Spring has arrived! And with it comes all of our news about detoxing that we promised you back in January.
We have gathered seeds of wisdom from our Herbalists, Nutritional Therapists and Chinese Medical practitioners, and reaped quite a unique and fascinating perspective on how we can best support
our own body’s natural detox system.
There will be plenty of practical tips to come over the next few weeks. And with our upcoming workshops on topics such as natural cosmetics and non-toxic cleaning products, cleansing and detoxing food as part of our Eat Well series, and nutrition for health and fitness, your ‘Great Spring Cleanse’ can happen in many different ways.
If any of you frequently visit your local farmer’s market you will know that the dreaded ‘hungry gap’ is approaching, where there
are just not many vegetables around between the Winter and Spring harvests. Nature is simply telling us that this is the perfect, practical (and in days before supermarkets, generally unavoidable) time for a Spring clean!
However, it is also at this time of year that nature provides us with the first fresh green herbs to be seen growing after Winter - and they happen to have a particular influence on our body's cleansing and detoxifying systems. Not only that, but they also contain nourishing minerals and phytochemicals normally lacking in traditional winter diets to help re-nourish and replenish our depleted stores.
Tomorrow will see the first of our Top Ten Tips for Detoxing, discussing some of the best herbs to discover at this time of year.
A Fresh (and Relieving!) Approach to Detoxing
Detoxification is innate to the way we physically function; we eliminate natural wastes that we make in our body, along with the environmental toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis.
The liver is the organ that has the greatest role in this process and in order to facilitate a good Spring cleanse we want to support our liver and ensure that it has all the nutrients it needs for optimal function.
Much health advice often misconstrues that the emphasis during a cleanse is on limiting our daily intake of food, and whilst this can be helpful, it is just as much about adding nutrient dense foods like green leafy vegetables, berries, citrus fruits, while reducing the intake of red meat, refined carbohydrates, caffeinated beverages, alcohol and smoking.
We will be sending out specific tips on how to nutritionally support your liver to detox your body naturally, so keep watch!
Detox vs Living in Harmony with Nature
Chinese Medicine doesn’t discuss the concept of detoxing as such, rather the focus is on creating balance within our bodies through living in harmony with the seasons and the changes in nature.
In Chinese Medicine, Springtime is associated with the Liver organ system. One energetic function of the Liver is to smooth the flow of qi around the channels of the body, working through physical, emotional or energetic blockages – or we could say giving ourselves a spring clean!
The movement of liver qi is upwards and outwards, dredging and clearing the channels. Therefore as we come out of the cold depths of February where we have been staying inside more and eating heavier foods in rhythm with the energies of Winter, Spring is the time to start waking up!
The diet should be lighter and include foods which assist the yang, ascending and expansive qualities of spring such as young plants, fresh greens, and sprouts (as in bean not brussels!). We should also begin to venture outside more into the fresh Spring sunshine and support our body in getting the qi flowing and blood moving.
Our Top Ten Tips for Detoxing will include some Qi Gong exercises that are particularly valuable to practice during Springtime.