Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. As you clean your home to rid it of dust, clutter and toxins this year, consider giving your body the same treatment. If winter is the time to relax and let our bodies rest, then spring is the time for renewal and regeneration—and cleansing our bodies is the perfect place to start.
Adding detox herbs to your diet is a great place to start a healthy natural cleanse. The following detox herbs will strengthen and support the liver, kidneys and other important aspects of your body’s natural detox system.
Dandelion: This well-known detox herb helps cleanse the liver by stimulating the production of bile and its flow to the gallbladder, one avenue through which the body naturally removes toxins. Dandelion leaves are also a diuretic. Steep the roots to make dandelion tea, or add the leaves to salads. Learn more about gathering wild dandelions in “A Dandelion Celebration.”
Milk thistle: Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, prevents liver damage and stimulates this organ’s ability to generate new cells. German physicians frequently prescribe milk thistle as a treatment for those suffering from liver damage. Because silymarin is poorly soluble in water and not absorbed well by the body, a concentrated supplement is recommended. Try a 200 mg capsule representing 140 mg of silymarin.
Turmeric is another well-known beneficial herb for the liver. Turmeric increases the flow of bile, helping to remove toxins from the body. Take a 50 mg supplement daily, or incorporate it more into your cooking.
Green tea: A study reported in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research found that the catechins found in green tea increased production of a group of important detoxification enzymes that have been shown to protect the body from toxins and cancer-causing chemicals. Try drinking a cup a day.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds such as allicin that oxidize heavy metals, making them more water-soluble and easier to remove from the body. Garlic has numerous other benefits that can help strengthen your detox system, like strengthening the immune system and controlling free radicals. If eating garlic raw, be sure to cut, crush or bruise the clove to activate its healing properties.
Cilantro binds to heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and aluminum, making it easier to transport them out of the body. Try steaming a packed ¼ cup of cilantro once daily for three weeks.
For more on a natural cleanse for your body, check out the following articles:
Detox Menu for a Spring Cleanse
7 Cleansing Foods for a Natural Detox
Detox Your Body: How to Strengthen Your Liver and Kidneys
Cleanse Your Liver Naturally
Images (top to bottom): Photo By Subbotina Anna/Courtesy Fotolia; Photo By komar.maria/Courtesy Fotolia
Susan Melgren is the Web Editor of Mother Earth Living. Find her on Google+.