Blood plays a crucial role in the body, throughout which it transports vital oxygen, nutrients, and hormones. At the same time, the blood is also responsible for carrying waste products away from the cells.
It transports these toxins to the lungs, liver, and kidneys, among other areas, which release these waste products from the body.
Some people believe that blood cleansers can help these organs do their job and cleanse the blood.
There are a seemingly endless number of detox products, cleanses, and diets on the market. Many of these blood cleansers and herbal supplements can be quite expensive despite having little scientific evidence to support their claims.
In reality, the body handles its own waste products efficiently the majority of the time. Therefore, in most cases, the only thing that a person needs to do to help the organs eliminate waste is to practice healthful habits. In this article, learn more about blood cleansing products and whether they work.
In a healthy person, the liver, kidney, and lungs already cleanse and detoxify the blood.
The liver plays the most significant role in cleansing the blood. A healthy liver not only filters toxins and unwanted byproducts from the blood but also pulls nutrients from it to deliver to the body.
The liver breaks down waste into relatively harmless substances that it then releases from the body.
Meanwhile, the lungs help cleanse the blood by removing unwanted gases and releasing them through the breath. The kidneys also filter waste and byproducts, which they release in the form of urine.
These are just a few key organs that handle the cleansing of the blood. Other organs that also play a role include the:
- lymphatic system
All of these processes mean that the body typically takes care of blood cleansing without any outside help. In most cases, taking steps to keep these organs healthy is enough to ensure that the blood is clean.
As the body cleanses the blood effectively on its own most of the time, it may be difficult to determine the true effectiveness of detox products.
With that said, some natural foods and herbs may help the organs to do their job more effectively. However, there is no miracle cure or quick fix blood cleanser, no matter what claims a company may make.
Below, we look at whether natural blood cleansers are effective and why:
Water may be the most important tool that a person can use to keep the blood clean.
Many people are aware that the kidneys need water to filter the blood, but water also helps nearly every other organ in the body do its job. Staying hydrated ensures that the cells have enough water, which they use to transport toxins into the blood for removal. Water is also necessary to keep blood vessels open and maintain the flow of blood through the body.
The general advice is that 8 glasses, or about 64 ounces, of water each day is enough to keep a person well-hydrated.
While this is generally true, a person's individual needs may fluctuate based on a few different factors, including their age, weight, and activity level.
Using the urine as a guide can help a person determine whether they are drinking enough water. The urine should be either clear or a faint yellow throughout the day. Darker urine may indicate that the person is not drinking enough water.
Exercise may also be an effective blood cleanser. Exercise promotes breathing and sweating, and it gets the heart pumping more blood to the muscles.
Coincidentally, these are all important steps in cleansing the blood.
Eating fresh whole foods
Adding more fresh whole foods to the diet is a simple way to increase nutrient intake. Nutrients help the body's organs function well.
Eliminating greasy or processed foods and opting for more healthful choices is not a quick fix for a detox or blood cleanse, but it is a long term solution to improving overall health. It may help the organs perform their jobs better and protect against problems with these organs, such as fatty liver disease.
Some fruits and vegetables may also have added benefits. The authors of some 2015 research note that certain foods have possible detoxification effects. These foods include:
- alliums, such as garlic and onion
- chamomile tea
- citrus fruits
- chicory root
- cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower
- purple sweet potato
It is essential to note that these are not quick fix blood cleansers themselves. Adding these foods to a balanced diet may support the organs, such as the liver or kidneys, which clean the blood.
The researchers stated that for most people, the best route might be to follow a varied diet that focuses on whole foods. They also noted the importance of working with a nutritionist.
Keeping the liver healthy
A person can also take some preventive steps to help keep their liver healthy. The liver cleanses the blood and performs several other vital functions in the body.
- Avoid excessive drinking: The liver has to process the toxins from alcohol. Excess alcohol can destroy liver cells and leave scars in the liver tissue.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight may increase the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can impair the liver.
- Get a vaccine against hepatitis: Hepatitis A and B are both viral infections that can damage the liver.
- Follow all medication labels: When taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, be sure to follow any recommendations on the label, such as taking the drug with water or avoiding alcohol.
- Avoid drug use: The liver has to process the byproducts from most drugs. As such, taking unnecessary or illicit drugs puts strain on the liver and may lead to liver damage.
In rare cases, a person may develop sepsis, which is a dangerous infection of the blood. Sepsis occurs when invading germs grow and multiply in the blood faster than the body can eliminate them.
This situation causes a chain reaction in the immune system, which triggers inflammation all over the body and can lead to organ failure.
Sepsis is life threatening, and even with the most comprehensive care, a person may not survive the infection.
In these cases, a doctor or medical team will treat the infection. There are some newer devices that show promise for treating sepsis and may make blood cleansing a reality for people with sepsis.
For instance, an article in Nature Medicine describes a blood cleansing device called a biospleen, which was able to remove more than 90% of bacteria from the blood while reducing markers of inflammation in rats. The device greatly increased survival rates in lab tests.
These tests show how a device such as this could potentially save lives in the future. However, research in humans needs to back up these claims before these types of device move toward becoming available.
In most cases, practicing general healthful habits can keep the liver and other organs strong, which allows them to do their job and cleanse the blood naturally.
Detox programs, diet teas, and other supplements claiming to be blood cleansers are usually unnecessary.
In severe cases, such as sepsis, where a blood cleanser is a matter of life and death, researchers are developing machines that mimic the jobs that the organs in the body perform.
Anyone with questions or concerns about cleansing their blood should speak to a doctor.