No matter your ‘colour’, you are more than likely to have been in contact with residues from tear gas or a fire that was burning just a few blocks down.
Since June more than 10,000 tear gas were fired into the streets of Hong Kong and an estimated 88 percent of the population exposed to it. At this same time numerous fires and petrol bombs have lit up unknown materials. All of these factors creates a toxic cocktail in our air that everyone is breathing in through our lungs and skin, creating serious health concerns. To add to the concern, Hong Kong streets are narrow and densely populated which means the exposure to the toxins is longer.
What are these harmful chemicals?
The most common form of tear gas contains chlorobenzylidene-malononitrile, or CS, a compound banned in warfare. When CS is sprayed in the air, it mainly affects two areas of the body: mucous membranes and pain receptors in nerve cells.
However dioxins and dioxin-like substances released by super hot canisters are also of increased concern. According to the World Health Organization, dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.
A frontline reporter, from Stand news was recently diagnosed with Chloracne, an acne-like eruption of blackheads, cysts, and pustules associated with over-exposure to certain chemical compounds.
Dioxins and other deadly chemicals in the history of war have been linked to long term health challenges and to this day, many countries like Vietnam continue to struggle with post-war consequences of chemical toxins.
How do you protect yourself?
It goes without saying that it is important to limit your exposure from these deadly chemicals. It’s also important to note that dioxins are not only found in tear gas and burning of plastics. Dioxins are now also found in our food chain because our water and soil are also now affected by these chemicals world wide. A vegetable and fruit market in Hong Kong has said to have been contaminated by these chemicals.
However, dioxins are most heavily found in meat, shellfish, fish and dairy. And because humans are at the top of the food chain, dioxins in breastmilk have found to have the highest dioxins compared to these other food groups. So not only would you need to be cautious walking the streets of Hong Kong, but during your cleansing, it is also particularly important to limit meat and dairy to minimize the load on your body.
If you are exposed to these chemicals it is important to take immediate action. CS fine particles can fly everywhere and items that easily trap dust and small particles like wool clothing, air filters, curtains, rugs, etc should be washed thoroughly or better yet discarded properly.
Our bodies are clever beings, and if these toxins circulate in our bodies for too long or if our bodies are overburden by it, we will automatically store them into fat cells and our bodies will pack it with energy to protect the cells. Tests show that fat cells can have up to 500% more toxicity than blood.
This is an extremely important protective mechanism our bodies have been designed to do. However this also makes it extremely tricky to detoxify from our bodies.
Regular detoxifying agents like milk thistle, chlorella, spirulina etc will not be as effective on these fat soluble toxins like dioxins. It is important that you train your body to break down these fat cells first - using fat as the fuel source (not glycogen from sugar).
Once the fat is broken down it is then extremely important to strengthen and aid your liver to break down these toxins and then assist the elimination pathways like the intestines, skin, gallbladder and kidneys to expel them from your body. The last thing you want is to have these toxins circulate around in the body and blood stream.
Follow this step by step guide on how to effectively detoxify toxins stored in your fat cells:
1. Break down the fat cells
Adopt an intermittent fasting lifestyle for at least 2 weeks. The optimal fasting time to train your body to use fat as fuel and breaking down fat is 18 hour. If you have hormonal, sleep or blood sugar levels, you can consider alternate day fasting and also consult a healthcare provider that can guide you in this.
On your feasting hours (6 hours if you are following the 18 hours of fast) make sure you are eating plenty of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts. The nitrates and other nutrients found in these greens will help break down fat cells.
You can also consider adding supplements (see below) to help break down the fat cells while providing assisted support for your liver and elimination organs with the added milk thistle, artichoke and turmeric.
2. Sweat it out
Your skin is your largest organ and it’s important that you are sweating out the toxins. A HITT (high intensity interval training) program is most effective and will also add to the break down of fat cells at the same time.
If you’re already dealing with stress, sleep and adrenal fatigue, HITT may not be appropriate. Instead you may consider 15-20 minutes of infrared sauna or a pilates class that involves twisting and some lighter cardio.
3. Support the liver & elimination pathways
Strengthen the liver and elimination pathways with supplements and a clean diet that includes clean protein and vegetables.The following nutrients will also help aid in #elimination, liver #support and #breakdown of toxins:
B vitamins are important in all of our detoxification pathways, however folate(B9), niacin (B3) and methylcobalamin (B12), are particularly beneficial in targeting fat soluble toxins like dioxins. For those who carry fat, particularly around the abdomen and who have been consistently exposed to the tear gas I would recommend Pure Encapsulations B6 Complex that has activated B vitamins for enhanced absorption and assimilation in the body.
Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in our body. Our livers create glutathione but with the toxic burdens our glutathione stores are often depleted. NAC is the precursor to glutathione and helps to maintain glutathione levels and is generally more easily absorbed than glutathione.
These three herbs are powerful in supporting and strengthening the liver whilst artichoke also helps support healthy bile flow to enhance elimination. Flora’s Milk Thistle Plus include all of these three herbs, while the FlorEssence tea includes more herbs that target the clearing of our lymphatic system.
If your liver is doing the hard work of breaking down the toxins yet you are not able to eliminate them, the toxins will dangerously recirculate in your body. It is important that your bowels are moving daily ideally twice or even three times a day. I like to use the Vivaflore by SuperDiet that includes 6 herbs to help stimulate bowels.
binding agents that will bind to the broken down toxins in order for your body to effectively eliminate
Pure Encapsulations Lipotropic Detox
An easy no fuss detoxifier with both B Vitamins and herbals that can break down the fat in the liver while also providing nutrients to boost liver function. Take this alone with something that will also help you flush the toxins out, like the Vivaflore or Flor Essence.
Take our Quiz below to see what you may need.
1. Have you been in contact with tear gas and/or burning of rubbish lately?
Yes > Milk Thistle
No > go to #3
2. How many times have you had contact with these toxins?
3. Do you carry excess fat around your waistline?
Yes > go to #4 > B6 Complex , Vivaflore
No > go to #4
4. How often do you go to the bathroom?
5. Do you eat meat, dairy or seafood?
Yes > B6 Complex, NAC, chlorella/spirulina
Written by Denise Tam, Holistic Nutritionist