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Detox with Herbs


There are many herbs to help detoxify organs and systems, and aid eliminatory channels to work more efficiently. Here are some ways in which you can use them.

milk-thistleMilk Thistle

Milk Thistle is often a prime detox choice to help the liver and kidneys in their hard work dealing with modern toxins, eg, from synthetic hormones and pesticides. Get it from your Herbalist or health food store and follow the instructions.


Dandelion is one of the most detoxifying herbs. The root really helps the liver and gallbladder to work better and the leaf makes sure that the kidneys eliminate well. Capsules of Dandelion are available in health shops, just follow their instructions.


Nettle contains high levels of flavonoids and a high potassium content which makes it a powerful diuretic, able to remove fluids containing toxins. Drink nettle tea, or buy powdered nettle from a Herbalist or health food store and add a teaspoonful to a smoothie.  These can be taken all together or separately.

Consult a Herbalist

If you want first hand support on which herbs to use, as well as foods and lifestyle choices that will promote detox, then consult a naturopathically-trained Herbal Practitioner. They can tailor a plan which is appropriate to your individual needs, and which takes into account specifics such as pregnancy or being on prescribed medication, which some herbs may interact with.

burdockDetoxing is a complex subject and will range from the removal of deep seated toxins like heavy metals which Burdock, Dandelion, Nettle, Charcoal, Clays and Pectin can help, to lighter, less entrenched toxins. Your Herbalist may recommend a formula which, as well as Milk Thistle and Dandelion or Nettle, includes herbs such as Wild Burdock Root, a prime detoxifier which must always be used alongside Dandelion leaf in a specific ratio to ensure the swift release of the toxins gathered by the Burdock root. It can help detox heavy metals and to neutralize substances stirred up during the detox process. Wild Artichoke Leaf might also be in the mix, as it can assist Milk Thistle. Its ‘cynarin’ stimulates the liver and ensures disposal of gathered toxins via the urinary system.

linseedHelping the bowel

Herbs like Wild Rosemary Leaf, Hawthorn, Ginger, Garlic and Chilli are vital to help ensure that the bowel will function well and swiftly at final removal stage, like the kidneys. Aloe vera, Cascara sagrada, Beetroot, Linseed and other foods and herbals can help the bowel, too; whilst Parsley leaf, Dandelion leaf, Juniper berries and Corn silks will help the kidneys.

Please remember that herbs alone cannot detox: have plenty of fluid, preferably water to flush out your system; ensure regular bowel movements; keep your kidneys warm so they work at their best; eat unprocessed, organic food; and take moderate regular exercise.

Written by Jill R. Davies. Jill is a Herbalist and Naturopath, and lectures at CNM.  She is the author of 14 books on Herbal Medicine.

Click here if you would like to find out more about training with CNM for a new career as a Herbalist. You can study part time at CNM London or CNM Manchester.

Click here to find out more about CNM’s Herbs for Everyday Living Short Course.

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Blog/Article content reflects the author's research and diverse opinions, not necessarily CNM's views. Items may not be regularly updated, so represent the best available understanding at the time of publication.

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