When we think about detoxing, for the best we often think about intense dieting and expensive products. But even sipping simple herbal teas could help support the body’s natural processes. By drinking medicinal herbal teas in between meals, we can significantly increase our antioxidant intake, which supports the overall health of our body. Additionally, certain herbal teas can support our organs of elimination, ensuring they detoxify more effectively.
In order to reap the full benefits of your cleansing teas, be sure to use a stainless-steel kettle. Stainless steel won’t leach harmful xenoestrogens into your tea. Xenoestrogens are synthetic estrogen-like substances that can disrupt our hormonal balance – exactly what we don’t want to be doing when detoxing.
It’s also beneficial to use a kettle that has different heat settings because different teas should be brewed at different temperatures. Brew roots and leaves longer to increase potency. Delicate flowers, however, should not be boiled as this can reduce their medicinal properties.
HOLY BASIL TEA
Also known as tulsi, holy basil has been considered a sacred plant in India for thousands of years. Ancient Ayurvedic texts refer to this herb as the elixir of life – potentially for ability to conquer coughs, colds, indigestion, asthma, fatigue and more. Recent studies have shown holy basil’s ability to lower inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, eliminate toxins from the body, aid digestion, balance blood sugar levels and significantly reduce anxiety symptoms by conferring anti-stress benefits to those who drink it.
This is thanks to its classification as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are compounds that increase our ability to handle stress by decreasing our cellular sensitivity to stressful situations. Holy basil has a unique flavor that’s sweet and delicious.
HOW TO PREPARE:
- Place two tablespoons of loose holy basil tea leaves into a French press and ill with boiling water (or, if you don’t own a French press, simply use a pot on the stove with three cups of water in it).
- Infuse for at least 15 minutes. A longer steeping time will enhance the beneficial properties of the tea.
- Strain (if using a pot) or plunge then pour into a mug or jar and enjoy hot or cold.
Please note, you should not use holy basil if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to become pregnant as some studies have shown it can impact female hormones.
DANDELION ROOT TEA
Commonly found growing along roads and nature strips and often thought of as a pesky weed, dandelion is actually a very powerful herbal tonic that has multiple health benefits. Some of these benefits include strengthening and supporting the liver, making it a superior cleansing herb and blood purifier.
One of the ways it does this is by increasing bile flow. Making bile is one of the liver’s main ways in which it eliminates toxins, so this is extremely helpful when cleansing the body. he Chinese have used dandelion for thousands of years to aid in the proper functioning of the liver, kidneys, spleen and gallbladder, and it’s also been used to balance the menstrual cycle and reduce symptoms such as bloating, PMS and breast tenderness.
HOW TO PREPARE:
- Steep one teabag of dandelion root tea in 500 ml of water for 15 minutes.
- Remove teabag and add one teaspoon of raw honey (manuka is best) if desired.
- Best consumed hot.
Please note, those allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow or daisies may not be able to consume dandelion root.
TURMERIC GINGER TEA
Turmeric is a powerful digestive aid and liver stimulant, making it an excellent detoxifier. Ginger encourages sweating and acts as a bitter tonic, thus aiding sluggish digestion, improving bile low and encouraging the proper digestion of fats.
When combined together these two herbs make for a soothing yet powerful tea. Turmeric is also the primary anti-inflammatory herb in Ayurvedic medicine, making it beneficial to those suffering from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and evidence is mounting to show curcumin (the active component in turmeric) to be an effective treatment for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
HOW TO PREPARE:
- Add around two centimeters of fresh ginger root sliced and one inch of fresh turmeric root (sliced) to two cups of boiling water.
- Simmer for 15 minutes on the stovetop.
- Strain and pour into mug to enjoy.
- Add one teaspoon of raw honey (manuka is best) if desired.
ROOIBOS GREEN TEA
Green tea contains high amounts of catechin polyphenols, which stimulate fat metabolism by promoting what’s called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a process in which the body generates heat by burning fat as fuel. Additionally, green tea boasts excellent amounts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have suggested that green tea may also protect against damage done by cholesterol and can help to prevent blood clots.
As little as one cup of green tea per day appears to offer some protection against heart disease. Rooibos tea boasts antioxidants, has the potential to alleviate intestinal distress, and can inhibit glucose absorption from the intestines, making it a great tea for those wishing to better control their blood sugar levels. It’s also been shown to reduce stress levels by suppressing adrenal gland function.
HOW TO PREPARE:
- Place two tablespoons of loose rooibos tealeaves and one tablespoon of loose green tea leaves in a French press or pot on the stove filled with three cups of water.
- Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes – do not boil (boiling green tea will result in a bitter, higher caffeine content beverage).
- Strain (if using a pot) or plunge and then pour into a jar to enjoy hot or cold.
Please note, those with hypothyroidism might want to avoid green tea due to the fluoride levels it contains, which have the potential to disrupt thyroid function.