Herbs For Detoxing

Herbs are often an important aspect of a detoxification program. Many detoxing regimes give suggested herbs to use through the process, while other detoxing kits, such as Red Rose or Smart Cleanse, provide supplemental herbs to be consumed during the specific program. But what exactly do these herbs do?

It is important to read up on the herbs that you intend to use, as many of these natural agents are surprisingly powerful and have very different effects. Below we have compiled a list of some of the more common detoxifying herbs and just what effects and results one can expect from them.

Laxatives and Diuretics

Psyllium Seed – This is a dietary fiber that increases stool weight, promotes bowel activity and lowers LDL cholesterol levels. This herb is usually consumed in ground or powdered form, but should be consumed with a full glass of water to ensure its passage through the digestion tract into the colon.

Alfalfa – This herb is a rich source of vitamins and minerals which helps to prevent fatigue associated with vitamin deficiency. It contains dozens of amino acids and has been shown to decrease intestinal absorption of cholesterol. Chinese medicine uses alfalfa leaves to cleanse the digestive system and to rid the bladder of stones.

Yucca Root – This is an herb extract from the plant that grows in the south western deserts of the US. It treats a variety of conditions that cause pain and inflammation in the body such as PMS, arthritis and headaches. Yucca is also thought to promote healthy digestion and liver function, but should be consumed in moderation as its laxative effect could cause diarrhea in some.

Herbs that Soothe the Digestive Tract

Irish Moss – This is a form of seaweed rich in vitamins and minerals. It forms a gel internally which coats the gastrointestinal tract and inhibits the release or formation of stomach acids. This aids in the healing of gastric ulcers and helps to flush out harmful bacteria and parasites from the digestion tract as the slippery substance gives them nowhere to latch on to.

Slippery Elm Bark – This herb combats intestinal inflammation poor digestion and colon disorders. Similar to the Irish Moss, the herb when ingested forms a slippery substance (hence its name!) which has shown to soothe the digestive tract. This herb is rich and nutrients and easy to digest making it the ideal supplement when dealing with digestive distress.

Fennel Seed – This herb that is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine has many medicinal benefits. It is widely used to treat digestive ailments having shown to relieve intestinal spasms and cramping in the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract. Fennel is thought to be a good treatment for indigestion, upset stomachs, gas pains and IBS. This herb is available in capsules, tinctures, and extracts.

Papaya Enzymes – This herb is fantastic for digestion health. It contains papain, an enzyme that breaks down protein and helps to regulate bowels and clean away dead tissue from the body.

Herbs for Liver Support

Milk Thistle Seed – Milk thistle was approved in 1986 as a treatment for liver disease. It has been proven to protect the liver against many harmful substances such as alcohol and acetaminophens (used in pain relievers). This protection is all due to the presence of silymarin which is found in the herb. This substance helps repair damaged liver cells and protects them from the penetration of toxins.

Dandelion Root – Also known as wild endive, this herb is used to treat kidney disease, indigestion and heartburn, but is most widely known for its ability to treat liver disease. Specifically this herb helps to purify the bloodstream and liver, as well as stimulate bile production.

Multipurpose Herbs

Licorice Root – This herb is most well known for its ability to heal ulcers. It lowers stomach acid levels, relieves heartburn and indigestion and even acts as a mild laxative. It is also used to combat irritation, inflammation and spasm in the digestive tract. And furthermore helps the liver function by increasing bile flow and lowers cholesterol levels. Licorice root can be consumed through soft chews, as a tea, or in a liquid extract form.

– This is by far one of the most well known herbs used in modern detoxing regimes. Echinacea is most well known for its ability to boost the body’s immune system and fight infections. The herb does this by stimulating the production of white blood cells, thus making it difficult for infections to start.

Fenugreek – This herb has been found to help lower blood glucose levels and helps in the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It also helps to lower cholesterol; effectively treats and prevents stomach inflammation, loss of appetite and gastritis. Fenugreek can be found in capsules, tinctures and powders.

Ginger Root – This is a versatile herb that prevents indigestion and abdominal cramping. Furthermore it lowers blood pressure by improving circulation of blood flow throughout the body; and it reduces LDL cholesterol levels. Ginger is available in powders, liquids, capsules, extracts and teas.

Burdock Root – This is one of the best blood purifiers. Burdock Root helps reduce swelling around joints, rid calcification deposits, and clear blood of harmful acids. It has many nutrients like iron, inulin (a carbohydrate), and beneficial oils. Burdock can even be used as a gentle laxative. This herb can be found in teas, ointments or pills.

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