Spring is in the air and with the sunshine, warm temperatures and flowers in bloom, many of us feel the urge to sweep winter out the door and give our homes a thorough cleaning. Why stop there? After the (over-) indulgences of the holidays, our bodies could use a little help as well, getting rid of waste and maybe some unwanted weight. A gentle herbal cleanse is easy and can support the body’s natural detoxification process.
In order to deal with toxins, the body produces excess mucous or fat and traps them in there temporarily. Eventually the mucuous breaks down and the toxins seep into the bloodstream where they can cause tissue damage. Storing waste in such a manner means that in many cases, people may be carrying up to 10 pounds of unhealthy, mucous harboring toxic waste. The result is that we feel sluggish, have PMS, digestive disorders, headaches, joint pains, bad breath, allergies, skin breakouts, poor memory, depression – the list goes on and on.
How does detoxification work?
- eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars, and saturated fats
- minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal care products and substitute with natural alternatives
- include some meditation, relaxation exercise or simply an nap to de-stress
- eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit and fiber
Drinking herbal infusions which stimulate the liver to process toxins faster and more efficiently, is something we can do daily. Mother nature provides some wonderful herbals that are not only very effective, but also tasty and easy to prepare. My favorite cleansing herbs are Nettle (Urtica dioica) and Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale). Nettle is a popular spring tonic since it cleanses the liver and builds blood. It is rich in calcium, iron and vitamin C. Dandelion complements nettle in that it also targets liver and kidney cleansing, but it also tones the stomach, gall bladder and intestine, improving absorbtion of nutrients. It is a very safe diuretic due to its high content in potassium and iron
To maximize benefits, blend the two herbals together and maybe add a little mint or lemon balm for flavor. For an herbal infusion, use 1-2 tsp of herbs per 8oz of boiling water and steep anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Drink 2 cups per day.