Detox in practice

Detox in practice 

In principle, we detox our body when we avoid sugar, white flour products, processed foods, and acid forming foods including animal products and drinks while consuming only whole fresh vegetables and low sugar fruits.

When it comes to detoxifying the body, we often think that we need medication or special foods and drinks to remove toxins from the body. Actually, foods, drinks and herbs used for cleansing do not themselves eliminate toxins from the body but only support or facilitate the body’s detoxification process. Detoxification is the daily built-in function of the liver, colon, kidneys, lymphatic and skin. However they can not accomplish their function properly when there are too much toxins created  in the body by unhealthy foods, drinks, living environment and stress (such as grief, anxiety, jealousy, hatred). As a result, toxins that are not eliminated would accumulate, weaken the immune system and  cause all kinds of diseases. We need to help the body accomplish its detoxification function by stopping toxins from entering the body while providing the body with enough detox enhancers, such as fiber-rich vegetables, alkaline forming foods, adequate sleep and rest. I am going to analyse the pros and cons of seven currently popular detox programs and list some basic detox principles so that every one can choose  a plan or a combined plan that suits his/her needs and availability of local vegetables/foods, either in Vietnam or in other regions.

  1.  Robyn Openshaw’s detox programme

For four weeks, I followed this detox plan myself to see if it works.

The first four days I am allowed to have only vegetable juice or smoothie without fruits. I had however cooked oats with or without with stevia for breakfast and baked potato chips for lunch. For dinners I had  mixed salad with tomato, cucumber, onion and apple cider vinegar , celery, garlic, parsley and a little salt spice.

Before starting this detox plan, I still suffered itchy and scaly patches on my legs and back.  But after a few days into this detox protocol, my skin clearly improved. Psoriatic skin patches seem to heal with less inflammation, fewer scales and less pruritic (itching).

The first four days with bland food and drink  was a torture. From the fifth to the seventh day, I was allowed  only vegetable smoothie or  juice . No other food was allowed. But, being able to add fruits like bananas, apples and berries smoothie became more tasty and palatable.

Over the second week, for breakfast I had millet porridge with coconut cream and maple syrup, or vegetable smoothie including strawberries, carrots, coconut milk, dates, sunflower seeds. For lunch I could choose barley or rye bread and vegetable smoothie . In the evening baked sweet potatoes, vegetable juice, cabbage salad or chopped vegetables were in the menu.

During the third week, the first two days I could have only  watermelon and  celery tea. The next three days I had to  drink apple juice or apple puree on an empty stomach for dissolving kidney stones, then consume more vegetable juice, barley bread and mixed salad with legumes, fruit and a few nuts. After 2 o’clock in the afternoon, no more food was allowed but I was supposed to drink water mixed with a tablespoon of Epson salt and olive oil before bed. (I did not try this part)

Fourth week I had vegetable smoothie,  barley bread, fried sweet potato or corn tortilla chips and mixed salad.

In general, this program of detoxification is not difficult because it requires no  fasting. But recommended foods seems too bland  for me. Shopping and preparing foods and drink also took  longer than I liked. This program is more difficult than I thought. Eating fruits and carbohydrates such as barley, millet, potatoes too early could slow down the detoxification process. Therefore if you have rheumatic arthritis, rheumatism, depression, diabetes, heart failure, fatigue or cancer, this program is not powerful enough.  In addition, this program requires daily colon cleansing, which takes just over an hour, and may remove most of friendly bacteria from the colon, thereby weakening the digestive system. After 4 weeks following this plan I lost 5 kilos but still could not have my psoriasis cleared. However, we have to remember detoxing is not magic . It may take many months  to eliminate toxins and and reverse health disorders if the disorders have been there for years.

  1. The detox plan in Bollinger’s 31 day Home Cancer Cure needs
  • 1 container of LivingFuel Supergreens and 1 container of LivingFuel’s Superberry available at  Both containers cost $ US 150.00.
  • 2 bottles of Aloe Soothe powder costing $ US 50,
  • One bottle of Natren’s Healthy Trinity probiotics at costing $ US 180
  • A set of Dr Hulda Clark’s parasite Cleanse for $ US 50.
  • 5 boxes of herbal remover, liver, blood and large intestine for $ 180.00.

A total of $ 610 is needed under this program on top of vegetables.

The plan is simple for  the first 22 days when only fresh vegetable juice mixed with filtered water with 1:1 ratio is allowed, as much as needed when hungry or thirsty. From day 23, solid foods are gradually allowed back starting with vegetables, nuts and seeds. According to Bollinger, the program has helped thousands of people get rid of cancer, including those in terminal stages. However, detoxification is only part of a comprehensive cancer treatment program. Bollinger’s anti-cancer program also requires intestinal cleansing, dry skin brushing, Apricot seeds and  Budwig protocol.

  1. Brett Elliott’s Ultimate Herbal Detox

Brett Elliott’s Ultmate Herbal Detox program in New Zealand is promoted as the world’s best herbal remedy and has sold over 100,000 packages around the world. It costs only $ 160 New Zealand ($US 120) and consists of Colonaid, Digezaid, Symlax and Livefood, each with 120 capsules (available at and ). A Herbal Detox guide is available free at Colon-aid contains all  of Dr Hulda’s herbs (in Bollinger’s detox program), in addition to herbs with mucus lining healing and peristalsis enhancing properties. Digezaid consists of 7 herbs to strengthen digestion and absorption of nutrients. Symlax consists of four herbs – psyllium, chia seeds, aloe vera a& slippery elm bark) to help the bowel discharge waste (without need for enema). Livafood has seven herbs rich in nutrients, supporting the liver and digestion, including cilantro (coriander) and chlorella, which have toxin binders to prevent toxins from being reabsorbed thus facilitating the removal of toxins through the  intestine. This program can be either 7 days for healthy people, 14 days for people with average health with minor disorders or 1 month for people with chronic diseases,  obesity or the elderly. Before starting this program, it takes 3 days of preparation. During these 3 days, we have to avoid wheat products, cereals, sugar, protein, meat, processed foods and sweet fruits such as bananas and pineapple. Only fresh vegetable juice, vegetable soup, sugar-free yogurt and water are allowed. The diet continues to apply throughout the detox period.

After detoxing  (1 week, 2 weeks or 1 month depending on the selection from the beginning), we can slowly eat  whole food (unprocessed) and fresh fish. By adding each type of food for a few days, we can know what foods are not good (such as itching, headaches, difficulty falling asleep) and are eliminated from our diet.

Brett Eliott said the Ultimate Herbal Detox program has been effective to address the following conditions: Allergies, acne, arthritis, asthma, bloating, diabetes Hypertension, celiac disease, boils / water, candida, enteritis, indigestion, gout, headache, heartburn, edema, fatigue, haemorrhoids, high cholesterol, digestive diseases, memory loss, fast heart beat, parasitic diseases, obesity, candlelight, sinusitis, belching ( Reflux), stomach cancer, toxemia … With its 26 herbs and restricted diet, the list is not surprising.

  1. Caruso’s quick 15-day cleansing program, introduced by one of my friends, has a similar effect to Brett Elliott’s program except for skin problems, asthma, gastric and haemorrhoids. The program consists of 23 herbs, less than 26 Elliott herbs (lacking chia seeds, psyllium and slippery elm bark), but has four more minerals and billions of units of three intestinal friendly bacteria. This program started in 1988 in Australia and according to related promoters, with more than 1 million packages sold. In Australia sells it at $AU 72 , while in New Zealand, the most affordable store prices it at $NZ 108 . This program does not require avoidance of grains and potato starch, but  meat, fish, sugar, animal products and bovine, processed foods – including white flour – Coffee, tea and wine, beer are to be avoided.
  2.  10 day Cleanse  with lemon juice and maple syrup (maple syrup) initiated by Stanley Burroughs in 1941. This method recommends drinking 5-6 glasses of lemon juice a day, each with  2 tablespoons pure lemon juice mixed with 1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1/10 tsp of chilli powder and a glass of filtered water. Lemon juice, maple syrup and chilli are all detoxifying, antioxidant. In particular, chilli is said to help remove carbon dioxide from fats and thoroughly cleanse the colon. (If you are not used to eat chili, then drink immediately after mixing). This method can be used in three ways:

– Option 1: Only drink lemon juice / syrup / chilli for 10 days to cleanse the whole body,

  • Option 2: Drink 2-3 glasses of  lemon juice instead of breakfast and dinner while take a snack for lunch.
  • Option 3: Combine the first and the second options:drink only lemon juice for 3 days and then the next 3 days drink lemon juice in the morning and evening with a snack at lunch. Then repeat the process again from day 7 to day 12.

Many people use this method to lose weight, but it actually has a very powerful cleansing effect. However, many people who can not put up with hunger in the first few days usually give up.

I experienced detoxification with lemon juice 36 years ago when  in the Phan Dang Lưu re-education camp . I fasted and only drank lemon juice with a little sugar for a week. Luckily a friend joined me so we could support one another to complete it over the week. Thanks to this body cleanse protocol, my severe allergy to shrimps and fish was totally cleared. It might also help me become immune to Hepatitis B as told by my doctor 10 years later.

Experience convinced me that cleansing the body with lemon juice is quite effective if you can tolerate hunger for the first few days and it is helpful to have a partner to do it with you.

  1. Hot Detox by Julie Daniluk , a nutritionist and therapist for Heathy Gourmet UK, is also the author of the popular “Meals that heal” book. This method aims to cleanse the body and heal the intestines with warm food and anti inflammatory foods. Julie experienced water fast, lemonade master cleanse fast, macrobiotic brown rice cleanse, cold juice fast, the candida diet, the gall bladderflush, parasite programs,  herbal cleanses even  Ayurvedic cleanse with a salt water purge. She noted that in these popular detox programs there is a lack of nutrition making the detoxification unsafe. Hot Detox was cerated to ensure that the body always has the nutrition it requires to run the detoxification pathways effectively.

Here, the principal foods are also vegetables, but you can eat a little chicken, eggs and fish if you want. This method encourages cooking before eating for easy digestion, so even the vegetable juice is hot, not cold, and some small amount of salt is allowed even though only natural sugar  (stevia) and small amount of raw honey are permitted. A bit more complicated are detoxing teas  with dry hibiscus flowers, dry elderberries, dried schisandra berries, dried nettle leaves, ginger powder, dried apples, sugar beets and aloe vera powder.

This plan includes many simple recipes for delicious dishes with vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices popular.  Julie uses the plan herself and many praised its effect and the foods made with her recipes . In addition, consumption of fermented vegetables is encouraged in this plan.

Julie’s book “Hot Detox” sells for just $ 12, showing the detoxification process of the liver and the nutrients it needs to filter out toxins, the reason why she chose this detoxification. Single day recipes for 21 days of detox with various options and cooking methods. The plan can be for 10 days or 3 days, but 21 days is said to be the best. I will put up google drive for you to know better.

7. “Total Wellness Cleanse” of Yuri Elkaim, the founder of the Super Nutrition Academy. This program aims to create an alkaline environment for the body, reduce sugar intake and improve the functioning of vital organs and body systems. The duration is  14 days. Menus and recipes for 14 days of detoxification are provided including  a list of what to eat and to avoid in these 14 days. Mainly animal food, white rice, wheat, barley, potatoes, bananas, oranges and pineapples are to be avoided. Brown rice, canned black beans, green beans, almonds, kernels, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, coconut oil, flax oil, lily oil, fish oil, sesame oil, hemp oil, walnut oil … all types of green leafy vegetables are encouraged.  Based on the alkaline nature of these foods, the program easy to implement and can easily continue. This program also includes measures to detox emotional and spiritual stresses. Morning menu starts with relaxing, deep breathing, giving thanks for everything one has with questions such as “What am I grateful for today?”, “Who is in my life that I can be grateful for?” and “What successes, achievments and moments of happiness can I be thankful for?” (Elkaim).

If you want to read the details of this program please use “Contact” on top menu and I can send you the documents or you can view his recipes here.

8. A detox plan of your choice 

For cancer, Bollinger’s detox plan in his “31 day home care cancer cure” is the most suitable. For chronic diseases over many years, Brett Elliott’s Ultimate Herbal Detox seems the best.

In other cases, we can choose a detox plan appropriate for our circumstances. We can combine herbs, lemon juice, coconut milk, rainbow vegetables and non sweet fruits for detoxing, depending on the locality behind for convenient and affordable for a day plan or longer .

Instead of just drinking lemonade and chilli, we can add ginger and some honey to make it easy to drink. And we can drink coconut water when we are hungry. Coconut water is palatable with  plenty of  vitamins and minerals for the body and also help to cleanse the body. However, do not drink more than a few cups of coconut water a day if you are hypotensive (low blood pressure) because coconut water contains a lot of potassium and is hypotensive . We can neutralise its hypotensive effect by mixing a pinch of salt with coconut water before drinking.

In principle to cleanse the body is to stop feeding the body with acid forming foods (which are inflammatory), increase intake of  alkaline forming  and anti inflammatory foods . This Alkamind food guide is a good list of acid forming and alkaline forming foods. Green vegetables,  coconut water and lemon juice all have these properties, although coconut water is slightly lighter than lemon juice. Maple syrup is expensive and not easily found in may regions.  It could be substituted with raw honey or coconut nectar sugar. Coconut nectar and live honey also have a slightly acidic forming effect due to their sweet taste and therefore should be used sparingly for taste improvement.

I think we can best stick to only lemon juice, some coconut water and vegetable juice for the first 4 days. From dạy 5, we can add broccoli, rainbow  vegetables such as kale, chards, red and green  cabbage, carrots, white radish, sugar beets, sweet potatoes,  green peas, okras, green beans, spinach, cilantro (coriander), onion, garlic, turmeric, ginger .. Fish bone broth, chicken bone broth, a little sea salt or fish sauce. It may help to see choose recipes from Julie’s Hot Detox and ElKaim’s recipes.

We have to absolutely avoid sweeteners or sugar. Eat one cup at a time. In addition, you can drink detox teas to reduce inflammation like bitter tea , chrysanthemum tea, dandelion tea – cinnamon tea,  cayenne tea, papaya leaves tea (papaya leaves contain a lot of proteolytic enzymes that break down protein, toxins and kill cancer cells)

In Vietnam you can have fresh gotu kola juice, cucumber juice,  avocado,  bacopa greens, lettuce, watercress .. at least once a day during cleansing. These vegetables are detoxifying, liver tonic and effective parasiticide, and also rich in fibre and vitamins / minerals beneficial for   body cleanse. At the same time every day we need  fermented vegetables and kimchi to replenish friendly bacteria in our gut.

General principles after detoxification :

After cleansing, to prevent the body’s detoxification system from overloading, we need healthy eating, that is, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, good oils like coconut oil, live olive oil, fermented vegetables, kimchi and the most nutritious seeds such as almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds. Remind ourselves to reduce meat consumption, avoid processed foods,  white flour products and white sugar. And if we do body detox  twice a year, we will be safe from  cancer and many chronic health disorders.

In conclusion, as long as we avoid sugar, white flour products, processed foods, and acid forming foods including animal products and drinks while consuming only whole fresh vegetables and low sugar fruits, having good sleep and developing a grateful, loving, forgiving spirit, we are detoxing our body.

Nguyen Van Tu  

Auckland 26 – 7 2017

Please note: This article is intended to provide information only. It is advisabe to  ask or inform your physician for advice before undertaking any cleansing program.

Reference s:

      1. Bollinger, T. & Scholberg. A. (2012). The 31-day Home Cancer Cure . Online Publishing & Marketing LLC.
      2. Daniluk. J. (2017). The Hot Dertox Plan . Hay House Inc, UK.
      3. Elliott, B. (2015 ). Brett Elliott’s Ultimate Herbal Detox User Guide and Recipe B ook. IconHerb Ultimate Herbal Health. URL:
      4. Openshaw, R. (2017). GreenSmoothieGirl26-day Detox Manual . Robyn OpenShaw /
      5. Elkaim, Y. (2013) Total Wellness Cleanse.