We are exposed every day to a number of toxins that are present in our food, water, and environment and also produced within the body. These toxins can be any substance which is poisonous or negatively impacts our health. They can be pollutants, pesticides, food ingredients, metals, and chemicals.
These accumulate in the body over a period of years and also cause many health issues within the body. You cannot really protect yourself from the effects of all these toxins present in our surroundings. Detoxification refers to the process of elimination of harmful toxins from the body.
Your body has the natural ability to remove toxic wastes to avoid health problems. There are several systems in your body to eliminate various kinds of wastes and these systems work 24×7 to flush toxins from the body.
With ever-increasing contamination of our food and the environment with pollutants and toxins, it is important to optimize the functioning of our waste-removing systems.
You can help your body detoxify by reducing its toxic load through certain remedies along with diet and lifestyle modifications that can enhance the natural detoxification process.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of the accumulation of toxins in the body are headaches, low grade fever, weakened immunity, fatigue or sluggishness, weight fluctuations, hormonal disruptions, acne, rashes, body odor, bad breath, congestion, sore throat, trouble with digestion, muscle aches, worsening of inflammatory conditions like arthritis, and so on.
Most remedies aimed at detoxification assist in flushing out toxins from the liver and gallbladder.
Moreover, they help boost energy levels, increase immunity, decrease allergies, improve metabolism, combat fatigue, maintain clear skin, stimulate circulation, aid in digestion and facilitate regular bowel movements, improve mental clarity and concentration, and nourish the body with healthy nutrients.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for detoxification.
1. Green Smoothies
This is the most common way to detoxify your body. It helps rid the body of harmful toxins while providing a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Green smoothies include a number of green vegetables containing chlorophyll, which helps in detoxification and getting rid of heavy metals like those found in pesticides and industrial pollutants.
Start your day with this green smoothie to provide energy and boost metabolism.
- Put one cup of kale (coarsely chopped), one green apple (coarsely chopped), one ripe banana, and one-half cup of fresh parsley leaves and cilantro in a blender. If you do not have kale, then use collard greens.
- Blend the ingredients with about two and one-quarter or two and one-half cups of water.
- Start by drinking one cup of this smoothie daily. Gradually increase the dosage to three to four cups a day for at least three weeks.
2. Raw Juices
Raw fruit and vegetable juices, such as that of apples, carrots, grapefruits, spinach, blueberries, oranges, cucumbers, beets, and lettuce, are highly beneficial for nourishing your body as well as removing harmful toxins. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and many other biologically active compounds.
Many of these phytochemicals stimulate the immune system, hormone metabolism, reduce blood pressure and even regulate detoxification enzymes of the body (1).
Juices extracted from green vegetables are particularly beneficial because they contain chlorophyll, which aids in the removal of cancer-related toxins.
Juices are more easily digested by the body since the indigestible fibers of vegetables and fruits are removed and the nutrients are also more easily available to the body in comparison to whole vegetables and fruits.
You can simply drink a glass of raw fruit or vegetable juice two or three times a day or replace one meal daily with fresh juices. For a juice fast, drink five to six glasses of fresh fruit and vegetable juices daily for a few days.
In addition to juice from a single fruit or vegetable, you can create a juice blend by juicing five carrots, four celery stalks, one beet, one small apple, one small cucumber, and half a lemon. For better absorption of the nutrients, drink the juice slowly rather than quickly gulping it down.
Lemon juice works as a powerful detoxifier and alkalizer. It also stimulates the liver’s bile production and boosts mineral intake as well as absorption.
A study published in 2014 showed that a group of individuals that were on a lemon detox diet showed a significant reduction in body fat by restriction of calories in comparison to the normal diet group.
It also showed some detox effects, as observed through decreased levels of serum adipokines that were not observed in any of the other groups (2). Its high antioxidant and vitamin C content will also strengthen your immune system.
Lemons, especially the peels, contain an antioxidant called d-limonene, which has been found to activate enzymes in the liver that help remove toxic compounds.
- Drink a cup of warm water mixed with the juice squeezed from one lemon. Do this daily, first thing in the morning, until you experience improved health.
- Mix one-half cup of lemon juice, one tablespoon of honey, and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a cup of hot water. Drink this daily for a few days or weeks.
4. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt baths increase the magnesium level in the body (as Epsom salts contain magnesium), which is required for detoxifying cells. It also helps detoxify metals from the body.
It is essential for the functioning of many of the body’s enzymes and boosts immunity. In addition, it also soothes body aches and pains.
- Mix one to two cups of Epsom salt in a bathtub filled with warm water.
- Soak in it for about 15 minutes.
- Do this up to three times per week.
Note: Epsom salt baths are generally not recommended for those suffering from high blood pressure and heart problems.
5. Green Tea
Rich in antioxidants, green tea helps detoxify free radicals. It contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant that may help protect the liver from toxic damage. It also helps promote DNA repair and regulates inflammation.
A 2011 study by researchers at the Newcastle University found that it may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Furthermore, regular consumption of green tea will help aid weight loss, improve metabolism, and control hair loss (3).
Drink two to three cups of green tea daily. You can also take green tea extract supplements (100 to 750 mg per day).
6. Oil Pulling
This simple therapy works like a great natural detox for the deep tissues in the body by eliminating bacteria and toxins from the mouth.
Apart from fighting issues like a toothache, bad breath, and gum disease due to the antimicrobial effects of the oil used, it also strengthens the teeth, gums, and jaws. It greatly reduces the bacterial load in the oral cavity (4).
It is believed that this traditional Ayurvedic technique, which has recently gained popularity, also provides relief from headaches, constipation, candida infections, congestion, cold sores, joint pains, and various other ailments. It needs to be followed first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach before you even brush your teeth.
- Swish one tablespoon of sesame oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, or coconut oil in your mouth like a mouthwash for 15 to 20 minutes, until the oil becomes thinner and turns milky and foamy.
- Spit it out in a trash can (not your sink as it can clog the drain) and then rinse your mouth with water.
- It should be followed by tooth brushing and rinsing of the mouth.
- Do this daily at least for 15 days up to a month to see encouraging results.
Warning: Do not gargle or swallow the oil as it contains bacteria and toxins.
7. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root tea aids in detoxification due to its liver-detoxifying and diuretic properties. Plus, it promotes cleansing of the kidneys and bladder and relieves issues like water retention, upset stomach, constipation, and improves the flow of bile.
Also, it contains nutrients like iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamins B and C, which help mineral absorption and reduce inflammation.
- Boil two teaspoons of dried dandelion root in a cup of water.
- Turn off the heat, cover the container, and let it steep for about 10 minutes.
- Drink this tea twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, for a few days or weeks.
Note: If you have gallstones or gallbladder problems, consult your doctor before using this herb.
8. Licorice Root
Licorice root tea works as a good detox drink to cleanse the body of chemical contaminants. It will help cut sugar cravings as sugar tends to impede detox efforts.
Plus, it has expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-allergic, immune-boosting, and soothing properties.
- Drink 1 cup of licorice root tea daily for a few days.
- Add one tablespoon of crushed licorice root and one teaspoon of ground ginger to one and one-half cups of boiling water. Let it simmer for five to 10 minutes. Finally, strain the solution and stir in one teaspoon of lemon juice. Drink this once daily for a few days.
Note: Do not take licorice root in excess as it may cause unwanted side effects like increased blood pressure and sodium retention. Do not drink more than 1 cup per day if you currently have elevated blood pressure.
9. Stinging Nettles
Stinging nettles are excellent for detoxifying the blood. The herb also works as a natural diuretic, encourages the elimination of inflammatory wastes, and stimulates the lymphatic system.
Plus, it is packed with vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, along with potassium, magnesium, iron, and chlorophyll.
- Boil one cup of water and put one teaspoon of dried nettle leaves in it.
- Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Drink this tea two or three times daily.
Turmeric is well-known for its medicinal and healing properties. It also detoxifies your liver, purifies the blood, and is beneficial for lung and colon health too. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancerous properties.
- Add one teaspoon of turmeric powder, juice from one lemon, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a little honey (to taste) to one cup of warm water. Drink this once daily for a few days or weeks.
- Alternatively, boil two cups of water, add one-half teaspoon each of turmeric powder and dry ginger powder, and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then strain the tea and add juice from half a lemon and one tablespoon of pure maple syrup. Drink this daily or a few times a week for a few weeks.
Note: Some herbs and detox remedies may not be suitable for pregnant or nursing mothers, or people who are struggling with chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes, thyroid disorder, tuberculosis or cancer.
In addition to the remedies above, improve your diet and lifestyle to maintain a healthy body. For instance, a diet high in fiber encourages the elimination of intestinal build-up, which includes toxins. Also, drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
Stay away from cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars, and saturated fats to reduce toxin load. Plus, keep stress at bay by practicing yoga, meditation, and deep breathing for your overall well-being.
- Lampe JW. Health effects of vegetables and fruit: assessing mechanisms of action in human experimental studies.
- Effects of the lemon detox program on body fat reduction and detoxification in Korean overweight women (LB354) | The FASEB Journal. http://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.28.1_supplement.lb354.
- Okello EJ, McDougall GJ, Kumar S, Seal CJ. In vitro protective effects of colon-available extract of Camellia sinensis (tea) against hydrogen peroxide and beta-amyloid (Aβ(1–42)) induced cytotoxicity in differentiated PC12 cells. Phytomedicine. 2011;18(8-9):691-696. doi:10.1016/J.PHYMED.2010.11.004.
- Singh A, Purohit B. Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2011;2(2):64-68. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.82525.