It’s Detox Time

The “Chinese” Cleanse is simple and effective, lasting from three to ten days.  Drink herbal tea, eat fruit in the morning and veggies thereafter.

I’M WORKING on a comprehensive detox cleanse that I’ll be making available to everyone someday. I hope.

(If you’re interesting in juicing, you can watch me initiating my six-year-old niece to the art of juicing here.)

Actually, the cleanse part is well known to me, as I’ve been a regular “cleanser” for over a decade; the part I’m working on is putting it all together in a program that you can understand and follow.

Step by step.

Until my Program is ready to go, I’m posting this simple cleanse, called the “Chinese Cleanse”, because I know people are anxious to get started on a clean new foot (or gut) in this New Year.  So, if that’s you, consider this simple but effective so-called Chinese Cleanse.


The “Chinese Cleanse”

In this detoxifying cleanse, you drink a home-made brew of herbal tea that you drink in the morning and evening.  In between, you eat fruit till noon, and vegetables till 8:00 PM. The duration is between three and ten days.

Herbal Tea Ingredients:

-Six cups of filtered water

-Two tablespoons of Red Clover Leaf

-Two tablespoons of Milk Thistle Leaf

-Two tablespoons of Dandelion Leaf

-Two tablespoons of Peppermint Leaf

-Three tablespoons of Buckthorn Bark

Herbal Tea Instructions:

Boil the six cups of water in a pot, remove it from the heat, and add the herbs.  Stir and cover the pot.  Steep it for 30 minutes to one hour.  Strain the herbs from the water before drinking, and then discard them.

Drink one cup in the morning and one in the evening. At two cups per day, the amount listed above will last one person three days.

The Tea needs to be refrigerated and will keep fresh for three days.  When taken from the refrigerator, warm it slowly — rapid heating and boiling will destroy the medicinal properties of the herbs.

The tea helps purify the blood, liver, kidneys and colon.  It is also a mild laxative — know where the bathrooms are!

Note: The amount of herbs you buy are, of course, dependent on how many people will be joining you on the cleanse, and how many days you’ll be doing it. Determine this before purchasing the herbs, which hopefully can be found at your local health food store.

(If not available at the health food store, check online.)

The Food Part:

Time frame is three to ten days:

  • Three days helps the body get rid of toxins.
  • Five days starts the healing process.
  • Ten days cleanses and renews the bloodstream, liver, kidneys and colon.

In the morning till noon eat from this list of organic fruit:

Kiwi Orange Lime Grapefruit
Lemon Apple Apple Juice Mango
Banana Papaya Pear Figs

Eat fruit whole, and/or blend the fruit with water or apple juice to make a smoothie. Eat as much as you want.

To strengthen the optic nerves, combine freshly squeezed lemons (if available) with grapefruit, and/or limes with oranges.

Regular herbal tea (other than the “Tea” you make from scratch) can be drunk throughout the morning.

From noon till 8:00 PM eat from this list of organic vegetables:

Asparagus Beets Broccoli Cabbage
Cauliflower Leafy Greens Dark Green Veggies Carrots
Dandelion Leaves Parsnips Potatoes (w/ skins) Garlic
Onion Olive Oil Parsley Sprouts
Red/Green Peppers Spinach Radish Tomato

Eat these foods in solid form, or juice them, or make soup. The vegetables can be raw, steamed, baked or roasted.  A simple dressing can be made from garlic, lemon juice, peppermint, olive oil and parsley. (I often get lazy and just add lemon juice to olive oil.)

Ideally, try to combine cooked and raw food at each meal in order to magnify the enzymes needed for proper digestion; for instance: salad and soup.

Your favorite herbal tea (not the “Tea” described above) can be drunk throughout the afternoon and evening.

Hey, a good idea while cleansing it to take detox baths, which I describe at the bottom of this post: Detoxifying Your Way to Nirvana.

Let me know in the Comments section below if you think this cleanse is doable, or seems too complicated.  Have you cleansed before?  How did it go?

Last Updated on March 3, 2016 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 20 comments
Denise - June 14, 2010

Hi Joe, I found your blog and this cleanse through another blog on Huffington post by Thomas Goetz (I think he mentioned it). Anyway, I am so glad I found it. My partner, teenage daughter and a few of our friends are trying to cleanse this week for 7 days. We have been trying to be vegan for the past year, since our daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma and we started educating ourselves with books like The China Study and Anti-cancer. But even in vegan foods, there are “junk” foods so we feel the need to detox and go more into raw eating as well. Looking forward to it. I was wondering if we could eat olives on the detox and also use hemp milk in a smoothie?? Just a few questions to get started. I also had a hard time finding the Buckthorn Bark so I bought Cascara Sagrada Bark tablets. I guess I will take those with water before drinking the tea? Thanks again!

    Denise - June 14, 2010

    By the way, I'm happy to report our daughter is in remission after 2 rounds of chemo that ended last March. We are all trying to keep a healthy lifestyle and build our immune systems, reduce inflammation, stress, etc. It's been a life-changing experience. She is still suffering some after effects of chemo so the detox should be a great help for her on a regular basis.

      Joseph Garma - June 22, 2010

      Would be a good idea to let her doctor know about the cleansing. Some don't believe in it at all, others, like Dr. Mark Hyman (see blog roll) conducts much of his practice around detoxification.

    Joseph Garma - June 22, 2010

    Sorry this response is so tardy… your email got buried, I guess, cause just saw it now. (Comments are emailed to me.)

    A few olives wouldn't hurt, but keep it light cause they are salty, and salt should not be consumed on a cleanse (and minimized all the time).

    Hemp milk is better than cow's milk on a cleanse, but would limit it too — don't use it with every smoothie.

    Yeah, buckthorn bark is a pain to get… let me know how the tablets work.

    Have fun!

cd - June 22, 2010

Hi Joe, love the cleanse! I couldn't find Buckthorn Bark so I used 1tbs of Sienna.. any advice for or against that?


    Joseph Garma - June 22, 2010

    Cd, from my readings about sienna and buckthorn bark, my impression is that they are similar in that they relieve constipation by stimulating the colon, but buckthorn is said to also assist in “cleaning” the blood, whatever that's supposed to mean. In any event, you should do fine with sienna… but just use less than the amount suggested for buckthorn till you see how your body reacts.

Salt Water Cleanse - July 4, 2010

I wanna find more info about this, anybody could?

Salt Water Cleanse - July 4, 2010

I wanna find more info about this, anybody could?

Denise - July 19, 2010

Hi Joe, thanks for all the answers. I had a great response to the cleanse, losing 8 lbs in 3 days and helping me kick my nightly cocktail routine that really is unhealthy. I then went on a 2 week vacation and splurged a bit. After a month off the detox and still trying to kick some bad eating habits, I have remained only 1 lb from my ending detox weight. I recommended this to my family and friends who are also doing well with it. I am going to do it again this week since I fell off the wagon rather sharply due to vacation. I want to maintain healthy eating after coming off the detox for more long-term health results and then do this quarterly. Is that recommended, doing a detox regularly? Thanks again!! Ps…the cascara sagrada tablets worked great.

    Denise - July 19, 2010

    LOL..8 lbs in 7 days not 3! 🙂

      Joseph Garma - July 19, 2010

      Yeah, seven days sounds a bit better than four, though in either case, losing eight pounds that quickly on a cleanse may be, in part, attributable to purging the colon of some extra, shall we say, stuff. Glad it worked well for you!

    Liver Detox - September 14, 2010

    Yea I highly doubt you could lose 8 lbs in 3 days.

Salt Water Cleanse - November 9, 2010

Oh!…that's great helpful, it's so right to me! Million thanks for the article,

Harold - March 21, 2011

Great information. I have detoxed my body twice a year and I lose about 7 pounds each time I do. I find it is the waste that has build up in my body. I have never been able to keep herbal tea very long as I drink it fairly fast. I also fast when I do detox and I do it over a three days also and then I move to a 7 day program to rid the rest of my body of toxins and heal the body and organs. About a year ago I found out that I have a fatty liver. I drink herbal tea every day to aid in repairing my fatty liver. I also take in Milk Thisttle. Thank You

    Joseph Garma - March 21, 2011

    Well, there’s no shortage of programs and methods. The key is to first establish what you need, perhaps with the advice of your health practitioner, and then select a program that seems smart, comprehensive and doable. The, as the saying goes, “just do it”.

salt water flush - May 24, 2011

I’ll post the same information to my blog, thanks for
ideas and great article.

Anny - November 30, 2011

why is this cleanse better than a juice cleanse?

    Joseph Garma - December 1, 2011

    To answer your question, I’m going to assume that by “juice cleanse” you mean just drink juice, nothing else, and that it consists of both fruit and veggies.
    If just fruit juice, I can say rather unequivocally that you’d be ingesting too much sugar. In addition to an unhealthy insulin effect, sugar is acidic and part of what a cleanse should do is make your body more alkaline.
    If fruit is the minor part of the juice, the major part being veggies, such a juice fast is good; however, it’s more ideal if you ingest herbs that cleanse the body, particularly the various organs of elimination, such as the colon, kidneys, liver and skin. Specific herbs are known to be effective for each such organ. And tea is a good way to deliver the herbs.
    The so-called “Chinese Cleanse” is comprised of such cleansing herbs in a tea form, and reduces the food intake to those foods that are (mostly) alkaline and easy to digest. If you rather drink juice than eat food, you can do that and take the herb tea as well. My caution is that this will generate a greater detox effect. This means that you might have more frequent and runny bowl movements, headaches and general light-headedness. To ameliorate that, take the detox baths, the link to which is at the bottom of the post above.
    And remember… purified water is your friend, so drink plenty of it!

Lisa P - March 14, 2012

Hi! I am doing this detox for 10 days, today is my third day, and so far so good! I was wondering if you had left out certain vegetables and fruits from your list on purpose, or just not listed them. For example squash and pumpkin, are those ok? Or green beans, zucchini and eggplant? And for fruit, what about berries and grapes? Or some other spices, like rosemary, basil, oregano? Pepper?
I’d hate to compromise the detox effect…
thanks alot for you helpful page and blog!

    Joseph Garma - March 14, 2012

    Hello Lisa!

    The list of veggies and fruits I list came from the original document I read about this so-called “Chinese Cleanse”, which I can not find, even when doing a google search (strange). When I do the cleanse, I try to stick with this list, but I don’t foresee a problem with the additional items you list, with this one proviso or guideline: Try to select veggies with more water content and fruit with less sugar. For instance, zucchini has more water and less starch in it than a potato, so although potatoes are OK, favor zucchini and other water dense veggies. Apples have less sugar and more fiber than grapes, so favor apples over grapes. Re herbs, be gentle on yourself while cleansing so use them moderately. No salt. Make sure you learn about the detox baths…. just search on the site for “detox bath” and scroll to the bottom of the post. Hope all goes well!


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