Spring Cleaning

By Ellen Zimmermann  
Photography by Carole Topalian (upper left & middle) and Ellen Zimmermann (upper right)

Spring is here, and it’s the perfect time to renew, refresh and restore the body’s delicate balance after the less active days of winter. Strolling through the springtime garden’s lush new growth, I love to harvest and nibble nutritious, cleansing herbs like cleavers (Galium aparine), yellow dock leaves (Rumex crispus), dandelion leaves (Taraxacum officinale) and chickweed (Stellaria media).

Simply munching on them is nice, but also try harvesting, rinsing and making a fresh tea with them, or adding them to salads, soups or your favorite vegetarian dish. These herbs are valuable, medicinal plants even though many people may think of them by that unfortunate four letter word, w-e-e-d (weeds are only plants whose medicinal value is unknown, or those unwanted in your garden).

It’s best to eliminate sugar, alcohol, processed foods, white flour and preservatives from the diet while doing a cleanse. Also, it’s a good idea to consume light, healthy meals for one week’s time, including soups, fresh vegetables and brown rice.

During our cleanse, we should pay special attention to the liver. Known as the Master Detoxifier, the liver renders harmless the various chemicals, drugs and toxins that find their way into the blood stream. The liver also produces and stores glycogen, and stores all fat-soluble vitamins including A, E, D, K and B-12 while metabolizing all other vitamins. My EZ Liver Cleansing Tea and Sweet Liver Lube Tincture include alterative, blood purifying herbs such as dandelion root (Taraxacum offinale), burdock root (Arcticum lappa), echinacea  root (Echinacea purpurea), milk thistle seeds (Silybum marianum), licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), yellow dock root (Rumex crispus) and sassafras (Sassafras albidum) that work in concert to gently assist the body in eliminating toxins while also replenishing and rejuvenating the blood.

Choose a cleansing method that best fits your routine. Enjoy 3–4 cups of warm liver cleansing tea throughout the day, or simply use the liver tincture under the tongue or mixed with juice, water or tea. In addition to the tea or tincture, you might want to try a hot lemonade toddy made from organic lemon juice and water sweetened with maple syrup with just a pinch of cayenne pepper for a powerhouse cleanser. And don’t forget to breathe deeply and get a lot of rest as well as exercise during the process.

Remember, an allergic reaction can happen to anyone. Take care to make sure all of these herbs are agreeable to you and will not contraindicate any other medications. In most situations, the herbs mentioned here are used safely and effectively by the majority of people. You may experience a slight laxative effect—one of the body’s natural ways of eliminating toxins.

The greatest benefit of cleansing is gaining a nourished, healthier liver, gallbladder, spleen and pancreas. Give your liver a gift—maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle!

Ellen Zimmerman’s EZ Liver Cleansing Tea and Sweet Liver Lube Tincture can be found at ezherbs.net .