Spring Cleaning and Detoxification
Especially in temperate latitudes human function and well-being is significantly affected by the rhythms of changing seasons. Readers will know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) afflicts many people in the transition from fall to winter. Less well known is that cholesterol levels vary seasonally across populations. ""The change in climate and behavior that follows each season can have an effect on lipid metabolism and possibly even heart health."" This, recently, from the American College of Cardiology, no less1.
The approach of spring heralds a new cycle of growth and procreation. Rituals and protocols associated with spring are deeply inscribed in the culture and religion of human society. Every traditional system of health addresses the challenge of spring – what one should do, things to avoid and how to go about it all. The central axis of purification and fertility characterizes spring.
With respect to health and well-being spring is the time most appropriate to detoxify or cleanse. Spiritually, emotionally and, in what follows here, physically. Such practices and routines are commonly called ‘spring cleaning’.
""Spring is an optimal time to detoxify,"" says Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., author ofThe Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet . ""A long, hard winter can leave you feeling lethargic and wanting to lighten up on all levels. As the world renews itself, your body yearns for replenishment as well.""
What, more specifically, does ‘spring cleaning’ entail? It means activating, upregulating and promoting the sanitation systems built into humans so as to effect the thorough removal or transformation of winter accumulated debris or waste. Five major systems regulate to body’s sanitation – lymphatic, gastrointestinal, urinary, respiratory and the skin.
With spring’s arrival these systems and their associated organs and tissue must process an annual high tide of rubbish. If detoxification pathways and organs are functioning poorly and/or presented with overwhelming volumes of especially toxic waste you may expect to feel rather badly for it.
Each person acquires and inherits unique burdens and blessings concerning their needs and abilities to refresh and detoxify. And, there is an often bewildering galaxy of practices, therapies, diets and medicaments to choose from. Hereafter, this article will focus on those things that can be practically done to boost cleansing of the intestines and liver for two reasons. Firstly and simply because things gastrointestinal are so important and it is a system we can easily get at to do something about. Secondly, because there is the widest range of therapies, foods and supplements available and about which there is the greatest authority of historic use and practice.
In the tradition of natural health the most ‘popular’ intervention to promote spring detoxification is cleansing of the intestines. The Colon Cleanse. This involves the physical removal of accumulated waste debris in the intestines and improving the balance of healthy gut biota over pathogenic fungi and bacteria. You can come at colon cleansing from both directions. One may consume – eat, ingest – select foods or substances that adsorb or render harmless toxic debris or alternatively promote their efficient physical removal. From the other direction, therapeutic enemas or colonic therapy may effectively clean your sewers out though this is a matter for which the reader is advised to obtain experienced counsel.
It is feasible for an informed person to collect the raw material – fibre, herbs etc. – to effect a colon cleanse. Practically however, it is best to select a commercial product or ‘kit’ which contains everything necessary along with proper instructions for use. Below is a select list of common product names and manufacturers of colon cleanses.
- Thisilyn Cleanse – Nature’s Way
- CleanseSmart – Renew Life
- Herbal D-Tox – Wild Rose
- Restorative Cleanse Kit – Botanica
- Whole Body Cleanse – Enzymatic Therapy
Follow the instructions.
To augment healthy gut bacteria, employ probiotic products that act in both the small and large intestines. Only some commercial products can provide such benefits such as:
- Acidophilus Ultra – New Roots
- HCP Synbiotic Kit – Progressive
- Trenev Trio – Natren
For practical purposes increasing the availability of ‘raw material’ for Phase 2 processes effectively upregulates their scope of function. The volume of toxic burden neutralized is increased. Your load is lightened.
What you ‘feed’ the liver conditions its function. A comprehensive list of foods and supplements and their protocols of use needs to be investigated separately by the reader. However, some few things deserve attention.
- BeetsWhether cooked, pickled or (better) raw, consumption of things Beta vulgarismakes for a happy liver. Conduct a web search using the following terms ‘Beta vulgaris benefits nutrition’ and, feast.
You can cook and eat beets or buy pickled beets. Better, you can juice fresh beets. You might also acquire a bottle of delicious Biotta Beet Juicebeet juice. I dare you to stop drinking it. Alternatively, Salus makes excellent Red Beet Crystalsyou can easily mix up.
- Phosphatidyl choline There is a recent dramatic rise in the prevalence of ‘non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Look it up. Not a good state of affairs. This condition is driven by excess consumption of polyunsaturated oils, fats in excess of the liver’s nutritionally derived resources to process said oils. The critical ingredient typically lacking is the Great Emulsifier – lecithin, in its various forms. To address NAFLD, 1. moderate consumption of highly oxidizable oils, e.g., omega 6 corn oil et al, ALA-rich flax, hemp, walnut oils and fish oils. To upregulate liver function take lecithin in supplement form a product containing ‘PC35’ being a measurement of ingredient concentration. Such as: Phos Choline by Genestra or Phosphatidyl Choline by Natural Factors.‘Lecithin’ capsules on their own are usually only PC11 in concentration.
- SulphurThe most active Phase 2 detox pathway is the ‘sulphation pathway’. Many unpleasant substances are made harmless when acted upon by Sulphur rich enzymes. When Sulphur rich nutrients are abundant liver detox functions increase proportionately. Garlic is the unrivalled vessel of organic Sulphur compounds. Eat plenty of raw or cooked garlic or consider garlic products like those made by Kyolic or Allimax. The Sulphur-containing essential amino acid cysteine, commonly available as ‘n-acetyl-cysteine” or “NAC” is a much-studied aid to liver detoxification. Commercial products include: N.A.C. by AOR or NAC SAP by NHF.
- Sugar Chronic administration of glucose/fructose foods will ruin your liver. You are over-burdening the machinery. Its function will, by degrees, deteriorate. Nature’s Source has the products and staff to assist if you choose to wean yourself away from carbohydrate enslavement. Read Gary Taubes: Good Calories, Bad Calories
Other Detoxifying Approaches
Homeopathy is rich in formulae and protocols aimed at enhancing systemic detoxification. Well-designed products include Detox-Kit by Heel and Biotherapeutic Drainage by Genestra.
In western herbalism, formulations represented by Essiac and Flor-Essence are among the most popular of constitutional cleansing regimes.
Spring detoxification is not something to be undertaken in an aggressive manner. Many protocols can be disruptive to daily routines, so plan carefully. If you don’t like any detox symptoms that may emerge, slow down or back off.
1American College of Cardiology (2013, March 7). Cholesterol levels rise, fall with changing seasons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307124235.htm