I have an issue with the word detox, or rather how it’s used. We’ve entered into a food culture of “detox diets” “detox foods” “detox juicing” as if detoxing is a state that we can suddenly enter into. Our bodies are the best detoxifying machines out there, it’s one of our base metabolic processes and our systems and organs are doing it all day long. There’s no on switch, but the best way to support this state is to do it in the long run: eat whole, balanced unprocessed foods, drink plenty of water and try to get enough sleep. But, there are instances where our bodies need a little extra help, although you’re not going to find that detox boost in a juicebar. Instances where you might need a boost: when you’ve taken too many tylenols/paracetamols when you were sick (they’re heavy on the kidneys), or are quitting smoking, helping your body recover from too much drinking, trying to flush your system from a lingering illness, have spent too much time exposed to pollution, or because you have that intuitive feeling that your organs are sluggish and need a lift. The place to look is in nature; in fields, or even your back yard. But most of these herbs can be purchased at grocery or health stores to save you the foraging work…
Milk Thistle: this spiky purple wild flower contains powerful antioxidants that may protect your body from nerve damage, early brain aging, and cancer. The active ingredient, Silymarin, has incredible cleansing effects on the liver and gallbladder.
Stinging Nettle: nettle helps to purify the blood and cleanse the kidneys, it had anti-inflammatory properties (making it great for combatting allergic reactions, flushes toxins, helps balance excess sodium in the body, and boosts the metabolism and immune system.
Turmeric: curcuma, the active ingredient in turmeric roots, supports our body’s detoxing metabolisms by improving circulation, and can also help to balance cholesterol levels, prevents cholesterol oxidation, which can damage blood vessels. It can help the liver (one of our main in-body detox machines) to more efficiently process metabolic wastes and toxins (from the environment, air, the food we eat, etc).
Red Raspberry Leaf: while the leaves of raspberries are best known for their uses during pregnancy (increasing uterine wall, increasing mil production) but also for their ability to help the body flush itself from toxins.
Burdock Root: aside from being filled with antioxidants, burdock root (a type of weed related to sunflowers) helps to flush toxins from the blood. It has been long used in Chinese medicine to “purify” the blood.
Parsley: Parsley is believed to suppress over-stimulated immune systems, helping fight against allergies, autoimmune and chronic inflammation. It is an excellent natural diuretic, making it very effective at lowering blood pressure, and helping flush the body of excess toxins.
Neem: One of the pillar plants of ayurvedic medicine, Neem oil contains detoxifying agents which cleans out toxins from the liver and blood. It also increases circulation by dilating blood vessels, lowering heart rate and blood pressure.