PANCHAKARMA GUIDE » Ayurveda » The poisons in your food

Indian School of Martial Arts (I.S.M.A Kalari), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Indian School of Martial Arts (I.S.M.A Kalari), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
If planning to go for Panchakarma, the week or two before take extra care not to eat any heavy food or meals late at night. By taking light foods like mung dal and basmati rice with vegetables you will prepare the body for this beautiful cleansing process.

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The poisons in your food


By William Longgood



FOOD DYES:These are synthetic dyes put together by man and are mostly coal-tar products. The majority of synthetic dyes approved for use in foods have been shown to cause cancer in animals; among them are chemical cousins to highly potent cancer-causing substances that actually have caused cancer in man. Some dyes, though not carcinogenic (cancer causing), are harmful to animals, even in tiny doses; on different occasions large numbers of children have been made violently sick from eating artificially coloured foods.

Dyes appear in everything from sweet potatoes to frankfurters. They are used in some processed breakfast cereals and in flavoured straws designed to beguile children into drinking their milk. Dyes are used as colouring matter in many household detergents; these dyes come from a chemical family that has produced cancers in rats.

In an experiment, ten out of thirteen synthetic coal-tar dyes, certified for use by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in the USA, and all in wide use, were tested. They produced cancers in rats when injected under the skin. Science writer Earl Ubell estimated that some people must get twice as much by mouth as some of the rats got under the skin.

The oil-soluble colours reportedly were "in general so poisonous when injected under the skin that the mice died before the scientists had a chance to see if cancer developed in many cases.

Cancer researchers have noted that carcinogens may start cancers even when not absorbed in the intestinal tract but merely by contact. The length of exposure to unabsorbed carcinogens- such as some of the certified food dyes- may depend on a person's state of health, diet, how long the food remains in the digestive tract and many other factors over which the average individual has little or no control.

The cumulative, irreversible effects of carcinogens always should be borne in mind; once they appear in foods, the damage cannot be undone by removing them. Discontinuation of the use of such dyes offers no assurance that it will not cause cancer years later in children who have already eaten it.

The threat to children is repeatedly stressed because of the number of years they have ahead of them after they get their doses of these dyes.

The dyes make it possible for the public to be deceived and cheated by masking inferior products and creating nutritional illusions, and they are among the most poisonous chemicals that go into foods.

FACTS: USA: 200 children were made ill from eating dyed popcorn at a Christmas party. The FDA announced decertification of the three dyes involved: Red no.32, Orange 1, and Orange 2.In announcing the ban, the FDA told food and beverage manufacturers they could legally use up previously certified stocks of the colours, but cautioned them that foods containing excessive quantities of these colours "can cause illness to consumers."

The list of damages caused in animals by the three dyes reads like a catalogue of biological horrors- and the amounts used were small (100milligrams weighs about the same as two postage stamps). The dyes caused everything from loss of appetite to death.

Red no.32 was fed to rats at a level of 2.0 per cent of the diet. All the rats died within a week. At a 1.0 per cent level, death occurred within 12 days.At 0.5 per cent most of the rats died within 26 days.At 0.25 per cent approximately half of the rats died within 3 months. All the rats showed marked retardation and anaemia. Autopsy revealed moderate to marked liver damage, enlargement of the right side of the heart

Tests on Orange no.1 were similar to those of Red no. 32. Red no. 32 had been used to colour cheese, edible fats, oils, candy (sweets),bakery goods and the skins of oranges.Florida and Texas orange growers insisted that if they waited for their fruit to turn orange it would be overripe and ruined. An industry spokesman said that more than half the Florida orange crops was run through a dye bath to give green oranges an orange colour; although it was conceded that orange peels are used in many ways: as candied orange peel, marmalade, in drinks as slices, and extensively in baking cakes and icings.

No colour can be added to a green skinned orange. First it has to be "degreened". This is done in what is known as the "colouring room", where it is shut up air-tight and then doused with a gas. The gas now universally used is ethylene gas (which can cause asphyxiation). This gas destroys or removes the chlorophyll from the rind and leaves it, according to the degree of greenness, all the way from a sickly or lemon colour to almost white. I have seen them come out of the colouring room looking almost like peeled potatoes.

While it is being gassed, the fruit is subjected to artificial heat and is sometimes held in this room for three or four days. It impairs its flavour and has a tendency to hasten its deterioration and decay. After coming out of the colouring room the fruit is washed and then run through the "colour added" machine- that is, if they want it to have any extra colour. The colour is added by passing the fruit through a vat or bath of hot dye or else spraying it on hot while the fruit is subjected to steam heat.

Practically all of the Florida citrus that goes to market through regular commercial channels before the first of the year is artificially coloured.

The international Union Against Cancer said that not one dye had been proved safe for use in food. The cancer experts listed twenty-nine food dyes as unsuitable and potentially dangerous.Some of these dyes and foods they appear in are listed below:

Orange no. 1- Fish pastes, carbonated beverages (cold-drinks),jellies, confectionery, custard, blanc-mange powder, biscuits, cakes, ice-cream, cordials, ice cream toppings, milk syrups, sausages, casings, puddings, frozen desserts, soft drinks,solutions for home use.

Orange no.2 - Cheese, margarine, candies, edible fats,external colouring of oranges.

Yellow no. 1 - Confectionery, macaroni, spaghetti, other pastas, baked goods, beverages.

Yellow no. 3 - (Yellow AB)- Edible fats, margarine, butter, cakes, biscuits, candies.

Green no.1 - Cordials, jelly, soft drinks, candy, bakery goods, frozen desserts.

Blue no.1 - Icings, cordials, jellies, ice cream, ice cream toppings, milk syrups, candies, cake decorations, frozen desserts, soft drinks, puddings, bakery goods, solutions for home use.

Dyes are added to Tandoori chickens to enhance eye appeal.

Baby foods are flavoured, salted and coloured with food dye to appeal to adult tastes, not child needs.

Unscrupulous traders  are adding red dye to red chilli powder.



BHT(butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) are petroleum products that have come into widespread use as antioxidants in foods.

Natural antioxidants, which delay rancidity, are lost during the factory processing of refined oils and fats. BHT and BHA are used to restore the anti oxidation qualities. Most of these added materials with antioxidant properties are known to be toxic and are also considered by some authorities as possible cancer-inciters. At first they were used with fats, but later they were incorporated so extensively in other items that today you can scarcely find in your shopping basket any factory-processed food or food packaging material that does not contain one or both of these chemicals.

Various experiments have demonstrated damaging effects of BHT in test animals, including metabolic stress, depression of the growth rate, loss of weight, damage to the liver, increase of serum cholesterol, baldness, foetal abnormalities.

Both BHT and BHA have been demonstrated as harmful, and in sensitive individuals they produce more severe reactions. Consider the case of Mrs.X who had enjoyed excellent health and had been free of allergic reactions. Her food intake was mostly from sources known to her, and her meals were made largely from basic commodities that she prepared in her own kitchen.

After eating commercially processed instant mashed potatoes for the first time, she suffered severe reactions, with skin blisters and haemorrhaging in one eye. This processed food was the only newly introduced item in her environment. When she ate it again and the symptoms recurred, both her physician and ophthalmologist suspected BHA and BHT present in the instant mashed potatoes. They advised her to avoid foods containing these antioxidants. She did so, and the symptoms subsided.

At a later date, her symptoms flared up again. This time they were traced to a breakfast cereal, never before used in her household, which contained BHT and BHA. Mrs.X became a concerned label reader and studiously tried to avoid foods containing these two additives. Again the symptoms returned. This time the problem was traced to shortening that Mrs. X had previously tolerated. Upon examining the label closely, Mrs.X was astonished to find that the shortening was labelled "new and improved" with BHT and BHA added.

Reading the labels gives no assurance that one can avoid these materials. Since BHT and BHA may be incorporated in food-packaging materials, and in animal feeds, as well as in ingredients used for food-stuffs, they can enter the end product indirectly. Even if BHA and/or BHT added to a food, the consumer may not necessarily find them listed specifically. The FDA and the USDA allow the general terms "freshness preserver," "antioxidant added," or similar phrases to appear on the label, which give no clue to the exact material used.Is it BHA? BHT? Propyl gallate? Octyl Gallate? NDGA? Or some other antioxidant officially sanctioned?

In some quarters, officials have taken measures to restrict the use of these antioxidants. BHT was deleted from the list of permitted food additives in Sweden and banned in Rumania for use in foods. In Australia, where much of the BHT research has been conducted by the Commonwealth Antioxidant research Project, the substance has not been included in the government's list of permitted antioxidants.

BHT/BHA manufacturers suggest their use in animal fats such as lard, beef tallow, bacon,chicken fat, butter, cream, shortenings, and grease; fried foods such as potato chips, doughnuts, and processed meats and fish; baked foods such as crackers, pastries, cakes,candies, and cookies; vegetable fats such as shortenings, margarine, peanut butter, and salad oils and dressings; ground grain meals and grain germs; a miscellany of other food items, including nutmeats, raisins, milk, candied fruit, whipped topping mixes, imitation fruit drinks, breakfast foods, extracts, essential oils, spices, and pet foods; food packaging papers and containers such as cartons for milk; containers for cottage cheese, ice cream, potato chips, cereals, cookies, and pastries; wrappers for bread, butter and cheese; rubber gaskets that seal food jars; and household wax paper. They are also found in some beverages, chewing gum, cosmetics, drugs and animal feeds.



Few chemical additives outrank the so-called emulsifiers as a bonanza to the food processor- and few are more suspect of causing damage to humans than some of those widely used compounds.

Emulsifiers have many uses in foods: they promote smoothness, and keep incompatible ingredients like oil and water from separating; they may also be used to give stale baked goods a deceptive appearance of freshness; and they act as substitutes for more costly and nutritious natural ingredients such as eggs, milk,butter, and vegetable shortening.

Some emulsifiers, in only moderate doses, have been shown to be extremely poisonous to animals, others have not been adequately tested.

Yet tens of millions of pounds of emulsifiers are used annually in foods. These compounds have a variety of names: softeners, surface-active agents, wetting-agents; some are very close chemically to detergents used in laundering and cleaning.

Two main categories of emulsifiers are used in foods. To the chemist the first is composed of mono-and diglycerides, the second of polyoxyethylene monostearate and related compounds. More familiarly, they are known as the glycerides and poly compounds. The former are artificial fats derived from glycerides; the latter are derived in part from ethylene oxide.

Chemicals which facilitate emulsions are the emulsifiers, but their action generally has to be supplemented with chemicals called stabilisers which prevent the emulsions from breaking down. Altogether, fifty seven different chemicals are permitted as either emulsifiers or stabilisers, with E-numbers in the 300s and 400s, plus lecithin (E322).

It was found that when small amounts of the glyceride compounds were mixed with shortening and incorporated into baked goods their use resulted in "more tender" bread, buns, cake, and other sweet goods.


[A brand that many mothers feed their babies with]

A popular brand of biscuits lists the following among the ingredients:

Emulsifiers (E322,E471, E475), Preservative (Sodium Benzoate), Flavourant (Artificial),Raising agents (Bicarbonate, Ammonium, Acid Sodium Pyrophosphate), Citric Acid, Glucose, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, invert syrup, Proteolytic Enzyme, Flour Improver(Sodium Metabisulphite).


"The average loaf of commercial white bread sold today is primarily the product of chemical ingenuity, clever mechanical technology and advertising guile. It is subjected to a bombardment of chemicals, stripped of virtually all nutrients, given a few synthetic vitamins, shot with emulsifier to keep it soft and, sold to the gullible public as an enriched product."--Willliam Longgood

For more than twenty-five years bread flour was bleached and "matured" with nitrogen trichloride, a gas known as Agene.Sir Edward Mellanby, a distinguished British physician and nutritionist , discovered that dogs fed bread made with Agene treated flour developed "running fits" or "canine hysteria". Some ten years after the substance was found to be a powerful nerve poison for dogs, the use of Agene in bread making was legally banned.

A substitute gas was found by the flour millers. This gas is known as Chlorine Dioxide. The authoritative publication 'Lockwood's Flour Milling' has this to say about the gas:

"The use of Chlorine dioxide is more powerful than nitrogen trichloride (Agene); the quantities used are one- third to half those of nitrogen trichloride. Chlorine dioxide not only oxidises the flour pigment but also has a valuable bleaching effect on the colouring matter of the bran, which makes it particularly valuable for bleaching low grade flours."

Use of chlorine dioxide was approved over the protests of many USA nutritionists. The FDA (Food and Drugs Administration of USA) lists the gas as a poisonous substance, permitting on grounds that it is 'probably safe as normally used'. The late Leonard Wickenden , a noted chemist, pointed out in his book 'Our Daily Poison" that "No one has yet discovered that it gives dogs running fits so it is considered quite safe."

While Agene and chlorine dioxide generally are called bleaches, their primary purpose is to age flour artificially. Aging is considered necessary to give some flours the right consistency, but to avoid costly storage and waiting for the process to take place, they are given a shot of gas.

Samuel Lepkovsky of the College of Agriculture at the University of California in Berkley, and author of "Bread problem in war and in peace", noted that "instead of being alarmed at the decreased nutritive value of white flour as shown by the inability of insect pests to thrive on it, the production of white flour was hailed as a great forward step."

In milling, flour is treated with improvers, oxidising agents such as persulfate, bromain, iodate, and nitrogen trichloride, which affect protease activity and gluten properties.

Bleaching agents such as oxides of nitrogen, chlorines and benzoyl peroxide convert the yellow carotenoid pigment to colourless compounds because of alleged consumer desire for white bread.

An obstacle to overcome is the common belief that there is little if any nutritional difference between white and whole-wheat bread. The baker is delighted to maintain this canard because white flour will keep much longer than whole-wheat. Several scientists have noted that bugs avoid bleached flour because it does not have enough nutrition to keep them alive. "Only humans eat it," said Dr. Carlson.

Sylvester Graham said that whole-wheat bread (whole wheat is wheat ground as flour but with bran and all other substances retained in the flour) was almost a complete food and in addition could cure digestive disorders such as constipation and diarrhoea. He also warned that removal of the bran by bolting or separating from the milled flour reduced the nutritive value.

Lepkovsky quoted a J.B. Orr as recalling that during the Napoleonic wars the men from northern England and southern Scotland who lived in the country side and had plenty of whole-wheat grain, milk, eggs and vegetables were big, powerful and energetic men who made the best infantry soldiers of Europe . During the Boer war a large percentage of the recruits from this same district were short, frail weaklings who could not be used as soldiers.

"A commission was appointed to investigate the cause of this striking change in the physical condition of these men, and it was found that many people who had moved off the land and had gone into the slums of the big cities had their eating habits changed. They were depending too largely on white flour and sugar".

Despite spirited opposition to white bread by many doctors and health officials, the milling industry laid down a massive propaganda barrage which buried its opponents. Anyone who attacked the nutritive values of white bread was denounced. Industry was aided in this campaign by organised medicine and the government. "The nutritional poverty of white bread as compared with whole-wheat was so great as to demand attention".

This led to the fortification of white bread.

To understand what is involved in fortifying bread, it is helpful to observe what happens to the grain in milling:

A grain of wheat or berry, as it is called, is composed of three principal parts: 1.the outer shell or husk, 2.the endosperm or kernel and 3.the germ from which the grain reproduces itself. When the grain is planted the husk protects the seed while it germinates, and the endosperm- a carbohydrate- feeds the germ until it gets a foothold and takes nutrients from the earth and air.

The modern steel flour mill is a devilishly clever device; it removes the husk and the germ of a grain of wheat, leaving only the endosperm. It is the endosperm from which flour is made.

The flour that emerges is little more than pure starch, containing only about seven to eleven per cent low grade protein. When mixed with water, the flour becomes an easily shaped paste. The miller loves white flour because of its long-keeping qualities and unattractiveness to bugs. But a secondary attraction is that he can sell the removed bran as feed for animals, and the wheat germ as a food supplement for human beings and animals.

Dr.Carlson said: "It is a tragedy to me... that we mill the best of our ingredients out of our grain and that the best part is fed to hogs and cattle while we eat the poorest part."

In the discarded parts are nutrients essential to human health and life. Some twenty natural vitamins and minerals are removed from white bread and are replaced with four or five synthetic ones at higher cost and call the product "enriched or fortified."

Numerous experiments have confirmed the nutritional inadequacy of "enriched" bread compared to the whole-wheat. In one experiment carried out by Dr.Estelle Howley, Associate Professor of Paediatrics and Nutrition at Rochester University, one group of rats was fed "enriched" commercial white bread and another was given bread made with the Cornell formula which was formulated by Dr. Clive McCay at Cornell, consisting of unbleached flour enriched with natural food products such as wheat germ, soy-bean flour, and a high proportion of milk solids.

Rats on the MacCay-Cornell formula thrived, as did their offspring through the fourth generation. Rats on the commercial white bread became sickly and starved-looking and produced stunted offspring. All died off and the strain became extinct before the fourth generation.




MSG is one of the more concentrated sources of sodium. Because of this, it could not be permitted in diets in which sodium intake must be kept low. Dr. John W. Olney of the Washington University of the school of medicine in St Louis, said that he believed that pregnant women should not use MSG until further data are available.

To determine whether MSG causes more than transitory symptoms of acute distress resembling gall-bladder trouble, epigastric fullness, marked upper-abdominal discomfort, numbness at the back of the neck, general weakness and palpitation,tightness on both sides of the head, pounding, throbbing sensation in the head, laboratory experiments were conducted where larger amounts of MSG were injected into animals.It caused brain damage in in new born mice, and eye damage in new-born mice. As adults, the MSG treated animals showed stunted skeletal development, marked obesity and female sterility. The FDA requested the AMA's council on Foods and Nutrition to review the subject of MSG in baby foods. Dr.Olney had reported further findings. Brain lesions had in every species of experimental animals tested, including mice, rats and rabbits. The next species tested was a primate: a rhesus monkey. Dr. Olney reported that brain lesions occurred in infant rhesus monkeys.

It is virtually impossible to avoid MSG in processed foods. MSG is found in heat and serve convenience foods; meats, stews, and meat tenderisers; canned and frozen vegetables; sea foods, fish fillets, clam chowder, codfish cakes, canned tuna; poultry and chicken a la king; almost all canned soups and soup mixes; seasonings; mayonnaise, French dressings, salad dressings; imitation maple syrup; potato chips; crackers; tobacco; baby foods; etc.



" Saccharin is a noxious drug, and even in comparatively small doses it is harmful to the human system".-Dr. Wiley.

Saccharin, a coal-tar product synthesised in 1879, is intensely sweet, cheap, and not bulky to handle. Such qualities appealed to the food industry, which began to flood the market with candies (sweets), soft drinks and bakery products using saccharin as a sugar substitute.

"The Commission of the Health Association in France decreed saccharin harmful and forbade its manufacture or import. The German government limited its use, and expressly banned it from all food and drink. Similar actions were taken in Spain, Portugal, and Hungary. But attempts to keep saccharin out of food and drink in America and elsewhere have been unsuccessful."



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This article was published on Wednesday 27 September, 2006.
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Gaur Brahman Ayurvedic College & Hospital, Rohtak, Haryana
Rajah Healthy Acres - Ayurveda Centre, Palakkad, Kerala
Ayurveda Sanctuary, Karnataka, India
Ojus Ayurveda Yoga & Panchakarma Centre, Surrey, Canada
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Request to All Parents & Student those are seeking admission ..
5 of 5 Stars!
Take some more initiative for other places too,definitly wiil get good responce ,be bravo....

Ashok Namdeorao
1.Ayurveda Sanctuary, Karnataka, India
2.Atmasantulana Village, Near M.T.D.C., Karla, Maharashtra
3.Jiva Ayurveda Clinic and Panchakarma Centre, Faridabad, Haryana
4.Solai Panchakarma Treatment Centre, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
5.Ayurveda Sanctuary, Udupi, Karnataka, India
6.Ayushakti Ayurved Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
7.Ch. Brahm Prakash Ayurved Charak Sansthan, Najafgarh, Delhi, India
8.Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College, Chandigarh
9.The Arya Vaidya Chikitsalayam Clinic & Research Institute (AVC) – Coimbatore, Tamilnadu.
10.Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital, Delhi
1.Solai Panchakarma Treatment Centre, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
2.Ayurveda Sanctuary, Karnataka, India
3.Shreepoorna Ayurveda Panchakarma Chikitsalaya, Mangalore, India
4.Atmasantulana Village, Near M.T.D.C., Karla, Maharashtra
5.Jiva Ayurveda Clinic and Panchakarma Centre, Faridabad, Haryana

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