With all the unhealthy things we put into our bodies every day, it’s nice to know that some common, natural herbs can help to support the body’s natural detoxification process. By cooking with these herbs in new recipes, or adding them to some of our existing favorites, we can support the liver, kidneys, bladder, stomach and bowel to take in the good and get rid of the bad – namely environmental toxins and metabolic toxins that cause us to feel tired, sluggish, and unhealthy. To regain your vitality, lose weight, and restore your health, try these four great herbs.
Basil (also known as ocimum sanctum L.) comes from the Mediterranean and Middle East. With basil’s sweet taste and numerous varieties, it is a wonderful addition to everything including scrambled eggs, soups, salads, and grilled vegetables. You can use it in pesto with olive oil, and spread it on your favorite gluten-free grains, or drizzle it over pasta. It is not only full of flavor, but it is overflowing with antioxidants. Basil’s active ingredients are terpenoids. It is also wonderful for digestion and detoxification. Basil supports the kidney’s functions, and also acts as a diuretic to help the body expel unwanted toxins. Basil has been known to have anti-ulcer qualities, as well as antimicrobial effects that guard against bacteria, yeast, fungi and mold. Basil seed can also help with constipation.
This zesty herb, often used in Asian dishes and even the green juice craze, has earned its place in the detox hall of fame. Ginger cleanses the skin, the bowels, the kidneys and the entire digestive tract. It improves circulation and can boost energy levels. You can blend ginger into carrot juice, dice some into your Asian stir-fry or fried brown rice dishes, or grate some onto fresh, steamed vegetables. Ginger is also great in soups and sprinkled onto salads. It is very powerful though, so go easy on your ginger use, and remember that organic is best when purchasing this root vegetable with its powerful detoxing qualities.
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This controversial plant has been in the news plenty lately – with laws in several places to legalize its growth and use for everything from cancer prevention to using the fibers to make super strong clothing and other household items – but hemp might just be one of nature’s most perfect foods. It is full of antioxidants like vitamins E and C, as well as chlorophyll which is wonderful for cleansing the body from toxins of all kinds, including heavy metals. The soluble and insoluble fiber in hemp can also keep the digestive tract clean, and therefore reduce the toxic burden on other internal organs.
You can drink lemon juice (without sugar, preferably), squeeze lemon onto your vegetables, and use lemon peel or lemon zest in hundreds of recipes. Lemon is a great way to increase gastric juices, which means your body can more easily digest food. The peel is especially good for the liver, and lemons in general are packed with vitamins and nutrients. Lemon helps to cleanse the entire body. Many cultures drink room-temperature water with some lemon squeezed into it every day, to keep the body clean and the blood pure. Lemons are full of vitamins C and B6, as well as calcium, potassium and copper. They are also great for an after workout pick-me-up.
The best way to cleanse the body is with natural foods and herbs that support the body’s processes of elimination and purification. Try these four foods in your next recipes to give your body the extra detox support it craves.