contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

44 East 67th Street
New York, New York 10065
United States

(212) 535-1012

The official site of Dr. Woodson Merrell, author of The Detox Prescription and Chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center, a member of The Mount Sinai Health Systems, New York.

The Detox Prescription

Watch Dr. Merrell on The Dr. Oz Show: Part I and Part II. 

Order The Detox Prescription from AmazonBarnes & Noble  or Indiebound.

The Detox Prescription

By Woodson Merrell, MD

with Mary Beth Augustine, MS, RD and Hillari Dowdle  

Foreword by Dean Ornish, MD

The human body has an extraordinary ability to detoxify itself. We rely on this system when we wait for a hangover to lift or recover from a bout of food poisoning. However, cutting-edge science is revealing how toxic exposures can actually affect our genes and lead to conditions such as obesity, cognitive dysfunction, pain, allergies, infertility, and heart disease—all of which are on the rise.

The good news is that each of us can optimize this natural cleansing system for better health, greater energy, and efficient weight loss. In The Detox Prescription, Dr. Merrell draws on new research to help readers assess their own toxic risk factors and health deficiencies. Collaborating with Mary Beth Augustine, RD, he offers more than 100 delicious and nutrient-rich recipes incorporating juices and whole foods, broken into 3-, 7-, and 21-day cleanses. Dr. Merrell’s holistic system of light yoga, meditation, and other stress-busting practices will help reset body, mind, and spirit--and allow us to take control of our genetic destiny.

Contact: Aly Mostel, Communications Director, Rodale Books - 212-808-1684 -

Dr. Merrell marries his massive clinical experience with smart science to craft a smart detox approach that will change lives.
In just a few short days of following the wise council of Dr. Merrell, you can have your health and your life back.
The one cleanse that’s really worth it. In writing The Detox Prescription (Rodale), Woodson Merrell, MD, has assumed the role of the sheriff who wants to run magical thinking and hucksters out of alternative-health town.
— Joseph Hooper, Elle

The Detox Prescription, By the Numbers

6 - Number of apples you will use during the 3-day juice cleanse. 

96 - Percent of Daily Recommended Value of Vitamin A in the "Pumpkin Oat Pancakes."

21 - Number of mind-body exercises in The Detox Prescription

1/3 - Cups of unsweetened cocoa in the dairy-free "Moo-Less Avocado-Chocolate Mousse." 

30 - Percent reduction in heart disease risk associated with eating a vegetarian diet.  

20 - Number of plant species that comprise 90% of the American diet. 

20,000 - Number of edible plant species on Earth.

117 - Number of different fruits and vegetables (not counting herbs and spices) in The Detox Prescription 21-day eating plan. 

60 - Percent of the immune system that lives in the gut. 

2 - Number of years rheumatoid arthritis patients in a Scandinavian study felt better after a one-week juice cleanse followed by three weeks on a vegan diet. 

72 - Number of different types of juicers sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond. 

Click Here for More Praise for The Detox Prescription

Order the book from AmazonBarnes & Noble or Indiebound.

Excerpt from the Foreword by Dean Ornish, MD:

This book can transform your life. Here’s why: Our bodies often have a remarkable capacity to begin healing if we allow them to do so—to a much greater degree and more quickly than had previously been realized—if we simply stop doing what’s causing the problem.

In this wonderful new book, Dr. Woodson “Woody” Merrell broadens the concept of detoxification beyond food to include these other aspects of our lives that so profoundly affect our health.

When we realize what’s causing the problem, we can make different choices that allow our bodies to begin healing. Dr. Merrell shows how, and why. He can help you tailor a program that’s just right for you, one that is based on good science and extensive clinical experience. You’ve come to the right place.

I’ve known and admired Dr. Merrell for many years. He is a renowned leader and pioneering clinician in helping to create a new paradigm of true health care, rather than just sick care—one that is more caring and compassionate as well as more cost effective and competent. He is an extraordinary healer and educator. His patients love him, and so do I. You’re in good hands.

I’m continually amazed by how dynamic the biological mechanisms are that affect our health and well-being—for better and for worse. When you follow Dr. Merrell’s recommendations, you’re likely to feel so much better, so quickly, it reframes the reason for making and maintaining these changes from fear of dying (which is not sustainable) to joy of living (which is).
Bravocado! Smoothie, before the blender.

Bravocado! Smoothie, before the blender.

Bravocado! Smoothie 

 ©The Detox Prescription

This avocado-pear smoothie is a crowd pleaser—adults and kids adore it. And what’s not to love? Avocado is a rich source of heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering good fats (move over, oats!) and cancer-fighting beta-sitosterol. But that’s not all— carotenoids, vitamin E, glutathione (the body’s master antioxidant), and oleic acid make avocado a super-duper superfruit. Add the toxin-binding power of the soluble fiber in the pear, and you’ve got a glass of detox delight.

Makes 1 serving

4–8 ounces cold water

1⁄2 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage (such as So Delicious)

1⁄2 avocado, pit removed, flesh scooped

1 pear, peeled and cored

Add 4 ounces of water, the milk, avocado, and pear to the blender.

Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Turn off the blender and check consistency. Add water as needed.

Serve immediately, in a chilled glass if possible. This smoothie does not refrigerate well (avocado oxidizes).

Per serving: 288 calories, 18 g total fat (6 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 11 mg sodium, 741 mg potassium, 34 g total carbohydrates (17 g sugar), 13 g fiber, 4 g protein

TIP: When buying avocados, use your sense of touch to establish the degree of ripeness. Buy avocados in three stages of ripeness—ripe, almost ripe, and unripe—and you’ll have avocados all week. Freeze the remaining avocado half for future use in smoothies. Before freezing, remove the avocado from the peel and cut in chunks.

Order The Detox Prescription from AmazonBarnes & Noble  or Indiebound.

You can add any of 35 food-based ‘boosters’ to our juice, smoothie, or nut milk recipes to bump up the flavor, protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, or even detoxifying power. A list of all the boosters and what they can do for you are in The Detox Prescription.

An interview about The Detox Prescription with Dr. Merrell:

Why did you write The Detox Prescription? 

In discussions with Alex Postman, my editor at Rodale, it became clear that there was a huge amount of information on detoxification that could and should be expanded from the brief chapter on Detox in my previous book, Power Up. There was so much more information to give consumers and professionals both on how to avoid a toxic lifestyle, and especially how to clean up both our internal and external environment. It was a challenge to fit it all into 350 pages!

What is the main message of the book?

Toxins are literally killing us and the planet. There are tens of thousands of industrial toxins, many of which we are exposed to on a daily basis that can be absorbed into our bodies through our skin, air, food and water. You have to reduce your exposure. And there are many things you can do to help rid your body of the toxins you already have accumulated---thereby reducing your risk for all the main causes of death and morbidity today, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. You can extend your life and make the time you have here remarkably better.

Does everyone need to detox?

Everyone must. The CDC has shown us that we all have an average of 153 industrial chemicals in us. Studies on fetal cord blood showed that babies in the womb have already accumulated some of the worst toxins---heavy metals, dioxin, PCBs, etc. 

Can everyone participate in a juice cleanse?

No. Not everyone. Everyone who is reasonably healthy can. People with precarious life-threatening conditions (heart, renal disease, etc) ...and pregnancies are two conditions that raise the caution flag. Everyone should check with their healthcare provider if they can go on a 3-day juice cleanse. But everyone can do the 4-day Vegan diet that follows the juice phase.  

Will I lose weight? 

Yes. Average 3-4 pounds for the first 3 days of juice cleansing, and more as the solid phase continues the detoxification through week one then into the 2nd and 3rd weeks. A number of toxins (like Bisphenol A and pathologic bacteria in the gut) have been shown to directly  force the body to hold onto excess weight. The weight loss of the first few days is half water weight. The rest will be fat, especially if you maintain your muscle mass through mild activity.

Will I be hungry? 

Not at all. Throughout the Plan there is more than enough food---given 5-6 times/day that you will feel satiated all day long. Actually in the 3-day juice cleanse, people often feel so satiated that they don't even need or want to drink the last juice (do it though). The main thing missed is the actual crunching of solid food--which passes in day 2. By the 3rd day people often don't even want to go back to sold food--the juices are so satisfying and liberating.

What's your best tip for detoxing?

Understand that this is a first step in feeling remarkably better--and that the first 3 days' effort will be quickly rewarded  usually by more energy, better sleep, better digestion, and a lightness that may have been missing for a long while. To be successful, plan ahead--throughout the book, tips are given the day before for preparing for the next day--to reduce the amount of effort and time that has to be put into daytime preparations


Bravocado! Smoothie, after the blender -- a super-healthy treat!

Bravocado! Smoothie, after the blender -- a super-healthy treat!