I have been on a pretty exciting gut healing journey these days. After dealing with chronic stomach issues since I was a teenager, I decided it was time to actually get to the root cause of my tummy trouble. To do this, I started taking a probiotic with a natural anti-fungal component and I have almost completely given up grains. I am being careful to use only small amounts of natural sweeteners. Rather than a cleanse, I plan on adopting this as my new long term diet, as that is the best way to see permanent results (see this post). When I finally committed to this plan, I had a few days of detox symptoms. (*UPDATE* As my health saga continues, I highly recommend consulting a holistic nutritionist if you are experiencing any health problems rather than relying on the internet! Best decision ever.)
To be honest with you, I did not think detox was a thing a year ago. I thought to myself, the liver and kidneys do all the detoxing for me so why would I ever experience detox symptoms? Well, I was wrong. The day after I cut out grains and then again when I increased my probiotic/anti-fungal dosage I had a headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Although it wasn’t fun, I was pleased my body was in fact going through a healing process.
Remember, I am not a doctor; this is just my own personal journey and research. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits from food or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease.
Die-off may cause similar symptoms. Die-off, or the Jarisch-Herxheimer-like reaction, is when the body is overloaded with the toxic byproducts of dying microorganisms. It is highly studied in syphilis patients, but can happen with Candida as well (6). Although I never had any medical testing done for intestinal Candida overgrowth, I’ve had numerous rounds of antibiotics in my life, with no post treatment with probiotics or fermented foods. It’s likely that my gut microbiome was greatly unbalanced.
All this being said, detox/die-off symptoms are not fun and I wanted to support my body and liver the best I could. I created this caffeine-free, nutrition packed, liver supporting beverage with dandelion root and milk thistle extract.
Enter the detox mocha:
Why do we like it?
Dandelion root is a common herbal remedy for liver support that works by reducing oxidative stress on the liver (1). In one animal study, dandelion root was able to reduce the oxidative stress put on the liver due to a Tylenol overdose by antioxidant effects and free radical elimination (2). In another study, dandelion root extract showed promising results in enhancing the liver’s regenerative capabilities (3).
The milk thistle plant contains flavonoids called silymarin and silybin in it’s fruit known to be antioxidants that boost the liver’s detoxification and protective capabilities. They can also conserve glutathione, one of the bodies most potent antioxidant and detoxifying agents (4). Milk thistle has been used for over 2,000 years to aid in liver support (5).
I made this bulletproof style to add some healthy fats to the mix, because I didn’t really have an appetite. The coconut oil, coconut milk, and collagen add a boost of nutrition and calories which are especially important when going through a detox phase.
Dandy blend is a gluten-free mixture that includes extracts of dandelion, barley, rye, chicory, and sugar beets. It is about the closest to a coffee taste you will find without actually drinking coffee. I love it in just plain hot water, as well as mixed in drinks such as this one.
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- 12-16 ounces of coconut milk
- 1 tsp dandy blend*
- 1 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp raw honey or stevia
- 1 tsp coconut butter or coconut oil
- 1 tsp collagen peptides(optional for protein boost)
- 1 mL milk thistle* (optional for liver detox boost)
*Because dandelion root and milk thistle are considered supplements, anyone with a medical condition, pregnant, or nursing should ask a healthcare professional before using. For optimal absorption, milk thistle should be taken in phytosome form (4).
- Warm the coconut milk.
- Put all the ingredients into a serving size blender and mix.
- Pour and enjoy.
Alternatively you could leave out the oil and just mix everything together well without a blender.
I enjoy this “mocha” very much; I think it tastes pretty close to the real thing! It is caffeine free and full of liver supporting plant extracts. This is my go to afternoon treat these days; it has all the warmth and feels of a hot mocha, but it is good for you. Your body will thank you!
- Taraxacum officinale Weber extracts inhibit LPS-induced oxidative stress and nitric oxide production via the NF-κB modulation in RAW 264.7 cells.
- Chemical composition and hepatoprotective activity of ethanolic root extract of Taraxacum Syriacum Boiss against acetaminophen intoxication in rats.
- Antifibrotic activity of Taraxacum officinale root in carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in mice.
- A review of the bioavailability and clinical efficacy of milk thistle phytosome: a silybin-phosphatidylcholine complex (Siliphos).
- Silybin and silymarin – new effects and applications
- Managing through the Herxheimer Reaction by the same LLMD (Lyme-literate MD)