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How to Detox the Body of Pesticides/Herbicides

Updated: Jan 7


Eating local fruits & veggies from your local farmer's market is one of the best ways to naturally detox the body!

Pesticides and herbicides are used on pretty much everything we buy at the grocery store these days. Whether it’s fresh or not - and unfortunately sometimes even if it is certified organic - chemical residue is found on most everything we buy.


Are pesticides and herbicides a problem? People on one side are yelling “Roundup is perfectly safe” (particularly Monsanto and the EPA), while people on the other are yelling, “pesticides are poison!” How in the heck are you supposed to know what is or isn’t true?


I get it, I’m overwhelmed by it too. There is so much information, misinformation, and disinformation out there, how do you know what to believe? It is certainly up to you what you will believe, but let me tell you about a few things that you may not know.


The most commonly used herbicide on the planet is glyphosate (commonly known as “Roundup”). Glyphosate production is patented and owned by Bayer, who owns Monsanto. It is a $10 BILLION industry. In other words, people are making LOADS of cash off of glyphosate. When it comes to conventional agriculture, it is sprayed on literally everything.


Now, if glyphosate is safe, then this isn’t a problem. If it isn’t however, we would indeed be in a pickle, because it is sprayed so much and so often that it is now showing up in our air, streams, groundwater, and drinking water. This is partially because glyphosate is water-soluble and so it spreads very easily. It is also extremely difficult to break down, so it sticks around for a very long time.


Glyphosate has been implicated for years in “increased risk of cancer, endocrine-disruption, celiac disease, autism, effect on erythrocytes, leaky-gut syndrome, etc.” It has also been shown to be a massive contributor to breast cancer, and the development of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Research also indicates that glyphosate is is a neurotoxin, for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that it infiltrates glycine receptors in the body, disabling a portion of the body’s ability to fight inflammation (out of control inflammation = mental & physical illness)


Bayer and Monsanto have special interest that glyphosate doesn’t go anywhere. It’s extremely easy to produce, and it brings in massive revenue. Monsanto themselves spent $17 million in one year alone on pro-glyphosate PR campaigns, op-eds, and studies that showed glyphosate was perfectly harmless.


If you ask me, that sounds like a lot of money to spend if something were indeed completely harmless…


How pesticides/herbicides could lead to the next famine

Remember how we were talking about soil-based organisms (SBOs) and how they are absolutely crucial to the health of plants? Well, as it turns out, multiple pesticides/herbicides kill these SBOs. This is because some herbicides/pesticides are antimicrobial - they kill microbes. Heck, glyphosate (RoundUp) itself was originally patented as an antibiotic (watch the documentary “Kiss the Ground” to learn more about this).


This sounds like a super great idea if you are under the paradigm of 30 years ago when we believed that all bacteria was bad. But, it’s not. In fact, in a healthy human body, about 85-90% of the bacteria in your system is beneficial, not harmful.


These SBOs are responsible for helping feed plants, supporting their growth, and enabling plants’ uptake of nutrients. They are also responsible for trapping and breaking down CO2. Hence, they are the great detoxers of our body and the planet.


Without these microbes in the soil, our planet would turn into a hostile wasteland. Without these microbes, we are not able to experience thriving mental and physical health. Our health is directly connected to and dependent upon the health of our planet.


It is also important to mention that tilling, growing vast monocultures, and separating animals from plants in agriculture are also heavily impacting the health of our soil. These are all components of the powerful practice of regenerative agriculture.


Tilling breaks up top soil, disturbing the ecosystem of bacteria and fungi that need to settle and develop intricate relationships with one another for the best health of the soil.


Planting acres of monocultures leads to a severe lack of diversity in soil microbes. If different harvests are planted, then the populations of different microorganisms are able to grow.


Animals naturally fertilize land, tramp on the soil, and some also eat bugs that disturb plants. Plants and animals are meant to be together in agriculture, rendering a beautifully complex set of synergistic benefits. Though of course, this needs to be orchestrated by a wise agriculturist to be executed properly.


With the current, westernized agricultural practices, our soil is suffering with a severe lack of diversity in microorganisms. These microorganisms are able to break down CO2 as well as to help wildlife thrive, reproduce, and gain access to nutrients. We are currently headed for another famine if we do not change our practices. We have been abusing the land for decades now, and it is catching up with us. Farmers in Europe and other places of the world are already practicing regenerative agriculture, helping to heal the planet and the community. The U.S. and China need to catch up and start doing the same, or else we will continue to experience the heating up of our planet, depletion of food sources, and severe health issues, both physical and mental.


If you’d like to know more from the experts on all of this, check out the documentary “Kiss the Ground” - it’s absolutely brilliant.


How pesticides/herbicides impact our mental health

So here’s the thing, bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms are extremely important for our health. They are also central to our mental health, as our mental health directly depends on the health of our gut and our gut microbiome. We know this well by now, and it is indisputable. If you want to know more about the relationship between mental health and gut health, read this.


When we consume produce that is from living soil filled with soil-based organisms, we are getting nutrients that are vastly more developed and complex than nutrients from conventional produce sprayed with chemicals and grown in fertilizer that has been reduced to all-too-simple nutritional components.


The phenomenal thing about soil-based organisms is that they balance out the bacterial composition of our gut. They send out signals that decrease populations of harmful, pathogenic bacteria and fungi, as well as increase beneficial bacteria and fungi in our gut. Which, when you think about it, is absolutely unbelievable. These microorganisms are designed to heal our body. They do not dissipate all bacteria populations (good and bad), nor do they have harmful side effects like antibiotics.


We are supposed to have micro exposures to these microbes in our diet, to consume very small amounts of them in the roots, vegetables, and other plants that we eat. Before the invention of conventional agriculture, we easily got these SBOs in our diet. We could pick a carrot covered in good, heathy, soil, wash it off a bit, and then eat it. We’d get small amounts of these soil-based organisms in our body, helping regulate the microbial environment in our gut. This was natural, and simple. But conventional soil these days is devoid of many of these microbes, due to the use of conventional fertilizers, pesticides/herbicides, and the practice of growing vast quantities of monocultures.


This is why we need to shop local, from farmers and growers who are using proper growing practices that help the planet and our health.


How to detoxify your body of herbicides/pesticides

I’m sure there are a lot of answers for this out there, but on my journey and research these are the things I have found that are working for people. Also, none of them are dangerous but only beneficial.


Shop local

Find local growers, such as at your local farmer’s market. This is one of the very best things you can do. Get to know these people, ask them what fertilizers they use or about their soil health, and ask them if they use any pesticides. Find those you can trust and buy from them consistently.


Taking a pic with @tgmicrogreens - local grower in the Provo area


Become more educated on regenerative agriculture

I highly recommend the documentaries Kiss the Ground and The Need to Grow. I also recommend the book Eat Dirt by Dr. Josh Axe and Regenerate by Sayer Ji.


Glycine supplementation

This helps to flush glyphosate out of the system, as glyphosate steals the receptor sites where the amino acid glycine is supposed to be. To detoxify initially, detox expert Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt recommends taking 1 tsp twice/day for 3-6 months depending on your level of toxicity.


For best results, you can get tested for glyphosate toxicity (I recommend Great Plains Laboratories) to determine how much glycine you should take and for how long.


Of course, you would need to keep taking it, as glyphosate is in most things we eat, and in our water, but you could take a smaller dose long-term once the initial detox is finished.

Humic & fulvic acid

These are naturally occurring post-biotics (produced by probiotic bacteria in the human gut and in healthy soil) that are really great for your health in general, but also great for detoxing from chemicals including glyphosate. Dr. Klinghardt treats patients with humic & fulvic acids. He recommends using Matrix Minerals by Biopure.


Chlorella

Chlorella is an edible algae superfood that has about a million different benefits. It’s phenomenal for pulling toxins out of the body, including glyphosate and aluminum. I recommend chlorella that states it is "cracked cell wall" and comes in tablets or powder. "Cracked cell wall" means that it can be broken down more easily by your digestive system. Tablets are better than capsules as they have been shown to remain more stable through stomach acid, and can thereby reach the intestines where they are absorbed and distributed to the body.


It is also important to purchase chlorella that is from a good source, as much of the ocean on our earth is contaminated by toxins that we have released into it. I consume chlorella made by the brand Terrasoul, which is a good source from everything I can see, but I encourage you to do your own research as well.


Buy organic meat, dairy, and eggs

Conventional animals are extremely abused, as they are fed foods that contain insane quantities of glyphosate. It isn’t okay. In addition, you are what your food eats. So, purchase meat that is organic, or better yet purchase from a service like Butcher Box or Grass Roots Farmer’s Co-op. My wife and I love Butcher Box, and it’s actually been far better financially than we thought as the meat is so satisfying and keeps us so full. Our fridge is filled with it even though we eat it all the time. It just seems to last! As far as milk, I don’t drink it so I have no recommendations on it. As eggs go, try getting them at a farmer’s market or from a neighbor who has chickens; or, get pasture-raised if the price doesn’t bother you


Eat cruciferous vegetables

These vegetables are incredible for detoxing the body of chemicals. They include things like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, and brussel sprouts.


For more on related topics, check out these articles:


The Health of Your Brain Depends on the Health of The Earth

Why Buying Local Produce Will Transform Your Mental Health


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