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. It is important to detoxify on a regular basis to keep the body healthy.
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.
Types of fasts include a blood purifying cleanse, a liver cleanse, a 12 hour cleanse, a 24 hour detoxification, a heavy metal cleanse, and more.
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. 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 vegetable juice.
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. Other healthy foods may be added during the next two days.
During the 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.
Side effects of a 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.
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