Spring is a time of internal and external renewal. After months of hibernation, we are ready to burst into action, just like a spring flower.
Many people look to harness the energy of spring by adopting a liver detox.
This could be as simple as juicing for breakfast or as radical as drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper all day. The problem is that, for many modern Americans, radical cleanses are too shocking to their systems.
A cleanse—though it may sound like a good idea to the mind—is no picnic for the body, especially when it is undertaken in the midst of a hectic lifestyle. Why? Because the liver and digestive organs are already taxed.
In a radical cleanse, toxins and metabolic wastes are shed from tissues very deep in the body. Your system becomes flooded with junk, which is why you may feel achy, crabby and weakened. It is the liver’s job to cleanse the blood of these toxins. Every time you submit your body to a radical cleanse, the liver has to work double-time. As much as it might sound great to get rid of all that waste, your body may not be strong enough to work with this cascade of toxins.
Moderate, deliberate changes in diet and lifestyle over the course of a few weeks will support the liver without adding to its stress of daily filtration and detoxification.
Slow, consistent, cumulative changes are easier for the body to integrate and maintain. After all, it wasn’t your body that said, “Give me all those cookies!” Be patient with your liver as it detoxes from goodies like alcohol, caffeine, sugar and processed foods.
Introduce seasonal gems like spring greens and fresh herbs. Be conscious of your fat and meat intake, but never go hungry. Hunger damages the stomach qi and can lead to long-term changes in your digestive health.
Above all, remember, your liver is your friend.
If you feel sure a liver cleanse is in order, seek the help of a health professional who can support you physically and emotionally as you detox. Allow yourself the time and space to transform on a deep level. Don’t force yourself to move from winter into spring too quickly.
Because we are so ready to change, spring tempts us to overdo even a healthy lifestyle. After all, we want of feel better right now! Just be gentle. Your body, like the earth, will be happier with a gradual transition.