The Evolution of Drug Detox Methods Over the Years

drug detox methods

There are many detoxification methods used today. Detox is often grouped into “alternative health” but throughout most of the time it was classified as mainstream medicine and healing, and what is currently considered as mainstream is really the new kid on the block.

Heading back in time and into various ancient cultures, such as Egyptian times, Ancient Greece, and the Biblical era, detoxification was used as a way to remove toxins from the body so as not to catch a disease, to heal the body’s integrated system, and to stay healthy. It is more or less still used in the same manner. Detoxing is ridding the body of unnatural elements, or “toxins.” Today we do it through many methods, much of them initiating from the ancient custom of detox.

Drug Detox Methods


The oldest form of medicine in the world comes from India and is called Ayurveda. Ayurveda dates back from 3-5,000 B.C. it was first written down over 5,000 years ago and before that was passed on from teacher to student verbally. Eventually, the first school was founded in India around 800 B.C. Ayurveda means the science of life, the Indian word, Ayur which means, “life” and Veda which means, “knowledge” or “science,” explains the basis of Ayurvedic medicine. The aim of it is to heal people and prevent a disease or illness from coming about through the application of such knowledge.

Ayurveda was spread by Buddha, but it has also influenced other healing and detoxification schools, such as those in Chinese, Tibetan, Islāmic, Greek, Roman, and European practices. The Ayurvedic principle holds that disease is caused by toxins built up in the body. Some detoxing methods used in Ayurvedic practice include enema, fasting, exercise, sunbathing, herbalism, and nutrition.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

90 B.C. found Chinese medicine allowing for Acupuncture, although it was more than likely practiced well before then, that is when it was first documented. The points on the skin that get pressed are called acupuncture points, and these points in the body are connected with specific organs and so, pressing on them, they can then remove toxins from that organ, and therefore detox the body of toxins.

One of the reasons the feet are often used as primary acupressure points, or with a detoxing foot pad, is because traditional Chinese medicine shows that the body sends toxins as far away from the heart as it can get. Traditional Chinese Medicine also uses specific nutritious foods, herbal remedies, and detox teas.

Native American Healing

Meanwhile, in the Western hemisphere, Native Americans had their own ways of healing and detoxing. They used steam to detox and as a purification method, called a “sweat lodge” which is much like a sauna and, like Ayurvedic practice, they fasted. Native Americans also used herbs. One of the most common detox herbs preferred by Native Americans was Slippery Elm, used as an immune booster and to soothe the throat or intestinal tract, or to heal from an inflammatory illness, they also used it to heal wounds.

Other Ancient Detox Customs

Biblical methods include focusing on the diet and physical and aromatic cleansing. Ancient Greece and Rome used baths and sauna treatment for effective detoxification. The Egyptian basis for detox was colonic irrigation. Their studies showed that fever was caused by decomposition of the intestines which created toxins. They also used clay, much as we use clay masks today, to draw out impurities and toxins through our largest organ, the skin.

What is Detox?

Now that we know what detoxes the body, the fact that it has been used for thousands of years to heal the body, and to not only help it recover from an illness but as a preventative method against disease, we can explore ways that detoxification is commonly used today.

Sauna and Steam Rooms

Sweating is an important method of detoxing as one removes toxins through sweat, which is why many people turn to exercise, such as running or playing a sport for eliminating toxins. Sweating in a sauna is far more effective as you sweat out incredible amounts of sweat and it actually rids the kidneys of one-third of their toxins. Because you sweat so much, it is vitally important to stay hydrated and to replenish the vitamins and minerals that you lose in your sweat.

Steam bathing is also an ancient custom originating with the earliest nomadic tribes. Some steam rooms also use aromatherapy, such as eucalyptus hanging in the room, to open up the lungs and pores for greater detoxification results. With a steam room one would want to be wary of fungi and mold that could grow, so keeping a clean fresh towel is important as well as clean sandals.

Using either method of detoxing through copious amounts of sweat, one should always shower afterward to rinse away all toxins remaining on the skin. Both are effective ways of sweating and releasing impurities.

Diet and Nutrition

There is much information on diet and nutrition and a lot of ways one can take care of the body by feeding it the proper nutritional content needed to make energy, regulate temperature, and even further, heal.

Each produce item has a list of nutritional elements that it provides. For example, the nutritional content of kale is the main reason it is such a fad, it has incredibly high quantities of vitamin K, a high level of A and C, it has good levels of the B vitamins, and it also has minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Additionally, it is a good source of protein and fiber. Although the qualities of any leafy vegetable have similar vitamins and minerals, kale is one of the superior vegetables.

Another example of a common food item is the herb cilantro, usually used in Mexican dishes and the cousin of parsley, cilantro is an excellent detox herb, especially for heavy metal detoxification. It also is a good anti-inflammatory and can expel bad bacteria.

Natural Detox Remedies

There are many other home remedy and spa-type detox methods. For example, foot baths can draw out toxins and do so to such a degree they can leave the water black. One can detox in the bath with Epsom salts, which regulate over 300 enzymes among other healing qualities, and other elements such as essential oils that draw out impurities. There are hand and foot pads one can use. Detox teas are available online or in health food shops. One could find many home remedies online that are safe and effective to rid oneself of the damaging effects of toxins.


Most of the ancient detoxification methods are still used today and are just as effective in pulling out unhealthy substances, in effect, poisons. Besides the toxic effects of drugs, toxins are in the food we eat from the pesticides and herbicides sprayed on them, in the water we drink from medication, chlorine and fluoride, and chemicals in pollution. There are also serious toxins in our environment such as over 80,000 chemicals in the US, most which haven’t been tested and of which we don’t know the effects of.

To detox the body of toxins is an important and necessary undertaking in today’s world. Detoxification boosts the immune system, can prevent disease and can rid one of the poisons embedded in the body. One can then begin to heal and become healthy. The question, “What is detox and its application?” has existed throughout history and the answers are a primary and effective route to recovery. Contact Choices Recovery today for more information on detoxification and addiction recovery.

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