Alterative Herbs?



These are a number of herbs that detoxify the blood and lymph and promote the renewal of tissues.  Some of them are:

  • Burdock 
  • Echinacea
  • Dandelion
  • Nettles
  • Chicory
  • Alfalfa
  • Ginseng
  • Goldenseal 

I will cover a few of these today.



Burdock or Arctium lappa has been used for centuries by herbalists for a variety of treatments.  These include:

  • Blood tonic
  • Rheumatism
  • Gout
  • Arthritis 

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, burdock is used as a “blood purifier to clear the body of toxins”.  This is what makes it effective for treating arthritis, rheumatism and gout. Burdock is actually considered the best blood tonic from among the list of alteratives. 

Burdock is a diuretic which means that it increases the flow of urine which in turn assists in removing toxic materials from the body.  Burdock is used as a liver cleanser and for digestive issues.  It has been eaten as a vegetable in Europe for centuries.  One other interesting use of burdock is for skin eruptions and conditions.  It is an excellent treatment for eczema, psoriasis and acne. 



 Nettles are one of my favourite herbs.  Although they can be painful to harvest, they are extremely tasty to eat as well as being highly nutritious.  The tea is widely available in tea bag form for those that do not wish to wildcraft the herb.  It tastes a bit like spinach. 

Nettles have a gentle cleansing action on the body which makes them excellent as a long term remedy.  They will slowly clear the body of waste material. 

For peri-menopausal and menopausal women they have the added attraction of being a refrigerant which helps keep the core body temperature cool.  For men nettles can be used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.



This herb is mostly noted for its immune boosting properties.  It is also an excellent blood tonic and liver cleanser.  It not only cleanses the blood of toxic waste, it also neutralizes venom from insects. 

Some of the issues Echinacea can help with are:

  • Acne
  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections
  • Eczema
  • Ear infections
  • Swollen glands
  • Lymph cleanser 


 Goldenseal is used for many treatments.  One interesting one is to keep the teeth solidly in the gums and prevent dental diseases.  It is an excellent ingredient in a liver cleanse.  Some other uses for goldenseal are: 

  • Blood purifier
  • Diuretic
  • Skin inflammation
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Digestive

There are some sites on the internet that mention taking goldenseal as a tea.  This would not be my recommendation due to the incredibly bitter taste.  My recommendation for goldenseal is to take it as a tincture.



This is the final herb I will talk about today.  The poor dandelion is constantly under attack by people wanting beautiful lawns.  Unfortunately this makes wildcrafting dandelions extremely difficult.   

Dandelion is the go to herb for liver cleansing.  It is extremely useful in detoxifying the body.  It cleans the toxic material from the liver, kidneys and blood.  

 Dandelion is useful for:

  • Infection
  • Water retention
  • Viral infection

 While the root is mainly used for blood and liver detox, the leaves and flowers can be made into a topical application for the lymph nodes and for breast problems. 

In order for your body to function properly you should really cleanse at least once a year, preferably more often than that.  Trying to run your car on dirty oil impairs its performance.  Trying to run your body on dirty blood and lymph can be deadly. 



Bartram Thomas FNIMH, Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Marlowe and Company New York