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What is detoxification?

Written by Euan MacLennan

Traditional systems of healthcare have used purification and cleansing techniques for centuries, here we will find out more about what toxins are and how they are detoxified.

What is detoxification?

There is a great deal of media and advertising coverage surrounding various ‘detox’ and cleansing regimes, but very little of this coverage really examines what detoxification means. One place to start might be a definition of detoxification. The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as a process that ‘removes toxic substances or qualities’. It is well documented in medical literature that the body uses the liver, kidneys, bowels, skin and lungs as organs of elimination as well as detoxification. Traditional systems of healthcare have used purification and cleansing techniques for centuries. But what are the ‘toxins’ that are being ‘detoxified’?

Euan MacLennan is a Medical Herbalist who practices in an NHS General Practice in Central London.

He teaches pathology, clinical medicine and differential diagnosis to undergraduates in various medical disciplines and is conducting a clinical doctorate in gastrointestinal medicine at the University of Bath. Euan is also an editor for an Elsevier medical journal, the Journal of Herbal Medicine.

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