If You Live and Breathe in Today’s Society, Cleansing Might Be a Good Idea

By Caroline Farquhar RHN, BA, EMP

Every day we hear more and more about the devastating effects of widespread pollution on our planet’s environment. But how often do we stop to consider its effect on our own bodies? With more than 80,000 chemicals currently in use today and 1,000 more introduced each year, we can no longer deny that we are living in a toxic world. More and more research is showing links between chemical exposure and disease and since we don’t live in a bubble, what can we do about it? One of the answers is to detoxify through cleansing.

Natural cleansing formulas are designed to support the innate processes by which the body gets rid of toxins and waste. A total-body formula ensures a complete cleansing experience and is often the best way to begin your detoxification journey.

CleanseSMART is our top selling cleanse becuase it’s so easy to use!

A total body cleanse is one that supports each of the body’s seven channels of elimination—the liver, lungs, colon, kidneys, blood, skin and lymphatic system. Together, these vital organs and systems work nonstop to purge and eliminate harmful toxins from deep within the cells and tissues. A total body cleansing formula will help to clear the detoxification pathways and jumpstart the body’s natural cleansing ability.


CleanseSMART is a unique, 30 day all natural herbal cleanse, formulated specifically to stimulate the cleansing and detoxification process of the body’s 7 channels of elimination. It is a simple 2 part, 30-day advanced cleansing program. Most of the herbs are extracts in a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio. This means they are 4 or 5 times more concentrated than a whole, raw herb. Part 1 is an organ detox formula, and part 2 is a colon cleansing formula that contains magnesium hydroxide to hydrate the colon, along with cape aloe, triphala and rhubarb to stimulate peristalsis, which helps to achieve the ideal 2-3 bowel movements a day. No strict diet is required while doing CleanseSMART but there are dietary suggestions in the box.

Herbal cleansing can help you feel your best every day. Talk to your natural health care practitioner if you’re unsure about whether it’s right for you. They can help you take the first step toward a healthier new you.

Caroline Farquhar is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, digestive care specialist, public speaker and frequent TV and radio educator in the area of natural health.

FEATURED PRODUCT: Digest-Force by Prairie Naturals

digest-force-120-v-caps-300ccDigest-Force Activates Healthy Digestion! 

Indigestion is a pain. Literally. More people suffer from chronic indigestion than from any other condition. Activate good digestion quickly with Digest-ForceTM Activated Coconut Charcoal & Ginger Root Extract, the newest member in Prairie Naturals Digestive Health product category.

What are the Ingredients in Digest-Force & What Do They Do?

Digest-Force combines the therapeutic power of activated charcoal from coconut husks with ginger root extract. Blending traditional practices with herbal medicine, this unique formula provides rapid relief from indigestion safely and effectively.


• Charcoal from Coconut Husks – It’s a fact that our planet’s original detoxifying agent is charcoal! Prairie Naturals coconut charcoal is “activated” through a carbonproducing process using high heat, pressure and steam. This process expands the therapeutic “adsorption” (suction) effect of charcoal by making it more porous and expanding its surface area. Prairie Naturals Digest-ForceTM formula with activated coconut charcoal has the distinct power to neutralize and eliminate various toxic substances (including allergens) by binding them unto itself and moving them safely out of the body. In fact, activated charcoal has proven so effective and safe that it is routinely used in hospitals as an antidote to drug and poison toxicity!


• Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale) Extract (10:1) – This traditional medicinal is revered as one of the world’s most ancient and effective digestive remedies. Extensive scientific analyses indicate that the primary active constituents (phytochemical terpenes gingerol and shogaol, along with oleoresin) aid & protect the digestive tract. The therapeutic use of ginger extract immediately reduces indigestion, gas, bloating and nausea.


 10 Important Things You Need to Know About Digest-Force

  • Digest-Force provides an adsorption function that has a detoxifying effect.
  • Digest-Force combines activated coconut charcoal combined with ginger extract to rapidly alleviate the pain and discomfort of bloating and gas.
  • Digest-Force neutralizes excessive stomach acid; relieves ulcers and acid reflux.
  • Digest-Force remedies the discomfort caused by overeating and eating irritating, allergenic foods.
  • Digest-Force is an integral part of every digestive health and detoxification program.
  • Digest-Force quickly and safely alleviates symptoms of indigestion and intestinal distress.
  • Digest-Force helps to heal intestinal inflammation.
  • Digest-Force combats food poisoning, toxins and pollutants.
  • Digest-Force reduces intestinal infections from viral, bacterial, yeast and mold sources.
  • Digest-Force corrects many of the root causes of diarrhea effectively.


Pretox: Preparing to Detox

The digestive system takes a bit of a hammering during the festive winter months. For many people, too much alcohol and fatty foods can give rise to symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, poor skin, sluggish bowels and nausea. Spring is the perfect time for detox.


The key to a successful detox is preparation

Many people give up on their detox program too soon because they feel rotten—headachy, have bad breath or even spots.

Follow this advice two weeks before starting your detox:

  1. Drink lots of water
    5 to 2 litres daily to start flushing out the urinary tract.
  2. Wean yourself off coffee, non-herbal tea and soft drinks
    it makes the detox easier.
  3. Boost circulation with exercise
    at least a brisk 10-minute walk in the fresh air daily.
  4. Eat more fruit, vegetables and whole foods
    Avoid processed and refined foods and alcohol.
  5. Relax
    Unwind for at least 30 minutes before going to bed to encourage a better sleep.

Once the body is better prepared for a detox and able to dispose of the toxins that are released, the whole process is a piece of cake!! There are herbs that can help ease those toxins out of your system such as Milk Thistle, Boldocynara or the A.Vogel 15-day Detox kit.

Shopping list:

Fresh fruits and veggies, chickpeas, aduki beans, lima beans, kidney beans, green or red lentils, wheat-free pasta, rice cakes, oatcakes, humus, dairy-free milk, yogurt, cheese, Bambu coffee substitute, herbal tea, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, fruit bars…

Avoid these Foods

Red meat, burgers, fried food, wheat, sugar, dairy products, alcohol, coffee, tea, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, sweets…

Digestive tract cleanse: The effect of acid alkaline imbalance

We spend lots of money and heaps of effort keeping our houses, clothes and children clean and tidy. We worry about germs getting into our food and beasties burrowing into our beds.

Who, though, is worrying about how to make sure our internal waste disposal systems are cleaning up inside us? What if we have glistening external surfaces and heaps of gunge inside? One thing you can be sure of – if you are mucky inside, sooner or later it will show outside.

There are two main sources of toxins inside the body:

Waste produced in the body as a by-product of metabolism – the cells absorb nutrients and excrete wastes, like little microcosms of our bodies themselves.

Toxic material absorbed in food, drink and through the lungs and skin – pollutants from the outside world. These toxins have to be removed from the body, and the correct procedure is that they leave via one of three main exit routes: the bowel, the urinary tract and the lungs. These exit routes then are of prime importance. If any of them are not working properly, the toxic burden in the body will rise.

A particularly common problem is a sluggish bowel! The body has a couple of ‘emergency exits’ to use if the main exits are blocked or sluggish; it can push toxins out through the skin, the mucous membranes and, in women, the menstrual blood. The lymphatic system will also have to deal with more toxins than usual and may become sluggish, causing recurrent swelling of the glands.

Thus, people whose exits have become bottlenecked are more likely to have skin problems, catarrhal congestion and heavy periods. They will also get cystitis and other urinary tract infections (UTIs) more easily, and feel lethargic and run down as their liver, one of the organs in charge of energy production, struggles to cope with the recycled toxins. Keeping yourself sparkling clean on the inside will therefore enable you to present a pristine exterior to the world.

What do I do to undertake a little internal spring cleaning?

When attempting to lighten the toxic burden within the body, it is vital to open the exit routes first. Many detox programs come straight in with big changes to the diet and cleansing regimes that cause an outpouring of toxins, without ensuring that these toxins can leave the body. This type of program makes you feel terrible, for no eventual benefit. All pain, no gain. First we must open the exit routes and encourage plentiful emptying of toxins into the outside world…

Let’s be gentle about all this though – detox doesn’t have to be a penance. Start by drinking 1.5 liters of still water every day, to flush out the urinary tract. You may also like to introduce Nettle tea into your daily routine. Nettles have a beneficial blood-cleansing action and make you feel energised and refreshed. If you really hate the tea or want a stronger effect, you can take nettle (Urtica) tincture, 20 drops twice a day before meals.

Improve your diet, cutting out the obvious rubbish such as take-away food, white flour, white sugar, coffee, fried food and alcohol. (Not easy, I know, but you will have to cut out all alcohol for a while. Still, it’s worth it.) Start getting a blast of fresh air every day. It need only be a brisk ten minute walk around the block, but it needs to be regular, to get your lymphatic system (which depends on muscle movement) and your lungs working. An hour once a week in a stuffy gym is just not the same as a daily trot around outside!

If your bowel is particularly stubborn, start using a mixture of Linseed, Frangula and Senna (depending on the degree of stubbornness) to get it moving. It is a strong remedy for a sluggish bowel, and needs to be taken cautiously to start with, in case an over-enthusiastic dose glues you to the loo… If your bowel is already quite obliging, you would only need to take the lowest dose. If this proves too powerful for you, cut it out completely. Do bear in mind that if you are used to going to the loo once every two to three days, having two to three bowel movements per day may feel excessive; but actually it is ideal, so don’t panic.

A complex containing Milk Thistle is a fantastic remedy for an overworked, hung-over liver, struggling with the toxic burden placed upon it daily. Indications that the liver is not in peak condition are bad periods, bad skin, a metallic taste in the mouth, unfair weight gain especially around the abdomen, lethargy, problems with temperature regulation, and anaemia. As well as Milk Thistle, the tincture contains Dandelion root, Globe Artichoke, Peppermint and Boldo. Pop 15 to 20 drops into a little water twice a day.

Dandelion root is also doing wonderful things for the liver and gall-bladder. It is an excellent cleansing agent, being one of the most effective detoxifying herbs. It possesses a wide range of active constituents and is also rich in minerals and nutrients.

Also, make sure that the urinary tract is well cleansed and strengthen with herbs. If your diet revolves around chocolate, coffee, fizzy drinks, sweets, you may well feel some bladder symptoms, such as pain when passing urine, feeling an urgent need to urinate, even when there’s little urine to pass or sometimes pain will travel to the lower abdomen or lower back. A complex containing Uva-ursi wil eases bladder and urinary tract irritation as well as the resulting back pain or discomforts.

These herbs will provide an excellent Detox program. Use them together with the dietary advice for at least ten days, more if you feel like it. It is especially good to do in the spring and autumn, when the body is contemplating detoxing anyway.

by Alison Cullen


HEALTHY LIVING – Where to Start with Healthy Eating

by Sonia Chartier, on 14 June 2014, Healthy Eating on the A.Vogel Blog

Where to start with healthy eating

Healthy eating is the foundation of good health.  It is the way to simply promote wellbeing, prevent illnesses and maintain (or reach) a healthy weight.  As it is usually true for most things, balance is key.  For good health, you must not only eat right, but exercise is also essential.

What is eating right?  Well it is not all about good food or bad food; it is about regular diet and habits.  What you do not want is to develop “orthorexia nervosa” which is the obsession of eating only the right foods.  Then you lose the fun of eating and make yourself and people eating with you miserable. Michael Pollan sums up healthy eating in his book Omnivore’s Dilemma by saying:  eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

There are all kind of diets advertised everywhere, aiming to help with weight loss: the Atkins diet, the Paleo diet, the cookie diet, the no-carb, etc.  You should not to get carried away with diets that suggest something other than a balanced diet. Over the past 90 years, nearly 23 000 different kind of diets have been published and apparently none of them works on the long term to maintain health and weight.  What are the chances that the next one will?

It should not be about following a weight loss diet that just targets reducing your calorie intake but rather about adopting healthy eating habits, and exercise regularly.

Calorie intake can be misleading.  A common mistake for people who drink soft drinks is to switch to diet drink for weight loss.  Yes the calorie intake will be less, BUT eating or drinking anything sweet triggers the body to wanting more.  When you drink a sugary drink, you do get your appetite stimulated but the calories in the drink also satiate it.  If you drink a diet soda, your appetite is stimulated and wants more and more because it is never satiated.  We are not saying that regular soft drink is good but rather stating the fact that diet drinks do not help with weight loss.  A regular can of Cola (354 mL) contains 34g of sugar…that is the equivalent of 17 white sugar cubes!!

Studies have linked refined carbohydrates like sugar, to heart disease and obesity.  You should make a habit of reading labels because sugar is added most processed foods, even where you would not expect it: in crackers, soups, canned tuna…  One white sugar cube is equivalent to 2 g; it helps to make a quick calculation and evaluate if you can do without that much sugar when reading labels. Ingredients finishing by “ose” are usually sweeteners for example fructose, glucose, and sucralose.  If you look only at the nutritional table, you do not get a true picture of the sugar content because some food, such as fruits, have naturally occurring sugar that will show up in the same category as added sugar.  It is important to know how to read food labels.

There is also some confusion about fat.  A low fat diet is not necessarily healthy; if you are eating foods that are naturally low in fat such as beans and veggies it’s good, but if you are choosing “low fat” or “fat free” labeled foods such as salad dressing, it usually means that there are high contents of sugar, salt or starch to make up for the taste.

Some fats are essential.  Choose vegetable oils such as olive, flax or canola oil for cooking and salads.  Avoid partially hydrogenated oils that contain Trans fat.  A good balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3 is important for your health.

What should your plate look like?

It should look fresh, colourful and appetizing!  When shopping for your food, go for fresh.  Avoid processed foods.  It is easy to cook healthy meals with fresh ingredients and it does not have to take long – all you need is a few easy yet tasty recipes.

Fresh fruits and veggies should make up half of what you eat.  During our long winter, opting for frozen veggies is a good idea.  They are frozen while ripe and fresh and did not have to be picked while still unripe and travel around the world to make it to your plate.

A quarter of your plate should be grains; whole grains such as whole-wheat, barley, whole-wheat couscous quinoa, oats, and brown rice.  Foods made with whole grains like whole-wheat pasta do not affect blood sugar and insulin as much as white pasta, white rice, white bread, etc.

The last quarter of your plate should be protein:  beans, nuts, fish and chicken are the best options.  If you are a red meat lover, try to limit how often you eat it.  The worst options are processed meats such as sausages, bacon and cold cuts because they are not only fatty but also very salty and full of preservatives.

If you are used to thinking about what to make as a side dish to accompany your meat, it is a twist to start thinking about what protein or meat you will have with your vegetables.

Actually, if you have your 5 servings of vegetables, 4 servings of fruit, 1 of nuts, around 15 g of fibres from whole grains, you will not be all that hungry for a big portion of meat!   You should also include probiotics to your diet as they have great health benefits for digestion and absorption of nutriments.

How Sprouts Are Good For Health

Sprouts may not look the part but they are chock-full of nutrients.  Its as if all the benefits of the vegetable are concentrated into its little sprout. It is easy to get fresh sprouts all year round from supermarkets but it is more fun is to do it at home.  Once you put the seeds to germinate, you can harvest the freshest sprouts within a few days.

Kids usually prefer sandwiches with sprouts that they grew themselves in a germinator, than with “boring” lettuce.  You can even choose some mixed seeds containing radish to add some serious zing.

Low Sodium Diet

Canadians love their salt!   Generally speaking, our prepared foods contain more salt than their US counterpart and that is following consumer taste panels.  Salt is the culprit in many illnesses including heart disease and stokes.  Most of the salt we consume comes from prepared foods and restaurant.  When we cook for ourselves, we salt much less.

Sodium, which constitutes about 40% of table salt and of sea salt, is both essential and detrimental to our health.  Our body needs 1500mg of sodium per day and Health Canada recommends that we do not go over 2300mg per day:  that is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt.

There are alternatives to regular salt to enhance your food.  Herbamare is a sea salt infused with a mix of herbs and vegetables that is so tasty, that you will no need to use as much as you would regular salt.

Some people have to follow a strict diet containing little to no sodium to maintain their health.  Herbamare sodium-free  is a great tasting alternative to salt to use in cooking.  It is made of Potassium chloride mixed with herbs and vegetables.


Coffee is a stimulant that most of us would hate to part with, especially in the morning. A cup of coffee per day is not going to affect your health.  The problem can stem both from the amount of caffeine consumed – especially when you add up coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks and from the artificially flavoured additives that make your coffee taste like something it’s not.

Many of us drink 2-3 or more cups of coffee throughout the day.  Alfred Vogel, in an effort to help his friends reduce their coffee intake concocted what he called Bambu coffee substitute.  It is made of cereals, acorns and figs and is a bit bitter yet very mellow.  Like coffee, it can be enjoyed hot, or frappe.  Your kids will be happy to share a cup with you.

When you start to cut down on coffee, you may feel very tired, which shows you just how much effect coffee actually has.  This tiredness only lasts one or two days and then you feel much more focused.

Overall, you should have a no-nonsense approach to food.  No one food in particular is going to make us healthy.  It is better to get our vitamins and minerals from the food that we eat than try to compensate with supplements.  Normally, with a good balanced diet, there is no need for supplements.

We generally must eat less sugar, less fat and less quantity.  We tend to forget about portion size and eat way more than we need to.

Drinking water and exercising will always be beneficial and go hand in hand with a balanced diet.

Party Survival – Detoxing After the Celebrations


Cleansing kitPreparation:

In the morning, add Boldocynara, Stinging Nettle and Molkosan or Molkosan Berry in a bottle with 1.5 L of water and drink throughout the day. Repeat for 15 days, twice a year.

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