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Tis' the season of detoxes, workout programs, and juice fasts and I'm over here wishing all my detox options weren't so intense. I've tried the teatoxes that made my intestines cry, the juice fasts that made me realize I can't handle the feeling of an empty stomach, and even the intense diet changes that had me craving whatever it was I'd given up for the week. While I have found helpful lessons in all of my health-seeking adventures, I can be a bit lazy and prefer much gentler methods of detoxing. Which is why I was excited to discover charcoal lemonade, or as I like to call it; dirty lemonade!
Inspired by Dirty Lemon's Detox drink
As it happens, when I search the internet, I find myself distracted easily, ALL THE TIME! It was on a day recently that such an occurrence happened and I found myself at the Dirty Lemon website wondering what ingredients are in their charcoal and lemon based detox drink. It turns out, it’s full of ingredients I usually have on hand, and you probably do too! With such simple ingredients, I was surprised to find out that just 1 bottle of Dirty Lemon costs roughly $11! Being the money-saving gal that I am, I knew that I could easily come up with a recipe for this awesome detox drink, and it costs less than $11 to make a gallon of it too!
Ingredients that detox impurities
The best part about this simple detox beverage is that it’s great for more than just cleansing your body. This drink will help calm the stomach, support liver/kidney function, and trap impurities before they can be absorbed by your body. The ingredients in this purifying beverage are gentle yet effective:
Activated charcoal – Activated charcoal is a key ingredient in this drink. It’s what gives it this lemonade the dirty black color and is used by doctors everywhere for its natural absorptive properties. Used to treat food poisoning, diarrhea, and even to fight hangovers, activated charcoal works by absorbing the toxic substance and neutralizing it before the body can absorb it. Quite a few studies have been done on the effects of activated charcoal. According to the results, activated charcoal significantly reduces the symptoms of intestinal gas, bloating and cramps.
Dandelion – Dandelion is a rich source of vitamin A, C, and E as well as B-complex vitamins. It also contains choline, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, biotin and calcium. Dandelion is also great for detoxification and decreasing bloat. It is well known to help support the health of the kidneys and liver. As a natural diuretic, dandelion will help you get rid of water weight in a flash! It also helps strengthen the immune system, balance blood sugar levels, relieve heartburn and soothe digestive issues.
Ginger – Used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine for all sorts of ailments including pain relief and digestive disorders, ginger has undergone all sorts of clinical studies for its anti-inflammatory and digestive abilities. The warming abilities of ginger help to improve circulation and relieve tension. Ginger can help soothe indigestion, nausea, upset stomach, and even motion sickness. Ginger’s digestive abilities help to soothe gas, bloating, flatulence, and intestinal colic.
Lemons – Citrus fruits are rich in electrolytes and lemons have the most of any of them! The naturally occurring sugars in the fruit juices also help to maintain energy during a workout as well as to help speed up recovery afterward. Rich in vitamin C, lemons also help to maintain the immune system and are a great natural remedy for many cold and flu symptoms.
DIY Dirty Lemonade Detox Drink
This detoxifying tea lemonade can be consumed on a daily basis. Due to activated charcoal's absorptive properties, it is recommended that you wait a minimum of 3 hours between taking medications and drinking this detox drink to prevent drug absorption.
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger (or 2 Tbsp. dried ginger root)
- 2 Tbsp. dandelion leaf
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice + peels from lemons (roughly 4-6 lemons)
- 1 Tbsp. activated charcoal
- 1/2 cup raw unfiltered honey or maple syrup, or to taste (optional)
- 4 cups filtered water, boiling + more to fill container
- 1-gallon container
- Using a cotton mesh tea bag, tea press, or iced tea teapot, steep ginger, dandelion, and lemon peel in 4 cups boiling filtered water for 15 minutes.
- Strain herbs from tea and stir in honey (if using) and activated charcoal.
- Add ice to cool off tea and then more water to fill the container. Stir to mix, serve, and enjoy!