Chemicals. Our lives are bombarded with them; from the air we breathe, the products we slather on, to the foods we eat, modern life is laden with chemicals. Unfortunately, many of those chemicals build up in our system, wreaking havoc on our immune system, our hormones, and even contributing to cancer. With all the chemicals coming in, it is wise to think of taking some back out again. Here are a few herbs and foods that can help you do a little housecleaning in your body.
Herbs that Cleanse
Plants have long been used as powerful healers of the body. The marvels of modern science have enabled us to evaluate these plants, discover what makes them work, and validate many of the traditional uses. While there are a number of fantastic botanical detoxifiers, here are a few of the most readily available and effective herbs on the market today:
- Cilantro – also known as Chinese parsley, this tasty herb is often used in Mexican dishes, particularly fresh salsa. But this leafy green herb does more than just taste good, it also appears to bind to metal molecules such as aluminum, and cause them to be secreted in the bile. While further research into the detoxifying effects of cilantro is needed, it can’t hurt to add extra amounts of this herb into your diet. Some people like it added to their smoothies for an extra boost of green antioxidants.
- Milk Thistle – this herb has a long history of usage as a liver detoxifier and healer. While you probably won’t want to blend it up into a smoothie, many preparations of milk thistle are available on the market, both in capsule and liquid extract form. The German Commission E, a well-respected research and herbal recommending organization, recognizes milk thistle as an effective liver detoxifier, suggesting it can protect the liver from damage from chemicals, drugs, and alcohol. Check the label of the product you choose for recommended dosage.
- Dandelion – any list of detoxifying herbs would be incomplete without mentioning dandelion. This humble “weed” works extra hard to keep the body cleaned out, especially working on the kidneys and the liver, detoxifying, encouraging elimination, and strengthening.
Detox With Food
Although foods can bring toxins into our bodies, especially processed foods and chemically laden traditionally grown foods, some can actually help to remove toxins. Keep in mind that the best foods for detoxification are organically grown, avoiding the chemical pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals found in traditionally farmed produce.
- Beets – this humble root crop has a number of properties that help the body cleanse, including betacyanin, betanin, and minerals. These properties can help stimulate the liver to release toxins and purify the bloodstream.
- Celery – another great vegetable for eliminating toxins, celery makes a great addition to juices, packing a powerful punch to increase urination, remove uric acid, and cleanse the liver.
One great way to detoxify your body and give you an extra boost of healthy vitamins and minerals is to whip up a tasty juice. Of course, you will need a juicer, but those are easily found at most super stores and offer a great way to include regular detox drinks in your routine. Try out different combinations of celery, beets (a little goes a long way, only use ¼ or so of a beet to get started), cilantro, apples, ginger, and mint. All of these are full of antioxidants and other cleansing properties that can help you feel your best!
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