photo courtesy of Danilo Rizzut at freedigitalphotos.net

Ameliorating toxicity in the body is no small task, but is common knowledge in the chronically ill. 


The National Institute of Health reports, “Research funded by NIH has characterized the genetic toxicity of various classes of oxidizing and environmental agents and established genetic toxicity as a major cause of cancer.”

ToxTown, a NIH publication on Environmental Health Concerns and Toxic Chemicals Where You Live, Work and Play, reports toxic exposure sources as drinking water, microplastics, natural disasters, the fuel industry and other environmental hazards. This includes, as they report, sources such as dry cleaning, food and cooking, hair and nail salons, schools, runoff, power plants, fish farms, beaches, electromagnetic fields, gas stations, healthcare services, wastewater and more. 

They associate diseases with this toxic overload bombarding our bodies on a daily basis, including: asthma and other lung diseases, birth defects, cancer, cardiovascular disease, learning disabilities, and reproductive health. 

Antioxidants reduce the overload of free radicals and other toxins. Going too fast with a supportive protocol can cause excess die-off reactions. Approaching the subject is not optional for those who are chronically ill, going at a pace they can tolerate is imperative. 

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends vitamin C (as well as Bentonite Clay and possibly activated charcoal) to support the body during die-off reactions, saying, “Many people try these remedies and find that they help.”

Finding the right one for your needs may be the best start. 

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She recommends Bentonite Clay for those who are further along in their journey, those who have built a foundation of nutrition to strengthen their systems. The goal is to start with 1/4 teaspoon in a cup of water to three tablespoons in a cup of water 30 minutes prior to eating. For some it causes constipation and should be used under strict observation as toxins mainly leave the body through the bowels. 

Activated charcoal or this one, is optimally used in situations such as poisoning, not to be used regularly as it binds to nutrients in the body, stripping the already compromised body from nutritional support. Click here to read more about McBride’s recommendations on activated charcoal, including dosages. 

Vitamin C is and easy option, can be used by those on all stages of GAPS, depending on their situation. Those with deepest damage show best results starting with a vitamin C tea, while those who are more Full GAPS show positive results with whatever forms works best for them. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which helps to reduce oxidative stress and pull out free radicals. If too much is taken, it can cause loose stools, which is why some use it regularly. It comes in many forms. 

Amla, also known as Amlaki  is Indian Gooseberry is a fruit cut in half, the seeds are removed and it is dried in the sun. It is high in vitamin A and vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, carotene and magnesium. 

The European Journal of Cancer Prevention says, “Amla is arguably the most important medicinal plant in the Indian traditional system of medicine, the Ayurveda. The fruit is used either alone or in combination with other plants to treat many ailments such as common cold and fever; as a diuretic, laxative, liver tonic, refrigerant, stomachic, restorative, alterative, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, hair tonic; to prevent peptic ulcer and dyspepsia, and as a digestive. Preclinical studies have shown that amla possesses antipyretic, analgesic, antitussive, antiatherogenic, adaptogenic, cardioprotective, gastroprotective, antianemia, antihypercholesterolemia, wound healing, antidiarrheal, antiatherosclerotic, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, and neuroprotective properties. ”

Nutrients says, “Amla is one of the oldest edible fruits known in India. It has also traditionally been used to treat inflammation, and as an analgesic to treat wounds.”

The Journal of Basic and Clinical Pysiology and Pharmacology says, “The plant is used both as a medicine and as a tonic to build up lost vitality and vigor. Phyllanthus emblica (Amla) is highly nutritious and could be an important dietary source of vitamin C, amino acids, and minerals.”

Acerola Cherry Powder is derived from cherries grown on a tropical and subtropical shrub. Molecules reports, “Recent research showed that besides vitamin C, acerola fruits may be also a good source of phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, flavonoids and phenolic acids, and polyphenols. With respect to bioactivities, acerola showed antioxidant, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, and anti-hyperglycemic effects.”

Acerola Cherry Powder can be found here, or here

Kraut juice has shown great probiotic properties, as well as being high in vitamin C, balances estrogen, and has antimicrobial properties, as reported by Global Advanced in Health and Medicine. Click here to learn more about kraut juice as well as how to make kraut juice at home for pennies on the dollar. The large concern with kraut juice is not everyone can tolerate the probiotic count of this very powerful food and need to start with a supplemental C until enough microbiome support has occurred to allow intake. For those, fermenting in a Pickl-it may help with tolerance. 

Rose Hip tea is an easy starting point to add vitamin C and is tolerated by most, if not all. Rose Hips contain natural ascorbic acid, the quanitity depends on the altitude in which it was grown, says the Iranian Journal of Public Health. The general rule of thumb for making tea from a natural substance is one teaspoon of herbal to one cup of water. This would roughly be one to two rose hips to one cup of water. If more is tolerated, and favored, it can be more supportive. 

Kombucha is high in vitamin C, as reported by Diagnostic Pathology and Springer Plus. Click here to learn more about Kombucha and how to make it at home for pennies on the dollar. 

Camu camu is an herb high in vitamin C and a good source for supplementation. Click here for camu camu.

Ascorbic acid is used by many and can be used, but for some who are highly sensitive, it should be used carefully, with observation. McBride says, “I generally do not recommend ascorbic acid (synthetic) as it is an irritant to the gut lining. GAPS diet provides plenty of vitamin C in the food form (particularly when juicing is introduced). If you wish to take a supplement, it is better to have vitamin C in a whole natural form, such as acerola cherry powder.”

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, through The American Naturopathic Medical Association and works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. She serves on the GAPS Board of Directors and has recently been named “The GAPS Expert” by Dr. Natasha and will serve teaching other Certified GAPS Practitioners proper use of the GAPS protocol. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. becky.nourishingplot@hotmail.com

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

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One Response to Die-off and Vitamin C – Sources For Chronic Illness (GAPS Approved)

  1. Karen Keener says:

    Thank you for another excellent post, Becky. A friend of mine in CA just had a “heavy metals party” in which an expert came from Oregon to test all of her household goods for amounts of lead primarily and other heavy metals. As it turned out her bentonite clay from Redmond (a respected brand) was laced with dangerously high levels of lead!!! Apparently, the woman who does the metal testing (down to PPM, not a simple home swab test) claimed that both bentonite clays and charcoal powders are notorious for it! I was shocked and saddened that my favorite binders for removal of metals turn out to be carrying some of highest you can find in things in your home. Just a bit of information I feel compelled to pass along now that I know.

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