~ written by Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, Medical Herbalist
After the festive holidays and an excess consumption of sugar and rich food,January and February are excellent times to focus on cleansing both internally and by reducing contact with environmental toxins.
- Start your morning by drinking a large glass of room temperature water with 1 freshly squeezed organic lemon to activate the digestive juices.
- Eat your greens! Vegetables are packed with anti cancer nutrients, their vitamin and antioxidant content are essential for immune system function, detoxification and the high fiber content will assist in lowering cholesterol and help keep the colon clean. Make it a goal to consume 4 -5 half cup servings of fresh vegetables daily.
- Herbal Teas such as Red Clover, Nettle Leaf, Burdock Root, and Dandelion Leaf are known as alteratives or blood cleansers, which assist in the removal of waste matter from the bloodstream, kidneys and liver. Our herbal blend, Clean Green Herbal Tea is specially blended to support the function or the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system in removing impurities from the body.
- Green tea assists the liver with detoxification, and helps to prevent the formation of carcinogens in the body, (such as the cancer promoting toxins from pesticides, nitrates in processed deli meats and benzopyrenes found in diesel fuel). To purchase organic green tea, click here.
- Munch on seaweeds. Seaweeds help remove heavy metals from the body and assist in preventing damage from chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- Raise your body temperature. A lowered body temperature can contribute to lowered immunity and an inability to overthrow viruses and bacteria. Regular use of Epsom salts added to bath water for a heating, relaxing soak. Epsom salts encourage sweating and subsequent elimination of waste matter through the skin. Hot yoga and seasoning your food with fresh ginger or cayenne pepper powder can also improve circulation.
- Dry skin brushing: a natural vegetable bristle brush (avoid synthetic fibers or animal bristles), for use on dry skin, before showering. Skin brushing helps to remove dead skin cells and promotes detoxification by encouraging lymphatic drainage, accelerates the removal of waste matter from the body, and increases blood flow through the veins and back to the heart. How to skin brush: Begin brushing the extremities first, starting with the arms and feet, moving to the legs, hips and buttocks, and brush in a circular motion always moving towards the heart. Avoid brushing areas of varicose veins, rashes, open wounds, infection and over thin sensitive skin. Skin brushing is an invigorating way to begin the day and can be followed with a cool shower, or Epsom salt bath.
- Populate main living areas with plants known to cleanse the air and detoxify the environment: aloe, spider plants, boston ferns, banana plants, english ivy, philodendrons are greens which specifically help to remove benzene and formaldehyde from a living space.
- Decrease the use of plastics in your home and avoid using saran wrap or plastic containers in the microwave (instead use a glass plate), – or better yet, do not use the microwave at all. Plastics are constantly gassing off emitting chemicals known as xenoestrogens, a group of toxic chemicals that mimic estrogen and are known to disrupt endocrine function. For more information, I recommend a well referenced article “Get Plastic Out Of Your Diet” written by Paul Goettlich, Nov 2003. which can be read through the clicking on the link.