You’ve heard it all before. Pop stars do it, soap stars do it. Cleanse, detox, purify: the mantra of the New Millennium!
Who wants to live on organic kiwi juice and raw carrots for six weeks?
Who has time to blend their essential oils before meditating for an hour, then practicing their feng shui to prepare them for a breakfast of lightly toasted morning mist? The problem with many health regimes is that they require an amount of time and energy available maybe to Nepalese Hermits but not to the ordinary wage earner or homemaker.
How about some ideas on revitalising your body and mind as the world around you bursts into bloom with the warm breezes of spring, without making your family live on macrobiotic walnuts or requiring a second mortgage? Many people will be feeling baggy and saggy – well, who can train for that Marathon when there is a small blizzard whipping itself into a frenzy outside the front door? – as the excesses of a winter diet and the restrictions of the winter weather manifest themselves under the pale light of the first hesitant spring sun.
And yes…it is natural for the body to slow down during the winter, building up a protective layer of fat to see it through till the spring.
Unfortunately, the human body hasn’t quite adjusted to the conveniences of the Western World’s 21st Century, where the winter may deprive us of sun, but rarely of the bodily necessities. Those blessed with central heating and capacious freezers don’t really need so much protection against cold and hunger. Since we have to make do with a metabolic rate adapted to Neanderthal, we might as well see things on the bright side.
Spring is the time to clear out the clutter gathered in various corners of the anatomy. Well, the body is doing it anyway; why not give it a hand? The most obvious herb to use in a painless drive to rejuvenate the battered system is Echinacea. Yes, you’ve been using it all winter to keep colds and flu at bay, but stick with it a little longer to help clear stray toxins from the dark recesses where they lurk. Echinacea ensures that the immune system is working efficiently, clearing the bloodstream and tissues of all unfriendly microorganisms and toxins.
Echinacea also helps prevent the lymphatic fluid from becoming thick and sluggish. When the lymph does not flow sweetly, you are more likely to get swollen glands, congested colds and cellulite! An unhappy triad…
You can help yourself in this area by avoiding coffee, other caffeine drinks, and products containing lots of sugar and white flour. There is no point making the body’s job harder than it need be by putting in the foods that cause the congestion you are trying to clear!
In the meantime, how to give your body a gentle overhaul in line with its general plans for the change of the seasons?
The main organs of detoxification are the liver, kidneys and intestines. Nature thoughtfully designed a few herbs that will tone these organs and assist them to carry out their everyday tasks with more zip and vigour – good news for you, as the knock-on effect is more energy, better metabolism and less irritating conditions such as fluid retention.
Alfred Vogel packaged these herbs into a trio of handy complexes:
- Flax-laxative – Linoforce: a herbal laxative,
- Bladder formula – Cystoforce: a mix of herbs to stimulate kidneys and
- Boldocynara – to induce liver function.
You will notice a marked improvement in your digestion, skin health and energy levels, for starters. The three herbal complexes help the body heal itself by promoting waste and toxin elimination-the gentle way. It is a holistic way of cleansing the body without weakening the body, allowing it to go on with daily activities.
Everyone knows that drinking more water is a cheap and easy health option. Vary the routine with herb teas that have cleansing properties. Alfred Vogel advocated Golden Grass tea, which does a power of good to the kidneys and urinary tract. Stinging Nettle (tea or tincture) is another splendid tonic for the whole system. It clears acidic wastes from the body, alleviating conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism. For those worried about bone health, it helps with the assimilation of calcium, as well as having a host of other nutrients such as iron and silica to bring to the tissues. Good stuff, and easy to incorporate into your day.
For general tissue cleansing and the reversal of an overly acidic internal environment, concentrated lacto-fermented whey is another option. If you have been struck down with infections over the winter and have had to take antibiotics, it will help to re-establish the proper conditions for your friendly bowel flora to thrive. Antibiotics tend to knock friendly bowel flora out, so getting them back on line is important.
So you see, doing a bit of spring cleaning needn’t be painful, nor does it necessitate several weeks in a mountain health spa (although there’s nothing wrong with that if someone wants to send you there!). Do a couple of weeks and enjoy the results!