Spring Greens, Herbal Tonics, and Natural Detoxification

| 5/29/2018 3:04:00 PM

Spring has sprung and many of us are still feeling sluggish from our winter hibernation, heavy eating, and lack of sunshine. While we need those heavy and hearty meals during the cold winter months, Spring is the time to lighten up our diets and head outside.

Historically, people grew and harvested their own food and ate with the seasons. Local spring greens and herbs were coveted as they would help to invigorate the blood and rejuvenate the spirits. There are numerous references throughout history which refer to herbs as “blood purifiers” or “blood cleansers”. Wild herbs and greens would be eaten or otherwise consumed in the spring as a tonic to help improve digestion and “cleanse” the blood. Cleansing the “blood” is more of a reference to improving elimination.

Today you hear people talk about doing a “detox” or a “cleanse” using harsh and expensive products which act more to “purge” or force the body into eliminating or “detoxing”. Traditionally people relied on the body’s natural ability to eliminate and would give the body a little nudge in the spring by consuming fresh greens and herbs, getting outside and by breathing fresh air.

flowering allium
Allim spp. flower. Photo by Natalie Vickery

5 Tips to Naturally Improve Elimination

The body is very adept at the process of elimination. However, when the system becomes a bit sluggish, elimination can be enhanced naturally through various means. Here are a few tips to give the body a nudge to improve elimination.

  1. Improve digestion: Eating healthy foods and avoiding those that are refined and processed not only helps to maintain health but will also help to improve digestion. Another great way to improve digestion is by incorporating bitter foods and herbs into our diets. These bitters help stimulate digestive secretions, improve integrity of tissues, increase nutrient absorption and increase elimination.
  2. Deep Breathing: One way the body naturally detoxifies is through respiration. Most people are shallow breathers and respiration is inhibited. By focusing on breathing and taking deep breaths not only can we increase energy and reduce stress, but we also increase elimination.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Water is essential to our well-being. Not only does water carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells but it also helps to rid the body of waste byproducts.
  4. Exercise: The benefits of exercise on health are almost endless. Exercise improves elimination by increasing lymphatic flow, perspiration and respiration.
  5. Sleep: While we sleep our bodies are repairing and rebuilding. A lack of sleep or inadequate sleep can be very detrimental to overall health.

5 Herbs to Help Improve Elimination

Burdock (Arctium lappa)

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