The appearance of plants like cleavers, dandelion, nettle and wild garlic at around this time of year gives us the opportunity for a spring detox: making food and drinks from these bitter, mineral and sulphur-rich plants supports the detoxification process as well as gently stimulating the body's channels of elimination.
In centuries past, the toxins being removed during this spring detox will have accumulated over winter from the heavier foods many ate during that season, and whilst our diets are likely to be less winter-heavy (thanks to the variety of food now available) we are exposed to many more environmental toxins from the air, foods, plastics, packaging etc: the benefit of periodic detoxification remains. The increasing light and warmth of spring brings an abundance of delicious, forgeable detox supporting foods, and this the ideal time to cleanse and restore.
Key elements in assisting our body in its removal of accumulated toxins and debris include:
Supporting the organs of elimination - the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin.
Encouraging good digestive function, ensuring good nutrient absorption as well as elimination via the bowel.
Providing a nutrient-dense diet rich in minerals which provide the necessary cofactors for toxin removal, in addition to giving our body the ingredients it needs for proper cellular function.
Addressing sources of stress in our lives is also important because our fight or flight response affects digestive capacity.
Getting enough hours of quality sleep will assist the body's healing processes.
Reducing exposure to avoidable toxins and choosing natural cosmetics, cleaning products and organic food where possible can lighten the body-burden.
Including bitter flavoured foods - such as dandelion leaf and chicory - in your diet supports the production of stomach and bile acids, as well as digestive enzymes, and supports the integrity of the gut lining, which is key to a healthy immune system. Onions, peels and garlic, wild garlic and the brassicas are excellent foods as they contain sulphurous compounds which assist the liver in removal of toxins from the body.
Raw, organic apple cider vinegar is a wonder food in its ability to gently support excretion via the liver, kidneys and lungs, and a tablespoon taken in the morning with a little warm water (sweetened with honey to taste) is a fine way to start the day.
If you are sure of your plant ID skills, an overnight infusion of young cleavers is a traditional way top support the lymphatic system at this time of year - just fill a jug with cleavers, fill with water, leave to steep overnight, then strain into a bottle and drink one or two glasses a day.
To assist you to gently detox we have put together a spring Cleanse & Restore package which includes a mineral rich vinegar, a digestive tea and a relaxing and sleep-inducing herbal bath infusion. Simply contact Canda or Kaya to arrange a collection time.
Our spring cleanse bundle is priced at £25.
If you have any questions or to book your in-depth herbal medicine consultation please contact Canda directly.