Our bodies are beautiful, efficient machines that when properly cared for, are nothing short of miraculous. The operative word being care. But we all know this. In the final analysis—putting aside genetics and say, accident—we are ultimately what we eat.
Processed foods, fast food, junk food, too much takeout, easy to grab bad-for-us snacks (but oh so tasty!), and we end up feeling like yuck—and often, looking like it. This isn’t any new concept. So when you instead put lots of fruits and vegetables, and lean or plant-based proteins, plus good fats from avocados and nuts and seeds, our bodies will change.
At Dherbs, the idea is taken a step further; eat a nutritious way with tons of plant-based foods, but supplement that diet with herbal tablets—with the vast majority of the ingredients having been used for centuries in tribal and Asian traditional medicines. Dherbs says it products can address ailments from AIDS to Zika.
I’m not kidding. Dherbs claims its products—while not intended to diagnose, treat,, cure mitigate or prevent any disease—will restore the “human body to a glorious state of optimal health and well-being.”
That is a huge claim. And this multi-level-marketing (MLM) nutrition company—like many, many others—sells all kinds of products. In this case, supplements and powders, soaps, creams, inhalers. All made with herbs, all of which are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As you’ll see in my bottom line on this product, I believe herbs and spices are integral to good health. But I differ on the modus operandi.
In this review, we are looking at the two regimens:
- The Full Body Cleanse (also called the 20 Day Cleanse and Regimen)
- The Weight Release Cleanse and Regimen
Done separately—or as Dherbs suggests, one after the other (which will cost almost $300 for 20 days)—these regimens promise weight “release” of 10 to 40 pounds. Yup. That’s what they claim, if and only if you stick to the 20-day regimen: many tablets a day plus a diet restricted to raw fruits and vegetables only.
(I read a review by a woman who complained she didn’t know that the diet was part of the plan. Folks, it’s quite clear on the website—if you read through it—that the promised weight loss is achieved by taking Dherbs products and eating only uncooked foods consisting of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and the like.)
That’s it. If you lose weight—say 10 pounds—you might not be shocked, since that’s all you are eating, and the supplements may or may not have a thing to do with it. Of course, beginning on the 21st day, unless you adjust your lifestyle to reflect that kind of healthy eating, you’ll likely gain it right back.
And why does lost weight return so quickly? Actually, Dherbs has a theory on that; you’ll read in a moment, and it’s kind of out there.
Dherbs promotes a plant-based diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds; not just because it’s all good for you but because, they say, these foods strengthen the immune system which helps the body heal itself. And they say healthy plant-based foods—yes, this is very much a vegetarian diet—will create healthy digestion and more of the good stuff will be absorbed.
I’m with them so far.
Dherbs also says that staying well-hydrated is important.
Still with them.
Additionally, taking all-natural herbal supplements, which are also foods for the body, help supply added nutrition and assist in remedying various types of health ailments. (emphasis added)
They may want to watch that language; the FDA might take exception to them calling supplements “foods.”
And that’s where they lost me. I am just not convinced supplements are necessary, if you simply eat the foods that contain the nutrients and herbs they pack into a big ol’ tablet. But that’s the point: all the good stuff we’re missing out on—again almost entirely based on ancient or historical herbal or plant-based medicines used in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America—is what you get from Dherbs concoctions. “Giving this way of life a try can only benefit you in the short and long term. Who knows? You might actually like it, feel younger, and have more energy!”
Full Body Cleanse
Starting with the 20-day, $120 Full Body Cleanse:
The Dherbs.com Full Body Cleanse is a safe and effective 20-day herbal-based Cleanse that helps you work toward ensuring that your entire body is functioning at an optimal level: your immune system, circulatory system, digestive system, respiratory system, organs, vessels, and more.
When your body is operating at peak efficiency, it can help you stay physically and mentally fit, assist in achieving an increased metabolism, help you experience better digestion, and contribute to your feeling more energetic.
Every day, your body takes in a lot of toxins, pollutants, and potentially infectious agents. Sources of these substances can include processed foods, household cleaning supplies, beauty products, pesticides, radiation, airborne pathogens, unfiltered water, smoke, air pollution, and a plethora of other possible irritants. …
The human body is an efficient machine with the ability to cleanse itself naturally. Over time, however, our society has developed new technologies that process food for longer shelf life, imbue our produce with pesticides, fill our air with pollutants, and fill our homes with toxic cleaning products, as well as allowing chemicals to leach into our water supply. This isn’t even taking into account pollen and airborne biological contaminants. All of this can tax your body’s ability to continue filtering out toxins by itself.
So here’s where Dherbs starts again to lose me:
Taking the Cleanse can help to reduce the number and amount of these toxins currently in your various bodily systems, metaphorically helping you to wipe your body’s slate clean and start over from a much healthier, cleaner, clearer place. (emphasis added)
Metaphorically means “figuratively,” or like. So are they saying it doesn’t really help? So confused.
So Dherbs Full Body Cleanse helps to unclog, and decontaminate, they say:
If you think of your body as being similar to your car, you realize that it, too, has various systems and fluids that can become clogged and contaminated over time. Well, the same way your car needs periodic fluid changes and tune-ups, your body also needs occasional help in performing its filtering and self-cleansing functions.
The Full Body Cleanse can contribute to helping your body maintain a healthy pH level, assisting with the cleansing of your bloodstream, aiding your mucous membranes in its natural expulsion process, and supporting your digestive system’s ability to naturally clear out any fecal matter or other waste that has built up in your colon.
When you support your body’s ability to naturally filter out the internal and external irritants that have been inundating it, it can aid your immune system.
And you end up with:
- weight “release” of 10 to 30 pounds
- more resilient skin and complexion
- enhanced energy levels
- feelings of positivity and clear-mindedness
- enhanced willpower
- a stronger immune system
- normalized and regulated body functions
- regularity of bowel movements
- eradication of cravings (especially sugar, and junk food)
- healthy circulation
- healthy libido
The Weight Release Cleanse and Regimen is similar in concept; but while the first is focused on detoxifying your body, this one is geared more specifically toward weight loss though cleansing. The claim is you will “release” 15 to 40 pounds in less than three weeks.
This regimen employs the same concept, that our modern Western world is so full of contaminants, and our food is so processed, that we are chock-full of waste and toxins. They also lay blame on desk jobs, junk food, and video games instead of outside exercise and play. Dherbs is particularly concerned about specific factors in our modern diet that can contribute to weight gain, including meat laden with hormones and antibiotics, rendered animal fat, saturated fat, trans fat, chemical preservatives and additives, and manmade sugars and sugar substitutes.
Me, too. But their way to be healthier is to take their supplements and change your diet. I still stand by the “change your diet” part. The supplements are not necessary, I say. But that’s just me.
So the Weight Release Cleanse—with its herbal supplements, raw foods, and “self-care”—will, it says, help eliminate cravings, help with willpower and, ultimately, see up to 40 pounds gone in 20 days, cellulite and stretch marks “undone” (come on) a balanced appetite, increased energy, and a regulated metabolism.
A few words about weight release vs. weight loss terminology from Dherbs:
Weight loss is when you lose weight which causes the subconscious mind to go find the “lost” weight because by nature you can’t lose anything that belongs to you. People do not say they lost “unnecessary” weight or “unhealthy” weight, they just outright say they lost weight and this is what sabotages them. Weight release means you “released” the weight, the unnecessary and unhealthy weight of course. It has an energy of self control, it implies your conscious intent to “release” whereas “lost” implies the opposite. People who lose weight gain it back far more than people who use the right language and say they released weight.
Oh boy. Told you it was a bit out there.
Weight Release Cleanse
Anyway, the Weight Release Cleanse ($165 for 20 days’ worth) consists of:
- a “sugar formula,” of specialty plants to reduce cravings for sweets
- a metabolism booster, also with a herb formula
- an appetite control
- a thyroid aid which is made from botanicals high in iodine which supposedly helps keep the thyroid “cleansed and nourished”
- a colon formula to help maintain healthy digestive functions, including aiding in relieving gas and bloating
- the weight release formula, another specialty blend of herbs
- the “bowel motion” formula “traditionally used by ancient indigenous cultures for their digestive properties”
The kit includes:
- a weight release tea
- a weight release inhaler “infused with essential oils traditionally believed to help regulate appetite, quell hunger pangs, and improving mood”
- and finally, weight release bath drops, “used as an additive to your bath water, intended to help aid your body in cleansing waste and toxins and assist in regulating the appetite through aromatherapy.”
Dherbs says the difference between the Full Body Cleanse and the Weight Release Cleanse is that he former
“helps people to release weight from toxins or toxicity trapped in the eliminative channels, especially the colon; and for women specifically, the five fatty reserve areas: breast, belly, buttocks, thighs, upper back arms”
while the latter
“generally helps people release weight by specifically helping to restore lost or impaired functions and capabilities of the endocrine system due to sabotage predicated upon poor diet.”
Now here’s the part where Dherbs lost me for good:
The Weight Release Cleanse is designed to help those individuals who have difficulty releasing weight (waste) on the Full Body Detox due to non-toxic problems, i.e. impaired endocrine functions, emotional issues, subconscious programming (“holding on” to weights of the world or life), and mental sabotage (concentrating on not wanting to be fat and so thereby attracting fat in accordance pursuant to the Law of Attraction and the science of NLP: Neuro-Linguistic Programming).
The Full Body Cleanse comes complete with 6 formulas, activated charcoal, and a 20-page booklet on the diet regimen of all raw foods and includes a schedule of when to take the supplements and when to eat and exercise, other “healing modalities” and a list of approved recipes. There’s a lot of add-ons, too like eBooks (“for a nominal fee). So, 6 herbal supplements, activated carbon (charcoal) and a raw foods diet of plant-based foods for 20 days coupled with a “positive change in thinking, a positive change in attitude, a positive change in diet, and a positive change in lifestyle are all that you need to begin the healing process with your mind and body.”
One other note about Dherb Full Body Cleanse are the videos published online. They include testimonials, many of which are posted on YouTube, that have been viewed tens of thousands of times. And Dherbs has a web video documentary series called 180 Degrees.
On the website they break it down so you know which herb is formulated for what ailment, condition, or bodily function. Among others for blood and the lymphatic system: dandelion and burdock root, dragons blood, bitter melon fruit, red clover, sassafras root, amla fruit, cleavers, vidanga fruit, cayenne pepper, and goldenseal root.
Or for heart health: hawthorn berry, cinnamon bark, ginger root, garlic bulb, arjuna bark, motherwort leaf, mistletoe leaf, eleuthero root, dandelion root, reishi mushrooms, ginkgo leaf, prickly ash bark, cayenne pepper, lily of the valley, myrrh resin, bala root, punarnava root, noni and fruit.
(NOTE: According to MedlinePlus, a website associated with the National Institutes of Health, lily of the valley is poisonous—the flowers, fruit, and leaves. It doesn’t say how much of it kicks in the toxic effects. “Death is unlikely.” But it will make you sick, and possibly require a hospital stay.)
For your liver, spleen and gallbladder: schisandra berry, beet root, dandelion root, fenugreek seed, artichoke leaf, rosemary, turmeric root, licorice root, boldo leaf, milk thistle seed, rhubarb root, bupleurum root, amla fruit, manjistha root, sarsaparilla root, peony root, bhringaraj leaf, bhumyamalaki, pippali fruit, and goldenseal root.
For your respiratory system: fenugreek seed, ginger root, marshmallow root, rosehips, garlic bulb, astragalus root, mullein leaf, wild cherry bark, peppermint leaf, tulsi leaf, vasaka leaf, pippali fruit, eucalyptus leaf, slippery elm bark, rosemary, thyme leaf, bibhitaki fruit, dashamula, and kalmegh leaf.
For the kidneys and bladder: tribulus root, juniper berry, corn silk, coriander seed, celery seed, parsley leaf, horsetail herb, uva ursi leaf, couch grass root, cranberry fruit, nettle leaf, shatavari root, buchu leaf, cleavers herb, goldenrod herb, sarsaparilla root, gravel root, pipsissewa herb, guduchi herb, fennel seed, punarnava root.
For your digestive tract: senna leaves, cascara sagrada bark, carbon (activated charcoal), buckthorn root, haritaki fruit, psyllium husk, fennel seed, aloe vera, ginger root, clay bentonite, slippery elm bark, cayenne pepper, wheat grass, barley grass, black pepper, turmeric root, irish moss, and poke root.
And finally, activated charcoal (carbon), which is “residue of burnt plant matter (willow bark) that is carbon and copper-based and therefore electrical.” Dherbs says carbon helps to remove all the heavy metal toxins in the body.
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Dherbs
There is just no evidence that detox or cleansing diets do anything. The Mayo Clinic has opined on this topic ad nauseum. In its 10 Nutrition Myths Debunked article, on the subtopic: “A detox diet will clean toxins out the body,” the Clinic is pretty clear:
“There’s very little evidence that dietary cleanses do any of the things they promise. The fact is we don’t need to cleanse our bodies. Our liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract do a good job of detoxing it every day. If you’re looking to rejuvenate your body, focus on eating more whole foods, drinking water and removing highly processed foods from your diet.
I could not possibly go through every herb to check on the science behind each, since there are literally dozens and dozens of herbs in these Dherbs formulas. But suffice to say this: there’s plenty of conventional wisdom that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is very often valid—so herbs used in the ancient medical practice might do the job—but who knows what the concentrations are? Who knows the amounts? Who knows if they are contraindicated with your own medications? What about side effects for each? What about side effects from combining them? You need to talk to your doctor before trying any of these concoctions.
Word on the Street about Dherbs
The Dherbs website features an FAQ that includes 143 questions answered on the site everything from “Can I drink coffee” while doing the cleanse to is it doable “during Ramadan?” There’s also no shortage of testimonials and, unlike most sites, there are negative reviews. Quite a few of them.
I was surprised to see this, to be honest. Usually, diet and nutrition sites—especially direct sales ones like this—rarely post negative reviews, but there are some here. The reviews are for all of their products, from cellulite cream to juniper- rosemary shampoo. I looked for negative reviews just for the weight loss programs: the Full Body Cleanse and the Weight Release Cleanse. (There are no dates listed on these reviews, just user names and star ratings)
“Adela” (2 stars) says the Full Body Cleanse was not effective for her:
“I did not see any results or difference in my well being…for some people it may work!”
“Matlyn” (2 stars) was not pleased with the Full Body Cleanse ebook:
“The book did not have enough recipes to get me through the 21 days. Also there was not enough of a variety to be appealing. I ended up searching online for more raw meal recipes.”
“Sonja” (2 stars) wasn’t impressed with the Weight Release Cleanse:
“I started the Weight Release Cleanse & Regimen immediately after the Full Body Detox (and I lost 15lbs.) and with the WRC, I only lost 3 more lbs! I was really disappointed since I followed the plan to the “t” and didn’t fall off the wagon once. I really expected to lose more weight. Perhaps I should have waited a week or more to begin the WRC after the FBD. It may work for some but it didn’t work for me.”
“Helen” (5 stars)—and many others—praised the cleanses, not surprisingly.
I completed the Full Body Detox last month and I can sincerely say that it changed my perspective about my body and what I put in it. I didn’t realize the severity of the damage that I was doing to my body until I began the body detox. … Thank you for helping me make better decisions. You’ve given me the tools to completely transform my state of health and well being. I would recommend this detox to anyone that is interested in not just weight loss but healthy living and eating.
Looking on Amazon.com: in more than 140 reviews, Dherbs Full Body Cleanse earned a 3.7 out of 5 star average.
My favorite was “Kenisha” (May 2016, 5 stars), who was very honest: “This really works. I ate meat still once a week and lost 17 pounds. so image what I would have lost if I did what they told me to do.”
Oh, and the Full Body Cleanse did make it into a top 10 list; Shape magazine in 2014.
The Bottom Line: Is Dherbs Worth a Try?
Risky (mid-to-high risk). The lily of the valley alone scares me, to be perfectly honest. But nothing else comes up on a search as toxic—by itself. No clue about combinations, since with that many ingredients, the possible combinations are nearly endless.
I’ve always cooked with fresh herbs and spices from around the world (turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and ginger are my favorites) Decades ago I planted a cutting of Italian oregano in an old wok and partially buried it outside a south-facing back door; it spread like a forest. Since then, whenever possible I have rosemary, parsley, mint, basil, lemon verbena, and/or sage growing. The spices I buy: Badia is a good brand, really inexpensive, and they have everything plus little bags of dried herbs, seeds, nuts and berries for less than a $1.
Here’s my point: I’ve read a lot of late about nutrition and know that the best way to get all this healthy great-for-you food into your body is to eat them; chew and swallow and digest. So, eat lots of greens, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, get lots of exercise and cook with herbs and spices.
Spend the $120 that you would have spent on the 20-day cleanse (or $300 for both of them) and plant an herb and vegetable garden, and buy some new and exciting (and good for you) spices like turmeric, cumin, and cayenne, and have fun in the kitchen.