Herbs to support detoxification
No one really knows how many herbs there are in the world but we know it has to be hundreds of thousands of species.
According to the World Health Organization today nearly 80% of the world’s population relies on herbal medicines for some part of their primary health care. In Germany, about 600 – 700 plant-based medicines are available and are prescribed by some 70% of German physicians. And even in the US, we have seen tremendous increase in use of herbs over the past 20 years. It’s estimated that today nearly one-third of Americans use herbs.
This post’s focus is herbs that have traditionally been used to clean the blood, support the liver and help support the detoxification process.
Many of us have accumulated unwanted toxins in our bodies. In addition to a cleansing diet, herbs can assist our bodies in the natural elimination process. While many people think of milk thistle and turmeric as their go to herbs for liver and detoxification support here are a few other, lesser known herbs that do a lot of heavy lifting too….
Bupleurum: for liver congestion and toxicity
This medicinal root is found in East Asia and has been used as a primary ingredient in Chinese formulations. Traditionally it has been used for relief of many conditions from infections with fever, indigestion and hemorrhoids and for liver problems. It is also used for respiratory infections such as swine flu, bronchitis and phenomena. According to WebMD Bupleurum is currently being evaluated in a phase II trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for use in treating hepatitis C.
Besides being excellent support for liver health and clean up (hepatitis), bupleurum is also wonderful for psoriasis, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. Bupleurum contains constituents known as saikosaponins that scientist believe account for much of the medicinal activity of the plant. Test tube studies have found that saikosaponins can inhibit growth of liver cancer cells, and are anti-inflammatory.
Burdock root: liver detoxifier and used for skin problems
Burdock Root is a medicinal herb, native to Europe and Northern Asia, but also grows in the United States. It is a relative of Feverfew and Dandelion, and has an appearance of thistles and is part of the daisy family. The main healing qualities are in the root. Burdock root is a source of calcium, flavonoids, chlorogenic acid, and potassium, as well as other elements that are helpful to the body. It also has an ample amount of vitamin C, chromium, magnesium, and trace amounts of organic mercury, which can make a good detox formula.
Dandelion Root: blood purifier; used for heartburn; liver and gall bladder health
While the Dandelion is a familiar and mostly unwanted sight in our lawns during the spring, this plant possesses some wonderful tonic properties. Dandelion Root is a native of Europe. In India it is found through Himalayas. Nutritionally the dandelion plant contains almost as much iron as spinach, four times Vitamin A content. An analysis of dandelion shows it to consist of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Its mineral and Vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sodium, Vitamin A and C.
Indeed, many people eat the leaves of the dandelion as salad greens or lightly sautéed. The bitter taste comes from the flavonoids that give dandelion it’s “blood purifying” properties. Flavonoids work in the digestive system to increase the flow of urine. Unlike other diuretics, dandelion contains vast amounts of potassium that restores the mineral balance in the kidneys as toxins are flushed out. Because Dandelion has the ability to help remove acid buildup and aids in acid/alkaline balance it is often used in hepatic support formulations.
Burdock Root, Barberry, Dandelion Root all all good ones for skin problems like dermatitis and helps pull out environmental toxins and pollutants from the body. You must be sure the bowel is open and this cannot be used during pregnancy.
Please be advised that before using any herb or herbal combination you should consult with a professional who understands how to use these herbs and will check for contraindications/interactions. As always, if you are pregnant or nursing or have a serious health condition you should consult your doctor before taking any herbal product on your own.
If you’d like to know more about using herbs to help manage a specific health issue please contact me.
If you you’re concerned about your health and looking for non drug options herbs may be of great help to you. Like to know more? Let’s chat and see if we are a fit?
 Source: Herbal medicine http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/herbal-medicine-000351.htm#ixzz2THtRjfOJ
University of Maryland Medical Center
Other sources: A Practical Guide to Herbs, by Marion (Miki) Jones, N.D., M.H.,D.,IR
Herbal Therapy & Supplements, A Scientific and Traditional Approach, by Merrily A. Kuhn, RN, PhD, ND and David Winston, RH