Detox Pesto - Lakeside Natural Medicine

Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Detox Pesto

BySarah Axtell, ND April 23, 2020

I call this “Detox Pesto” thanks to the cleansing dandelion greens and cilantro. We tend to think of dandelion greens as a pesky weed, but they are actually quite medicinal, especially to our liver and digestive tract. Dandelion simulates phase 1 and phase 2 pathways in the liver that help us detoxify. They are also quite bitter, stimulating our stomach’s production of hydrochloric acid, which thus aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients.

You can either pick dandelion leaves from your yard (as long as you do not use any pesticides) or get them at your local health food store.

Cilantro is a powerful blood purifier. Cilantro is rich in chlorophyll, the “green blood of plants.” Chlorophyll closely resembles a component of our red blood cells, hemoglobin. The hemoglobin in our blood is virtually identical to the molecular structure of chlorophyll. This means that it is a powerful blood cleanser and blood purifier.

Cilantro is also a potent chelating agent, meaning it binds toxic heavy metals from our bodies, such as lead and mercury. Try eating it in a concentrated form of a pesto (see recipe), which allows your body to reap the therapeutic, cleansing benefits. Food is medicine!

You can spread this pesto on top of salmon or chicken. Or add a couple tablespoons to bland quinoa or rice for a flavor boost. Use it as the sauce for cauliflower crust pizzas. Or dip with flackers and veggies.


  • 1 bunch dandelion leaves (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt to taste


Put the walnuts and garlic in food processor and process until its a paste. Add the dandelion greens, cilantro, and basil. Pulse until finely chopped. Add olive oil, lemon and nutritional yeast and pulse until well combined. Taste and season with salt.

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

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