As spring arrives, the energy from the earth is rising all around us. In Ancient Medicine, we are connected to the earth and that energy is rising in our body as well. This is why spring is the best time to detox and rejuvenate. There are so many toxins surrounding us each day, through products in our home, in our skincare, in the foods we eat and in the environment. Without a diet rich in whole foods, the liver has to work really hard to keep us healthy. The liver controls the smooth flow of energy in our body. When it gets stuck, stagnation will take place. If the liver is over-burdened by toxins, it will get congested and won't be able to function properly. When the liver is congested and the rising energy gets stuck, we can experience headaches, lack of creativity and frustration. This congestion can also show up as allergies and in different ways on our skin (acne, eczema, etc). This is the way the body will flush out toxins.
Here are some ways to detox the body in the spring:
- Fasting-no food, just water for a period of 2-3 days (this isn't for everyone).
- Vegan/Vegetarian meals for a period of 21 days (animal fats and proteins and oils will congest the liver).
- You can do a juice cleanse for 3 days.
- Try the Master Cleanse, which is: maple syrup, lemon juice, filtered water and cayenne pepper for 3-5 days. When you fast from food, this gives your body time to rejuvenate and detoxify.
Andrea Beaman, a nationally renowned Holistic Health Coach and Natural Foods Chef, suggests that before you start any cleanse, you must first do a bug and parasite cleanse. This will assist you in feeling well during a detox. There are some tinctures that you can use to do this. Take Bug Free, Black Walnut Hull or Wormwood for 14-21 days before you do a liver (or Kidney) cleanse (found on Amazon.com). Simply follow the instructions on the bottle.
If you would like to try a juice cleanse, here are some foods that are really good at supporting the liver: When you fast, you will notice a feeling of tightness in your body. A fast releases everything into the bloodstream and your body will break it down. It will get rid of what you don't need.
- Beets - are a blood cleanser and a blood builder when cooked. Beets are very nutritious for the blood, which helps when the liver is detoxifying the blood.
- Carrots - are a healthy form of glucose. The Mitochondria in the cells in our body use glucose and convert it to fuel for energy.
- Parsley - is great for the kidneys. It helps the kidneys detoxify the water system in our body and our blood. The best way to support the liver in cleansing is to make sure all of the detoxification systems in our body are properly functioning and supported. Other smaller greens/herbs (cilantro, basil) are great here as well. Herbs are the first greens to pop up in the spring and are so rich in chlorophyll, which is oxygenating for the blood.
- Ginger and Tumeric - are both anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulants and antioxidants.
- Apples - are a great way to give a little bulk and natural sugar to your juice.
- Celery - contains magnesium, which can help soothe the nervous system. It can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure due to a compound called phthalates.
- Cayenne - can deliver a little natural heat to the body. When you are drinking these cold juices all day, you may start to feel a little sluggish and bloated. Just add two sprinkles once you have finished juicing to your glass and stir into the juice.
If you feel constipated (due to the lack of fiber), try adding Yellow Dock (25-30 drops 2-3 times a day) to get the bowels moving in a gentle way.
If you would prefer to add in vegetarian whole foods to your gentle cleanse, here are some more foods that are great in supporting your liver:
- Fennel - is really good for the digestive system and helps to eliminate gas.Cilantro - is great at detoxifying metals.
- Dill - is cooling. When the liver gets congested, it will get hot (this is where the liver heat rises and will come out as redness on the skin, acne, eczema, etc.).Scallions - are great for the lungs and large intestine (which are other detoxification organs).
- Local Honey - is great to add to your salad dressing as it can help with seasonal allergies.
- Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice - is wonderful for getting the lymphatic system moving. It is also good to add to your salad dressing. You could also swap it for Apple Cider Vinegar or Burdock Root.
- Dandelion Greens - are an amazing liver detoxifier because they promote the formation of bile and the release ofbile. They are a digestive bitter, which supports and cleanses the liver.
- Purple Cabbage - is a good source of vitamins A and C as well as fiber and potassium. It also contains sulfur compounds, which are good for detoxifying the liver.For loose leaf tea during a cleanse try adding these herbs.
- Burdock Root - is great lymph mover, which helps support the immune system.Nettles - nourish your kidneys. They promote the release of uric acid in the joints and also help stimulate the lymph system to boost immunity. They are a diuretic, which help remove excess protein waste and support the adrenals.
- Nettles also help minimize skin problems. They are the most nutritive leafy green that is rich in potassium and minerals.
- Milky Oats - are antispasmodic. When you cleanse, you might feel tightness or cramping as your body is starting to release. Milky Oats can help relax the digestive system.
It is a good idea to switch up your cleanses and notice how your body feels. Even if you eat clean most of the time, a detox is very beneficial because it helps remove the environmental toxins from your body. In the spring, all of these toxins are coming up.