In the modern world, it’s hard to feel healthy no matter how hard you try. In Los Angeles, for example, we guzzle green juice while inhaling the worst air in the nation. Enter the concept of detox, which is controversial but basically serves as reassurance to the anxious everywhere that damage done by things we eat, drink and breathe can be at least partially reversed. Here, five wacky detox trends from around the globe that may—or may not—be worth a try.
5 Weird Detox Trends From Around The World
We've seen some real stretches in our day, but a hot dog positioned as a method for detoxing the body really takes the cake (bun?). The Ninja Dog, sold at Japan's IKEA stores, contains edible bamboo charcoal and plays into the trendy (but not so much fact-based) idea that activated charcoal can clear out your system when ingested.
Verdict: Come on. You'll do far more for your health by assembling something from IKEA—a process which likely burns 483,920,483 calories, most of them born of frustration—than you will eating this glorified junk food.
Science doesn't really support the claims made by those who champion tea detoxes (Kendall Jenner among them), but there's no real harm in drinking these types of teas unless they list senna as an ingredient. Senna is an FDA-approved, non-prescription laxative, and we don't think any doctor would recommend drinking laxatives daily as they cause electrolyte and fluid loss. You may also hear a lot about Pu'Erh tea, which many Chinese swear by for weight loss, but there's no discernible science to back up this claim.
Verdict: Most teas are healthful, so there's no harm in adding them to your diet even if they won't actually serve to detox anything.
Tongue scraping is an Ayurvedic practice that involves, well, scraping your tongue with something called, well, a tongue scraper. The process is purported to remove toxins (bacteria, food particles, et cetera) from your tongue, and one study showed tongue scraping to be nearly twice as effective at reducing tongue residue (which can cause halitosis, among other conditions) than using a toothbrush, while another study showed that tongue brushing reduces bacteria better than teeth brushing.
Verdict: Given the evidence, we'd say this oral detox is worth trying.
Technically, the first record of grapes being used as a method of detox, or cure, came out of the Ukraine in the late 1800s. The treatment, which requires you consume only grapes and water, was then popularized in the 1920s by a South African who claimed that a grape-only diet had cured her stomach cancer. But it was in France where Grape resorts became popular, and three-day grape cleanses have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity. There is no scientific proof that grapes can cure cancer or any other disease, though there is some evidence they can prevent certain types of cancer.
Verdict: An all-grape diet probably isn't advisable, but we'll be drinking wine every day (which is basically the same thing, right?) just in case. Check out French beauty brand Caudalie, products from which are made from grapes, to test out the fruit's purported benefits for your face.
Technically, in the Mediterranean, this isn't seen as detox but rather a way of life. It involves consumption of whole foods in the form of seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and olive oil. If you're used to a highly processed diet, however, switching to a Mediterranean style will likely yield results that are as close as you can come to the fabled detox promises touted by so many charlatans the world over. These foods naturally provide the fiber, vitamins, protein and other elements your body needs to naturally detox (which is, scientifically speaking, the only detox that actually exists).
Verdict: Hummus, quinoa, Greek salad and the like? Yes, please. With wine (see France), of course.