Dee's Blog



It’s the same story every year: you want to put the excesses of the festive season firmly behind you, look and feel better as well as getting some energy back, but it’s so hard get motivated when outside it’s cold, wet and dark! All you want to do is curl up on the sofa with something stodgy and comforting to hand. It can be difficult to eat healthily on those grim winter days, so a build up of toxins takes place and as a result we find ourselves getting sluggish, unhealthy and low. But it's not as hard as you think to get your hands on fresh, organic food at the moment - I was in the Broughton Street branch of Edinburgh’s Real Foods just the other day and they have a fantastic selection of seasonal fruit and vegetables, as well as a host of other foods, to help you eat well at this tricky time of the year.


Waste products are processed by the liver, some are excreted directly via the kidneys and some are laid down in fat cells. When we’re healthy, our organs of detoxification – the liver, kidneys, lungs, bowels and skin – carry out their task unaided. However, during and after the winter period, poor eating and lifestyle choices can take their toll and they can contribute to many types of ill health. An excess of toxins can first show as fatigue, lethargy and depression, and as toxins build up, the body resorts to emergency elimination in the form of mucous or catarrh, leading to conditions such as irritable bowel, sinus problems, skin problems and can even trigger gout and arthritis.

But there is a solution. A diet and lifestyle revamp (detoxing) will support the organs of elimination and encourage a good clear out of all that accumulated waste from the tissues.


Medical Herbalist, Dee Atkinson and the team at our Clinic have developed an effective and easy to follow Detox Plan which will help you get into shape for the year ahead.

This gentle regime of herbs, diet and exercise will help you break unhealthy habits and form healthy new ones htat you can sustain throughout the year, bringing you optimum health, greater energy, clearer skin, balanced mood and easier weight management.

The programme supports your body's natural detoxification processes using a diet of tasty, easy-to-digest amd highly nutricious foods alongside the Herbal Detox Formula and other ways to boost cleansing.

You can detox at any time of year, although after Christmas and at the change of seasons are the most popular and traditional times to give our bodies a break after a period of overindulgence or excess. 


Read the following information carefully, and start your detox on a weekend to give you time in the first few days to relax and get a good start on the Detox Plan. Ask a friend or family member to join you and make it a time of fun and discovery.


We advise that you do not detox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, taking any medication or undergoing medical treatment, or unwell or recovering from illness (in this case, wait until you feel well again before starting).


The food that we eat is vital to our health and can influence our ability to deal with toxins. Many foods are processed or sprayed with harmful chemical pesticides and fungicides, so try to eat organic where possible.

For the duration of your 10 Day Detox, you should eat regularly and never feel like you’re starving. The aim is to provide foods that are easy to digest, do not stress the organs of elimination and that are highly nutritious, packed with important vitamins and minerals.

Be prepared – always have a healthy, tasty snack with you so that you’re not tempted by sweet, sugary snacks during the day. Use fresh homemade juices and smoothies made with carrot, beetroot, ginger, grapefruit, cucumber, and melon to add concentrated nutrients to your day. Add psyllium husks, spirulina, or green food powder to your juices for a superfood boost!


  • Fresh fruit, fruit juices and vegetables
  • Sprouted seeds. Beans, lentils and other pulses
  • Tofu
  • Wholegrains (oats, brown basmati rice, rice noodles, quinoa, millet, corn, barley, rye)
  • Oat cakes, rye crackers, corn crackers, rice cakes
  • Fresh fish
  • Unsalted/unroasted nuts and seeds
  • Live natural yoghurt
  • Extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice for salad dressings
  • Sulphur rich foods – cabbage, garlic, onion, leek, kale, eggs (organic and free range) to support liver detoxification.
  • Garlic, ginger, ground black pepper and fresh herbs
  • Water (at least 2 litres a day, filtered or mineral water from glass bottles)
  • Herbal or fruit teas – good detox teas include dandelion leaf/root, nettle, celery seed, fennel, liquorice, ginger, peppermint


  • Meat - Red meat and any meat products like sausages, burgers, and pate. Use organic chicken or turkey occasionally as a source of quality protein
  • Dairy products
  • Butter, margarine and hydrogenated fats – use olive oil or cold pressed vegetable oils such as flax or hemp instead
  • Wheat - bread, croissants, cereals, cakes, biscuits, pies, pastry, quiche, battered or breadcrumbed foods, etc
  • Crisps and savoury snacks including salted nuts, chocolate, sweets, jam and sugar
  • Processed foods, ready-made meals, sauces & takeaways
  • Alcohol, coffee and tea
  • Sauces, pickles, shop bought salad dressing, mayonnaise
  • Fizzy drinks and squashes, including diet versions

Example Diet

Days 1-3


  • Large glass of warm water with a thick slice of organic unwaxed lemon.


  • Wheat free muesli soaked overnight in apple juice with fresh berries.
  • Cup of herbal tea.


  • Fruit and/or vegetable juice and small handful of raw seeds and nuts


  • Large salad of mixed leaves, avocado, red and yellow pepper, cucumber, carrot, raw beetroot, tomato, broccoli with quinoa or brown rice.


  • Piece of fruit and a few nuts, large glass of warm water with a thick slice of organic unwaxed lemon.


  • Steamed vegetables (leek, cabbage, spinach, kale, broccoli, carrot) drizzled with olive oil, served with brown rice or millet with a protein food of your choice – tofu, grilled fish, beans/pulses.


  • Cup of relaxing herbal tea

Days 4-7

Each morning have a large glass of warm water with a thick slice of organic unwaxed lemon to stimulate the digestive system. The following are examples of suitable meals to eat throughout the day:


  • Hearty porridge - use water and soy/oat milk. Add half a grated apple or pear and top with a tablespoon of ground linseeds or mixed seeds.
  • Fruit salad with yoghurt, seeds and oats or wheat free muesli – soak wheat-free muesli in apple juice or water overnight and add fruit and seeds.


  • Vegetable and lentil soup and oatcakes
  • Avocado and prawn salad
  • Jacket potato/sweet potato with grilled fish or hummus and lightly steamed vegetables.


  • Chinese vegetable stir fry - Add cashew nuts, tofu, fish or prawns for protein. Serve with brown rice.
  • Baked salmon with jacket sweet potato
  • Potato and bean casserole


  • Vegetable crudite with hummus/bean dip or similar
  • Rice/corn/oat cakes with avocado or hummus
  • Fruit and a small handful of nuts or seeds
  • Plain popcorn


  • 2 litres of plain water daily
  • Fresh fruit juices or smoothies
  • Herbal teas


  • Treat yourself to an aromatherapy or manual lymphatic drainage massage. This will help to eliminate toxins and break down cellulite and is a great way to relax.
  • Epsom salt baths – Have one every day of your detox using 1-2 cups of Epsom salts per bath and soak for at least 20 minutes before going to bed. Deeply relaxing and detoxifying. If you are unable to use a bath, try an Epsom salt foot soak instead!
  • Steam room or sauna will help your body to eliminate toxins through the skin.
  • Dry skin brushing daily before showering stimulates the circulation and the lymphatic systems. It will improve blood flow to the skin giving it a healthy glow. Regular brushing helps to improve skin tone and increase your vitality.
  • Coffee enemas stimulate the liver and gallbladder to increase bile flow and can be used daily throughout a detox.
  • Gentle exercise is helpful as it stimulates the circulation and lymphatic systems, but do not undertake any strenuous activities during your detox. Brisk walking, yoga, pilates and tai chi also aid relaxation and increase wellbeing.
  • Sleep – nature’s best medicine! Try to have early nights and make time for yourself. Use essential oils and scented candles to pamper yourself – lavender and rose are relaxing whilst juniper, grapefruit and lemon are stimulating and detoxifying. Make sure to dilute your essential oils in a carrier oil before using them in the bath or for massage.
  • Add teaspoon of Psyllium husks to your juice or smoothie to aid detoxification.


There are a number of herbs known for boosting your body’s natural detox capability. Many work on the liver, gall bladder and bowel and help stimulate lymphatic flow. To help support your detox programme try one of our detox blends. Traditional herbal blends contain Burdock, Artichoke, Bladderwrack, Dandelion, Lemon and Prunes.

Blue green algae such as chlorella and spirulina and wheat grass are rich in chlorophyll which is very cleansing, antioxidant and can help short fasts.

Acidophillus is useful to ensure the correct balance of microorganisms in the intestines.

Psyllium seed powder can be taken 2-4 times daily. This provides fibre which is soothing to the intestines and which absorbs toxins and ensures they are ready for elimination. It also helps prevent constipation.


At the end of 10 days of detox you should be feeling fitter and healthier than you were 10 days ago. We hope you have discovered many new ways to help yourself feel great, that you will continue the new, healthier eating habits you’ve formed and that you will leave behind the unhealthy ones.

Remember to eat a variety of fresh and whole foods daily, never skip meals, limit tea, coffee and alcohol, and to take time out to relax and unwind.

Do NOT attempt detoxification if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have very high or very low blood pressure. If you have a chronic condition please seek the advice of a qualified practitioner.



Dee Atkinson MNIMH

Dee is one of the UK's top herbalists and owns and runs D. Atkinson Herbalist in Edinburgh - a herbal dispensary and shop which provide a wide range of herbal medicines, vitamins, supplements, herbal skincare as well as a herbal dispensary. Next door is Napiers Clinic.

Dee qualified as a Medical Herbalist in 1988 and took over Napiers the Herbalists in 1990, building it up into one of the UKs most respected and trusted Complementary Medicine Clinics.

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