In Eastern Medicine, Spring is the time of the liver, the organ that manages change and circulation. Our livers are dealing with a lot these days, as we process stress from our emotions, work life, current events, and environmental toxins in the water and air we imbibe.
As we emerge from the last two tumultuous pandemic years looking toward healing, rejuvenation, and growth, the season beckons us to attend to our organ of Spring; to help our liver help us better. We can do this by eating good food, hydrating with clean filtered water, getting regular exercise, and making time to enjoy the green of nature.
Along with healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices, it’s also worthwhile to consider setting up an appointment for a Spring acupuncture tuneup, and starting a detoxification program. Unlike the common misperception that detox programs are an agonizing ordeal, a well-designed detoxification program minimizes discomfort by taking into account the various stages of detoxification and supporting them nutritionally.
The 3 main stages of detoxification include:
1. Liver Phase 1 – Liver enzymes convert toxins and metabolic wastes into other chemicals that can be more easily processed. These enzymes are proteins made out of amino acids and functionally supported by the B vitamins and other nutrients.
2. Liver Phase II – Detox reactions turn these chemical wastes into more water-soluble forms, making them easier to excrete from the body. These reactions rely on glutathione and other sulfur containing amino acids.
3. The third stage results in the excretion of toxic material from the liver through the bile and into the large intestine to be excreted as feces, or from the kidneys to the urinary bladder to be excreted as urine.
A good detoxification program has ‘cholagogues’, which are substances that stimulate the production and movement of bile from the liver via the gall bladder to the large intestine. Once in the large intestine, soluble fiber helps ensure that everything passes through in a complete and timely manner.
If you’d like try a modern detox program this Spring, I’d like to introduce two excellent products to choose from: VegeCleanse Plus or PaleoCleanse Plus by Designs for Health. They provide a complete array of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements that support all the aspects of an effective detox; along with the proteins and amino acids critical to Liver health. The difference between them is that one uses a pea protein and the other a beef broth base.
These are 15-day programs that are pretty simple to do – all you need to do is dissolve and consume 1 scoop of powder with water or smoothie each morning.
While you are doing this 15-day program, and even if you aren’t doing it, I recommend making the following food and lifestyle adjustments to support a healthy detox:
1. Limit carbohydrate intake and cut out gluten, sugar, and alcohol completely, as they can be inflammatory.
2. Do aerobic exercise for at least 20-40 minutes per day, especially outside in nature.
3. Do your best to get enough good quality sleep.
4. Meditate for at 5-20 minutes per day.
If you have any questions please let me know. Wishing you the best in health and happiness.