8 Must-Haves for a Detox Garden |

8 Must-Haves for a Detox Garden

Sarena-Rae Santos March 1, 2016

Do you want to take detoxing to the next level with herbs you have grown yourself? Before we get started with our plant recommendations, let’s talk about detox benefits.

A “detox” helps, first, to open overburdened detox pathways – liver, kidneys, lymphatic, and bowel. These pathways are in our bodies to help us detox from all the junk in the world around us. But if we are exposed to too many toxins at once, we can become sluggish and overworked. The goal is to help them get working normally again!

The second part of a detox is removing toxins from body parts where they have been stored – fat, muscles, lymphatic fluid, blood, or even the brain. It can be dangerous to knock these toxins loose if the detox organs aren’t open and working correctly because then the body can’t eliminate the toxins, which can circulate and cause further damage. Many “detox plans” don’t emphasize this enough, but that’s where your detox garden comes in.

While detoxing, you should be:

  • Supporting your liver
  • Supporting your kidneys
  • Supporting your lymphatic system
  • Supporting your gut
  • Supporting your immune system
  • Supporting your adrenals
  • Supporting your entire body

At the end of this post is an “additional detoxing resources” section that you could use to further your knowledge before starting a detox garden.

8 Must-Haves for a Detox Garden

Once the detox pathways are open and functioning, that’s half the battle! The body is working better on its own, which is the whole goal. Many people feel significantly better by improving their diets and including supportive herbs and foods such as:


Basil is a flavorful, leafy green herb that originated in India. Studies have found basil extract has antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties in rats with acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity (1). Another study found that basil protected against aspirin-induced gastric ulcers in mice (2). Additional benefits of basil include:

  • Antibacterial properties (3)
  • Antifungal properties (4)
  • Antimicrobial properties (5)
  • May improve fasting blood sugar and diabetes (6)
  • May reduce hypertension (7)
  • May thin the blood (8)
  • May reduce damage from a stroke (9)
  • May reduce memory loss (10)
  • May reduce depression (11)
  • Anticancer properties (12)


Beets are a highly nutritious and versatile vegetable. Among many other nutrients, this vegetable contains fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and vitamins C and A (13). One study found beetroot juice and extract reduce kidney inflammation in rats injected with toxic, injury-causing chemicals (14). Additional benefits of beets include:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties (15)
  • May help lower blood pressure levels (16)
  • May improve digestive health (17)
  • May support brain health (18)
  • May enhance endurance (19)
  • Anticancer properties (20)


Broccoli is another highly nutritious and versatile vegetable. Broccoli contains fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vitamins A and C, and so much more (21). Sulforaphane is a compound in broccoli that is a potent inducer of detoxification pathways by promoting the antioxidant glutathione (22). Other studies have found sulforaphane demonstrated significant brain tissue recovery and reduced neural inflammation following toxic exposure to lead (23). Additional benefits of broccoli include:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties (24
  • May lower cholesterol levels (25)
  • May support heart health (26)
  • May promote gut health (27)
  • May support brain health (28)
  • May support bone health (29)
  • May support eye health (30)
  • Anticancer properties (31)


Aside from being a delicious herb we add to food; cilantro is also highly recognized for its ability to detox heavy metals. Several studies have demonstrated that cilantro leaves can produce a chelating effect in water spiked with heavy metals. A study found cilantro can reduce lead absorption when mice were fed food tainted with it is fed to mice (32). Another study found cilantro soup was reported to enhance mercury excretion following dental amalgam removal (33). Additional health benefits of cilantro include:

  • Antioxidant properties (34)
  • May reduce anxiety (35)
  • May lower blood sugar levels (36)
  • May support heart health (37)
  • May support brain health (38)
  • May support urinary tract health (39)
  • Anticancer properties (40)


Aside from being a delicious addition to almost any meal, garlic has amazing detoxification abilities, even for heavy metals. One study found garlic to be a promising antidote to heavy metal toxicity due to its possession of plant compounds containing organo-sulfur groups, volatile oils, enzymes, carbohydrates, and amino acids (41). Another study found garlic boosts up the absorption of heavy metals in Lolium perenne of Cd 66% and Pb 44% (42). A final study uncovered garlic’s potential to enhance the excretion of cadmium through feces (43). Additional health benefits of garlic include:

  • Highly nutritious (44)
  • May support heart health (45)
  • May support the immune system (46)
  • May support brain health (47)
  • May improve bone health (48)
  • May enhance endurance (49)


Kale has vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folate, protein, calcium, Omega 3’s, and more (50). This leafy green vegetable contains antioxidants to help fight damage from harmful free radicals. The buildup of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease (51). Additional health benefits of kale include:

  • May lower cholesterol levels (52)
  • May support eye health (53)
  • May promote bone health (54)
  • May promote weight loss (55)
  • Anticancer properties (56)

Oregon Grape Root

Oregon grape root plays a critical role in the detoxification process. This herb contains a substance called berberine (57), which can help to destroy biofilms (58), thus releasing parasites, toxins, and metals that are bound up. Oregon grape root can help to fight drug-resistant fungi (59)  and yeasts (60), helping to heal and soothe the gut lining. Additional health benefits of Oregon Grape Root include:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties (61)
  • Antimicrobacterial properties (62)
  • May relieve stomach issues (63)
  • May ease heartburn symptoms (64)
  • May improve symptoms of depression and anxiety (65)
  • May promote skin health (66)


Spinach is a highly nutritious and versatile vegetable. Among many other nutrients, this vegetable contains fiber, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and vitamins A and C (67). This leafy green vegetable is packed with health benefits like preventing oxidative damage to DNA (68). Additional health benefits of spinach include:

  • Antioxidant properties (69
  • May help control blood pressure (70)
  • May support heart health (71)
  • May support eye health (72)
  • May promote skin health (73)
  • Anticancer properties (74)

Additional Detoxing Resources:

What’s your must-have for a detox garden?

This is the writings of:

Sarena-Rae Santos
Sarena-Rae Santos' journey to natural health began in 2019 when she swayed away from allopathic medicine after becoming wheelchair-bound due to the side effects of 20+ medications. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and dizziness due to nystagmus were the sources of her many health complications. Sarena's symptoms diminished after adopting a healthier lifestyle surrounding whole foods and herbs, leaving her a fantastic quality of life and a passion for educating people.
  1. I’ve seen tons of these “Key vegetables” for detox and the overall constant in all of them is: Fiber

    Fiber is the “Filler” that I think will keep sugar cravings away…At least that’s what it’s done for me.


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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