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Do Herbal Medicines Help with Detox?


Yes, herbal medicines can help with detox under the right conditions. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, different courses of treatment are beneficial for different patients; there is no cookie cutter treatment that works for everyone. Many doctors are now turning to some of the herbal alternatives to harsh medications to help with detox in their patients. There are a few reasons why herbal alternatives are preferable to prescription drugs as well as a few herbs that are particularly helpful in dealing with detox symptoms.

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Why are Herbal Medicines Sometimes the Preferred Option?

Herbal alternatives are sometimes the preferred option for a variety of reasons. A few of these reasons are:

  • the user is allergic to a variety of prescription medications and needs relief from the symptoms of detox
  • the patient is opposed to using harsh chemicals during detox
  • the patient is detoxing from multiple drugs and needs herbal medicines to avoid dangerous drug interactions
  • traditional prescription detox treatments are not working for the patient and something needs to be done to alleviate the symptoms to avoid relapse
  • the patient is detoxing from multiple drugs and needs herbal medicines because any of the traditional medications will further the addiction
  • the patient wishes to use herbal medicines to treat the detoxification symptoms

All of these are reasons why a doctor might want to consider herbal applications instead of traditional medicine. Most people who are detoxing particularly those in a 12 step program do not wish to use medications they could become addicted to.

Herbs that are Helpful During Detox

Herbal Medicines

Chamomile can help with insomnia during detox.

Although there are many herbs that are useful, there are several that are useful particularly for detox purposes. These herbs are:

Saint John’s Wort

Although some people react negatively to this medication, many do really well on it when they take it for depression.


This medication is a natural anti-anxiety medication particularly when combined with passion flower. It also promotes good sleep patterns for those with insomnia. Valerian has been shown to improve quality of sleep.


This flower has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and sleep disturbance, two symptoms commonly associated with drug detox.

Rose Root

This both lowers the blood pressure and is a powerful anti-anxiety herb.

Milk thistle

This is often recommended for those with liver damage, a common issue with people who use drugs on a regular basis. It is known to help the liver function better.

Many of these herbs are easy to find but their pill forms are usually weaker and less effective. If you are interested in herbal medications for detox, speak with a doctor who is versed in both. Many rehab centers are now offering herbal alternatives to traditional treatments. It is important to know where to look for these doctors if you want a herbal alternative to some of the prescriptions available. For more information on possible detox options or to find someone who can help call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) .


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. 
  2. The American Journal of Medicine. (2006). Valerian for Sleep: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
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