All healing works with the basic principles of cleansing (clearing/removing) and nourishing (creating/adding.) With herbal food and medicine, these principles are often combined.
Spring is a wonderful time for focused cleansing and nourishing. We’re coming out of a more sluggish time where many of us were eating a little heavier foods. Now with thawing and flowing happening in the Northern Hemisphere, our bodies are ready for the same. Our bodies work incredibly well in harmony with the seasons.
Food as Medicine
There’s a unique process that’s helpful when cleansing and nourishing. We need our elimination systems working well first before we delve into cleansing deeper spaces. Basically, the gunk needs a clear path out.
Following this premise, the first thing we work with cleansing in our body is our bowels. We also need tone in our intestines to have effective peristaltic action to move waste through our system.
Vegetables and greens, fiber and nutrient dense, these foods both cleanse and nourish. They help waste move through and out our bowels more effectively. Ideally they are the main portion of our meals.
Meats, dairy, eggs and even some grains are mucus forming foods, meaning they can cause stagnation and stickiness to physically build up in our system. This allows debris and toxins to stay in our system and creates a literal buffet for detrimental microbes. Ideally these foods are used lightly in our diet, and not as the main ingredient in our meals.
Did you know it is ideal to have a bowel movement after every meal? I’ve heard a story of a woman only having one bowel movement a month with her period. That’s crazy!
If our bowels are stagnant, then all that waste is just sitting in our system causing challenges through other body systems. Fiber, roughage, vegetables, and water, all of these will help clear our system.
We also need plenty of fresh water – 1 oz of water for every to each pound we weigh.
Chewing our food well is important – it gives our first ‘mixing bowl,’ our mouth and saliva, time to start breaking down our food. This can help tremendously with digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
In a moment we’ll talk about herbal medicine for bowel cleansing and nourishing, but first I’d like to talk about the second body system we work on in cleansing – our liver.
Our liver is one of our most powerful detox organs. We need our liver functioning well for our digestion and a healthy bloodstream. Bitter greens and herbs are great for our liver. Dandelion, kale, chard, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, hickory and endive are wonderful spring cleansing foods.
Carrots and carrot juice are also liver cleansing – a 1/2 gallon to a gallon of carrot juice could be used. There’s concern that too much carotene causes our skin to turn orange or yellow, but if we’re using the whole food, if we keep going with our carrot juice, we’ll notice that our skin returns to normal and with a thoroughly cleansed liver. The yellow jaundice is actually a cleansing moving through our liver and system.
Carrot-beet-cucumber, apple, dandelion and lemon juices are great for our liver. In fact, lemon juice is one of the most potent and effective liver cleansers and rebuilders.
When we drink juices (also soup or any liquids) it is ideal to swish it around in our mouths like we are ‘chewing’ it. This allows the nutrients to start mixing with our saliva, allowing our system to begin breaking down nutrients and using them well.
We chew our food until it is like a liquid and chew our liquids like they are foods. This improves absorption and nourishment.
Medicine as Food
Sometimes food is not enough to have our systems working optimally, or we want a more direct protocol, we can move to an herbal cleansing and nourishing protocol.
For elimination challenges, the Lower Bowel Formula from Dr. Christopher brand is gold. It works to move waste out, and also tones sluggish intestines, allowing food to move through the system more efficiently and effectively. This formula also contains herbs to ease gas and cramping so the experience is more gentle.
Lower Bowel Formula – view on Amazon
Because this formula works so well, I suggest starting with 1 capsule at night and seeing how things move. If that doesn’t get things moving , then take 2 the next night and wait to see what happens. After our elimination system gets moving, we can stay with this for 2 weeks, then add the next part of the cleansing protocol – Liver & Gallbladder Formula.
The Liver & Gallbladder formula helps tone, nourish and cleanse these organs. If we have hormone challenges or fluctuations or are taking hormones, working with the liver is important. Our liver functions relate to digestion, metabolism, blood composition, and elimination of waste. We need it functioning at its optimal levels for overall health.
After 2 weeks of the Lower Bowel herbs, we can add Liver and Gallbladder. Again, I suggest starting with 1 capsule at night and seeing what you experience. Working up to 2 capsules once or twice a day (morning and evening) would be ideal. We continue to take both formulas for this cleansing and nourishing protocol.
Liver & Gallbladder Formula – view on Amazon
A Word About Whole Food Herbs
These two herbal combinations can be found on Amazon and other places online. I have been using this brand of herbs for cleansing and nourishing for years. It’s affordable and food based, meaning all the herbs are whole foods and used in their whole form. They’re not extracting any components, the herb is intact with all its synergistic properties working in ways we haven’t even studied yet.
Food based herbs are in their whole state and the body recognizes them as food. They differ from standardized extracts. Human bodies have developed alongside plants for thousands of years. Because of their organic nature, their whole food nature, we use what we need and eliminate the rest. This is different than using an extracted ‘active ingredient’ herb. Standardization has its place, but food based herbs are a beautiful holistic, affordable and gentle approach to using herbs as medicine.
Drink your water during this time, lemon water if you prefer.
Ideally, no water or little water with meals so your digestive fires aren’t diluted. Other than that, water, water, water that beautiful body of yours! Allow it to clear out what is ready to go!
In two weeks I’ll send out Part 2 of the Cleansing and Nourishing Protocol – Bladder and Blood Stream.
If you’d like to talk herbs with me, I’d love to – contact me here.