Spring Fad: Is A Detox Really Good For You?


What Is A Detox?

Detox! Probably one of the most used words in natural health, and one we have some issues with. A detox is what your body does, on its own, all the time. Your body is amazing - it works 24 hours a day to make sure you are healthy. So basically a detox is your liver working normally, helping to remove waste from the body and helping it to be eliminated by the bowels. 

A detox to some may mean a lot of products, strict protocols and complicated programmes. Often people embark on detoxes in order to lose weight, eliminate ‘toxins’ or to kick start a health regime. The word detox pops up a lot around this time of year and it might have you wondering, is a detox really good for you? If you are, know you’ve come to the right place. 


Ways People Detox

We know of many ‘detoxes’ that promote multiple pills a day, fasting and restricting certain foods. Some protocols can be expensive, unsustainable and filled with so many ingredients! Often they promise weight loss, clearer skin and more energy but this can be hard to measure and people usually find it hard to see the promised results. So if you are wondering if a detox is really good for you, more often than not, the answer is no.
While it is always a great idea to eat more fresh and whole foods, (and there are documented benefits from reducing the amount you eat), we are not big fans of complicated and expensive detox programmes as we believe they can add more stress to not only your body, but our environment and wallet!


The Dangers Of Detox - Are They Safe?

Detoxing can be hard on your body. Restricting calories and taking large amounts of supplements adds extra stress to your liver and can make you feel tired and even sick. It can make everyday life quite difficult as trying to get through a work day, or even a normal day can feel really hard!

If you are considering if a detox is really good for you, here are some things to consider. Some people can take detox programmes too far and continue on restricted calories or liquid diets which can lead to malnutrition, deficiency in minerals, vitamins and electrolytes, poor health and even long term organ damage. Some detox protocols include laxatives which can irritate the gut and can cause dehydration.

Comprehensive detoxes are not for everyone, people who are pregnant, elderly, those with blood sugar disturbances and younger people should not embark on detox ‘plans’. It can be harmful for this group of people as they have underlying health conditions or metabolic conditions that would be exacerbated by these programmes.

How Your Body Naturally Detoxes

If you’re wondering about detoxes and if they are the right thing to do, remember that this is a process that your body does itself, naturally. Everything you eat, drink, breathe and put on your skin goes via your liver. That is a lot of things.

Your liver is in charge of sifting through all the things you put into your body and eliminating those that you don’t need. The way your liver does that is through your detoxification pathways. If your liver didn’t remove certain products they could build up within your body and become toxic. Once your liver has helped to remove these substances you eliminate them through your faeces, urine and sweat.

Natural Ways To Help Your Body Detox

Your body is clever and totally capable of doing this process on its own. But there are some natural ways you can support your liver and make this process more efficient.  

It might be a good idea to look at supporting your body if you start to notice a change in your bowel habits or how you digest foods. Often this can be a sign that your body may need temporary support to ‘unstick’ or support removing some congestion.

As we mentioned we love using food and plants to support our liver. Your liver loves bitter things so think of dark green leafy vegetables such as:
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • silver beet
  • coriander
  • parsley
Also think of including good sources of protein like nuts, seeds, organic tofu to help support balanced blood sugars and extra fibre (LSA, chia seeds, psyllium husks) to help with removal of extra waste products.

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Drink water! Water helps to flush the water waste through your kidneys. You need to stay hydrated throughout the day so adding in plants that have an affinity to your liver can be beneficial. Consider herbal teas, tonics or having a bitter tincture before or after a meal to support digestion and waste elimination.


Liver Bitters

At certain times in your life you need some extra support, especially around celebrations (lots of food and alcohol), when you feel a bit stressed or if you are on a lot of medication, or not eating as well as you could be.

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That is why we created a product to support your detoxification pathways.
Our Liver Bitters is a synergistic blend of plants that work to enhance the body’s innate ability to detoxify.

These plants are:
  • Calendula - a plant that helps support lymphatic movement and helps to support clear skin as well as tasting bitter!
  • Mānuka - a native plant to Aotearoa which is very bitter and has been used traditionally to support healthy digestion.
  • Globe Artichoke - which has been used for years to support the liver, pancreas and also healthy digestion and elimination.
  • Cardamom - a spice that helps support healthy digestion.

This formula of plants work together to help your body in different parts of digesting and ‘detoxing’. The beauty of whole plant extracts is that the active constituents within the plants all work together to help support the main action - which is better elimination.


Spring is an awesome time to do a health audit and this can include revamping and resetting your nutrition and plant intake. We are all for including more plants in your everyday - we just want to make sure that they are beneficial and sustainable for you.


Skye MacFarlane- Naturopath/Medical Herbalist for Wild Dispensary

AdviceUse as directed. Discontinue if any irritation arises. If symptoms persist see your health care professional. 

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