Herbal detox cleansing: Not as scary as it sounds

Real people test detox diets and enjoy

| March/April 1998

No chocolate. No gyros. But healthy.

No chocolate malted milkballs to soothe us through deadline. No gyros packed with feta and dripping with dressing from the little shop down the street. No coffee.

So went our first thoughts—and fears—as we at Herbs for Health recently prepared ourselves to test cleansing diets. We knew we would have to drastically change some habits—and continue to work together civilly in the meantime.

I had never tried nor witnessed a cleansing diet, and I pictured us as starving zombies, hunched over our computers and snapping at one another in frustration. But these things never happened. Other than a few mildly rough moments, we each found that the cleanses gave us more energy. And we stayed civil—in fact, we even had some fun. Most importantly, the cleanses helped ease a variety of health problems, ranging from insomnia to rheumatoid arthritis.

The willing victims

Our decidedly unscientific test included before-and-after questionnaires and daily journals. Participants chose diets specific to their desires, including the organ ­systems they wanted to support. The cleansing recipes (we took the “homemade” approach rather than use prepackaged formulas) came from a variety of sources, including Christopher Hobbs’s Foundations of Health: Healing with Herbs & Foods (Botanica, 1992), and the article by Lois Johnson, M.D., on page 28.

During our test, we didn’t consider anything “cheating”—we all went into it intending to complete the regime, but we also decided that if it became too intense, it probably wasn’t good for us anyway.

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