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Detox Tea

4 Herbal Teas for Detox

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Updated April 08, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Detox Tea
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If you're undergoing a detox diet, certain types of may aid your body in the cleansing process. Most tea recommended for detox contains herbs that nourish the liver, an organ responsible for clearing toxins from your body.

Are Detox Teas Safe?

If you're considering the use of any kind of detox aid, make sure to consult your doctor. People with certain health conditions (such as anemia, diabetes, and kidney disease) should either avoid detox diets or perform detox only under the supervision of a health care provider. Detox is also unsafe for pregnant or nursing women.

Learn more about how to detox safely.

Should You Use Tea for Detox?

While certain teas may support your detox efforts, there is very limited scientific support for their use as detox aids. Therefore, relying solely on tea for detox and/or cleansing isn't advised. For a safe and effective detox, consider combining detox tea with a carefully selected detox diet plan.

Here's a look at several herbs commonly found in tea said to support detox:

1) Milk Thistle

Rich in an antioxidant known as silymarin, milk thistle has been found to boost liver function and shield the liver from the toxic effects of certain substances (such as alcohol and acetaminophen). There's also some evidence that milk thistle may promote regeneration of liver cells.

Read more about Milk Thistle.

2) Burdock

Another herb shown to protect liver cells from alcohol- and acetaminophen-related damage, burdock is rich in inulin and mucilage (two types of fiber essential for healthy digestion and elimination). However, in order to obtain the potentially detox-promoting benefits of these two fibers, it may be necessary to consume burdock root as a whole food (rather than in tea form).

See my article on Burdock.

3) Dandelion

Some research suggests that dandelion may stimulate the flow of bile, a substance that helps transport toxins away from the liver to be excreted by the body. In addition, tests on animals indicate that dandelion may guard against liver damage induced by environmental toxins.

Get the scoop on Dandelion.

4) Artichoke

Laboratory research shows that artichoke contains caffeoylquinic acids, antioxidant substances shown to increase the flow of bile. Often touted for its toxin-fighting effects, artichoke is also said to trigger regeneration of liver cells. Read more about Artichoke.

Find out about Herbs for the Liver.

Sources:

Abenavoli L, Capasso R, Milic N, Capasso F. "Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future." Phytother Res. 2010 Oct;24(10):1423-32.

Domitrović R, Jakovac H, Romić Z, Rahelić D, Tadić Z. "Antifibrotic activity of Taraxacum officinale root in carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in mice." J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Aug 9;130(3):569-77.

Li D, Kim JM, Jin Z, Zhou J. "Prebiotic effectiveness of inulin extracted from edible burdock." Anaerobe. 2008 Feb;14(1):29-34.

Lin SC, Chung TC, Lin CC, Ueng TH, Lin YH, Lin SY, Wang LY. "Hepatoprotective effects of Arctium lappa on carbon tetrachloride- and acetaminophen-induced liver damage." Am J Chin Med. 2000;28(2):163-73.

Lin SC, Lin CH, Lin CC, Lin YH, Chen CF, Chen IC, Wang LY. "Hepatoprotective effects of Arctium lappa Linne on liver injuries induced by chronic ethanol consumption and potentiated by carbon tetrachloride." J Biomed Sci. 2002 9(5):401-9.

Saller R, Meier R, Brignoli R. "The use of silymarin in the treatment of liver diseases." Drugs. 2001;61(14):2035-63.

Tamayo C, Diamond S. "Review of clinical trials evaluating safety and efficacy of milk thistle (Silybum marianum [L.] Gaertn.)." Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Jun;6(2):146-57.

Thorne Research, Inc. "Taraxacum officinale." Alternative Medicine Review Monographs. 2002.

Vaknin Y, Hadas R, Schafferman D, Murkhovsky L, Bashan N. "The potential of milk thistle (Silybum marianum L.), an Israeli native, as a source of edible sprouts rich in antioxidants." Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008 Jun;59(4):339-46.

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