Herbs for Detoxification
Herbs can be extremely valuable to a personal detoxification program. Perhaps the most widely recognized is milk thistle, a leading liver cleansing and tonifying herb.
Most of our experts recommend taking milk thistle as a supplement, along with other vitamins, minerals and amino acids. (See essential supplements.) Anyone taking herbs should remember that they can be powerful agents, not to be taken without care.
We recommend two books to increase your knowledge: Christopher Hobbs' Natural Liver Therapy and C.J. Poutinen's Herbs for Detoxification.
List of Detox Herbs
Alfalfa: Alfalfa the richest land source of trace minerals. A builder, cleaner, infection fighter. Breaks down poisonous carbon dioxide.
Black cohosh: Black Cohosh tonic for the central nervous system. It also loosens and expels mucous of the bronchial tubes, stimulates secretions of the lymphatic system, liver and kidneys. Neutralized poisons in the bloodstream. Equalizes blood circulation.
Black walnut: Black Walnut oxygenates the blood to kill parasites. It is used to help balance sugar levels. It also is able to burn up excessive toxins and fatty materials.
Burdock root : Burdock Root one of the best blood purifiers. Used to reduce swelling around joints, rid calcification deposits, clears blood of harmful acids.
Cayenne: Cayenne called the "supreme and harmless internal disinfectant." Rebuilds tissue in the stomach and helps heal stomach and intestinal ulcers. Known as the purest and best stimulant in the herb kingdom. Works as a catalyst, carrying all the other herbs quickly to the part of the body where they are needed most.
Chlorella: Chlorella is an power-packed whole food source provides over 19 amino acids including all 8 essential, plus beta-carotene, potassium and other valuable vitamins and minerals, and enzymes. Contains natural antioxidant phytonutrient source, also a great detoxifier, cell enhancer, and blood cleansers. Liquid is popular as an internal deodorant to reduce body odors originating in the digestive tract. Also useful as a refreshing mouthwash
Cascara sagrada: Cascara Sagrada rich in oils which promote peristaltic action (the movement that cause us to eliminate) in the intestinal tract. Increases the secretions of the stomach, liver, pancreas and has been effective in helping gallstones and hemorrhoids.
Chickweed: Chickweed helps to heal stomach ulcers and inflamed bowels. Helps to dissolve plaque and fatty substances in the system. It strengthens the stomach and bowels.
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Cranberry: Cranberry has been traditionally used to treat bacterial bladder infections.
Dandelion: Dandelion one of the greatest liver herbs known. It stimulates the liver to detoxify poisons. Promotes healthy circulation, strengthens weak arteries.
Echinacea : Echinacea excellent immune-system-building herb. It stimulates the immune response, especially the production of white blood cells, increasing the body's ability to resist infections. Improves lymphatic drainage, removes toxins from the blood.
Fennel seed: Fennel Seed used for colic, gas and intestinal problems. Helps stabilize the nervous system, improves digestion, and has a diuretic effect.
Fenugreek: Fenugreek has the ability to soften and dissolve hardened masses of accumulated mucous. Helps to expel toxic waste through the lymphatic system and mucous, phlegm and infections from the lungs.
Gentian root is an alterative, antiseptic agent, and cholagogue. It is extremely bitter and works as an excellent digestive secretions. It also helps in the breakdown of protein and fats. It even helps improve the assimilation of nutrients like iron and vitamin B12. It has a cooling effect upon the body, helping to reduce inflammation and infection.
Ginger root: Ginger Root excellent for the respiratory system. Very good for fighting off colds and flu. Ginger has been shown effective as a natural alternative for morning and motion sickness. Also used as a cleansing agent to the bowels, kidneys and skin.
Guar gum: Guar Gum an herbal product that provides soluble digestive fiber and absorbs undesirable intestinal substances. Used therapeutically to lower cholesterol. It is known to have a laxative effect on the body, and also curbs the appetite.
Hawthorn berries: Hawthorn Berries an overall health support herb. Has been used for centuries for heart ailments. It is believed that regular use strengthens the heart muscles.
Hibiscus flower is mildly antibacterial and has soothing properties. It is also mildly diuretic and antiparasitic.
Horsetail: Horsetail used in urinary tract disorders. Horsetail tones organs of the urinary tract and soothes the bladder. Has a diuretic effect upon the body. It is high in silicon, which directly aids and supports the skin and hair.
Irish Moss is a type of seaweed that is an alterative, demulcent, and nutritive. It soothes an irritated gastrointestinal tract.
Licorice root is known as "the great harmonizer" in Chinese medicine. It is mildly laxative, nutritive, and considered a rejuvenative. It soothes irritated mucus membranes and nourishes the adrenal glands. Using small amounts of licorice helps to instill a feeling of calmness.
Marshmallow: Marshmallow another mucilage herb which helps remove the hardened phlegm in the intestinal tract as well as the lungs and other parts of the body. A great healing herb.
Milk thistle : Milk Thistle is one of the most potent liver-protecting herbs known. Prevents liver destruction and enhances liver function by inhibiting free radicals and leukotrienes. It stimulates liver protein synthesis and is an all-around liver support.
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Mullein leaf is a demulcent, diuretic, and a vulnerary. It soothes irritated tissues and is especially beneficial for the respiratory system.
Oatstraw is highly nutritive, rejuvenative, and calming to the nervous system, even helping in exhaustion and depression. Oatstraw helps provide minerals to nourish bones, skin, hair, and nails.
Papaya: Papaya is wonderful in the aid of digestion. It contains papain, an enzyme that breaks down protein. Very soothing to the stomach and digestive tract.
Passionflower leaf is best known for its calming effect on the nervous system. It helps to calm stress and slows the breakdown of neurotransmitters. It also helps to calm an irritable bowel.
Peppermint: Peppermint is used for many ailments, the oil brings oxygen into the bloodstream. It cleans and strengthens the entire body, especially the bowels.
Psyllium husk: Psyllium Husk is used worldwide and is matched by no other to cleanse and lubricate the intestines and colon. It is said to be very good for auto-intoxication, by cleansing the intestines and removing the toxins. Used for all intestinal troubles.
Psyllium seed is a lubricating mucilaginous fiber used as a gentle bulking and laxative agent. The mucilage in the seeds expands eight to fourteen times the size of the original seeds. This can also create a feeling of fullness, decreasing one's desire to overeat. Psyllium fiber works as a broom, sweeping the gastrointestinal tract of toxins. Be sure to drink lots of water when using psyllium as a cleansing agent!
Pumpkin seed helps the body expel parasites and is also highly nutritive, containing beneficial linolenic acid.
Red clover : Red Clover a very strong blood purifier. It is used as a tonic for the nerves and as a sedative for nervous exhaustion.
Slippery elm: Slippery Elm is used to neutralize stomach acidity and absorbs foul gases and toxins. It draws out impurities and heals and soothes all parts of the body. Especially the mucous membranes, adrenal glands, stomach, bowels, lungs.
Yarrow: Yarrow acts as a blood cleanser, opens the pores to permit free perspiration for elimination of waste, relieving the kidneys. It also helps to regulate the function of the liver, tones the mucous membranes of the stomach and bowel, heals the glandular system.
Violet leaf is an alterative, antifungal, demulcent, diuretic, and laxative. It is safe and soothing, rich in beta carotene and vitamin C.
Witch hazel bark, twigs, and leaves are high in flavonoids that help heal damaged blood vessels. This plant is also somewhat antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
Yellow dock: Yellow Dock one of the best blood builders in the herb kingdom. Stimulates elimination.
Yucca root is effective as an alterative and laxative agent. It helps break down organic waste in the body. One of its primary uses in folk medicine is to relieve the inflammation associated with arthritis.