by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© July 2021, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


            On this website, and on others, substances are referred to as toxic.  However, the concept of toxicity is not simple.  This article discusses a few more subtle concepts of toxicity.




1. Toxins can have short-term or acute effects, and/or longer-term or chronic effects.  For example, rattlesnake venom is very toxic short-term, and can kill a child easily.  However, it does not remain in the body for too long.  As a result, if one survives the initial effects of the toxin, generally one will be safe, and the toxin will be completely eliminated from the body.

The opposite is true of certain medical and over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol or Ibuprophen.  The short-term effects are few. 

However, the toxin in not eliminated well and can slowly destroy the liver and kidneys.  Poisoning from pain killers is now the leading cause of liver and kidney failure in America.

Some toxins are acutely mild and their long-term effects are also mild, even if they are not easy to eliminate.  These are generally considered to be low-toxicity substances.  Other toxins have severe acute toxicity and longer-term severe toxicity as well.  They are often considered the worst of the toxins.  Certain solvents and medical drugs fall into this category.


2. One reason for chronic toxicity is that some poisons are much easier to eliminate from the body than others.  This is an important aspect of toxicity. 

For example, caffeine is usually a short-term toxin.  While somewhat toxic, the body can eliminate it quickly and thoroughly.  For this reason, caffeine in a coffee enema is not too harmful in most people.  It is only really harmful if one cannot handle the short-term toxicity.

Most of the toxic metals, for example, are difficult to eliminate, so they are problematic.  Some chemical toxins are easy to eliminate, whereas some others are very difficult, such as trichloroethylene and some antibiotics.


3. Toxins can affect just one part of the body, such as the skin or the liver.  Other toxins affect every cell of the body.  This can be important to help evaluate the overall toxicity of a poison.


4. Dosage can matter greatly with toxins.  A very small amount of some toxins such as caffeine, again, may not be a problem, whereas a larger amount can cause severe acute and/or chronic toxicity.  Alcohol, marijuana and many drugs are of this nature.

This has to do with whether the toxin can easily overwhelm the bodyŐs defenses or not.  It is dependent upon the mechanism of action of the toxin and the health of the body.


5. Yin and yang, an often forgotten aspect of toxicity.  This website often mentions that a food, supplement, medical drug or other substance or method is toxic because it is yin.  This means its specific effect upon the body is to make it more watery, expanded, disintegrated or cold.

Other toxins are more yang, meaning they tend to make the body too hot, contracted, dry and perhaps ÔcompressedŐ.  Yin and yang toxicity is recognized in sciences such as acupuncture and macrobiotics, but not in Western medicine, Western herbology and toxicology. 

While subtle, it is a very important aspect of toxicity in development science.  The reason is that yin and yang toxicity unbalance body chemistry very badly, at times, although it may not cause any obvious physical or chemical toxicity.

Yin and yang toxicity are dependent, to a degree, upon the yin or yang condition of the individual person.  For example, if a personŐs body is very yin, then a yin toxin may not throw the body that far out of balance.  However, if a body is more yang, then the effect of a yin toxin tends to be greater. 

The effect also depends upon the health and strength of the person.  A person who is healthier can withstand a yin toxin better than one who is ill.

As with all toxins, some yin or yang toxins are more intense and toxic than others.  Acupuncturists, for example, identify many types of yin and yang toxins and their differences.


6. The toxicity of some substances and healing methodscan change depending upon a personŐs body chemistry and level of development.  This is another subtle quality of toxicity that can be extremely confusing. 

For example, a food or nutritional supplement substance can be acceptable for one person, while it is not good for another.  Vitamin C, for example, lowers copper and supports adrenal glandular activity.  Both of these actions help speed up the oxidation rate, in most people.  In moderation, this is needed by slow oxidizers.  However, taking more than a little vitamin C is harmful for those whose body chemistry is in the condition called fast oxidation.


7. Individual susceptibility to toxins for other reasons.  In addition to the particular toxin, the yin or yang quality of a person, the body chemistry and the level of development, some people handle toxins better than others.  The cause may be the level of liver toxicity, for example, or even a personŐs mental state or ability to handle pain.



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