Detox cure: nothing to do with the detox trend

Detox cure, detoxify
Photo: © Syda Productions –

Detox cures and detox cures are very popular right now. Many of the means and methods bring little or nothing, some are even dangerous. Utopia shows what works and what doesn’t in detoxing.

There is now a “detox offshoot” from almost every area: detox tea, detox juice, detox diet, also detox yoga, plaster, massage and other detox curiosities. The topic of “detoxification” seems to have become a mass phenomenon and everyone: r should “detox” regularly. But what is “detox” and what is the real benefit?

“Detoxification cure” equals “Detox cure”

Strictly speaking, the term “detox“Nothing else than”detoxify“. Also used in the same context as “purifying”, “Detox” is supposed to help with all possible problems. A detox should shed the pounds, provide more energy, strengthen the immune system, have a rejuvenating effect and improve general health. Detox creams are offered against wrinkles, detox plasters are supposed to remove harmful substances from the body through the skin – the list of possible advantages of detoxification cures is long.

Good resolution: drink Fairtrade coffee
Detox cure: flushing toxins out of the body simply by drinking tea – it would be nice, but it doesn’t work. (Photo: © nicolasberlin –

What exactly is a “detox” treatment?

What is confusing, however, is that sometimes “detox” means avoiding certain foods (such as “acidic”), other times certain powders are recommended. Then again, gymnastics exercises (such as yoga) should support the effect. Or cosmetic products and special massages should help the body to “drain toxins”. There is no concrete definition.

The simple explanation that there is no real definition of “detox” is that “detox” in the strict sense of the word does not exist. And nobody gets (or stays) sick if they don’t take a detox regimen on a regular basis.

Products for detox cures mostly empty advertising promises

Our body is well equipped with liver, kidneys and intestines to excrete pollutants even without a “purification cure”. There are scientific medical explanations for all of the alleged proofs of effectiveness cited by proponents, but they have nothing to do with “detox” itself.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) writes:

“Overall, there are no meaningful human studies that examine the effectiveness of detox diets.”

The argument of “purification” or detoxification is usually only used to sell dubious remedies, beverages, food, cosmetics, methods, workshops and books at a profit – or to compensate for one’s own unhealthy behavior with detox cures.

The consumer advice center North Rhine-Westphalia also warns of unnecessary and often overpriced “detox” products. There is also no reliable scientific study on the question of whether you can lose weight with “Detox”:

“Of course you lose weight if you eat little for a short time – but that has nothing to do with“ detox ”. With “Detox” manufacturers want to sell their products better. “

Detox - detoxify detox regimen
No detox miracles: Smoothies can be delicious and healthy – but they cannot “detoxify”. (Photo: © evitaochel / Pixabay)

Incidentally, the term “purification” does not exist in medicine either, it comes from naturopathy and is only passed down orally. It is not even mentioned in the guidelines for therapeutic fasting. “Purifying” juices, cures and applications primarily calm the buyer’s conscience and fill the sellers’ pockets: inside.

Detox: But why does the detox treatment work for others?

Everyone knows people who report how well their detoxification regimen is doing them or what positive health effects they have been able to achieve through a detox regimen. Is there something behind Detox after all?

Yes and no. The positive effect on general health, digestion, the immune system or weight loss cannot be dismissed out of hand for many “detox users”. The pounds drop, digestion normalizes, skin, hair and nails improve. And so the enthusiastic advocates shine: Inside of detoxification and purification cures full of positive energy.

It’s nice to see our fellow human beings blossom. The blooming, however, has little to nothing to do with the detox tea, detox smoothie or other detox treatments used. Basically that is (almost) everyone: r overweight people lose weight if they deal intensively with their diet. Regardless of the nutritional concept behind it: Most of the time, nutritional sins are shown in this way, and this leads to one more conscious Ingestion. So the kilos don’t shed through “detoxifying”, but through actively dealing with the subject of food.

Those who “purify” by adding fresh juices, smoothies or whole grain products to the menu will consume more vitamins, minerals and fiber than usual. This has a positive effect on health not through detox, so the “discharge of poisons”, but through a healthier one nutrition.

But caution: If you forego certain foods on your own during a detox cure, you run the risk of an undersupply of important nutrients after a short time. In addition, purchased fruit juices and smoothies naturally contain a lot of sugar and should only be consumed in moderation. The desired positive effect can quickly turn into a health hazard.

The consumer advice center North Rhine-Westphalia points out that providers are actually not allowed to advertise with terms such as “detox” because they are illegal health promises. She warns that “Detox” products – especially powders and active ingredients from the Internet – could even be dangerous, because the ingredients do not always correspond to the specified. Zeolite-based detox products could contain heavy metals, and highly concentrated or impure plant substances could interact with drugs.

Detox - detoxify
Sea fish and seafood are often heavily contaminated with mercury – this poison cannot be subsequently removed by “detox”. (Photo: © PaelmerPhotoArts / Pixabay)

It is better to live non-toxic instead of a detox cure

Strictly speaking, people are hazardous waste at the end of their life. Environmental toxins such as heavy metals, microplastics and other pollutants accumulate in our body. The fatty tissue in particular stores these substances. In addition, we humans are at the top of the food chain. That is why we also take in environmental toxins through our food, which lower links in the food chain have already stored in body fat. It is therefore almost impossible to mobilize them again and “flush out” them with a detoxification cure.

In the end, this does not only affect your food, but also chemical exposure from cosmetics, medicines and environmental pollution. Toxic dyes, solvents and other substances in our own home also put a strain on the organism.

Everyday detox instead of a detox cure

Instead of thinking about detoxing, detoxing, or spending a lot of money on detox cures, you’d better get used to one “Everyday detox” on:

  • Refrain from alcohol and cigarettes.
  • Cook yourself from fresh ingredients instead of using ready-made products.
  • Prefer organic products to avoid pesticide residue.
  • Drink enough, preferably tap water, of course.
  • Eat little or no meat, rather a lot of regional, seasonal fruit and vegetables. Also read: 10 tips to become a little vegan

You can determine the majority of the pollutants yourself through a more conscious choice of food and cosmetics and your daily behavior – a detox cure is therefore superfluous.


  • Dietary supplements – useful, unnecessary or even questionable?
  • Detoxify the body: completely naturally and without expensive aids
  • Liver Detox: These remedies cleanse the liver naturally
  • Digital detox: 8 tips to consciously go offline

German version available: Does Detox Tea Work? Facts and Myths, Dangers and Benefits


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