Every Spring, I like to do a liver cleanse. Spring time is the best time to detox the liver according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. It just “feels” right energetically. With all of the green grass coming up, and the flower buds blooming, it feels like a time of renewal. if you’re still in the Winter doldrums and your energy is low, maybe you’ve gained some weight, you’ve got unexplained joint pain, or you lose your train of thought a lot while talking to people, you’re probably somewhat toxic.
Interestingly, the plants that grow around this time of year are most beneficial to the liver. Just another reminder to eat what’s in season! Dandelion greens in particular are very healing and you can find them in abundance just about everywhere. I would recommend buying them organic however.
Depending on how toxic I’m feeling, I might go all out and do a “hard-core” fasting program, or just do a gentle cleanse. Sometimes, simply taking a hiatus from alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and white flour products is enough. Another layer would be to eliminate any foods that aren’t organic to decrease your toxic load that way. Some gentle exercise to stimulate sweat or even taking dry saunas regularly helps with detoxification. Dry skin brushing
stimulates the lymph system (and reportedly reduces the appearance of cellulite!) Buy a dry skin brush from my on-line store and incorporate this into your daily self care ritual.
A really simple aid to detoxing is to drink the juice of a lemon squeezed into some warm water (about 8oz) first thing in the morning. This stimulates the liver to release bile which binds to toxic substances and allows you to eliminate them. The beverage also is a mild diuretic and helps to rid the body of any excess water weight. You can add a little cayenne pepper also for a little thermogenic boost (helps your body to burn more calories).
Whatever kind of cleanse you choose, the most important thing is to allow yourself time to rest, drink plenty of pure water (aim for half your body weight in ounces), and take some kind of extra anti-oxidant support. You don’t want to re-toxify yourself! Juicing can help, especially juices like pure cranberry, pomegranate, blueberry…I like to take alpha-lipoic acid because it acts in both water and fat-soluble tissues. (Most anti-oxidants don’t work in fat-soluble tissues). I’d recommend taking 100 mg every few hours while you’re detoxing.
Amino acids (found in protein foods) are critical to the processes of liver detox. You may want to include vegetable protein (like from peas or legumes) or a high quality whey protein to help your detox process if you’re planning on doing a cleanse that is longer than a few days. Otherwise, if you fast for extended periods of time, your body may start breaking down it’s own muscle for its protein needs. The end result is that you’ll lose weight, but you’ll slow down your overall metabolic rate (which could lead to weight gain later on).
Make sure that you’re moving your bowels at least once daily, if not more. Adding some ground flax seed to your regimen (2-4 Tbsp) can help with that action. So can eating plenty of organic apples, berries, and carrots. It’s essential that you rid your body of the waste that you’re detoxing.
If you’d like more support or guidance, please contact me
and I’ll work with you to craft your own unique Spring cleanse. Happy cleaning!