Our environment is polluted with all kinds of chemicals and harmful substances. These include many volatile compounds that contaminate the air that we breath.
Breathing this air makes our body polluted and we need to get rid of them in order to stay healthy and live a better life. We do clean our home at the commencement of spring. But how often do we think about cleaning our own body internally. We bathe, yes, but that is not enough to stay healthy. Our body contains toxins and other harmful substances even after a healthy diet, clean air, or pure water. Some of them we inhale from the air outside or even from our own homes, others are accumulated over the time from the food and drinks. Nonetheless our body does have an ample amount of such elements that need to be removed as early as possible.
Detoxification is the process by which we remove all this dirt from our body. The process involves the introduction of any natural substances that helps boost the body’s natural ability to remove these unwanted items from the body. It also enhances the vital organ functionalities to speed up the detoxification and balances many factors that will prevent any future accumulation of these toxins and other harmful substances. Detoxification also involves avoiding the obvious toxins or toxic substances that threaten to enter our body.
Herbs are closer to the nature than anything else. Including those herbs that have the detoxifying property by any means is a great addition to a healthy diet. The herbs contain many compounds that have a great significance in the body functions. These compounds strengthen the immunity and other natural processes happening in the body. These kinds of herbs have been used for therapeutic purposes from long back. Food is something we cannot avoid at any time. Even the food we prepare at home that is made with organic ingredients may contain toxins, in small amounts. Over the time they get accumulated. This accumulation of toxins can cause imbalance in the nutrients and other useful chemicals.
If we can include some natural detoxifying herbs in our food the accumulation of the toxins may be prevented. The herbs naturally contain some nutrients and it can help balance the irregularities. The balance in the nutrients automatically strengthens the body and organs. The herbal ingredients also improve the health in many other ways as well. The herbs may cure many ailments that have been bothering us for a while. Many of these herbs we use in daily life, but we just don’t know their full power and abilities. They help in cleansing the liver, blood, gallbladder, kidneys, bladder, bowel, stomach, and other parts. Some of the herbs are for overall cleansing and some are organ specific. Here is a list of 45 herbs that are best natural detoxifying remedies that can be included in our daily diet or taken as tea, decoction or by other methods to help get rid of the toxins.
Leaves For Detoxification
- Alfalfa Leaf: It is been used to treat infections and is also believed to cure stomach ulcers. It contains some essential compounds that can breakdown the poisonous carbon dioxide. The removal of excess carbon dioxide will help strengthen the health automatically. The blood is purer and can carry oxygen without any interference. This boosts the immunity and help fight the infections or other invaders. Alfalfa is also rich in calcium, protein and some vitamins. The calcium content here keeps the bones strong and do not let the arteries get lined by calcium deposits. It is also used to treat conditions like arthritis, diabetes, ulcers, constipation, osteoporosis etc. It can even prevent and cure cancer.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is one of the best natural body cleansers. The aloe vera juice is easy to extract from the leaves. Have this juice with any juice of smoothie will make a healthy body cleanser. The cleansing effect of this herb is by balancing the blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. This is a great addition to the diet to cure ulcerative colitis and other stomach problems. It is almost a super food with lots of nutrients like minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes etc. the combined efforts of all these regulates and balance the useful components and eliminate the unwanted items from the system.
- Basil: Basil is the most wonderful natural detoxifier. The heavenly aroma and taste of it enhances the flavor of any dish it is used in. Basil is stuffed with antioxidants and also has terpenoids. It improves digestion and natural detoxification process. It supports kidneys and act as diuretic to speed up the elimination of toxins from the blood. It has anti-ulcer and antibacterial properties that can both treat and prevent any kind of microbial attacks. The basil seeds can cure constipation. Include the basil leaves in all kinds of preparations like pasta, pizza, basic dishes, or even in olive oil to make infused oil. You can crush a few basil leaves and add it to a pitcher of water. Drinking this water helps rid of toxins. The most effective time to have basil in the system is morning time. Take a few basil leaves and have them on empty stomach and follow with lots of water.
- Fenugreek Leaves: Fenugreek leaves can dilute the bile congestion and help with the digestion procedure. It is digestion restorative to improve metabolism also. The mucilage content in the leaves soothes the gastrointestinal inflammation if there is any.
- Peppermint leaves: Clinical studies show that anything that has peppermint as an ingredient can dissolve gall stones or at least reduce the size of the stones. This is because of the presence of fragrant substances called terpenes. This is a major step as it can avoid a major surgery. It is also a muscle relaxant and can also reduce inflammation. It is considered as a lung cleanser as it can fight sinus infection and cough related to cold.
Herbs For Detoxification Process
- Black Walnut: Black Walnut is a superb blood sugar reducer and can burn the toxins as well as fatty materials. The antioxidant property promotes cardio health by lowering the cholesterol level. The ability to oxygenate the blood helps kill the parasites. The leaves of this plant can cure constipation, disorders of the liver and gallbladder, and heartburn. The active ingredients in this are the juglone, iodine, and tannins. The juglone fights against the microbes, tannins remove harmful organisms, and iodine kills many microorganisms. It helps remove the living harmful substances and do not remove other toxic substances like many other herbs do.
- Dandelion: now think before you pluck out the Dandelions form your backyard. It is not a weed but a medicinal herb that can not only cure some diseases but also does some detoxification works. It is a diuretic that promotes more amount of urine and the toxins will be excreted along with that. It also lowers the blood pressure. The blood is also purified by more urine excretion and helps reduce skin diseases and acne. It promotes the bile secretion from the liver and gallbladder. It increases the digestion by triggering more hydrochloric acid production from the stomach. The improvement in digestion leads to colon cleansing. The nutrient absorption is also increased and waste removal is enhanced by Dandelion. Dandelion contains choline that is a liver stimulant that increases the liver secretions to speed up the filtration process. Dandelion can cleanse the body within two weeks. Make a dandelion detox juice my blending dandelion with an apple, cucumber, grapefruit, and ½ bunch of romaine.
- Gymnema sylvestre is capable of preventing toxin accumulation by balancing the blood sugar level. Increase in blood sugar levels can prevent the fat utilization and the toxins may be dissolved in them and cause problems later. By regulating the sugars there is less chance of fat deposition or toxins. The sugar regulation also prevents the chances of getting diabetic.
- Milk Thistle: Milk thistle is a great help for the liver to improve its performance and repair any damage. It improves liver’s ability to make new cells. The silymarin in Milk thistle is the main ingredient. It produces bile and promotes healthy digestion. It protects the liver against toxin attacks. It not only blocks the toxins from entering the liver cells but also destroys those that have already entered the liver. It has proven detoxification effects on heavy metals after chemotherapy and radiation, alcohol and other drug toxins. It has good benefits on the skin, kidneys, brain functions and regulates the sugar and cholesterol levels. The radiation effect as part of the cancer treatment and other daily electronics are reduced.
- Neem is one the most wonderful medicinal herbs on planet earth. The medicinal uses of this plant are endless. You just name it and neem has the effect. Right from the skin to blood purification, there is nothing neem cannot do. But this is something we cannot consume because of its bitter taste. Mostly it is used externally for infections and other processes. Eating handful of neem leaves first thing in the morning is a best cure for diabetes and for controlling the blood sugar. It removes impurities and purifies the blood. The antimicrobial properties prevent and treat any kind of infection. The leaves are the most useful part. If you have a small wound grind some leaves in your palm and apply the juice over the wound and watch it heal faster. Unlike the chemical drugs, Neem does not kill the good bacteria and targets only the bad ones.
- Nettle: Nettle is a adrenal gland cleanser. Take an ounce of this herb and put it in a small jar of boiling water and keep it overnight. Strain it next morning and refrigerate. Drink this decoction anytime. A single decoction can be stored for three days. It energizes the body and has got many vitamins and minerals for the health benefit. It promotes hair and nail growth, good for lungs and can fight osteoporosis. Its help lower the blood pressure and eases the heart to stay healthy. It can resist microbes and has antioxidant properties.
- Red Clover: Red clover is a blood and liver cleanser. It is a powerful health restorer. Because of its blood cleansing ability and the related increase in the circulation it could prevent heart arrest or strokes. The detoxifying effects can easily prevent the skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, rashes or dandruff. It clears the lungs of phlegm. The whole plant can be used as an herbal tea and does not have any side effects.
- Triphala: is a mix of three herbs that has detoxifying properties. It is a mild laxative and also supports overall body health. Triphala is popular in Ayurvedic medicine and contains three herbs- amlaki, bibhitaki and haritaki. The detoxifying effects forces the toxins out of the system. It relieves constipation, immune stimulator, and is a gastrointestinal tract cleanser.
- Wormwood: Getting rid of intestinal parasites are as important as removing toxins. Wormwood is the best anti-parasitic herb available. It is mostly used along with black walnut for this purpose. The extract is bitter and can sure force the worms out. It is a liver tonic that can cleanse the gallbladder and the whole digestive system also. The bile production is increased to aid in better digestion. It is safe enough as it kills only the parasites and the gut bacteria are safe from it. The lactones in the extract weaken the parasitic membranes. It is made into tea for easier usage. For better effects mix Wormwood with Black walnut and cloves.
Natural Detoxifying Roots
- Barberry: The root extract is multi-useful to detoxify the liver, gallbladder, and blood. It is one of the best remedies to correct the irregularities in the liver functioning. Barberry contains berberine that can activate the white blood cells and other macrophages in the body to remove the toxicity. Barberry root is made into tea that can treat infections, wounds and eliminate parasites etc. To make the decoction, add a teaspoon of the dried root or the crushed berries in about ¾ cup of hot water and keep it for 15 minutes. Take it twice a day for 7 continuous days. Take a break of 7 days and repeat the decoction for another 7 days.
- Beets: Beets are rich in potassium, fiber and other nutrients. It is significant in producing detoxifying enzymes like SOD, glutathione and catalase in the liver. The betaine in the beet stimulates the liver cells function and also protects the liver and bile ducts. We can enjoy beet in any form. It can be included in the salads and sandwiches in raw form, it may be added in smoothies or made into juice. Beets can thin the bile that is thickened due to the toxins. It decongests the bile and pancreas to function normally and digest the fat. It increases the digestive enzymes that can process the fat soluble toxins. The nutrients in the beetroot help improve digestion and digestive enzymes are produced in normal amount to help digest and eliminate the toxins.
- Budrock Root: This is one of the best liver detoxifier. The liver is the most important organ when it comes to matters of detoxification. The natural detoxification happens because of the liver. Any disfunctionality of the liver will impact the whole body. Budrock root helps reduce the damage to the liver done by the toxins and speeds up the toxic elimination. It is also an excellent blood purifier and can help reduce acne, eczema and other skin diseases. The seeds of this herb have essential fatty acids that increase perspiration and remove some amount of toxins. It is also a powerful diuretic. The increase in urine forces more toxins to get out of the bloodstream. The presence of polyacetylenes provide antimicrobial properties, the insulin compound strengthens the liver and soothes the gastrointestinal tract. It is also a mild laxative and removes uric acid. It quickens the kidney filtration of the impurities, clears the circulatory systems, and also prevents cancer that is triggered by toxic chemicals. Budrock is included in the diet cooked or raw. The tea or infusion is made with dry roots mixed in hot water and simmer it for a while. Instead of the dry root, powdered and sifted root may also be used. Once the decoction is ready and concentrated, take about 30 drops, 2 times a day.
- Chicory root: Chicory is a liver cleansing herb. The part used for detoxification is root. It can cure a few liver ailments including jaundice and liver stones. It is also effective to remove gallbladder and urinary stones, indigestion and constipation. The active ingredients in this can stimulate better digestion and thereby cure constipation.
- Garlic: Garlic is an excellent ingredient for detoxification. It can help remove the toxins and other waste substances. Garlic increases the white blood cells so that it can fight more infectious invasion. Crushed or cooked garlic can increase the required enzymes to get to work. It will not work if we swallow it without chewing. Add it only in the end of cooking or in salads so that the flavor and its good effects are not lost. The effects are due to the sulfur compound allicin that can oxidize the heavy metals and make them water soluble to be carried out through urine.
- Ginger is great to restore healthy digestion. In the hall of fame for detox items, ginger holds the top post. The toxins can often interfere with the digestion and weaken the digestive enzymes. The good digestion help cleanse the skin, bowels and the whole digestive system. A clean blood improves the circulation to carry more energy by stimulating the cholesterol conversion to bile to clean the liver and gallbladder. Sprinkle some grated ginger in salads, smoothies or soups to add flavor and improve the natural detoxification course.
- Wild Yam Root: Wild yam root is a bile stimulant and is helpful in relieving hepatic congestion. It rids bad cholesterol and reduces blood pressure. It helps the liver recover from any damage. In women it helps balance the hormone estrogen. It helps treating urinary infections and relieves excess gas. There will be improvement in digestion that also increases gallbladder and liver health.
- Oregon Grape root: It helps in treating diarrhea, bacterial infections and parasitic attacks. It is a blood purifier and liver cleanser. The active ingredient berberine which is found in Oregon grape fruit has proven effects against many micro-organisms. The tannins in the root relieve inflammation. It is more popular as a blood purifier. It can stimulate the liver and gallbladder. The bile flow is increased and toxins are washed out. It helps the liver to breakdown toxins and other waste substances. Berberine also prevents the growth of cancerous cells. The herb can be used for a maximum limit of 7 days. More than that can cause more harm than benefits.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine. It is beneficial for all aspects of health. It is a powerful antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and many more. Adding a pinch or two or turmeric powder in the dishes adds flavor and color to it and also good for many other body functions. It helps rectify the imbalances caused by toxins from the diet and other factors. Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin that can prevent liver damage. This helps detoxify the liver, cleanses blood, improves circulation, and boosts the immunity. This helps reduce any inflammation and stimulate the bile secretion that is important to help break down the fat. A simple and easy detox turmeric tea is made with ginger. Add freshly grated turmeric and ginger into a jug of boiling water. Turn the heat off and let the ingredients steep for a while. Later add cinnamon, honey, and black pepper. Add in coconut milk to it and mix well. Drink this mix to have a healthy detox. Mix the freshly dried turmeric powder with castor oil and apply it on skin to get rid of toxins from skin. This prevents the chances of getting psoriasis during its treatment and eczema. Apply the mix in the arm pit to release harmful toxins that is in the lymph nodes.
- Yellow Dock: The root of this plant is a blood cleanser. It increases the urination frequency and stimulates bowel movements so that maximum toxins are taken out. It acts as mild laxative to relieve constipation. This can prevent toxin accumulation in the liver and bloodstream. The liver cleansing property helps reduce skin eruptions. The tea made from it can be used to wash intimate areas to prevent recurrent yeast infections. It is mostly used in combination with other herbs. It is more effective when the tea is made with Milk Thistle. It is good for skin and digestion as well. It boosts the bile and digestive enzyme production. Make Dock tea by adding the powdered root into boiling water and later straining it. Have this tea 3 times a day.
Barks & Leaves For Detoxification
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is a detox herb used in the oil form. The essential oil is added with Epsom salt and baking soda for a detox bath. Once these three are dissolved in warm water, soak yourself in for at least 20 minutes. You might feel hot and sweat. Keep a towel ready nearby. Once the water is cooled get up slowly as you may not feel steady because of the aromatic effects. The sweating removes toxins from the skin and it opens the lungs and act as decongestant and help get rid of toxicity from the lungs.
- Gum Acacia: The gum is a fiber obtained from the sap of Acacia tree. It is useful in many traditional treatments to cure diarrhea. The gum acacia adds bulk to the bowel and hardens it. The bulks of bowel takes more waste that is adhered to the intestinal and colon walls and make the movements easier. It is used more as a colon cleanser. Gum acacia is a soluble fiber that can swallow the toxins and makes its removal easier.
- Slippery Elm: This is a popular detoxifying herb among the Native Americans. It forms a protective layer in the body and organs to prevent any infections or toxic attacks. It is a preventive measure than curative.
- Yellow Bark: This is named so because of the yellow colored bark. This herb is otherwise known as sacred bark or Californian Buckthorn. This is an effective stimulant to increase the secretions from all the digestive organs like liver, pancreas, stomach, and gallbladder. The better functioning of the digestive system improves the excretion process and reduces the waste accumulation inside the body. It acts as a mild laxative and cures chronic constipation and relieves many digestion related problems as well. The finely chopped bark measured to a teaspoon is added into a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes to make a tea. This is later strained and 2-5 ml is taken thrice daily. Smaller doses are appropriate to help soften the stool. Use it only for two weeks maximum, longer usage may cause some problems or discomforts. The ingredient in Yellow bark that helps in curing constipation is the hydroxyanthracene derivatives. It also treats gallstones and liver diseases.
- Cayenne pepper: This herb is a natural internal disinfectant. The cleansing effects are not centered to a single part but works as an overall master cleanser. It increases the body heat and the rhythm of the digestion. It stimulates the digestive tract and increases the digestive juices. This helps metabolize more toxins. The detoxification occurs by these processes. It causes excessive sweat and more toxins are eliminated through the skin. Make a Cayenne tea with lemon and honey and have it in the morning for a total body cleansing. Cayenne tastes spicy but has cooling effects as well. It can heal stomach and digestive ulcers. It also relieves intestinal gas as well. It gets rid of the bad cholesterol to keep the heart healthy.
- Elderberry: The ripened fruits of Elderberry are good for detoxifying programs. The herbal tea prepared with the berries can cleanse the liver and kidneys. It has diuretic properties and can relieve the water retention. It also cures frequent urinary tract infections. The tea made form it is slightly laxative in nature and eases constipation and bloating. Flatulence that accompanies bloating is also relieved. It can block the entry of many bacteria and viruses and prevent diseases. Please note that only the ripened fruits are beneficial and the unripe fruits, leaves and stem contain cyanide and is harmful.
- Cilantro/Coriander: Cilantro is a powerful detoxifier to remove heavy metals. It binds to the heavy metals like cadmium, lead, mercury, aluminum etc and transports them out of the body. No matter where the dangerous heavy metals are hiding, cilantro can find them and kick them out. It can also eliminate the food borne bacteria- Salmonella. Add finely chopped cilantro in the dishes in liberal amount. It is not only beneficial but also adds flavor to the dish. It can also be made into a paste and used as snack dips or made into a decoction. Add finely chopped cilantro leaves into a big pot of boiling water. Turn the heat off and close the lid. Let it cool and strain the water and refrigerate it. Use this water to curb the thirst. Within a week’s time most of the toxins will be thrown out of the system.
- Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds have high fiber content and help in toxin removal. It improves digestion and relieves constipation and bloating. The herb is diuretic and removes toxic substances. It is also a tonic for kidneys, and liver. It cures yellow jaundice. It is helpful in regulating the hormonal imbalance as well.
The Bottom Line
Of the herbs mentioned here, we are already using many of them in our diet and some we are familiar with and might have used them for other purposes. Most of the herbs have many uses and all these above mentioned ones have multiple benefits. All of them are not for over all cleansing. Some are specified cleansers that can clean only a particular part. Choose the right one that you feel is suitable for your need. The herbs may be taken in many forms. Tea or decoction is the most popular. Many of them might be bitter and find out if honey can be added to them to reduce the bitterness. Always take the herbal extracts in mild concentration as over dosing may cause problems later. You may find the herbs in dried form in the shops. Some, we can grow in our garden ourselves. Have any herb which is convenient to you. Have a happy and safe detoxification.
I finished my masters in finance and worked for the Largest Private sector banking company in India. When the time came, I moved on to something less demanding and more creative. The influence of Indian culture asks us to put satisfaction upfront and I was in search of it. Writing struck me as a possibility and soon a passion. I am not creative but I am very thorough. Technical writing is my forte and at times I do delve into the creative side, though the stint usually lasts not more than a day! I enjoy traveling, reading and shopping.