Banchob Junhasavasdikul, MD
Liver Detox Course and Precaution
Dr.Banchob graduated from Ramathibodi Medical School, Thailand in 1973 and got a full course of acupuncture at the Institute of Chinese Medicine, Dongzhimen –Beijing. Afterward he founded a first clinic in Bangkok combining Western medicine and acupuncture in 1978. He realized the philosophy of natural health. So his natural clinic blend arts and sciences of Eastern and Western medicine altogether. He learned more on vitamin therapy, detoxification by fasting, colon cleanse, and the modern researches on herbal medicines. He practiced Yoga, Qigong, Dharma Light practicing, subconscious training and meditation. He introduced hydrotherapy and hydro-aerobics to Thailand. Finally Balavi, the pioneer on Holistic Medicine Center in Thailand with many modes of alternative medicine came into being. Continuous learning was his favorite, Dr.Banchob got Thai board in Family Medicine, Certificate on Homeopathy and American Board in Nutrition and Wellness. Dr.Banchob is now working as the dean of the College of Intergrative Medicine, Durakit Pandit University.
Liver Detoxification Course – Precaution
Detoxification is a natural process occurred in our cells every moment. Naturopathy enhances the detoxification process by the way of fasting. During fasting, toxins which may be metabolic end products, micro-organisms, contaminants and pollutants, insecticides, food additive, drugs, heavy metals, free radicals will pass through phase 1, phase 2 in biotransformation pathway in liver and being eliminated from the body. But fasting (taking <800 K Cal/day) may be intolerable in many people, therefore there is an applied liver detoxification course (LDC) which has no need to fast but taking quite lean vegetarian diet for 5 ½ days, then just fast for the later half of Day 6. On that evening half a glass of extra virgin olive oil mixed with lemon and orange juice are taken along with Epsom salt. There will be several times diarrhea in that night and the next day. Most people will notice that there are many greenish bizarre shaped substances passed out in stool. Some may pass solid stones too. Then retaking oligoantigenic diet on the next following days is needed to recover strength, rejuvenate the body and fill up some depleted nutrients during the past 6 days. LDC has some health benefits.
In Thailand, there occurred many “Liver Detox Camps” which modified this course from 6 days course into 2-3 days course. The main idea of these camps is safe time, safe money but encourage more suffering methods to the body within very short period of time. A few years passed, more and more morbid and fatal cases occurred from these “Modified LDC camps”.
What are the causes of death?
1) Severe fasting. Not only 2-3 days water or coconut juice fasting were assigned, but also longer fasting at home after the camp were encouraged. This leads to malnutrition.
2) Too much olive oil taken. These camps encourage the more glasses of olive oil taken the more body will be cleaned up. Therefore 2-3 glasses/day were taken. Some may take 4 glasses/day. It flushed out both bad and good fat from liver. It leads to liver failure.
3) Coffee enema was done several times without anti-oxidant supplement. The phase 2 liver-detox needs many anti-oxidants to enhance CYP450 function. No supplements given while the body were on the starvation. It led to the stagnation of detox process at the phase 1. So, liver got self-toxified.
4) Too often diarrhea. Several times of Epsom salt taken added on by several times of coffee enema cause sodium and potassium depletion. It caused electrolyte imbalance. Cardiac arrhythmia or convulsion from brain edema may occur.
5) Taken unexpected toxin from the detox process. Most camps recommended unlimited fresh cool juice of Tiliacora triandra (Yanang). It had been disclosed that the cultivated Tiliacora sp. in central Thailand may be contaminated by Arsenic. On the other hand, the deep green cool juice of Tiliacora sp. is extreme Yin in nature, according to Eastern medicine. It consumes so much energy (Qi), deplete Yang. Anyone who over drink such juice may feel very malaise. The other toxic chemical is hexane. Hexane is used in extraction process of Fine or Pure olive oil, which are medium or low graded ones. These 2 kinds are suitable for heat cooking cuisine. During cooking hexane will be evaporated. Olive oil to be taken uncooked should be extra virgin, not the medium or low graded ones. If people in the “Liver detox camps” took the medium or low graded olive oil and took at the large doses, they would get the toxic hexane.
6) No screening, no qualified physician in charge. Liver detox program are contra-indicated in cancer patient, malnutrition person, malaise people, extreme age, irritable bowel patient. People with too big size of gall stone should be cautious. No any screening in these detox camps.
All these factors are put together, it led some people to nutrition deficiency both macro and micro-nutrients, liver overloaded, liver failure, electrolyte imbalance, brain edema, sepsis etc. There reported many people with big sized gall stone got severe colicky pain all night and got acute cholangitis after match. Some cancer patients became worse and died.
Therefore, as LDC is quite simple and beneficial, for someone who would like to do it as self-care should practice strictly follow the standard regimen. Those who would like to do group practice should have an experienced doctor or naturopath in charge of them. The governmental sector who look after the Alternative medicine should do more action.