GreenSmoothieGirl Logo
Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Minutes. Add 10 Years to your life.
Our beautiful template for infinite variety of greens and superfoods in your smoothies—print this and eliminate the need for recipes! Get it now for free!

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

Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Aug 22, 2018 - 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 Knowledge in Detoxing

I’m a 25-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.

Fascination with How The Human Body Detoxifies Itself

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.

Going Beyond Expectations

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, that I’d have climbed the ratings throughout my 40’s, 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.

Change Your Lifestyle

I’m not telling you this to brag.

I’m telling you 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.)

How Do Toxins Enter Your Body?

I couldn’t have imagined that, 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.

Drinking Radioactive Dairy Milk

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.)

Living Near a Nuclear Test Site in the U.S.

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 the 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.

Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Even if you weren’t downwind of Chernobyl or 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, farmer, 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.

Everyday Contaminants

We all have varying degrees of exposure to glyphosate (Roundup), and heavy metals from car exhaust and 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.

Review of the Detoxifying Drinks

In this article, I will review the popular “quickie” detox programs involving detoxifying drinks that you consume, for days, or weeks, without other food—and I’ll review the pros and cons of each, and what they can accomplish, in helping you be healthier.

While I believe we’d all benefit by a biannual detox, eating very clean, and doing simple procedures to accelerate output from our various organs of elimination, let’s review some of the very simple detoxifying drinks that are popular, these days.

There are Different Results for Each Drink

Some of these programs are better than others—and some aren’t particularly helpful at all.

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. 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

Then, I’ll review 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?

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

Use REAL 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—and it is—inside your digestive tract, it becomes highly alkalizing.

Counter the Lemon’s Acidity

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.

(Or, gargle with baking soda in water, to shift the mouth’s pH back to more alkaline, after drinking your lemon water daily.)

Acidity can Breed Diseases

Most of us are slightly more acidic than we 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 Since Before Civilizations

I think fasting is a wonderful, time-tested and science-backed practice, and of course, our ancestors fasted, on a regular occasion—though not on purpose!

The 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.

Going Into the State of Autophagy

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 think far more interesting is 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.

Detoxify the Body to Repair and Rebuild

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.)

Any healthy, alkaline drink and a period of no 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.

Avoid the Herxheimer Reaction

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.

Do the Master Cleanse

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.

How Does the Maple Syrup Boost this Detox Water?

I felt great, as 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).

Put in Maple Syrup in Moderation

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, and the potential for insulin resistance. (No more so than a person who eats refined sugar every day!)

Side Effect of Severe Calorie Restriction

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

Barely Sweeten the Lemon Water

If you try this cleanse, you may want to cut out half of 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.)

The Cayenne Pepper

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.

Effortless Short Detox

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 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.

Probiotic Bacteria in ACV

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.

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, now and then, easier to endure.

Dilute the Apple Cider Vinegar

So, apple cider vinegar can be a good way to start the morning, but 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, in a modified cleanse.

Drink with a Straw

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 forms alkaline “ash” in the body, for an increase in pH. This is helpful for most of us who are slightly too acidic from not just chemical exposure, but also eating dairy products, animal flesh, refined grains, soda, and sugar.)

Buy Raw ACV

So 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.

The Benefits of Having ACV in Your Diet

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

3. 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.

Helps Prevent Infection

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

Improves Liver Function

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 is 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.

Buy Organic Cranberries

The ideal solution is to buy fresh or frozen organic cranberries and juice them yourself. If this isn’t possible, be sure to buy a no-sugar-added organic form of the juice.

Then you can eat a healthy meal 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?

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.

Healthy Weed in the Garden

The weed in your yard has edible greens, and if I find some in an unsprayed area, I throw them in my green smoothie every chance I get.

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

Natural Remedy for Sickness

But it’s 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.

Protection Against Toxins

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)

Great Tonic Against Alcohol

It’s 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.

The Dandelion’s Bitter Taste

The fresh 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.)

Mix it in Your Green Smoothie

You can make dandelion tea the base of a green smoothie, which won’t improve the taste of the smoothie, but it will significantly mask the tea’s flavor!

This is a less popular protocol 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?

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—especially those on the animal-products-rich Paleo and Ketogenic diets, and those eating most versions of the Standard American Diet, as well.

Processed Whey Protein

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.

Use Organic Plant Proteins

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!

Eat Whole Foods as Detoxifying Foods

But overall, eating whole foods, the kind that grows in the ground and on trees, are the tools of any good detoxification program.

The reason is that these plant foods are highest in micronutrients, easy to digest, and when eaten in their whole form, full of fiber, as well, insoluble fiber dragging the gastrointestinal tract and soluble fiber absorbing toxins.

Bone Broth and Collagen

Bone broth proteins are trending, and collagen protein is a derivative and highly processed, 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.

6. Vegetable Juicing Detox

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

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, and then helped thousands of others do the same, in Nazi Germany, with the juicing protocol.

Dr. Gerson’s Juicing Protocol

When Dr. Gerson fled 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.

Detoxing to Cure Cancer

My own grandmother chose this approach, over chemotherapy, when diagnosed in 1981 with a very deadly cancer that had spread to her breasts and lymphatic system.

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

Rich in Antioxidants and Oxidizers

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 tissues of the body, over time.

Benefits of Kale Juice

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)

Whole Foods Detox Drinks for Juice Fast

Many people drink nothing but vegetable, green, and optionally very minimal fruit juice, for many days, in a “juice fast,” and I have done it myself, many times.

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

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.

Buy Only Organic Foods

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, difficult to wash off.

The Difficulty with This Detox Diet

Green juices, or green smoothies, with no other foods, are difficult for some, for long periods of time, due to an addiction to chewing! But this type of cleanse is highly cleansing and restorative to trillions of cells.

Interesting side note: When I first put up 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).

Include Satiating Foods

But, if you add a variety of greens, superfoods, and minimal fruits, you can apparently do this cleanse for quite a while, if you’re feeling competitive!

7. 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 them for thousands of years, for up to 30 days.

Difficult Fasting and Detoxification Process

They aren’t for everyone, and aren’t easy—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.

Or, 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.

Previous Fasting Experience

I grew up in a religious tradition where we fasted one day, per month—nothing to eat, 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—while adhering to the no-food rules, one Sunday per month.

Dry Fasting Over Water Fasting

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.

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.

The Ashram in Texas

Warning: If you click the link to go to the ashram, run by Hindu monks, be aware that the accommodations are one-star, at best. You’ll have running water, access to a bathroom, and a space heater.

Electricity and hot water in the shower is, well, marginal. You won’t have any medical supervision, so for a longer-term water fast, please understand that many people will not sail through it, as I did, because I’ve detoxed bi-annually for 20 years, and have no disease states.

Plan Your Fasting at Ashram

The reason I water fast at the ashram is that I Uber there, two hours from the Dallas airport, but in the remote location, I cannot get an Uber back! (You schedule your ride to the airport the day before, with a service.)

I don’t rent a car, and there’s no town nearby—so this removes all temptation, making that aspect of the experience easier.

Many people at the ashram do eat three meals a day, so you can eat in an emergency.

Dr. Thomas Lodi | Physician

My friend, Thomas Lodi, M.D., a Columbia-trained physician treating cancer, gives every cancer patient a bibliography of the best works regarding water fasting, as he feels that this practice is the most important thing a cancer patient can do.

(I personally think that a water fast is not appropriate for a Stage IV patient in cachexia, where the body is metabolizing muscle, however.)

8. Olive Oil Gallbladder and Liver Flush

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

The Green Smoothie Girl Detox

We use it, in the GreenSmoothieGirl 26-Day Detox, but only after over two weeks of cleansing the bowel first. Let’s discuss what it can do for you, and what some of the common side effects are, and I’ll share a couple of caveats.

Supplement with Epsom Salt

Because most people do this as a standalone measure to release stones from the liver and gallbladder, most practitioners, and the protocol in most of their written works, ask the patient to take 2 tsp. of pure Epsom salts in water, 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.

Eat Clean Before the Detox

As we have guided almost 13,000 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, 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

The diet has already addressed elimination from the 30’ to 35’ of the digestive tract.

When Should You Try this Detox?

I suggest it only if they feel that their digestive system is clogged (if they have not eliminated feces the approximate length of their fingertips to their elbow, each day), and 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.

Gallstone Prevention

This is a great preventative, since, with the acidic diet of Westerners, crystalline structures form in the liver and gallbladder, and can create a very painful situation when these sharp-edged stones 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 M.D.’s do not know that gallstones occur in the liver as well as the gallbladder.

Gallstones from Processed Foods

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 drug medications also leads to high risk of stones.)

Bearing this out, as an almost lifelong 98% plant-based eater, I am usually the only one at the the Swiss Mountain Clinic (formerly Paracelsus Clinic Al Ronc), in Switzerland, where I take our readers every summer for a liver flush and retreat, who usually passes no stones.

Eliminating the Gallstones

The stones come out hard and green, and many detoxers both at the clinic in Switzerland and those doing the home-version 26-Day GreenSmoothieGirl Detox, eliminate hundreds of them in a day.

Taking this Detox Drink in Clinics

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, after completing the colon and liver portions of the program, that 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).

And 2 or 3 of them will feel weak and lightheaded; occasionally one passes out.

Virtually no one does, when drinking only ¼ cup of oil (chased by ¼ cup of fresh grapefruit or lemon juice).

Why do these Side Effects Happen?

My theory is that this is 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 are now recommending doing the gallbladder flush once a month, if you’re using only ¼ cup of oil, and/or if you eliminated many stones—doing it monthly until you see no more stones.

Cut Back on Processed Foods and Animal Products

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.

Long-Term Detoxing Practice

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.

Back-To-Back Flushes

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.

What Is The Best Detox Protocol?

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 20’s, that changed my life.

Try the Detox Drinks that Work

I believe drinking alkalizing fluids, and taking a rest from digestion, for a couple of days, even monthly, 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.


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

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

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

Robyn Openshaw | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?—Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the author of 15 titles, including 2017’s bestseller, Vibe, and an international lecturer on how to detoxify effectively, and how to shift from the Standard American Diet to a healing, whole-foods lifestyle.

She lives in Park City, Utah, plays competitive tennis year-round, and researches the most effective ways to be healthy in the modern world. Join her FREE video masterclass about detoxing.



1. Kim, HK et al. Lipid-lowering efficacy of herperetin metabolites in high-cholesterol-fed rats. Clin Chim Acta. 01/2003.
2. Subramani, Srinivasan et al. Antihyperlipidemic effect of diosmin: A citrus flavonoid on lipid metabolism in experimental diabetic rats. 01/2013.
3. Shishehbor, F. et al. Apple cider vinegar attenuates lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats. Pak J Biol Sci. 01/2011.
4. Kondo, S. et al. Antihypertensive effects of acetic acid and vinegar on spontaneously hypertensive rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 12/2001.
5. Howell, Amy B. et al. A-type cranberry proanthocyanidins and uropathogenic bacterial anti-adhesion activity. ScienceDirect. 09/2005.
6. Liebert, Mary Ann. How Cranberry Products Prevent Urinary Tract Infections. Science News. 03/2009.
7. Lapshina, EA et al. Cranberry flavonoids prevent toxic rat liver mitochondrial damage in vivo and scavenge free radicals in vitro. Cell Biochem Funct. 06/2015.
8. Shunhei, Yamashina et al. Role of mitochondria in liver pathophysiology. Science Direct. 2010.
9. Maliakal, Pius P. et al. Effect of herbal teas on hepatic drug metabolizing enzymes in rats. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 10/2001.
10. Kim, SY et al. Kale juice improves coronary artery disease risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. 04/2008.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 21, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Posted in: Detox, Green Smoothies, Health, Natural Remedy, Nutrition, Research, Robyn Recommends

2 thoughts on “8 Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn’t?”

Leave a Comment
  1. TH says:

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.