- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Plants that Detox the Body to Help Cope with Change of Season Fatigue, Lethargy & Malaise
Whether you’re experiencing change of season fatigue or just general lethargy and malaise (feeling unwell), you’re probably in need of a detox treatment. Learn how to detoxify your body using plants and find out which ones work best for your symptoms.
What is Detox
Basically, detoxification means stimulating bile production in the liver so it can filter and discharge toxins more efficiently.
Ridding yourself of toxins will make you feel lighter and more energetic.
How Do You Know If You Need to Detox
If you feel irritable, nervous, easily stressed, anxious for no apparent reason, tired in spite of sleeping well, and generally unwell, you might be ready for a detox treatment.
Symptoms usually occur as the seasons change—especially from winter to spring.
Nobody knows exactly what causes change of season tiredness. One theory suggests hormonal adjustments triggered by extended or shortened daylight hours and changes in weather. Another suggests that it could be due to an accumulation of toxins in the liver, gall bladder and pancreas, usually resulting from a heavy, somewhat fatty, winter diet.
To restore metabolic balance, it’s essential that you eat vitamin-rich foods like vegetables, fruits and nuts to help your body cope with hormonal adjustments, as well as consuming nutrients that help detoxify the body.
Plants that Detox the Body
Dandelion, yarrow, artichoke and milk thistle are extremely powerful detoxifiers. One thing they have in common, apart from their excellent detoxifying qualities, is a bitter taste. In fact, it's their bitter substances that stimulate the digestive organs in order that they're better able to dispel waste and toxins.
Dandelion cleanses by working as a diuretic, which means you’ll pass urine more often to flush your system. For it to be effective, you have to drink plenty of water—at least four pints daily, although it goes without saying that drinking lots of water is always vitally important during detox.
Over a period of four to six weeks, take three tablespoons of dandelion juice a day or, alternatively, two or three cups of dandelion tea. You should start to feel better after a few days.
If yarrow were a chemical medication, it would be labeled a ‘wonder drug’. It’s mostly known as an astringent and diaphoretic (able to bring down fever), but it can do more than that.
Nothing is more toxic for your body than constipation, and yarrow is a great, natural laxative. It works by stimulating the production of fluids in the digestive tract, including the intestines and colon, which softens stool.
Yarrow also relieves flatulence, menstrual cramps, headaches and anxiety.
Drink two or three cups of yarrow tea daily before meals.
Artichoke improves liver and gall bladder function for more efficient digestion of fat. If you regularly experience flatulence, belching, general tiredness or a feeling of fullness long after eating, take one tablespoon of artichoke juice daily for relief.
Milk thistle is every bit as effective as artichoke, but because you have to use the seeds, it’s less convenient to take. You’ll need three tablespoons a day, at best on salads and cereals, or in bread if you bake your own.
Detox with Bitter Lettuces
Bitter lettuces, like radicchio, rocket salad and chicory, are well-known for their detoxifying properties, and can be added to any diet.
Rocket salad is delicious placed on pizzas and gratins immediately after they come out of the oven.
If bitter lettuces are too bitter for your taste, especially if you want to include them in salads, set them off with a sweet dressing. Just mix a little liquid honey with balsam vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.
If you’re too busy to mess about with juices, teas, seeds and salads etc., a convenient alternative is Swedish Bitters, a famous herbal tonic and elixir.
Swedish Bitters is composed mostly of bitter plants and herbs, including dandelion, yarrow and artichoke, to detoxify and bring about metabolic balance. It also helps if you’re dieting by suppressing cravings.
Take one or two teaspoons each morning after breakfast.
Swedish Bitters is sometimes called ‘Sweetish Bitters’.
If you experience constant tiredness, malaise, and/or unexplained weight loss, consult a medical professional. Do not try to diagnose and treat yourself!
The same applies for any symptoms that are prolonged or persistent.
First image: "160/365 - You've Been Away For Too Long" by Helga Weber from www.flickr.com (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Second image by Aranha found on pixabay.com (CC0 Public Domain) http://pixabay.com/en/dandelion-flower-plant-meadow-321759/
Third image by ChrRei1985 found on pixabay.com http://pixabay.com/en/rocket-plant-salad-frisch-green-54538
© 2010 Jayne Lancer