Sick of plain wa­ter? Cool off with de­tox­i­fy­ing herbal iced teas in­stead

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Jonny Bow­den, PhD, CNS

A few of our fa­vorite de­tox­i­fy­ing herbal brews to help you beat the heat this sea­son.

It’s im­por­tant to stay hy­drated, es­pe­cially dur­ing the sum­mer months. The weather is heat­ing up. It’s a time of “shed­ding. ” We’re get­ting rid of things— fig­u­ra­tively and lit­er­ally. We shed our outer lay­ers of cloth­ing, and we fre­quently drop some “win­ter weight.” In lighter cloth­ing, we feel freer and more buoy­ant. En­ergy goes up, li­bido in­creases, and spir­its are lifted.

Dur­ing the sum­mer months, we spend more time out­side and get more sun (and with it, vi­ta­min D). We also ex­er­cise out­doors more of­ten. We start notic­ing higher num­bers on our Fit­Bit step-coun­ters. And we sweat more. With this in­creased loss of flu­ids, we crave cool, watery foods (what would sum­mer be with­out wa­ter­melon?).

We lose a ton of wa­ter dur­ing the sum­mer months, which means we need to drink a lot more

flu­ids. Phys­i­cal per­for­mance and phys­i­o­log­i­cal func­tion be­gin to be com­pro­mised when you’re even 1 or 2 per­cent de­hy­drated! Re­search shows that be­ing de­hy­drated by just 2 per­cent im­pairs at­ten­tion, psy­chomo­tor skills, mem­ory, and sub­jec­tive state of well-be­ing.

Another rea­son drink­ing a lot of uids dur­ing the sum­mer months makes a lot of sense: Our bod­ies nat­u­rally detox­ify as the weather warms up (part of our “shed­ding” process), and fluid in­take helps this process along.

I rec­om­mend do­ing a sum­mer detox, which by def­i­ni­tion in­cludes drink­ing co­pi­ous amounts of flu­ids. But you don’t have to go nuts with a detox, lim­it­ing your­self to broths or fresh veg­etable juices, or sub­scrib­ing to ex­pen­sive pro­grams of spe­cially made juices. And you don’t have to drink only wa­ter, es­pe­cially if you find it bland and bor­ing. You can do your­self a lot of good by do­ing what I call a “tea-tox”—us­ing cool­ing teas made with anti-in­flam­ma­tory, nat­u­rally de­tox­i­fy­ing herbs.

Light sum­mery teas— unsweet­ened —are per­fect for this, and per­fect for sum­mer in gen­eral. They hy­drate you beautifully, and are less “bor­ing” than wa­ter. And, when teas are made with some of the most pow­er­ful and heal­ing herbs on the planet, they may also help you lower in­flam­ma­tion while gen­tly help­ing your body detox­ify. What’s not to like?

Here are four great choices for your sum­mer “tea-tox”:


Turmeric ( Cur­cuma longa) is the spice that gives In­dian foods and cur­ries their char­ac­ter­is­tic yel­low color. It’s a root plant that’s long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, and it con­tains bioac­tive in­gre­di­ents known col­lec­tively as cur­cumin. Cur­cumin is a nat­u­ral an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory that can in­crease brain lev­els of a com­pound known as BDNF that may be ef­fec­tive at de­lay­ing or even re­vers­ing many age-re­lated de­creases in brain func­tion. More im­por­tant in terms of detox is its ef­fect on the liver, which is ground zero for all detox­i­fi­ca­tion in the body. Re­search shows that cur­cumin can blunt liver in­jury in­duced by all sorts of nasty things rang­ing from ethanol to iron over­load, mak­ing it a valu­able ad­di­tion to your detox pro­gram.


Gin­ger is well-known for its un­canny abil­ity to set­tle stom­achs. But that’s just the be­gin­ning of the long list of things this amazing herb can do for you. ere are few more ver­sa­tile herbs in the botan­i­cal ar­se­nal than gin­ger. It’s highly anti-in­flam­ma­tory, a pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant, and has been used for more than 2,000 years for its medic­i­nal prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing the abil­ity to pro­mote cir­cu­la­tion and to stim­u­late meta­bolic ac­tiv­ity. Gin­ger also has liver-pro­tec­tive prop­er­ties. In a study pub­lished in the In­dian Jour­nal of Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Sciences, gin­ger and chicory im­proved liver dam­age and re­stored blood com­po­si­tion to nor­mal. I of­ten rec­om­mend drink­ing wa­ter that’s been in­fused with lemon peel and gin­ger root, or drink­ing one of the bet­ter pre­made gin­ger teas.


With the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of pure wa­ter, there’s prob­a­bly no health­ier bev­er­age in the world than green tea. Rich in plant com­pounds like cat­e­chins, green tea and green tea ex­tract have been stud­ied ex­ten­sively for their bene ts to weight loss, cancer, me­tab­o­lism, and car­dio­vas­cu­lar health. As far as detox­i­fi­ca­tion goes, green tea polyphe­nols in­crease and sup­port the activities of detox­i­fi­ca­tion path­ways in the liver, and green tea may even have liver-pro­tec­tive prop­er­ties on its own.

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