Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Cilantro cleanse

2 Comments

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Oh facebook and your unending perpetuation of useless “cleanses” and weight loss scams. I saw this one about cleaning your kidneys by drinking cilantro or parsley water.

The thing is, toxins don’t accumulate in your kidneys. The kidneys act as filters, removing waste products from your blood, and excreting them in your urine. They don’t hang onto these waste products (1).

Okay, so cilantro and parsley won’t rid your kidneys of toxins, but is there any truth to their use as “detoxifiers”? Well, parsley acts as a diuretic (i.e. it makes you pee more) so, in the sense that it will speed the removal of waste products from your body via urine it’s kind of true. However, it won’t remove any more waste than would be eventually removed if you just waited a little longer to pee.

Years ago, it was reported that a cilantro soup increased excretion of mercury following removal of mercury fillings (2). Since then, cilantro has been popularly touted as a detoxifier via chelation of heavy metals. Unfortunately, since that initial study, there has been little research to support the ability of cilantro to remove heavy metals from the body.

If you like cilantro and parsley water and tea, go ahead, there’s no evidence that consuming it will harm you. However, it’s not going to remove toxins from your kidneys, and it’s unlikely that it will remove toxins from elsewhere in your body.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

2 thoughts on “Cilantro cleanse

  1. I love these posts. I first found bite my words when researching nutribullet. It sounded like bullshit to me and after days and days i finally found a website that wasn’t selling the crap. i get so sick and tired of posts on facebook about weight loss ‘miracles’. I wish everyone could read bite my words. I’ve been telling everybody for years that your body detoxifies itself.

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