse are the teas (but you can always create these from bulk herbs) and the juicing instructions (Dr C recommends whole foods, vegetarian with healthy forms of animal products (non-mucus forming). Because the cleanse is 6 weeks, whole foods and animal products are intelligently recommended. 6 weeks on raw juices will imbalance the body. I recommend this cleanse for most people. The program uses 4 supplements, each focusing on a major organ (bowel, liver/gb, kidney, blood). All 4 types are taken every day to detox the entire body at one time. This is the most balanced and complete herbal organ cleanse program I know. It is easy for most people to use and will detox and strengthen (very rare for a cleanse to strengthen organs directly) the organs
* * Link to Dr Christopher 6 Week Cleanse: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=53
8) Dr Christopher Systemic Yeast Cleanse (Total body candida cleanse). (Used twice, full 4 weeks). This is a Dr C bowel and blood cleanse used to 100% eliminate candida from the body. This is by far the best candida cleanse I’ve tried. All of raw food and fruitarian days caused a long term candida issue – one that no other candida cleanse could conquer. I tried ReNew Life CandiGONE, ReNew Life CandiZYME, Garden of Life Fungal Defense, Rainbow Light Candida Cleanse, Candex, and some others I forget. I also used specific herbs/supplements like pau d’arco, caprilic acid, garlic, oregano oil, etc., and numerous brands of probiotics. Only Dr C’s system worked and it worked the first time. I recommend this cleanse to everyone!
* * Link to Dr Christopher Candida Cleanse: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=39
9) Water Fasting (Used too many times to count. Ranging from 1 day to 27 days). I love water fasting. I still perform it regularly, often skipping food for 1 or 2 days once or more per month. True water fasting gives the body a break from digestion, allows for detoxification, and also rebalances the body. All foods have energetic properties (Chinese Medicine & Ayurveda) so eating a food will alter the body’s energy balance in some way. Water fasting lets the body finds it’s own balance. I feel that everyone should water fast. Begin with 1 day per week and increase to longer fasts as you become accustom.
* * Link to water fasting books and supplies: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=19
10) Dry Fasting / No food, no water. (Used 3 times. 7 days, 3 days, and 3 days.) This is the deepest type of cleanse. No food and no water is drank. This fast is prepared for with weeks of strict eating or other cleanses, and a few days of juice fasting or water fasting. My first dry fast was 7 days in 2010, as part of a 100+ day program of juicing, cleansing, water fasting and mono-diets (only blended grapefruit for 4 weeks and only spirulina and water for 4 weeks). Going for 7 days without anything put in my body was much easier than I thought. The fear is the biggest problem. I really didn’t have any detox symptoms, but my body was super clean by then. I DO NOT RECOMMEND DRY FASTING TO ANYONE. MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT PSYCHOLOGICALLY PREPARED.
11) Caloric Restriction “with Optimal Nutrition” (practice for over 15 years). CR is the most researched longevity method on the planet. The general idea is to find the perfect amount of food to eat each day that supplies all the body’s needs with no excess. Excess nutrition is used and therefore wastes digestive energy. Animal studies show that for every 1% of calories reduced, 1% of the lifespan is increased. So a diet with 30% less calories, will increase the animal’s lifespan by 30%. Human studies have not yet successfully replicated this finding for a few reasons in my mind. 1) No study has been long enough yet. A human lifetime is 100+ years on CR. 2) Most scientific diets are not properly created in my opinion. So the human test subjects are eating inferior diets with deficiencies and therefore will not show signs of great health improvements. 3) Animals are instinctual and have minimal emotional factors in health. Human emotion is a huge factor in health (stress, hormones, etc). Most humans have very poor emotional health (high stress lifestyles). I feel that CR should be seriously practiced by anyone desiring longevity and the highest states of health.
12) Restricted Ketogenic Diet (My current diet. Practiced Strictly practiced for 3+ years, including 100 days with less than 3 gram total carbohydrate per day). In recent years the RK diet has become popular due to cancer studies. I’ve been one and off an RK diet for over 7 years because I tried to replicate the ketosis of fasting (which I loved) in food form. I did RK before RK had a name. Now RK is showing up everywhere. The general idea is that cancer, tumors, virus, bacteria, candida, and most forms of disease are fed by carbohydrates. By eliminating / severely reducing carbohydrates these pathogens are starved and therefore die off. An intelligent RK diet will give the human body all it needs to rebuild and stay strong (protein, fat, vitamins, minerals) and use protein and fat for energy. Carbohydrates are not essential for the body. Protein is the most essential food product, then fat, then minerals, then vitamins.
13) Intermittent Fasting (Practice periodically, not long enough personally for any conclusive opinions). This is where I am moving into. I have done IF for weeks at a time, but not long enough for my own desires. I found a fascinating IF study many years ago that compared the effectiveness of different eat-fast schedules. They found the “eating 2 days, 1 fasting one day” schedule to produce the best results. Second best was “eating 1 day, fasting 1 day”. Third was “eating 3 days, fasting 1 day”. Then came “4 and 1” and “5 and 1”, then “6 and 1”. IF shows the same benefits as CR because IF uses CR. Some scientists claim that IF is better than CR because Human Growth Hormone levels improve higher, along with other aging factors. Currently there are pseudo-IF methods out there, like “Fast 5” (eat fast 19 hours, eat 5 hours each day). These are not genuine IF. The are elongated daily eating schedules and do not produce the same scientific results. Most people are food-addicted and fasting longer than a single day can be challenging physically, mentally and emotionally. Fasting must be built up to. There is a lot to learn about the body and one’s self that comes with time and experience.
14) Far Infrared Saunas (owned mine since 2006, used in my health centers as well). Not technically a food-based detox, Far Infrared Saunas are amazing methods to detoxify and cleanse the body. The skin is the single largest organ in the body and also the largest detoxification organ (pours, sweat, body odor, etc). I used my IR Sauna 1 to 3 times per week (more often during cleanses) to keep my body clean. My body feels the cleanest just after a single 45 minute -1.5 hour sauna or 3 consecutive days of 25 to 45 minute saunas. If you have done deep sauna work, then you know just how amazing deep clean skin and tissue feels. Like most areas of my life, I am a research fanatic. The sauna brand with the best studied and best rated IR panels is Sunlighten. http://www.sunlighten.com/index.html?leadsource=ref-med-gergar I recommend their Carbon IR panels over cheap Chinese companies that use inferior materials, ceramic or wire heating elements. Sunlighten’s Carbon panels produce the closed Infrared waves to the sunlight (objectively proven a Japanese Far Infrared Society study).
* * Link to Far Infrared Sauna: http://www.sunlighten.com/index.html?leadsource=ref-med-gergar
15) Enemas and colonics. I do recommend that enemas are used to support detoxification. This is especially true for anyone starting out. Enemas use distilled water (nothing else!) to wash out the toxins and waste products released during a cleanse. This greatly reduced detox symptoms (headaches, nausea, sweating, body heat, fogging thinking, low energy, etc). Use 1 to 2 enemas per day on day 1. Then then 1 enema each day for the first week at least or the entire cleanse. After 7 days, you can reduce to 1 enema every 2 days. Then after day 14, reduce to 1 enema every 3 days. There is no danger in using enemas. This is evident by people using enemas for 30-70+ years and still having normal functioning bowels. Colonic, however, can be dangerous and weaken the body. The pressurized water stretches the intestines. Overuse can weaken the muscles. I prefer enemas over colonics. Be patient, all cleansing takes time and colonics are not a quick fix. Colonics are like enemas on steroids.
* * Link to Enema Kits: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=19
16) Parasite Cleanse (performed 2 times, 35 days each). My own parasite cleanse is a program combining many different parasite detox programs. There are many types of parasites and most formulas do not address all the types, or where they live in the human body. My program uses Diatomaceous Earth, HealthForce SCRAM, black walnut hull, wormwood, cayenne, Dr Christopher’s Intestinal Sweep, and a powerful CoQ10 program. This program I have created after weeks of research.
* * Link to Parasite Cleanse: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=43
17) Heavy Metal Detox Cleanse (performed once for 1.5 years) Detoxing heavy metals is a long and slow process. A specific diet must be followed (Ancestral Diet high in animal fats to pull the metals from the fatty tissue in the body – brain, glands, organs) and all natural supplements used. I do not recommend using medical chelation methods (EDTA, DMSA, etc) because they are “weak chelators”. They will detach the metal from organs, carry it through the blood, but often drop the metals in the kidneys when the blood enters the kidneys for cleansing. The work of Dr Hal Huggins explains this. He is the “father” of metal detoxification with a Ph.D. in immunology and dentistry. Heavy metal cleansing is one of the last detox methods to use – only after all the organs have been detoxed. It is very important to not detox metals too soon. Too many health problem can arise because the metals are so toxic.
* * Link to Heavy Metal Detox: http://astore.amazon.com/sunlightenmen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=31
NOTES: I’ve followed many other smaller cleanses, like those by ReNew Life Organic Total Body Cleanse, Nature’s Secret 5 Day Cleanse, Nature’s Secret Ultimate Cleanse, Enzymatic Therapy Whole Body Cleanse, Yogi Tea Detox, a combination of Garden of Life cleanse products, and a handful of other “quick cleanses”. I don’t considered these to be genuine “detox cleanses”. They are far to weak. Most are laxative herbal capsules that do nothing more than cause quicker bowel movements. I’ve studied herbs enough to know what the brands and using and why.
Final Recommendations and Wisdom
Diet: Your diet (the foods you eat) is the most important factor in health. As the age old saying goes, “you are what you eat”. Eat low quality, mass processed, nutrient deficient man-made foods with plastics, environmental toxins, and dangerous chemicals that do not digest properly and you’ll get a body that is weak and prone to illness. Eat a balanced diet of organic, home grown or wild harvest foods, supplement with herbs and superfoods to ensure adequate nutrients and high life force and you’ll get a body that is strong and healthy. Evolve your food choices to the next level through research and refinement and you’ll get a body that is pain-free, inflammation-free, and disease-free. Feed your body everything it needs and nothing in deficiency or excess and you’ll get a fine-tuned body that needs less sleep, has constant energy and endurance, and lives past 100 years.
Study those people who are living examples of health and longevity. Avoid the hype of people, companies, and advertising that push their products with the primary goal of making money and not making health. Health should be #1, not money. Trade health for money and you’ll end up like most American’s, overworked, living in debt and stressed out. Avoid fad diets. They are marketed for quick profit, designed to create excitement, but disappear in a few short years because they do not work. Fad diets are constantly being pumped into the market on bookshelves, health store shelves, and websites. I have seen too many people cause health problems following imbalanced diets based on philosophy, theory, pseudo-science, made up claims, and improperly performed research. Life simply and eat simply. Food choices are #1 most important.
Cleansing: After diet comes cleansing. We can start cleansing at the very beginning of health changes, along with dietary adjustments. We do not have to wait to get the diet in place. Starting with a cleanse is a great way to get motivated and to get on a new schedule. Cleanses offer an eating plan that is precise, helping to break bad habits very quickly.
How to pick the right cleanse? This is a very tricky topic to write up – because everyone’s body is at a different level of health and experiencing different health challenges. For some people, a candida cleanse is best because it takes the burden off the immune system. Organs cannot detox properly if the body is overrun with candida. For others, it’s an intestinal/colon cleanse to clear out the primary pathway of digestion and elimination. And for a few with severe illness, detoxing the liver and gallbladder is the best place to begin. The basic idea here is to detox the most important area first. Then all other successive cleanses will be much more effective, and health problems will show signs of immediate improvement. Then after the first series of cleanses, the focus becomes the remaining organs – stomach, kidneys, and blood. Parasite cleanses are important due to the deep detox effects on many organs. They come during or after the other organs are flushed. Heavy Metal detoxification must come last, after all the organs are healthy and strong – because there is a great demand on the body when detoxing metals.
As you can likely tell from my post, this is a lot of information. Most people get lost as to where to start or what to use. It took me nearly 20 years to get where I am, and I’m still learning. I see each cleanse as having a purpose and some cleanses are more effective than others. The order of cleansing is very important, as is identifying problems areas in the body, and getting the diet right. So for all of this help, I do offer personal health consultation – and have been for over 15, working in professional natural medicine offices as a nutritional consultant, life coach, and detoxification “expert”. My mother has also been employed in the natural health industry working with supplements and herbal medicine since 1996, which is one reason why I have tried so many different cleanse brands. So if you want to work with me, post a reply with your email address and I’ll contact you.
There it is. Nearly 20 years of detox and cleanses summaries in 2 hours of writing. Enjoy! Post questions and I’ll reply. As you can see I love health!