Is spring detox to cleanse your liver naturally really good for your health? And how can you be sure you’re doing it right? In Chinese medicine, we don’t really talk about “detox”. It’s more in a logic on adapting our diet to each season in order to balance the dominant organ. Some knowledge are necessary to determine the symptoms of an imbalance in a meridian and associated organs. Then, it is necessary to know how to choose the right foods and natural remedies to balance it.
Spring detox, what is it ?
You often hear about spring detox to cleanse your liver. These are often proposals made by laboratories at the end of the festivities or at the beginning of spring. For example: mixtures of plants, hydrolat, or mono diet to eliminate toxins…
Contrary to popular belief, detox does not eliminate toxins from the liver as such. In fact, the liver does not store the toxic products, but sorts them out so that they can be eliminated. And it is then the role of the kidney, which continues the work of filtering the blood.
The term detoxification is therefore absolutely not medical and a term used by abuse of language. It probably refers to religious fasting in ancient times with the aim of purification and redemption.
NOTE –> I will use this term “spring detox” & “live cleanse” in the article for seo purpose only, so that more people can get this information. _/|\_
The Chinese medicine approach to “cleanse your liver (= balance)
The Chinese medicine approach is more about change and adjusting your diet according to the seasons than detox. Because we will see that detox is not always good for the body. Moreover, nature generally provides us with everything we need, when we need it. Observe it to reconnect with what it offers you and you will understand !
The basis of a healthy liver is before all your diet adapted to your constitution and the season. Plus physical exercise, and last, the use of medicinal plants.
Cleanse of your Liver by considering a all
Although during a “spring detox” or “drainage cure” one often concentrates on “cleansing the liver”, the other organs are to be considered. Especially all those playing a role in detoxification, and secretion. For the idea is not to unblock one organ in order to clog another and dislodge the problem, which can be the case with a blind detox.
As a result, digestive disorders, constipation, headache, congestion of the respiratory tract may occur. Purging must remain very occasional, adopt above all a healthy lifestyle maintaining your liver’s health. Prevent better than cure.
“Drain” the Liver
Thus, one should first think of drain the liver, then eliminate via urine, stool, respiratory tract. And very little through sweat, contrary to popular belief. As I often say, everything that has to be eliminated by the body, goes in the urine. And this, whether it is of physical or emotional origin. This is why I include my knowledge of lymphatic and vascular drainage to promote this drainage during consultations. Be it during a session of kinesiology, de massage, or from reiki together, it is not uncommon for you to run to the toilet in the middle of a session. This is a good sign !
NOTE : Detoxes are not recommended for pregnant women, and during periods
The liver in Chinese medicine
The role of the liver in the body
It is located on the right, behind the rib cage, under the diaphragm (under the right breast). It is a yin organ with a yang function in the body, especially for its function of dispersing energy. As explained in my article prepare your body for spring, it is very sensitive to anger and impatience, but when it functions well it facilitates creativity and dynamism.
- Purification, blood filtration (sorting out what is toxic for the body)
- Transformation and storage of substances absorbed by the digestive tract
- Manufacturing of the bile, and of most of the proteins.
The liver also plays an important role in the metabolism of proteins (transformation into amino acids, produces alumina), of the carbohydrates (regulation of glycaemia) and of the fats (production of lipoproteins which allow the transport of fats), destroys and transforms what is toxic for the body.
Symptom of liver imbalance
Weak of chi in the liver (empty)
The liver can suffer from lack of chi. This means that it does not have enough vital energy to function properly. In this case, it is not advisable to make a detox at the risk of further weakening the Liver which is possible in “blood vacuum”.
This is why it is advisable to have an energy balance with a professional in order to know which food is suitable for you.
In this case, here are the symptoms you may notice:
- Tinnitus, dizziness, migraines, congested sinuses
- Muscle cramps, tendonitis, lack of tone
- Irritability with mood swings (moroseness, annoyance)
- Difficulty in making choices, deciding, developing projects.
- Haemorrhagic period
- Nail dark, brittle, dry and grooved.
- Digestive problems, soft stools, bloating, nausea
Excess chi of the liver (fullness)
The Liver can be in excess of chi when there is in excess of energy, called “perverse” energies. For example too much cold, heat, wind, humidity. Or even toxins. In this case, maybe a detox can be useful… but still a liver, do a check-up before with a shiatsu practitioner, or in kinesiology Health by touch for example. This will allow you to take stock of your energetic state.
Of course, a physical shock, or a emotional trauma can also disturb the free flow of energy in the meridian. This then creates what is called an energy blockage. This can lead to malfunctioning, discomfort and pain.
- Insomnia (frequent waking up around 2-3am)
- Intense dreams, nightmares
- Ocular problems (red eyes, conjunctivitis, dry, tears, blurred vision. )
- Pain in the ribs or under the rib cage
Detox through food to cleanse your liver naturally
In spring, encourage the consumption of food considered from a “fresh nature” in Chinese medicine. This does not mean cold, but it is their refreshing sensation for the body. Prefer warm food: steam or wok cooking, with very little oil and very little salt.
- Oils: sesame oil, sunflower oil (many vegetal oils)
- Seeds : walnuts, linseed, nuts (omega3), sprouted seeds
- Vegetables (mostly green): cucumber, celery, mushrooms, lettuce, radish, mung bean, bamboo shoot, tofu, spinach
- Whole grains and seeds : sprouted wheat, sprouted barley, millet, buckwheat, hops (anything rich in dietary fibre)
- Spices : turmeric (curcuma), ginger, curry, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, liquorice
- Fruits : avocado, rhubarb, lemon, mango, apple, pear (depending on your country)
- Garlic and onion (rich in allicin and selenium)
- Animal products: fatty fish (rich in good cholesterol), duck egg, egg white, snail, carp, seafood
Add also fermented food such as miso. It is advisable to add black radish, artichoke and jujube in your spring food, depending on what is available in the country where you live in this season.
NOTE: The fruits contain sugar (fructose) in large quantities. It is therefore advisable to limit their consumption during a “detox cure“. Of course, if you have allergies, replace the concerned food by another one.
Food supply to avoid
During a liver cleans or “spring detox”, avoid all foods that tire the Liver such as:
- Anything sweet, the exciting
- White cereals ( white bread, pasta, white flour biscuits, white rice)
- Processed products : pastries, fried food
“Spring detox” by medicinal plants, and drinks
Chinese medicine offers many herbs to cleanse the body. However, keep in mind that what is close to where you live will bring you the best for you. Thus, it is not necessary to follow to the letter what I propose to you. But rather to be in a logic of “what is accessible and close to me” in order to make the choice of plants adapted to your region and country of life.
- Herbal tea with lemon balm, dandelion, lemon & mint
- Kombucha tean (SCOBY). Indeed, it is a misnomer because it is not kombu tea but a drink based on a set of bacteria, and fermented. If you want some, contact me I have some scoby mothers to share !
- Green tea, tea Tuo cha
I would also quote the Phycocyanine (blue pigment of spirulina (algae) to promote liver drainage and elimination through the stools. In addition, it can strongly regulate a weakness of yin in the liver, and with painful menstruation problems. As mentioned above, the liver gets tired during menstruation.
And the cbd oil taken as a cure. If you are in Japan, contact me to find out whether or not it is suitable for you. I always prefer to advise you and not to let you start the adventure without having made an assessment with you first.
Each of them has a different effective action, which is very good in addition to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. It is like everything else, nothing replaces the base !
“Spring detox”: cleansing the liver with intermittent fasting
The aim of fasting in general is to enable the body to regulate itself. It will search in its reserves of glucose present in the blood or in the liver in order to function. Intermittent fasting for at least 3 days will also allow the body to tap into its fat and protein reserves. For a detox, a week’s fast can do your body the most good.
How do I fast intermittently?
It is much less difficult than a total fast, since it consists of not eating for 16 to 18 hours. It therefore amounts to skipping a meal. However, I recommend a variant: on 3 days, fasting 24 hours, or skipping the evening meal and breakfast. You can drink kombucha (scoby), herbal teas.
For exemple :
- Morning: Green tea, soy or almond milk porridge with millet and oats, cinnamon with some apple pieces. On top, add a little bit of olive oil, and flax.
- Lunch: Miso and wakame soup, steamed green vegetables without salt, tofu with turmeric, black radish, psyllium seed, walnuts
-> Reduce the quantity gradually to prepare the body and eat slowly to savour the flavours and feel full.
- Evening : Lunch vegetable juice (alone, without solids)
- Morning: Dandelion tea with lemon juice, or boldo, or lemon balm
- Lunch: Steamed season vegetables with cumin and onions. Miso soup and vegetable juice.
It is up to you to adjust and create your own menus, it is a proposal but it is not necessarily the most suitable for your case and your taste. That’s why it’s important to do a Chinese energy balance beforehand. And if you want to learn more about dietetics, book your tailor-made wellness retreats in nature. It’s always very rich in teaching and sharing! It takes place mostly in Japan, but when the borders reopen, we will be happy to organise it again in France !
Well-being gestures during “Spring detox” to cleanse the liver.
During detox, you can put a hot water bottle on the upper belly in the evening before going to sleep. Slightly to the right, at the level of the ribs (and the Liver). It’s very relaxing, and it will do a lot of good to the Liver which likes warmth.
It’s also the perfect time for reiki healing that will promote the natural balance of your whole body. And as always, a shiatsu massage or an energy balance in kinesiology will allow you to take stock at the beginning of the season. And thus, prevent any health concerns.
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