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)Controversial) Are all ailments by default related to detox?

Disclaimer: I’m brand-spanking-new to the concept of raw food eating. I’m still reading, learning, experimenting and exploring so you will have to be patient. I am working towards a raw food lifestyle.

One casual observation I have made is that whenever ailments or illnesses are brought on raw food forums, a chorus of people always seem to bring up the “probably detox symptoms” line of reasoning. This seems to be especially true whenever newbies mention problems. I have to say that the theory of “detox” is the only stumbling block I’ve come across in my research of the raw food lifestyle. I think part of the problem is semantics. For example, a raw foodist who suddenly quits caffeine may notice withdrawal-like symptoms, sometimes even severe enough to be consistent with mild narcotic addiction (nausea, migraines, dry mouth, and dizziness). Withdrawal is medically, categorically different than detoxification. In the case of caffeine withdrawal we know that the body isn’t actually expelling or cleansing itself of anything, the body is having a physical response to the denial of an addictive stimulant. Recent research has now reconfirmed the addictive properties of two very common, potent, potential health-destroyers: sugar and fat (particularly in the mainstream diet). In fact, even casein protein (dairy) has been shown to have a mild, narcotic like addictive effect (as published by Dr. Neal Barnard / Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). Some of the


  • I’ve noticed this, too.

    I think your cynicism is a symptom of detox.

  • I also agree—seems to be the buzzword of the raw food world. When I think of the times I’ve been sick while being raw, it is ALWAYS when I’ve sprouted something that should never be eaten raw, like grains or legumes or I’ve eaten cooked food.

  • Ok so wait a minute Izhpt, are you saying you feel sick after you eat sprouted legumes all the time. I have some mung beans sprouting at home.

  • by your theory , perhaps it is “withdrawl from a cooked food addiction” that is causing the symptoms. cooked food IS addictive.

    anyone who has tried the rawfood lifestyle for more than a month knows detox firsthand, until it is experienced, it is hard for people to understand.

  • Yeah, sorry but I know for a fact detox is real. When I stopped eating cooked and suddenly my skin broke out, I was tired all the time, my head was foggy: definetly detox. Withdrawal does not make your skin break out. Then all of that suddenly went

  • I personally haven’t had any detox problems although I’m not 100%. I guess only while on a Master Cleanse did it become obvious. Coated tongue, smelly everything, tongue ulcers.

  • Benny, that’s funny!

    Well, I know headaches, acne and the poops really are detox symptoms, as the skin and the colon are major roates of elimination. But i don’t really think every single symptom experienced is due to detox. You will feel a bit of general ‘ickyness’ when detoxing, becasuse toxins trapped in fat cells get released into the body, until you excrete them.

  • Detox is real, but all illnesses are definitely NOT detox. I really don’t understand people who try to tell me that something like leprosy or ebola are not real illnesses, they are just the body “cleansing.” Ridiculous really. But in my experience, detox is definitely real, but any symptoms more serious than some breakouts, moodswings, headaches, and maybe light dizziness should not be attributed to detox and checked out by someone who’s been to med school.

  • Wow finally me and Andensspell actually agree on something. LOL

    Yeah I had that same skin break out crap. I have been 100% for some time but this week I tried Klamath Lake Blue Green Algae and I was bed ridden for like 4 hours on Saturday, and then all of sudden I felt like a new person. Not sure if that was detox but I am still taking the stuff and my general overall mood and energy is awesome. Not to mention I am regular with the bowel movements.

  • Ardesmond, yes! Soaked garbanzo beans are deathly poison to me personally. I had them early in my raw days and was soooo sick with this terrible metal taste in my mouth for almost 10days among other horrors! I had a similar problem soaking some kind of bulk grain (forget), but I also have DH (skin form of celiac) so grains are out of the question for me anyway. Many people tolerate soaked legumes fine. I just don’t. Then i read about the ?saponins—the little very poisonous casings that soak off and I made a decision never to fuss with that. I did detox initially on about day 5-14, through my skin. I’m not saying there is no such thing. I’m saying it is possible to have exaggerated responses to even raw foods that are not right for your body. Listen to the signals. Some you can’t miss. They will lay you out! I was on my way out the door before and should’ve clarified my point better. Fatigue, headaches, rashes, ugly moods, painful bms—all great detox symptoms, but high fevers, incapacitating diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions are unlikely detox symptoms as some have posted lately.

  • I also wonder if people use the word detox to describe all the changes like withdrawal, because people go through “detox” programs to give up alcohol or drugs. Thanks for bringing this up. Definitely it’s good to find out what’s going on if you have severe symptoms. Also, I’ve read Gabriel Cousens (who has been to med school) recommend green juice “feasting” to help transition and detox without the unpleasant detox headaches, skin problems, etc.

  • benny, too funny! ah yes detox..i had pimples ,fatigue and some killer bowel movment odors, then it all passed as they say…i have however felt crumby like i was getting a cold and in a few hours it to passed then hubby came down with it and had a cold for 5 days, so i can see the confusion. i think raw helps us eliminate bugs quicker than the average person, but for me personally, i didnt get sick that often before raw and the trend continues raw.

  • I guess what I

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    Benny: Loved your response.

    While I personally believe that there is such a thing as detox, it does seems to be an overused explanation among natural foodists. There are psychological reasons that support the certainty of subscribing detox as an explanation for most illnesses.

    Beyond Veg.com often posts very thoughtful discussions and papers on different topics. There is something of that nature on there now, which is intended to give insight into why people choose a natural diet and how/if their expectations are supported/fulfilled. I think the publication seems to be neutral in its presentation. If you care to read the publciation, it can be found as follows.

    :Psychology of Idealistic Diets: http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-inte…

  • Dain5000, that’s an excellent article. I do get tired of scientists trying to classify and ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ phenomena that they can’t understand. During my masters degree I learnt very quickly that so-called scientific truths, were in fact not truths at all. Just to name a couple – scientists derive their ‘truths’ from conducting experiments in artificial conditions (to exclude all other variables) and try and replicate the results – but we need organic truths, we live in a world where the variables scientists try to exclude are what create the conditions for living, exclude those variables and you don’t have any results that are meaningful in the real world. As for replication, you can’t replicate exactly anything in the real world because there is no one moment in our lives that is exactly like any other moment, everything is in change, including oneself, you can’t lock anything down like that. Trying to replicate the same results even in the same person is impossible, because that person has changed since yesterday, even since the same morning, which means the conditions have changed. ‘Facts’ promoted in the name of ‘science’ have a lot to answer for! Today most progressive scientists realise the problem with traditional science and they have gone beyond the kind of empirical data research sureshot_dc is asking for, because its value is really limited when we are trying to understand human life, especially something so complex as the human body. Take for example the apple, fruitarians believe that one single type of fruit contains all the complex nutrients to nourish our bodies. But ‘science’ declares our bodies need vitamin A, B, C, D etc etc, which we have to get from a whole range of food – but ask any scientists this – have they managed to identify even 1% of the nutrients present in an apple? And have they managed to identify even 1% of the nutrients our bodies need to flourish? When I ask them everyone has agreed that their knowledge of the human body and of any organism is probably less than 1% of what is actually present and necessary. So for me, if my body becomes healthier because I eat a raw food only diet, and I see other people becoming healthier, that’s proof enough for me that raw food is worth trying!

    And just for the record – the absence of periods, well that’s a wholesome benefit of raw food, not a detox symptom at all!

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