by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© May 2013, L.D. 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 some of the 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 nil, or even beneficial.  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 the USA.

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.  These are usually the first toxins to be banned by Environmental Protection Agencies around the world, as they do a lot of damage.


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 really wholly dependent upon the mechanism of action of the toxin, of which there are hundreds of different ones.


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 or brain is to make them more watery, expanded, spacey, 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, herbology and toxicology.  While subtle, it is a very important aspect of toxicity in nutritional balancing science.  The reason is that yin and yang toxicity unbalances body chemistry, very badly, at times, although it may not cause any obvious physical or chemical toxicity.

Yin and yang toxicity are dependent, in many cases, 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 would tend to be greater. 

The effect also depends upon the health and strength of the person.  A person who is healthier may 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 any substance or method of healing can change depending upon a personŐs level of health and level of development.  This is another subtle quality of toxicity that can be extremely confusing. 

As a result of this fact, a food, drug or other substance can be perfectly acceptable for one person, while it is not good for another.  A common example of this that occurs daily with nutritional balancing programs has to do with the oxidation rate.  Vitamin C in significant doses, for example, lowers copper and supports adrenal glandular activity.  Both of these actions help speed up the oxidation rate, in most people.  This is very helpful for most slow oxidizers, but it is harmful for those whose body chemistry is in the condition called fast oxidation.

While the above is a clear example, a personŐs state of health and state of mental development can be quite difficult to assess, especially as one moves along with mental and spiritual development, a lifelong process.


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 certain toxins better than others.  This is well known.  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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