By Dominick Walsh
With the popularity of detox products we have decided to take a closer look at some of the ingredients in these products to get a better understanding of how they work. Below is a list of some of the more popular ingredients but by no means an exhaustive list.
Milk thistle: contains the active compound silymarin that exhibits potent anti toxin and anti-inflammatory properties and may help promote the growth of healthy liver cells.
Burdock root: provides strong anti toxin properties and stimulates bile flow to assist with healthy liver detoxification, while cleansing the kidneys and blood.
Yellow dock root: detoxifies the liver, kidneys and blood, and purifies the lymph glands.
Peony: a blood purifier.
Echinacea: cleanses the blood and boosts immune function.
Turmeric: contains the active compound curcumin, which stimulates bile flow and protects the liver from damage by toxic compounds.
Triphala: this Ayurvedic blend of three antioxidant-rich fruits restores balance and nerve integrity in the intestines.
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis): helps to eliminate putrefied wastes from the bowel and has a gentle and emollient action on the lining of the bowel and intestines.
Other herbs of note in detox products include bupleurum, dandelion, mullein leaf, red clover, ashwagandha, larch gum, chlorella, corn silk and artichoke leaf.
Herbs are not the only popular inclusions. Some cleanses uses hemp and charcoal while some include, N-Acetyl Cysteine and L-methionine for the liver. Fiber is also a recurring ingredient. Detox products contains fiber from whole food sources, designed to promote healthy digestion, bowel regularity, normal appetite and weight control. Psyllium is a popular addition, it is best known for its bulk fiber content and assists in assuring proper peristalsis, the movement of waste products out of the intestines. One of the side effects of being constipated is the loss of good viable bacteria in the gut, for this reason probiotics are often added to detox products.