Detoxify With These Herbs

Detoxify With These Herbs

Detoxifying the body is certainly not a new fad, although it has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Historical humans had many different forms of detoxification, and many of those practices were based around religious beliefs. However some forms of detoxification came naturally. For example, after a long cold Winter, humans would gorge on fresh nutritious foods that would stimulate the digestive tract and cleanse the lymphatic system. This helped to detoxify the system and jump start the immune response.

Why Detox?

1. Remove Toxins: People nowadays have grown accustomed to the processed foods they are eating and realized they need to make a change. Unfortunately, we live in a world where pollutants abound. We are frequently exposed to dangerous poisons from our surroundings, food to housekeeping and beauty goods. The good news is that our bodies are built to cleanse themselves. Processed foods and sugar on the other hand, might make it difficult for our systems to naturally detoxify. Cleansing can help us retrain our taste receptors to prefer complete meals and revitalize our bodies by removing toxins and enabling our incredible organs to perform at their best.

2. Mental Clarity and Well-Being: Mental clarity is one of the biggest advantages of a cleanse, which floods your body with nutrients. Brain fog is fed by sugar, preservatives, and unpronounceable artificial substances. When you feed your brain the finest that nature has to offer, it reacts by thinking clearly. You are what you eat, so cleansing not only gives you clear thinking, but it also helps you sleep better and concentrate better.

Furthermore, because a high toxic load impacts the brain, it unavoidably alters how we experience events and the sentiments or emotions that accompany them. You may notice an improvement in your mental and emotional condition after a time of cleaning, once accumulated poisons have been released. This means you’ll feel better about yourself in general.

3. Weight Loss: Toxins have the potential to injure the body’s cells and tissues. Fortunately, your body has a built-in protection system that encapsulates and safely stores extra fat in your fat cells. Unfortunately, this implies that when your toxic burden rises, so do your fat cells. The good news is that when you remove toxins, fat cells shrink and you lose weight that you may have been holding on to.

4. Higher Energy Level: Lethargy, exhaustion, and a lack of energy are signs that the body is unable to digest, absorb, and use nutrients from meals. Toxin buildup in the body might lead to a reduction in energy levels.

Apart from improving energy at the cellular level, a proper detoxification that incorporates appropriate nourishment in the diet will help jump-start effective digestion. This cleansing time aids in the restoration of vitality energy, making you feel lighter and more vibrant.

5. Healthier Skin: The skin is not only the human body’s biggest organ, but it is also one of the most important detoxifying organs. Any toxic buildup or imbalance in the body shows up in the skin. This manifests as skin that is dull, pale, and prone to breakouts and rashes. Most people report fresher clearer skin after a detoxification.

6. Immune System: Toxic buildup has an impact on all body functions, including the immunological and lymphatic systems. Higher vulnerability to infections and sickness suggests lower immunity. A full body cleanse is required if your immune system is in poor shape. The immune system performs better after a detox phase, and white blood cells are better prepared to battle bacteria and foreign substances.

Proper detoxification that incorporates appropriate nourishment in the diet will help jump-start effective digestion. This cleansing time aids in the restoration of vitality and energy, making you feel lighter and more vibrant.

Best Herbs To Detoxify


The roots of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) plant which are harvested in the Fall, provide ideal support for liver detoxification which is gentle, mild tasting and suitable for almost anyone to use. In traditional herbal medicine, dandelion root is considered a blood tonic that works primarily through the liver and gall bladder. It stimulates bile production in the liver, and encourages the gall bladder to contract and release stored bile. Healthy bile flow is necessary for the digestion of dietary fat, for transporting toxins neutralized by the liver into the intestines, for stimulating bowel movements and the release of waste. Its ability to aid bile flow makes dandelion root useful in the treatment of indigestion, constipation, gallstones, liver disease, eczema, acne, and high cholesterol. As a cholagogue herb which promotes the production and movement of bile, Dandelion activates the third and final phase of liver detoxification – the elimination of toxins out through the colon.

Scientific investigation has expanded our understanding of how dandelion root influences liver function. Research has revealed that dandelion root contains a powerful array of naturally occurring antioxidants which enhance phase 2 liver detoxification. The second stage of liver detoxification is responsible for neutralizing free radicals and minimizing oxidative stress on the body, which when left unchecked can promote systemic inflammation and over time the growth of cancer cells.

The liver plays a critical role in detoxification because it filters approximately 1-2 litres of blood every minute. The liver not only handles all the man-made chemicals we are exposed to through air and water pollution, consumer products, processed foods, and medications; but it also neutralizes excess hormones and free radicals which are made by the body under the influence of various stressors.

The array of man-made toxics and internally generated toxins we deal with on a daily basis is becoming increasingly more complex. We really need to re-think our impulse to eliminate dandelion from our parks and backyards and instead consider it as a highly valuable wild food and medicine.


Burdock (Arctium lappa) belongs to the Asteraceae along with plants like daisies and sunflowers. However, unlike daisies or sunflowers, burdock is very aggressive and often unwanted in the garden.

It has very large, hairy leaves, thistle-like flowers and can grow very tall (up to nine feet). The common name of “burdock” comes in part from the burs of the plant which will attach themselves to just about anything. Equestrians hate this plant more than anyone because of the mess they create in horses manes and tails.

In fact, these burs were the inspiration behind Velcro. A Swiss engineer began to study the burs after returning from a walk with many of them stuck to his clothing. Eventually, he was able to reproduce the effect by creating two strips of fabric: one with thousands of loops and the other with thousands of hooks. The new invention was named Velcro.

Burdock root is considered one of the best herbs for the skin and can be used internally or externally. Burdock’s ability to purify the blood is one reason it’s so beneficial for skin. Toxins in the body and in the bloodstream can contribute to skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. Taking burdock root as a tea or tincture will help clear out those toxins. Burdock root is also considered a cooling herb and helps to cool “hot,” inflammatory skin conditions like acne. It can be taken internally for this purpose or use externally as a wash. Burdock also has a high antioxidant content which benefits skin and improves signs of aging (including wrinkles).

Along with being a blood purifier, burdock root also has many benefits for cleansing the liver and supporting liver health. It stimulates bile production and helps to flush out toxins in the liver. Due to its cooling effect, herbalist Rosemary Gladstar recommends burdock root especially for those who often get heated (red face, flushed skin, hot temper). Because a healthy liver brings balance to the body by eliminating excess hormones, burdock root is often added to herbal formulas for PMS and other conditions caused by hormone imbalance.

One of the best known benefits burdock root can offer is its ability to cleanse the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is basically the inner drainage system of the body and a very important part of the immune system. A healthy lymphatic system helps move toxins out of the body as well as carrying lymph (infection-fighting white blood cells) throughout the body. When it becomes congested, swollen lymph nodes will occur. Burdock root is one of the best herbs for stimulating lymphatic drainage and relieving congestion, which in turn, benefits overall immune health.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a weed-like plant that grows wild in Europe, North America and Australia. In the 17th Century Nicholas Culpepper recorded that milk thistle opened obstructions of the liver and spleen. By the 19th Century, German physicians were using milk thistle tinctures for many liver disorders. The German Commission on safety and efficacy of herbs fully endorses milk thistle seeds or milk thistle seed extracts as supportive treatment for liver disorders. For thousands of years milk thistle tinctures, milk thistle seeds and milk thistle seed extracts have been used to treat liver problems and gall bladder problems.

Milk thistle seed contains a bioflavonoid called silymarin which itself contains several compounds. Silymarin is a potent antioxidant and possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Research has confirmed that a compound called silybin is the most active component within silymarin, but unfortunately, silybin has been poorly absorbed by the body until now. Scientists have found that adding phosphatidyl choline to silybin overcomes this lack of availability to the body. Each cell membrane is composed of phospholipids and since phosphatidyl choline is a phospholipid, the silybin is easily transported into the liver cells where it can perform its role of protection and helping to reduce inflammation within the liver. Remember that liver disease is a result of inflammation of the liver which leads to scaring or a weakened liver.

Milk thistle has been historically used for a variety of liver diseases, including: alcoholic liver diseaseacute and chronic viral hepatitistoxin-induced liver diseases.

Because the liver and other digestive organs, like the gallbladder, pancreas, intestines and kidneys, work closely together to improve liver health, milk thistle is also able to help prevent gallstones and kidney stones. Although research on this topic is limited, because of milk thistle’s ability to increase bile flow, protect against liver conditions like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and promote liver detoxification, it may be useful in the prevention of gallstones.


Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) may help remove heavy metals or detox heavy metals from the body by chelating them. One study shows us that the use of cilantro helped to reduce lead deposits in the bone in an animal study. While research in humans is limited, there are several studies indicating that cilantro is safe and effective at removing heavy metals from the bloodstream.

Take this case for example. A man had all of his mercury silver fillings removed from his mouth, which is a process that causes mercury to enter the body. The following day, he had body scans, and mercury was detected via imaging in all of his organs. Afterward, he ate cilantro 4 times a day for two weeks, along with fish oil, and his mercury toxicity was eliminated. His gingival health also improved.

In people, mercury toxicity makes antibiotics not work. Research shows that cilantro helps make antibiotics work better, likely by helping clear the body of unwanted metals. For example, people with drug-resistant ear infections and mercury toxicity were given cilantro in capsules. The otherwise untreatable infections were treated effectively almost immediately with the addition of cilantro.

Another study showed that adding cilantro to the diet of beluga whales helped improve growth and reduced heavy metals in their bodies. In rats with lead poisoning, cilantro safely lowered lead levels and improved liver function. Cilantro was also able to prevent lead from depositing into the body’s tissues. Holistic practitioners often recommend combining chlorella or spirulina with cilantro when taken in supplement form to improve the removal of heavy metals from the body.

Using fresh cilantro in cooking on a daily basis is best to help cleanse the body of toxins like heavy metals. If you aren’t able to eat it regularly or you don’t like the taste of it, you have the option to make a tincture. Follow our step-by-step guide here on the how to process.

Start Slow

Signs of increased toxicity include headaches, nervousness, flu-like symptoms, or fever. Someone who has taken drugs or medication much of their life could experience either the normal effects associated with those medications or any of their side effects. Any of these would be signs to slow down the detox.

It’s important to speak to your doctor before starting any form of detoxification, especially if you take medication or have any prior health concerns.

Most people are amazed at well well these herbs work and restore the vitality in their health after years of suffering. When done safely and properly, detoxing your body can be a beautiful thing!

Final Thought

When it comes to cleansing the body, the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, skin, and lymphatic system are very beneficial and necessary. These explanations should hopefully convince you of the need to cleanse and detox your body in order to stay healthy.

Stay Wild


A woman holding an apple and a basket of apples.

Kayce Heister

Kayce is a Clinical Herbalist, Naturopathic Practitioner (HHP), Active Forager, Wild Food Chef and Mother of three. She has spent the last 20 years practicing herbalism and natural health, and spends most of her time educating others on the amazing potential the natural world can offer.

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