Excerpts for Clean Gut : The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health
By Alejandro Junger
Copyright © 2013 Alejandro Junger
All rights reserved.
C H A P T E R O N E
The Root Cause
My first lesson in good medicine came when I was a young
boy growing up in Uruguay, many years before I started
medical school. It arrived from the unlikeliest of people. I used
to follow around a gardener named Fermin as he tended to the
plants in our home. I noticed that when he saw an unhealthy
tree, he spent most of his time inspecting the roots and the
soil around them. He only took a quick glance at the leaves.
He would then devise a plan: more water, less water, fertilizer,
pest removal, or some other remedy he kept in his gardening
toolbox. I always wondered why he wasted his time down there
around the roots when the problem was clearly up here on the
leaves. I mean, I was actually staring at the problem!
When I asked Fermin why he cared so much about the
roots, he simply smiled. "Boy," he said, "that's the way nature
designed it. Your tree's health and disease start in its roots."
My first thought at the time, if I remember correctly, was yeah,
whatever, but I couldn't argue with Fermin's results. Time and
time again Fermin took care of most problems by changing the
conditions around the roots. The leaves always returned lush
and green. Fermin was a good gardener, and a wise man.
The reason I say this was my first lesson in good medicine
is because after eight years of medical school, six years of train-
ing, and another fifteen years of practice, I came to the con-
clusion that good medicine is very much like good gardening.
Imagine you have a tree you love. One day you notice its leaves
have turned brown. They will, you understand, soon wither
and fall off. Imagine now that you call an expert who, after
close examination of the leaves, recommends that you paint
them green and attach them back to their branches so the tree
can at least appear to be healthy. Everyone would agree that's
crazy. If you want to get your tree truly healthy, you can't just
cover up the problem. You need to get to the root of it. And just
like Fermin used to say, the problem is most likely in the roots.
While I was in medical school the trend in modern med-
icine was to specialize and super specialize. Doctors became
experts in one organ or even one part of one organ. More
advanced technology helped not only detect problem areas,
but also treat them. The advances of science were mesmerizing,
and people held the practice of medicine in high regard. The
great irony of our success, however, was that we only got bet-
ter at painting the leaves. We went way beyond gardeners who
paint the brown leaves green. We cut out whole branches and
replaced them with healthier ones. Or built artificial branches
and leaves altogether. We got so good at attacking individual
diseases and symptoms we forgot to look at their root causes.
Take the medical community's response to inflammation,
for instance. After I completed my training as a cardiologist,
in 1998, scientists started to notice that all chronic diseases--
The Root Cause of Disease 3 ?
regardless of how different each disease seemed or where each
disease presented in the body--shared one common condition:
inflammation. Identified as a precursor of disease, the medical
establishment turned its attention to fighting it. Inflammation
quickly became the "new disease on the block." Hundreds of
articles, studies, and books were written about it, and entire
industries were born in the fight against it. While the fight
against inflammation helped many people alleviate their suf-
fering, it is really just the first symptom of disease. The fight
against it is really just another example of modern medicine's
attempt to keep individual leaves vibrant and green while the
plant is dying. We still need to get to the root of disease.
Clean Gut does this. Before chronic disease, there is inflam-
mation; but before inflammation comes gut dysfunction. Anti-
inflammation treatments help, but gut repair corrects the
problem right at its source.
In these pages I reveal how your overall health is connected
to a singular area of the body, your gut. I explain how the root
of almost all chronic diseases also starts in your gut. You will
discover that most of the "diseases" being diagnosed in epi-
demic proportions--such as heart disease, cancer, autoimmune
diseases, insomnia, depression, asthma, diabetes, and arthritis--
can all be traced back to your injured and irritated gut.
Even if you have not been diagnosed with a specific disease,
many of the minor ailments you may be suffering from--such as
tiredness, aches and pains, allergies, mood swings, lack of libido,
bad breath, body odor, eczema, and constipation--may also be
directly related to gut dysfunction. In addition, a damaged gut
will lead to premature aging. These symptoms are often justified
and attributed to the unavoidable wear and tear of your aging
body, but they are ultimately directly related to the health of your
gut and can be reversed by a gut repair program.
In fact, most health issues affecting the world's populace
today are the result of a disrupted, damaged gut. It is critical
that we make this vitally important information and health
tool available to everyone. Clean Gut is a proven path to avoid-
ing disease and reclaiming your own power to get truly healthy.
In my first book, Clean, I explained how the toxic chemi-
cals we are exposed to, and the toxic conditions we create in our
lives, are responsible for many of our health problems. Nobody
escapes this reality. This is true now more than ever. There are
great possible benefits for most people when they learn how to
activate and support their bodies' detoxifying organs and sys-
tems. The twenty-one-day Clean cleanse has helped thousands
Excerpted from Clean Gut by Alejandro Junger. Copyright © 2013 Alejandro Junger. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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