Simple Method for Detox Challenge

(Cecil’s column on the validity of detoxing)

I take Dilantin to control my grand mal seizures (which it does quite effectively), but my dad, a great follower of Dr. Richard Schultze and some other “master herbalist”, has always been bugging me that I need to detox my liver of the toxins that Dilantin holds. The simplist refutation I have is how do they know?

In other words, let’s say that there is a buildup of mercury, lead, or dilantin-related toxins in someone’s liver. How does a herbalist: a) know? b) figure out what herbs cleanse the liver? and c) know the results? Unless they go in, test the liver levels beforehand, administer the concoction, test the levels afterwards and the levels have diminished, there’s no reason to believe any of it; for all they know, the toxin levels are the same before and after.

A lot of my family believes in this stuff, and while I think that eating garlic , cayanne pepper, and olive oil may provide some health benefits (my grandfather stopped having heart attacks after introducing a daily regiment of raw garlic into his diet), I’ve never seen their health improve to any great extent as a result of the crazy concoctions that they buy into. They may say they feel better, but looking at their conditions over a long period of time, they’re really no better than they were before they started.

I fear you’re fighting a losing battle here. Your arguments are perfectly valid. However, the folks who accept that your arguments are valid are not, by and large, the sort who’d be following these regimens in the first place. I suspect that a typical response to your questions would be something along the lines of “the ancient Chinese herbal practitioners knew a lot which we’ve since forgotten”. Never mind, of course, that the ancient Chinese probably never even heard of most of the “ancient Chinese secrets” one sees bandied about nowadays.

Parents of autistic children are scared to death by what they are facing, and will understandably grasp at any straw to help their kids.

Many are convinced that chelation brings about marked improvement in their autistic children.

Any cites on chelation? Or is it crap? I know one parent who swears that after chelation, his daughter’s sensory integration disorder became much more manageable.