Draw a line under the minor excesses of winter, get your figure ready for summer, fight water retention, rediscover healthy skin and a fresh complexion, or just simply eliminate toxin build-up to promote the body's general well-being… Whatever your goal, spring is the ideal season to start your detox therapy!
Plants to eliminate and detoxify
For a natural detox and gentle approach, think about plants.
The combination of diuretic and digestive plants provides a double action, which is at the same time depurative and draining: The first promotes renal elimination (water elimination!) while the second improves the functioning of the digestive system and the evacuation of waste from the body.
Among the digestive plants you will also find choleretic properties, which stimulate the production of bile by the liver (bile is then stored in the gall bladder), and cholagogue plants which help empty the gall bladder. Waste from the digestive tract is evacuated with the bile.
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) • Action on the liver, kidneys and gall bladder
Introduced in France during the reign of Louis XIV, artichoke cultivation is nowadays very widespread in the east of the country. While it is eaten for its heart and for its bracts (the "scales" of which we eat the base), it is mainly in the stem and leaves that we find the active ingredients, particularly cynarine. This antioxidant molecule gives the artichoke its properties that protect the liver against the lesions which can be caused by toxic substances.
Furthermore, the artichoke is a true hepato-biliary drainer, being at the same time both choleretic and cholagogue. We also credit it with diuretic properties.
Black radish (Raphanus sativus) • Action on the liver and gall bladder
Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians… they all used black radish, although its origin still remains a mystery. Today, black radish has an important place in phytotherapy because of its antimicrobial and digestive properties. In fact, it contains isothiocyanates and glucosinolates which increase the activity of hepatic detoxification enzymes. Protecting the liver and stimulating bile secretions and digestion, black radish is an essential ingredient for all detox therapies!
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) • Action on the liver
Broccoli, originating from Italy, owes its name to its tree-like shape, bracchium means "branch" in Latin. A plant in the cruciferous family, broccoli is rich in protective antioxidant compounds, particularly sulforaphane, a hepatic detoxification enzyme regulator.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) • Action on the kidneys and liver
A pasture plant appreciated for its spring shoots, the dandelion is eaten from its roots to its leaves due to its numerous benefits. It is particularly recognised for its diuretic qualities (it increases urine quantity) and its beneficial effects on the urinary system. It also contains antioxidants and other compounds which work on the liver and help regulate digestion.
Meadowsweet (Spiraea ulmaria) • Action on the liver and kidneys
Meadowsweet, once called spirea, gives its name to a well-known medicinal product. It does in fact contain active substances derived from salicylic acid; which is found in aspirin. Thanks to these active ingredients, Meadowsweet possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. But that's not all, it also protects the liver and the kidneys, and its diuretic effect makes it indispensable in all detox therapies.
Burdock (Arctium lappa) • Action on the liver and skin
Within the framework of a detox therapy, burdock is active at 2 levels. On the one hand, it is a strong gastro- and hepato-protector due to its rich antioxidant content, particularly arctigenin. It therefore protects the liver and the digestive organs from damage caused by toxins.
On the other hand, burdock is well-known in dermatology for its depurative action. It improves the quality of the skin and enables detoxification of this too often forgotten emunctory!
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) • Action on the liver and gall bladder
Milk thistle is a plant that has been used since ancient times for the treatment of hepatic and biliary problems. Its seeds contain a family of active compounds (silymarin) which exert a hepatic-protective and regenerative effect. Milk thistle also has a stimulant effect on bile secretion.