While winter was a time to conserve our energy stores and slow down, spring is traditionally a time of growth, renewal and new life. It is also a time to cleanse, re-energize and re-evaluate, to make plans for the coming year.
We famously spring clean our homes but what better way to start the year than paying the same attention to our bodies.
In traditional Chinese medicine the organs associated with spring are the liver and gallbladder and it’s these we need to help at this time of year.
Nature assists us in this process by providing bounty all around us. The young nettle shoots picked and infused in hot water act as a diuretic on the kidneys and stimulate the liver to release toxins.
The cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage that we love to hate actually contain antioxidants such as glutathione which assist in removing toxins as well as alkalizing an over acidic system.
As well as good nutrition, Homeopathy a gentle form of complementary medicine can assist this process too; by stimulating your body’s natural ability to heal itself and regain balance.
It works on the principle of “like cures like” – that is, a substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person is used to cure those same symptoms in illness.
Two key remedies to help with detoxification are Nux Vomica and Sulphur. They both have symptoms of irritability, sluggishness and an increased sensitivity to their environment, all of which indicate an overburdened system.
Taken alternately on a waning moon (a time when elimination happens more easily) for a couple of days can help remove impurities by cleaning all your organs of elimination – your bowel, kidneys, liver and skin.
Due to the high carbohydrate intake over the winter months digestion can slow down which can cause toxins to be reabsorbed into the blood stream. A traditional herb originating in India called Triphala can be taken twice a day before meals which can reduce bloating and speed up the digestive process.
This time of year is notorious for colds which we love to moan about but which are in hindsight vital mechanisms for clearing out rubbish from the lymphatic system, just good house keeping. There are quite a few remedies for colds but three very useful ones are:
Aconite- For the first stage of a cold, brought on by being out in a cold wind. There is typically a sudden onset and the person maybe quite fearful.
Pulsatilla- Indicated by changeable symptoms. The mucus is usually worse in the morning and evening and they feel worse at these times. Often there is a frontal headache with an inability to think clearly. There is a strong tendency to tearfulness as well as being thirstless with a dry mouth.
Arsenicum Album-The nose drips with watery mucus that tends to burn the inside of the nose and top lip causing it to get red and sore. Paroxysms of sneezing with a feeling of blocked up sinuses. Lips are dry and cracked and the voice is hoarse with a lot of mucus needing to be cleared from it.
The tissue salt Ferrum Phos used alongside any of these remedies can help remove congestion and inflammation.
Homeopathic remedies are very safe and gentle but as with all therapies it is wise to consult a trained homeopath for advice.
I like to keep a few essential oils in my first aid kit should I feel the onset of a cold coming or to support the cold as it throws out toxins from your system. Black pepper and eucalyptus are good for this and can make breathing a little easier.
Toxins and particularly heavy metals are a huge part of our life now as they infiltrate the water we drink, the fish we eat and the air we breathe. I recommend keeping some chlorella in your cupboard as it is excellent for supporting the removal of these heavy metals from the system by absorbing the metal ions onto its surface . Try 1 gram mixed with water up to 3 times a day and used over the period of a month to compliment the spring cycles.
Infusing your water is a lovely thing to do in spring. Take a few sprigs of herbs like mint or parsley and place them in a jug of water which you leave in a sunny spot and fill your glass up from during the day. When you have finished the water you can chew on the herbs which have powerful antioxidants and immune boosting essential oils.
Using these fresh herbs in your smoothies is very effective too. Combine a handful of berries, half a banana and a few sprigs of nettle, cleavers, mint or parsley with a little water makes a great aid for your digestion.
Spring is literally the time, like nature we should be blooming so if you don’t feel that way it may be a sign to take a look at your lifestyle habits and make some positive changes. One step at a time.