An Interview with Linda Page, N.D.
Doctor, Researcher and Master
Dr. Linda Page: It's one of the oldest and certainly most effective healing methods known to man. We have many records of it as far back as 5,000 years ago, perhaps even up to 20,000 years ago. People have known for a long time that detoxification--or cleansing the body of a build up of toxins--was certainly beneficial to their health. It's a known health benefit all over the world, and to me it means clearing out congestion. Especially in the highly toxic, industrial world of today, it means clearing out the toxins in our systems, and it means neutralizing the acid/alkaline balance of our bodies. This is far more important than we may think because an acid system sets up an environment for many diseases.
The Share Guide: So part of what we are doing is purging, but part of detoxifying is to balance the acid/alkaline of our system?
Linda Page: Yes.
Detoxification is far more than purging. That used to be what people
thought. For so long there wasn't very much information about it
available, and a little knowledge was a dangerous thing. People
started using it for weight loss. I was one of those people, because
I had fought my weight all my life. You can literally detox yourself
to death, and I did that. I was in a coma for quite a while. I died
right on the operating table and went through an out-of-body death
experience. When I left the hospital I only weighed 69 pounds.
enthusiastically embraced the wrong way to do this and it is one of
the things that led me to write my book so that other people wouldn't
make that same mistake. Using detoxification as a purging technique
either for rapid weight loss, for rapid cleansing of the bowels or
some other reason is not the way to go. It isn't really true
detoxification. Like everything else in nature, detoxification needs
to be done in moderation and with a holistic approach. It's important
to remember the three things we just talked about: balance, in this
case your acid/alkaline system; getting rid of toxins that are stored
in your body; and boosting circulation by getting rid of congestion,
particularly in the lymph system.
Linda Page: Some of the
best detox programs are not these long, very strenuous, clinical type
detoxes--unless you are very seriously ill. I find that a mild,
gentle, "spring cleaning" type of detox program is all most people
need. It can be done over a long weekend a couple of times a year.
The hardest part about it is beginning, because it takes quite a bit
of change to your lifestyle. Sometimes a series of short detoxes, one
or two over a three or four month period works better than a long
detox where you would need to be under clinical supervision.
Page: When someone
asks me who needs to detox, I really can say with all honesty that I
think everybody does. For instance, I feel that I live a very healthy
life. I am working with the absolute newest supplements out there
because I am on the testing range with so many of them. Yet I do it
because detox is a technique for staying healthy in a destructive
world and that is what we live in today. There are over 30,000
destructive synthetic chemicals in our society today and 25,000 new
ones are coming in every year, many of them on the winds from
countries that have no safeguards in place, or in our water supply.
U.S. industries ALONE now annually release 24 BILLION pounds of toxic
substances that are linked to developmental and neurological problems
in US children. We have no way of shielding ourselves other than
taking care of our own bodies.
Page: I don't know
that I could answer that in specific percentages, but in my mind diet
always has to play a part. It is something that we do every day. Of
course we take in emotional stresses and yes, we may not exercise,
and it all certainly is important, but I think that diet is one of
the most critical things. I also feel that diet is the first place to
start and then you build from there-- because diet can also help you
out with the stress problems which are certainly growing every year
Page: What I
suggest is a mildly detoxifying diet or maintenance diet, like you
mention--a protective type diet. I feel that we can always be
protecting ourselves fairly easily with our diet. But when we want to
go on an actual period that we call detoxification, I like to target
it more. For instance, if you are doing something after the holidays,
I like to target detoxification from fats and sugars. If you are
deciding that you feel fairly congested and you want to go on a detox
period during the spring, I find targeting the liver--and we can
easily do this with foods and herbs--is a good idea. Any time you are
working with a liver detox you want to have help, vitamin D from
sunshine helps. A liver detox works best when you do it through the
high sun months. Other things can also be worked on, and I see that
people get the most rapid results when they do some sort of target. A
protective diet, however, could easily include something early in the
morning like green tea. I drink green tea every morning for two
reasons: because it keeps your liver uncongested, and it also helps
in the way that bitter herbs help. I usually add bitter herbs to my
green tea in extract form. It is a very easy thing to do and it keeps
your digestion flowing--it keeps your whole system flowing, your
bowel system regular. That is just one little thing you can do every
morning. Of course, green tea has been proven to have weight loss
benefits, proven immune power benefits and other things.
Page: My first
thought, not knowing if it is water decaf processing, it seems it
wouldn't be a problem. I believe there is good news and bad news
about caffeine. I believe you do get increased metabolism and
certainly a little mental boost there. I enjoy green tea or even
black tea; I like the caffeine that it provides. (What I can't really
handle and don't even ever do is coffee or chocolate.) I am surprised
you get jitters from green tea.
Page: It's one of
my favorites! What a good choice. Not only is it a bitters for your
digestion, there are some new things about ginger being researched.
For people that may be at risk for heart problems or heart attacks
(both men and women), ginger inhibits the same enzyme, for instance,
that puts people at risk for a stroke. It's the very reason that
doctors often recommend an aspirin a day for people. Aspirin inhibits
that enzyme. Ginger does this with much less stomach problems,
digestive and eye problems that come along with aspirin. Also,
cayenne and ginger together in a synergistic fashion. Cayenne boosts
your central circulatory system, and ginger gets everything right
down to your fingertips and boosts your circulatory system all the
way to your extremities.
Page: Oh yes, I
have a problem with standardized herbs. I can tell you all kinds of
side effects coming out of this standardized herb process.
Page: Yes, you are
losing so much. What you really lose, are all those protective
benefits that the whole herb has. It may have alkaloids or something
that might be harmful in its isolated or concentrated form. When you
have the whole herb, the plant already has built in a lot of the
protective benefits so that you can take the whole thing and get the
benefits of the alkaloid or whatever else it is. There is a lot that
you lose. Now we know for instance with St. John's Wort, that many
side effects are coming out of the standardized extracts.
Page: Exactly, I
certainly use both of those. Another one is sea greens, or sea
vegetables. They are the detoxifiers of the ocean and they can do the
same thing for us. They are also wonderful for weight loss and
detoxifying, fat, sugar and lymph cleansers.
Exactly--dulse, kelp. I often go out on the boat to gather it. I have
gone out in the ocean in a wetsuit. I used to go out with big garbage
bags to take it in. I take baths in them. You can feel immediately a
seaweed bath is incredibly cleansing.
Page: Spirulina is
a water plant as well, but I must tell you that the actual ocean
ones, I have had much better results with simply because I have been
working with them for 25 years.
Page: I think you
would get mixed opinions there because a whole lot of work has been
done by the Sun Wellness people and Dr. Hagiwara and others that say
that they are beneficial. Regardless, the way I work as a traditional
naturopath is from the view of the ailment, and is the person getting
better and are we getting the results that we want. This is more
important to me than the supposed proven or unproven properties of
Page: I believe
that it is. When I was in a coma, then coming out of the coma, and
for all those weeks in the hospital, I felt that if I was getting all
those things, I didn't have to eat any hospital food at all. The
health food store in town was allowed to bring in green drinks and
sea greens and the herbs you are talking about as well. I felt like I
was getting a little transfusion. I can tell you it was just like a
deep breath because my body was so down.
Page: I was only
eating five things for several years. It sounded good, but it was
terrible. I thought I was losing weight. I look at pictures of me
then and of course I was anorexic.
malnourished...I came out of the fashion world so I thought I should
be on a cleansing diet my whole life. I nearly detoxed myself into
Page: Oh yeah, I
had no B12 and that is what really gives you cell regeneration. You
have to take it in, your body doesn't make that.
Page: I just got
back from China in June and I am now going to be representing some of
the Chinese herb companies over here. The Chinese herb that everybody
knows about but may not think of in terms of detoxification is
ginseng. It's used widely over there, for reproductive enhancement,
anti-aging, detoxification and many other things. Ginseng truly is
incredibly popular with everybody. Ginseng is a good detoxifying herb
because it clears out congestion and restores that body balance. It
is not a purgative but it is a restorer of homeostasis.
Page: I have been
to several ginseng farms and the farms are all very old. They have
now developed a way of alternating their fields so that they can grow
more. The Chinese do an enormous amount of importing. Up until just
five years ago, 90% of the ginseng we grew here went there.
Page: Exactly. Now
that's changing rapidly because we are realizing how good the quality
of ours is here.
Page: Yes, I have
been involved in creating Ayurvedic formulas in the past. Ayurvedic
practitioners are the ones that made the vegetable juice diet so
popular for cleansing. I really admire them for that. I think that's
exactly the way to go. American and European traditions were using
water fasts at the same time--but today we know that water fasts do
not give you enough nourishment to maintain in this modern world.
Water fasts allow your body to detoxify too fast, dumping out all
those toxins stored in your fatty tissues way too quickly. You can
re-poison yourself. Ayurveda uses the vegetable juice diet as a
popular way to work on body cleansing, and they also popularized yoga
and deep breathing. Deep breathing can really enhance a cleanse. As
far as the native American Tradition, most of us know about sweat
lodges. That certainly was for body as well as for spirit
purification. My favorite herb from the Native American tradition of
cleansing is sage. Many people use it today for a cleanse of the
house (burning sage) and of course it was used in the sweat lodges in
the same way. Sage will also really boost your immune system. As far
as the European tradition goes, I used to work in a spa in Europe. A
great deal was devoted to detoxification techniques, mostly water
techniques. They would lower you into sweating baths or mud baths. I
worked in Germany at a spa where you walked right into the mud pits
outside. It certainly was a cleansing technique!
Page: Yes! We used
to do the wraps. I saw how effective the wraps were. You cannot
imagine how much yellow body waste would come out through the skin
after a cleanse of that type. There's no question that every
tradition has a way to cleanse the body. In the Rain Forest, the
parasite cleanse is of course a big one because that is what they
get, and they are getting even more now that they have become
inundated with a western diet. It is like an open environment for all
the parasites. They keep the body from being able to fight
Page: I recommended
the Fat and Sugar Cleanse, because this is when the average American
eats so much of this kind of food around the holidays. Americans eat
150 pounds of refined sugar every year. Even people who are on a low
fat diet end up eating even more sugar. I am working with Chinese
herbs now and a lot of it is getting the sugar out of the system.
When you eat a lot of sugars, it triggers that insulin reaction. It
is the insulin reaction that triggers your body to make fat. The
Lymph Cleanse is also a good one to do in the winter. It is a
wonderful way to boost your immune system. The whole lymph system is
a secondary system for your circulation. What it doesn't have is a
pump like your heart, so exercise decongests your lymph system.
Exercise stimulates the muscles to move all those toxins through your
lymph system enhancing your immune response.
Page: That's a good
question. The way I feel about it in regard to detoxification is that
you should start out using an extract, or tincture in water or under
the tongue, and then move into a capsule or a tea. In general you
will get a better result if you give your body a lot to work with at
first. Most people's cleanses are short ones. I recommend using a one
ounce bottle of extract or tincture during one cleanse.
Page: Yes, go in
descending order. This is best because you ask your body to pick up
more at first. That way you get a much more permanent result. Whereas
with drugs you normally have to take more and more to get the same
Page: Teas are the
weakest form. They are very good during detoxification because they
can flush your body and flood your body with rinses. Caps are four
times stronger than teas. Tinctures or extracts are either four or
eight times stronger than capsules.
Page: I don't think
you should take every herb all the time. For instance, echinacea,
which is a wonderful lymph cleanser and boosts the Lymph Cleanse,
should not be taken all the time. You should alternate one month on
and one month off. Even ginseng works better if you alternate. The
reason is not so much that your body builds up a tolerance to it (as
it would to a drug), but the whole idea behind herbs is that they
enhance your body function. You need to give your body time to use
what you have been giving it.
Page: I think we
can use it year round. One of the benefits is that you can add
different extracts at different times. I like to add the bitters
because it keeps my system feeling so free and flowing. I use it
pretty much all year round, but I use my traveling time as my break.
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