To “detox” involves the process of removing toxins from the body. What does this mean exactly, and for what reasons should we consider doing so? Here is a look at detoxification and what that entails, accompanied by some natural supplements that can promote detoxification.
What is Detoxification?
First of all, it’s very important to point out that the type of detoxification we are concerned with is a removal of toxins that can enter the body via foods or the environment. This is not in regard to detoxification from drugs or alcohol, which is an issue all its own.
In short, detoxifying in this sense means removing the body of toxins such as impurities and chemical additives. The purpose of detoxification is to bolster physiological health and longevity. Specific goals of detox are often closely tied in with the same reasons for creating a healthy diet, e.g. weight loss, having abundant energy, and prevention of disease.
Since the foods we eat greatly affect our health, pursuing a healthy, varied diet is actually a priority for ridding the body of toxins. A big part of that approach is to stop consuming foods that introduce or promote toxins in the body.
Herbs and Supplements that Can Help Detoxification
Your body is full of different chemical processes, much of them influenced by the ingestion of nutrients and substances. The following herbs and supplements have been credited by some as being helpful in reducing the production of toxins, and/or ridding them from the body. The purpose is a little different for each one of these.
These are recommended to help reduce the presence of toxins in tandem with a diet that has little or no toxins, and are not a replacement for healthy foods. Talk to your doctor before trying any herbs or supplements for the first time.
Milk thistle is a plant that is harvested and made into an oral supplement. This plant contains silymarin, which bolsters the work of glutathione and superoxide dismutase and helps with lymphatic drainage and detoxification. Why do these compounds matter? They are intracellular antioxidants that combat and diminish the presence of certain toxins. It is especially beneficial in addressing toxins present in the gut.
Garlic is an herb that can potentially address toxins in more than one respect, including being a powerful lymphatic cleanser. One study indicates that garlic is specifically effective at helping to remove lead from the body. Garlic contains sulfur, which helps reduce the presence of unwanted microbes that produce toxins. It also promotes the production of glutathione, and benefits the liver as well, which has a role in eliminating toxins and waste production.
Glutathione, an important antioxidant previously mentioned, can be taken directly in oral supplement form. Glutathione is so important to the body that some experts believe it affects one’s lifespan. It is produced by every cell in the body, and it helps other vitamins and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, do their jobs properly. It’s necessary to rid free radicals, waste products the body produces that can have harmful effects over time.
Selenium is a mineral that works to help rid the body of heavy metals, such as mercury. It binds to them and removes them from the bloodstream, so that they can be expelled from the body.
Licorice root is an herb that aids digestion. Correspondingly, it might be specifically helpful in removing toxic, foreign substances via defecation.
Stinging nettle is an herb used in oral supplement form as a diuretic. It supports both the kidneys and the liver, as well as the whole lymphatic system.
Detoxing the body (from toxins, not drugs or alcohol) can mean different things. Depending on your diet and other environments that can cause exposure to toxins, certain toxins might be worth addressing and expelling. Next to a good diet, all of these remedies have the potential to help you detoxify your body from foreign toxins. Remember to always speak with a medical professional before taking one of these for the first time!