Detoxification is the secret to good health! It rejuvenates your body, reduces your stress level, enhances your mood, aids weight loss, keeps you energized, improves sleep quality, gives you glowing skin and lots more.
The body has a natural detox system that works to keep it free of harmful toxins. Nevertheless, toxins can still accumulate in the body over time.
A toxic overload in the body is a contributing factor in several chronic illnesses and can damage vital organs. Hence, detoxing from time to time is important to eliminate these toxins.
Apart from getting rid of toxins, it will also help bring your body back to its natural balanced state.
You don’t need to buy special products to detox your body. Several herbs can be used as effective and inexpensive body cleansers.
Here are the top 10 herbs that help detox your body naturally.
The herb dandelion is beneficial for your entire body. It has high amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids that are great for the liver detoxification process. They support bile production, and bile helps transport toxins out of the body.
Dandelion’s diuretic nature promotes cleansing of the kidneys and bladder as well as relieving issues like water retention, upset stomach and constipation. Also, it promotes bowel regularity and adequate hydration in the body.
The herb also contains nutrients like iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamins B and C that are good for your body.
A 2010 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences highlights the positive effects of dandelion supplementation on hepatic antioxidant enzyme activities, which are important in the detoxification process.
Drinking dandelion tea is a popular detox method. To make the tea:
- Boil 2 teaspoons of dried dandelion root in 1 cup of water.
- Turn off the heat, cover and let it steep for about 10 minutes.
- Drink this tea twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, for 1 week.
You can also enjoy a dandelion greens salad.
You may opt to take a dandelion root supplement in capsule or liquid form, such as a tincture. Always consult your doctor before starting any supplements.
Note: Do not use this herb without consulting your doctor if you have gallstones or gallbladder problems.
2. Burdock Root
Although it doesn’t taste very good, burdock root is another excellent blood cleanser. It works with the liver and lymphatic system to purify the bloodstream of metabolic wastes and toxins.
In fact, this herb protects against cellular damage and reduces liver damage from toxic chemicals.
Plus, being a natural diuretic, it increases the rate of urination to remove waste from the body. Also, as a diaphoretic, it promotes sweating to remove toxins from the body through skin.
It is also beneficial for the kidneys, bladder and the digestive system. It is loaded with detoxifying nutrients, including folic acid, vitamins C and E, and magnesium. It also strengthens the body’s immune system while it purifies the blood.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried burdock root to a cup of hot water.
- Let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain it.
- Drink this tea 1 or 2 times a day for a couple of weeks.
Note: As burdock may interact with medications for diabetes, use it with caution if you are diabetic. Also, do not use this herb if you are pregnant or nursing.
3. Milk Thistle
This herb is most widely used for liver detoxification to expel toxins and metabolic waste. The compound silymarin in it is helpful for repairing damaged liver cells and may offer protection for new liver cells.
It also encourages liver cells to create more bile, which in turn improves digestion and nutrient absorption.
A 2006 study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research found silymarin to be a highly promising treatment for heavy metal contamination. Silymarin may prove to be a useful drug in hepatotoxicity due to drugs.
A 2010 study published in Phytotherapy Research found that silymarin extract is effective in treating alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis, and toxin-induced liver diseases.
- Add 1 teaspoon of ground milk thistle seeds (or a milk thistle tea bag) to a cup of hot water.
- Cover, let it steep for 10 minutes and then strain it.
- Drink up to 4 or 5 cups of milk thistle tea a day for 1 month.
You can opt to take milk thistle supplements, after consulting your doctor.
Note: Do not use this herb if you have a hormone-related cancer, are pregnant or are breastfeeding.
The aromatic herb cilantro is effective at binding to (chelating) numerous heavy metals to remove them from the body. In fact, it is one of the best herbs for dealing with heavy metal toxicity.
It also causes the liver to release bile to aid digestion, which is important for eliminating toxins.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggests that cilantro has suppressive activity on lead deposition. Cilantro increases the urinary excretion of delta-aminolevulinic acid, which is known to increase with lead intake.
Apart from being a great chelator, it also has many vital nutrients required to detox and change your internal body chemistry (or internal milieu) to a healthier environment.
- Consume ¼ cup of its leaves and stems per day for 2 weeks. After that, you can take cilantro in small amounts to prevent buildup of toxins in the body.
5. Red Clover
Red clover is another effective herb for cleansing the blood. It can successfully carry waste out of the bloodstream, thus supporting the detoxification process.
This powerful tonic also assists in breaking down toxins in the lymphatic system, making them easy to eliminate through sweating. In fact, it can cleanse heavy metals and chemical toxicity, including those caused by the use of drugs.
It also stimulates bile production to help the liver process fats in the body.
Red clover is a rich source of minerals, including magnesium, copper, calcium, chromium, iron and phosphorus as well as polyphenols, polysaccharides and essential oils. Plus, it has vitamins A, C and B complex.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried red clover to a cup of boiling water.
- Cover, let it steep for 15 to 20 minutes and then strain it.
- Drink up to 3 cups of this herbal tea daily for about 1 week.
Note: As red clover can influence other medications, consult your doctor before including this herb in your diet. Also, it may not be suitable for those suffering from hormone sensitive conditions.
6. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle, commonly known as nettle, supports the kidneys along with your liver in the detoxification process. It also stimulates the lymphatic system.
The herb is a natural diuretic, which means it encourages the elimination of inflammatory wastes and built up toxins through urination.
Nettle also has a good amount of vitamin C, which is an important nutrient needed to support the different phases of liver detoxification.
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried stinging nettle root or leaves to a cup of hot water.
- Cover and let it steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain it and add honey for taste.
- Drink it 2 or 3 times a day for 1 week.
Note: Avoid touching the leaves with your bare hands, as the spines in them can irritate your skin.
Garlic has been used as a strong detox food since ancient times, and it remains popular even today.
The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic help fight harmful microbes that generate toxins in the intestines. It also aids detoxification by increasing production of glutathione that helps filter toxins from the digestive system.
In addition, it supports the liver function so that your body can naturally detox itself more efficiently.
A 2012 study published in Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology found garlic to be a natural detoxifier of lead that is as effective at pulling lead out of the body and much safer than d-penicillamine, a common chelation drug.
Apart from cleansing the body, it also provides many vital nutrients.
- Crush 3 or 4 garlic cloves to release the beneficial sulfur compounds. Consume it on an empty stomach daily for a few weeks to detoxify your body.
- If you cannot bear the taste of garlic, you can opt for garlic capsules. For the proper dosage, consult your doctor.
Ginger can also keep your body free of toxins and harmful elements.
It cleanses the body by improving digestion. The compounds called gingerols and shogaols in it promote detoxification by speeding the movement of food through the intestines. This helps get rid of harmful waste and toxins from the colon, liver and other organs.
It also makes your body sweat more. More sweating means more toxins get eliminated from the body.
The best way to enjoy ginger’s detoxifying benefit is by sipping ginger tea.
- Boil 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger in 1½ cup of hot water.
- Lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Strain and drink this detox tea each morning and afternoon daily.
You can also add freshly grated ginger to salad dressings or other dishes.
9. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem, is another great addition to any detoxification regimen.
It is a natural blood-purifying agent that helps keep the blood and the body free of unwanted metabolic waste.
It also helps the blood carry necessary nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body, so that organs like the kidneys and liver function properly. Proper kidney and liver functioning is necessary for natural detoxification.
- Eat 2 or 3 tender neem leaves mixed with some honey on an empty stomach. Repeat daily for 1 month.
- You can also drink neem tea. Boil a little more than 1 cup of water, add 1 teaspoon of crushed neem leaves or neem powder in it, then let it simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and allow it to cool. Drink this tea twice a day for 1 month. For a milder taste, blend your neem tea with green tea or herbs like cinnamon and fennel.
10. Licorice Root
Licorice root also helps cleanse the body of chemical contaminants that can make you more vulnerable to health problems.
Licorice possesses laxative qualities and promotes proper digestion, which help the body discard harmful and poisonous toxic wastes.
It also has hepatoprotective properties, making it effective in treating liver disorders by reducing toxicity and helping stabilize the liver’s normal functioning.
Another plus is that it will help cut sugar cravings, which tend to hinder detox efforts.
- Add 1 tablespoon of crushed licorice root to 1 cup of boiling water.
- Cover and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Strain it, then stir in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Drink this once daily for 1 month.
Note: Do not take licorice root in excess, as it can cause side effects like increasing blood pressure and sodium retention.
Tips for Preventing Toxic Buildup
- Practice the ancient Ayurvedic technique of oil pulling daily to help detoxify your body.
- Start your day with a glass of lemon water.
- Switch to green tea instead of coffee.
- Eat high-fiber fruits and vegetables.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Cut down on processed foods.
- Do some kind of exercise or physical activity daily.
- Get proper sleep at night.