Can You Detox Your Brain?

Written by Jackie Calkins

There are lots of reasons why people ask the question, can you detox your brain? If you are experiencing confusion, a lack of focus or enthusiasm, for example. Others may seek to detox the brain for general health reasons, much the way body detoxes are done. One of the most common reasons people ask can you detox your brain though, is due to alcohol or drug use. Everyone knows that substance use (or misuse) has a direct effect on the brain. Even if someone doesn’t consume more than 1 or 2 drinks a day, there is at least some effect.

In this article, JourneyPure at the River answers these questions:

  • Can you detox your brain?
  • How can you detox your brain?
  • Why should I detox my brain?

So, Can You Detox Your Brain or Not?

The simple answer to this question is yes. You can detox your brain, if what you mean by detox, is to flush toxins out of your body (and by extension, your brain). How thoroughly you can detox your brain is a different question. How good of a job you can do of brain detoxing depends on a few things, including these among others:

  • How much detoxing your brain actually needs
  • Your age and relative physical health
  • If you use drugs or drink and how much
  • How long you have been drinking or using drugs
  • What resources you have to help you detox your brain


Where to Get a Brain Detox

If you want to detox your brain, your best bet is to get professional medical help to do it. If you have a drinking or substance use habit, then a clinical program like JourneyPure at the River will provide you with an intensive inpatient detox. The medication assisted detoxification at JourneyPure at the River will detox your brain and your body pretty thoroughly. But it will do a lot more than that for you. It will also give you the treatment and tools you need to stay drug and alcohol free for the long-term. That way you probably won’t need to detox your brain again in the future. 

If you don’t drink or use drugs, but you still want to detox your brain, you might begin by talking to your doctor for advice. There are also health retreats you can attend at spas and other locations. You would typically attend a brain detox retreat for anywhere from a weekend to two weeks or even a month or longer. Most will be a weekend or 1 week at most though. During these retreats, fasting or juice fasting is almost always part of the protocol, so be prepared for that. If you smoke or vape, you’re going to want to leave that stuff at home. Nicotine and recreational drugs like marijuana are against the rules at a detox health retreat and they kind of defeat the purpose anyway. 


How Can I Detox My Brain by Myself?

As we mentioned before, the best way to detox your brain is with professional help. If you drink or use drugs, do yourself a favor and attend a drug and alcohol treatment program like ours, with an inpatient medical detox. That is always your best bet. Other types of brain detoxes simply don’t offer the help and support you need. At best, you may suffer physical withdrawal symptoms that aren’t relieved adequately and you won’t get any of the mental health treatment or counseling to help you stay off drugs and alcohol in the future. At worst, you could have medical complications which could even be fatal. You should NEVER attempt to detox yourself off drugs, but especially not alcohol, benzodiazepines or barbiturates. It could lead to fatal seizures! 

With those disclaimers out of the way, if you want to try to detox your brain yourself at home, here are a few ways to do that. REMEMBER, always ask your doctor for advice before trying ANY of these suggestions or any other type of brain detox or fast:

  • Try intermittent fasting and drinking lots of water for a week or more.
  • Eat a whole food, plant based diet. This is proven to help detox the brain
  • Make sure you sleep at least 8 hours a night in a dark, cool room.
  • Drink at least 3-4 liters of water everyday.
  • Quit using caffeine and nicotine in any form.

Don’t Forget:

  1. If you are dependent on alcohol or drugs, go to an addiction treatment program FIRST.
  2. NEVER try to detox yourself off of alcohol, benzos or barbiturates without professional help. 


Can You Detox Your Brain with Vitamins and Supplements?

There hasn’t been a lot of research done on brain detoxing yet, so you should always keep that in mind. Another very important thing to consider is that vitamins, herbs and supplements can interfere with the way prescription drugs work. These interactions can be dangerous or even fatal in some cases. THIS IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT: You should always consult your doctor or pharmacist before beginning any brain detox regimen, especially if you take ANY prescription drugs. Make SURE there are no potential interactions before you begin. If there is any doubt, don’t do it. 

Some of the nutrients often mentioned for brain detox include:

  • Copper
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids)

Foods that may help you detox your brain include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Leafy greens
  • Green tea

The bottom line is that the brain is part of the body. If you want a healthy brain, treat your body right. Adequate sleep is essential for brain health, so is drinking enough water. Two of the simplest things you can do to help your brain health is to make sure you get enough sleep and drink plenty of water. The USRDA recommends at least 16 cups (3.7 liters) of water a day for men and 12 cups (2.7 liters) for women. The chances that you aren’t drinking that much are excellent, so why not start there?


Get mental health Help Today

If you believe you or someone you care about may have a mental health disorder and/or a substance use disorder (AKA addiction), JourneyPure at the River wants to help. Our modern addiction treatment center in Tennessee uses evidence-based care to provide effective treatment for substance use disorders, dual-diagnoses and more. The JourneyPure family of treatment programs has locations up throughout the Eastern United States and Midwest. Give us a call with any question about addiction or mental health at (615) 410-9260 and we will be happy to help.