We are exposed to an astronomical amount of toxins on a daily basis, from the morning, evening and even while we sleep. Toxins are found in the form of bacteria, viruses, fungus, parasites, and chemical toxins. Chemical toxins are particularly confusing because much of the products we use on a daily basis and many of our cleaning products are laced with such chemicals. So are they helping or harming our immune system? When we drive our cars, sit on grass that has been sprayed, consume foods sprayed with pesticides. There are far too many to name.
Our bodies are designed to be a filtration system. A healthy balanced and thriving immune system must be able to remove the toxins from our bodies, faster than they enter. Think of a bucket, if there is water spilling into the bucket, the nozzle on the end must be large enough to eliminate the water, just as fast as it comes in. Our body does this via our “emunctories”. Emunctories are defined as routes of elimination. We have four major Emunctories in our bodies: breath, perspiration, urination and bowel movements. When these four routes are functioning optimally, we are able to self-detoxify and regulate our immune system and we are essentially at the level of self-healers.
However, the majority of us , due to our modern world, unfortunately do not have efficient main emmunctories. Now picture this bucket again. If the nozzle to eliminate the water is backed up or releases much less than what is pouring in. The bucket will eventually overspill. When this overspill occurs in the body, we must recruit “secondary emunctories,” and this is where we have a breakdown of the immune system. A secondary emunctory is the body’s attempt to get rid of said toxins, but now it is highly inefficient. This is what we would classify as symptoms. Secondary emmunctory use could be: acne, eczema, asthma, yeast infections, gut issues, inflammation, gout, auto-immune disease, compromised immune system, etc, etc. You name the symptom, it will point to inefficient detoxification of toxins.
Healthy bowel movements are one of the four major routes of elimination and are essential for a highly primed and self-regulating immune system. What does a healthy bowel movement look like? Minimum once a day; typically first thing in the morning; easy to pass; well formed; does not break in the water; continuous banana/‘s’ shape; malodorous; no mucus; no blood in the toilet, on the stool or on the toilet paper; no undigested food (except for minute fibre from vegetables).
80% of our Immune system resides in the gut, and movement of these toxins as well as removal of toxic waste, food byproducts, mucus, water and sloughed off good bacteria. If bowel movements do not fall within the typical healthy bowel appearance as listed above, do not allow any practitioner to tell you, “well this is just your norm.” No, this is false, this means they do not know how to help correct the situation using the laws of how the body heals. Never stop working toward correcting this issue. Find a practitioner who will work with you long term to correct this issue. It is too important, it also has so many layers of imbalance tied to it, it literally could take years to correct. This is a level of healthy mastery, and believe me it is absolutely worth the investment. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Routine: Healthy bowel movements and healthy adrenals are intricately connected. The adrenals must be addressed in order to begin to treat the bowels. The best treatment for adrenals is routine. Consistent sleep, and wake times. Consistent meal time and exercise times. Try to keep a daily routine schedule.
- Hydration: Many cases of constipation are simply due to dehydration. Many feel it is not fun to drink water. Fun or not, it simply is a reality and often an easy fix for toxic bowels. A simple rule of thumb is to drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of fresh filtered water daily.
- Cellular hydration: Some may have adequate water intake and still be constipated. There may be an issue of cellular hydration here. Our water historically has contained essential minerals. Now with the confusion of best water sources and filtration and water pollutants, the water we drink daily may no longer have naturally occurring minerals. In this case the water is not being taken up by the cells. Our bodies require minerals to hydrate at the cellular level. So you could be drinking enough, but still dehydrated. In this case you could try to add ⅛ tsp of high quality himilayan sea salt or celtic sea salt per 1 litre of water per day. High quality sea salt contains over 80 naturally occurring minerals. Adequate cellular hydration will result in adequate water absorption from the bowels.
- Castor Oil Packs: A topical nightly application to stimulate the 80% of the lymph nodes in the digestive tract. The properties of the castor oil is to stimulate peristalsis of the intestines, triggering bowel movements.
- Dandelion tea: Dandelion stimulates the liver, which triggers the intestines into bowel movement.
- Letting go: Often there is a much deeper component to constipation, that is very difficult to address and correct without the assistance of a practitioner. There is a link to high stress and constipation. Almost a type “a” type hypervigilance. A strong level of control or things going your way or method. A fear state or anxiety often underlying constipation. A psyche that literally can not “let things go”, be it bowel movements, past hurt, memories, trauma, offences, etc. Can not let go. The body is very poetic in its choice of symptoms. They are never random and the parts of the body are also not random.
- Nervous system: Very often with constipation the nervous system is affected. Supplementing with magnesium may be a small start to begin to tonify the nervous system. An area that usually requires quite some time to address and a deeper level of support.
- Dry constitution: Some people have a constitution that has a tendency for dryness. In this case they should avoid “dry” foods as it will further irritate the stuck bowels. For example, instead of dry cereal opt for granola. Instead of roasted veggies, opt for steamed. Etc. Include more good fats in the diet, such as: butter, clarified butter, virgin coconut oil, avocado, egg yolks, cod liver oil, high quality olive oil. Etc.
- Mucilaginous foods: Soaked chia seeds; freshly ground flax seeds; whole leaf aloe vera gel.
As you can see, enhancing the immune system is moment by moment, daily, weekly, monthly treatment. It is behind each action step you take towards enhancing your health. There is no magic bullet to enhance the immune system. It is an intricate web we weave. It is a CHOICE we make.
Stay healthy, Dr. Neetu