Homotoxicology: The Best Kept Detox Secret

by Louise Kuo Habakus

We know toxins are bad but it’s difficult to get our heads wrapped around specifics… you know, the nitty-gritty questions that we can’t ask conventional doctors:

Which toxins are the worst?
How bad are they really?
What does our body do with the toxins exactly?
What symptoms should we expect to see as our toxicity levels rise?
How do we, uh, get them out?
Many of us want details before we take action because let’s face it, detox isn’t fun.

I have one word for you. It’s the best-kept detox secret: Homotoxicology.


Homotoxicology is the science of toxins and their removal from the human body. It offers a theory of disease which describes the severity and duration of an illness or disorder based on toxin-loading relative to our body’s ability to detoxify. In other words, it tells you how sick you’ll get when what stays inside progressively overwhelms our ability to get the garbage out. It explains what you can expect to see as you start removing toxins.

And yes, there is a hierarchy of toxic substances. Homotoxicology says you should remove the gentler ones first. As the body strengthens, it will be able to handle the really bad stuff (i.e., heavy metals). This explains why some people do really well on the same detox treatments that take others out at the knees.

Wow, right?

It was founded by a German orthodox physician named Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg who studied medicine in Berlin, came into contact with homeopathy, and began integrating his ideas into a framework that’s part of what’s known as German Biological Medicine.

Let’s get specific


We should normally be excreting toxins through our primary pathways via feces, urine, breath, and sweat. Go ahead and look askance at someone who “sweats like a pig” but let’s be very clear: excretion is life-saving. If you have regular bowel movements and you’re drenched after a workout, then consider yourself among the fortunate.

Many of us, however, are just plain backed up. Much as we give our HVAC systems seasonal attention and empty our dryer’s lint trap, the same is true for our bodies. We need to open our channels of elimination. When the primary excretion pathways are blocked, we lean on the secondary pathways, which include kidney, liver, and lymph. This is where we find a bunch of trouble. You see, these systems are challenged. They’re besieged by toxins in the air and water, toxins in our food and personal care products, toxins in drugs and vaccines.

Once I started thinking in this way, I looked at my body and my children’s bodies differently. Little constipation took on a whole new meaning. I’m actually grateful when my son has a skin rash; it’s uncomfortable but I much prefer it to the alternative. I want to do whatever I can to support the body’s ability to eliminate toxins.


You choose.

Basically, the body tries to get toxins out in the most direct and efficient manner. We have an expansive toolkit. When Pee, Poop, Breath, and Sweat aren’t enough, there are other, exigent and efficient ways that we expel the bad guys. These include the Four Messengers of Health — namely Vomit, Diarrhea, Fever, and Mucus. Now, I’m not saying they’re fun. But more often than not, I believe we must resist the reflexive urge to proclaim ourselves “sick,” and lunge for the Pepto Bismol, Nyquil, Tylenol, or Robitussin.

I lay out the welcome mat, whisper a silent prayer of gratitude that my child’s body is working, and ride it out. Read this guide on Fever & Non-Intervention for a bit of support.

I believe that what we call sick is actually the road to wellness. And what we call medicine — the varied Rx pills and OTC sticky, sickly sweet, fluorescent goop — is an expressway to pathology.

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