Living with Herbs
Relying on herbs is the basis of a natural, smooth and healthy detoxifying process. Supplements that promote harsh bowl-evacuation and/or strong diuretics deprive the body of vital nutrients and minerals. In order to eliminate waste and toxic residues, reach out for herbs that are gentle.
In the following I will introduce you to some that are most important - including ideas how to use them.
For more information also have a look at my booklet 'Detox 3'.
Dandelion – is thought of as a weed, but has remarkable health benefits. Traditionally it is used as a diuretic and detoxifying remedy.
Research confirmed in 1974 that dandelion leaves are a powerful diuretic. Since the leaves contain high levels of potassium it counteracts the side effect of loosing potassium while draining. (Conventional diuretics deprive the body of minerals, especially potassium.) Dandelion is a good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese. This way dandelion provides a lot of nutrients the body is losing when drained.
Because dandelion is vital for detoxifying, we have included it in our “Detox Tea”.
How to use best: Add fresh, young dandelion leaves to your salad (make sure the meadow has not been sprayed with chemicals!). If you do not live in an area, where dandelion grows, or in winter time: substitute fresh for dried leaves. The effect is the same. Sprinkle over your salad.
Annatto - is the seed of the Achiote tree that grows in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world. It is commonly used in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines. It has a slightly nutty, sweet and peppery (not hot) flavor.
Research suggests annatto protects liver, lowers blood pressure & cholesterol. Traditionally it is used to tone, balance, and strengthen the liver, to lower high cholesterol, as a strong diuretic, for high blood pressure, and for heartburn.
How to use best: Annatto’s slight nutty taste blends well in sweet dishes as well as salty ones. To make use of the flavonoides provided by the very bright red color, always add a little bit of fat. Give it a try! Add it to your oats in the morning or your veggies during the day.
Turmeric – is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and has a long tradition as a remedy to help improve liver function. The yellow ingredient curcuma increases bile production, lowers cholesterol and has a protective action on stomach and liver. There is encouraging research that turmeric may be a valuable preventive remedy for the risk of developing cancer.
How to use best: Use as often as possible. Turmeric hardly tastes of anything (only if you use too much, it may taste bitter). Therefore you may use it in any food you do not mind that it turns yellow – in rice as well as in your morning cereal.
See also my blog on latest research on Turmeric.
Celery seeds - have marked liver protective activity. Used as a tea or cooked in soup these seeds support the cleansing process and help to disinfect the bladder. Celery seeds are therefore used for treating rheumatic conditions and gout. Because of its great value for cleansing and purifying, we have included celery seeds in our “Detox Tea”.
How to use best: Add celery seeds to every meal you want to. For best nutritional value cook celery seeds or drink as a tea: ¼ tsp. per cup of water, bring to a boil and let simmer for at least 5 minutes.
There are a lot more herbs that help detoxifying and especially cleansing your liver.
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It's easy and healthy using more herbs: 'Living With Herbs' is a blog giving little tips, recipes, and information on herbs.
Dr. Angela C. Fritz