Entering the New Year or a new season inspires some to clean up not just their closets, but their bodies as well. Detox isn’t a set protocol. What one visualizes as a cleanse is very different than what someone else is doing. There are simple ways that aren’t time-intensive or life-changing.
You can add packaged detox teas consisting of a few mild herbs to support and move the liver and colon.
Nutritional supplements involving lots of greens or sea vegetables can be a cleanse.
Removing sugars, animal products or yeasted carbs can be another approach.
Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables,
or just drinking lemon water,
or doing a master cleanse,
or drinking the smoothie approach
are all possibilities.
The more involved approach could be a whole lifestyle shift of diet, exercise, supplements, and body therapies and manual cleanses. One can detox by colon cleanse, liver cleanse, gallbladder cleanse, or probably cleanse whatever one wants.
What would I recommend?
Well, if you are prone to seasonal allergies I would get started now supporting your Liver energy. Spring relates to the Liver or Wood energy and once we move into that season, the familiar allergy and cold symptoms arise. The liver processes everything that we put into our bodies – physical and environmental, mental and emotional – food, chemicals in food and medication, stress and emotions. It loves a good fight and will take what you give it and ask for more.
Give it a little love by drinking dandelion tea, or adding dandelion leaves to a salad or sauté, or drinking red clover or nettles tea, or taking a milk thistle supplement. Many of these you can find in the bulk herb/spice section at natural food stores or you can order them online or some tea companies make it easy and package them now. I have in the past used the mild approach of adding Traditional Medicinals Everyday Detox tea two daily and one bag of dandelion tea through another company. To save time, I brew a gallon of tea so I can drink it on the go. You can eat a couple granny smith apples daily for a couple weeks – it helps cleanse the gallbladder. An old standby is castor oil packs! I love them. Just apply a warm towel of castor oil over the area of your liver (half under and half below your right ribcage). You can seal it in with a cover of plastic wrap. Well, I have put a modern twist on mine. I apply warm packs with Wood Elemental Oil or a custom blend of herbs and essential oils over the Liver area during an acupuncture treatment or at home.
Awareness during a cleanse is a good idea. I have spent much time contemplating emotional shifts and underlying issues when I choose to cleanse. I could write another entry just on the ideas of you are what you eat and you feel what you eat and the end product of all food is a feeling. So I will just say here that there will be emotional shifts that arise and they are related to the release of toxins from the energy related to food and all else stored in the body or liver. Journaling, prayer, meditation is ideal. At least physically, not mentally, jot down something you can ponder later. So make certain you have or are able to make some time to address feelings or situations which arise.
As the liver begins to slough off excess it enters the lymphatic system; you will need to keep lymph flowing with a lot of water, some exercise, maybe dry sauna. Sweating it out is key. I noticed lots of muscular aches and pains if I slacked on drinking water (drink half your weight in ounces), or didn’t get a good daily brisk walk in. Skin, our largest organ, is part of the detox as well. You should dry brush, which activates the circulation, your skin to slough off dead skin and anything else that surfaces during the process.
You may hit a healing crisis which could result in a cold, respiratory infection, allergies, alteration in bowel movements, sweating, possible skin eruptions or emotional shifts. I can attest to the emotional shifts. Others I know can attest to the skin eruptions or respiratory infections. Take a break, ease up, and gently resume the process if you are fully recovered. If skin eruptions are severe or you feel tenderness in the lymph glands, consult with a doctor or practitioner who can assist you in the process or direct you to someone who can. The gentler you are in your approach, the more likely you will fortify your body and less likely you will shock your system.