Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Exit Strategies: Emunctories

I woke up to another odd email yesterday morning. I have a friend who left his job in the corporate suit-and-tie world to become a nutritionist. While I'm not sure how he generates an income, every so often I get little tidbits on health, nutrition and other things that sound hard to do in my inbox. Yesterday's email was about something I had never heard of until Google helped me out: emunctories which my friend defined as "a new word that refers to all the ways stuff exits our bodies." So basically it's a lab report on how well your body's "exit strategy" works. To give a bit detail:
When one’s diet is poor, the ph-balance is off and the system cannot excrete bacteria and viruses and toxins. The environment is ripe for overgrowth of organisms and the inability of the lymph to do its work. A diet of fruit, vegetables, good quality of protein, and low carbohydrates are important. Sugar or coffee or alcohol will create a disease-producing environment. It is said that one teaspoon of sugar will decrease the immune system efficiency by fifty percent.
(from "Detoxification and Homotoxicology")
Ok. The arguement of diet affecting health is sound; however, I wanted to know what would happen after a lab tech poked through my poop. Naturopath clinics recommended tha "drainage" follow the analysis. Though this drainage is described as "gentle," I can't help but question the delight of a high colonic.

Do I want to have this done? Or was this part of some weird detox diet/liquid cleanse where I would have to miserably drink some magic potion that tasted like cat's urine and be within ten feet of a bathroom for two weeks? Purging diets sounds fairly extreme and a life without red wine is not a with worth living, in my opinion. So I went back to see who (or what company) were behind emunctories.

The term was generated by a Germen doctor Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg, who moved to New Mexico with his naturopathic company HEEL after WWII. Most of the articles about Reckeweg and HEEL-BHI are written by fellow alternative medicine sites so I went to Wikipedia for some (hopefully) basic information on the good doctor and his company. Though the entry glazed over Dr. Reckeweg's years in Germany from the mid-1930s until post-WWII, his company HEEL-BHI took off after the war and he moved to New Mexico a few decades later. Though the company labels itself as bridge between homeopathy and conventional medicine, a few articles I found mention issuess that HEEL has had with the FDA and IRS.

While regulartory issues don't mean that emunctories aren't effective, I think I'll hold off between I let my inner content be expelled. Like going through Goodwill, there might still be some gems in there among the all that crap.

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