July 19, 2018
[01:08] Kion Coffee/Atrantil
[05:55] Dr. Stephen Cabral
[07:44] What Happened to Dr. Cabral When He Was 17
[15:00] The Rain Barrel Effect
[35:16] Organifi Gold/Onnit
[39:23] The Science Behind These Treatments
[45:32] The History of Sauna
[52:45] Ways You Can Move Around Your Lymph
[55:54] Why the Need to Move Lymph
[58:07] Lying on the Right Side During a Coffee Enema
[1:02:20] How Effective Stephen's Protocol Is
[1:04:09] How Often You Do These Protocols
[1:07:27] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey. It's Ben Greenfield. Does it annoy you when I chew gum like this? I'm chewing mastic gum. I don't know if you ever heard of mastic gum. When I interviewed this guy who ran an Ultra Marathon across Greece, Dean Karnazes. He told me how he chewed this Grecian gum called mastic gum to keep his saliva flowing. It turns out it also strengthens your jaw. The only reason I have a nice square jaw line, honestly, is because I chew mastic gum. It has nothing to do with parenting, or genetics, or anything like that. I just chew this gum. It tastes like ass, but it does the trick. It's very functional gum. Anyways, today's podcast is with a guy named Stephen Cabral, who wrote one of the most intriguing books on ancient ayurvedic techniques for detoxifying and caring for the body that I've ever read. So, I had a lot of little things circled and highlighted and pages folded over in the book after I read it. So, I decided to get him on the show and interview him about what he does and how he discovered these techniques. We get into the practical nitty gritty topics about how you can detox yourself.
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In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“You are absolutely doing more harm than good if you go in a steam room that you don't know where the water's been filtered because the chlorine is now a vapor, and that vapor just goes directly through the lungs, right in your bloodstream. So, I can't recommend that at all.” “This is my thought philosophy. I'm going to practice medicine, but I'm only going to practice the form of medicine that gets people better. Everybody believes their form of medicine is the best, right? Like who's a health practitioner who doesn't say it's the best in the world? Of course it is. So, here's the deal though…”
Ben: I'm back! Of course, I'm back. I read so many freakin' books, I have to come back because I hunt down these amazing authors, and today's guest is no exception. He wrote this book, it's called “The Rain Barrel Effect: How a 6,000 Year Old Secret,” yes, 6,000, “Holds the Answer to Finally Getting Well, Losing Weight, and Feeling Alive Again”. His name is Dr. Stephen Cabral, and he's a naturopathic doctor. And he has this place called The Cabral Wellness Institute. When he was 17, he had this horrible illness and he traveled around the world, figuring out how to fix it. And then he wrote a book about it, and he called the book “Rain Barrel Effect”. And it's a good book. I actually was playing around with the little detox protocol he filled me in on in the book just yesterday and I felt amazing. And my wife was laughing at me, because it involved a coffee enema, and I will let Stephen explain later on in today's show. So, Stephen, or should I say Dr. Cabral. Is it Cabral?
Dr. Cabral: It's Cabral, and I think Stephen Cabral, and any of those would work for me. So, don't worry about it.
Ben: So, you wrote this book, but I want to, of course, press the rewind button, but before I do, where is your institute?
Dr. Cabral: Boston, Massachusetts is where I'm out of.
Ben: Okay. Cool. So, basically as far away in the US as you can get from me.
Dr. Cabral: I don't think it could be further, exactly.
Ben: Most likely never visit you. No, the last time I was in Boston it was 38 degrees below zero. So, it is kind of unlikely that I'll go back. Painful.
Dr. Cabral: If you go in the late, well, just put it this way: if you go late into early fall, beautiful. And then forget about the rest of the time.
Dr. Cabral: No need to come visit.
Ben: That pretty much describes the way I felt when I was there. So, you wrote this book, tell me about what happened when you were 17.
Dr. Cabral: One of the things too is there was never an intention, growing up in Medford, Massachusetts, which is right outside of Boston, to ever, I mean, growing up there, you don't even know what a naturopathic doctor is or functional medicine. This is a little bit 20 years ago. But what happened was I literally woke up one day, a normal 17 year old high school student, and when I went to get out of bed, I literally immediately knew something was very wrong. It was one of those times where you're just like, “This is not a normal cold.” All the lymph nodes of my body are swollen. I mean, like golf ball size. No exaggeration. My neck, my groin, my armpits. My eyes are crusted together, my tongue's swollen. And I was like, “I don't know what's going on. I'm going to go downstairs, tell my mom there's no way I'm making it to school today.” But when my feet hit the ground, my heart rate started to skyrocket, 120, 150 beats per minute well. And so, this is when I knew, “Okay, something's really wrong.” And it led then to two years of seeing over 20 different specialists.
Ben: So, this thing didn't go away?
Dr. Cabral: It didn't go away. That was the issue. So before, I mean I grew up on Z-paks. Erythromycin, I grew up on amoxicillin. You just take that, you get better in a couple of weeks. What happened was there was no fix for this. “Whatever it was,” they said to me that, “you're going to have to get worse, or it'll eventually go away on its own. We know something's wrong with you, we don't know what it is.” Because in conventional medicine, which I'll talk about, and I love conventional medicine. So, I don't want to be put in this box where I'm against it. I'm not. I believe in conventional medicine for acute-based care, and I'm very happy that we have that. However, for chronic-based illnesses, it can't help you with any of those things. It's not meant to. It can mask symptoms, but I didn't even have symptoms that they could mask. So, what happened was that I eventually looked into this thing called functional medicine. Again, 20 years ago, almost unheard of. But I ran, it's funny 'cause one of the same lab tests I run today, a saliva-based hormone test, found out I had something wrong with producing glucocorticoids, which is cortisol. I took it back then to my specialists, and they said, “Okay, let's run an ACTH stim test.
So, in conventional medicine, you run that for Addison's disease. After that, they found out I had Addison's disease, I had type 2 diabetes 'cause I failed a glucose tolerance test, and then I had autoimmune-based issues. I had POTS, which is postural orthostatic tachycardia, that explained the high heart rate upon standing. And so, now, finally got the diagnosis I was looking for. But what I later realized was that I wasn't going to get better. That was the whole thing. I was going to be medicated. I was taking the Cortef, I was taking the Florinef, all of these things, and I did feel better. But at 18, 19, 20 years old now, I didn't want that to be the rest of my life.
Ben: Right. Being on all these medications.
Dr. Cabral: That was it! And that's because it was artificially stimulating my body. And the more I looked into it, meaning like we were just starting to get online, the year was around 2000. I was like, “I can't be on these things. It's going to lead to this, this, and this,” and I was already sick as it was and I wanted to get my life back. So, the problem was, I mean, I was playing three sports in high school, and National Honors Society, all these things, and I end up with brain fog, I end up not being able to play a pickup basketball game in college with my buddies because I would be sick the next day with flu-like symptoms, something called myalgic encephalomyelitis, where literally…
Ben: Yeah. It's like chronic fatigue syndrome I interviewed Dr. Sarah Myhill about it.
Dr. Cabral: Exactly. It's chronic fatigue syndrome, but so deep that the mitochondria can't produce the energy. They just sit there and bathe the lactic acid, and it's brutal. And I was just doing a hill sprint, feeling like you're at the top of that hill. It's crushing and there was no way out of it. That was the issue. So, my job then was literally I made it my job to start to just read every book I could get my hand on. And then online, internet came about, so then I'm reading all these different articles and research, and finally I met a doctor when I was around 24 years old who put it all together for me. And I'll be forever grateful to Dr. Pete…
Ben: Doctor who?
Dr. Cabral: Dr. Margaret Pete.
Ben: So, how did you meet her?
Dr. Cabral: So, I'm a big reader like yourself. I read her book and I just can't, for whatever reason, it's a random book, but I connected with it, I contacted her, she's in her like late 60's, early 70's, and I go to Maine, and I just literally took a bus to Maine. I was again, 22, 23 years old, however old I was. Again, she just brought together ayurvedic medicine, which I had touched on a little bit, functional medicine and genetics all together. So orthomolecular medicine, functional medicine, basically the same thing, genetics, and then pulling into ayurvedic medicine. When I got all of those three working together, everything came together in my body. The life started to come back. And then, this is what I wanted to do, I said, “Okay, conventional medicine couldn't do this. So, let me look outside of the United States,” so I went back to school, but I said, “I want to make sure that I do my internships, my residencies overseas.”
This was my thought philosophy: I'm going to practice medicine, but I'm only going to practice the form of medicine that gets people better. I know that you talk to so many people, everybody believes their form of medicine is the best in the world, right? Like who's a health practitioner who practices homeopathy, or acupuncture, or chiropractic, or whatever, Bach flower, and doesn't say it's the best in the world? Of course, it is! So, here's the deal though. I said, “I want to see who truly is the best in the world. I want to live in these clinics, I want to work with the patients, see who gets better, be there long enough to see that they get well.” And so, that's what I did. That was my quest. I studied in Sri Lanka, in India, in China, in Europe, and all over the US, and I said, “Okay. let's see who gets people better.” And then I came at it from an unbiased perspective.
Ben: Where'd this Dr. Pete, sorry to interrupt, learn everything that she knew?
Dr. Cabral: So, she studied naturopathic medicine. So, she was an ND. But she went to do her subspecialty at the Institute for Functional Medicine, which is the same exact thing I did as well, go there afterwards. But then she studied under, and again, this is just such serendipitous. Like how does this happen? Who knows? How will I ever know how I got so lucky? But she studied under Dr. Vasant Lad. Vasant Lad came over here from India and is the foremost, or was the foremost ayurvedic doctor in the United States. He essentially brought ayurveda to the United States. She studied under him and she wrote his textbooks. I mean it's so crazy to think about it. She wrote his textbooks. So, that was that, and I just said, “Okay, I need to get deeper into this x medicine.” If anyone ever heard of it or studied it, it truly translates to “the science of life”. It is the basis for all forms of medicine today. A lot of what we rediscover today is literally rediscovery of ayurvedic medicine. And when I was over there in India, there's actually pharmaceutical reps or pharmaceutical scientists from almost every company in the Himalayas studying the herbs, working with the vaijes, working with the ayurvedic doctors to see if they can patent these specific herbs in just drugs. And they've done that. I mean, we know that because a statin comes from the same extracts as [0:14:44] ______. Like these things are being done every day, so it's amazing to look back, keep an open mind, and see what you can discover.
Ben: So, why do you call it a 6,000-year old secret? Is that just how old some of these ayurvedic techniques were that you were looking to?
Dr. Cabral: So, that's right. So, the oldest ayurvedic, recorded history essentially is said to be from 6,000 years ago. And then it's been handed down, further refined, and that's what we see essentially today is, again, one thing that I talk about, we have this thing called manual lymph drainage, or the Vodder technique. It was discovered, and that's in air quotes, in the 1930s by Dr. Emmanuel Vodder, and it's great. So, nothing against him, but abhyanga, which is the form of ayurvedic massage to drain the lymphatic system, and the lymphatic system is four times the fluid of all of your blood in your body. It's the system that nobody ever talks about and it's how we begin to really cleanse the body. I mean, all the interstitial fluid, the milieu of the body, needs to go somewhere. Every cell breathes, and those toxins have to go somewhere and they go to the lymph. So, in ayurveda, one of the main parts of detoxification is moving that lymph, and that was done 6,000 years ago.
Ben: Wow. Okay, you have a bunch of stuff about moving the lymph. I love a lot of the practical techniques you have in the book and I want to dive into those, but first, why do you call it “The Rain Barrel Effect”? Where did you come up with this?
Dr. Cabral: So, “The Rain Barrel Effect” is not something that I came up name-wise, although it's very little talked about. Meaning that it does exist in the literature, but almost as an afterthought. So, I was a really, again, really sick kid. I had allergies, I had all these different things going on. So, I'm in my immunologist's office and I pick up this literature this research, and it talks just in passing about this thing called “the rain barrel effect”. And I'm like, “Oh, that's kind of interesting catch right there.” And what it says literally change the way that I looked at illness, and it changes the way that I look at it today about everything. It's about weight gain, it's about fatigue, it's about brain fog, it's about sickness, all of these things in the way that we age.
So, we all talk about genetics, and genetics are important. I mean, I run full genetic panels and all that, but they're not as important as people think. Meaning that it's epigenetics, it's our ability to turn on and off the genetics that really matters. And that's why, we all know people who are 75 years old, they have had two drinks, they've smoked every day of their life, they exercise, they get up at 4:30, they need six hours of sleep. Well, they have phenomenal genetics. That matters. But some people, they do that same thing, and at 25, they're wiped out. Well, what happens is we all have this rain barrel. And as we go through life, every minute, hour, month of our year, we're filling that up, more so than ever before because there's 77,000 plus men made chemicals in the US, about 8,000 overseas in Europe. Well, as that fills up, we don't really feel it. That's the hard thing about this human body, we’re really good compensators. But once it gets to the top, we start to feel the symptoms. And they're just like, okay, anxiety, poor sleep, a little sluggishness, some brain fog. All of a sudden, your rain barrel overflows. When it overflows, you say, “How did I get rheumatoid arthritis? How did I get sarcoidosis? How did I get MS? How did I get Parkinson's?” Well, it was happening every single day, of every single month, of every single year.
Ben: Yeah. That makes sense. I mean, it's like me, dude. I grew up on Papa Murphy's Take-and-Bake Pizza, and iceberg lettuce, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, and a gallon of 2% milk a day, but it wasn't until I was like maybe 20, and I was bodybuilding, and I had switched to all these ABB bodybuilding protein shakes that were just like chemicals in the can that I finally started to have health issues. But it took that long. My body, my amazing human body was just, aside from the acne and some of the skin issues that it seems that teenage boys push out when they're eating a toxic diet, I didn't have the many issues. I performed pretty well until that point, and then my body said, “Okay, that's enough. I'm good.” And fortunately, I didn't kind of get hit as hard as you did, but okay. That makes sense as far as the rain barrel effects. I definitely experienced that.
I want to dive into some of the practical stuff that you talk about in the book, and one of the first things you talked about that I hadn't come across before was this idea, and correct me if I'm pronouncing this incorrectly, of “Panchakarma”. And you get into this in the book, about the 6,000-year old ayurvedic techniques, and one of the first things that you describe is Panchakarma, and this intrigued me. Can you get into all these things abhyanga, and vamana, and virechana. I'm pretty good at my Indian, by the way.
Dr. Cabral: That's excellent, Ben.
Ben: Thank you. And what all these Panchakarma things are and how you found them.
Dr. Cabral: Yeah. No, I'd be happy to. And so this is one of the things that ayurvedic medicine is literally, I would say, famous for, and that's because it's now well-studied. So, a lot of people look at these modalities, whether it's ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Taoist medicine, whatever it might be. And they say, “Oh well, that was fine, but they didn't know this, they didn't know this.” Well, the truth is they knew a lot of this and they understood deeply how the body works. So Panchakarma is meant to literally empty your rain barrel. So, if we want to talk about how do we get better, we're always talking about adding more to the body. So, more vitamins, more minerals, more amino acids, more of all of these things. And I'm not against any of those. I totally agree. However, most of the time when people are very sick, you need to work by a subtractive method first. So, you need to remove before the body can handle more because it's already overwhelmed. Everything is overwhelming the body. We don't lack for anything in this life, what we do now is have overages in toxicity.
So, what Panchakarma means is five actions, and those five actions help to detoxify, cleanse, rejuvenate the body, both mind and body. Because one thing that I learned is this, when I was overseas studying in all different countries, all different types of medicine, what I realized was that every form of medicine worked. You just need to know when to apply it with what person. So, if you don't try to fit them into a particular box, you can always get them well. Everything is curable. I really believe that. And again, I don't use curable from the conventional medicine. I mean, rebalance the body, allow the body to then heal itself. So, what it Panchakarma aims to do is take some of the stress off of the body. So, what we want to look at is how does it do that. Well, abhyanga is a special type of massage, and the massage is typically done with two therapists, although you can just do it with one, and what it does it drains the lymphatic system. So, that means very light pressure, one millimeter to three millimeters right below the skin and we're just moving that lymph. And the lymph is then moving from the ankles, to the knee, the knee to the groin, all the way up to basically the left part of the chest where it's going to drain back out of the body.
And so, here's the thing, we have the abhyanga that gets the toxins mobilized. We're using something called virechana or rechen and what that means is that now starts to soften the bile in the liver. And why is this important? Well, because your liver is filtering all of the blood in your body every six minutes, literally every ounce of all the blood in your body every six minutes. And what we want to do is then take all of those toxins that's being filtered by this thing like a car filter, a vacuum, when you vacuum your house, you need to empty that. It's very, very important. It was important 6,000 years ago, it's even more important today. So, that's removing what's called a pitta, or the excess heat of the body, the toxins. Vamana is something that we don't do in the US. So, we don't use vamana in the US because it's actually purgation, or it's actually having someone throw up, and there's a reason for this.
Ben: Really? I'm pretty sure we have that in the US. It's called bulimia.
Dr. Cabral: Yeah. That's a different form. We'll put it that way. This form looks to bring mucus, the mucus of the body, the people with the bronchitis, the congestion, all ofthose things, bring the mucus to the stomach and then get them to vomit up all of that mucus. And so, we take patients through this. And basti would be…
Ben: You can't just basically skim over that, dude. You're taking your patients and you're making them vomit?
Dr. Cabral: Yes.
Ben: How do you do that?
Dr. Cabral: So, what we would do, and this is in India and Sri Lanka, is we would give them milk, lots of milk. This would be part of an overall treatment. So, usually you're leading up to this. Panchakarma, you can do it in a day or two days, but usually it's over a course of three weeks or so. And so, you're preparing the body for all of these different things. And before I could actually work with patients overseas, I would work in the back room and I would actually create these, they're called medicated decoctions, and it has basically herbal-infused oils and we're using certain herbs, whether it's to decrease mucus, anything heating, mustard seed, trikatu, pepper any of those things would get rid of this phlegm. Well, what we do is we would give the person milk on an empty stomach, this would be done earlier in the morning because kapha, time of the day is essentially between 6 and 10, and we would allow that mucus, 'cause milk causes mucus, and a lot of people still don't believe this. I see kids with ear, nose, and throat issues, tonsilitis all these things, and I grew up this way, drinking cold milk with American chop suey at night. It's the worst combination ever, and I had all sorts of you know ear infections all those things. Well, mucus is caused also by drinking a lot of milk. So, we bring it to the stomach. The milk would also cause people to vomit, but then typically what we would do is we would give them a salt water drink. And the salt water would then cause them to vomit up all of this excess milk, but you would just see the thick mucus…
Ben: Were you using a special kind of milk or just any milk?
Dr. Cabral: Well, over in India, we were just using normal, like grass-fed milk. That was it. Just normal milk.
Ben: Okay. Alright. Got it.
Dr. Cabral: And then this one wasn't as fancy.
Ben: Now, you're doing that after you've already brought people through, and this throwing up thing is called vamana, or a purging, as you say. But before that you're cutting down from any animal tissue meat and then you're also doing this abhyanga massage, which is like the lymph massage. And after you've done those first two steps of the Panchakarma, doing the lymphatic massage making sure someone's on this special diet, then you start to have them throw up?
Dr. Cabral: That's correct. So, the special diet is typically something called kichri, and that would always be part of it, which was the rice, the split mung beans, which is called dal, and ghee.
Ben: Yeah, mung beans are interesting. I've actually heard another pretty smart guy who's been going around talking about his detox protocol, like a 10-day detox protocol, oh gosh, I'm blanking on his name. He podcasted with some of my friends over at the Nourish, Balance, Thrive show. Doctor, I'm totally blanking on it, I should have purged before the call. I'll remember in a minute. But anyways, so before you do this vamana, how many days are you on the special diet and how much of this lymph massage have you done?
Dr. Cabral: So, the lymph massage is daily. And the diet will have been done for at least a week before. And so, what you're doing is you're actually preparing your body for this cleansing. It's a ritual, it's a beautiful, beautiful ritual. Now, keep in mind, not everyone has to do this vamana, but it's a big part of it. Meaning if you want the full punch combo, you want to do this. This is a longevity-based treatment. Very, very important in ayurvedic-based longevity protocols. The yogis would do it. But the kichri itself, I mean the research on the dal and mung beans is phenomenal in terms of removing microbes in the gut, using the ghee to help chelate heavy metals, and then also use the FOS, the fructooligosaccharides, to start to rebuild beneficial gut bacteria. So, it's pretty popular.
Ben: That's all part of the diet, the ghee, the fructooligosaccharides, and things like mung beans, and lentils, and then the lack of the animal tissue meat?
Dr. Cabral: Exactly. And you would still include some fruit, but yes, you would have all of that in there. It's very, very just purifying. Just like you said yourself, you start to get sick when you increase protein. That's how it is for most people. If you look at the blue zones, if you look at anything, the higher protein you got…
Ben: No, I didn't start to get sick when I increased protein. I started to get sick when I increased protein from these chemical whey protein shakes.
Dr. Cabral: Agreed. From more hazardous-based forms. I agree. Yes, exactly. Because what happens to it is it's harder for the body to also process. And if you have any type of intestinal permeability, it's those larger amino acid strands, it's those greater amount of proteins coming through the gut wall that could also then start to…
Ben: Yeah. Some people would argue also, along with that, fats can cause some of these lipopolysaccharides to cause toxicity as well in somebody with a leaky gut. Like it's kind of a protein-fat one-two combo in a way.
Dr. Cabral: Completely agree. Which is why the kichri is lower on all of those things. Meaning that if the bacteria already exists in the gut and you're taking in the high fats from a keto-based, or saturated fats are essentially what we're looking at, then it will help draw that right through the gut wall. So, yeah, completely agree on that.
Ben: Okay. So, we've got, the first three steps are abhyanga, which is the lymph massage, the special diet, and then vamana. It's so weird. You don't see this a lot in Western medicine where you're actually doing emesis. You're vomiting to remove the mucus from the upper respiratory tract to cleanse the body from that hole. And then, what's the next step?
Dr. Cabral: So, the next step is the varechina, which I'm not sure if I mentioned that, that's the loosing of the bile in the liver, and you're giving people laxatives. So, they're having three, four, or five bowel movements a day, and the reason is that your liver is then emptying into your colon, which we'll just talk about in a moment. So, we would create herbal decoctions, they're called. So, essentially, you'd wake up every morning, and I would sometimes be the person that would run around to all these different patient rooms, and put a bottle, like a liquid bottle of your herbal decoction with your medicated capsules. It was really interesting. I got to make the actual capsules, the medication we called it, and you would roll it in either ghee or raw honey. And we use ghee or honey as a delivery method to actually get these things into the body to a deeper level. So, that was pretty amazing. And then you would use basti, which is an enema, again, a medicated enema. We would use herbs to remove waste from the colon. So, it was like a symphony. We would remove it from the upper respiratory tract, which is called kapha, or like the endomorphic type, the heavier body type. Pitta is in the liver, so, we would release those toxins and bile down into the colon, and the colon then is reserved for vatta, and we would release all the toxins that were dumped in the colon then into, obviously, a toilet. Now, the last part is the facial area. And the facial area has to do with something called nasya. And nasya is an amazing treatment for people with allergies, and migraines…
Ben: Okay. I'm going to slow you down again, man. I'm going to slow you down again. This varechina, where you induce multiple bowel movements in the form of loose stool, how are you doing that?
Dr. Cabral: So, we're using products such as triphala. So, triphala is one of the mainstays that we would use. Now, we would use other things too, because we'd be checking in with the patients on a daily basis. And if they weren't getting the results that we wanted, we increased dosage. And were able to do that until we got the, at least three bowel movements per day. Because it's very important, as you're releasing toxins, so, when we had people on this special diet, we were also oxidizing body fat. A lot of people came in these clinics to lose weight as well. So, when they're there and you're oxidizing body fat, we have to keep in mind that body fat, adipose tissue is about 300 times more toxic than your blood. Meaning that your body does a really good job when toxins come into the blood and storing them in adipose tissue, and that adipose tissue can swell. And that's why a lot of people, sure, they're overweight, but their body is swollen. They look puffy. And that's because those fat cells are also holding toxicity, and with that comes water as well. So, were oxidizing body fat, the toxins are coming in the blood, they're moving to the liver, hopefully not as much in the kidneys, and then we're then eliminating those into the colon, then into the, obviously, the toilet.
Ben: Does this triphala herb, is it something you just take right before and it induces a bowel movement? Do you take it a night before? How does it work?
Dr. Cabral: So, a triphala is a very gentle laxative…
Ben: And that's T-R-I-P-H-A-L-A? Okay. By the way, for those of you listening in, I'll link to all this stuff if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/rain. I'll take some show notes here to Stephen's book and some of these weird herbs we're talking about.
Dr. Cabral: Yes. And so, one thing I want to say too is that a lot of, so, triphala is one of the mainstays of ayurveda. Meaning, that is a great product on how it feeds beneficial gut bacteria, how it keeps the bowels moving. You can take it directly after every meal. We had people start the day with a stronger formula, so they would have a bowel movement first thing in the morning. A lot of people are coming in constipated. We need to get the bowels moving so they're not reabsorbing toxins back into their body. So, again, I just want to preface this with this is what I learned. This is not a lot of what I'm doing in my practice today, meaning I'm not putting people through bastis and making people throw up. My practice…
Ben: You have a modern protocol, the one I did yesterday.
Dr. Cabral: Yes, yes, yes. Exactly.
Ben: Okay. So, you're not having your patients do this, but you did it when you were over there in India?
Dr. Cabral: Correct. I did it myself many times.
Ben: What was that like, to do the throwing up part?
Dr. Cabral: The throwing up was the second hardest. Believe it or not, there's something else. There's another treatment called jalaneti, which is essentially cleansing of the nasal passages, and I have this brutal deviated septum. It's almost like flossing for your nasal passages. You literally put up his rubber thing and you pull it through both sides of your nose. That's next level right there. So, that was intense. The second hardest thing was the throwing up, and that was because I'm someone who's just, I produce more mucus, and that was, again, growing up, I can talk about that, but one of the ways that I filled up my rain barrel was that I took 3,000 capsules of amoxicillin from the ages of 14 to 17. And I had mild acne, again, that boy with a bad diet, just like you drinking Kool-Aid and eating Little Debbie snacks every day, and took antibiotics for three years. That was it. And so that wiped out my gut flora, ended up with SIBO, and all these different things. Well, what happened was doing these treatments really helped me eliminate a lot of this mucus from my body. Although it was a brutal treatment, it helped tremendously to get all of that up. I felt so much lighter. That's actually the biggest thing people say is when they go through Panchakarma, when they go through a detoxification protocol, their head is so much clearer, they feel so much lighter.
Ben: Wow. Okay. This nasal thing, you didn't talk about that in the book, did you?
Dr. Cabral: I did. It's called nasya, N-A-S-Y-A, nasya.
Ben: N-A-S-Y-A. Okay, nasya. Yeah. That was where you put the ayruvedic herbal oil and the facial massage to open up the sinuses. It's kind of funny, I had an amazing amount of energy the past week. I did something possibly kind of similar when I was at a doctor's office down in Salt Lake City a couple of days ago where this guy shoved the balloon up my nose, Dr. Craig Buehler. And he did like a nasal, I posted to my Facebook page. If you guys go over there, actually, no. I'll just put a link in the show notes. It's like an eight-minute long video where he shoved a balloon up my nose and cracked all of the bones in my sinuses to open them up and did that four times in each nostril to open up the nasal passages and crack some of the skull, what do they call them, the skull sutures. It was mind-blowing in terms of how I felt with clear headedness when I sat up from having that procedure done. So, it's probably a lot different than this steam inhalation that you did with this nasya, but I get it. A lot of people don't think about all the crap that builds up in your nasal passages.
Dr. Cabral: Yeah. Unless someone's doing this type of treatment, this is the most benign of them. And it's phenomenal too. You're essentially lying back, we're adding drops to someone's nasal passages, and they're sucking up. You have to suck up to get it into the nasal passages. And when you look at your sinuses, they're above the eyes essentially and right below the eyes. And what we need to do is bacteria can get in there. Now, the interesting thing is if you take antibiotics, like let's just say amoxicillin, for a sinus infection, your recurrence of a second sinus infection's almost 100%. And the reason is we always talk about our gut flora, well, you change your nasal flora as well. There is actually bacteria that's meant to be in the nasal passages, the sinus as well that. What the nasya does is it helps to kill any of the yeast that may be there, any of the bacteria that's there. It helps to rebalance those passages. And then, the steam loosens everything. After that, the stuff that comes out of your sinuses is unbelievable.
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Okay. So, you have the lymph massage, the special diet, the vamana, which is the phlegm that builds up within your upper respiratory tract that you get rid of by drinking the milk and then vomiting that back up. You have the the varechina, which you said is like the purgation. That's like when you use the triphala or other herbs to induce a bowel movement. Then you have this basti, which is the enema that would come, I guess, in the form of like a medicated enema to induce a bowel movement. Same as we do a coffee enema these days. And then this nasya to clean up the sinuses, and those are like all the steps of the panchakarma detoxification?
Dr. Cabral: That's right. And then typically, you'll do an add-on like the shirodhara, which is the application of oil in the middle of the forehead. You'll do a sweating, like a swedana, which allows, again, so what you're looking to do is essentially wring out the body. I mean that's what you're looking to do. And so, the swedana is the sweat, and that's a huge part of it.
Ben: I want to ask you about the swedana, but has anybody ever studied this to see if it actually works? Like measured pre and post metals, or toxins, or anything like that?
Dr. Cabral: Absolutely. And so that was my big thing is even though I'm studying this, but I still have a Western mindset. I still have a mindset of someone who's looking at the research. Does this work, does not work. Because I mean, I've seen the people get better, but I'm like, “Okay. Well, what exactly is going on?” So, then I go back and I dig into the research. I find this book called “Ayurvedic,” what's it called? “Ayurvedic Therapies and Ayurvedic Healing”. It's like a 700-page book. And all it goes through is the scientific research. It's amazing. And then, I said, “Okay. Well, let's look at panchakarma,” because there's a lot of places like the Marashi Institute in the United States that will do it as well. And so, when I look at it, I'm looking at the research, it shows that typically on your day-to-day, you're just eating well, you're doing a vegetarian-based diet, whatever it might be, is you're only going to lose, you're going to drop about 1%, it shows, of heavy metals and other toxins in your stool, in your sweat, any of these things. Well, panchakarma was specifically studied after a 14-day protocol. So, this is a full seven to 14-day protocol. They found that PCBs and other pesticides in the environment, as well as heavy metals, were reduced in the blood by 50%. And I can quote the study as well. I believe this was done by the University of Colorado. So, I'll see if I can send it over to you for the show notes page as well.
Ben: Yeah. It's pretty impressive. Definitely send me the study. I'll link to that in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/rain for all you people who need convincing through science. Anyways though, convincing through science they need to drink milk and throw, and shove stuff up your nostrils. Anyways though, so, you mentioned briefly, just a second ago, swedana. And this was kind of cool, this is what I liked about your book, 'cause you went into the fascinating history of not just how to do this swedana, but then you really got into the fascinating history of heat in general. Can you describe the practice, swedana, and how it's used in ayurvedic medicine and how it purportedly works in then? And then I want to dive into heat therapy in general.
Dr. Cabral: Sure. So, with the swedana, what you're doing is you're doing the abhyanga. So, you're doing something that is allowing you to always mobilize the toxins, remove the toxins. Now, the only people we wouldn't, so, swedana would be usually a steam. You would get into literally a box. You would sit in a box, it looks a lot like the lower cost units for the infrared sauna, but they're blowing steam into a wooden box. Or you would lie down in the box. And you would always have your head out. I want to talk about that, actually, in a couple minutes, of why they always took the head out of the box of not allowing steam to get to the head, because I think that's one of the ways that we're going wrong with heat now, but we'll talk about that. And so, what you would do is you'd find one more way for the toxins to remove, to get out of the body. So, we can eliminate through urine, stool. We can eliminate them, huff them out through the lungs. Not as easy that way, but you can. And then also through the skin, being the largest excretory organ in the body.
So, what we would look to do is just purify, get those out of the body. And essentially, you'd go in there for only about 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes max, you would leave drenched. Like it was unbelievable, the amount of heat that your body would accumulate and essentially then squeeze out the body, squeeze these toxins out. So, we'll go to the science in just a moment. The one thing that we have to be careful of, I think, nowadays with steam, and it's because we're going into steam rooms, and this is like an important caveat whenever I talk about steam, and it's not water-filtered. Meaning that you're just breathing in chlorine vapors.
Ben: I know. That always concerns me. As a matter fact, I throw my kids down at the Spokane Club a couple weeks ago because we wanted to go swimming, and we walked into the steam room, and it was pretty funny 'cause there were like two guys in there and they cracked up laughing, one of my kids goes, “Do you think there's much mold in here?” And then my other boy, River, says, “Dad, the water that they put in here that we're breathing in, do you know if it's clean?” And so, they're like super cognizant about this stuff, but it's amazing how many people will go to these fancy health spas and not take into consideration whether or not they're filtering the water that you're sucking in and bathing yourself in in the steam room.
Dr. Cabral: That's awesome that your kids are saying that, but that's the truth. Meaning that you are absolutely doing more harm than good if you go in a steam room that you don't know where the water's been filtered because the chlorine is now a vapor, and that vapor just goes directly through the lungs, right into your bloodstream. So, I can't recommend that at all. I'd use the sauna instead. So, we use the sauna as well in India, Sri Lanka for the sweat-based treatment to, again, move these, and there's great research behind this, so, again, using a sauna to remove heavy metals and toxins from the body. But the reason we use the sauna, in often cases, was that anyone with joint-based issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, we wanted more of the dry heat. Any mucus build-up, any kapha, we always wanted the drying heat rather than the wet heat.
Ben: Okay. Got it. So, this, what'd you call it, swedana, can you buy some kind of thing that does this, like a system? Or is it like a box that you have to build? Like how can you actually use this if you don't want to go into a steam room at your local gym?
Dr. Cabral: Yeah, you can absolutely buy one. I've seen them sold on Amazon, they're on Alibaba, and it really is just a wood box that you sit in on a little stool, and then you have the steam unit on the outside and you're just pumping it directly into that box okay. And again, the head always been exposed.
Ben: My wife could use this. She gets a lot of kind of like nasal issues that sometimes lead to migraine. So, I'm going to look this up, this swedana. Now you get into just a fascinating history of sauna and heat in general. Obviously on the show before, I've talked about giant sweat boxes, and saunas, and the idea behind saunas. But can you go through some of the timeline of the super fascinating stuff that you've researched for this book? Because there was, I mean everything from palm healing that naturally produces these infrared rays, like this old Chinese technique from 1,000 BC, to, obviously we know about Finland, but there were other people that you get into as well, like even way back in the Stone Age. I find this fascinating. Can you kind of detail what you discovered as far as the forgotten history of sauna?
Dr. Cabral: Yeah, absolutely. So, one of the big things is it always comes from, first we look into the research and I say, “Okay, great. It works.” But then I'm like, “Have they ever done this before in the past?” So, what I don't want is just the knowledge from the last year or two. That's fine. But I don't want anybody in my practice to certainly be a guinea pig and I also want to look at how do they use it a thousand years ago, or even just maybe one hundred years ago, whether it's Herbert Shelton taking people out fasting them, and doing cold baths, and saunas, and all of these things. But then you begin to look into it and you say, “Wow. They had literally dug holes in the ground and put animal skins over them since the Stone Age all the way through, I don't know, a thousand BC.” It was amazing. And then it got more advanced. So, then you would see, again, what you're talking about more is Chinese-based healing where you're using things like Reiki or polarity-based methods and their belief that infrared rays, the same rays that you would look at from the sun, if you believe that you're made up of the same constituents of everything on Earth, they're saying that there's the same magnetic-based resonance. Again, I don't know that I believe in that 'cause I always, again, looked at the science first.
However, there's something to this. Whenever you look at detoxification-based protocols and you look at sauna and why were people doing this since, at least we can see recorded history, whether it's cave drawings or just that we find in terms of ruins, there is something to this, and it went all the way up to then somewhere around, I would say 1500, 1600 where we started to see it more in the Finnish-based sauna that we know today brought over to the United States. One of the more interesting things, I will say, is this, is I got the experience to go down to Tulum, Mexico where the Mayans have these amazing things, I believe they used to be called temescales, or they're called temescales. Temescales.
Ben: Yeah. I've been down there. It's a creepy place. Where they chop people's heads off and do a human sacrifice. You can like feel it in the air. It's weird. My wife and I both visited, and we were walking around and my wife's like, “This is creepy. It feels creepy.” And I told her, “Yeah, I kind of feel this weird sensation too.” But maybe their saunas weren't that creepy. What were you going to ask me?
Dr. Cabral: Have you done one of them before?
Ben: What's that?
Dr. Cabral: The temescale saunas? The big huts that they have?
Ben: I've done something very similar to that, like a giant hot Indian sweat lodge-type of thing up in Canada, and then I've done the traditional Native American teepees and the Finnish sauna, but I haven't done the temescale in Mexico.
Dr. Cabral: So very similar, the teepee that they would create with the hides, you would bring in the hot rocks, then you would pour the water over it. This is almost a hybrid of like a steam and a sauna, 'cause you're creating the heat, there's not as much moisture. Well, they literally have this stone hut, it's remarkable. It's a two-hour ceremony. So, first you're heating up the stones, you're bringing them in, and it's four, meaning like the four quadrants of the Earth. You are bringing in four different ones, each for a half hour. By 90 minutes, I was like literally ready to pass out. But you get out of there feeling like you've sweat out five pounds, which I'm sure you have, and much more clear. There's a lot of ritual that goes along with these things. And that's what I've found as well. They were never just done for purification of the body, they're also done for purification of the mind. That's one of the things I think were forgotten.
Ben: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. My Indian sweat lodge ceremony was intense. I mean, we were inside of this giant teepee with blankets, and we heated the rocks over a fire all night, and it was kind of cool. I was at this father-son wilderness camp called the Twin Eagles Wilderness Camp near Post Falls, Idaho and we all sat in there inside this teepee for round after round of these hot rocks being placed right in the center of the teepee, pitch black, extremely claustrophobic, and there was a drumbeat going while we sat in there, getting us up to a frenzy, and a few of the guys just freaked out, and ran out, and couldn't take it anymore. But it was a very, very intense heat/claustrophobic/spiritual experience. It wasn't just like sitting in the sauna, reading Men's Health Magazine with your nuts hanging out of the towel, like you would do at a health club. So yeah, there's a very spiritual, sacred aspect to a lot of these heat therapies.
Dr. Cabral: Same thing exactly with the Mexican experience. We were chanting the whole time. We had no idea what we were chanting, but it's also echoing through this entire chamber. If you get the experience to be able to do that, I just highly recommend it. It's amazing.
Ben: Yeah. Okay. So, you go into in the book, and by the way, folks, you should definitely get this book. There's even more on the fascinating history of hyperthermia in the book, including the use of infrared. And you're a fan of infrared as a detoxification protocol?
Dr. Cabral: I am. And that's, I think one more modality that you can use. And I don't think that everyone has to get kind of caught up in which one, but it's one more thing to add your arsenal. And one of the reasons why I'm really big on the sauna is because the research right now, you probably have seen this yourself, the research shows, and this is done on a 21-year study over 2300 Finnish men, that you can decrease your risk for a sudden cardiac death by 63% by simply doing 19 minutes in a sauna four to seven times a week. That's it. Four to seven times a week, 19 minutes, decrease sudden cardiac death by 63%. But it also decreased all-cause mortality by 40%, meaning all causes of death were decreased if you stay in a sauna 19 minutes for four to seven times a week. If there was every pharmaceutical drug that could possibly mimic, this it would be a trillion-dollar drug. There's nothing like it. I think it's absolutely incredible, and infrared can add to that.
Ben: Where was this study?
Dr. Cabral: Let me see if I can get that…
Ben: I was just curious because the same one I was thinking of from Finland, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, when I had her on my show, was talking about this study in Finland where they had longevity, if you can't find it right now, that's fine. Just send it to me later along with that other study, and I'll link to it in the show notes. By the way, going back to that doctor I couldn't remember, his name was Dr. Bryan Walsh, this guy who I've heard on a few other shows and who I've spoken with in the past who does use, very similarly, things like mung beans for the… I believe you called them the fructooligosaccharides, Stephen?
Dr. Cabral: Correct. And that's, just a little caveat, remove the candida or SIBO first, and then you can use those for sure.
Ben: Mmm. That makes sense. Okay. So, you'd want to make sure that if you're dumping fructooligosaccharides in your system, that you remove candida so you're not feeding the bugs in your stomach?
Dr. Cabral: Exactly. Correct.
Ben: Okay. So, you've taken all of this stuff, this traditional panchakarma, and you've taken out the “drink a bunch of milk and puke”, and instead kind of turned it into a little bit more doable, one-two-three detox protocol. So, I decided that prior to interviewing you, I would try out your protocol. And so, the first thing that I did yesterday when I got out of bed in the morning was I hopped on this mini trampoline that I have downstairs, and I started jumping up and down on the trampoline, and this was supposedly to get the lymphatic fluid moving as step one. Talk to me about some of the methods you could use for lymphatic, and how long you'd want to do that first step?
Dr. Cabral: Yeah. That's exactly right. You can do the trampoline, the rebounder, any one of those things to get that lymph system moving. So, there's not a lot, meaning like your lymphatic system just sits there sluggish as you're lying down all night. It's not like the blood, which is just on an automatic pump that's moving. You need to manually move that. Heat can do it. It's one of the few things that can move your lymph system without you actually moving, but really, you're going to get the benefit from moving it manually. So, the trampoline's a great one. The one that I still bring back from India, from my days over there is doing a self-massage, whether you're doing dry brushing or whether you're using sesame oil. So, usually the base for a lot of these oils is sesame, and sesame is a little bit more heating. Again, you want to move, you want to heat the body. That's really one of the best ways to get that vasodilation and to get that blood pumping. So, one of things you can do is you can do that, it's just called, again, a lymphatic-based massage. You can look it up, super simple to do. But what you want to do is start to always stroke towards the heart, move towards the heart, and that will allow you then to move that lymph. And that only takes five to 10 minutes maximum. I mean, that's really it.
Ben: Honestly, it takes me like two to three minutes, dude. I have a dry skin brush on top of my sauna, and what I do is just grab it when I wander into my sauna. And I have some of that ayurvedic sesame oil too. I think it's the Banyan Botanicals, sent me a bunch of stuff. Companies send me this stuff 'cause they know I'm into detoxification. So, I'll get freaking enema kit boxes that show up on my front door step unordered. Just surprise, like Christmas, an enema Christmas.
Dr. Cabral: They are authentic.
Ben: So, yeah. I get the sesame oil and the dry skin brush, and this is kind of cool. Like if anybody's listening in, you have an infrared sauna or you have access to one, you put the… do you put the sesame oil on first? ‘Cause I'm not 100% sure I'm doing this in the correct order, but I put the sesame oil on, and then I go in the sauna with my skin brush and I just brush from my legs up to my heart, and the arms up to the heart.
Dr. Cabral: So, what I would do is do the dry brushing so that the skin is actually dry. And what happens is the dry brush stimulates the skin. And when people dry brush, a lot of times, they go too hard. It's not meant to really exfoliate, what it's meant to do is just to press the skin about one to three millimeters. That's it. So a very, very small amount just to get that lymph moving. And also, like let's say someone has histamine-based issues, they have mastocytosis, the harder you brush, the more of a stimulus you're going to create, not something that ideally you want to do. Then what I would do is I would put on the sesame oil and then get into your sauna and just sweat it right out.
Ben: Or I could go in the sauna and do my dry skin brushing in the sauna, and then just open the door, grab the sesame oil, smear that on, then back in the sauna?
Dr. Cabral: You could combine it all for sure. As long as you haven't started sweating yet, because you need to dry to dry brush.
Ben: Right. Exactly. I could just dry brush in the heat to kind of accelerate my ability to sweat after I finish, just to kind of preheat. So I do my dry brush [0:55:34] ______ preheat. So, anything that moves lymph, like dry brushing, self-massage. I did the rebounding. So, what I did was I jumped up and down on the trampoline for 10 minutes. And while I was doing that, I had the sauna warmed up, and then I went in the sauna for about a half hour. Now what's the idea behind doing the lymph first, and then the sauna after?
Dr. Cabral: Yeah. It's a great question. You always do you want to make sure you're doing something, even like the surya namaskar, or any of those things just to move that lymphatic system. The reason is that your cells, again, they're always removing waste, and that happens all-day long. So, if it goes to the lymphatic system, you then want that lymph system to move. The faster it moves, the faster you can detoxify. And as you're moving the lymph, you can also sweat out some of those toxins. That's a big part of it. You always move the lymph before you get in the sauna. And when you're in the sauna, I like to just, the sauna for me is more like shutting down the sympathetic nervous system. I really just try to get into that low beta, deep, deep theta state where I've got the binaural beats playing and I'm really get into a parasympathetic-based state where healing could truly take place. And one the goals of an infrared sauna is to actually move you from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic where that healing does take place. So, I try to just shut it all down. I know a lot of people like to do stretching, all those things in the sauna. For me, it's more of a quiet time.
Ben: Okay. Got it. I'm kind of the opposite, dude. I do yoga, and I do kundalini breathwork, and I do stretches, but my heart rate gets pretty high. My max heart rate is up around upper 190's, and I'll get up into the 170's when I'm in the sauna. But then sometimes, I'll go in there in the evening and just do something very parasympathetic, like a little foam rolling, and sit back and read. Sometimes, I'll bring a vape pen or just something kind of relaxing in there and just chill. So for me, it kind of depends. But ultimately, the second step is to sweat things out once you've got the lymphatic fluid moving from something like the dry skin brushing, or the trampolining, or any of those elements from the first steps. So, we're trying to approximate panchakarma without the puking, but with the enemas. Because the third step, because I went upstairs, and I had already prepared my french press, and it was already at room temp by the time I got out of the sauna. So, I grabbed my stainless-steel enema bucket, 'cause like a good little boy scout, I didn't want to shoot plastics out my backside, and I brought it in the bathroom, and I followed your instructions to the tee, including after I put the all the coffee in from the bucket, lying on my right side. Why do you lie on the right side?
Dr. Cabral: What you're doing is you're actually, so, you start off your on back, you insert the tube into your anus about four inches or so, and then what you're doing is you lie to your left side and then you roll to your right. And you want to roll to your right to try to just work with gravity, to move to your liver, which is under that right side of the rib cage, as fast as possible. And so, what you're hoping to do is get that bucket to empty, you set it at about three or four feet above the ground, and you allow the organic coffee, of course, just like you said, enter the body. One of the big things about the liver here is that the liver is typically filtering the blood about every six minutes. Well, doing a coffee enema, you dilate the bile ducts and you're also speeding up the transit time.
So, it's been shown, and again, Gerson Institute does a lot of research on this, so does Dr. Lawrence Wilson, of how you can speed it up to about every three minutes now. If you can keep that enema, meaning like in your body, the coffee enema for anywhere between 12 and 15 minutes, you're getting somewhere between four and five passes through your liver of all the blood in your body. That is allowing your liver then, given that it can work on both phase one and phase two detox, to further detoxify the body. And then after you're done, you get right on the toilet, and you eliminate all of those toxins. It is one of those things where people say, “I want to do this every day,” which typically we say don't do it every day because it can start to make your bowel movements a little less productive.
Ben: You can lose a lot of minerals and electrolytes as well.
Dr. Cabral: Completely agree. We do this during a panchakarma, but we certainly don't recommend it all the time.
Ben: And, dude, I felt amazing. I've kind of gotten out of the habit of doing a regular coffee enema. I used to do 'em every week. I'd forgotten how amazing you feel. But interestingly when I was at that same guy who did that nasal balloon therapy that I mentioned earlier, he also did a palpation of my gallbladder and liver points and found them to be very tender and recommended that I do some gallbladder and liver cleanses and take some kind of a bile treatment. In addition, I got a live red blood cell analysis from a different doctor, Dr. Jason West over in Pocatello, Idaho, and he noted the presence of what are called ghost cells, which are cells that don't quite have the membrane they're supposed to because of some type of fat malabsorption. And he also mentioned that it was likely that my gallbladder and my bile production was a little bit messed up. So, I'm actually planning, for the next little bit, on doing one of these coffee enemas every few days. And for me, it's pretty simple. I make my normal cup of coffee, and then I have this side coffee that I use for the enema, and I just lay in my right side and get some work done on my phone while I sip my cup of coffee and just let the enema do its work. I stand up after 15 or 20 minutes, use the restroom, and dude, I feel freaking glorious, like on fire the rest of the day.
Dr. Cabral: It is pretty amazing. Honestly, once you do it once it, it doesn't have the dramatic sound to it that we're talking about it right now. If you've never done it before, it sounds like this really intense thing. But just like you said, you're lying on your right side, you're reading a book, you're on your phone, just get in the toilet, and that's it. Like it's pretty benign for the most part. And once a week, I think that's enough. Now in the beginning, so keep in mind, when most natural anti-cancer-based institutes, they're doing four, or five, or even six of these a day. And the reason is that they're dramatic. So, they're trying to kill tumors, they're trying to break down all these toxins and eliminate it as fast as possible because the liver, we've been talking a lot about the liver and lymphatic system, well, the liver is the organ that if you need to heal your body, if you need to get well, you have to focus on it. The nutrients for phase one, the nutrients, the sulfur-based amino acids for phase two, and if you can help it along, that's all we're talking about is these treatments help along your natural detoxification base system.
Ben: But you could still do, 'cause this is something I was thinking, just the way my mind works is it almost feels like I could be missing out on some of the steam bath stuff, or some of the nasal stuff, or the upper respiratory tract mucus decongestion that you talk about with the traditional panchakarma, do you still implement any of those in your practice? I mean, I don't even know if it's legal to feed people milk and have them throw up at a medical clinic in the US, but do you work in any of these other protocols or have you found that this one-two-three detox protocol with the lymph massage, the sauna, and the coffee enema to be just as effective for folks?
Dr. Cabral: Yes. So, most of what we do is traditional functional medicine, integrative-based work. So, we're doing lab testing. So, if someone comes in and we just refuse to guess what's wrong, we're putting them through lab tests, whether it's organic acid testing, hormone-based testing, omega-3, we're doing all of that. We don't even worry about the genetics in the very beginning because we need to get the body back to homeostasis. So we're working on foundational-based things. Cell membrane dynamics is a big part of it, because one thing that I've found is yes, reading all these things, reading Dr. Emanuel Revici's work, and Dr. George Watson, and Dr. Roger Williams all these people, you're looking at something called neuroendoimmunology. And panchakarma works with this, but how the nervous system affects the hormones, which then affects the immune system. And if you can master that, then the body is no longer bouncing all over the place, it starts and then be on this teeter totter, you get the positive and negative feedback loops back in order.
When you do that, then you can say, “Okay, the body's stable. Let's take it to that next level. Let's begin to do these anti-ageing-based protocols. Let's look at telomeres, let's look at genetics, let's look at all these different foundational things, and let's start to purify and detoxify the body. So the first thing we do is foundational, and then we're getting people that quick win where they feel good. About 12 to 16 weeks, most people are going to be really back to normal, for the most part is what I see. And then, they can start to do these purifying-type techniques. Because honestly, we try to meet people where they are, and most people aren't ready for these types of things right off the bat. And making people throw up in the US is not illegal.
Ben: Really? It's not? Okay. Just curious about that. Do you do this your whole life? Is this something that's just kind of like general health protocol, like brushing your teeth? Just once a week, you do your sauna and your dry skin brushing, or your rebounding, and finish up with your enema?
Dr. Cabral: So myself personally, I'm not doing the enema as often anymore. So, I look at it like this: in ayurvedic medicine, you did big seasonal detoxes. And I have my own formulated detox, which is essentially liver detoxification. But whatever you say liver detoxification, it sounds like you're in rehab or something like that. So, we don't call it that. What we do is we're getting the liver ramped up. So, that's part of our special diet, the [1:04:32] ______ detox, but then we're doing this every season. So, we're making it a point for one week to go through as many of these treatments for one week as possible with every season. That's always how it was done. Because remember, in the winter, if you're in Boston or where you are, and you're on a cold, raw vegan diet, it's horrible for your body. And I don't want to offend anybody, but it's not right for that season.
Ben: I don't want to eat raw mung beans in the snow.
Dr. Cabral: Exactly. So, you're eating heating foods. But now when it comes to spring, you need to release that heat. And so, then you do this detoxification. Same thing with summer, same thing with fall. And so, that's what I do is a really follow the seasonal and at least one big one a year. Intermittent fasting is a part of that for myself as well. And this is what I learned when I was overseas too, because what happened was all the ayurvedic doctors, they would actually travel, I was in a lot of functional medicine clinics in Europe as well, they would go to India and they would do these traditional, the big panchakarma for a week or two once a year.
Ben: Okay. Got it. Wow, man. This is pretty cool. I personally, if anything from your book, learned a pretty cool one-two-three protocol that makes me feel like a million bucks. So thank you, because I plan on repeating that a few times. Maybe even I'll do it once a week. I'm not sure. But it's very cool, and the book is chock full of a whole bunch of other detox history, sauna history, you get into a lot of house cleaning protocols, water filtering protocols, personal care products, a lot of really great tips in the book. And I will link to it in the show notes for anybody listening in, you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/rain. I know that Dr. Stephen has worked with over a quarter million clients and patients in his office, so he's got a lot of experience with this stuff. And if you're in or near the Boston area, you should probably go see him if you have a little detoxification that you've got to do or a health issue to clear up. So, in the meantime, Stephen, thanks so much for coming on the show and sharing all this stuff with us, man.
Dr. Cabral: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Ben: Awesome. Well, folks, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Stephen Cabral, author of “The Rain Barrel Effect”, signing out. You can grab all the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/rain, and have a healthy and amazing week.
My guest today is Dr. Stephen Cabral, a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, founder of the Cabral Wellness Institute and author of the new book “The Rain Barrel Effect: How a 6,000 Year Old Secret Holds the Answer to Getting Well, Losing Weight, and Feeling Alive Again!”
At 17 years old, Stephen Cabral was diagnosed with a life-altering illness and given no hope for recovery. For many years, he suffered endlessly, day after day after day. It was only after Stephen traveled all over the world and discovered how to combine ancient Ayurvedic healing practices with state-of-the-art Naturopathic & Functional Medicine did he understand how to fully rebalance the body and re-energize it with life.
Dr. Cabral and his team have completed over 250,000 client appointments in their online and in-person practice in Boston, MA. He uses Functional Medicine lab testing and Personalized Wellness Plans to help people rebalance their mind and body to recover from auto-immune, thyroid, fatigue, hormone, weight gain, digestive, childhood, mood, skin, and dozens of other hard to treat health conditions.
Within The Rain Barrel Effect, it turns out the answer is simpler than we think and it lies in the oldest form of medicine in the world.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-How Stephen discovered the Rain Barrel Effect after suffering a debilitating illness at age 17… 7:45
-The 6,000 year old tradition of the five treatments of Pancha Karma that Stephen discovered… 19:00
-The diet of mung beans and ghee that can be used to enhance detoxification… 25:30
-Why Stephen has patients purge by “throwing up” following a concoction of salt water and milk intake… 32:00
-How to use a “Swedana” steam bath to induce detoxification… 41:00
-The fascinating history of heat therapy and sauna… 45:30
-The “modern” Pancha Karma 1-2-3 detox protocol Dr. Cabral has developed… 52:00
-Why you should lie on your right side during a coffee enema… 58:00
-And much more!
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Resources from this episode: