While I’m not big on cleansing, (see this post) there is something to the feelings of lightening up your diet and moving some of that slower Winter energy out of your body. An herbal Spring cleanse is perfect for that purpose.
Specific Herbs for your Herbal Spring Cleanse
Think of the herbs that emerge first in the Spring. These are the ones that are best for us at this moment. Most of them you will be able to find in your yard if you’re not a weed-killer. You can also forage for them if your lawn is weed-free.
Dandelion is a gentle overall body cleansing herb that is especially nice for your liver and kidney. It’s gentle enough that you can go about your everyday life; you don’t need to stay home and close to the bathroom. You can drink 1 – 2 cups of Dandelion Detox tea daily, make an infusion (see directions below) of the tea, and put some of the young tender leaves into a salad. The greens get tougher and bitter as the seasons morph into Summer, so are tastier as they first pop out.
We know a lot about using elderberries for making elderberry syrup in the Fall for immune support and symptom relief from colds, but the flowers that emerge in the Spring are a great help to your body as well. Elderflower tea or infusion can help you find relief from seasonal allergies, and will help you flush Winter gook from you body since its a diuretic and has somewhat laxative effects. You can also make a yummy elderflower cordial using fresh or dried flowers.
Two other great Springtime herbs to forage for are nettle and plantain. Nettle will act as a diuretic, promotes good blood circulation, and helps alleviate allergy symptoms. It’s also great as a multi-vitamin. You can either do nettle tea or an infusion for even more health benefits, although the infusion greatly benefits taste-wise from a good glug of honey.
Plantain helps with coughs and is astringent/drying to the body. It’s also known as the “band-aid plant” for it’s wound-healing abilities. You can add the leaves to your dandelion salad, brew it as a tea, or as an herbal infusion. It is found in either broad or narrow-leafed varieties, both of which are used interchangeably.
One other brew that will help you with your herbal spring cleanse is Cumin, Coriander, & Fennel Tea. For every 8 ounce cup of tea, use ¼ tsp. of each spice and brew for 5 – 7 minutes. From Joyful Belly Ayurvedic:
“Nicknamed CCF tea, Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea is one of the simplest and most famous home formulas for detoxification, weight loss, and burning up that excess of water retention.
The revitalizing yet mild blend gets right to the point, helping to warm up your circulation. CCF tea stokes metabolism and the digestive fire, restoring vitality where winter sluggishness abounds. Its mild bitterness revs up the detoxification process and purifies the blood. CCF restores tone and tightness to swollen water logged tissues. It is a soothing formula that reduces agitation and inflammation. It restores a calm clarity and spaciousness to a tense mind.
Drip, drip, drip – the sound of melting ice warms the winter-weary. The wetness around you in springtime, making all of that stunning green growth possible, can also manifest in your body, causing a runny nose, digestive mucus, even swelling. CCF Tea clears out water retention. Its flushing action simultaneously cleanses the urinary tract and reduces water weight.”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about which option to choose for your spring herbal cleanse, choose the one that’s easiest or sounds most appealing to you. Everyone reacts differently to every herbal solution, so it may take some trial and error to find the right solution for your body.
How to make an herbal infusion:
Place 1 ounce of dried herbs into a quart mason jar. Fill with boiling water, cover, and let cool to room temperature. Strain out the herbs and add more water to equal a full quart. Store in the fridge, drinking up to 2 cups a day as you feel beneficial.
Other Ways to Cleanse
In addition to herbal support, you can start changing up your diet from cooked, heavier veggies to more tender raw or lightly steamed ones. Think baby greens, peas, asparagus, and veggie shoots instead of root veggies.
Spring is also naturally motivating to move your body more. You can take a walk or hike, work outside, or go for a bike ride. If you move around outside, you also get the added benefits of building up your probably depleted Vitamin D levels and you have the chance to start grounding your body. Not to mention, you just feel better when you’re out with Mother Nature.
No matter how you go about your herbal spring cleanse, you’ll feel renewed and invigorated. Which is how we naturally feel in the Spring anyway. So take it up a notch, and your body will thank you for it.