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Spring Detox

March 20, 2010

Spring is just around the corner and with it comes the perfect opportunity to shake off the excesses and effects of winter and help nature prepare our bodies for warmer weather, holidays and wellbeing. There are various techniques and traditions, and particularly foods that are useful to help us make the most of what nature provides.

In spring the earth begins to burst with energy and new growth. Our bodies mirror the plants. As our energy rises, moving from within to the surface, plants are also beginning to grow above the ground, upward and outward. The spring organs are the liver and gallbladder, and one of their most important functions is detoxification, which makes spring the ideal time to cleanse the body while preparing for ‘new beginnings’.

Detoxification The liver and other organs are always working to cleanse and detoxify our bodies from external and internal toxins and waste products. We can become so bombarded with these that our natural mechanisms become overwhelmed.

Much illness esp. degenerative disease comes from congestion and stagnation in the organs, tissues and lymph. Detoxification helps to clears congestion and takes the burden from the organs. Thus, the reason to do a detox is that it gives the body, esp. the organs a helping hand.

There are foods and habits that can congest and stress the liver: saturated, heated and  refined fats (including too many nuts and seeds, esp. peanuts), chemicals in food, too much alcohol, too much salt, too much sugar, overeating, too much dairy, coffee, sulphured dried fruit, additives, processed, convenience foods, poor quality wheat (white flour), drugs, medications, smoking.

Ways to support the liver and body in general:

Eat well– whole fresh foods as close to their natural state and organic when possible, as non-toxic a diet as possible.

  • Include some raw foods (vegetables, fruit, sprouts) every day, plenty of different coloured vegetables and fruits, plenty of variety and fibre
  • Eat calmly and consciously
  • Lifestyle: rest, exercise, sweat, breathe deeply, improve blood circulation and lymphatics, get sunshine, wear natural clothing.
  • Support the organs with skin brushing, castor oil packs, Epsom salt baths, herbs, herbal teas, saunas, far infrared sauna, tongue scraping
  • Environment: use natural body and cleaning products, remove chemicals, de-clutter.
  • Mental –positive outlook, laugh, meditate, pray, listen to music, listen to yourself.

How to begin :

Start by giving yourself time and space, prepare the environment, go shopping to get the foods you need and have them on hand.

On arising drink hot  water witha slice of lemon. Vegetable juices –apple, carrot, ginger with celery and beetroot if desired- are good cleansers, as well as dandelion coffee and dandelion tea.

Use unrefined, natural, whole, seasonal foods: whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruit, beans, pulses, sprouted seeds, sea vegetables, fish, organic chicken.

Particularly include:  chicory, globe artichokes, green seasonal vegetables, oats, strawberries, leeks, brown rice, quinoa, seeds, essential fats.

Foods and cooking methods include: warm foods such as stir fries and soups. Add more green vegetables that grow at this time: spring greens, mustard greens, kale, purple sprouting, romaine lettuce, radish leaves, watercress, spinach, sorrel, nettles, dandelion leaves. Include small salads.


green salad


  • foods rich in anti-oxidants that help the liver and mop up toxins: cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussels, watercress), fruit.
  • foods that contain plenty of fibre: grains, pulses, linseeds
  • bioflavonoids in grapes, berries and citrus fruits.
  • herbs that help detoxify: nettles, garlic, dandelion, cayenne pepper, ginger-root, burdock root, parsley, rosemary
  • try herbal detoxification teas that are available from health food stores, containing burdock root, dandelion root and leaves, nettles, ginger root, liquorice root, milk thistle, cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, green tea, detox cordial

Eating a non-toxic, fresh, whole foods  diet regularly, lessens the need for a major detox and decreases the unpleasant symptoms that can be associated with a detox.

Other helpful ways that support the liver include exercise, fresh air, creativity, rest, relaxation, listening to music, and visualisation.



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