Spring Cleansing : Season of the liver.
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After what seems to have been a very long winter, spring is finally here. The time for new beginnings, expansion, and indeed, spring cleaning. The idea of spring cleaning can also be applied to our own bodies, and it is actually the perfect time of year to carry out a cleanse.
The winter or colder months put too much strain on our spleen and kidneys, especially as most cleansing involves eating / drinking raw foods only. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring is connected to the gall bladder & liver, both organs ensuring correct distribution of energy (Qi) throughout the body. The liver is also related to the emotion anger.
You can easily find articles out there that slate cleanses or detox programs, insinuating they are unnecessary. Our bodies are in a constant state of detoxification, this is true, so it is exactly for that reason that we should carry out cleanses in order to provide an M.O.T to the organs doing all the hard work. If you look at what a cleanse actually is; you boost your system with an uptake of nutrients and herbs, consuming only natural and organic where possible, and then restrict things that are bad for you. So, why wouldn’t you want to be this kind to yourself? Does that sound unnecessary? To me it sounds utterly fundamental if you are at all health conscious.
We constantly bombard our bodies with chemicals from non-organic food, air pollution, cosmetic/household products, tap water, medications etc. This can lead to various organs becoming out of balance, so cleansing is an ideal opportunity to restore and rejuvenate. Not only does cleansing have many physical benefits, but there are the emotional benefits to consider also. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, poor concentration, low energy, and frustration, can all manifest or be affected by a sluggish system.
We should aim to cleanse annually, and an individual cleanse should be carried out for each of the following organs; liver, kidney and bowel. It can also be beneficial to carry out a parasite cleanse once a year (or twice if you live with pets). Cleansing can provide;
Improved Energy / Calming & Clearing Skin / Better Digestion (& Absorption of Nutrients) / Improved Breakdown of Good & Bad Fats / Combat Cholesterol / Weight Loss / Balancing of Hormones / Improved Immunity / Increased Fertility / Clearer Mind, Focus & Mental Health. Cleansing can also help us break unhealthy habits we may have adopted.
I would be cautious of following any kind of cleanse plan found online, purely because the author is not looking at the individual’s health “terrain” and needs. A good naturopath or herbalist can help tailor a plan to suit your needs and provide bespoke support. Seek advice especially if you are; on medication (including psychiatric), suffering from IBS or other bowel and liver conditions.
If you are looking for a general, no fuss, easy all-rounder system boost then try something like a Plenish juice cleanse. I did 3 days of 6 juices a day -cold-pressed, organic, raw. No food passed my lips (which was surprisingly easy). The juices are delicious , one of my favourites involving red chilli, coconut nectar and lime, and also a nut milk with dates, vanilla and cinnamon. On day 3, I sprung out of bed and my energy levels were fantastic and still are. I would highly recommend Plenish, just check out their press page for praise from Gwyneth Paltrow & Vogue. www.plenishcleanse.com
Invest in a juicer, or Nutri Blitzer (JML’s version of the infamous NutriBullet), which works just as well and is slightly cheaper at £59.99, these are really good tools for cleansing and general day-to-day concoctions . I have tested the Nutri Blitzer and now use it all the time for superfood smoothies either i make up on my own or from their extensive recipe booklet included. www.jmldirect.com
During my course on Herbs for Everyday Living at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, I was taught a wonderful recipe by Jill Davies, which is a great way to start your day and love your liver…
In a nutriblitzer or blender, place ;
300ml freshly pressed apple juice,
2 cloves fresh garlic,
juice of 2 lemons,
a small thumb of ginger,
1/2 tsp turmeric,
2 tbsp olive or flax seed oil,
pinch of cayenne pepper and 100-200ml water.
Blend together and drink straight away either before or after breakfast.
If you are concerned about the health of your liver or liver function book an appointment with your doctor or GP as soon as possible.