How to Avoid the #1 Mistake (that everybody makes) when Detoxifying


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Transcript of David Wolfe and Ron Teeguarden

David: Here’s one of the great beauty herbs in this whole thing on the liver: Schizandra berry.

Now schizandra is an ultimate liver detoxifier, cleanser, and beauty herb. That’s what you’ve taught me. And we’ve mentioned schizandra. You guys listening have heard me mention it. It’s one of the greats. Sung Jin Park, your teacher, Ron, that was his favorite herb of all time.

Ron: It was, and he is still an ultimate master of herbalism. He’s still a hermit living in the mountains in Korea, and he’s in his 80s. He’s not doing too much with the usual world, but he does have about 10,000 students that he goes down and trains on occasion.

So, let’s see, one of these is schizandra, that’s actually it right down there. The red berry. That grows wild, and it’s called “the quintessence of Chinese herbs,” because it’s really the most powerful Chinese herb in the world. It grows in the same place as the ginseng, but much more abundantly. Ginseng hides. You can’t really find it. It’s very difficult. Whereas, schizandra, every October and November, it fills the forests of Manchuria and so forth. I’m actually going the week after next up to collect schizandra.

David: Wow!

Ron: Yeah. We’ll do that, and if you’re free, you can hop on the plane.

David: I’m gonna get on one of these plane rides with you, that’s for sure, at some point.

Ron: One of the great things about schizandra is that it does many, many things. It builds your strength and builds your adaptability. It’s one of the most famous adaptogenic herbs. So if it’s hot, your body cools off and stays functionally balanced. If it suddenly becomes cold, it allows your body to warm up.

It also detoxifies your liver. The only problem with a lot of detoxifying agents that detoxify the liver is that the liver dumps the poison they draw out back into the bloodstream. As much as I appreciate something like milk thistle—and I’m not putting it down as an herb; it’s a very popular and important herb—but you have to combine it with other things that clean your blood or the toxins will just reabsorb.

However, when you take schizandra and it detoxifies your liver, it keeps the toxins bound until they’re flushed out of your system. My theory on detoxification primarily is that you detoxify every day. You don’t wait until you’re sick to get out and detoxify. Taking schizandra is something you can do every day. It tastes fantastic. It’s not candy, but as an herbalist I can attest it’s one of the most wonderful things you can ever consume. It’s beautiful. It’s only wild or semi-wild at this point, because there’s so much growing in the wild in Manchuria that they don’t have to cultivate it, at least as far as I know.

You have to know. You take schizandra, and you just pass out the toxins. We are absorbing stuff. Even though I know that I’m preaching to the choir here in terms of purity of diet, we’re just exposed to poison every minute of every day practically. If you drove here, you were on the freeway. You just absorbed fumes. We went past an airport or two or three. You know, that kind of stuff. So you need to keep cleaning. Otherwise it accumulates. Schizandra is definitely a first line of defense.

It’s also very, very famous for another reason, which is that it keeps the skin very beautiful. It was actually the official herb of the Imperial household during the whole Qing Dynasty, because the women, who were more interested in it, noticed that it kept their skin very beautiful. It helps the skin to maintain moisture, keep it hydrated, and then protects it by creating a layer of protection on the skin from the sun and sun damage. Keeping your skin beautiful is also keeping your skin healthy in this particular case.

This is why schizandra is the quintessence.

David: You know, there was something really interesting. Remember when I came over and I was talking about The Color Cure, and I’d been working on this book? One of the most interesting pigments of all, of everything—I wrote this entire compendium of every single color pigment in nature and in every food—schizandra contains flavonoid anthocyanin pigment: cyanidin.

The anthocyanin pigments are like what’s found in your blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apple peel, plum, etc. (the fruit pigments). Now all these anthocyanins have a sugar attached to them. But the most interesting one of all, of everything, which has a xylitol attached to its anthocyanin, was schizandra.


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  • Great and practical herbal wisdom. Thanks for the info and history of the herb.