Cleansing Your Blood
Although widely misunderstood, cleansing the blood is probably one of the most important weapons in the alternative health arsenal for achieving optimum wellness and defeating cancer. To be sure, by some measures, we seem to be doing better when it comes to cancer. The medical community touts the fact that both the incidence of--and deaths from--cancer have finally started trending down. But this actually represents a bit of illusory back slapping. The biggest declines are in lung cancer and breast cancer.1 But the decline in lung cancer has virtually nothing to do with advances in diagnosis and treatment but, rather, is the result of decreased cigarette smoking in the U.S. Unfortunately, tobacco use is growing worldwide and has even started trending back up among young people in the United States, as we now add about one million new young American smokers every year. As for breast cancer, once again, that has less to do with medical advancements than with a decline in the use of hormone replacement therapy drugs—a primary factor in the onset of breast cancer. In effect, doctors are patting themselves on the back for no longer killing people.
Have there been improvements in diagnosis and treatment? Absolutely…for some cancers. Colon cancer, for example. But overall, the simple truth is that in 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 deaths from cancer in the US alone. Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the U.S., accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. Someday, advances in genetic therapy and scientific research will make a real difference, but until that day, you’re largely on your own, and you would be wise to take advantages of the defenses that nature offers such as blood cleansing. There are actually several ways to cleanse your blood. One of the most effective is to use systemic proteolytic enzymes between meals or before bed. When taken without food, the enzymes enter the bloodstream within a matter of minutes and begin cleaning protein-based detritus, such as antigens and circulating immune complexes out of the blood, which would otherwise compromise the immune system. This can make a significant improvement in your overall health rather quickly.
What we're talking about now, though, is something quite different -- using herbal blood cleansers to eliminate systemic pathogens, remove toxic residues from the blood, stimulate the lymph system (which is essential for keeping your blood clean), and break down rogue cells to assist your immune system in minimizing the chances of malignant growths taking root in your body. The great blood cleansing herbs--in no particular order--are: red clover, burdock root, chaparral, poke root, and sheep sorrel. These are the herbs you will find in the famous blood cleansing formulas such as the Hoxsey formula, Essiac Tea, the Dr. Christopher and Dr. Schulze formulas, and in my own version of the formula. These formulas can literally "drive" bad things out of your body -- or prevent them from entering in the first place. With that in mind, let's look at the "perfect" blood cleansing formula.
What exactly is a blood cleanser?
First of all, the very name "blood cleanser" is really a euphemism. In fact, this formula and almost every herb in it is considered by herbalists to be anticancer (though not acknowledged as such by governmental agencies). Variations of this formula have been used for hundreds of years by Native American tribes. More recently, commercial versions have been available, as I mentioned earlier, such as the Hoxsey formula, Essiac Tea, and Jason Winters Tea, etc. The very fact that we can't talk openly about the anticancer property of herbs and herbal formulas except as a theoretical construct is probably the most political topic in alternative health today.
Not surprisingly, as we go through the individual herbs in my recommended blood cleansing formula--
Chaparral, Red clover, Burdock root, Poke root, Yellow dock root, Goldenseal root, Oregon grape root, Bloodroot, Mistletoe, Sheep sorrel, Cat's claw, and Cayenne.
--you will find that many of them are on the FDA cautionary list, and virtually all of them are on the Canadian list. You will also find numbers of these herbs on the warning lists of European countries such as Switzerland and Germany, and even Australia for that matter. On the other hand, you will also find that a number of studies--most of them fairly recent--actually support what herbalists have been saying for decades about these herbs' anticancer properties.
What's going on here? Why is it that the very same herbs that the great herbalists single out as being most beneficial for combating cancer are banned by government authorities as useless -- even toxic? How does this happen -- again and again?
Of course, these same authorities might have more credibility if the alternatives they pushed -- surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation -- had a better track record. But as we all know, they don't. Perhaps even more interesting is that many of the studies that support the anticancer properties of the herbs in question are being conducted with synthetic variations of the isolated key biochemicals in those herbs, not the herbs themselves.
The stated reason is that the synthetic variants are "safer" and "more effective." But we've been down this road countless times before. They are not safer. They are not more effective. In fact, they usually have much more dangerous side effects and are frequently less effective than the complete plant extract itself. What they are, though, is patentable. But that's a topic for another time.
In any case, since we can't talk about the cancer preventive properties of specific formulas, let's just talk theoretically about the herbs found in my "ideal" formula and why they are effective. Note, most of these herbs are extremely bitter and taste really horrible, but they work!
Native Americans have used chaparral for centuries as an anticancer remedy. In fact, it is the cornerstone of most anticancer herbal formulas. Exactly how it works is open to debate, but some of its main actions are:
- Chaparral is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants in nature. The primary biochemical responsible for this is NDGA (nordihydroguaiaretic acid). NDGA is so effective that it is often used as a food preservative.
- It is anti-pathogenic. In other words, it kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
- Chaparral has even shown much promise with herpes.
- Chaparral cleanses the lymph system.
- It cleanses the blood.
- It cleanses the liver.
- It cleanses the urinary tract.
- It's a natural chelator that clears heavy metals from the blood.
- Studies show that chaparral may also inhibit uncontrolled cell proliferation as well as damage to DNA.
- And a number of university studies have indicated that chaparral can destroy and dissolve many types of tumors.
So how could such a beneficial herb be on every government's blacklist? According to the FDA, citing a 1997 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, "Chaparral: sold as teas and pills to fight cancer and "purify blood," has been linked to serious liver damage. FDA has recorded two deaths and 10 cases of hepatitis or other liver abnormalities in users."2
The reality, though, is that the evidence for chaparral liver toxicity is anecdotal. It's not the result of any double blind studies or clinical trials. For example, one of the cases the FDA likes to cite can be found in a 1995 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.3 The details of the case concern a 60-year-old woman who developed jaundice and liver failure while taking one to two capsules of chaparral each day with a pinch of garlic in a tea made from nettle and chickweed. The authors of the JAMA article concluded it must have been the chaparral that caused the liver problems. What is fascinating is that the patient in question was also consuming atenolol, aspirin, using a nitro patch, and occasional acetaminophen, as well as diltiazem hydrochloride - all drugs with profound hepatotoxic potential. Amazingly, none of these other substances were even considered as a possible cause of the liver problems by the authors...or the FDA. What a surprise!
Nevertheless (and despite the fact that Dr. Norman Farnsworth's extensive studies on chaparral in the 1970s and 1980s found no hepatotoxic effects for chaparral whatsoever), in December 1992, FDA Commissioner David Kessler announced, "The public should not purchase or consume chaparral."
After these allegations of liver toxicity by the FDA, manufacturers voluntarily restricted sales of chaparral for several years until the reports were investigated. Following a lengthy review, a panel of medical experts concluded "no clinical data was found... to indicate chaparral is inherently a hepatic toxin." In late 1994, this report was submitted to the FDA and chaparral was subsequently given a clean bill of health by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). After comparing the quantity of chaparral consumed each year (it is estimated that over 200 tons, 500 million capsules, were sold in the U.S. in the 1970's and 80's alone) to the number of product complaints, industry regulators concluded that chaparral did not pose a significant threat to consumer safety. Dr. Clark Watt and a group of scientists and doctors concluded that hepatotoxicity was most likely due to an allergic reaction rather than "inherent liver toxicity."4 And in 2001, a retrospective clinical study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found no evidence of liver toxicity from the use of low dose chaparral.5
So is this remarkable herb (the cornerstone of many great formulas) now sold freely in the marketplace and used to benefit ailing people all over the world? Hardly!
Search for "chaparral toxicity" on the web and you will see numerous articles still announcing the dangers of the herb (all citing the same cases from the early 90's.) Or try to buy chaparral in Canada or much of Europe. Right! The problem is that once an herb is labeled dangerous (even if disproved at a later date), the stigma remains and is brought up over and over and over again, acquiring truth through repetition, if not through fact.
Fortunately, despite the bad press, chaparral is at least available (for the time being) in the United States.
According to a report in the May 2010 issue of the Medical Science Monitor, numerous studies have shown that the main metabolite of chaparral, NDGA, is likely effective in the treatment of multiple diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, cancers, and in the field of tissue engineering.6 The report went on to explain that several medicinal properties such as NDGA's antineoplastic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory characteristics have been supported by in vitro and in vivo experimental studies, as well as historical reports. Studies have also confirmed that NDGA has extensive pharmacological effects and specific mechanisms of actions. It is a strong antioxidant; it can scavenge ROS (reactive oxygen species, AKA free radicals) or inhibit ROS production, stimulate (nitrous oxide production, increase immune function, enhance central nervous system function, and prevent cardiovascular or other diseases. And tissue engineering studies demonstrate that NDGA-crosslinking is an effective way to improve the mechanical properties and biocompatibility of artificial tissues and organs.
Quite simply, when it comes to cancer, there are a number of studies that show the benefits of chaparral and NDGA--and many of them recent. For example, a 2010 study published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters found that several synthetic variations of NDGA act as inhibitors against human liver cancer.7 The results of this study were reinforced by a study published just last month in ChemMedChem that found that eight methylated versions of NDGA were protective against liver cancer.8 Incidentally, I started with two studies on chaparral's ability to inhibit liver cancer specifically to counter any lingering concerns over its falsely rumored liver toxicity, but its anticancer benefits are by no means limited to liver cancer. As a 2012 study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment shows, it's equally protective against breast cancer.9 And a 2008 study published in the journal Prostate shows that it might be just as effective in dealing with prostate cancer.10 And then, of course, there are the numerous studies that show that NDGA is more effective than acyclovir when it comes to treating the viruses HIV, HSV,11 and HPV12--HPV being notable as a primary factor in the onset of cervical cancer. And for that matter, studies have shown that NDGA and its derivatives are directly effective against cervical cancer itself.13
Red Clover is another staple of herbal blood cleansing formulas and has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. It's an excellent blood purifier that over time gradually cleanses the bloodstream and corrects deficiencies in the circulatory system. But among classic herbalists, it is probably best known as one of the main herbs for treating all varieties of cancer -- anywhere in the body -- and is found as a central ingredient in many anticancer formulas, again including the Hoxsey formula, Jason Winters tea, my ideal formula, and Essiac tea.
Not surprisingly, most doctors, the FDA and many "new-school" herbalists have dismissed red clover as useless in dealing with cancer. However, researchers at the National Cancer Institute have indeed found anti-tumor properties in red clover. Genistein, a biochemical in red clover has the ability to prevent tumors from developing the blood supplies they need to survive -- thus starving them and killing them.
As it turns out, genistein is the same biochemical considered to be the main beneficial biochemical in soy. But red clover has a significant advantage over soy. It contains not just genistein, but significant levels (about ten times that found in soy) of all four ben
eficial estrogenic isoflavones (a special class of antioxidants) including daidzein. In addition to isoflavones, red clover contains another class of anticancer phytoestrogen compounds called coumestans -- primarily in the form of biochanin.
Soy consumption, unlike red clover consumption, does not result in any increase in biochanin in the blood.14 Is that important? Studies have shown that biochanin may significantly inhibit breast cancer proliferation.15, 16, 17 Not unsurprisingly, for similar reasons, it may be equally protective against prostate cancer.18 And then there was the Australian study where researchers gave red clover isoflavonoids to 20 men with prostate cancer before they had surgery to remove their prostates. The men who had received flavonoids appeared to have more cancer cells that were dying in their surgically removed prostate tissue.19 Yes, it was a very small study, without a placebo group, and it did not compare survival, quality of life, or symptoms, but the researchers described the apoptosis in the specimens from treated patients as "significantly higher" than in control subjects. And it's not the first time this kind of result has been noted with red clover and prostate cancer.20
Burdock root (Arctium lappa) is probably the most famous detoxifying agent in the herbal arsenal. It cleanses the blood by increasing the effectiveness of all the body's elimination systems. Its diuretic effect helps the kidneys filter impurities from the blood. It helps push toxins out through the skin, and it also boosts the ability of the liver to remove toxins. The bottom line is that by pushing toxins out through a variety of pathways, burdock can purify the blood with minimal side effects and with minimal stress to the body. Note: although burdock root has traditionally been used to treat diabetes, in excessive amounts, it may interfere with blood sugar medications.
Studies indicate that burdock has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.21, 22The lignans arctiin and arctigenin, which are found in burdock root, are most likely responsible for its anti-inflammatory abilities, whereas the polyacetylenes and chlorogenic acid components are most likely responsible for its antibacterial properties. In addition, burdock root appears to be hepatoprotective,23 antidiabetic,24 and protective against mammary, colon, and pancreatic cancer.25 In fact, studies have shown that it has anticancer activity against a variety of cancers such as: ovarian cancer,26 lung cancer,27 and breast cancer,28 to name just a few.
Pokeroot and Yellow dock root
These are both powerful blood cleansers and lymph cleansers, inciting and increasing the action of lymph glands throughout the entire body. Not surprisingly, both herbs are staples of many traditional herbal anticancer formulas.
If used improperly, pokeroot (AKA, pokeweed) can be toxic, but if used properly, animal studies have shown that it can enhance the immune system and has anticancer properties. For example, according to one animal study, pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP), a protein contained in the plant, demonstrated anticancer effects in rodents.29Another study found that PAP, when combined with an immunotherapy drug called TP-3, holds promise as a potential treatment for advanced osteosarcomas and some soft tissue sarcomas.30In addition, laboratory studies have suggested that certain formulations of PAP may turn out to be useful against cancer cells that depend on hormones for their growth, such as cells from prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer.31 PAP also acts against some viruses such as herpes, HIV,32 and lymphocytic choriomeningitis.33
Like pokeroot, yellow dock (Rumex crispus) can compromise red blood cells if improperly overused. Or in other words, unless used properly, it can have toxic properties. But also like pokeroot, if used properly, studies have shown that it has strong anticancer properties. In fact, a 2012 study instigated by the use of yellow dock in the Essiac formula found that yellow dock displayed "remarkable cytotoxic activities" on several tested leukemia cell lines.34
Mistletoe's use for treating cancer is so widespread in central Europe that it actually is estimated that as many as 60 to 70 percent of cancer patients incorporate it into their therapy. Back in 2003, I referred to the National Institutes of Health ongoing study of mistletoe's anticancer properties. According to the details of the study, "mistletoe lectin may slow the growth of cancer cells and be an effective treatment for solid tumors." In particular, the study was designed to look at how effective mistletoe extract (ME) was when injected directly into pancreatic tumors. Well, the results of that study are now in, and they are astonishing. "The results of our preclinical investigation demonstrate that intratumoral injections of a lectin-rich ME [mistletoe extract] can effect complete remissions in a pancreatic cancer xenograft."35 And since then, further studies have proven the value of mistletoe in combating cancer. There have been numerous studies in Europe, especially in Germany, that have reported the benefits of mistletoe extract in fighting several types of cancer, including pancreatic and breast cancer. A National Cancer Institute review of more than 70 studies of mistletoe's effect on cancer in humans--although they noted design flaws in a number of the studies--nevertheless found consistent results across the board: including tumor shrinkage, higher survival rates, improved blood counts, and better quality of life for the patients.36 And if nothing else, study after study found that when used in conjunction with chemotherapy, mistletoe significantly improves quality of life, as demonstrated yet again in this 2014 study published in the journal Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.37
And as a side note, a compelling case can be made for careful investigation of mistletoe's anti-diabetic properties. African mistletoe has long been used to treat diabetes in Nigeria. In rats with diabetes, mistletoe has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels.38 And another study demonstrated that mistletoe extract stimulated insulin secretion from clonal pancreatic cells.39
Sheep sorrel, which actually comes from the same family as yellow dock-- Rumex acetosella vs Rumex crispus--shares many of its cancer fighting properties. And at least when used in combination with other herbs, it possesses potent antioxidant and DNA-protective activity, properties that are common to natural anti-cancer agents.40 It contains an antibacterial agent called rumicin that has made it a treatment for infections including staphylococcus, E. coli and salmonella. American and Canadian Indian tribes used sheep sorrel as a treatment for cancer, which is how it came to be used in the more modern versions of anticancer formulas. René Caisse, who popularized Essiac tea as a cancer cure, felt sheep sorrel was the most active cancer fighter among all the herbs present in her formula and made it the primary ingredient in her formula. That viewpoint was seconded by Dr. Chester Stock at Sloan-Kettering in New York. Dr. Stock studied sheep sorrel for over three years in the mid-seventies. His conclusion was that sheep sorrel was found to be responsible for the destruction of cancer cells in the body, and inhibited metastasis by actually causing cancer cells to return to the original tumor site. Not surprisingly, this information was not made available to the public. But even more disturbing, when the Canadian Ministry of Health & Welfare saw the study, they immediately banned sheep sorrel from sale and distribution!
Sheep sorrel contains high levels of phytoestrogens with significant estrogen receptor binding activity, similar to the isoflavone phytoestrogens common to red clover and soy.
Published studies on sheep sorrel are few and far between, but those that do exist support Dr. Stock's work. For example, a 2009 study published in Toxicology in Vitro found that sheep sorrel, along with several other herbs, induced toxicity on cancerous cell lines.41
The Ashaninka tribe of Peru uses cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) for a variety of purposes, including to support cellular health. Other indigenous tribes use cat's claw as well. The Cashibo tribe of eastern Peru believes that cat's claw normalizes the body and have used it since ancient times to cleanse the system. Other documented indigenous peoples in Peru use cat's claw for blood cleansing and for irregularity of the menstrual cycle.
Nowadays, the plant is recognized by herbalists mainly due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and diuretic properties. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cat's claw is frequently found in formulations designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The plant also has a very beneficial influence on our immune system, and is used in the treatments of various types of tumors--specifically, brain tumors, leukemia, cervical carcinoma, melanoma, medulloblastoma. And it is also used as an herbal supplement for HIV patients.42
The antitumor activity of Uncaria tomentosa has been verified in a number of studies, but the exact mechanism of that activity is open to debate, with the pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids found in its bark given most of the credit. For example, one 2013 study found that the pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids found in the bark seemed to be responsible for tomentosa's effectiveness against bladder cancer cells.43Whereas a second study published the same year found that cat's claw exerts its extensive anti-neoplastic effects against the Walker-256 tumor by modulating oxidative stress and not by alkaloid activity.44 Then again, a 2009 study concluded that the alkaloids pteropodine and isopterpodine found in tomentosa exhibited a significant pro-apoptotic (caused cancer cells to die) effect on medullary thyroid carcinoma cells, whereas the alkaloid-poor fraction inhibited cell proliferation but did not show any pro-apoptotic effects.45 The ball bounces back in the other direction, however, in a 2007 study that concluded that it was pteropodine and isomitraphylline that were responsible for tomentosa's antiproliferative activity against leukemia cells.46 Go figure.
The bottom line is that study after study confirms the ability of cat's claw to fight cancer, even though researchers can reach no agreement as to which components in the bark are most responsible. Fortunately, not knowing which part to isolate and patent may be a problem for researchers and pharmaceutical companies but not for us as long as we use an herbal extract that contains all components rather than isolates.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has been researched and found to be a potent cellular support agent, in addition to being a potent anticancer agent. Outside of the laboratory, it has been used to treat tens of thousands of people over the last century and a half. Many of these (according to some estimates as many as 80%, which is probably greatly exaggerated) experienced remission of malignancy and longer life expectancies than people with similar conditions who chose different treatments. Nevertheless, research supports the general direction of the anecdotal evidence. Peer reviewed studies indicate that, like cat's claw, it is the alkaloids in bloodroot--particularly, sanguinarine--that are most likely responsible for its cancer protective benefits. In fact, laboratory studies have shown that it can help with prostate,47 breast,48and pancreatic cancer,49 as well as many other types of cancer, by causing cancer cell apoptosis.50In other words, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
Oregon grape root and Goldenseal
Oregon grape root is frequently used by herbalists as a blood cleanser and, as it's extremely bitter taste would suggest, to stimulate the liver and gallbladder. It purifies the blood and cleanses the liver by helping to stimulate bile flow and releasing toxins and helping purge the spleen. It also helps the liver metabolize wastes and toxins and, because of its anti-pathogenic properties used by natural healers in the treatment of chronic hepatitis-B.
The primary active biochemical in Oregon grape root is berberine. And when it comes to cancer, there have been a large number of studies that have highlighted berberine's ability to suppress the growth of a wide variety of tumor cells, including breast cancer, 51 leukemia,52melanoma,53 pancreatic cancer,54 oral and tongue cancers,55 and prostate cancer.56, 57, 58
Goldenseal root is a multipurpose type of herb that provides immune system support and cleanses vital organs. It works both in the intestinal tract and systemically. It promotes the functioning capacity of the heart, the lymphatic and respiratory system, the liver, the spleen, the pancreas, and the colon. The primary biochemical in goldenseal is berberine, which appears to have antimicrobial actions that can kill different types of yeast, parasites, bacteria, and even MRSA. 59 It is useful as part of a blood cleansing formula because of its ability to remove pathogens from the bloodstream. And since one of its primary components is berberine, all of the studies we saw for Oregon grape root apply to goldenseal as well.
The hot fruit of the cayenne plant has been used as medicine for centuries. It is extremely beneficial for the circulatory system, helping to improve the elasticity of the walls of both the arterial and venous systems, maintain normal blood platelet function, and to help maintain normal blood pressure if already within a normal range throughout the body. Cayenne is also used in many herbal formulas, such as this one, as a "driver" -- to "push" the other herbs in the formula into the bloodstream more quickly. As a side note, there are some studies that indicate that capsaicin, the "hot," active component in cayenne, may have the ability to induce apoptosis in some cancer cells all on its own.60
These are the herbs found in my "ideal" blood cleansing formula. The roots (no pun intended) of this formula go back decades, long before there was any research to support it. As we have seen, though, in the last decade, research has begun to catch up with it, and most of the herbs used in the formula have now been identified in multiple studies (test tube, animal, and human) as having strong anticancer properties.
Although most people use this formula as part of their biannual liver and gallbladder flush, it should be considered in its own right as an important formula to be used in maintaining optimal health. When used regularly, it will work to purify and optimize your blood, cleanse your liver, kill viruses, destroy cancer, and much more. Note: this is a very powerful formula that is strongly therapeutic in nature, which means that it should only be used for detoxing or on an as needed basis. One bottle every six months is adequate for detoxing and basic maintenance. Taking one or two bottles to clean out the blood when sick is also reasonable. And one bottle a week for up to three weeks is acceptable in special circumstances. (Then take a couple of weeks off before repeating.) But this is not a nutritional support formula. You do not want to take this formula on a daily basis for weeks on end like a multivitamin. In this case, more is not necessarily better. Remember, some of these herbs are extremely potent and can actually break down red blood cells if used in excess. If overused, it could be counterproductive and could have a negative health impact. In other words, follow directions; don't adlib. But when used properly, this is one of the most powerful formulas in the alternative health arsenal.
So, will this formula prevent or reverse cancer? Sorry, it doesn't work like that. Quite simply, there is no magic bullet cure for cancer--traditional or medical--that works on all types of cancer and for every individual…at least not yet. But that said, this formula is a primary anticancer tool. It is not insignificant that the foundations of this formula were established years before there was any scientific data to back it up--just thousands of anecdotal stories. And now, as we see, in the last decade alone, study after study now supports the anticancer bona fides of 12 of the 12 herbs in this formula--even cayenne, which was actually used as a driver for the formula, not as an anticancer herb. This is an important formula!
Note: To get past the taste (very bitter, very hot), I recommend adding it to 2 oz of thin, sweet undiluted juice such as apple or pear, downing it in one gulp like a shot of liquor, and then swishing some plain juice in your mouth to clear the taste. (By the way, although normally not a fan of bottled juices, this is one place where they actually work because they are so convenient and because you drink so little at a time.) Thick juices such as peach or orange, on the other hand, tend to coat the mouth, which makes the taste linger -- not good. And diluting it simply means you have to drink more, rather than getting it all down in one quick gulp,
Bottom line: a minimum of two bottles a year--one every six months--should be considered a core part of your personal health program.