The Top 17 Foods and Herbs to Cleanse Your Blood (Research Based)
Cleansing your blood is a great way to naturally rid toxins from your body and keep yourself in good health. The health of your blood is closely connected with your body’s immune system and ability to fight infections. Blood provides your body’s cells with oxygen and nutrition and removes waste and other unnecessary pollutants. Therefore, purifying your blood is important to keep your body functioning properly and help prevent infections and diseases.
Generally, keeping your liver and kidneys in good health are the best ways to cleanse your blood naturally. Your liver and kidneys perform vital functions in filtering toxins from the blood and keeping your blood clean. However, your intestines, lungs, and skin are also involved in eliminating waste products from your blood so it’s important to keep them healthy to help building a stronger, healthier blood.
There are many factors which can cause a buildup of toxins in our bloodstream. For example, being exposed to more pollutants in the air, having a sedentary lifestyle, eating processed foods, taking certain medications, and using certain cosmetics and household products can all influence the health of your blood. You can help remove and flush out toxins from your blood by eating the right kind of foods and herbs.
In this article, I will look at the importance of detoxifying and purifying your blood. You will also learn which are the best foods and herbs to cleanse your blood naturally and help to build stronger and healthier blood.
Blood and Your Health
Blood is made up of 4 main components: plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. According to Dr. Matthew Hoffman on WebMD, plasma makes up about half of your blood volume. Plasma contains blood clotting proteins, glucose, and other nutrients.1
Making sure that you have healthy circulation helps to transport oxygen-carrying red blood cells to the body’s tissues. Dr. Judith Berry from The University of Rochester says that red blood cells are involved in removing carbon dioxide from the body.2
The University of Rochester also says that white blood cells, also called leukocytes, contain components that fight infections and are essential for good health. Inflammation in your body, physical or emotional stress and injury can all trigger an increase in white blood cell count.3
So, keeping your blood clean and healthy is important to enjoy good health and helps to prevent some diseases developing.
The Importance of Blood Cleansing
Purifying the blood naturally through the body’s own cleansing system helps you fight bacterial, viral, and fungal infections more effectively. The two main organs involved in cleansing toxins and pollutants from the blood are the liver and kidneys.
According to PubMed Health, your liver helps to break down foods so that we get the proper nutrients from them. The liver also detoxifies and removes harmful substances from the blood where they get flushed out in urine or get released in the bowel.4
Your kidneys also play an important role in cleansing your blood from harmful toxins. For example, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that the kidneys prevent a buildup of waste and fluid in the body. They filter out waste products and help to detoxify and purify the blood.5
The Best Foods and Herbs to Cleanse Your Blood
There are many foods and herbs that help your liver and kidneys to function better so that they filter out toxins and keep your blood clean. Some natural remedies also include ingredients that have antibacterial and antiviral properties that assist in keeping blood healthy.
Raw garlic is a great natural remedy to cleanse your blood because it contains sulfur that helps to get rid of toxins. Garlic also acts as a powerful antimicrobial agent to help with blood purification and keep your intestines free from bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
A study published in 2012 found that garlic is so powerful, it can help to remove heavy metal toxins from the blood. For example, taking garlic supplements 3 times a day helps to reduce levels of lead in people who had lead poisoning. Garlic was more effective and had fewer side effects than D-Penicillamine which is often prescribed to remove toxins from the blood.6
Other studies have shown that garlic detoxifies the blood by protecting the liver from toxic agents. Regularly consuming garlic can also help to remove free radicals and it acts as an antioxidant agent in the blood, kidneys, and liver.7
It is very easy to use garlic as a natural medicine by incorporating more garlic in your diet. In fact, you may be surprised to learn how easy it is to grow garlic at home. Eating more garlic can not only help to cleanse your blood but also help protect you from cancer, boost your heart health, and help manage diabetes naturally.
Allicin is one of the sulfur-containing compounds found in garlic and it gets activated when raw garlic is chewed, chopped or crushed. Allowing the crushed garlic to stand for 10 minutes before consuming it enhances the formation of allicin (find out more tips in my article on how to avoid these 6 common mistakes when using garlic as an antibiotic).
Consuming more garlic is also one of the 70 habits featured in my eBook 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.
2. Leafy greens
Green leafy vegetables are another great food to help get rid of toxins from your body naturally. Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts contain compounds that help to detoxify your body naturally and can assist in preventing diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Cilantro (or coriander) is a leafy green that helps your body to get rid of mercury and other heavy metals that end up in your bloodstream via the food you eat or the polluted air you breathe in. This is one of the ingredients of my heavy metal detox smoothie.
Leafy greens contain chlorophyll, a natural ingredient that helps to detoxify your body and build stronger and healthier blood. Chlorophyll helps to detox your blood by connecting with the toxins and free radicals and turning them into neutral materials.
The Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism reported that a buildup of toxins in the blood can lead to many chronic diseases. However, green leafy vegetables can help your body get rid of these toxins. Green leafy vegetables contain compounds that prevent enzymes in the body producing free radicals.8
Other studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables play an important role in detoxifying the blood to prevent cancer. This is due to their sulfur-containing compounds that help to boost detoxifying blood compounds and reduce inflammation.9
Apart from using green leafy vegetables to detox your body, they can also help to boost iron levels in your blood naturally.
Dandelion extracts contain antioxidants that are commonly used to cleanse and detoxify the blood. Dandelion is also a rich source of vitamins A, B, C, and K which are essential for healthy blood.
According to the University of Maryland, dandelion roots and leaves are used to treat liver and kidney problems. Drinking fluids containing dandelion act as a diuretic which increases the amount of urine your body produces. This helps to flush out waste products and prevent them building up. Dandelion is commonly used by herbalists to purify the liver and improve its function.10
And indeed dandelion is one of the best herbs to naturally cleanse your liver, as well as cleanse your kidneys.
Another natural plant that has blood-cleansing properties is burdock. Burdock has been used as a blood cleansing herb for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to promote blood circulation and detoxify the blood.
The journal Inflammopharmacology reported that as well as having compounds to flush toxins from the blood, burdock also helps to reduce inflammation and even prevent some types of cancers.11
Researchers from the University of Maryland say that blood purifying is one of the traditional uses of burdock. It helps to rid the bloodstream of toxins by increasing urine output.
5. Red clover
Red clover is another popular medicinal herb that has blood-purifying properties and can help to cleanse your blood. Red clover contains many vitamins and nutrients that can help to keep your blood healthy and reduce a buildup of waste products.
The University of Maryland says that red clover acts a diuretic that helps cleanse your blood. It does this in a number of ways by helping to flush out toxins, cleanse the liver, improve circulation, and help keep your lungs clear.12
To find out how to use red clover to cleanse your blood, please see my articles on how to prepare red clover healing tea and herbal infusions that cleanse your body.
6. Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
There are many ways to use raw unprocessed apple cider vinegar to boost your health, and keeping your blood clean is just one way. Raw apple cider vinegar contains natural antiseptic compounds that can help to kill off infections. Although ACV has acidic nature, once it metabolizes in the body it actually helps to keep your body more alkaline and naturally balance your pH levels.
Regarding the detoxification potential of apple cider vinegar on your blood, the Journal of Membrane Biology found that there are many potential benefits. The antioxidant properties of ACV help to boost liver and kidney health and also increase the level of antioxidant enzymes.13
To use apple cider vinegar to help keep your liver free from toxins, many suggest consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons ACV in a glass of water each day. You can also try out one of my great apple cider vinegar detox drinks to help you cleanse your entire body and build stronger, cleaner blood.
Beets contain active cleansing agents that help to improve your liver health and detox your blood. Beets can help you naturally increase your nutrient and vitamin intake and also provide many health benefits. For example, consuming more beets can help to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and prevent heart disease. Beets can also boost your immune system by purifying your blood.
The journal Nutrition reported that beets have liver-protecting properties. When more beets were added to the diet, it was discovered that there were more antioxidant enzymes present in the liver. It was also found that there was an increase in nutrients that have a detoxifying effect on the liver.14
Similarly, the journal Nutrients found that beetroot supplements can help to cleanse the blood and reduce inflammation in the body. Beets help to stimulate detoxifying enzymes in the blood and help protect against various diseases. The researchers found that beets not only help to increase overall vitamin intake, but they have a preventative effect on cardiovascular disease.15
You can also use beets to cleanse your lymphatic system and boost your health all year long.
8. Broccoli sprouts
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that has great detox properties for the blood. However, broccoli sprouts are even better for cleansing toxins from your bloodstream. Broccoli sprouts are a rich source of detoxifying compounds that can help to keep your liver and kidneys in good working order.
A study from China found that extracts from broccoli sprouts helped to lower the damaging effect of breathing in pollutants. The study found that the broccoli sprouts helped to reduce the risk of lung cancer in people who lived in polluted environments. The study concluded that broccoli sprouts can help to reverse the effect of airborne pollutants and detoxify the body.16
Turmeric is a delicious golden spice that has amazing detoxifying properties. Adding turmeric to your diet is one way to help purify your blood and at the same time, spice up your meals. The blood-cleansing properties of turmeric are due to the compound curcumin.
On the many health benefits of turmeric, the book Herbal Medicine reported on its purifying effect. For example, curcumin is a natural antioxidant that can produce detoxifying enzymes in the body.25
Also, the website WHFoods.org reported that turmeric stimulates detoxification activity in the body and can play a role in preventing various cancers.17
There are various ways to increase your intake of turmeric in your diet. For example, you can try out one of my great detoxifying turmeric smoothies. This includes adding black pepper to the recipe to increase the bioavailability of turmeric. Or, you can make an anti-inflammatory turmeric tea.
10. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is another great spice that you can use if you are looking for ways to clean up your blood. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin which has many blood purification properties than can help to rid the body of toxins. Capsaicin is the compound that gives cayenne pepper and chilies their spicy kick.
The journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry found that capsaicin has the potential to destroy some carcinogens. In clinical trials, capsaicin effectively detoxified cancer cells in lung cancer.18 Although more research has to be done, other studies have shown the effect of capsaicin in killing off cancer cells.
Parsley is a blood cleansing herb with diuretic properties to help flush waste products from the body quicker. Parsley contains compounds that help to eliminate toxins and reduce the effect of poisoning caused by heavy metals. Parsley also has a protective effect on the liver, making it function more effectively.
For example, the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions reported on the detoxifying effect of parsley on the bloodstream and brain. It reported that parsley contains specific compounds that act as a natural detoxification agent against heavy metals. Parsley could help to prevent the effects of being exposed to toxic pollutants.19
Other studies have found that regularly consuming parsley can help to protect the liver and prevent liver damage. This helps the liver to function properly and do its job of filtering out and eliminating toxins from the blood.20
Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants which can help to clean the blood in the body. Blueberries can make delicious smoothies that help to reduce the risk of cancer, lower blood pressure naturally, and protect your skin from aging.
You can also use blueberries to protect your liver health and reduce inflammation. For example, the World Journal of Gastroenterology reported that clinical trials have revealed the antioxidant effect of blueberries on the liver. The study found that blueberries have a protective effect against liver disease.21
Flaxseed can boost the body’s natural detoxification process by helping to improve blood health. Flaxseeds are also a good source of fiber which can help the body get rid of waste products quicker and easier from your colon.
The website WHFoods.org reported that flaxseeds increase the levels of detoxification enzymes in the body. This can help prevent the development of certain diseases by not allowing toxins to build up but help get rid of them quicker.22
You should always grind flaxseeds before use and avoid buying ground flaxseeds. This will help you get the best health benefits from these natural blood cleansers.
14. Cat’s claw
Cat’s claw can help with blood detox by increasing the amount of urine and toxins that are eliminated by the body.
The University of Maryland reports that the antioxidant activity of cat’s claw helps to reduce the number of free radicals in the body. Cat’s claw also boosts the immune system and keeps your circulation working properly.23
Ginger belongs to the same family as turmeric (Zingiberaceae family) and contains some similar compounds. The health benefits and blood cleansing properties of ginger come mainly from gingerols which have antioxidant and detoxifying properties effect in the body.
Ginger promotes better digestion and helps your colon get rid of waste products quicker and easier. A study from 2008 found that ginger has a positive effect on your gastrointestinal system and can help food pass through the intestines easier.26
The journal Current Cardiology Reviews reported that ginger improves blood flow and has other cardiac benefits.27 A study into the cardiovascular benefits of curcumin also found that the spice helps blood circulation and prevents oxidative stress on the vascular system.28
The International Journal of Preventative Medicine reported that in many countries, ginger is used as a natural ingredient to stimulate the immune system.29 Studies into the anti-cancer properties of ginger found that it has a role to play in the treatment and prevention of cancer, especially gastrointestinal cancers. Ginger has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can also help protect against many types of cancers including pancreatic, liver, prostate, cervical, and breast cancers.30
Consuming lemon water is another great way to cleanse your blood and detoxify your liver.
According to Dr. Alexander F. Beddoe, the liver can make more enzymes out of fresh lemon juice than any other food element. Therefore the liver’s efficiency gets a boost from lemon consumption.31
Lemons also contain large amount of toxin-eradicating vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which is needed to manufacture glutathione.32 Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants in your body. It is found in every cell in the body, and it protects the cell’s engine, called the mitochondria, from bacteria and viruses as well as toxins. Low levels of glutathione leave you susceptible to oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer. Then your liver gets overloaded and damaged, making it unable to do its job of detoxification.
Lemons, like other citrus fruits, contain a compound called hesperidin. This compound was found to have protective properties in an Indian research study published in the BMC Pharmacology journal in 2005. During the study, the participants were given a toxin after being given the hesperidin compound. It was found that their livers took less damage than they would have had they not been administered hesperidin, making a powerful argument for the liver-protecting properties of lemon. The authors concluded that hesperidin demonstrates a protective effect on the liver.33
To keep your blood healthy and free of toxins, it’s essential that you drink plenty of water. Water helps to keep your blood from becoming too thick and it helps toxins to get flushed out easier. There are numerous benefits to your general health by drinking enough water.
The journal Nutrition Reviews explained the connection between drinking plenty of fluids and cleansing your blood. Drinking enough water helps the kidneys to filter waste from the blood. This can also help to keep your blood volume healthy and reduce the risk of high blood pressure.