Spring Cleaning (Also Known as “Cleansing”)
When the random warm days come in January of February, I can actually believe, for a second or two, that spring is beginning. Usually, these days are followed by snow. Still, if it’s 60 degrees or more, I will throw the windows open and clean something! When March arrives and the kiddos are on spring break, I really have an irresistible urge to do a deep cleaning throughout the house. I enlist the help of the teenagers and college kids who are around, and get to work. What a refreshing air takes over, as the winter’s accumulated grime & gunk go away!
Anatomy is a seemingly endless subject which I am still learning. As I understand it, our bodies (liver, kidneys, intestines, etc) can also become “gunked up,” and can benefit greatly from a good spring cleaning. Think about what you did and what you ate during the holidays. After that, maybe you had a flu or cold. Since it was winter, you may have felt like eating more comfort foods that usual. Add to all of this the fact of winter weather, and staying indoors a little (or a lot) more, with the heat on. Environmental toxins are increasing, and indoor environments are full of stuff from plastics, carpeting, and other sources. When we are inside with the windows closed for months, the air can become loaded with toxicity.
Springtime gives us some wonder foods to use, foods that help rid our bodies to eliminate toxins. The easiest way to do this is to only eat fruits and vegetables, and drink vegetable/fruit juice and herbal teas for a few days. Dr. Ben Kim prescribes a cleanse that is pretty much identical to what I’ve done for years. He also has a very nice article on detoxing in general.
Another springtime benefit comes from all the little green plants that appear without any help from us. The foremost is the ubiquitous dandelion. This humble plant is actually a superfood, in my opinion. Here is a little article to get acquainted with the dandelion in a whole new way. You can also do a google search and find all sorts of recipes, but the best way to use them is without fuss: in a salad, smoothie, or juice. (Be sure to avoid any dandelions that might have been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.)
Dr. John Douillard’s LifeSpa website is a source I really appreciate, especially to learn about cleansing in a way that is really doable for most people. He has a thing called the “Colorado Cleanse,” which many people do this time of year; but you can find it all year long on the website. He uses a food called kichadi for cleansing, and here is his article on this amazing food.
There are all sorts of ways to cleanse. The main idea is to give your digestive system a rest so your body can focus on eliminating toxins. What you want to avoid is cleansing in a way that stress you out. If your body thinks you are starving or doing something extreme, or if you are irritating your colon or other organs, you may be doing more harm than good.
Finally, there are many herbal products that can be helpful when trying any detox plan. My Master Herbalist friend, Julie Formby, can help you with that. Find her at her website. Here’s to Spring!