Do a Spicy-Hot Detox

Activate your internal fire with pungent spices and aromatics to rid your body of unwanted toxins.

Photo by Adobe Stock/nikolaydonetsk

In the spring, nature wakes up gently, and then suddenly; we sense the sluggishness of winter shedding, and the freshness of spring emerging. Our bodies respond to the seasonal changes, readily reacting to the temperature, humidity, balance of light and dark, and a variety of other natural influences. For many, this connection becomes most apparent during the transition from winter to spring.

During every season, our bodies work hard to maintain a healthy balance. To attain this balance, our bodies crave the things we need, such as food, air, water, sunlight, and other nutrients needed for mental, spiritual, and emotional health. What our bodies don’t need, they discard through detoxification systems, primarily via the digestive tract, the respiratory system, and the skin. Human bodies have always carried out instinctual detoxifications without any intentional assistance.

Despite our amazing detox systems, however, we sometimes crave additional support to nudge our bodies along in the processes of shedding the old. In springtime, we start to feel the fire steadily building in our bodies — the need for movement, stimulation, activity, and engagement. Of course, the change in seasons has us staying out later, playing harder, and embracing the warmer weather. Using aromatic herbs and spices can enhance our metabolisms and support our bodies’ ability to shed the old and welcome the new.

Spice Up Your Health

For millennia, humans have used spices for health and wellness, while also delighting in their flavor. It’s a perfect package: the combination of powerful medicines, health-sustaining tonics, and the pleasure of flavors that can take us on a sensory journey. There’s a blood-pumping delight that comes with the first bite of something spicy, warm, and aromatic. Sure, you might have a few of your favorite hot sauces ready to sprinkle on your morning eggs or in your evening soup, but a whole artillery of aromatic medicines can also increase your blood circulation and support detoxification without setting your tongue on fire.

Fiery spices, such as cayenne pepper, help you detox by acting as gentle irritants as they pass through your body. It might sound counterintuitive, but some of the healthiest practices include small nudges in the right direction, such as inducing subtle irritations without causing harm. Small irritations immediately increase circulation to the local areas where the spice directly touches your membranes — mainly the digestive system and urinary tract — while simultaneously increasing metabolism, blood flow, and sweat production. If you’ve ever dined on a super-spicy meal, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

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