9 Natural Detoxifiers

by Dr. David Minkoff September 13, 2018 4 min read

9 Natural Detoxifiers

Toxins are everywhere. And it’s getting worse.

In your food, in your air, in your water, in your cosmetics and toiletries, and in your car…

Your body can only handle so much, it has a maximum capacity and most of us are already well beyond it.

To help your body handle the increasingly toxic environment, here are 9 powerful natural detoxifiers you can add into your life to help you stay in optimal health.

Activated Charcoal

Charcoal has its roots as a detoxifying therapy in the Ayurvedic tradition of India but has since spread around the world. Most toxins––pesticides, herbicides, dioxins, and even poisons like snake venom––have a positive charge. [1,2] What makes charcoal so helpful for detoxification is that is has a slightly negative charge across a massive surface area. This gives it plenty of space to bind up small positively charged molecules that may do you harm.

Charcoal works best for toxins in your digestive tract and doesn't do a lot for toxicity in your tissues. Also, don’t take charcoal with other supplements. It may also bind the beneficial compounds before they can be absorbed by your body.

Chlorella

Chlorella is a green algae that has become popular along with its cousin Spirulina. Both of these are packed with vitamins, trace minerals, and beneficial compounds. However, chlorella is special because it has unique polysaccharides (large, complex sugars) and glycoproteins (proteins with sugars attached) that bind toxins and heavy metals. Research shows chlorella can prevent the harmful effects of lead [3] , and has even been used to detoxify contaminated water sources. [4]

Milk Thistle

Your liver is the largest internal organ, and one of its most critical functions is processing modern life’s toxic soup. With such an important function, it pays to give your liver a little reinforcement.

Milk Thistle is your liver’s best friend. It contains a potent compound called silymarin that stimulates the production of dozens of the liver’s detoxifying enzymes. It also boosts glutathione levels (the body’s most powerful antioxidant), as well as bile production, to help destroy pathogens and toxins before they enter the intestinal tract. [5-7]

All these benefits together make Milk Thistle a must-have in your everyday detox toolkit.

Dandelion Root

Another long-time favorite from herbalism, dandelion root also has many compounds that boost liver function and aid detoxification. One study showed that dandelion root extract protected liver cells from alcohol toxicity [8]. It is also rich in antioxidants, helping your body manage oxidizing toxins.

Bentonite Clay

Clay has a remarkably long history of medical use in cultures ranging from South America to Central Africa to India, and even Australia. Much like charcoal, bentonite clay has a negative charge that binds and neutralizes toxins in the digestive tract. This makes bentonite clay especially valuable to use during a detox or cleanse protocol to keep mobilized toxins from being reabsorbed through the intestinal wall.

Clay also absorbs a lot of water, so pay close attention to your hydration levels and bowel movements when you use it as taking too much can cause constipation.

Lemon

One of the easiest and most beneficial detox protocols is a glass of lemon water when you first wake up in the morning. The citric acid and aromatic oils stimulate and protects the liver and prevent oxidative damage [9]. Meanwhile, the electrolytes help rehydrate your body after sleep. It’s a wonderful, refreshing start to the day and helps to clear the accumulated waste.

Garlic

Garlic has been used around the world for at least 7,000 years and has many health benefits. It is rich in many vitamins and minerals, but the main benefits comes from a compound called alliin. Alliin is a sulfoxide and the source of “garlic breath.” It has many antimicrobial, antioxidant, and health-boosting effects, but is also a powerful liver-protectant and stimulates the production of many enzymes [10,11].

Beets

Beets are roughly the same color as a healthy liver. Interestingly, this antioxidant-rich root vegetable contains several compounds that support this deep red detoxifying organ. One of them is a group of compounds called betalains, which act on the phase 2 detox step in your liver that breaks down toxic components [12]. Beets also contain betaine, which helps liver cells eliminate the newly broken-down toxins [13], as well as pectin, a fiber that helps the large intestine push toxins out through the bowels.

Cilantro

A delicious herb in the parsley family with a powerful punch when it comes to detox. Studies have shown that cilantro tablets (100mg) helped remove heavy metals like mercury as well as pharmaceuticals [14-16]]. You don't need to take extra supplements to make it happen to get the benefits. Just adding some into your regular diet will help boost your body’s natural detoxifying powers.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3521259
  2. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn…
  3. Queiroz M., et al, Protective effects of Chlorella vulgaris in lead-exposed mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes. Int Immunopharmacol. 2003 Jun;3(6):889-900.
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28582741
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24672644
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20564545
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2813578
  8. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347918
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4026104/
  10. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090130154901.htm
  11. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/garlic-fact-sheet
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28839374
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29864928
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8914687
  15. Abascal K, Yarnell E. Cilantro-culinary herb or miracle medicinal plant? Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 2012;18:259–264.
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8686573

 

Dr. David Minkoff
Dr. David Minkoff

Dr. Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then worked as an attending physician in infectious disease, co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine until 1995. In 1997, his interest in alternative and complementary medicine led him to open LifeWorks Wellness Center, which has become one of the foremost alternative medicine clinics in the U.S. His search to find a source of the highest quality nutritional supplements led him to establish BodyHealth in 2000, a resource that could provide doctors with the best possible supplementation and education for their patients. Today, the BodyHealth products are used by hundreds of practitioners and individual consumers who seek all-natural wellness and detoxification supplements with a demonstrated high level of quality and effectiveness. In addition to their use by patients looking to heal disease, the BodyHealth products are also used by sports enthusiasts interested in achieving and maintaining optimal performance. As a 42-time Ironman triathlon finisher, (including 8 appearances at the Ironman World Championships) Dr. Minkoff has first-hand experience to help athletes achieve optimum conditioning. His expertise in protein synthesis, detoxification, and nutrition allow them to run, swim, and bike faster and longer. Today, Dr. Minkoff is an alternative healthcare expert, guest lecturer, writer, tv and radio show guest. He also authors two weekly newsletters, the BodyHealth Fitness Newsletter and the Optimum Health Report.


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