While “detoxing” may appear to be a modern-day answer to what seems like an increasingly toxic world, our ancestors have long incorporated cleansing herbs to clear your body of pollutants into their diets. Modern science has revealed that many of these cleansing herbs – such as dandelion, burdock, nettle, schisandra and red clover, have a special affinity to support the natural function of our inherent detoxification systems. Honoring this age-old wisdom, herbalists continue to utilize these cleansing herbs to support and nurture these processes rather than encouraging harsh detoxes that can be depleting.
Our skin, liver, kidneys, digestive tract, and lymphatic system all have important parts to play in maintaining a balanced input and output flow. Incredibly, nature has provided us with a natural apothecary of plants that are unique enough from one another to support these various organs. From skin health to liver support, there’s an cleansing herb that’s right for you.
Cleansing Herbs To Clear Your Body Of Pollutants
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), nightshade is also known in English as Winter Cherry that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, boosts levels of glutathione in the body, one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants. A study on male fertility also found that the herb inhibits the formation of free radicals, which cause oxidative stress.1
Indian Gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica officinalis, or amla). Studies show that this herb is a potent free radical scavenger, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which has even been shown to treat or prevent cancer.2
Neem (Azadirachta indica, also known as Indian lilac) also has been shown to have huge antioxidant effects against oxidative damage to DNA and red blood cells.3 See 5 Skin Healing Benefits of Neem Soap
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia, also known as heart-leaved moonseed), like the aforementioned cleansing herbs, seems to have a potent modulating effect on the immune system,4 which successfully mitigates against the numerous harmful effects of pollution’s particulate matter.
Aloe vera (also called Aloe barbadensis). Known in Ayurvedic medicine as Ghrit kumari, this succulent is considered one of the best for air filtration and is said to be able to effectively filter out chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene. See: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Aloe Vera for Health
Spirulina (blue-green algae) and Chlorella vulgaris (green micro-algae). Both have shown beneficial effects on reducing the consequences of pollutants, but spirulina has been shown to have much higher antioxidant activity than chlorella.5
1 Reprod Biomed Online, 2018; 36: 311–26
2 Eur J Cancer Prev. 2011; 20: 225–39
3 J Agric Food Chem, 2009; 57: 6990–6; Asian Pac J Trop Biomed, 2013; 3: 505–14
4 Anc Sci Life, 2012; 31: 151–9
5 J Agric Food Chem, 2005; 53: 4207–12