Sweet Like Honey

our family's journal of God at work

Answering a question about chemical sensitivity and detox


Today I answered a question about chemical sensitivity and detox on the Vintage Remedies message board (the school where I am a master herbalist student).  I wanted to share my response, in case it might help others.  It is unedited and unpolished but having just had a baby five weeks ago (Praise the LORD!) I don’t have time to do any more than this.  Besides chemical sensitivity this is the approach I would take to treating many conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, adhd, autism, thyroid , acne, food sensitivities and allergies, eczema, chronic fatigue and so on.  I might use additional herbs for these conditions but the basic approach is the same.”She needs to build up her mineral stores through whole foods, and herbs such as nettles and oat straw.  When our stores are low, toxins move in and the more toxic our bodies are the less we can handle exposure to more.  I was severely chemically sensitive for several years and almost died from low electrolytes, especially potassium.  Toxins deplete minerals because our bodies use them to bind with toxins and send them to our kidneys and intestines for elimination. One of the roots of my sensitivity and mineral depletion was celiac disease, which I did not know I had. It takes minerals and fluid to produce the enzymes our bodies’ need to digest foods, and gluten is especially difficult to digest–thus I was constantly depleting my mineral stores.  High exposure to chemicals is another root. She should rule out or in any underlying causes of her need to remineralize. Has she taken any medication containing fluoride? I took cipro and became fluoride poisoned.  She should also get an electrolyte panel done.  A hair mineral analysis would be a good thing to do.Milk thistle, astragalus and elderberry and elder flowers are very helpful in dealing with toxins while she detoxes.  They protect the liver and kidneys and help to draw toxins to be eliminated quickly, so they don’t spend so much time in the lymph system, which can be really painful!  Too many toxins in the lymph at once can really slow it down (because it take minerals/fluid to keep it flowing well) and cause the throat and lungs to swell up, causing problems breathing.  Do not drink too much plain water when minerals are low, but rather a combination of celery and carrot juice (a balance of potassium and sodium) as often as needed.  Vegetable soups with potatoes, carrots, spinach, green beans, zucchini, onions and garlic, pureed, is also good to drink warm.  Avoid drinking or eating anything cold or being in a too cold environment (our bodies use minerals like potassium to regulate body temperature).  When toxin load is high even drinking a glass of cold water can send one into hypothermic shock.Avoid strenuous exercise and overheating/sweating too much or doing anything really dehydrating/mineral depleting such as eating dried foods like crackers and unsoaked or fermented gains, seeds and beans.  Replace lost electrolytes.  It is good to exercise and pump lymph though–walking and t-tapp are my favorite for detox.  Dry brushing moves the lymph as well.  So does a warm epsom salt bath a couple times a week.  Eat and drink high potassium foods before getting in the bath because the more magnesium you take in from the epsom salts the more potassium you will need.  Do not stay in longer than 15-30 minutes and avoid getting cold–becoming chilled indicates the need for more potassium.  Having an imbalance of potassium and magnesium can cause heart problems.  The salts do help speed the detox process.  Short baths are generally safe.

Do not get too hot either as this is also depleting and too quick a rise in temperature is dangerous as well, though is less likely to happen when mineral stores are low.  Another helpful thing to do when experiencing symptoms is to walk during attacks as this helps pump the lymph and speeds elimination.  It also warms core temperature, which tends to drop when chemical load in the blood gets too high for the available minerals to bind with the toxins AND keep the body functioning. Sudden drops in temperature cause the brain to start shutting body systems down, in order to keep itself warm.  If this should happen, placing hot packs on the groin, abdomen and underarms, and wearing warm clothing will bring relief, as well as drinking the carrot/celery juice or other high potassium/sodium drink (it is important to balance the two to avoid to large histamine response).  It is hard to swallow during attacks because of lymph swelling in the neck and besides, minerals can be absorbed more quickly from liquid.  Severe mineral depletion can cause heart attacks, stroke, migraines, arthritis symptoms, anaphylactic shock,  hypothermia etc.  I have experienced all of the above except heart attack, though I came VERY close.

As she eats the whole foods and avoids processed foods and chemicals her body will naturally detoxify.  This can be painful and also dangerous if she does it too fast.  The idea is to eat healthy foods and avoid bad ones.  It also is really important to stay away from chemicals as much as possible because more will be circulating in her bloodstream for elimination and this will make her MORE sensitive.  Eating organically is essential. Avoid sugar and pharmaceuticals, as these deplete potassium. Taking digestive enzymes and probiotics can ease the strain on the digestive system, freeing up some minerals for detox.  Grains should be soaked or fermented and avoid gluten if celiac is not an issue because this really will free up minerals for detox.  Wearing warm clothes allows the body to regulate temp using fewer minerals, freeing more for detox.

Spices such as curry, chili powder, black pepper and cinnamon are potent detoxifiers, as are nuts, seeds and beans.  Certain high potassium foods such as raisins, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and so on can also detoxify quickly.  Whatever foods seem to bother her greatly may need to be temporarily avoided so detox can be more gentle and then added in gradually to finish the detox and keep the body healthy.  In the meantime, consume “safe” whole foods until there are minimal or no detox symptoms and then try small amounts of the more potent foods.  The veggies should be tried first, saving the seeds and nuts for last (and these should be sprouted or soaked to break down phytates).

As her body heals she will probably be very hungry and should eat every 2 hours, sometimes sooner.  If she wakes at night she should eat (just like babies need to).

Parents–please feed your children a healthy diet and feed them whenever they are hungry with nutrient dense foods.  You might save them from a lifetime of problems or help them recover from current ones.

Contact me if you need more help.”

Cassie–Master Herbalist Student at




Author: Cassie

Follower of Jesus, wife and mom to the most wonderful family I could ever ask for.

8 thoughts on “Answering a question about chemical sensitivity and detox

  1. Pingback: Healing Your Thyroid and whatever else is bothering you. . . | Sweet Like Honey

  2. Darlin’! What lovely answers to prayer.

  3. I would avoid the nightshades, potato, tomato (unless it’s vine ripened), eggplant & Capsicum if I were that bad (& I was at the oops, heart stopping stage), interesting to note the reference to Epsom salts baths, nearly crippled me, I hadn’t heard of others with that level of symptoms. Apple cider vinegar will neutralize the effects of the glycoalkaloids that block the Potassium channels in the body, but it takes personal experience to get the dose right.
    God bless

    • Lately I’ve been using magnesium chloride flakes and find I like them better than epsom salts. I have used potassium chloride with them in the bath water to prevent a severe temperature dip. I do not take the potassium chloride internally however as that can be dangerous. Apple cider vinegar is good–but as you say each individual has to figure out how much is best for themselves at whatever stage they are at. I agree, nightshades are not safe for highly toxic individuals. I eat them all the time now with no problem but they used to cause me a lot of pain. Juicing has been the most effective, fastest method of detox for me.


      • Hi Cassie, I thought awhile about your situation & came to the view that you would be interested in this site, which is where I began my journey investigating my mineral imbalances some six years ago. It has been revamped, & I haven’t re-read the pages, but I’m sure the information would still be valid& pertinent. It was a God sent blessing for me, and the site has a Christian flavour.
        I had a family problem with low Zinc as well as my low Potassium, hence the Zinc/Potassium page. Poor advice to take Magnesium supplements for cramps & Pariet (proton pump inhibitors) to treat my ulcers when my undiagnosed Gall bladder was indeed gangrenous & poisoning my body from within (massive infection), which was the real problem. The low stomach acid causes the Mg to rise, which is an antagonist for Potassium, more Mg prescribed, worsening symptoms followed, naturally! Doctors don’t listen….. There are none so blind………. Doctors have tunnel vision, specialists have funnel vision.
        The cramps reached the muscle tearing stage, the heart stopped occasionally, but Jesus was carrying me, so here I am, I do still have a role to fill in this body, thanks be to God.
        I have been taking Potassium Chloride slow release tablets for six years now, yes it can be dangerous as the heart stops if you take too much, but the heart stops if you are too low too! I started on 2 x 600mg tablets + /day, gradually reduced to 1 every three months now. It’s a long way back to mineral balance. My heart hasn’t stopped in six years, & I have never had a high Potassium test result. Now my mineral levels are excellent according to blood tests. I used a simple method of judging my Potassium levels, I looked at my toes in the morning, & depending on how far off the floor they were, I took the appropriate amount of Potassium, this proved accurate to 0.1 on blood test results over the years for me. This is not the only path I followed, I went down many parallel paths looking for synergies in various healing approaches.
        God provides a light for our path, but we need to keep our eyes open to benefit from the light, blind faith doesn’t really fill this prescription.
        God bless, Colin

      • Hi Colin. Thank you for sharing your journey. The Lord is indeed good to show us what to do along the way. I personally have low mag, potassium, sodium, etc. and I have taken the potassium chloride when I have been super low. I use foods as much as possible to keep my levels up and that seems to work well for me. The mag chloride flakes also really help, but I have to get my K/potassium levels up enough to use the mag safely. I am doing really well now and it is not so much work keeping my levels up if I eat well. I also add beet powder to my water and feel much stronger as a result. Prior to that I could hardly drink any water because my levels were too low and it diluted my blood too much. My Grandma takes potassium chloride tablets every day and while she gets good results on her blood tests (she almost died from low K a few years ago) I think she would do even better–feel better and stronger–from a whole foods approach to raising her K. But she is 80 and that is harder at that age. Like you I have had my heart stop and almost stop from low K–so I am well aware of the dangers! Blessings, Cassie

      • Hi Cassie, my mother (89) suffered somewhat too! She has dementia now & refuses to eat lunch & dinner, it has improved her circulation in her limbs simply by avoiding nightshades. Lives on porridge & toast for breakfast! Doesn’t know it unfortunately…. I spent a lot of time examining family genetics, found it was inherited diet that was the problem, meat & potatoes, meat & 3 veg, one of which is always potatoes. Meat is not the problem, the potatoes are, Pariet amplified the problem to an unbelievable level!
        I have beetroot soup, another miracle food, fixes the prostate problem up after just three platefuls! Maintenance dose is half a medium beetroot a day!
        I am using the pink Himalayan rock salt now, that has a far better mineral balance than sea salt, doesn’t upset the balance like sodium chloride.
        I have had cramps since early childhood, now I’m almost blissfully free.
        It took a long time to recover after the Gall bladder was removed, because all my muscles were severely effected by the infection (muscle meltdown), including the smooth muscles which regulate the kidney function.
        God bless, Colin

  4. Your blog is out standing. I am going thru much of what you discuss and only realized the gluten connection about a year ago. Recovery is still ongoing but the knowledge being gained is wonderful. We truly are what we eat. I hope you find the time to share more of your experiences. Blessings to you and yours!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s