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Spring Cleansing : Making It Personal by June Kaminski, MSN
Spring is becoming a reality in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere - a
time of rebirth, renewal and spring cleaning. By all means, spruce up your
environment, your home, your wardrobe. But don't forget your most intimate
environment of all - your body. In many cultures, through many ages, spring
cleansing has become a fact of life.
Its the time of year to shed any congestion, built-up toxins and give your
digestion, liver and energy level a good boost and cleaning. During the winter
we tend to eat a more acidic diet, such as high protein foods which can cause
the intestines to secrete a heavy mucous coating. This means the intestine is
not able to absorb nutrients as well. Too much acidic food also cause the
intestines to harbor harmful bacteria. These two problems can lead to
constipation and autointoxication. This causes the intestines to re-absorb toxic
materials back into the blood stream.
also causes strain on the liver which eventually can't keep up with the blood
needing detoxicification. When the body is overburdened with toxins, the liver
may be stressed causing symptoms such as allergies, headaches, nausea,
irritability, foggy thinking, muscle tension, skin eruptions, itching and
fatigue. In women, PMS, fibroid tumors, and endometriosis are signs of liver
stress, since the liver must process excess estrogens out of the bloodstream.
This is where spring cleansing fits in. You can give your intestines and liver a
break by helping them get rid of the built-up toxins.
There are many different ways to engage in spring body cleansing. This week
we will address a few of the most common ones. Give them a try, if you're so
inclined. You'll likely feel more energetic,. lighter, with less aches and
digestion troubles. Don't go off on any tangents though - tonics and cleansing
diets are great, but don't let them impede your ingestion of the necessary
nutrients your body needs for day to day repair and maintenance. These
suggestions are meant to supplement your normal healthy daily diet, not
substitute for them.
Dr Elson Haas suggests using the Master Cleanser method of internal body
cleansing. This includes the doctor's recipe:
The Master Cleanser
2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon (or lime) juice
1 Tablespoon pure maple
1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces of spring water
Read more about the Cleanser at
Dine on Spring Morsels
Several wild and natural foods are wonderful spring tonics. Try one or more
of the following. If prepared right, they are delicious and oh, so nutritious,
full of enzymes, minerals and other nutrients, as well as having cleansing
4. Yellow dock
5. Red Beet
6. Watercress are all wonderful tonics for the liver, bringing renewed
strength and vitality to the body.
8. Milk Thistle
9. Red Clover
10.Burdock are herbs that
are excellent for cleansing the liver and gall bladder, which boost the
digestive and immune systems.
Herbs for Intestinal Cleansing
Two herbs Psyllium and Cascara Sagrada are wonderful cleansers for the
intestines and colon. Psyllium (Plantago ovata seed and husk) is a bulk natural
laxative -- its mucilaginous action cleanses the intestines. Psyllium also
reduces low density lipoproteins ("bad" cholesterol) and normalizes blood sugar
levels. Cascara Sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana bark) stimulates the intestinal
lining and relieve a sluggish colon. The combination of both Psyllium (as a
bulking agent) and Cascara (as a stimulant laxative) is a wonderful colon
Chinese Spring Medicine
Chinese medicine, spring is the season of the wood element, corresponding to the
liver and gall bladder. The liver governs the smooth flow of energy in the body
and for cleansing and storing the blood. Gall bladder problems frequently show
up in the spring, often brought on by fatty foods such as dairy (especially
cheese), fried foods and red meat or pork. Indigestion or nausea following
eating, pain under the right rib cage toward the stomach, or radiating pain
between the shoulder blades are all signs of a stressed gall bladder.
In spring, the body moves into a cycle of rebuilding and cleansing various
organs and systems. Just as sap rises in the trees, our bodies need to move
upward. We need to cleanse the past toxins from our bodies and minds and
rebuild. In doing so, we move beyond "the trunk of the tree". The organs
rebuilding and cleansing in spring are ones located high up in the body. During
the season of the Wood element, energy is focused on the liver and gall bladder.
March 11 through May 22 is the Wood Element Season. Later, the Fire element
season begins during the last month of spring and the energy moves on to the
heart and small intestines, including the circulatory and endocrine systems.
For extensive further reading on Chinese spring cleansers and health
boosters, visit Julia Chang's site at http://www.sensiblehealth.com/
Now is the time of year to focus on YOUR state of health and well being. If
you're like most of us, it's time for some inner cleansing. Combine the use of
fresh spring greens with the herbs mentioned as well as plenty of water,
exercise, fresh air, steam baths and skin toning to help your body purify itself
and prepare for the warm summer months ahead. You'll only feel better for it -
full of renewed energy and strength, ready for healthy energetic frolics and
warm weather fun.
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