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Natural Awakenings Boston

A Daily Dose of Herbs: Stay Healthy with Anti-Inflammatory and Detoxifying Herbs

Aug 31, 2017 12:43PM ● By Susanna Raeven

A healthy diet of organic whole foods combined with anti-inflammatory and detoxifying herbs helps the immune system to recognize and eliminate microbial invasions and cell mutations. Given that the body eliminates toxins through the digestive tract, kidneys, skin and the lymphatic system, adding herbs to one’s daily diet to support these body systems is a great way to stay healthy and combat the aging process.

Detoxifying Liver Herbs

Burdock Arctium lappa – The sweet, nourishing and slightly bitter roots invigorate the liver’s metabolism, feed healthy gut bacteria and aid the rapid elimination of toxins. The earthy broth from fresh burdock root can be frozen in small portions and added to daily cooking. Make a decoction from the dried root or use the tincture.

Milk thistle Silybum marianum – Silymarin in milk thistle seeds creates a protective coating around liver cells, preventing toxins from entering. Milk thistle helps speed up regeneration of liver cells and helps heal the liver trauma of alcoholism, infections, chemo and radiation therapy. Since silymarin is not water soluble, take capsules or a tincture.

Kidney-Supporting Herbs

Dandelion leaf Taraxacum officinale – The bitter leaf of dandelion lowers blood pressure by reducing the volume of fluids present in the body through urination. It is rich in potassium and does not deplete the body of elec-trolytes. Dandelion leaf helps to move digestion and can be consumed fresh in salads, as tea, or in tincture form.

Stinging nettle Urtica dioica – Nettle leaf is high in iron, silica and potassium and a blood building and nourishing tonic with detoxing diuretic action. Enjoy fresh nettle soup in the spring, drink a cup of nettle tea daily or take the tincture.

Lymphatic Support

Red clover Trifolium pratense – The beautiful abundant summer blossoms are cooling and soothing to dry tissue and heal swollen congested glands. Red clover tea or tincture reduces puffiness, helps to carry waste out of the blood stream and can help to dissolve cysts.

Digestive Bitters

Angelica Angelica archangelica – Angelica’s sweet and bitter root is a warming carminative that stimulates digestion and increases bile production to help digest fats. It can help break up accumulations of water, blood and phlegm in the body and opens up the skin to sweat out toxins. Enjoy as tea or tincture.

Oregon grape root Mahonia spp. – The bitter component berberis is a broadband antibiotic that feeds beneficial gut bacteria and aids in the proper assimilation of food. Oregon grape stimulates the liver, gallbladder and the lymphatic system and removes waste from connective tissue. The tincture of the root soothes achy and inflamed joints.


Turmeric Curcuma longa – Turmeric is a potent and powerful anti-inflammatory by removing waste products from the body. It a blood cleanser, rebuilds damaged liver tissue and is healing to the joints. Make golden turmeric paste ( and take a teaspoon two to three times daily.

Ginger Zingiber officinale – Eat fresh ginger root or drink fresh ginger tea to improve digestion, reduce heat and stiffness in achy joints and open up the skin to release perspiration. Ginger also works wonders on stiff muscles in a liniment or oil.

Marshmallow Althaea officinalis – The root of this pretty garden plant is moistening, softening and anti-inflammatory, soothes all mucus membranes in the body and has a lubricating effect on joints. An overnight cold infusion of the root is the most effective way to enjoy all its benefits.

Susanna Raeven is an herbalist and owner of Raven Crest Botanicals, a small-scale organic herb farm and herbal apothecary. Raeven teaches classes and workshops in herbalism and Earth-centered healing practices, leads herb walks and creates a line of artisan skin care products and plant medicines. Learn more at

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