Friday, January 27, 2012


Why do a cleanse? Our environment and foods expose us to numerous toxins which keeps our body from operating at its peak. A detoxifying cleanse is a great way to bring your body back in to balance, remove toxins and create a healthy body.
Some experts think that unless you have parasites, a yeast problem, or have been through chemotherapy, a full blown cleanse is not necessary for you. You might want to spare your family, neighbors, and friends and go for a gentle cleanse. Simply using powdered greens along with water or juice a couple times a day will do the trick and provide you with the added benefit of meeting your daily vegetable requirement. A detoxing tea or a high dose of magnesium will also help.
If you want to go all out, the herbs senna and casada sagrada will certainly clean you out. Milk thistle and dandelion will help cleanse your liver. Fibers like psyllium husk, ground chia seeds, and flax seeds will also help with your intestinal movements.
Remember when doing a cleanse, it will likely rob you of energy and may deplete the good bacteria in your gut. Drink electrolytes and take a probiotic to avoid going down that road.  And, of course, whether you’re going gentle or not, keep hydrated during your cleanse with at least 8 glasses of water a day.
I’ve started The Skeptical Husband off with a gentle detox program. For the past 10 days he has been drinking Triple Leaf's Detox Tea twice a day and taking a tablespoon of HealthForce SuperFood’s Vitamineral Green (a powdered green) along with organic apple juice once a day. He’s had 8 full glasses of water a day and is drinking electrolyte enhanced water at least once a day. At the end of the cleanse he will have a probiotic containing bifidobacterium that will help replenish healthy bacteria levels in his gut. 
On a side note: some detox programs will have you refrain from eating food during your cleanse. For now we’ve allowed The Skeptical Husband to eat the foods he enjoys. In an ideal world, one would try to eat mostly raw, organic, and plant-based foods during their cleanse. 
Lastly, be sure to consult your physician when taking supplements and be aware that it can be dangerous to use some supplements while pregnant or in combination with prescription drugs.
The Skeptical Husband has been on the gentle cleanse for 10 days now. 

The Skeptical Husband Says:
According to Detective Rosewood from the movie Beverly Hills Cop, the average American has five pounds of undigested red meat in their bowels.  I am an over achiever, so I like to think I’m a bit above average.  My guess – I’m probably holding on to an even 10 pounds up in there. Listen people, I grew up in Indiana in the 70s, and I ate uncooked hot dogs for lunch and dinner from age 6 to 11. My intestines are probably packed with toxic stuff. 

Unfortunately, the results of my detox cleanse were a lot like when Geraldo Rivera opened up Al Capone’s lost vault, with my colon being the vault in this analogy. There was a lot of hype, but ultimately nothing good came out. At least nothing I could see. 
I am not surprised by the results, or lack of, from the detox. When The Herbal Remedy Wife told me I was going to undergo a gentle (emphasis added) detox cleanse I was skeptical.  If she wants to cleanse me then she needs to bring her A Game.  Instead, I just drank some tea and apple juice with green gunk in it.

I did enjoy the tea, and on several days I even replaced my afternoon coffee run to Starbucks with the detox tea.  To my amazement, the apple juice with the green gunk was even tolerable. I’d be the first to admit that I don’t eat enough green vegetables, so if the green gunk is a proper substitute for broccoli, I’m good with that.

Even though I wasn’t cleansed of the undigested red meat in my bowels, I honestly can’t say if I was cleansed of other toxins because they are microscopic. I will say this, overall during the 10 days I did the cleanse my stress and energy levels were both good. I also didn’t have any tension headaches during the cleanse, an ailment that has been bothering me for about a year. Are these positive things related to the cleanse? I can’t say for certain, but I guess it is possible.

One other thing  - I was incredibly hungry in the mornings on the first few days of the cleanse.  I am not sure what that was about.  Perhaps my intestines were longing for the their toxin friends that were cleansed away.  Who knows?

I've been informed that it’s time to raise the bar and try a harsh cleanse and see if we can get rid of that undigested red meat.  We'll see.  And who the hell is Ivy Bridge? And what in the world is a psyllium hull?

The Herbal Remedy Wife Says:

Bring on the hard-core cleanse! I've got a good one in my back pocket that I know works because I've tried it a couple times over the years. It's from the book the Idiot's Guide to Herbal Remedies.  Do you want to know a secret? The Skeptical Husband has a library full of Idiot's Guide books, but don't tell him I told you.  

Again, we are going to have The Skeptical Husband try it for 10 days, and  he needs to be sure to keep hydrated during the process. Here's the recipe if you want to follow along: 

Ivy Bridge's Colon Cleanse
1/2 glass of apple juice (organic and no sugar is best, but use your favorite brand otherwise)
2 tablespoons aloe vera juice (if using a whole-leaf aloe vera you’ll only need 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons liquid chlorophyll
8 capsules psyllium hulls (or 1 teaspoon, if loose powder)
2 capsules cascara sagrada
Blend whole-leaf aloe vera juice and chlorophyll into apple juice. If you are using powdered psyllium instead of capsules, stir in the psyllium and drink down quickly; psyllium will expand in water. Swallow your cascara sagrada capsules with a full (at least 8 ounces) glass of pure water.
Use this formula mixture first thing in the morning every day for 60 days. Make sure to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water each day.
Ivy’s formula has been used by many to cleanse the lower bowel of poisons, strengthen the digestive and intestinal track, lower cholesterol, build blood, soothe acid conditions, aid fat loss and stimulate bile flow from the liver.
In addition to this cleanse, 1-3 capsules/tablets of milk thistle (or ½-1 teaspoon of tincture) may be taken daily. 
Good luck Skeptical Husband! You are going to need it.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Hi. I am The Herbal Remedy Wife. I have always been interested in herbal remedies and natural health. A year ago I started working in the vitamin and body care department of one of our country’s top health food stores. Along the way I have discovered some great ways to improve my health and the health of others. 

Take my sister for example. She is anemic as the result of an autoimmune disease that causes regular bleeding and interferes with her ability to absorb iron. Regular iron tablets weren’t helping and her doctors suggested receiving iron through an IV which required sitting in a hospital for 3 hours on a weekly basis and caused some very risky side effects. I suggested she try liquid iron. She has been seeing doctors for awhile about the anemia and no one ever suggested liquid iron. She has been on liquid iron for about 2 months now and her blood work is showing much lower levels of anemia and her energy levels have improved.

As we begin the New Year, I feel that it is prime time to put some of the products I am familiar with to the test, to see if they work.  All products mentioned in this blog have been tested by a real person: The Skeptical Husband.
The Skeptical Husband, has agreed to be my guinea pig and try my nutrition tips and products. He’ll let you know whether something is the real deal or whether it’s a bunch of phooey.
Let me tell you a few things about this guy: He’s super-smart (so no fooling him!). He’s as stubborn as a mule (change is hard). He tends to eat for flavor over health - his parents taught him that fruits and nuts are for, well, fruits and nuts. He currently does not use any nutritional supplements or “clean” body care products. He exercises occasionally, and is incredibly hilarious (so you know you’ll enjoy the ride). Lastly, The Skeptical Husband is a truthful and no-nonsense kind of guy, so you should take notice when he has something good to say about any of my suggestions. 
The great thing is that this little experiment is all in the name of health, and hopefully at the end of the day we’ll all be healthier as a result. 
First up, a detox cleanse. Check back for The Skeptical Husband's review in 10 days. 

Hi. I am the Skeptical Husband. Truthfully, I am skeptical about a lot of the products The Herbal Remedy Wife sells in her store. For example, I have serious doubts about the medicinal qualities of chia seeds and essential oils. Where is the science to support the claimed benefits? 

Until recently I was pretty unconvinced about a lot of the organic meat they sell in The Herbal Remedy Wife's store, as well. Bacon is bacon, right? And I am not going to pay triple the price for “organic” bacon. But one day on a whim (using The Herbal Remedy Wife's employee discount of course) I bought the organic bacon. And it was mind blowing experience. It tasted so good. It tasted, apparently, like what bacon is supposed to taste like.

The bacon epiphany has caused me to reconsider my opposition to organic meat. And if I am going to reconsider my opposition to organic meat then maybe I should reconsider my opposition to herbal remedies.

So, with a semi-open mind, and a bit of reluctance, I’ve agreed to try almost anything (no Diva Cups) The Herbal Remedy Wife gives me. I promise to be honest – brutally so if necessary – with my review of each of the products.

Wish me luck. I think I am going to need it.

PS. I still think chia seeds are a bunch of bunk!