Safe and healthy spring cleansing

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Forest floor foraging

Spring is the best time of the year to clean our bodies from the inside; so many plants that grow during this time of year are ideal for this purpose. Whether plants are used, there are many ways to accomplish this effectively through different types of cleanses. Methods include juicing, fasting, flushing and lifestyle changes in concert with possible products using herbs and or supplements. These methods are marketed to apply to a specific system to achieve a specific result. Our body’s systems work together so addressing one system may generate other (additional) outcomes.

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Fleshy fruits are satisfying when cleansing

Foods alone are powerful sources used for detoxification. Fresh produce contains both macro and micronutrients that interact with our own biochemistry, creating a chemical reaction. These biochemical reactions can momentarily disrupt the body’s ability to balance while naturally striving for homeostasis. This one reason is why people often report experiencing flu-like symptoms and other discomforts, albeit temporarily. Combinations of these phytonutrients can equally upset the balance negatively when a physical condition exists; diagnosed or not. For example, a sugar spike could prove detrimental if blood glucose levels are compromised.

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Tender asparagus spears contains highest percentages of selenium and vitamin K.

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Squeezed organic grapefruit juice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The amount of time committed depends on the method. Generally a flush is quicker than a cleanse. Regardless, the length of time spent on the process should be determined to meet your individual need. Repeating a course of treatment may be necessary. Adjusting the recommended protocol by altering specifics or incorporating additional methods may also be warranted. Supplementing foods with plants helps increase nutritional benefits from an already depleted diet. Edible flowers, weeds and herbs add flavor, color, nutritive and medicinal value.

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Sweet violet flowers, roots and stems have multiple use.

Foraging has become a popular practice. Taking care to not deplete an area by leaving regenerating plant parts and knowing which plants are protected are important when wild crafting. Open areas may be tainted by environmental contaminants. Learn the potential hazards beforehand to spare potential legal and health consequences. Educational resources such as botanical gardens, local garden clubs or park systems are helpful when identifying indigenous plants in your region.

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Fern fiddle heads are rife with minerals

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Garlic scapes are best clipped in spring

Before considering any type of health regimen, understand the goal you hope to achieve, familiarize yourself with the language and consult a qualified health care Professional with formal/practical knowledge, taking your personal health history into consideration. Pop culture wants us to believe that a quick-fix or single approach made available for the public is designed for you. It is not. Your cleansing or flushing program should be specific to your needs.

3 healthy green ways to celebrate springtime this March

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Shamrock

Good, green things come in threes.  Following an unusually cold and frosty winter, we look forward to springtime and all it brings.  The spring solstice occurs on the third week of the third month of our calendar year.  In addition to spring, this year we recognize celebrations including St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras.  Plants symbolic of these holy days appear in nature and are represented in groupings of threes such as the three-leafed clover, and what is known as the “holy trinity” in Cajun cooking.

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“Holy Trinity” of Cooking

Celery, onion, and green pepper are traditional spring vegetables available in the Southern climate where Mardi Gras is observed.  White salt, black pepper and cayenne are the three customary spices enhancing traditional dishes. These indigenous foods provide continuous fortification of our bodies during the last vestiges of winter while simultaneously cleansing our systems in preparation for summer.

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Trefoil of Healing Greens

The green goodness offered by the clover trefoil is a nutritionally rich and abundant resource for cows and pasture animals.  The high water content cellulose construct of onion celery and bell peppers are necessary for flushing and rehydration.  This action contributes to reduced atherosclerotic inflammation, beneficial for continued cardiovascular health.  Chlorophyll from fresh greens chelate heavy metals and toxins from vessels, helping restore flexibility and healthy blood flow.  Channel your spring with three green things and nourish your mind, body and spirit.

 

 

Gleanings from the Garden

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Sweet purple violet – BME photo credit

Today was the first, functional day of Spring.  Time to comb the beds, clear brush and open the patio.  The budding 11th season brings joy with the return of expected “friends” and the disappointment of losing others.  Throughout the multiple generations of plants, I never know what will return.  The ones I expect to find sometimes run their course, while others go dormant, skipping a season entirely!  Last year, we had a scare when our beloved 8 year old Hibiscus tree appeared to have parished.  The mature, 8 foot tree had become a community fixture in our neighborhood.  We had mourners who shared fond memories and condolences. One day in late May, I noticed something bright green out of the corner of my eye…

Its fate had been spared by the fact that we do not own a saw.  Removing its carcass was inevitable, and while I entertained methods in my mind, it made a dramatic return.  I trimmed 10 – 12 inches off each branch and with lots of water, balance of nutrients and the summer’s southwestern sun exposure; it made a profound comeback.  The neighbors rejoiced and I sighed with relief through the New Year.  We wrapped its roots in a blanket and made a loose fitting “hat” from a shower curtain to help retain heat produced by its energy.

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Anise hyssop – photo credit, BME

We are looking forward to a brand new season of colorful blossoms and sweet parfume fragrances all the flowers generate.  The cross section of herbs and flowers,vegetables and shrubs welcome all varieties of wildlife, who frequent our patio as often as we do. 

Spring cleaning our bodies

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Spring medicinal plants

After what always seems to be an extraordinarily long winter, Spring has finally sprung.  Soon, it will be warm enough to open windows and feel the harmony of the earth’s rhythms.  The days are longer, the air is warmer and as the soil thaws the first plants are beginning to appear.  The fertility of the earth becomes evident and the cycle begins.

The initial plants to surface are very effective cleansers for our biological systems.  During the long winter months we are limited to foods designed to sustain us while hibernating.  These foods are most likely meats and particular produce optimally preserved by salting and canning.  Our bodies require spring cleaning in order for our systems to function efficiently.  Mother Nature provides us with plants having a chemical response to our gastrointestinal systems while promoting detoxification.  Vitamin and mineral rich young, green shoots include dandelion greens, nettles, milk thistle, artichoke and asparagus.  These cleanse the accumulated toxins in the liver, preparing bodies for more fresh, brightly colored produce abundant during the summer months.  This form of spring cleaning helps shed excess weight and strengthens the immune systems, improving the appearance of both skin and hair.

As life and growth begin again, we also create a new beginning for ourselves that echo the activities of our earth, as we, too, awaken from winter’s dormant sleep.  The beauty and fragrance of the trees and spring flowers blossoming stimulate our senses, renewing our life force within.  Celebrate these gifts earth provides and rejuvenate your health.

Detoxification recipehttp://www.examiner.com/article/plant-a-healing-garden