Herbs for Detoxification – What Really Works


Detoxification is something our bodies do naturally. Unfortunately, things are much different for us now than they were for our ancestors. While they were exposed to very few environmental toxins as little as 75 years ago, the same cannot be said for us today. We are simultaneously being overloaded by external toxins and under-supported by our diets because our diets are not balanced enough to keep our natural detox processes robust.

In the Natural MD Radio detoxification series, I’ve talked about the impact of what too much detoxification can have on your health, as well as the differences between metabolic and physiologic detoxification, and the dangers of fad detoxes. I want to wrap up this series discussing the very powerful role foods and supplements can play in supporting on our body’s natural detoxification processes.

I dive into the steps of a 12-week detox program, share some of my favorite herbs for supporting our natural detoxification processes – including the historical and scientific support for them – and give tips for limiting exposures to harmful toxins in your home, food and household products.

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12-Week Detoxification Strategy

Week 1: Start Reduce Exposure
Kitchen/home/office clean-out

Week 2: Start Optimize Dietary Support

  • 35g fiber/day
  • 8-10 servings per day of fruits and veggies
  • Herbs/spices in cooking

Week 3: Start Support Gut Health/Flora

  • Probiotic rich foods, probiotic

Week 4: Start Nutrient and Botanical Elimination Support

  • Goal Get your bowels going daily
  • Flax: 2 TBS ground seeds/day

Week 5 Start Nutrient and Botanical Detoxification Support

  • Bitter herbs – here’s my podcast episode on bitters
  • Curcumin: Dose 500mg 2-4x/day
  • Milk Thistle: Dose: 200mg TID standardized to 80% silymarin
  • Artichoke: Dose 320mg once daily to 600mg TID (Contraindicated in Ragweed allergy)
  • Broccoli Extracts (sulforaphane, DIM, I3C) Dose: I3C: 250-450mg/day, DIM: 100-200mg/day

Week 6-12 Continue above

This plan is not meant for pregnant or nursing women; discuss supplement use with your primary care provider if you’re on medications or have medical conditions.


Show Notes

  • Symptoms of a weak detoxification system
  • What to do to keep your detoxification system supported
  • The 12-Week Detox Program
  • How to reduce environmental exposures
  • The danger of chemical preservatives
  • What to look for in healthy makeup alternatives
  • How to optimize dietary support
  • Health benefits of bitters

Links Mentioned

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