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18 September 2012
This article is part of the series Gezondheid.
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Liver flush - Geertje van der Burgh on How and Why
Listen to the interview

by Daan de Wit
Translated by Ben Kearney

Geertje van der Burgh [jpg]

Listen to the interview with Geertje van der Burgh on flushing your liver (in Dutch only) - Scroll down for transcript

For most healthy people, it is often the case that their liver is not functioning at full capacity. This is because both large and small gallstones have accumulated in the liver ducts, with some of them as large as an olive. It's possible to live with this condition, but a healthy liver has many benefits - not just for the body, but also for the mind. This is something that psychologist and nutrition consultant Geertje van der Burgh discovered through her own experimentation. Until five years ago, she was often sick and suffered from all sorts of infections. In the course of researching these problems, she discovered a liver flush that ultimately cured her, improving her condition to a level better than it had ever been.

In our conversation, she talks about the benefits of a liver flush and how it works exactly.. It turns out that flushing your liver does not really involve much of an ordeal and that it requires no more than a weekend of your time. Van der Burgh and others with whom I spoke each told me that their liver ultimately passed between a thousand and two thousand gall balls.

The decision to cleanse your liver and then to have your colon cleansed is your decision and your responsibility alone. Tip: the colon hydrotherapy covered in the interview can also be administered on the final day, i.e. Sunday evening or Monday evening.

On Friday, 21 September 2012, Geertje van der Burgh will be giving a lectureentitled Introduction to Healthy Eating.


by Trudie Beverloo

Daan de Wit: Today is 13 September 2012 and my name is Daan de Wit. Here with me today is psychologist Geertje van der Burgh. Today we are going to talk about health. Geertje is not only knowledgeable about the mind, but also about the body, and today we will be talking specifically about flushing the liver. This procedure has benefits not only for people who are sick and want to recover, but also for those who are healthy and who want to feel even healthier. For without even realizing it, many people who are otherwise in good health have a liver that is not functioning as it should, and as a result are not actually in perfect health. This is something that Geertje is quite familiar with. 
There was a time in her life when she was decidedly unhealthy, but her health has since recovered quite nicely. You feel good, and you say that you actually look better than you did years ago when you were so unhealthy. What value does a liver flush have insofar as improving someone’s health? What kinds of health issues were you having, and what role did a liver flush play in making you feel better? Let’s start with the problems you were having that necessitated the liver flush in the first place.

Geertje van der Burgh: During childhood, as well as during college and into my twenties, I was not really all that unhealthy per se. I wasn't sick all the time, but I had a low resistance to disease. I was susceptible to the flu; I got the flu way too often, as well as other infections. I suffered frequently from bladder infections, ear infections and sore throats. These were often treated with antibiotics, because otherwise they wouldn’t go away. In other words, I had no control over my health. If I scheduled a holiday, I never knew whether I was going to feel well enough to take the holiday when the time came. Back then, I also weighed an extra twenty kilos compared to now, and I also had problems with my joints. I quickly developed problems with painful joints - I couldn’t walk very far before they started to hurt. I think my face looked somewhat swollen as well. So that’s what I used to look like, and now all that is changed. I lost those extra kilos, I have never had a cold since, and now when people sneeze around me it doesn't really bother me because I know I'm not going to get what they have anyway.

De Wit: You also have a really good core body temperature, you’re comfortably warm. You’re sitting out here close to the balcony with short sleeves while I’m wearing a sweater. I take this as a sign that you are nice and healthy. This liver flush really did something for you, didn’t it?

Van der Burgh: Yes, at one point I decided that I didn’t want to get sick so often anymore, that I didn’t want to look like I did,  anymore and that I wanted more energy. So I went about flushing my liver after someone told me about a book that had been written on how you can cleanse your liver. There was a protocol for doing this which was explained to me, and when I heard it I thought to myself: "I'm crazy not to try this. It sounds like a huge step that I am capable of". And so I did it.

De Wit: I’d like to talk to you today about how one actually goes about performing a liver flush and why it’s important. 
But what I also find interesting is that it is also a good idea to flush your liver even if you are not sick. My understanding - and perhaps you can talk about this - is that there are a lot of healthy people who have unhealthy livers, which in turn has implications for their proper functioning, even though they are theoretically in good health.

Van der Burgh: Yes, that's right. If you have your liver tested by a doctor, your liver values might look pretty good, but that is partly due to the fact that your liver values are being compared to those of other people, specifically fellow Westerners. And it turns out that, in the West, most people’s livers do not function at full capacity, they only function at about 50 to 80% of the liver’s actual capacity.

De Wit: And so what does this mean, what does the liver do anyway?

Van der Burgh: The word ‘liver’ is similar to the word ‘live’, and in many languages these two words are related. For a number of reasons, your liver has a lot to do with your level of vitality and your level of energy. The liver plays a major role in digestion because it produces bile, and bile is important because it initiates the digestion process. If there is not enough bile present, food enters the intestinal canal without having been properly pre-digested. It actually ends up rotting there because the wrong chemical reactions take place. So bile is very important, and it must be able to flow freely. 

The liver also plays a key role in the immune system. Once your liver functioning becomes impaired, your immune system quickly follows suit. The liver is of course quite well-known for its detoxifying powers. We are exposed to an awful lot of toxins in the West, and even if you go out of your way to avoid ingesting them, you are still exposed to them via the air, water, etc. If your liver is unable to process these toxins, then this is going to cause you a lot of problems because toxins which are not expelled end up being stored in your body.

Many things work better if your body is clean. You are much more sensitive to what is going on. If the air is really dirty, for instance, you can’t see very well. If the air is clean, you can see much more clearly. If your body is contaminated, your ability to sense what is going on is compromised, and all sorts of communication processes, like the nervous system, are compromised. So these toxins cause a lot of problems. The liver is also quite well known for its production of L-carnitine and Q10, particularly among athletes. These are substances which have a lot to do with rejuvenation as well as fat burning. When these levels are lower, you age faster. The liver also has a lot to do with the quality of your skin. You are probably familiar with the age spots that are common to older people; these are also known as liver spots. When the liver is not functioning well, these liver spots are quick to arise. These are all things which are affected by the liver. If it is not functioning well, then all of these processes are going to be impaired to some extent.

De Wit: So you can be technically healthy but actually only be functioning at half-power, and then your liver is compared to those of others who are also functioning at half-power, and then you are told: “There is no problem with your liver.” But in fact it could be the case that the livers of a great many people in Western countries are only working at half-capacity.

Van der Burgh: Yes, and this is the case for an awful lot of processes that you can be tested for as well - including vitamins. A test can return a good level, but again, this is good because it is compared to your fellow Westerners. That’s different than comparing your test to the healthiest person you could possibly think of. And being as healthy as possible is a really nice thing to aspire to.

De Wit: The liver is also a sizeable organ isn’t it, weighing maybe about one kilogram. It’s quite substantial.

Van der Burgh: Yes, somewhat heavier actually.

De Wit: At a certain point in your research - you are a good researcher - you said to yourself, "I'm sick, I'm suffering from all sorts of infections, I want to get rid of them and get healthy, and the crux of the problem lies in my liver." You then began reading books. I have one of these books in front of me now: The Amazing Liver & Gallbladder Flush, by Andreas Moritz. This was an important book for you. Can you summarize what the problem is and what the solution is, as it relates to a liver flush?

Van der Burgh: Not everyone’s liver functions as it should, and this is because the liver is an organ that produces liquids. The liver is equipped with a series of ducts for this. If liquid is for whatever reason unable to make its way easily through all of these small ducts, then deposits are going to form, just as they would in a river or in a pipe under your kitchen sink. These deposits can eventually become so bad that gallstones form, gallballs, which in turn block the duct. This restricts the smooth flow of liquid through the duct. Then you end up with certain ducts in the liver that no longer function, which reduces its capacity. The nice thing about this book is that Andreas Moritz outlines a method for removing these gallstones that doesn’t require a gall bladder operation or any other kind of operation. It’s actually quite simple. You can do it at home, it’s not overly expensive, and it actually requires no more than a weekend. And that’s the great thing about this book. You can flush these stones right out.

De Wit: So we are talking about gallstones here, but these stones come in different sizes. They can be the size of a speck of grit, or they can be as big as a decent-sized marble, right? And they may be present in large numbers. I heard of one person who talked about having more than a thousand stones.

Van der Burgh: You even hear of people with more than two thousand stones.

De Wit: Incredible.

Van der Burgh: I had that many as well. You have to do the liver flush multiple times to flush out all of the stones.

De Wit: How many times should you do a liver flush?

Van der Burgh: That depends on the person. The book says that you should never do it just once because this process dislodges the stones, and you can actually create more of a mess than you cleanse if you stop after one flush. For most people it takes between eight and - in extreme cases - twenty flushes to cleanse the liver.

It works like this: At first you pass smaller stones, and then at a certain point you begin passing more and more stones with each flush. Then you get to a point where you notice, “I did the entire liver flush and I didn’t pass any stones.” At that point you know that your liver has been more or less cleansed and that there’s not much else that needs to be flushed out. Meanwhile you will begin to notice that your health has started to improve.

De Wit: That's something I’m really curious about. We’re going to talk about how one actually goes about doing this, but what is the upshot of doing the flush?

Van der Burgh: The result is that all of the problems I just described actually become less severe. I’m not a doctor, and I can’t make all sorts of medical claims, but I can speak for my experience as well as that of other people I know who have also done it. What I noticed was that, after each flush, I had more energy, my skin got better and I looked younger. Compared to before, people thought I was younger than I actually was. These stones exit your liver via the intestines, and for this to happen you actually have to cleanse your intestines at the same time. So not only did I get a cleaner liver, I actually got a colon cleanse in the process. And if you get rid of toxins, you are going to feel better. It’s something that is difficult to describe; you feel cleaner from the inside out, and that means that you have a clearer head as well. You probably end up absorbing less of these toxins - those that stick to the intestinal wall and the inner walls of the liver - because they are gone. There is less 'noise' in your system. I haven’t been sick since, haven’t gotten a flu or similar, haven’t gotten a cold. And I’ve lost a lot of weight. I think this is because toxins often bind to fat in your body because there is nowhere else for them to go. And if you get rid of these toxins, there is less need for your body to store fat.

De Wit: What does this have to do with your energy level?

Van der Burgh: Your energy simply increases. I’m not trying to make it sound like some sort of miracle, like I never get tired anymore, but I am definitely able to do more now. I am much less prone to tiring quickly.

De Wit: How has it affected you emotionally?

Van der Burgh: Good question. Chinese medicine holds that the liver is the organ that stores anger, that it’s the organ that has to do with anger. This is also reflected in our language when we say that you have something ‘stuck in your craw’ or when we speak of someone ‘spewing bile’. Anger is something you can cling to. Everyone is familiar with long-term anger. When that happens, you get angry again because there are memories associated with it. It used to be that I was quick to get angry. Of course now I am older, and maturity does play a role, but I just notice that I feel a lot less angry now.

De Wit: I’m actually quite curious about the protocol: what do you have to do to carry out the liver flush as thoroughly as possible.

Van der Burgh: You have to schedule one full week that includes a weekend for which you have no plans.

De Wit: So you can go about your business normally during the week?

Van der Burgh: Yes, you can go to work just like normal and you only need to set aside a weekend. It works best if you start the first five days of the protocol on that Monday. Each day, you need to consume a fairly acidic drink that is based on malic acid. The Moritz book talks about apple juice, but I tend not to agree with that because apple juice is a concentrated fruit juice, which means that it contains a significant concentration of fructose, and fructose is one of the substances that the liver has the most difficulty processing. It’s also one of the contributing causes of liver problems. It turns out that the liver has difficulty eliminating fructose, so it stores it instead. And this can give you a fatty liver. So I don’t think that apple juice is a good idea, even though the book says it is. 
But you have a number of alternatives. You can toss a few apples in your blender along with some cinnamon for taste. Then add water and drink it up. This way you also get the fibre from the fruit, which always makes it easier to digest. If you are trying to reduce your sugar intake, you can use apple cider vinegar instead - preferably organic - dilute it with water, and drink that. You can still find malic acid at old-fashioned health food stores, and you can dilute that with water as well. One tip: use a straw when you drink it, because all that acid is hard on your teeth.

De Wit: And how much do you need, one glass per...?

Van der Burgh: You have to kind of feel your way through it. What you will notice - we were talking earlier about anger - if you consume a lot of acidic liquids, it can make you feel and react a little cranky. It can really become a little unpleasant too, you are literally going to spew bile. You might get the burps, so you shouldn’t overdo it. Look, apple juice contains some malic acid; don't drink a liter of water with a huge amount of malic acid. That’s not necessary. Try drinking a liter of water with a moderate amount of malic acid.

De Wit: One liter per day?

Van der Burgh: Yes.

De Wit: So you start on Monday, and then you eat as you normally would, or do you stop eating? How does that work?

Van der Burgh: You eat normally, though in his book Moritz says that it's actually better to maintain a vegan diet and that you are best off avoiding animal fat and meat and the like. Now though I do believe that Andreas Moritz is well-intentioned, he is also a vegan, and personally I believe that a vegan diet is too extreme. I really can’t support that, and I think it is because of his own veganism that he recommends a vegan diet as prep for the liver flush.

De Wit: So how did you do it?

Van der Burgh: I can’t eat that, a vegan diet. It makes me crabby and uncomfortable. So I just eat an egg, maybe some cheese, or I fry my egg in butter. But I won’t eat any big slices of meat, I won’t drink alcohol or take medication of any kind.

De Wit: Okay, so you adjust your diet a little, but other than that it’s more or less normal, and then over the course of the day you drink this liter?

Van der Burgh: That’s right, I just drink it between meals. And if you feel like you can drink more, then do that. The reason for this is that the malic acid directly induces the liver to produce bile. Bile softens up the gallstones in the liver ducts, which comes in handy when the entire build-up decides to make its move at some point. A little preparation is in order. Don’t be surprised if you experience all sorts of emotions throughout this week. That’s because the liver, as well as everything that’s stored in it, has been stirred up. You might end up awakening old wounds, you might end up having to cry or to confront the break-up of a relationship that happened ten years ago, or you might suddenly think to yourself, “Now that I think about it, I’m really angry at my parents, I’m going to write them that letter, I’m going to tell them all about it.” But don’t do that - take care to remain grounded during this week and be mindful of any emotions that get stirred up. By all means, express your feelings, but do it with someone who knows what’s going on, or write them down. But whatever you do, don’t go and unload this stuff on others - wait a week or so.

De Wit: Sure. So you start on Monday, and then at some point it’s Friday afternoon.

Van der Burgh: Yes. You should actually try to drink the acidic drink on Friday morning too, but then it’s also important - I’m not sure how the book describes it exactly, but I also usually eat something as late as 1:00 p.m., just nothing too heavy. So you have something for breakfast and then a light lunch, and then after that you stop eating. And stop drinking the acidic drink because you are going to do the actual flush that evening and your gastrointestinal tract has to be empty for that. If it’s not, it will cause problems and you’ll get nauseous.

De Wit: So beginning that afternoon, nothing else to eat or drink?

Van der Burgh: Right, and of course it’s not easy to do your work and be hungry at the same time, but it can be done. Then eventually you go home, and from 6:00 p.m. onward just try to be at home and create a peaceful environment - don’t watch any riveting movies, don’t have any stressful phone conversations, etc. At 6:00 p.m., drink your first glass of water with Epsom salts. Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate. You can get this at the old-fashioned health food store as well.

De Wit: I noticed you have some Epsom salts sitting here, can I take a look at it?
I wouldn’t be surprised to find this in some kind of laboratory. It’s a big white container, and it reads: “Epsom salts. For the fireproofing of fabrics. For use in fertilizers. Store in a cool and dry place. Keep out of reach of children. Magnesium sulfate.” It looks like something you might use to make a bomb. Seeing this, I might wonder how safe it was...

Van der Burgh: Yea, that’s funny. But magnesium sulfate is one way of taking magnesium. It definitely has its industrial applications, but people have been using it as a laxative for a long time. When you take it, it makes things inside your body relax. That’s because magnesium is the ‘relaxing’ mineral. Calcium, on the other hand, stimulates contraction. That’s the way your muscles work, for instance. And what you want is for your body to reach an extremely relaxed state, especially in the ducts of the liver. That’s why you take it. It might taste awful to you; some people get rid of it, but to others it tastes awful.

De Wit: It has a bitter taste?

Van der Burgh: Yes, but it doesn’t taste bitter to me, it doesn’t taste bad to me.

De Wit: Where does one buy this, anyway?

Van der Burgh: Like I said, at the health food store, but you can find it online as well. I know that people also add it to a hot bath to help relax. This is a fairly common use in America.

De Wit: Okay, so you buy a container of it. What next? It's 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening.

Van der Burgh: You take two tablespoons of it. The exact protocol is described in the book. Put two tablespoons in a full glass of water, stir well to dissolve, and drink it. Then you start to feel relaxed, it’s almost kind of a high that you get; you feel more relaxed than normal. It has a laxative effect too, and you might notice this effect right away, but most often you won’t notice this on that evening. Do something relaxing - you’ve already cleaned your house and everything is ready for the weekend, and you’ve got your pyjamas on. Watch a nature film, do some meditating or something of that nature, and then at 8:00 p.m. drink another glass of Epsom salts. So on that evening you want to drink two glasses, two hours apart. Then at 10:00 p.m. - you will need to have this mixture ready to go in a tall glass so that, after having spent the entire evening relaxing - this might sound disgusting - the glass is filled half with olive oil and half with a mixture of orange and lemon juice. Some people use grapefruit juice, which I find to be somewhat tangier. I don’t care for that as much. But you have to experiment with different things and see what works for you. You can also pour it into a bottle and shake well, the idea being that you would then go stand next to your bed with the mixture in hand after having already turned out all the lights in your house. Once you are ready to get into bed, you drink the whole mixture down all at once.

Second part of transcript by Michiel Bezemer
Translated by Ben Kearney 

Van der Burgh: The magnesium causes the ducts of the liver to dilate and relax, and this creates space within the liver so that things can start moving. Because you have consumed so much acidic liquid and oil, the liver is going to produce an awful lot of bile all at once because it wants to digest it. So everything is wide open, and then this wave of bile arrives. This literally produces a flush effect in which the stones in your liver begin to shift. Some people can actually feel this, but most people do not.

So what you do is, after you have drunk all of it down, you lay down on your back right away. Maintain this position for at least 20 minutes. Try not to move or talk.

De Wit: Why is that?

Van der Burgh: The process takes time: the bile starts flowing, and you shouldn't be busy doing anything while this is happening. Otherwise you will hinder the process.

De Wit: But can you really drink it all down in the first place? It sounds so disgusting. Won't it just make you vomit?

Van der Burgh: No, that's what I thought would happen when I did it the first time. But the nice thing about it is that, if you mix it right, it actually tastes a little bit like orange juice. That allows you to drink it down. You might have to shudder once or twice, but it actually might be a good thing to do.

De Wit: So you empty that tall glass pretty quickly...

Van der Burgh: Yes, you need to do this in one gulp.

De Wit: In a single gulp. Then you lie down right way, pull a blanket over you, and don't move.

Van der Burgh: And then just try to stay peaceful with your attention on your liver, and to keep breathing. Just let it happen. You have to surrender to the process. I always notice that it's difficult to look at my alarm clock, because then I am actually moving.

So you maintain this for 20 minutes. Some people lie on their right side - this is also described in the book. I find it more pleasant to stay lying on my back.
And then those stones start to move. Sometimes you end up falling asleep, and that's great. Then you don't wake up until the next morning. But sometimes you have a really restless night with all kinds of emotions - that can happen too.

De Wit: What's the purpose of these 20 minutes?

Van der Burgh: I think that that's the time it takes for the bile to flow. In other words, the time that the liver is literally being flushed.

De Wit: Okay. So in theory, there is not much going on during these 20 minutes. You just need to make sure that, from the time that you lie down, you stay lying down, and preferably go to sleep.

Van der Burgh: Yes. It's even better to remain lying down a bit longer so that you don't circumvent the process if things happen to be moving a bit slower. But after that, you are free to go and stand wherever you want, so if you want to pee...

De Wit: So after 20 minutes you can stand up, pee, or do whatever?

Van der Burgh: Yes, you can.

De Wit: Okay, if you get through that first 20 minutes uneventfully.

Van der Burgh: It's quite a difficult process. Your liver has to work very hard. You haven't eaten anything the whole afternoon, and the next morning you don't eat anything either. So you want to get a good night's sleep in order to support yourself through the whole process.

One thing that sometimes happens: some people can get nauseous, and in a small number of cases they will vomit at some point during the night, often after a few hours of sleep. It's not pleasant when this happens, and of course you try to avoid it, but it can happen. It's good to know that this does not have a negative effect on the flush because the bile has already been produced by that point. The flushing is successful, it's just that the liver ends up sending that oily mixture back up. And when that happens, some people vomit. But luckily that usually doesn't happen. Usually you fall asleep and then you wake up at 6:00 a.m.

And since those Epsom salts you took the night before have a laxative effect, you might end up waking up because you have to go to the bathroom. That laxative effect of the Epsom salts means that you have to rush to the bathroom. And now for the part of the story that I never know how to make appetizing. Most people take an inexpensive plastic colander and set that in the toilet, maybe even the night before. It's actually quite nice to see what you're losing when you flush your liver, to see what comes out. This is stuff that you want to get rid of, and you want to know what you're getting rid of.

So you set the colander in the toilet, and the next day when you need to run to the toilet, what ends up staying in the colander is what came flowing out of your liver. You shouldn't use that colander for spaghetti in the future... just a tip.

So in the morning you need to go to the toilet. At 6:00 a.m., you try to drink another glass of water with Epsom salts so as to maintain that laxative effect for a while. And then again at 8:00 a.m., and if needed, again at 10:00 a.m. As long as you are continuing to pass stones. What you'll see is that you pass green stones.

With the first liver flush, the stones are often no larger than lentils or peas. If you continue to do more flushes, these stones can take the shape of macadamia nuts, marbles or olives. Or they'll be oblong-shaped because they squeezed through a duct. It's a really nice process that is somehow or other worth it. It's really nice to get rid of toxins.

Oftentimes you can't really catch up on sleep because you have to stay close to the toilet. It's also not something that you want to do together with your partner if you only have one toilet. That's probably not very romantic, so to speak. You just have to go through the process. You're a little busy that morning, a little awake, and then at a certain point you notice that you aren't passing any more stones. At that point, the liver flush has emptied you out, so to speak.

De Wit: And that can already be the case on Saturday afternoon?

Van der Burgh: Yes, as a rule that happens on Saturday afternoon. According to the protocol, you can have another meal at around noon or 2 p.m. You need to be a little careful because you have flushed out your intestinal flora. At that moment your intestines are empty, so what you eat needs to be easy to digest. Then a little rebuilding starts by eating something again. For the rest of the day you should take it very easy and try to rest and sleep as much as possible. In theory, you can eat normally again on the next day, which is Sunday.

It's important that you do a colon cleanse next because your liver is discharging a lot of toxins. These toxins leave your body via the intestines, and the intestines have folds in which toxins can accumulate. If this happens they can become inflamed, or the body will reabsorb the toxins. You can't always get rid of them completely. The book says that you need to carry out a colon cleanse. I think this is a good idea for anyone who is just starting this process. You can look it up on the internet, it's known as Colon Hydrotherapy.

There are various people here in the Netherlands that offer this treatment. It's covered under the alternative medicine category of your health insurance. Tip: assuming you are interested in going ahead with this, we are getting close to the end of the year, and you might take this into consideration when choosing the type of health insurance you want for 2013. You still have time to do that. A Colon Hydrotherapy treatment costs 90 euros; if you have good insurance, it will cost quite a bit less.

Not everyone takes well to Colon Hydrotherapy. Water is injected into your intestines under a fair amount of pressure so that they open up and are cleansed thoroughly. In and of itself, a cleanse can be a good thing for anybody to do once in a while. But there are also those who say, "I'd prefer to be in control of the process and do it in the peace and quiet of my own home."

De Wit: You can do that too?

Van der Burgh: You can do this by means of an enema. Some people have experience with this. Enemas are used quite a bit in Ayurvedic medicine. You can purchase enema kits through Ayurvedic online retailers. This also allows you to choose from different varieties: You can do camomile enemas or add a little bit of gray sea salt, you can get creative with it.

De Wit: Okay, so it's now Sunday, so to speak. When do you undergo the Colon Hydrotherapy? Can you wait a week, or do you have to do it the following Monday morning.

Van der Burgh: I would do it on that Monday, because that Sunday is really a day for resting. If you do an enema, you can do it as early as that Sunday; a lot of people wait until the day after their day of rest to do a thorough colon cleanse. There are also those who prefer not to do it at all, and I've seen this happen. I've had a lot of contact with people who have flushed their liver. And what I often see is that people who choose not to cleanse their colon afterwards end up having problems, such as extreme intestinal pain that eventually forces them to seek the hydrotherapy. I've also seen people who end up with lung issues, who end up getting a very bad cold. This isn't good for the intestines - they send these toxins back into the body, which in turn causes problems elsewhere. So it's best to do a colon cleanse.

De Wit: I actually have another question about that, but first, regarding these stones passed by the liver, some of which can be quite large: one would think that they leave wide-open cavities behind them when they exit, right?

Van der Burgh: Yea, that's a good question. We spoke earlier about why you don't want to do the liver flush just once. You must do it a number of times. It's just like unclogging your kitchen sink - you can spend quite a bit of time trying to open the clog with a plunger - it takes a while before it opens up and starts to flow again. It's the same with your liver. You can do a flush, but then the stones only shift forward a little bit, only to end up getting stuck somewhere else. You need to do several flushes before all the stones are passed. After your first flush, you might feel very healthy for a couple days, but then after that, you start feeling worse. This is because it's possible for the liver to actually be more obstructed than it was before the flush.

De Wit: Aside from these obstructions, if you pass one of these stones, this creates quite a bit of space. Sort of like Swiss cheese. Does this end up correcting itself? Isn't it actually a bad thing?

Van der Burgh: I think that's a good question. In my experience, the flush works quite well, so I think it corrects itself fine. I think the liver possesses a degree of elasticity that allows it to spring back.

De Wit: If it's absolutely necessary to undergo Colon Hydrotherapy the first time, is it always necessary?

Van der Burgh: Yes, and according to the book you are also supposed to do that beforehand. But I don't think that's really all that necessary, especially considering the cost and the trouble it requires. I wouldn't do that. But I would absolutely cleanse the colon after every liver flush. There is another reason that this is good to do.
If you have good reason to flush your liver, then you probably also have good reason to flush out your intestines, because there's a good chance that they are also in need of a cleanse. A lot of people live to be 20, 30, 40, or 50 without ever having cleansed their colon. These people accumulate a lot of debris in their intestines, stuff that ends up getting encrusted. It's well-known that people who do a colon cleanse find themselves in a better mood afterwards, and they stay that way. Material that sticks to the intestinal walls is constantly being absorbed. The intestines - especially the large intestine, which is what we're really talking about here - absorb things, and if there is a bunch of debris clinging to them, we end up absorbing that debris. So that also plays into it.

Another good thing about the liver flush is that it also opens up the ducts of the kidneys, so they also get flushed in the process without you even noticing. So yes - I would definitely always do a colon cleanse.

De Wit: Okay. So you go to the Colon Hydrotherapist on Monday morning and go through that process, and once that's over, you're done. Then when do you do your next liver flush?

Van der Burgh: The book says to wait at least two weeks, and you should definitely do that because the flush delivers quite a shock to the liver.

De Wit: I can imagine that, to subject it to something like that after 30 or 40 years.

Van der Burgh: Yes, it's like BAM! Exactly. You have to be careful about it, so wait at least two weeks. There are some exceptions to this, such as people who already suffer from biliary colic. Or people who are already experiencing massive pain in their gall bladder, at which point their doctor says, "I would just remove it". Sometimes this can be prevented through a regimen of liver flushes. If you actually suffer from biliary colic, then you will begin to feel quite miserable a couple days after a liver flush, often at night. In that case, I wouldn't wait two weeks, I would speed up the regimen and do it every few days. Because the alternative is pretty dismal, namely the removal of your gall bladder - as if that were no big deal.

De Wit: Fascinating. And these gallstones - are these really gallstones, or...

Van der Burgh: These stones are really calcified, and I believe the official medical term for them is gallstones. There is some confusion regarding terminology among doctors. People will say, "Hey look, I passed 2,000 gallstones", at which point the doctor asks to see them, and then says, "Those aren't stones! Those are just soft little pellets with the texture of clay."

De Wit: Because those are what you are talking about, that's what we're talking about.

Van der Burgh: Yes. If you do a liver flush, you pass little pellets. They are green, but they can also be transparent, or red, or black. They can also be gray, or they can have a whitish color from being calcified. Those are the only ones that are officially referred to as stones. But they all have the same effect on your health, which is obstructing canals and exerting a load on the gall bladder.

De Wit: As I understand it, they don't show up on X-rays.

Van der Burgh: That's true. The liver is examined to see whether it has any gallstones.

De Wit: And you can have your liver examined at some point and be told that there is nothing wrong with it.

Van der Burgh: And then it looks good, unless it's calcified. Only solid objects will show up on an X-ray.

De Wit: And in the meantime, they have already been causing problems for some time, even though they are not calcified and are still somewhat soft.

Van der Burgh: Yes.

De Wit: Okay. Well, now that I've heard your story, I'm pretty enthusiastic about it, so I'm definitely going to do it. I'm also enthusiastic about it because you can go about your business normally during the week and then take the weekend to do it. This Colon Hydrotherapy doesn't sound very pleasant to me. Or is it not so bad? How does it actually work?

Van der Burgh: It's funny, because everyone who considers doing the liver flush gets hung up on the colon cleanse issue for a while.

De Wit: That's also because it's an unknown, I don't know what it involves exactly. Is it uncomfortable, or not too bad? Or is it actually a pleasant experience?

Van der Burgh: Well, I don't know if I would call it pleasant...

De Wit: Well okay, the liver flush is nice because at least with that, you see the effect. How does Colon Hydrotherapy actually work?

Van der Burgh: You go to a practicing professional. Homeopaths or natural healers oftentimes offer this treatment. They use a special device with water at body temperature. This water is injected into the intestines through a hose via the anus. There's really no nicer way to say it. During the procedure, you can always speak up if you need to stop. As the client, you are always in control of what's going on, but there is someone there who is managing the procedure. The water is injected into your intestines at a rate that you can tolerate. The intestines then fill up with water, which means that the folds get stretched out flat. It's there, inside these folds, that all sorts of debris collects. This debris is referred to as waste products, and it gets washed out. Oftentimes your belly will be massaged during the procedure so that the water can do its work effectively. Again, it's somewhat similar to the work a plumber performs.

De Wit: Is there any kind of valve inside your body that prevents water from getting above it?

Van der Burgh: Yes, there actually is a kind of valve.

De Wit: Okay, so the water sits in there and you might feel your belly swell up a little, but eventually they take the hose out of you and then everything flows out, including the waste products.

Van der Burgh: Right, and the difference is actually that Colon Hydrotherapy involves more pressure because it uses a piece of equipment that injects water inside you at higher pressure, which makes your intestines swell up more so that they can be cleaned out.

There are also people who are against this because it subjects your intestines to pressure.

De Wit: And maybe also because it's unnatural, right?

Van der Burgh: It's not a very gentle procedure. I'm glad I did it, because I learned what I can and cannot tolerate. This is good if you are going to do it yourself later on. But I am also in favor of the enema method, because it gives you so much more control.

De Wit: This is a procedure that you perform yourself, but doesn't it use less pressure?

Van der Burgh: Yes. You have a bag with water at body temperature, and you let it do its work through siphoning action. It's actually gravity. But a warning is very much in order here: be careful not to make the water too hot, because if you do, it will be extremely unpleasant.

De Wit: So use lukewarm water and position it high above you so that it can travel downwards via gravity. That supplies less pressure than the pump that's used in Colon Hydrotherapy.

Van der Burgh: Exactly.

De Wit: I can also see where it would be nice to do the Colon Hydrotherapy as well, because then you lose these waste products and are cleaned out again.

Van der Burgh: You can see these waste products as they exit; a see-through tube shows you what's coming out of you. And because you are already empty when you start the Colon Hydrotherapy, everything you see coming out is debris that has accumulated inside you for a long time.

De Wit: Excellent, all of it goes away.

Van der Burgh: Yes, that's what happens. I realize that what we are talking about here is kind of disgusting, but at the same time it's just like cleaning your house. If you are going to clean out the attic, at first there is a lot of junk, but then you drag out all these bags of junk that you don't need anymore. It's the same with the liver flush. You remove a lot of stuff, and that leaves you with a very nice feeling.

De Wit: How do you restore your intestinal flora?

Van der Burgh: That's an important point. I'm not quite sure if the book talks about it, but I recommend taking a good probiotic supplement for some time afterwards. You don't lose all of your intestinal flora in one flush, like you would if you were taking antibiotics. A flush can't wipe out everything, and it will restore itself eventually. But it's always nice to help your body out a little bit and supplement the process.

De Wit: And you do this with a bottle of Orthiflor from Orthica?

Van der Burgh: Yes, that's an excellent brand actually. People in the U.S. can order from places like iherb.com. That's a good store, and it's cheaper than what can be found in the Netherlands. A good brand there is Jarrow. Jarrow Dophilus is an affordable probiotic supplement which does a good job.

De Wit: Let's say you have a bottle of Orthiflor from Orthica that contains 100 pills. You have to open a capsule, dissolve it into a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. How many times do you have to take this until your intestinal flora is restored to normal?

Van der Burgh: You can actually sort of feel when it gets back to normal. In the beginning, you can take more than you normally would. You could take them for a week or two, and by then I think you will have already taken plenty.

De Wit: How many of these pills do you take each day?

Van der Burgh: I'm not familiar with Orthiflor's dosage; I would just follow the instructions on the bottle.

De Wit: And this will restore your intestinal flora to normal levels?

Van der Burgh: Yes. And as far as that goes, I think it's always a good idea to take probiotic supplements.

De Wit: You really feel it's a good idea to take them all year round?

Van der Burgh: I do. If you take a look at traditional diets, you'll see that they often include a lot of fermented products, like preserved vegetables. We don't eat so much of that in the West anymore, so I don't think that taking probiotic supplements is an unnecessary luxury.

De Wit: Okay. But these last couple things we've covered still seem a little forced. Forced in the sense that you have to take probiotic supplements, Colon Hydrotherapy isn't all that natural, and a liver flush is also something of a forceful remedy. What do you say to that?

Van der Burgh: I am always very much in favor of doing things in accordance with Mother Nature. The problem is that, here in the West, we have to contend with so many unnatural substances. These substances leave residual traces behind, so sometimes you have to take that extra step. It's the same thing with nutritional supplements. I don't approve of people relying on pills all the time just because there is no other way for them to stay healthy, but if you are faced with a severe magnesium deficiency, then you have to make use of unnatural remedies. I think that's also the case here.

De Wit: Okay. Do you feel like we've pretty much covered everything concerning this topic?

Van der Burgh: One thing I also wanted to mention was that, once you have completed a full liver flush, you can do a maintenance flush once or twice a year. This prevents new gallstones from forming, something which often happens eventually.

De Wit: But once you start, you actually have to do it as many as eight times throughout your life anyway, right?

Van der Burgh: Well, the book says two times. That way it won't be any worse than it was. In my experience, people keep doing it, because they want to stay clean inside. Plus it's a very nice process that you can undergo without anyone knowing about it. You do have to devote time to it, but it's really worth it to release a huge load of debris, both physical as well as emotional.

De Wit: You say to wait two weeks between each liver flush, but is it okay to wait as long as three months?

Van der Burgh: Yes, that's okay too. The stones need time to shift further downward, and your body needs time to readjust. That's actually the only condition - don't go too fast.

De Wit: Okay, so we've totally covered it?

Van der Burgh: Well, there's certainly more to it, but I can't think of anything else right now. So I think that's it.

De Wit: Thank you so much!

Van der Burgh: You're very welcome.

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