All Systems Go!

Even though it was June, it was a little late in the season when I began my Spring cleanse – a colon cleanse, liver cleanse and blood and lymph cleanse – though a little later than I generally begin and it would be a 4.5 week process. The series was suggested by a colleague and it made complete common sense to cleanse the colon first.

Many of us focus on the liver assuming if we have daily bowel movements, there isn’t any issue with the colon. Wrong. The majority of us have a casing of accumulated gunk regardless of “regular” bowel movements thanks to the dairy, wheat, yeast, and bad fats in the American diet. Have you looked in your old kitchen or bathroom plumbing pipes? Probably a little bit of gunk there! Adding debris released from an organ during a cleanse, a liver cleanse in this instance, into an already overstressed colon isn’t going to improve ant system. That debris from the liver is just going to recirculate through the blood and lymph and much will end up back in the liver. That cleanse just provides a vacation for the liver. The idea of starting from the most concrete, physical toxicity of the colon to the more fluid, energetic toxicity of the lymphatic system again is common sense.

So when my 5-day Dr. Schulze’s Bowel Cleanse and 5-day Dr. Schulze’s Liver/Gallbladder Cleanse arrived, I ripped open the box like it was Christmas day. I read the enclosed booklets containing all the documented extreme cases written with much-expected sensationalism. It isn’t that I don’t believe the information, it is just that the over-the-top sales pitch doesn’t scare me into the cleanse or out of eating some of the foods I enjoy. Anyway, the photo of who I assume to be Dr. Schulze isn’t the spitting image of perfect outward physical health. I bet all the habenero in the formulae caused his hair to fall out! The Bowel Cleanse kit contains the standard size bottle of innocuously named Intestinal #1 capsules and a extra huge size of equally named Intestinal #2 capsules plus the added bonus (for those around you) of Air Detox (a spritzer of essential oils to use following expelling the actual #2!)

Intestinal #1 formula cannot be taken by individuals suffering from any heat-induced colon issue: heat-diarrhea, colitis, or irritated bowel of any kind. I will also add that if one tends toward a dry constipation, this formula should also be avoided. Though some of the ingredients are mucilaginous, the formula does contain many hot-natured herbs. It contains curacao and cape aloe leaf, senna leaf and pod, cascara sagrada aged bark, Oregon grape root, Hawaiian yellow ginger root, garlic bulb and habanero pepper.

Intestinal #2 formula contains bentonite clay plus a few of the ingredients from the #1 formula, and is not heating and according to the booklet. Individuals who bypass the Intestinal #1 can take this formula. Just a warning since the ingredients bulk up, there may be a tendency to sluggish bowels.

For the first 5 days I was going to ingest a little more than 50 Intestinal #2 capsules and 100 extra ounces of water each day. I was essentially filling my gut with bentonite clay and herbs and praying Intestinal #1 capsules would guide it out at appropriate times (when not in transit to work or elsewhere!)

Day 1: some heavy duty rumbling can be overheard during clients’ treatments today between the first and second of 5 doses of capsules. I biked a little extra and walked a little extra and added in some twisty yoga moves just to make sure nothing halted enroute. I notice a little added pressure level with my intestines but toward my back. I have visions of a clay-impacted intestine pushing into my kidney. Plus a little knocking in the lower right quadrant got my creative mind thinking not that it was the much discussed gas but that the clay was fighting with one of the many creatures sensationalized in the Bowel Cleanse booklet. Either those thoughts or the added clay caused a bit of a right-sided forehead headache pressure.

Day 2: Occasionally I doubt the necessity of following directions, but I highly recommend the directions of taking Intestinal #1 with food. Taking the formula solo, I experienced a raging and spreading fire from stomach to esophagus! After taking a larger dose of Intestinal #1 capsules the previous night just to be safe, I started in on my 5 daily doses. I haven’t changed my diet other than finishing off leftover sweet potato fries from a dinner out. I am still eating lots of carrots, collards, kale, and poblanos…and oatmeal and banana for breakfast. Today, my day off, I forced myself not to stay indoors to read or to research or to fiddle around the apartment. Still in worry mode, I remained active.

Day 3-5: All days are fairly uneventful, but I again stress this cleanse for anyone one with irritated bowels with heat symptoms or dryness. The habanero in the formulas is contraindicated for those conditions. (And avoid all the cleanses if you are pregnant or nursing) I continued to add more #1 capsules to my 5 daily doses of the #2 capsules since I wasn’t receiving the desired results. Walking and biking prove to be great activities after a dose of formula as long as it was a short distance or a circuit. The first time I’ve ever been glad to see a Starbucks while biking downtown was this week when I really needed a bathroom.

I crack open the Liver Gallbladder cleanse late one night. This one contained a loose detox tea of aromatic herbs, a detox tincture, a liver/gallbladder tincture, and a tiny bottle of mouth freshening product.

Detox tea contains dandelion root, burdock root, cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, ginger root, clove bud, fennel seed, licorice root, juniper berry, black peppercorn, uva ursi leaf, horsetail herb, pau d’arco, parsley root and orange peel

Detox tincture contains red clover blossom, Mojave chaparral herb and resin, Oregon grape root, burdock root, yellow dock root, poke root, goldenseal root, fresh garlic bulb, lobelia herb and seed, and habanero pepper.

L-GB tincture contains milk thistle seed, dandelion root, Oregon grape root, gentian root, wormwood leaf and flower, Mojave chaparral herb, black walnut hull, Hawaiian yellow ginger root, garlic bulb, fennel seed and artichoke leaf

I modified the suggested accompanying fast…with food. I ate lightly and avoided carbs and animal products. I understand a liquid fast is suggested to give the gallbladder and the liver a break and to keep the colon free of accumulation, but too late, I ate. This cleanse proved a little challenging. Items need to be prepared. After the first morning running late from preparing the tea, I prepared everything the previous night. Each morning I consumed a Liver/Gallbladder flush drink of fresh squeezed lemon, lime, and orange juice, olive oil, water, plus garlic and ginger. I modified mine to include kombucha, and replace olive oil with Vegn EFA oil blend. Herbs soaked overnight (or all day in my case) and were boiled in pot of specified material each morning (or night…then reheated). I carried and consumed 60 ounces of tea, plus about 70 ounces of water, plus tinctures, plus Intestinal #1 capsules and other herbs. I decided to continue taking the Intestinal #1 since I didn’t use them all in the 5 previous days. It was also recommended that I consume maitake mushroom capsules and a maca tincture for my immune and endocrine systems.

My only issues are

  1. I don’t like alcohol-based tinctures. It seems a little counter-intuitive to ingest alcohol no matter how little during a liver cleanse, but I am following the plan. Even steeping the tinctures don’t reduce the taste of the grain alcohol
  2. Still the heating nature of the formulas is creating hunger or enough discomfort that I want to coat my stomach with food. And, I have gained about 2 inches around my abdomen from the slow moving clay…or maybe it is one of the crazy critters sensationalized in the booklet!
  3. I had difficulty taking in all the water necessary during the liver cleanse and suffered from frontal headache pressure for three days, no appetite, and a higher fatigue level. The toxins were definitely circulating and were not getting flushed out of the body.

Dr. Schulze states he is pretty hardcore with his formulas, but I expected a little more action with the page after page reiteration of “jet propulsion” throughout the booklets. I had greater results in the same amount of time from raw Chinese herbal formulas and will probably get those prescriptions filled once again after I complete the final three weeks of this process. Maybe this is TMI but though I do not have irritated intestines with heat signs, this may have not been the best formula for me. Continuing the Intestinal #1 caused intestinal cramping and bleeding in the days following the end of the Liver/Gallbladder cleanse. I lost a day of work, the condition was a bit scary and explained the high level of fatigue. Thanks to hemostatic herbs all is well now.

Do I think this is an effective cleanse? Based on the herbal ingredients, yes. The essiac tea herbs are included as well as liver tonics, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiparasitic herbs. I do think it should be administered much longer than 5 days. I think these formulas are modified for the palate of the typical American. The flavor isn’t so offensive that they will discontinue the process and just offensive enough that one will think it has to be doing something! My clients who also tried the cleanse thought the tea stunk up the house for days but for me it just smelled like masala chai minus the milk. The kits are extremely convenient and accessible, though one can do without the Air Detox in the Bowel Cleanse. If you have any heat sensation with bowel movements, hemorrhoids, colitis, dryness with difficult bowel movements, do not use the Intestinal #1.

The next three weeks I will take only the Detox tincture to cleanse the blood and lymph, as well as taking the remaining maitake mushroom and maca. Wish me luck.