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9 Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn’t?

Robyn Openshaw - Jul 11, 2019 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

These days, everyone is doing a “detox,” and there are so many programs and protocols out there claiming to have the best detoxifying drinks. How do you sift through the noise to find something truly effective?

Effective Detoxifying Drinks

In this article:

My Detoxing Expertise

I’m a 27-year researcher in human detoxification. My grandmother, who beat cancer with the highly detoxifying Gerson protocol after saying no to chemo and radiation gave me all the books she studied as she decided what to do after her metastatic melanoma diagnosis.

In my 20’s, I was overweight, and suffering from 21 different diagnosed medical problems.

I became fascinated by the ways that the human body filters, cleans house and repairs itself every day — and sometimes gets backed up.

My many years of study, experimentation, and interviews with experts has led me to some interesting conclusions I’d like to share with you.

What Detoxifying Did for Me

Doing a twice-a-year detox has led to me being in ideal health, with no disease states, symptoms, or medications at the age of 50.

When I was sick and verging on obesity, half my life ago, I could never have imagined that a quarter-century later, after raising four children, I’d have climbed the rankings throughout my 40s in a competitive sport I never played in high school.

I couldn’t have dreamed that I’d have the energy to build a 7-figure business as a single mom. Or that I would write 15 books in a decade, more prolific in my professional work than I’d ever been before.

I’m not sharing this to brag.

I’m sharing this to suggest what your body and mind are capable of if you learn a bit about how to detoxify, regularly.

This could not be more important in the toxic world we live in.

(The other part of the equation is to change your eating habits throughout the year. I don’t eat a perfect diet, but these days, I do eat a very healthy diet, year-round.)

I couldn’t have imagined these changes in my 20’s, because I felt like I was dying. My energy was constantly drained, I had little sex drive, and I didn’t even want to go on vacation—it seemed too exhausting!

To be honest, I wasn’t a great mom when my babies began to arrive, because I was barely getting through each day.

I didn’t realize that toxicity was at the root of my problems. You see, I was a “downwinder baby.” That is, I wasn’t breastfed, and I spent the first year of my life drinking radioactive dairy milk.

(Radioactive material falls on the grass, the cows eat the grass, and the milk had 500 times more radioactivity than what is deemed reasonable by the FDA.)

I lived within range of the Nevada nuclear test site, where the U.S. government was detonating bombs until I was 9 months old.

Later, thyroid cancer patients would win a class-action lawsuit against the federal government as the American public learned that toxic heavy metals from the bombs caused devastating health problems for millions of Americans who lived within 300 miles of that site during years of detonations.

Even if you weren’t downwind of Chernobyl, Fukushima, or the Nevada nuclear site, you’re exposed to over 80,000 chemicals approved for use on our crops, in our water, and in our food.

Dentists, farmers, and cosmetologists have the highest disease and death rates of all North American professions, and the one thing they have in common is high chemical exposure.

We all have varying degrees of exposure to glyphosate (Roundup), along with heavy metals from car exhaust, dental procedures, and contaminated fish.

We’re all exposed to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP’s) that don’t biodegrade in the environment and many other types of carcinogenic, hormone-disruptive, and neurodegenerative chemicals that our body doesn’t eliminate well.

Detoxifying Drinks Reviews

As awareness increases that toxicity is at the root of all chronic illness, many of us take a few days’ break from our normal diet and seek to rest, rebuild, and repair the body’s organs.

In this article, I'll review the popular “quickie” detox programs involving detoxifying drinks that you take for days, or weeks, without other food. I’ll offer my thoughts on their benefits and downsides, how to make them work for you, and how effective they are in helping you be healthier.

We’d all benefit from undergoing biannual detox, eating very clean, and doing simple procedures to accelerate output from our various organs of elimination. Let’s take a look at some of the simple detoxifying drinks that are available today.

A quick note: some of these drinks and programs are better than others—and some aren’t particularly helpful at all.

So, what works?

We’ll review:

  • Lemon Water Detox
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Detox
  • Cranberry Juice Detox
  • Dandelion Tea Detox
  • Protein Drink Detox
  • Vegetable Juicing Detox
  • Water Fasting and Dry Fasting
  • Olive Oil Gallbladder Flush
  • Celery Juice

Finally, I’ll share what I think you need to know before undertaking a major cleanse.

1. The Lemon Water Detox

The Lemon Water Detox | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?

A lemon juice cleanse gives you a quick, low-effort rest from digestion and a good flush for a few days.

What is the Lemon Water Detox?

Often called “The Master Cleanse,” this protocol involves putting fresh lemon juice in water and sweetening it with maple syrup.

If you try this, you’ll want to use Grade B (the best) or at least Grade A (less pure) maple syrup, not the flavored syrups made with corn syrup.

Lemon juice creates a more alkaline environment in the body, shifting your pH up a bit. Even though it tastes acidic, it becomes highly alkalizing inside your digestive tract.

Some experts believe that because lemon juice is acidic on tooth enamel, if you drink this often, you should drink it with a straw, to let the liquid start at the back of your throat. (Alternatively, you can gargle with baking soda in water after drinking your lemon water; this shifts the mouth’s pH back to a more alkaline state.)

The Master Cleanse also uses cayenne pepper in your lemonade. The medicinal compound in it is capsaicin, which increases caloric burn, dilates blood vessels, reducing blood pressure, and increases elimination through your various organ systems.

Benefits of the Lemon Water Detox

What's the thinking behind this lemon water detox? Most of our bodies are slightly more acidic than they should be, which makes us more vulnerable to viruses and bacterial infection, as well as prone to more serious conditions like cancer and autoimmune disease.

Fasting from food is a key part of this detox. I think fasting is a wonderful, time-tested, and science-backed practice, and of course, our ancestors fasted regularly—though not on purpose! Hunter-gatherer societies couldn’t always find food in the winter, and fairly long periods without food were common in many parts of history. Agrarian societies, too, had little protection against drought conditions.

As it turns out, going without a few meals is very good for your body. The latest diet fad, Ketogenic, is preoccupied with putting the system into a state of burning ketones for fuel. I'm far more interested in the body’s tendency, when it has no food, to go into a state of autophagy.

That is, the highly mobilized white blood cells scavenge waste products and aberrant cells, including cancer, mold, viruses, bacteria, and mycotoxins.

With the lemon juice cleanse, you aren’t always in ketosis, nor are you entirely in autophagy. However, much of the body’s energy that normally goes to digestion is freed up to do some rebuilding and repair. (Less than if you fasted for days, but far more than if you were eating your normal diet.)

Downsides of the Lemon Water Detox

Any healthy, alkaline drink and a period without food is a good practice for shifting pH to improve immune function, reset the body’s systems, and lose a few pounds in the process.

People who have high levels of toxicity, however, have a high likelihood of “Herxheimer” reactions, often in the very first day of not eating and drinking only the detox beverage. The most common “Herx” reactions are headache, changes in digestive output, fatigue, blood sugar fluctuations, and feeling cold, especially at the extremities.

In the early years of my detox research, I did “The Master Cleanse” (also called the “lemon water cleanse” or the LemonAid cleanse) a few times, sometimes for over a week, and I felt great. The sugar from the maple syrup maintained my blood sugar, compared to a water fast or dry fast (see the comparison to a water or dry fast, below).

However, taking in that much simple sugar (even though maple syrup contains minerals and is less refined than corn syrup, cane sugar, or artificial sweeteners) will cause spikes and crashes in your blood sugar, along with potential insulin resistance (though no more so than a person who eats refined sugar every day!).

If your goal is weight loss, you will lose weight in the short term, but severe calorie restriction is not a good way to lose weight permanently, as study after study documents that well over 95 percent of dieters regain as much—or more—weight than they originally lost!

If you try this cleanse, you may want to cut out half the maple syrup to only barely sweeten the lemon water, or use half maple syrup and a bit of stevia or monk fruit. (These are refined sweeteners, but more natural, with little impact on your blood sugar.)

Is the Lemon Water Detox Effective?

While I don’t think you’ll accomplish comprehensive detoxification with this protocol, it’s a quick, low-effort rest from digestion, and a good flush for a few days.

And as an added benefit: Hesperetin and diosmin (flavonoids found in lemons) have been shown to lower cholesterol. 1,2

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

Apple Cider Vinegar Detox | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?

Apple cider vinegar has very low sugar, and some evidence shows it lowers your appetite.

What is the Apple Cider Vinegar Detox?

Apple cider vinegar is another highly alkalizing drink, and its benefits disappear when it’s heated to high temperatures, so be sure to purchase the “raw” version.

You’ll find the “mother” at the bottom of the bottle, which is the mass of living organisms that ferment the apple juice. The ferment is full of beneficial bacteria, helping to repopulate a distressed gut damaged by antibiotics and other drugs, as well as a processed-food diet.

Benefits of the Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

Whether or not you use apple cider vinegar in your detox, it’s a good daily addition to your diet. Studies show that In addition to cleansing your body, regular use of apple cider vinegar helps to normalize blood sugar levels and reduce blood pressure. 3,4

Unlike the maple syrup added to lemon juice, ACV has very low sugar, and some evidence shows it lowers your appetite, possibly making a no-food cleanse easier to endure.

Downsides of the Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

As with lemon juice, vinegar is actually acidic on your teeth and can erode enamel over time. So if you’re going to make a habit of this drink, consider drinking it with a straw so that the acids don’t sit in your mouth.

(Again, the drink is acidic, but it forms alkaline “ash” in the body for an increase in pH. This is helpful for most of us who are slightly too acidic from just chemical exposure and eating dairy products, animal flesh, refined grains, soda, and sugar.)

If you try this protocol, either as a very diluted drink every morning or as your only nourishment during a day or two of rest from solid food, make sure you buy your vinegar raw. Bragg’s is a very established and credible brand, and you can find it in most natural products stores.

Is the Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Effective?

Apple cider vinegar can be a good way to start the morning, but you can also add 2 tbsp of vinegar to 4 cups of water and try to drink the whole quart before noon, skipping breakfast.

This is an excellent flush, and then you can eat your afternoon and evening meal as part of a modified cleanse.

3. Cranberry Juice Detox

What is the Cranberry Juice Detox?

Cranberry juice is quite low in sugar and has been researched extensively for its liver and kidney detoxifying functions, and especially as preventative for urinary tract infections. The prevailing theory is that compounds in the cranberry move microbes through the ureter and bladder, not allowing them to build up and cause infection.

Benefits of the Cranberry Juice Detox

Several studies have confirmed the link between cranberries and urinary tract health. The proanthocyanidins it contains prevent E.Coli (which is the cause of around 85 percent of urinary tract infections) from adhering to the cells that line the urinary tract. 5 ,6

Other cranberry compounds have been shown to protect and heal the liver. 7,8 Since the liver serves you in at least 500 different ways, anyone who's trying to stop drinking alcohol may want to spend a few days doing this flush. You can improve output and overall health of this all-important organ by diluting 4 ounces of cranberry juice in a quart of water (4 cups) and have it in lieu of food all morning.

Tips for the Cranberry Juice Detox

Ideally, you should buy fresh or frozen organic cranberries and juice them yourself. If this isn’t possible, be sure to choose a no-sugar-added organic form of the juice.

Then you can eat healthy meals at lunch, and dinner.

Alternatively, you can drink nothing but the diluted cranberry juice for 2-3 days.

4. Dandelion Tea Detox

Dandelion Tea Detox | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?

Dandelion tea is helpful as a laxative and is healing for the liver especially.

What is the Dandelion Tea Detox?

Many teas have catechins, polyphenols, and other classes of antioxidants that are great liver detoxification and cancer prevention, and none are better than dandelion tea. Whenever I find dandelions in an unsprayed area, I take the greens and throw them in my daily smoothie every chance I get.

You can even buy dandelion greens in the health food store during the summer. Some homeowners may think it’s funny that this weed is in such high demand that there are now farmers growing cultivated dandelion and selling it, Certified Organic!

Benefits of Dandelion Tea Detox

Dandelion tea is helpful as a laxative and is healing for the liver especially. It’s a great home remedy to have on hand for stomach flu, nausea, food poisoning, or gas.

A study conducted at the Western University of Health Science, College of Pharmacy found that rats receiving dandelion tea exhibited a dramatic increase (244%) in the activity of a detoxifying enzyme important in the protection against toxins found in our environment and food as well as carcinogens.9

This is another great liver tonic for people wanting to heal from excessive alcohol use, and you may even want to alternate diluted cranberry juice (see above) and dandelion tea for that purpose.

Downsides of Dandelion Tea Detox

Real talk: the fresh dandelion greens don’t taste good, at all, if your palate doesn’t respond well to bitterness.

Bitters, however, stimulate bile production better and more naturally than anything else, and chewing a leaf of dandelion greens, or drinking the tea, 10 to 20 minutes before a meal is very helpful to anyone in need of improving their liver, gut, or overall health.

(You can do this before meals as well for excellent benefits, even when not doing a dandelion tea cleanse.)

As an alternative, you can make dandelion tea the base of a green smoothie rather than a straight-up tea; this won’t improve the taste of the smoothie, but it will significantly mask the tea’s flavor!

Effectiveness of Dandelion Tea Detox

This is protocol is less popular than the nicely-flavored lemon water and cranberry juice detoxes, but dandelion tea would be a great thing to drink every morning in lieu of breakfast, for one to two weeks, anytime your intuition or symptoms tell you that you need some extra care and rest from heavy digestion.

5. Protein Drinks Detox

Protein Drinks Detox | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?

Many protein powders are highly processed, low in micronutrients, and devoid of fiber.

What is the Protein Drinks Detox?

I believe that protein drinks, as a cleanse, have come to popularity for very poor reasons.

Marketers discovered “the motherlode” when they found ways to put byproducts of various food manufacturing industries in a bag and sell it to a protein-obsessed world.

The Atkins Diet and Overeating Protein

The Atkins Diet created a frenzy in the American people, a fear that they are not getting enough protein—even though nothing could be further from the truth.

Americans are now overeating protein (anywhere from 200 percent to 600 percent more than what is needed, and ideal). This is especially true for those on the animal-products-rich Paleo and Ketogenic diets, as well as those eating most versions of the Standard American Diet.

Whey protein was discovered by dairy manufacturers as a way to get more profit out of processing of milk products. It’s highly processed, low in micronutrients, devoid of fiber, but a very profitable “fake” food that has nothing to do with detoxifying.

Tips for Protein Drinks Detox

Organic plant proteins are far more nutritious and a good choice for those who are weaning themselves off a highly animal-products diet. A very rare, high-quality protein in a bag—organic, plant-based, and made of the whole food, not an “isolate”—is your best choice if adding protein helps you in transitioning. These types of protein products are literally less than 1 percent of the proteins offered on the market!

But overall, eating whole foods (the kind that grow in the ground and on trees) is a much better basis for a good detoxification program. These plant foods are highest in micronutrients, easy to digest, and full of fiber as well.

Bone broth proteins are trending, and collagen protein is a highly-processed derivative with no health benefits actually documented, only marketing claims.

Bone broth is, in fact, healing to the gut—but most brands of bone broth are full of toxins including heavy metals, so if you decide to give it a try, either boil your own organic or grass fed bones or buy a brand that you trust to be toxin-free (I can vouch for the GSG Grass Fed Bone Broth Protein as a solid option!).

6. Vegetable Juicing Detox

Vegetable Juicing Detox | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?

Vegetable juicing allows a great deal of toxicity to leave the body.

What is the Vegetable Juicing Detox?

A juicing protocol of all organic greens, vegetables, and some fruits, like lemon and green apple, came into popularity with the work of Max Gerson, M.D., in the mid-20th century.

Dr. Gerson cured his own lifelong, debilitating migraines with his juicing protocol, then helped thousands of others do the same.

When Dr. Gerson fled Nazi Germany and came to the United States, he discovered the efficacy of flooding the body with cancer-battling antioxidants in a protocol of 11 glasses of fresh-pressed juices and other natural substances that are selectively cytotoxic only to malignant cells.

Vegetable Juicing Detox and Cancer

In 1981, my own grandmother chose this approach over chemotherapy when she was diagnosed with a deadly cancer that had spread to her breasts and lymphatic system.

Two years later, she was completely in remission and returned to a more sustainable diet and lived another 20 years free of cancer.

Benefits of Vegetable Juicing Detox

Not only are the antioxidants in carrots, beets, cucumber, celery, greens, and superfoods like turmeric and ginger, mopping up the free radicals that cause cell damage and cancer, but these juices also alkalize and oxygenate all of the body's tissues over time.

A study reported in Biomedical and Environmental Sciences confirmed the benefits of kale juice. Thirty-two men consumed kale juice every day for 12 weeks. The results: LDL-cholesterol levels were significantly reduced. In addition, there was a significant increase in glutathione and selenium. When combined, these two are strong contenders in the fight against free radical damage and heart disease.10

With the vegetable juicing detox, many people drink nothing but vegetable, green, and optionally very minimal fruit juice for many days. I've followed this detox approach myself, many times.

You may feel a bit of a “buzz,” different from a caffeine jolt, and your appetite for normal food will decrease after a few days.

If you try this detox, it’s important to purchase organic cucumbers, greens, and thin-skinned fruits, as they are carriers of pesticide and herbicide chemicals that penetrate the fruits and greens.

Downsides of Vegetable Juicing Detox

For some people, green juices/smoothies, with no other foods, are difficult to stick with for long periods of time, mostly because they miss the sensation of chewing!

Interesting side note: When I launched in 2007, a blog by an Australian woman chronicled 5 straight months of eating nothing but green smoothies. The last time I saw the blog, she had lost over 100 pounds, (and she started at over 500). She said she felt great after her initial period of “Herxheimer” (or cleansing) reactions.

I don’t know what happened as the blog came down. Perhaps she stopped early (her goal was a full year).

You may crave “chewing,” but this type of cleanse allows a great deal of toxicity to leave the body, and the nutrients in fresh juices are rebuilding damaged cells at the same time. If you add a variety of greens, superfoods, and minimal fruits, you can do this cleanse for quite a while, if you’re feeling competitive!

7. Water Fasting and Dry Fasting

What Are Water Fasting and Dry Fasting?

I’ve done three water fasts in the past two years. They were 7 days, 9 days, and 12 days in length.

This practice may be the most powerful practice of all detoxes, and monks and seekers of spiritual enlightenment have done it for thousands of years, even for up to 30 days.

However, these strict fasts aren’t for everyone, and they aren’t easy.

With a water fast, you consume no food, only water. People who are ill should not undertake this for more than a few days without the guidance of a competent functional medicine practitioner.

A dry fast includes no water at all, and I do not recommend this for longer than one day for anyone eating the Standard American Diet and who has not done a significant detoxification before.

I grew up in a religious tradition where we fasted one day per month—nothing to eat, not even water, for 24 hours. My family was particularly strict about the protocol, which was for spiritual benefit although the physical benefit was also acknowledged.

I secretly drank water, as I never saw the purpose of getting dehydrated, but I always adhered to the no-food rules one Sunday per month.

However, at the ashram in Texas where I water fast, they claim that one day of “dry fasting” is worth 4 days of water fasting in terms of the health benefits. Dry fasting, with no water, increases the heat in the body and burns out more cancer and bacterial and other hostile and damaged cells, much more rapidly.

Fasting at an Ashram

The ashram I prefer is run by Hindu monks, and the accommodations are one-star at best.

You have running water, access to a bathroom, and a space heater. Electricity and hot water in the shower is, well, marginal.

The ashram doesn't provide any medical supervision, so for a longer-term water fast, please understand that many people will not sail through it as I did; I’ve detoxed bi-annually for 20 years and have no disease states, so I have some advantages that not everyone can count on.

Why do I go here for my fasts rather than staying home or choosing someplace more luxurious? It all comes down to removing obstacles.

I take an Uber from the Dallas Airport to the ashram, which is two hours away, and in that remote location, I cannot get an Uber back! (You schedule your ride back to the airport with a car service the day before you leave.)

I don’t rent a car, and there’s no town nearby; this removes all temptation to leave and eat at the closest burger joint, making that aspect of the experience easier.

(Many people at the ashram do eat three meals a day, so if there's an emergency, you are able to eat.)

8. Olive Oil Gallbladder and Liver Flush

What is the Olive Oil Gallbladder and Liver Flush?

Drinking olive oil, chased by lemon or grapefruit juice, is a common protocol administered by holistic clinics all over the world that guide patients through a full-support detox.

We even use it in the GreenSmoothieGirl 26-Day Detox, but only after over two weeks of cleansing the bowel first.

Let’s discuss what this detox can do for you, along with some common side effects and a couple of caveats.

Benefits of Olive Oil Gallbladder and Liver Flush

This detox is a great gallstone preventative. Most Westerners eat a highly acidic diet, causing crystalline structures to form in the liver and gallbladder. These gallstones can create a very painful situation when they are lodged in tiny ducts.

Even someone without a gallbladder benefits from this flush because the gallbladder is downstream from the liver, where the “stones” also form. Many “stones” are actually bits of very toxic, hardened bile, and most MDs do not know that gallstones occur in the liver as well as the gallbladder.

Vegetarians eating lots of vegetables, fruits, and complex carbohydrate (versus processed-food vegetarians) virtually never form stones, which is an unnatural consequence of an unnatural diet high in protein and/or high in processed foods. (Taking certain medications also leads to high risk of stones.)

Gallstones come out hard and green, and many detoxers both at the Swiss Mountain Clinic (formerly Paracelsus Clinic Al Ronc), in Switzerland, where I take our readers every summer for a liver flush and retreat, and those doing the home-version 26-Day GreenSmoothieGirl Detox, eliminate hundreds of them in a day.

Tips for Olive Oil Gallbladder and Liver Flush

The olive oil gallbladder and liver flush is a powerful, and time-tested practice, but I believe it is best done after two or more weeks eating entirely plant-based, organic, alkaline meals first.

A water enema (done at home), or even better, professional hydrotherapy done in a clinic, is highly beneficial the day of the flush, and again, within a few days after the flush.

If you do them at home, consider doing two back-to-back flushes, since with the home method, you cannot get as much water up into the transverse colon. This process helps speed the elimination process, avoiding recirculating toxins in liver bile throughout the bloodstream.

Because many people do this as a standalone measure to release stones from the liver and gallbladder, most practitioners ask patients to take 2 tsp of pure Epsom salts in water twice daily (once in the evening after skipping dinner, and again in the morning if they have not seen elimination from the bowels during the night and early morning).

As we have guided almost 20,000 people through the GreenSmoothieGirl Detox in recent years, I find that those who have done the two preparatory weeks of eating very clean beforehand, following the recipes in the detox, do not usually need the Epsom salt laxative to make this gallbladder cleanse and liver flush effective.

Detox Ad | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?

In 26 days, our detoxers lose an average of 12.5 pounds and feel better than they have in 20 years! Watch my free Video Masterclass on these four important topics:

  • Could Toxicity Be Why I’m Sick?
  • How To Change Your Weight Set Point Forever
  • 8 Foods That Help You Detoxify (and 11 That Cause Toxicity)
  • Why a PHYSICAL Detox Can Solve EMOTIONAL Problems

I suggest the addition of Epsom salts only if someone feels that their digestive system is clogged (if they have not eliminated feces the approximate length of their fingertips to their elbow each day). Some patients have a difficult time with the Epsom salts, as they can cause significant diarrhea. A rare person has a sensitivity to magnesium sulfate, which is the molecular name for Epsom salts, so you may want to try ½ tsp first, in water, an hour before taking the full 2 tsp dose if you are prone to allergies and sensitivities

As a standalone protocol, though, after the magnesium sulfate, you drink ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, which causes the easy release of potentially hundreds of gallstones.

Side Effects of Olive Oil Gallbladder and Liver Flush

Some of the 19 clinics I studied at worldwide use this olive oil protocol, and many liver-cleanse books and clinics give the patient ½ cup of olive oil, or even 1 cup.

We have found, though, in supporting thousands of people through this process, that after completing the colon and liver portions of the program, approximately 1 or 2 in every 10 people will vomit at some point, during the night, taking this much oil (1/2 cup to 1 cup). 2 or 3 will feel weak and lightheaded; occasionally one passes out.

Virtually no one experiences these side effects when drinking only ¼ cup of oil (chased by ¼ cup of fresh grapefruit or lemon juice).

My theory is that the typical side effects are due to the far higher levels of toxicity in most people, in the modern industrial age, compared to when this protocol was first administered by physicians several decades ago.

More practitioners now recommend doing the gallbladder flush once a month if you’re using only ¼ cup of oil and/or if you eliminated many stones, then proceeding to do it monthly until you see no more stones.

I also think it’s wise to avoid crystal formations in the future, after you flush all the crystalline structures out, by drinking a quart of green smoothie, every day, for life—and cutting back on all processed food and animal products.

9. Celery Juice Detox

The Truth About Celery Juice

Everyone from Kim Kardashian to Pharrell Williams seems to have jumped on the celery juice bandwagon, thanks in large part to the extraordinary claims made by author Anthony Williams. Known as “the Medical Medium,” he’s touted celery juice as a miracle cure that can give you clearer skin, improve your digestion, increase your energy levels, help you lose weight, stabilize your moods, and decrease bloating, among many, many other benefits.

Who is Anthony Williams?

However, a quick look at Anthony Williams reveals that he’s not a health expert – or even a researcher; he claims that functional medicine doctors, and research in general, are all bought and paid for and therefore worthless. Williams actually calls himself a medical medium, according to his website, because he bases his claims on guidance he receives from a spiritual entity.

Unfortunately, that entity doesn’t seem to have anything to do with science, and while I often agree with Anthony Williams' recommendations on diet and nutrition in general, when you look at the actual research on celery juice, these health claims seem to be completely unsubstantiated.

Other Vegetable Juices Are Nutritionally Superior to Celery Juice

While celery itself is very nutritious and is a great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin K, and other nutrients, celery juice doesn’t necessarily offer the same nutritional benefits, and it’s actually less nutritious than other types of vegetable juices. Research has found11 that celery juice contains fewer antioxidants – including the highly-beneficial alpha tocopherol – than vegetable juices like kale or carrot juice, and it also provides lower levels of Vitamin C and minerals like zinc.

When it comes to the Medical Medium’s claims about the benefits of celery juice, research hasn’t found any evidence that celery juice has an impact on digestion, clearer skin, increased energy, or any of the long list of other promises he makes about drinking celery juice for improved health. (Therefore, while it’s a great addition to your blending or juicing, I would suggest you not neglect many other vegetables and greens and superfoods.)

When you look at what can be substantiated about the health benefits of drinking celery juice, there are two areas that look promising:

  • Celery juice can help cancer patients during treatment. It has been shown to have protective benefits12 specifically for people undergoing a certain type of chemotherapy to treat cancer.
  • Celery juice may have positive effects for reducing blood pressure. In animal trials,13 it was able to reduce the systolic blood pressure of rats that had high blood pressure.

If you’re battling cancer or have high blood pressure, celery juice may have health benefits for you, but otherwise, you’re better off ignoring this fad and getting more variety and nutrient density. Mix celery into your juice, but also put cucumber, kale, carrot, ginger and turmeric root, and beets in your juicer.

What is the Best Detox?

In my formal research, I studied the work of Max Gerson, MD, who helped thousands of patients heal from cancer without chemotherapy. I read Bernard Jensen, DC’s books on digestive tract health and saw hundreds of photos of rubbery “catarrhal mucoid plaque” eliminated from the colons of people who followed his protocol.

I dug into the powerful legacy of Ann Wigmore, MD, who treated her own metastatic colon cancer with wheatgrass juice, lots of sprouts, and a raw, alkaline diet—and then helped thousands of others do the same for 30 years.

I studied Richard Anderson, ND’s work, as he trudged through forests for years, studying herbs and their effect on the body, and developed the first major, 21-day detox I did in my 20s that changed my life.

I believe drinking alkalizing fluids, and taking a rest from digestion for a couple of days, or even monthly, while using one of the better detoxifying drinks protocols in this article, can be helpful.

But I believe a deeper cleanse is needed for most of us, since we live in a time of unprecedented chemical exposure. I’ve made a free video masterclass for you, the “Cliff’s Notes” of my lifelong research, and leveraging the findings of each of those detoxification researchers.

Join the Video Masterclass

Join me in the video masterclass, and you’ll learn, in a much easier way than I did, what the most important protocols are in a serious bi-annual reboot of your colon, liver, kidneys, gallbladder, and even your blood.


Have you tried any of these detoxing drinks? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.

Up Next: I Went Fasting Without Food for 40 Days | Here’s What I Learned

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

Placard | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?

Infographic | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?



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2. Subramani, Srinivasan et al. Antihyperlipidemic effect of diosmin: A citrus flavonoid on lipid metabolism in experimental diabetic rats. 01/2013.
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6. Liebert, Mary Ann. How Cranberry Products Prevent Urinary Tract Infections. Science News. 03/2009.
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11.Chung, So-Young, et al. “Analysis of Antioxidant Nutrients in Green Yellow Vegetable Juice” Korean Journal of Food Science and Technology: Volume 31 Issue 4 Pages.880-886
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Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links, which allow you to support our mission without costing you extra. This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated to reflect the latest research.

Posted in: Detox, Green Smoothies, Natural Remedies, Reviews, Whole Food

2 thoughts on “9 Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn’t?”

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  1. TH says:

    We don’t realize how our health is our wealth until it’s gone unfortunately. Great read!

  2. Lulu says:

    Hi, plz can i know how many times have to drink the lemon water detox and the amount of marple syrup and lemon? Thanks in advance

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