With all the fatty liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, and other chronic conditions plaguing the American population, people are turning to herbal cleanses to improve the health of their bodies. After consuming lots of processed foods, detoxing is very important to restoring health. A 24-hour detox is better than nothing, but one cleanse is not going to undo damage caused by years of eating processed foods and toxic chemicals. Detoxing and cleansing are great but everyday diet is even more important so eat right and then detox as needed. Even when eating healthy, detoxing a couple times a year is still recommended.
An herbalist’s work is to help the body heal itself by addressing the worst problem first. When one concern is addressed and treated, additional problems may take care of themselves. Herbal remedies work best in a clean environment. When the mouth, lymph nodes, digestive tract, urinary system, liver and other organs are clean, they work to keep the rest of the body healthy. If you eat fast food, lots of meat, lots of dairy, and processed foods, it is important to detoxify on a regular basis. For optimal health, eat a good diet every day and detox a few times a year especially in the spring after a long winter. Once the system is clean, medicinal herbs have an easier time doing their jobs and treatment can begin on individual problems.
Animals instinctively fast when they are sick or injured. When treating any chronic condition, fasting can jump start the healing process. A healing fast can last anywhere from 12 hours to a week depending on existing conditions and desired results. Fasting can mean eating only certain things like vegetable broth or doing without foods period. Never stop drinking water -- which could lead to dehydration.
There are many types of cleanses including a blood purifying cleanse, a liver cleanse, a 12 hour cleanse, a 24 hour detoxification, a heavy metal cleanse, and more. A cleanse can be as simple as eating only vegetables and fruits for a day. It can be as complicated as preparing all sorts of broths and green drinks. Cleanses offer all kinds of benefits including glowing skin, increased energy levels, and less pain in chronic conditions like arthritis.
On the night before a 24 hour detox, eat plenty of leafy green vegetables with a light dinner (nothing fried, creamy, or spicy). The next morning, have a glass of water with the juice of a lemon. At midmorning drink some cranberry juice. At lunch have a glass of water and some apple juice. In the afternoon drink a cup of chamomile or mint tea. Dinner should include papaya or pineapple juice, nothing solid unless you feel really hungry. If you must have solid food, try getting by on applesauce, yogurt, or a cup of vegetable soup. Have more chamomile tea before bed. The next day introduce solid foods back into the diet. Have some fresh fruit and yogurt for breakfast. When breaking a fast, introduce food slowly starting with fresh fruit and vegetables.
A liver cleanse should be done twice a year during the spring and the fall. Plan to eliminate all red meat, concentrated fats, oils, and sugars from the diet for two or three days. Upon rising the first morning, drink water with lemon juice. Have vegetable juice for breakfast with a piece of whole wheat toast. Drink a green drink at midmorning and eat an apple and carrot for lunch. Have peppermint tea in the afternoon and fish or chicken breast, vegetables, and a green salad for dinner. Do not use prepared salad dressings. Instead try lemon or vinegar with a little cold pressed olive or nut oil. Other healthy foods may be added during the next two days.
During a liver cleanse, consider taking vitamin C and potassium supplements. Royal jelly and milk thistle seed also help cleanse and protect the liver (milk thistle seeds stimulate production of new liver cells to replace old damaged ones).
During a fast or cleanse, practice deep breathing techniques and walk some each day. Pick a place with clean air, not a polluted city street! When fasting or cleansing, get adequate sleep and drink six to eight glasses of water every day. Take time to meditate, pray, or relax. Smell the roses and laugh!
Side effects of a cleanse or fast include headache, bad breath, diarrhea, and weakness as the body works to rid itself of toxic waste. After fasting or cleansing, an herb’s medicinal properties are more readily absorbed into the system. Results are achieved at a faster rate when the body is clean.
* When fasting, drink plenty of fresh, pure water but not so much that vital minerals and salts are washed away. Any fast longer than 12 hours should be undertaken under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Always consult with a healthcare provider before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
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