In spring, the days get longer, the sun starts to shine and warm our skin, gardens turn green and houses get airy. It's the season of renewal when we can see gardening enthusiasts going outside to tidy up their exteriors before welcoming their future plantings.
What if we did the same for our bodies? Would a good spring cleaning do it good?
It's called detox.
This word has become very fashionable in recent years. Marketing argument for some, real health method for others. The fact remains that detox has been used for thousands of years, just as the great religions invited their followers to restrict their diet or to fast to improve their mental clarity.
Let's look at the basics of detox
Detox is an abbreviation of DETOXINATION, which designates the elimination of toxins coming from our metabolism and DETOXICATION, which designates the elimination of exogenous toxins such as atmospheric pollutants, food additives and preservatives, endocrine disruptors...
Of course, the body has the capacity to clean itself thanks to several organs such as the liver, the kidneys, the intestines, the skin and the lungs. However, our exposure to toxins has exploded over the last 60 years and our body may have difficulty managing them.
When these toxins and toxics accumulate in our bodies, our bodies can develop discomfort and even health problems. Symptoms are varied and can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, dull skin or an increased risk of developing chronic conditions.
Concretely, how to do it?
There are different types of detoxification but to begin with, the basis of a good detox is to be well hydrated!
Resting the digestive system
Doing a gradual detox, avoiding drastic diet changes and taking enough time, allows the body to adapt to the changes.
A reduction in diet can be a good start. Alcohol, very sweet foods such as cakes, pastries, sodas, sweets or processed products from stores could be eliminated for several days.
Intermittent fasting consists of reducing caloric intake for a given period of time, generally 12 to 16 hours per day. The easiest way to do this is to extend the nightly regeneration period by skipping dinner or breakfast. If it is difficult to skip one of these meals, you can try to bring dinner forward to 6:00 p.m. or delay breakfast to a more convenient time.
Drinking green juice. Green vegetables are rich in chlorophyll, a substance that helps eliminate toxins from the body. It's also a good idea to vary the ingredients in each juice to get a wide range of micro-nutrients. For example, use leafy greens like spinach, kale and arugula, root vegetables like beets and carrots, fruits like apples and citrus fruits, and herbs like parsley and ginger.
Detox plants to choose from
Plants in a general way, can help to support the body in its functions of elimination and filtration. They can, for the most part, be consumed in the form of tea, tincture, capsule, but not only:
Dandelion is a common medicinal plant that stimulates the liver and kidneys, which helps eliminate toxins from the body. It can also be eaten as raw leaves in salads.
Milk thistle is a well-known medicinal herb for supporting liver function. It contains a compound called silymarin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can also be found in capsule form.
Rosemary is a medicinal plant that stimulates the production of bile, which helps detoxify the liver and intestines. Excellent in dried leaves in cooked dishes!
Burdock is a medicinal herb that helps eliminate toxins from the body by increasing urine production. It also contains compounds that support liver function. It is often recommended for skin problems. Also use as raw root in your salads!
Turmeric is now well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also supports the liver function by increasing the production of bile. It can be consumed in powder form in cooked dishes or in capsule or tablet form.
Ginger is a medicinal spice that helps stimulate digestion and blood circulation, which promotes the elimination of toxins. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help protect cells from damage. Its fresh root will flavor your cooked dishes.
Cilantro could also be mentioned for its heavy metal removal action. Nettle or linden sapwood for their action on the kidneys.
It is important to note that medicinal plants must be consumed with caution and under the supervision of a health professional, because they can interact with certain medications.
The star of spring: the Birch sap cure
Harvested in winter or early spring, this sap contains a large quantity of minerals and vitamins, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamin C, which are beneficial to health. Birch sap has a draining and diuretic action. Due to its high antioxidant content, birch sap is also considered an excellent skin tonic and can help improve the appearance of the skin by reducing inflammation.
In practice, this birch cure lasts 3 weeks and consists of drinking a glass of birch sap in the morning on an empty stomach. Easy to find in organic stores, this cure has very few contraindications, except for pregnant women.
Cautions for use
Liver detox is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, for people who are tired or weak and for children under 15 years of age.
If you have any concerns about your health or if you are under medical treatment, it is best to consult a health care professional to ensure that you do not make a mistake.