Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Get A Jump On Spring Health!

G'morning all!
Well spring  is right around the corner, and I am sure, like me, you are definitely ready for the lovely warm days, the smell of fresh flowers pushing themselves up out of the ground, the scent of freshly mowed grass....all of these delights help bring us out of our winter cocoon!

We, just like the earth, fare better if we ease into spring; while we may have 'spring fever', and want to jump right into gardening, doing too much too fast, can leave you watching spring unfold on the sidelines while your body tries to heal from over-used muscles and exhaustion; as most of us tend to 'hibernate' during winter, we need to ready ourselves for the hectic months ahead by gently cleansing our body systems; building up our over-worked immune systems; nourish your body with energizing teas, smoothies, and juices and exercising more.

Today's post is going to inform you of great herbal recipes to help your body get hoppin'....for spring!!


Liver Cleanses~Winter brings us holidays and heavy foods which can lead to a sluggish liver. But don't fret, Gaia (Mother Earth) gives us plenty of  vibrate wild greens that help cleanse our liver.

Try making a salad with dandelion leaves, wild mustard greens, chickweed and wild sorrel among others, with a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. You can purchase organic spring greens at most farmers' markets if you don't have access to pollution-free wild plants. Better yet, grow it yourself!

You can also use the below recipe for a tea decoction. Drink three cups a day over a period of a few weeks:
  • 2 tsp dandelion root
  • 2 tsp burdock root
  • 2 tsp milk thistle seeds
  • 1 tsp licorice root
  • 3 cups water

To Make a Decoction~Combine herbs and water in a covered pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the tea and store unused portion in the refrigerator.




Lymphatic Cleanse~The lymphatic system depends on external pressure to keep the lymphatic fluid circulating. During physical activity, muscle contractions and the increased action of the lungs stimulates that pressure and generates a vigorous movement of lymph. If you've gone through a winter of low activity, this could mean your lymphatic system is not in optimum shape. Embarking on an exercise program will start the fluid flowing again and a good cleanse will help decongest the lymph glands.

The following tea made as an infusion, once or twice a day over a period of a few weeks:
  • 2 tsp dried cleavers ( or tbsp fresh )
  • 2 tsp dried red clover blossom ( or 2 tbsp fresh )
  • 2 cups water
To Make An Infusion: Combine herbs in a teapot, pour boiling water over them, cover, and let steep 15 minutes. Strain the tea and store the unused portion in the refrigerator.





Colon Cleanse~For a lethargic and slow-moving digestive system, there are several ways you can gently stimulate and cleanse it:
  • Increase your daily water intake to eight cups.
  • Eat one or two apples daily. The high water content and pectin help regulate bowel function and intestinal health.
  • Up your intake of fresh fruits and veggies
  • For a stinger effect, combine a glass of water or aloe vera juice with a tbsp of fiber such as psyllium husks or ground flaxmeal. Drink this morning and evening to stimulate a congested colon. Because of the high fiber content, make sure you also drink several glasses of water during.




Boosting Your Immune System~Has your body suffered through colds and flu this winter? You can give your immune system some tender loving care by turning your back on sugary treats that soothed during the dark wintery days. Sugar reduces the ability of white blood cells to fight viruses and bacteria in your body, and the effect can last for up to five hours. Adding friendly bacteria in your digestive system also offers a vital line of immune defense. You can replenish these defenders by eating two or more cups of organic yogurt a day. To ramp up the process, purchase a good probiotic supplement and follow the dosage directions




Immune Tonic~The following formula incorporates herbs that increase the activity of T-cells, NK cells, interferon, lymphocytes, and cacrophages.

 As an added bonus, this blend helps stimulate spleen activity and strengthen the lymphatic system. This is best taken as a tincture, but you can also make a decoction. (see above for decoction tincture directions ):

  • 1 part astragalus root
  • 1 part shitake muchrooms (dried if making a tincture)
  • 1 part ashwagandha root
  • 1/2 redroot (Ceanothus spp)



Immune-Boosting Smoothie~Look for ingredients with the following to support the immune system; vitamin C and E, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, selenium, copper, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.

The following recipe supplies probiotics, immune-boosting chemical constituents, antioxidants, zinc and vitamin C:
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1 tsp powdered astragalus
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Handful of blackberries
  • 1 kiwi fruit
  • 1 orange
Don't worry too much about the measurements, feel free to experiment with ingredient rations to find a flavor you like best.




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