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An herbal cleanse can be done for a specific organ, such as the liver, kidneys or colon; for a specific system of the body, such as the circulatory system; or for a specific condition, such as infestation with parasites. Herbs not only are plants or parts of plants that have medicinal properties, they also can be foods, culinary spices or seasonings, such as basil and parsley. If a person chooses to use a food to cleanse an organ, cleanse a system or clear up a condition, he or she is performing an herbal cleanse. Every type of herbal cleanse, in essence, can be classified as mild or strong, regardless of the organ, system or condition being purged or treated.
The reactions that a person will experience and the results that he or she will obtain from an herbal cleanse are determined by the type of cleanse performed. For example, truly effective liver cleanses that call for the ingestion of ingredients such as epsom salts and olive oil can cause indigestion, nausea and fatigue as the organ is being purged. A much milder — but not nearly as effective — herbal cleanse for the liver can be achieved by adding dandelion root tea to a healthy diet. Drinking a strong cup of Hawthorne berry tea makes for a wonderful but gentle cleanse of the entire circulatory system, and herbal products such as black walnut tea, black walnut tincture and cloves have been used for centuries to cleanse the body of parasites.
Other examples of an herbal cleanse include ingesting nothing but plenty of fresh watermelon and a gallon of water in a 24-hour period to flush the kidneys. A very gentle colon cleanse might consist of significantly increasing fiber in the diet by opting to consume fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and whole grain products such as breads, pastries and pasta — preferably those made from whole sprouted spelt flour or brown rice. Fruits, most vegetables and grains are seed plants that do not have woody parts and that die when their growing season is over. Therefore, they meet the strict definition of an herb and can be used in a true herbal cleanse.
One of the most important facts a person should keep in mind when doing an herbal cleanse is that strong ones can stir up parasites. If these parasites are not promptly killed and removed, their "stirring" in the body can lead to increased health problems. It also is important to understand that some types of cleanses should be performed before others. For example, one should undergo a parasite cleanse before any other organ or system of the body is cleansed.