Updated: Oct 7, 2021
Spring energy is one of awakening, growth and rebirth. It can be a time of cleansing and
where the term "spring clean" can be found to be used.
It also a wonderful time to begin cleansing and detoxing - the mind, the body and the soul.
Cleansing and detoxifying is particularly important to those that are energy sensitive and empathic as you will pick up energetically what is going on around you. You will also need to endevour that you have cleared our thoughts that are no longer serving as our thoughts and emotions are linked. This can lead to emotional overwhelm or you may be creating experiences that you are looking at thinking "what the....... this isn't what I wanted" as your thoughts and emotions are part of how we manifest our experiences. Our physical bodies are not only connected with energies, thoughts and emotions, they can also be sensitive to foods and this can affect our inner workings.
"The elimination of toxins awaken the capacity for renewal"
Our bodies are amazing that they are equip to remove toxins from our system daily. This is through our channels of elimination. These include: our liver, our lungs, our blood and lymphatic systems and our kidneys, digestive tract and skin. Doing a cleanse or a detox is supporting these
pathways within the body.
Our liver is made of many cells called hepatocytes. These cells are kept busy helping our bodies to cleansing our blood and support detoxification processes, keeping our blood sugar levels stable, the storage and creation of protein that the body needs, creating cholesterol and bile salts (a component of bile) and creating and releasing bile (which is then store within our gallbladder and
released when needed for digestion of our food).
The liver's detoxification system is broken down into three phases.
Phase I Generating water soluble intermediaries
Phase II Neutralization of toxic water soluble intermediaries
Phase III The excretion of neutralized intermediaries
It is in the phase II that our liver can need some extra support for neutralization. We can do this with including cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts or kale. You can also include other sulfur rich foods such as the allium vegetables such as onion, garlic, shallots, leeks and chives. NAC (N-Acetylcysteine) and Glutathione supplementation can help to support phase II. Many times we can get a backlog of phase I intermediates as the liver can struggle with phase II due to a lack of some of the needed co factors such as NAC or glutathione.
Plant medicine is very supportive for liver health. Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is a bitter, warming and drying herb. Its energetics are stimulating, decongesting, astringing, restoring, dissolving and softening (Holmes Vol.1, 2007). Silymarin is the most active constituent and helps with restoring hepatocyte functioning. This is particularly important in cases of liver damage. This can be from medications, alcohol, smoking, drugs and poor food choices.
Another herb that may come to mind is Dandelion. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is known to be a weed but the root portion of the herb is very good for liver health and blood cleansing. The leaves are nourishing for the kidneys and over all the herb is very high in vitamins and minerals. Dandelion root is quite bitter and helps with the production and flow of bile - this can be helpful for those who may have been eating poorly or have been having excess alcohol. It has a restorative effect on the liver and can help to prevent gallstones. If you already have gallstones this herb should be avoided (Balch, 2002).
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Our lungs are where our breath is warmed and filtered. It is where the oxygen we have gathered is able to be transferred into our blood and circulated around our body. Our breath is life.
To help cleanse or detox your lungs, look at your water intake. Our lungs need to be hydrated to aid in oxygen uptake and the release of carbon dioxide. If you are feeling short of breath or you have a respiratory condition, such as asthma, it is important that you stay hydrated (Balch, 2006).
Regular exercise can help strengthen our lungs. Try and exercise away from exhaust fumes and other air pollutants. If your iron levels are low you may experience a shortness of breath when exercising. Please have this checked with your doctor.
Dairy products can have an inflammatory effect on our airways as they are mucus producing. Try out some dairy free alternatives as a way to help cleanse and detox your lungs.
Plant medicine is of huge benefit to those with respiratory conditions. Elecampane (Inula helenium) and Mullein (Verbescum thapsus) are particularly good for dry coughs such as those with asthma, as they can help to reduce coughing spasms and provide mucilage but help to remove excess mucus (Holmes, 2007).
Mullein (Verbescum thapsus)
Our blood is our life force. It is what carries around all of our oxygen and nutrients around our bodies.
To help cleanse our blood we need to ensure we are drinking plenty of water.
If we are dehydrated our blood can become thick and sluggish.
Increasing your intake of dark leafy green vegetables (the contain chlorophyll) can help with cleansing the blood. They contain non-heme iron which will help with supporting healthy iron levels.
Eat quality omega 3's, these can be found in salmon (and other dark oily fish), flaxseeds and other nuts and seeds as these will help with good HDL cholesterol.
Blood cleansing herbs are known as depuratives or alternatives. These can work with the liver as this is where our blood is filtered and cleansed. Depuratives can be helpful if you have an underlying skin condition that keeps flaring or cuts or sores that get infected, as this can be due to a staphylococcus bacteria. Herbs such as Burdock (Articum lappa) and Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea/angustifolia) are effective depuratives.
Burdock (Articum lappa)
Our lymphatic system works alongside the blood, to maintain proteins, electrolytes and fluid balance in the body. It is part of our immune system and helps to fight off infection. It also helps to remove waste from our bodies. Unlike the blood, however it does not have a pump. One of the best ways to help cleanse and detoxify your lymph is to exercise. This helps to pump it around your body.
So as part of your cleanse and detox - create an exercise routine that you will enjoy, this will help you to look after your lungs and your lymph! Additionally, you may like to have a massage.
Massage will help to move lymphatic fluid around your body and help with detoxification.
Our kidneys have a glomerular filtration system that wonderfully excretes toxins from the body. Our urine can become concentrated if we are dehydrated which can cause our urine to become acidic
and we can get bladder irritation and are more prone to infection.
So the top suggestion for cleansing and detoxing your kidneys is make sure you drink
enough so that your urine is clear. The deeper the yellow the more concentrated your urine is.
Alcohol, Coffee and fizzy drinks can be very irritating on the kidneys. As part of your
cleanse and detox you can remove these for a time. Herbal teas can be a wonderful replacement.
Plant medicine can be very supportive for kidney health. Dandelion leaves are nourishing on the kidneys. It is has naturally high levels of potassium which can become depleted with other
forms of diuretics. Cornsilk (Zea mays) has a soothing and regulating effect on the kidneys.
Cornsilk (Zea mays)
Ensuring that our digestive tract is working effectively is going to ensure proper cleansing and detox.
The stomach is important as it is where we are breakdown the foods that we have eaten. Digestive enzymes are part of this process and many of us do not have enough of them.
You may find you experience bloating and gas after eating.
We can increase digestive enzyme production with adding some bitters (such as a salad -
add your dandelion leaves!) prior to a meal. Herbal bitters such as Dandelion root
taken in tincture form, can be of help.
The colon is the area that most of us think about when doing a cleanse and detox.
How can we support and cleanse our colon?
Drink plenty of water. If you are dehydrated, body will conserve water and leave your stools dry which leads to constipation and a concentration of toxins in your body.
Eat plenty of fibre rich fruits and vegetables. Soluble fibers help to feed our gut bacteria.
Insoluble fibers help with movement through the colon.
Our colon is one large muscle - magnesium can help to calm an anxious colon and
help promote muscle movement in a lazy colon.
Probiotics can be of great benefit to the colon, they can help relieve both constipation and diarrhoea.
If you feel you may have some underlying digestive health issues, such as SIBO, candida or IBS, part of your cleanse and detox maybe to book in with a herbalist to ensure you get the
right protocol for your symptoms.
As part of your cleanse and detox you may like to look at keeping a food journal. It is surprising how often we are eating foods that do not agree with our systems and we can ignore this because we are busy. Alternatively, you may like to look at eating whole unprocessed foods as much as possible. If you cannot pronounce it, it possibly shouldn't go in your mouth.
Our skin is the largest elimination organ. Many times, when we cleanse and detox, we can h
ave a few pimples or we may get a worsening of eczema or psoriasis symptoms
before they get better as the toxins are exiting our systems.
Consider what you are topically putting on your skin. Your cleansing products, your makeup, your moisturisers. Do you feel your skin would benefit from a more natural product?
A wee caution. A healing crisis is a worsening of symptoms before they get better. This can happen if you have been carrying a big toxic load or have an underlying health condition. I would suggest if you are worried - create your cleanse and detox to go over a longer period of time and be gentle on yourself.
We can our cleanse and detox our thoughts that we feel no longer serve us. I have found one of the best ways to do this is journal writing. I will ask myself what do I feel I need to let go of in my thinking and the thought will usually appear as a feeling, a picture or I may hear it. From there I will look at that belief and sit with it. Learn and understand what I can about the belief and why I have it.
I will then shift this belief and replace it with one that I feel is more in alignment with
where I am and what I would like to achieve.
We can look at mentally cleanse what we are watching, reading and listening too. Do they make you feel good? Do you feel uplifted and happy? How do they help you form your thoughts and emotions? Have a look at your habits and see where you can make changes.
As part of your cleanse and detox you may look at yourself, your energy and how you wish to turn up in your environment. You may do work on cleansing your aura, working on your chakra's and making sure you meditate. If you find meditation hard, you might like yoga - the active minds meditation.
When you are feeling ground and strong within yourself, you will be much less affected by your environment, and the collective global energy.
Cleansing your crystals may be part of your cleanse and detox. With the longer days and more sunshine, you can wash your crystals (although not the more fragile or flaky crystals) and place them out in the shine to dry and cleanse and charge. They will then be ready for you to program them for what you would like to use them for. At this time you may also like to cleanse any tarot or oracle cards you may have. I have found using baby wipes easy to cleanse each card and lay them out over your dining table to allow them to completely dry. You can place a candle at the center and use a smudge stick along with a blessing over your cards.
Happy cleansing and detoxing x
Balch, P. (2002) Prescription for Herbal Healing, New York, Avery Penguin Putnam
Balch, P. (2006) Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th edition, Australia, Penguin
Holmes, P. (2007) The Energetics of Western Herbs, Vol. 1 Edition 4, Cotati California, Snow Lotus.