Herbal detox - cleanse your body with these 13 powerful herbs

Nowadays, many people are becoming more aware of the need to detoxify their bodies. Although some toxins that enter our bodies are unavoidable, it is important to be able to regulate the levels of toxic exposure in our lives.

From toxic personal and cleaning products to pollution and chemicals in food, cleaning the internal body must become a habit that is as frequent as the cleaning of our body externally. Actually, cleansing inside is more important and should take priority, yet – as is oftentimes human nature – most of us neglect that which we don’t see!

The following herbal detox list will present you with 13 powerful and effective herbs that will aid your body in the toxin elimination and tissue healing process.

You can incorporate them daily as a part of your health protocol by making them concentrated by boiling their roots, leaves, flowers, and bark, cooling the tea down, and re-boiling it again a few more times. This will extract as many benefits as possible from the herbs and will make your detox more effective.

A word of caution is to ensure that you are not consuming the herbs while taking other medication, since the compounds can interfere and synergize in harmful ways.

Another piece of advice is to start by consuming the herbs slowly and increasing your intake level incrementally. This will minimize healing symptoms and will condition your body to expect a deep cleanse so that it can get ready to aid in the best way possible.


How Detoxification Works


Detoxification of the body is a process where you do not actually ‘get rid’ of anything, but rather – your body creates a pathway for movement out of the system. Toxins are held in fatty tissue and other areas such as the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and brain. This means that cleansing is far more complicated than targeted cleansing of the colon.

When our bodies are overloaded with toxins, they store them in these fatty tissues and any organs that can safely ‘hold’ them until the time comes when these areas must be emptied – either because their storage capacity is full or the organ itself requires rest from holding so much toxicity.

This is why we often see people who have been through several cleanses and detoxification programs find that after some time of feeling brilliant on the program, they begin to feel worse again – when the toxins are released to be eliminated, they must pass through these organs and elimination pathways once again.

The toxic overload rushing toward the exit door causes temporary acidification of our lymphatic system, making us feel those detox symptoms that resemble flu and cold symptoms and feelings of weakness, aches, irritability, and tiredness.

This is very temporary, and you should keep the detox going to eliminate the toxins released from tissues and heal the inflammation and degeneration caused by their damage.

Detoxification can best be done by giving all of our internal organ systems some time off from being in constant overdrive. The liver, the kidneys, and the digestive system work hard to process and eliminate internalized chemistry every day of our lives – sometimes even working while we sleep!

Giving these major detoxifiers a break with juice fasting, intermittent fasting, water fasting or dry fasting is vital for them to recuperate and function properly.

Here are just a few more resources that will help teach you the ways of natural body detoxification with foods and herbs:

What is Detoxing and Does Body Detox Work?

Natural Healing: A Guide to Full Body Detox Without Gimmicks and With Long-Term Results 

Healing Crisis Guide: Common Detox Symptoms and How to Alleviate Them


How Herbs Help in Body Detoxification and Healing


How Herbs Help in Body Detoxification and Healing
Photo by Annie Spratt from Unsplash

Herbs are very effective in body cleansing and have been used for millennia to assist the human body with drawing out toxins and healing itself.

Some of these herbs work by stimulating specific organs to help them eliminate, while others directly affect the toxins found in our bloodstream and the lymphatic system and bring them out through the skin or the kidneys.

Further, herbs can be taken in a variety of formulations, making them suitable for internal use and external use as well. These include herbal teas, tinctures, capsules, essential oil extracts, and infused oils.

The most important thing to remember is that when you are using any herb or combination of herbs – particularly if using it to support the body during detoxification – you should purchase organic medicinal-grade varieties.

Botanicals are very potent and can have a strong effect on the body – using low-quality or non-organic herbs means that you may be putting more of a strain on your detoxification system than necessary, as well as absorbing toxins into your body from the plants themselves.

Herbs are known to be nature’s healers in all cultures and much of our knowledge about their purpose and efficacy comes from watching sick animals graze the fields for the medicine that supports their ailments.

In the wise words of my teacher, Dr. Robert Morse – a naturopath, herbalist, and detoxification specialist – herbs are carriers of consciousness that help bring our body consciousness back to its original relationship with nature and the cosmos: 

From a spiritual viewpoint, herbs carry the “original awareness” with which they were created. When an herb’s “consciousness” or awareness unites with the consciousness of a human cell, this empowers the cell to function as it was originally created.


As DNA and cellular activity change, this yields greater vitality to cells, tissues, or glands. With their powerful cleansing actions, herbs empower the body to clean itself out of all obstructions, thereby enhancing blood, lymph, and neuro (energy) flow to the cells.

The Miracle Sourcebook, Ch. 8, The Power of Herbs


Our ancestors observed nature and became wise, not only in terms of understanding the abundance of mother nature and their connection to her for sustenance and nourishment, but also in terms of the relationship between her cycles, cosmic cycles, and the cycles of their bodies. 


Detoxify Your Body With These 13 Potent Herbs


Detoxify Your Body With These 13 Potent Herbs
Photo by Angele Kamp from Unsplash

All of these herbs can be prepared as tea, tinctures, or capsules, depending on your preference. In my opinion, the quickest way to prepare and enjoy them, however, is as a morning tea. I always make tea in the morning and afternoon, and there are a few reasons for this! In the morning, the body has been fasting for many hours while we sleep.

The best way to flush it out and help it move and remove any congestion is with a hot, medicinal tea. The herbal infusion will help support the kidney filtration of toxins and water-soluble waste and will also help instigate a bowel movement, whose regularity is absolutely essential in terms of keeping the body healthy.

Here is a comprehensive list of herbs that are some of the most potent healers in nature:


1. Dandelion Root


The whole dandelion plant is a great herb for cleansing the liver and gallbladder of bile sludge and other toxins that may have accumulated over the years. It also acts as a powerful diuretic, which helps the kidneys eliminate wastes in the urine.

Dandelion root is available as a tincture or capsule, or it can be tea made from a dried root that you can buy at any natural foods store. Dandelion leaf and blossom are also great for cleansing toxins out of the liver and kidneys by activating enzymes that enhance detoxification processes.


2. Nettle Leaf


Nettles have long been prized as an excellent blood purifier – they contain anti-inflammatory agents called acetylcholine and histamine that reduce pain and inflammation in the urinary tract, which makes them an excellent choice for people with painful urination caused by UTIs.

Nettles are also great at removing industrial pollutants from our kidneys and livers. They can be made into tea or tincture, but it’s also available as a capsule or dried leaf, so you’ll be able to make your own infusion.


3. Burdock Root


Burdock root is one of the best herbs for cleansing blood; it helps to remove excess water weight, helping us feel less bloated and more energetic after a mild cleanse. It is also helpful during fasting because it acts as a diuretic without making you feel dehydrated like caffeine-containing products do – it supports urination naturally.

Burdock root is available as a dried plant, tea, or tincture and can be made into an infusion with other herbs such as nettles. It can also be taken in capsule form but it may have a less potent effect because of the fillers used to make it into capsules – this is more common when using store-bought supplements which use cheaper versions of burdock root, often grown overseas where regulations are not so stringent (such as in Mexico).


4. Chaparral Leaf


Chaparral leaf stimulates bile production in the liver, which makes it excellent at cleansing toxins from our blood. Studies show that chaparral leaf stimulates white blood cell activity, which means it is also excellent for fighting infections in the bladder and urinary tract.

The chaparral plant is also known to benefit and heal the skin, bladder infections, respiratory issues, diabetes, and cancer.


5. Marshmallow Root


Marshmallow root helps to soothe and protect the mucosal lining of our digestive tract, while stimulating enzymes that reduce inflammation and speed up the removal of toxins through bowel movements.

It is especially beneficial for UTIs, because it protects the bladder’s mucosal lining while helping to fight infection.


6. Astragalus Root


Astragalus root is one of the best herbs for protecting and strengthening your immunity, which makes it an excellent herb to include in herbal detoxes to get rid of infections that can weaken the system. It is also quite potent at killing any parasites and removing harmful bacteria from the gut.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, aside from immune function restoration, the astragalus root is one of the most important herbs used for kidney restoration, diabetes, inflammation, and cancer.


7. Goldenseal Root


Goldenseal root is one of the most powerful herbs for boosting immunity as well as cleansing our blood and organs. It contains berberine, an alkaloid that has been found to fight infection on contact without damaging other beneficial bacteria in the gut as many antibiotics do.

Goldenseal is also known to reduce sinus congestion, relieve allergies, and aid in the elimination of parasites.


8. Slippery Elm Bark


Slippery elm bark makes an excellent infusion because it soothes and protects the mucosal lining of the digestive tract – it is one of the best herbs for healing damage to the gut. It also helps to rehydrate tissues damaged by diarrhea or vomiting.

Slippery elm bark is also used to heal wounds, skin inflammation, stomach ulcers, and asthma.


9. Plantain Leaf


Plantain leaf has traditionally been used as an herbal remedy for insect bites, acne, and cysts, because it provides skin-healing compounds such as allantoin that help reduce inflammation and prevent infection.

These types of compounds also help to speed up wound healing, which is why plantain leaf is great for cleansing after we’ve come into contact with harmful bacteria.

Plantain leaf is likewise effective for improving immunity, digestion, respiratory issues as well as bone and eye health.


10. Milk Thistle


The compounds found in milk thistle seeds have been shown to protect, regenerate and stimulate the growth of liver cells while also encouraging new tissue-cell formation.

Milk Thistle is often used for body detoxes, because it protects the liver from damage during the elimination process. The herb aids in improving type 2 diabetes, hepatitis C, and reversing chronic inflammation.


11. Wormwood


Wormwood was used as a medicinal herb by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but it is best known today as one of the main ingredients in absinthe because of its ability to fight parasites.

It contains a compound called thujone that has been shown to kill intestinal worms at relatively low doses; however, wormwood leaf shouldn’t be taken long-term without professional supervision because it can lead to neurological problems if not used carefully.


12. Oregon Grape Root


This herb is one of the best herbal remedies for cleansing because it has a high concentration of berberine in its root that helps to fight harmful bacteria and cleanse the liver.

It is also used to stimulate bile production, which can help speed up the detox process by ensuring toxins are eliminated through our digestive system as quickly as possible.


13. Red Clover


Red clover leaf extract has long been regarded as a remedy for cancer because it contains allantoin compounds that have been found to increase the body’s natural protection against cancerous cells.

Red clover leaf also provides much-needed antioxidants during herbal detoxes and cleanses, which protect us from free radical damage caused by toxins in our bodies.

It is a strong tissue detoxifier that can help aid the liver in clearing toxins from the blood and the lymphatic system.


How to Choose the Best Quality Herbs


How to Choose the Best Quality Herbs
Photo by Iva Rajovic from Unsplash

Before purchasing any herbs for detox cleanses, it’s important to make sure the product you are getting is of high quality. Buying cheap imitations that have been poorly produced in order to save a few dollars can put your health at risk, because they may contain contaminants and low concentrations of active ingredients.

When buying any herbal supplements, choose organically grown herbs wherever possible. This ensures that the herbs have not been sprayed with pesticides, which can change their chemical composition and reduce their effectiveness.

This is also important, since they aren’t grown in contaminated soil that may contain high concentrations of heavy metals and other toxins.

The production methods also matter greatly; herbal extracts and powders are often made using solvents. The chemicals used to extract the active ingredients can be changed during this process, and some of them are so harsh that they damage even the finest herbs, reducing their potency. Always research the solvents involved and make your purchase decisions from a place of knowledge and empowerment.

Herbal supplements in herbal detoxes and cleanses should always be organic and solvent-free. They should also contain the whole herb rather than just the extracts, because this ensures a better balance of active ingredients.

Once you’ve chosen your herbal supplements, make sure you store them away from sunlight, heat, and moisture, which helps protect their shelf-life and effectiveness.


I truly recommend the high-quality, organic herbs from Starwest Botanicals. The store has been around since the 1970s, and offers the largest selection of organic herbal products in the US. It is also committed to environmental sustainability and conducts in-house herbal production to ensure the quality levels that customers deserve.

*Starwest Botanicals is the herbal store of my preference and is my affiliate partner. You won't be charged anything by purchasing herbs through the link on my website, but a small part of the proceeds of your purchase will help support the growth of my small business. Thank you!


Final Thoughts


Each herb has its own folklore and mythological history that was allocated to it by ancient cultures for its ability to elevate certain energetic states through its mutual correspondence with physical organs and the state of awareness that they govern. 

In natural healing traditions and current modern naturopathy, herbs are used to assist the body with the process of detoxification and to enhance the function of cells in weakened tissues, organs, and glands.

Aside from their healing properties, herbs are also highly nutritious (full of chlorophyll, antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, phytosterols, and many other beneficial substances) and exist in their original form of creation since the dawn of time.

These 13 herbs are extremely powerful healers and should be used as such! Depending on our state of toxicity and inflammation, they may cause intense side effects, which arise from the removal of toxins from fat, tissues, and organs and their exit pathway to the elimination organs.

When you experience a detoxification healing crisis, the best thing to do is to continue with the detox protocol and to also lower the consumption of herbs, and focus mostly on kidney-supporting herbs, such as nettle and dandelion. Once the kidneys are in top shape to deal with the onslaught of toxic waste they are required to eliminate, the side effects will minimize.

If you’d like to learn more about your body and the importance of detoxification as it relates to body healing and regeneration, check out my free practical guide to healing illness naturally! In it, you’ll learn the step-by-step approach to prime your body for healing, so that you can easily navigate the healing crisis process.

About the Author

Anesa is the founder of and the chief integrative health practitioner at Red Grape Wisdom, with a mission to teach the public the truth about health and the principles of wellness that trace their roots back to our human origins and our connection to the cosmic and natural law. 

Anesa is the author of How to Detox Your Body Naturally and Safely, and her expertise lies in natural health diagnostics, holistic detoxification, and healing support. She uses many unique modalities to help others heal naturally and thrive such as naturopathy, medical astrology, iridology, and Eastern traditional herbal medicine.