As the warmer weather emerges out of the winter darkness, and the ground slowly thaws with shoots popping out, it’s time to get back on track. In this season of rebirth and growth, we also emerge out of our winter slumber and into the freshness of Spring. Aligning with nature’s energy, you might be thinking of doing a cleanse to shake off the winter’s weight. In this post, we outline some of our favourite herbs for a Springtime cleanse to help you immerse yourself in this season’s natural vitality.
During the past couple of decades, we Seed SistAs have explored and experimented with all kinds of differing Spring cleanses both for ourselves, our clients and patients. You don’t need to take radical changes to cleanse your inner self. Our bodies already have the amazing power to detoxify themselves, but we can also use some common weedy wonders to support the natural cleansing process.
Think of your body as you think of your home. Although our homebodies are doing their very best to detoxify at all times, they need a good cleaning a couple of times a year. Especially after being inside for most of the hibernation season, it’s a great time to burst open the windows and clear out the dust.
Why use herbs for cleansing?
The new growth leaves of Spring are particularly useful for the cleansing needed in these months. They contain all of the bursting fresh energy of life, filled with minerals and various phytonutrients. Leaves picked for food and medicine at this time are rich with medicine for the lymph and urinary systems. Plus, they’re great for remineralising, cleansing and strengthening the body. It’s an ideal time to have a focus on clearing out the system of any winter sluggishness.
Our herby detox rockstars are fantastically versatile to purify blood, support and improve the function of the lungs and kidneys, and regenerate the liver. These are fabulous for removing toxins ingested from our environment. And our favourite herbs for a springtime cleanse grow in abundance right under our feet. Plus, they’re all free!
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a liver cleanse
Often referred to as a pesky weed, the Dandelion is actually the total opposite and is a go to for a liver detox. These Dandelion greens are bursting with multivitamin and mineral supplements, including vitamins A, B, C and E. They’re also a rich source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese iron and zinc.
The bitter principle in dandelion, called glycoside taraxacin, stimulates and promotes bile flow which encourages a surge in liver function and aids digestion. Dandelion is a diuretic influence which allows kidneys and the liver to rid the body of toxins faster. The liver is constantly working tirelessly to filter toxins and metabolic waste from the blood. These can include things like caffeine, OTC medications and prescriptions, environmental toxins and any bad bacteria that enters the bloodstream.
Super safe, Dandelion can help to strengthen your immune system. You can use the roots or any of the above ground parts. We love using dandelion leaves in our very own ImmuniT!
***Prepare to drink lots of water with the tea to avoid dehydration but to also visit the loo several more times than usual as dandelion’s diuretic action is powerful!.***
Nettle (Urtica dioica) to support a spring detoxification
Nettle is a classic diuretic. The fresh nettle tips (before it flowers) can be used to add nutritive and anti-inflammatory properties. A natural powerhouse, it contains zinc, copper, potassium, and is rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D and K along with iron and calcium.
Nettles are heating and drying to the body hence, ruled by Mars, they help to calm the histamine reaction of hay fever by drying upmucosal secretions. They also help with eczema, dermatitis, rhinitis, basically anywhere there is inflammation and heat. One of the most powerful blood cleansers (alteratives), they are a great addition to any detox.
The nettles’ leaves have a distinctly fishy, sea-weedy smell and taste, which denotes that high mineral content of this familiar herb. They are so nourishing for the blood. To assist the body in clearing waste, support for the kidneys is provided by stinging nettle leaves. This is another wild plant that tends to be unwelcome in any area, not just the garden. Nettles have many ways to help us feel better.
Cleavers (Galium aparine) for a powerful tonic
Come springtime, cleavers rise up with their seed heads and fine pricky stems and grow in abundance in fields, hedgerows and pretty much everywhere! But this ‘Sticky Willie’, which it’s also known as, is a powerful tonic for the lymphatic system, nourishing, stimulating movement and vitality. Particularly valuable at times of stress, as cortisol impedes lymphatic flow, cleavers can aid recovery from such incidences. Cleavers also perform diuretic actions, helping the body to remove waste.
Primarily, cleavers are a wonderful lymphatic support to assist the filtration and transport system of toxins in the body. The aerial parts of this plant work to stimulate the production and circulation of lymph fluid by clearing congestion in the lymph nodes and reducing lymphatic inflammation. At the same time, cleavers have a diuretic effect which helps the detox process.
The taste of Cleavers is a surprisingly spicy green and begins to sprout when our immune systems may be tired and sluggish from a long winter. Use this little garden weed whenever we feel the need for a little extra immune system support and has the perfect timing to help us as a spring tonic and cleanse.
Detoxing using these wonderous weeds can be welcomed in the form of juices, hot and cold infusions and some delicious recipes. Plus, they’re supported by getting outside with friends and family while collecting the vibrancy in the fresh new growth greens from Mother Nature. These herbs for a springtime cleanse also have the added benefits of being in your gardens and parks with no air miles used!