In Chinese medicine Spring is the time of year for detox. A spring cleanse can be very beneficial for the body to detox from the winter. Giving your body a fresh start for summer. What is great about many of these herbs is that you can find them in your back yard! Dandelion for example is a very common herb seen right outside your door! Many of these herbs have been used for hundreds of years as traditional remedies to cleanse the liver. The liver in Chinese medicine is known as the organ responsible to helping to detox the body.
Historically in the winter people would eat heavier foods and more meat, often times cured to preserve the meat. In the spring we look to shed this extra weight and bring the body back into a healthy balance. Here are some of my favorite herbs I use to do this.
Dandelion is a common herb found throughout North America. Native Americans used Dandelion although it was introduced to North America by Europeans. The leaves are commonly used in salads and are known as a cleansing herb. Dandelion roots and leaves are rich in bioflavonoids, calcium, biotin, choline, folic acid, iron, magnesium, niacin zinc, vitamin A, B1, B2, B12, C and E. Dandelion cleanses the liver and bloodstream and increases the production of bile in the body. It is also known as a natural diuretic and has historically been used to treat edema and gout. It also reduces uric acid and improves kidney function. Add dandelion greens to any spring salad or drink a cup of dandelion root tea.
Milk Thistle is a powerful antioxidant with the active constituent, Silymarin. Silymarin is well known for protecting the liver and preventing free radical damage. It addition, it is stimulating the production of new liver cells, protecting the kidneys and working with a weakened immune systems.
Mild Thistle is also an excellent herb for weakened adrenal from stress in our everyday lives. Milk Thistle also works with the bowels to regulate bowel dysfunction and calm inflammatory bowel disease.
Burdock root has been used for century's by Native Americans and early settlers. The roots and seeds are high in biotin, copper, iron, manganese, tannins, zinc, Vitamins B1, B6, B12 and E. Burdock is known to Purify the blood. It is a tonic herb for the liver and gallbladder and improves the function of the immune system. Burdock roots can be harvested in the fall and tinctured and used in the spring to help cleanse the body from toxic build up over the winter months.
Dandelion, Milk thistle and Burdock can be used in combination or as single herbs. The herbs can be combined and used as a tea or tincture to help cleanse the liver and the blood, remove toxins and prepare the body for summer.