Dr. George Freibott Free Radicals and Oxidation Interviewed by Lynn Terry Reprinted with kind permission. LT: A lot of people coming out of the 60's were called "radicals". Free radicals destroy the body, or so we hear - what's an oxygen free radical? GF: The free radical theory (a theory is an idea in the works, often accepted before being proven a fact) has been around since the 30's. Today many say all free radicals are harmful. That's a half-truth. Oxygen radical chemistry is necessary for all metabolic exchanges in the body. All free radicals are waiting to unite with another oppositely charged element (radical). The negatively charged available oxygen bonds with the harmful free radicals to allow elimination. Some years back a group of us at a costume party were all dressed in black with a long white rope connecting us at the waist. We were "oxygen free radicals coming to clean up the place!" As the chemical attraction beckoned one of us, we untied the rope and the oxygen free radical (O1) was free to explore and bond. LT: Would you explain to us the difference between naturopathy and current medical theory and practice in the United States? GF: Naturopathy trusts the body to heal itself when given what it needs, whereas allopathic medicine is forever putting out brush fires, taking over the job of the body's defenses. It uses substances and/or treatments foreign to the body which may destroy the "invading disease" or halt a particular deterioration, but the treatment often leaves the body weaker and the immune system less able to do its job. Eventually, "the operation is successful but the patient dies". Allopathic medicine sees disease as many outside invaders which must be defeated with ever more powerful weapons; naturopathy knows that disease is an internal toxic state which has many manifestations. As Pogo wisely stated, "We has seen the enemy and he is us!" It is not separate from us, but a wise part of the body's momentary processing. As naturopaths we follow Bechamp as our model, not Pasteur. The germ gives service to scavenge the dross matter of the body. Once the dirty growth medium is eliminated, the germs find no welcome host. LT: How have these two schools of thought developed? GF: In 1843 the American Institute of Homeopathy, a German import, was operational here in the U.S.; the AMA followed three years later. Nature cure physicians, as well as eclectic practitioners, abounded. Political struggles began within and between disciplines. Specialization narrowed the doctors' focus while industrialization changed the focus of the family. Health's building blocks (fresh air, pure water, and clean food) were forgotten for the quick fixes of the pharmaceutical companies. These same drug cartels taught in the medical schools. Their false alchemy was often more inviting than a dedicated naturalist lifestyle. We view health as the responsibility of our client; the naturopath is a teaching resource to remind us of options to support and optimize the total health of the person. LT: Would you explain to us what it is that the body needs to be well? GF: Again, quite simply, pure, fresh air containing sufficient oxygen, pure water, wholesome food, and exercise. So if it's that simple, how do we become unwell? Let's start with an understanding of two words: toxemia and oxidation. We are familiar with the term "toxic waste". We see it referred to as the poisonous by-products of various manufacturing processes. The same is true in the human body. The body toxins are waste-products of metabolism and, under healthy conditions, are removed from the body as fast as they are produced by the method of oxidation. Oxidation is defined as the ability of oxygen to combine with other substances to form water and gases. In the body, the process of oxidation occurs continuously. Without this process taking place, life would cease very quickly. We take on oxygen through our respiratory exchanges (breathing) and dispose of toxic wastes. Our blood has the function of the uptake of oxygen, its transport throughout the body, and the disposal of body toxins. What stops this oxidation from taking place? When the process of elimination stops, the toxins which should be leaving the body back up into the blood supply. The body has several systems for removing toxins. The colon, genito-urinary, skin, lymphatics, and lungs all help to eliminate waste. If one route is congested, another system must upgrade to maintain healthy vital fluids. If the various routes of exodus fail to free the body of waste products, more and more cells of the body cease to receive the oxygen that they need to maintain normal function and replacement. Disease is the result. The body is out of harmony within itself and the toxic overload is difficult to bear. Now, let's go back to the succession of elimination routes. Have you ever eaten something that "doesn't agree with you"? Now there's an apt expression! What may your body do? Gas and diarrhea...what is your body saying? "Let's get this bad stuff out of here." "Ah, how inconvenient. ...think I'll take something to stop that." When one has such an attitude - not paying proper attention to the body's signals, not correcting the problem in Nature's way at that time - the body seeks the next route of elimination, the skin, let's say. Outbreaks of various kinds will signal the toxic route. In the meantime, the various parts and organs of the digestive tract will be under stress because the best route of elimination is not doing its job. Various symptoms will surface, signaling restriction of service. Depending on the genetic strength, healthy input during childhood, and previous toxic stress, the body will respond at some point with failure of a part of itself. Often the allopathic answer is to treat the symptom with a pharmaceutical which suppresses that signal or, alternatively, to remove the offending part. Can you think of a better way to handle it? Remember, only the whole body can take care of any specific problem long term. LT: Okay, I think I've got it. It's kind of like losing weight. It took you a long time to put it on, now it's going to take some time to get it off. Do we want to clear the first route of elimination, taking the load off those fall-back systems? GF: Right you are, and we want to cleanse all the other routes as well. How quickly we cleanse (detox) depends on the body's strength. I recommend the guidance of an accredited Naturopath to lead you in Nature's way to health. If the ill one is greatly weakened, fresh vegetable and fruit juice fasts for gentle detoxing and remineralizing may be in order. Juice fasts remove the burden of digestion from the system while providing needed nutrition. This lets the body save its energy for cleansing. Dr. Norman Walker and John Lust (nephew of Dr. Benedict Lust, father of American Naturopathy) have written helpful books on the subject. Some of the cleansing procedures which we follow are colonics (gentle introduction of water through the entire colon to remove debris) and various baths and scrubs to open the skin's pores. The skin absorbs substances that are in the bath water, so it is important to have pure water free of chlorine and other pollutants. For complete health, oxygen needs to get to every cell of the body to do its cleaning job. Otto Warburg, the great scientist and two time Nobel prize winner, said, "Flood the body with oxygen!" How do we do that? The first thing that springs to mind is through the lungs. Take great, deep breaths of clean, fresh air, especially first thing upon awakening. Aerobic exercise will encourage you to breathe deeply. If your water and air are not pure, you may want to consider acquiring a high quality ozone generator system to oxidize the impurities in your living space. Bubbling ozone into your bath water while relaxing there for 15-30 minutes is another way to absorb oxygen into your body. Blass Therapy products (Homozon, Magozone, Macalozone, and Calozone) put ozone, the powerfully cleansing, allotropic form of oxygen, right into your digestive tract where they immediately begin cleaning out the system. As that job is done, the above mentioned Blass products use the digestive tract route to get oxygen directly into the blood stream. Other Blass products include San-O-Zon and Cut-O-Zon which cleanse and heal via the skin. While you're doing all this healthy cleansing work, it's time to look at what put you in this sad state. There are the obvious offenders: overindulgence in rich foods, tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine, lack of exercise and good air, and mental stress, which often leads us to use some of those quick-fix solutions. In addition there are poor eating habits, which include incomplete mastication (chew your food thoroughly) and poor food combinations on top of overchemicalized, overcooked foods grown on deficient soils served at every meal. These poor eating habits lead to incomplete digestion and fermentation (causes of gas), requiring another cleansing procedure. One can remain in this vicious loop, or correct the bad habits and rebuild to good health. LT: Would you welcome serious inquiries for more information from those willing to take charge of their own well-being? GF: Yes, that is part of my medical missionary work. I can be reached through the International Association for Oxygen Therapy, P.O. Box 1360, Priest River, ID 83856.