The urge to shake off tiredness and lethargy as the temperature rises can be a powerful drive to undertake a seasonal detox. September marks the start of Spring and this season is the best time of the year to start looking at new habits, increasing movement, eating better and looking after your body in a more sustainable way.
Detoxification is essential as it protects your health and improves your overall wellbeing. The term detox is often overused but, in this context, detox refers to the detoxification function that the liver and kidneys undergo each day as they process and flush everything that is eaten, drunk, absorbed or inhaled. This process happens naturally.
Traditional plant medicine has long been used to help support the liver, kidneys and digestive organs. Modern research shows that St Mary’s Thistle (Silybum marianum) can help support healthy liver function and help protect liver cells from harmful substances. It is used whenever alcohol, drug, poor diet or exposure to chemical pollution has comprised normal liver function.
Globe Artichoke is another plant that has an affinity with physiological detoxification and elimination, due to its bitter active constituents. The bitterness stimulates bile production, making it useful for supporting digestion, bowel regularity, bloating and queasy feelings.
Similarly, elimination of water soluble toxins via the kidneys is important – and this can be enhanced by Golden Rod (Solidago virgaurea), Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) and Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica). These plants have been shown to help clear the body of water-soluble metabolic wastes, like excess sodium and uric acid.
Supporting your body’s detoxification process has many health benefits including:
- balanced energy
- improved digestion
- healthy immune system
- healthy circulatory and lymphatic function
- support for sleep and mood
- healthy hormonal output
- clearer skin
- reduced toxic load
But what is the best way to support the cleansing of the body, beyond fad products, for a long-term positive outcome reflected in better health?
The first steps can be to consume organic fresh food and reduce your toxic load by not smoking and using cleaning and personal care products with no nasty chemicals.
Incorporating the plants mentioned above into your daily self-care practices is the next step in supporting optimal detoxification. Take them as a tea to support detoxification, as the hot water has additional flushing benefits over and above the active constituents in the plants.
All mentioned plants are recognised for their longstanding healing benefits in international regulatory pharmacopoeias.
TAPS No: PP2841
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist, see your health professional.
Author: Skye Macfarlane
Skye is a Medical Herbalist and Naturopath, holding a Bachelor in Natural Medicine from the South Pacific College of Medicine.
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