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6 Herbs and Foods for Gentle Detox
Spring is the best time of year to cleanse our body. Although our organs of detoxification the skin, lungs, kidneys, colon and liver are constantly working to filter and purify, sometimes we need a boost!
Environmental toxins, aging, and exposure to chemicals in our food and beauty products are just a few reasons why many of us look to cleanse and refresh at the start of a new season. From drinking more water to exploring different herbs, there are plenty of ways we can help our body detoxify.
1. Lemon Water
Water is the very best place for us to start when it comes to detoxification. Aside from hydrating our body, water with a squeeze of fresh lemon helps to effectively eliminate toxins from our body by flushing out accumulated waste in our GI tract, increasing the detoxifying enzymes in our liver, and stimulating bile secretion — an excellent carrier of toxins! Lemon water is also highly alkalizing and mineral-rich which helps us feel energized and refreshed.
How To Make: Squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon into 500ml water
There are a variety of herbs that help to nourish our liver and support detoxification, including black radish root, artichoke leaf, boldo leaves, and other liver tonics such as dandelion root — that’s right — the weed on our front yard! Many herbs can be found at health food stores as teas, tinctures, ampoules, capsules, or cut and sifted in bulk.
2. Black Radish Root
Black radish root is an excellent blood purifier and contains various chemicals that help to promote liver and gallbladder health by stimulating the production of bile. Rich in vitamin C, black radish makes a great addition to your detox regimen as its potent antioxidant content helps to protect our cells from any free radical damage that can occur when toxins are being released from our body.
3. Artichoke Leaf
Artichoke leaf is a highly ant-inflammatory herb with powerful digestive-supporting properties. A great option for gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain, artichoke leaf can also increase bile solubility thereby helping to cleanse the liver of fatty deposits.
4. Boldo Root
Soothing and anti-septic, boldo leaves are another great herb for liver support. Not only can they help strengthen our liver and gallbladder, they also contain diuretic and demulcent properties that can help aid bladder and urinary tract infections.
5. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root is a classic herb for liver support and detoxification! Anti-bacterial and antifungal, dandelion is great for liver congestion and acts as a powerful diuretic while still maintaining a balanced level of minerals with its naturally high concentration of potassium. Dandelion is great for reducing inflammation and offers countless benefits as a general tonic for the whole body.
Beets are one of the most liver-loving foods you can find. Betaine, one of the compounds in beets, specifically aids the liver in detoxification as it stimulates the removal of toxins by the liver cells. Beets also help improve blood circulation and contain a high concentration of phytonutrients that provide us with powerful antioxidant protection.
Hoffman, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal: a safe and practical guide to making and using herbal remedies. (p 184) Hammersmith, London: Thorsons.
Hoffman, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal: a safe and practical guide to making and using herbal remedies. (p 196) Hammersmith, London: Thorsons.
Mateljan, G. (2007). The World’s Healthiest Foods: essential guide for the healthiest way of eating. Seattle, WA: George Mateljan Foundation.
Meghan Livingstone is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for all things simple, healthy, and natural. For more tips and inspiration, visit meghanlivingstone.com or YouTube at : /meghanlivingstone.