Blog 110 Spring Detox Strengthens and Protects
During Spring, many people experience allergies, upper respiratory infections, headaches, fevers, rashes, and more. The reasons are many. Three of the main ones are: 1. with warmer weather comes more pollen, mold, bacteria, and insects. These were relatively motionless or dormant during the colder months. People who are sensitive or allergic to what springtime brings will exhibit symptoms such as red eyes, runny nose, congested sinuses, headaches, and itchy or sore throats. 2. Our bodies respond to the warming of the earth and atmosphere by increased blood circulation and stronger internal organ function, which encourages increased hormonal levels after the winter lows. The Liver and gall bladder are the internal organs most involved in dealing with hormonal excess and imbalance These organs, when overly stimulated and challenged, will sometimes cause elevated temperatures, disturbed sleep, inflammation of sinuses and eyes, rapid heartbeat, and more. 3. Winter Holiday excesses as well as the emotional stress of relating to family members may have challenged our bodies, leaving toxins from poor quality food, alcohol, and imbalanced or excess hormones, such as cortisol, catecholamines, thyroid hormones, and insulin. Unchecked, these imbalances can lead to increasing discomfort, mood swings, compromised immunity, and eventually, detectable, ongoing disease.
One virtually universal way of dealing with the health challenges we may face in Spring is by detoxification for several days to a few weeks. I share various types of detoxification regimens with patients and students when appropriate. One of my favorites is a simple one: the apple detox. In this detox, I have combined the three day raw apple diet, recommended by Edgar Cayce, with my own additions, which I think enhances the detox diet. Ideally, this should be done in Spring, preferably from late March to late May. It also can be done during any other time of the year without ill effects. Once a season would be the most often I would recommend doing this, and once a year is fine. Young children, people who are diabetic or undergoing chemotherapy, the seriously underweight and the frail elderly would not benefit from this and might even suffer harm. The above people should consult their medical practitioner prior to following this or any other detox program.
Here is the Spring detox: It lasts nine days. All the food eaten should be organic, or at least unsprayed and non-GMO. There should be no sweeteners of any kind, though fruit is naturally sweet, as are some vegetables, and those are fine, on the days when they are allowed. None of the food should be packaged or processed in any way, other than at home, if you choose to juice fruit or vegetables, make smoothies, or bake simple casseroles, for example. Juices should not be heated, and especially when making juices or smoothies, ingredients must be organic or biodynamic, as is also true for the three days of raw apples. Avoid flour, cinnamon and hot peppery spices for the nine days and also for two to three days after finishing this regimen. Feel free to take your usual supplements during the nine days, or stop them, if you prefer. Drink plenty of filtered or good quality spring water, such as Vass or Mountain Valley, each day. Avoid tap or distilled water. Avoid oils except possibly high quality flax or olive, and then in very small amounts, on salads. Avoid alcoholic beverages and table salt. Sea or Himalayan salt is preferable. Go to bed early and get lots of sleep. It would be advisable to be a little less active than usual, especially during days four, five and six.
Day one: Follow a vegetarian diet, which means no animal protein or products except for dairy and eggs, if you choose. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, whole organic grains that you cook up yourself at home, i.e. whole organic oats, legumes organic unsweetened herbal teas, fresh-juiced, raw organic vegetable and fruit, sea vegetables, herbs, such as garlic, ginger, onion, basil, etc are all fine.
Day two: Follow a vegan diet, which means no animal products at all. Otherwise, everything you consumed on day one, either raw or cooked, is fine this day.
Day three: This is also a vegan diet, but it is all raw, so some of the foods, such as humus or cooked grains or beans or even hot air popped popcorn would not be appropriate. Neither would herbal teas brewed with hot water. However, sun teas, or herbal teas left in water overnight would be fine. Brew the loose leaves rather than using tea bags. Raw, blended soups would be excellent today, as would lots of salads and also organic fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut or black garlic.
Days four, five and six: drink lots of good quality filtered or spring water, and eat as many organically grown apples as desired. Some apples can also be juiced, but several should be whole, to provide some fiber. Eating the cores and the seeds is fine. Since the apples are organic, eating the peels is actually preferable, since much of the nutrition lies just inside the peel. For these three days, especially, you may want to be less active than usual, and you may choose not to drive long distances, since you may be sleepier than usual.
Day seven is the same as day three.
Day eight is the same as day two.
Day nine is the same as day one.
Day ten is back to normal, and hopefully your diet will have improved a little. Maybe you no longer have as much a taste for sweets or alcohol or salt. Maybe you appreciate fresh vegetables and fruit more than you did before, and you actually enjoy eating salads. Maybe deep fried foods no longer appeal to you. Many changes may occur. I wish you a successful and beneficial detox this Spring.
This blog’s offer: Feel free to consult me for assistance with this detox plan. You might require some alterations to this basic outline. Everyone is different.