Spring is the time when the body naturally cleanses and allows for the fresh-new-beginnings to enter. As Winter melts away all the heavy dampness, it's key to lighten up your diet, cupboards and clutter so that you are ready to press 'reset'. Give yourself and your liver a break and enjoy the tips below.
MINT. Multiple uses of this plant will provide healing benefits. The strong scent is good to clear up nose, lungs, throat congestion and for some asthma relief. It's a great relaxant and is good for headaches and cooling down in hot temperatures. It's a great anti-nausea aid and digestive aid.
- Tea: Get 1/4th cup fresh mint and steep in boiling water for 1-3 minutes or use a store bought tea bag. Drink hot or cold.
- Essential Oil: Inhale peppermint oil to open nasal passages, apply diluted a drop to the temples for a headache. If no essential oil is available, use the fresh leaves. Rub them to release the oil and inhale the aroma from your hands.
DRY BRUSHING. This is one of the easiest way to detox as skin is the largest organ and a lot of waste pushes itself through the pores. Dry brushing will help increase circulation and help the body speed up natural detoxification. It also sloughs off dead skin cells allowing your skin and you to breath more easily.
Get a brush with natural and soft bristles. Do gentle brushing towards the heart in a circular motion before showering. Brush clockwise on the stomach region to help with elimination. You should feel lighter, clearer and have a glow afterwards. Always shower after dry brushing. Note: If you can't find a dry brush, use an exfoliating glove.
EPSOM SALT DETOX BATH. An Epsom Salt detox bath is a broad spectrum detoxifying bath. It activates fluid movement in the tissues and increases perspiration. The sulphur component of the salts are an excellent detoxifying agent. This bath also relaxes your muscles and is great after a hard workout or a long day!
Directions: Begin with ½ cup of salts. Slowly increase the amount until you can tolerate 5 cups. Stop if you experience symptoms at any level. Increase time until you can tolerate 30 minutes without symptoms. Try to get a bath water filter for your bath water.
HYDRATION. Drink a lot of high quality water to flush out toxins through your kidneys. Especially remember to drink a few glasses of 'hot' water first thing in the morning to help with elimination, which will speed up toxin removal.
EXERCISE. Even if you don't break a sweat, get outside or in the gym and move your body. Movement is key when you are cleansing. Twist poses in yoga are great for squeezing out those toxins as well.
REST. Make sure to get a good night's sleep and not push yourself when you are cleansing. Choose rest instead of overdoing.
FIBER. Add extra fiber foods for 7-14 days: all green veggies, beans, lentils and brown rice. Under all costs, make sure you have 1 bowel movement daily if you are eating food and not fasting; this is key to eliminating toxins. Lighten up your diet and make it vegetable heavy if you lean towards constipation.
VITAMIN C. Vitamin C is great for symptoms of air pollution and aching joints. Get a good quality Vitamin C supplement and increase Vitamin C foods, broccoli is my favorite & one you may not think of.
ADD TO YOUR DIET:
- BITTER: Bitter has cleansing properties for your blood and liver. It will cut through that 'stuck' feeling and ease congestion. A few options are endives, radicchio, bitter melon, daikon radish and dandelion greens.
- GREENS: Add an abundant of raw and cooked greens such as spinach, kale, collards, chard, brussels sprouts, asian greens, etc. Greens are especially important to reintroduce in the Spring as you are lightening up your diet. Look for what is Seasonal in your area and let that farmer's market direct your produce buying decisions.
- JUICE: If you want a quick jump start and clear skin, give your digestion a rest and drink only vegetable juices with greens for 1-3 days.
- BERRIES: Make an antioxidant smoothie. Use unsweetened pomegranate juice and add 2 cups of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mixed berries or fresh pomegranate. Replace coffee with green tea to get the antioxidant benefit or try to let go of caffeine completely.
REMOVE FROM YOUR DIET:
- DAIRY: Remove ALL dairy from your diet at least temporarily for 7-14 days as it is mucus forming and will make congestion worse.
- MEAT: Reduce meat consumption.
- GLUTEN: And remove or reduce grains in general.
- FRIED FOODS: And all processed food and drink which includes sugar, coffee, white flour and most packaged foods.
For more info on our quick 14-Day Do-it-Yourself Detox Kit, click here.
Dr. Karuna Sabnani specializes in naturopathic wellness and reclaiming health and beauty using safe, natural methods. You can also connect with Dr. Sabnani on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for more inspiration and wellness tips.
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