Detoxifying Herbs

by Patricia McDougall

Things like pesticides, herbicides, radiation and preservatives leave toxic residues contaminating water, food, and air. The natural detoxification mechanisms of the body get damaged with exposure to these contaminants which creates chronic diseases like cancer, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and attention deficit disorder.

The skin, the kidneys, the bowels, and the liver are the cleanser organs of the body. Cleansing is facilitated by daily elimination, plenty of water, skin brushing, regular physical exercise, and good nutrition.

Cleansing herbs set right the digestive functions of the body. Common cleansing herbs are: carqueja, fedegosa, dandelion, burdock, and garlic. Milk thistle, picrorhiza, carqueja or fedegoso are good for treating liver diseases while Ayurvedic practitioners use Phyllanthus amarus and Triphala to keep proper functioning of liver and GI health.

Carqueja, has 400 species including Baccharis genistelloides, B. triptera, and B. trimera. Carqueja can be found in the Amazonian rain forest of Peru, Columbia and Brazil.

Carqueja is used as a purge of the liver and gallbladder to assist healthy function of the digestive system. Carqueja also treats malaria, diabetes, stomach ulcers, sore throat and tonsillitis, angina, anemia, diarrhea, indigestion, hydropsy, urinary inflammation, kidney disorders, intestinal worms, leprosy, and poor blood circulation. Carqueja is so effective because of the flavonoids which contain liver-protective properties.

Fedegoso Senna occidentalis/Cassia occidentalis, has medicinal properties with its roots used as diuretic against fevers. The seeds of fedegoso are brewed to treat asthma, and the flower of fedegoso is used against bronchitis.

The roots of fedegoso are used for fevers, menstrual problems, tuberculosis, anemia, liver complaints, and as tonic for general weakness and illness. The leaves of fedegoso are used to treat gonorrhea, fevers, urinary tract disorders, edema, and menstrual problems.

The tea of fresh/dried crushed fedegoso leaves is applied externally for skin disorders, wounds, skin fungus, parasitic skin diseases and abscesses. A fresh plant decoction of fedegoso is used against constipation in babies. The leaf tea is used for stomach colic; the crushed fresh leaves of fedegoso are taken to expel intestinal worms and parasites.

Other cleansing herbs include the dandelion (Taraxacum officinali) which is yellow and is a member of the Compositae family. Its root and the leaves are used as cleansing herbs being rich in bitters, vitamin C, potassium, and enzymes which stimulate the liver helping proper fat digestion and the diuretic properties stimulate kidney function. Burdock is a member of the Composite family that helps cleanse the body and is especially good for dry skin problems. It also is a medicine for pre-mature baldness, rheumatism, arthritis, and acne. Garlic (Allium sativum) is bile-stimulating, and one of the blood cleansing herbs.

Milk Thistle or Silybum marianum has a protective effect on the liver. It increases tissue regeneration in liver. It treats hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver. It also is effective against gallbladder and bile-duct inflammation by increasing the flow of bile from the gallbladder. Phyllanthus amarus is remarkably effective against hepatitis B carrier cells. Triphala, also known as Trifal, is a combination of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellerica, and Phyllanthus emblica. it improves both digestion and elimination without irritating the bowels.

Patricia McDougall B.Sc. is a Chartered Herbalist and graduate of the Dominion Herbal College. Patricia is the Director of Research and Development for Amazon Botanicals LLC of Newark Delaware.

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