Cleansing and Detoxing are often thought of as “fads” and to some unnecessary because our organs are made to filter themselves all the time! But in this era we live in people are constantly taking in toxins and other nasty stuff that our bodies are not used to dealing with. The processed foods, unnatural body care products and pollution we encounter is new to us as a species.
Our bodies are not designed to filter these types of toxins so they accumulate- which is bad news for us and our hormones! Without being able to excrete excess hormones they build up, and that is bad news!
Where Do Toxins Come From?
Food + Water
Firstly, our food and water bring in many toxins. Eating foods that come in boxes, bags and cartons means they have been processed. Most all processed foods shouldn’t really be called foods at all because they contain so few real (like- from the ground) ingredients and mostly chemicals to make them taste, look, smell and feel like food. I’m looking at you- frozen meals, crackers and breakfast cereals!
To add insult to injury, our water is often contaminated with the hormones that women on hormonal birth control pee into our water systems, plus things like fluoride, pesticides and possibly heavy metals.
Pollution is everywhere. From the air we breath to the sites we see to the people we spend time with. For the purposes of this article, I’m talking about air pollution. There is no limit to the number of chemicals that are pumped into our air and waterways everyday. What’s in our water eventually ends up being evaporated and rained down on us, putting it further into the air and our lives. Large cities tend to have the highest concentrations of this air pollution.
Let’s do a quick definition here. By personal environment, I mean all of these:
- indoor air quality
- cleanliness of the indoor environment (get out your duster!)
- personal care products like deodorant, toothpaste, makeup, menstrual hygiene products, shampoo, conditioner and anything else you put on your body
- household cleaning products like laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, window washing fluid, furniture polish, and everything in between
5 Rejuvenating Herbs to Detox Your Liver and Balance Your Hormones
#1 Dandelion Root
A very popular herb for both the liver and the kidneys, dandelion is more than just a weed. The root has an affinity for the liver, whereas the leaf likes the kidneys, so for the purposes of this article, I’ll be referring mostly to dandelion root.
Some of the helpful actions of dandelion root include being a bitter tonic, an alternative, and cholagogue. All of this to mean that dandelion root helps your liver and gallbladder to function well, including producing and secreting bile as necessary, and it helps overall digestion and detoxification.
Dandelion root is useful in many symptoms of a toxic body, including:
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Estrogen Dominance (is this your Hormone Quiz result?)
- Bloating, gas or other digestive issues- especially after eating a heavy meal
- Brain fog, poor short-term memory
- Moodiness, hostility and being quick to anger
- Dandruff, itchy skin and scalp
- Constipation or diarrhea
Dandelion is often combined with other liver-loving and hormone-supporting herbs for best results, as I have done in Detox Tea.
#2 Burdock Root
Burdock, a plant very common around North America, could be hiding in your backyard or local walking trail! It’s the roots of this plant that are used, and burdock pairs especially well with dandelion, yellow dock and milk thistle to cleanse the liver and also to clear skin.
Burdock root is an alterative, diuretic and a bitter. This means that like dandelion root, burdock root helps to cleanse the blood (and clear up skin), and stimulate healthy digestion and detoxification to keep hormones and health optimal.
#3 Yellow Dock
Another root used for helping liver function and detoxification, yellow dock is often harvested from August to October.
It is also a blood-cleansing alterative, making it great for skin issues like acne. It also has the action of stimulating liver and gallbladder function, including production and release of fat-digesting bile.
Cinnamon is a favourite herb of mine for many health and hormonal issues, and I often recommend it to private clients and the women in my 21-Day Happy Hormones Diet program. You can read more about the menstrual-specific benefits of cinnamon here.
Cinnamon is a fantastic anti-nauseant, antispasmodic, carminative (anti-gas), uterine anti-hemorrhagic (slows heavy flow) and warming uterine stimulant.
Cinnamon adds beautiful chai-like flavour to my Detox Tea and also serves medicinal purpose. The entire purpose of the Detox Tea is to help women with Estrogen Dominance (take the Quiz to see if this is you) support their hormones and liver to metabolize and detoxify exogenous estrogens properly.
It’s antimicrobial and antiviral properties will also help get rid of pathogens (like candida and parasites) that may be living in your gut, slowing down liver function and creating hormone hell.
#5 Milk Thistle
Last but not least on this list is Milk Thistle. One of the safest liver-cleansing herbs, milk thistle has been used for thousands of years to support liver health. Milk thistle is a tonic to the liver, helping it to rebuild and regenerate this important organ.
It makes an important addition in my Detox Tea as it combines really well with the other herbs and provides a supportive, regenerating action that some of the other liver herbs in the Detox Tea do not.