A Post-Thanksgiving Gentle Detox Recipe

By Sarah Canga /

A Post-Thanksgiving Gentle Detox Recipe

In Chinese Medicine we almost never recommend a “detox” because it is too harsh on your body and can actually knock your body out of balance in the opposite direction. If your Thanksgiving meal was mostly "white" (as in, heavy on simple carbohydrates) this is a great way to gently nourish your digestion and clean your system. I like starting this on Monday because most likely after Thanksgiving you have slowly started to go back to eating your normal diet so its not quite as much of a shock to the system.

What you need:

  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 10 mint leaves or 1 drop of peppermint essential oil*
  • 3 quarts of water


Slice lemons and cucumber and drop into water. Add mint and gently muddle the mint leaves to release the essential oils. Let sit so ingredients can infuse the water overnight. Drink first thing upon waking and before breakfast. This helps to bring your body into an alkaline state and revs up digestion.

In Chinese Medicine, cold and raw foods are almost never recommended except for maybe in the summer time. Drink this room temperature or add a little hot water to your infused water so that it is warm to keep you "middle burner" warm and help with digestion. Peppermint is considered a cooling herb so if you tend to run cold you might considered leaving the peppermint out or switching with some fresh grated ginger, which is a warming herb. WARNING: you might experience an extra trip to the bathroom  You might also find that you crave drinking more water this way.

This is a great routine to get in the habit of in general, don’t just wait to do when you overindulge.

* If you are a nursing mama you might choose to omit the peppermint as it has been known to decrease milk supply.

Sarah Canga, L.Ac. developed an interest in Eastern approaches to health and medicine after experiencing western hospice care and finding it disappointing. She has training in nursing, massage therapy, hatha yoga, and acupuncture, with a particular focus on women's health. Her passion is empowering patients to have the highest quality of life through simple tools, remedies, and natural alternatives. You can learn more about Sarah at http://www.sarahcanga.com/.

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