I’m not a big fan of expensive detox packages, but this infusion is homemade. You might even find all the ingredients in your garden. I use this simple blend in the spring as a DIY liver cleanse/detox.
I usually make my herbal infusions with fresh dandelion, nettle,and birch, but I also dry some for a tea blend – in case I feel like another detox later in the year (say, after Christmas). Some nutrients are lost in the drying process, so infusions made with fresh herbs are more effective.
DIY Detox Herbal Infusion Recipe
I use equal amounts of
- dandelion leaves
- birch leaves
Stinging nettle purifies the blood, boosts metabolism and stimulates circulation in the capillaries. Nettle contains high amounts of vitamin C and iron (and the vitamin C content helps your body to absorb the iron) as well as vitamin E, selenium, zinc and silica. When used in foods, nettles are cooked quickly first to remove the stinging effect, but you don’t need to cook them separately for infusions or teas. Just handle them carefully, preferably with gloves on. Nettles are best in the spring or early summer; the flavor can get bitter as the plants grow. The top leaves are preferable.
Dandelion is a blood cleanser, a diuretic, and a metabolism booster. Dandelion is especially good for the liver and the kidneys. The leaves contain vitamins A, B, C, and D. You can use all parts of dandelions in foods, drinks, and home remedies, but I pick only the leaves for my homemade detox drink. (Use the flowers for a dandelion infused lotion!)
Birch leaves are diuretic, and they help to remove toxins from the body. A birch leaf infusion stimulates the kidneys and is an excellent home remedy for fluid retention. Birch essential oil is used in anti-cellulite aromatherapy blends. Birch leaves – especially the small new leaves in the spring – contain a lot of vitamin C. Ideally you should pick young leaves for your infusions.
How to Make an Herbal Infusion
See this article for instructions on making an herbal infusion. I use equal amounts of nettle, dandelion, and birch, but if you don’t have birch leaves, you could just mix half and half of nettle and dandelion. I make a new infusion every day (although you can prepare a larger batch since it keeps at least 2-3 days in the fridge) and I drink this blend for two weeks, three cups a day. The diuretic effect is definitely noticeable, so I don’t drink it late at night – better drink the last cup in the afternoon.
A couple of good books about herbs:
Jekka McVicar: The Complete Herb Book (Firefly Books, 2008)