The concept of cleansing your body of toxins isn’t a new one. It has been around for thousands of years in practices such as fasting, enemas, sweat lodges, and also detox teas.
Recently, the detox process has gone mainstream. There are detox diets such as the Master Cleanse that have caught on thanks to celebrities. Also, alternative medicine relying on herbs and foods has come to the forefront.
With the craze, detox teas are popping up everywhere. However, what makes a good detox tea? What does the detox process involve? Moreover, what are the health benefits of doing a detox and drinking detox teas? Let’s find out.
How Detoxes Work
At the heart of every detox method is your liver. It is responsible for storing vitamins and minerals, creating vital proteins, and ridding the body of toxins. Everything you consume, whether it’s food, drink, or medication must go through the liver first.
When the liver gets overloaded by environmental pollutants, too much alcohol, or a poor diet, it can’t function properly. That can lead to health problems such as fatty liver disease and eventually fibrosis and then cirrhosis.
While it takes years and years of abuse to get to the total loss of liver function, why risk it?
Why You Need a Detox and Its Benefits
So how do you know you need a detox? Some signs are fatigue, an increase in belly fat, digestive issues, brain fog, water retention, and skin issues like eczema or itchiness.
Note that if you are noticing more serious signs, such as your eyes or skin turning yellow or your urine appearing very dark, please see your doctor. These are signs of a severe medical issue that a detox will not fix.
When you do a detox program correctly, you will notice a few benefits such as weight loss, improved well-being, a reduction in cravings, and better sleep.
The Best Detox Teas
First of all, what are detox teas? It’s an herbal tea as opposed to black, green, or white teas. The herbal blends all depend on the desired result of a detox, whether it’s weight loss, laxative effects, or mitigating the consequences of a night of overindulgence in alcohol.
Detox teas are also an essential tool of traditional Chinese medicine as well as the ancient practice of Ayurveda in India. Many of the detox teas we recommend have been used for thousands of years.
Note that you should always check with your doctor before consuming any of these detox teas if you have any medical issues or take any medications.
At the top of our list of best detox teas is dandelion tea. While most people see it as a pesky weed, the dandelion is a nutritional powerhouse.
They are full of vitamins A, C, K, and B as well as minerals such as potassium and magnesium. There are also many detoxification benefits that dandelions possess.
First, it works as a diuretic, which helps your body rid itself of excess fluids. Be sure to drink plenty of water when you consume dandelion tea for this reason.
Dandelion also supports your liver by increasing bile flow. Bile serves two critical functions: digesting fat and transporting toxins out of the body. When bile gets backed up, toxins can also build up.
You can find dandelion tea in most health stores. Alternatively, you can brew your own from dandelions in your yard as long as you don’t use a lawn service that sprays weed killer or have a lot of animals that use your yard.
Brew dandelion tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of dried dandelion leaves (the greens, not the flowers). For a pot, multiply the amount of water and dandelion by how many cups you’d like to make. You can add flavors like lemon, mint, or honey for variation.
Not only is it a delicious ingredient found in many dishes, but ginger is also a powerhouse in terms of health benefits. The main component of ginger is a compound called gingerol, and it is the source for most of ginger’s positive benefits.
Gingerol is a potent anti-inflammatory substance, and inflammation that’s out of control is linked to many health issues such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
In addition to reducing inflammation, ginger also helps combat digestive issues such as nausea and indigestion.
It also has antiviral and antibacterial properties and is a great way to strengthen your immune system. Note that ginger should not be used to treat any active illness. You should always see your doctor.
Other studies show that ginger helps control blood sugar. When blood sugar goes unchecked, it leads to insulin resistance and eventually Type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance also leads to more fat storage in your liver, which reduces its ability to remove toxins from your body.
You can buy ginger tea from almost any store, but you can also make your own with fresh ginger.
First, peel the ginger and cut into thin slices. Put the ginger in a pot of water, bring it to a boil, and let it boil for 10 to 30 minutes depending on how strong you want it. After the set amount of time, let it cool, then strain it to remove the ginger pieces.
Try adding other flavors like lemon. And honey is always a great addition for sweetness.
Milk Thistle Tea
As one of the most common supplements for improving liver function, it’s no surprise that tea made from the milk thistle (Silybum marianum) plants is one of the best detox teas you can try.
This powerhouse plant contains silymarin, which is a group of plant compounds that provide antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that it improves liver function in people with liver disease.
It prevents the liver cell walls from weakening under oxidative stress and helps liver cells regenerate. While the exact mechanisms of action aren’t understood, scientists believe that milk thistle reduces damage caused by free radicals produced by your liver when it processes toxins.
Silymarin also helps manage blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. A recent study showed that people who took silymarin reduced their fasting blood sugar and A1C levels. While more studies are needed, it can’t hurt to try.
You can buy milk thistle tea bags in health stores or online. However, if you enjoy making tea from raw ingredients, here is a recipe you can try that uses the seeds, which you can also find in health food stores and online.
Take the seeds and crush them using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the milk thistle powder to the boiled water and let it steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and pour out enough for 1 cup. Store the rest for later.
If the tea is too bitter for your liking, add honey. You can always try adding peppermint or other flavors, also.
Cilantro lovers, rejoice! Not only is this herb tasty in guacamole and salsa, but it’s also a nutritional powerhouse. It’s full of vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Also known as coriander, cilantro dates back to the ancient Greek and Roman times. It looks like flat-leaf parsley, but it sure doesn’t smell or taste like it.
Some people can’t stand the taste of it and claim it tastes like soap. So if you’re one of those unlucky people, then maybe you should stick to the other teas mentioned above.
Studies show that cilantro binds to heavy metals such as arsenic, aluminum, lead, and mercury, which are often found in our food supply. Heavy metal overload can lead to all sorts of health problems, so anything you can do to help your body rid itself of them is welcome.
Cilantro also protects against oxidative stress due to its high levels of the flavonoid quercetin. Flavonoids work to lower free radical damage.
Another study showed that it brings blood sugar levels down in people who have Type 2 diabetes.
And last but not least, cilantro has a ton of digestive benefits. It can cure a queasy tummy, lessen gas and bloating, and promote better digestion by increasing the production of digestive enzymes.
To make a cup of cilantro tea, add chopped fresh cilantro to an infuser and pour boiling water into the mug. Steep it for 5 to 10 minutes and remove the infuser. If you like your tea sweet, add honey. Lemon is also a nice touch.
In this guide to the best detox teas, we covered how detoxes work, why you may need a detox, and our four top recommendations for detox teas.
By supporting your liver, providing essential nutrients, lowering blood sugar, and combating oxidation, these teas will go a long way in helping your body rid itself of the toxins.
While they are all delicious by themselves, you can combine them for taste and the most optimal health benefits. Enjoy!