Spring is a great time to lighten up on your liver. Spring after all is the season of the liver, which is so often overtaxed! Check out the five things Andrea Rivers of Herbal Matters thinks you should be doing to maximize your cleanse and get those toxic babies out.
Not on a detox? These five things are a fantastic way for routine self-care!
5 Things to Do to Maximize Your Cleanse
① Get a Massage
Massage is a great (and enjoyable) way to support the detox process. Long sweeping methodical strokes stimulates blood flow and the lymphs. This helps increase circulation and elimination. So, detoxification. Massage is also relaxing and therapeutic which can come in handy when you are releasing emotions as well as physical toxins.
② Use Essential Oils
Essential oils is not just about smelling good smells. Aromatherapy is an ancient practice to maintain and promote health and well-being. Not only physiologically, but also emotionally and spiritually. An easy way to use essential oils is getting an aromatherapy massage but inhalation is also great.
For a cleanse, Andrea suggests using stimulating and uplifting oils, such as peppermint, orange, and lemon. Being more energetic will you see your detox through to the end.
You can easily create your personal mix by choosing some of the following essential oils. Three is a good number.
Black Pepper ➲ warming oils for circulation; helps relieve arthritic pain and muscular aches from exercise and exercise.
Grapefruit ➲ good stimulating oil for eliminating toxins and excess fluid; also good for relieving muscle fatigue, nervous exhaustion, and headaches.
Juniper ➲ good for removal of toxins (should not be used during pregnancy or by those with kidney disease).
Lavender ➲ an all-around great oil; insomnia, stress, headaches, digestive problems.
Lemon ➲ great for improving circulation, reducing water retention, and supporting detox (should not be used on the skin before sunbathing).
Orange ➲ excellent for digestive disorders, water retention, and stress (should not be used on the skin before sunbathing).
Peppermint ➲ general stimulant; flatulence, nausea, mental fatigue, and headaches.
Rosemary ➲ the classic stimulating oil for the mind and circulatory system; for fluid retention, poor circulation, gout, and muscle pain.
③ Go Natural with Herbs
Enjoying tea is an easy way to leverage on herbal medicine. A cleansing tea blend supports detoxification organs such as liver, gallbladder, and the kidneys, and elimination in general.
Some of the herbs Andrea likes are:
Calendula officinalis (Calendula) ➲ antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, reduces oedema, hypoglycemic activity, and spasmodic activity, and supports liver and gall bladder function.
Galium aparine (Cleavers) ➲ best tonic for the lymphatic system available.
Lemongrass ➲ diuretic and aids digestion.
Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile) ➲ for gastrointestinal spasms, inflammatory diseases of the GI tract, indigestion, flatulence, bloating; a relaxant and a soother.
Mentha piperita (Peppermint) ➲ for IBS, dyspepsia, headache, and supports the gall bladder.
Trifolium prAtense (Red Clover) ➲ cleanses the lymphatic system.
Urtica dioica (Common Nettle) ➲ supports liver and bile function, is nourishing, and a diuretic.
Viola odorata (Sweet Violet) ➲ a diuretic and a lymphatic cleanser.
④ Sweat it Out
Perspiration is one of the body’s ways of detoxing. Try Infra red sauna to help you sweat it out. Infra red sauna’s heat penetrates into the skin, bringing up core temperature, rather than the surface only, inducing the release of toxins from the deeper adipose layers. With lower humidity and heat, it is a more comfortable and safer option than conventional saunas.
Sauna not your thing? What about a brisk walk, swim or yoga to get the body moving? Limit time in air conditioning, and raise the body’s temperature to get sweating. Or simply stand outside in this hot Singapore weather and drip it out.
⑤ Dry Brush
The point here is not to bruise the skin but to stimulate the lymphatic and circulation systems. The bonus is smoother skin. When you dry brush, you are getting rid of dead skin!
The best brushes are made with natural bristles. You can find these at most organic or health food shops. Make sure that it is on the stiff side.
When to dry brush? First thing in the morning, before you jump into the shower. Simply brush in the direction the lymph flows. The easiest way to do this is brush towards the heart. Use one-direction strokes, a firm pressure and naturally avoid cut or otherwise sensitive skin.
Andrea Rivers is a medical herbalist and a practitioner of natural health based in Scotland. She uses herbs and essential oils to help support the natural detoxification of the body. She suggests these five simple things to maximize your cleanse.