Cumulative Damage

I had interesting discussion with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. He was telling me about a colon cleansing/detoxification regimen he had recently undergone. He was singing the praises of this particular treatment. For those unfamiliar, colon cleansing is a form of detoxification and often referred to as internal cleansing. The theory, as I understand it, is that as the years go by we accumulate colonic sludge. This impairs our ability to absorb necessary nutrients and such and we generally feel crummy toting around our own personal cesspool. While the mainstream Western medical community has not weighed in on either side of the argument at present, testimonials abound. The idea of internally cleansing, whether through herbal preparations, fasting, teas or by other methods and combinations has been around for millennia. The most recent data I came across (I’m not a GI doctor, so my reference point is more general medicine in this arena) showed no demonstrable benefit. I am not sure what parameters were used to define “success”, but certainly no harm seemed to occur.

With that being said, in principle it seems to make some sense. There are many ways to look at illness. One way is to look at acute injuries and chronic injuries. An acute injury would be like spraining your ankle running or playing sports. Another type of injury is one due to a chronic accumulation. Coronary artery disease can be like this; a plaque continues to accumulate, slowly, insidiously over many years. Finally it reaches a point where the next growth phase in the arterial blockage results in complete occlusion of the artery and a heart attack.

A good analogy in looking how we treat these is car maintenance. Let’s say a sprained ankle (acute injury) is like running over a nail and getting a flat tire. The treatment is to change the tire. Now let’s look at changing the oil or antifreeze. This is a preventive maneuver to avoid sludge damaging the engine or the radiator. This would result in that equipment not functioning as it should. This is the principle, I believe, behind the colon cleanse detoxification.

What does that have to do with food? Well, we’re going to lengths to get fresh ingredients, in combinations that allow for great taste and nutritional benefit. If we can’t absorb the nutrients to rebuild our internal infrastructure then that part of our plan really isn’t working. So, if you are thinking about a “fresh start” and utilizing some of our recipes and concepts as a jumping off point; and are so inclined, this might be a good starting point. It may seem a bit Granola and New Age, but if it makes you feel better….

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