⚡️Revitalizing after winter or “The season of life”⚡️

March 21th is just a few weeks away, and it’s an important day because it marks the beginning of spring, the long-awaited season after winter. It symbolizes new life, sunshine, flower growth and… Bird reproduction.

Unlike the West, where spring begins at the end of March, traditional Chinese medicine considers spring to begin on February 4th. Spring begins when the elements start to move (seeds germinate, days lengthen), and it’s this energy that corresponds to this season. The associated organ is the liver.

However, as winter draws to a close, many people experience a certain degree of fatigue, lethargy, digestive difficulties and depression… all of which prevent them from fully enjoying the arrival of fine weather. Allergic reactions (watery eyes and itching), known as spring allergies, are also regularly observed.

Are you ready to relive spring and take advantage of its energy?

Don’t panic, get ready to find balance with a spring detox!

How does it work?

We’ll be using natural rebalancing approaches based on naturopathic principles to harmonize with the season and its needs.

And of course, our friend on this journey is the liver: it’s the only organ capable of regenerating and reconstituting itself1.

Its function is to decongest and filter the blood, and it plays an important role in immune processes. It regulates the energy and blood volume required in response to physical activity.

This is the ideal time to carry out liver detoxification cures to eliminate toxins and fats accumulated over the winter.

For spring cleaning, here are some practical tips to support your liver.

Food

– Avoid industrial foods as much as possible: junk food, sugar, bad fats, sweets, pastries, sodas, too much salt (lemon instead of salt is a good compromise), dairy products, stimulants (coffee, tea, wine, tobacco, etc.) and medications.

– Choose gluten-free whole grains and organic foods whenever possible.

– Consume foods that support liver health such as:

Avocados are rich in glutathion2 (powerful antioxidant): stimulates the production of liver and digestive enzymes and liver activity.
• Green leafy vegetables such as dandelion3 and artichoke4.

Beet can help cleanse the liver (rich in betaine)5 and B9) which stimulate glutathione production.

Sulfur-containing foods such as6 : broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and radish.

It contains flavonoids, phenolic compounds and compounds called silymarin, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The main health benefits of this plant relate to liver protection. Silymarin has a protective effect on liver cells, helping to prevent damage caused by toxins, drugs and alcohol.

– Avoid red meat! Eat oily fish (sardines, herring, mackerel, etc.) twice a week and at least chicken breasts.

– Cooking should be done gently, and not under pressure (pressure cooker) or at high temperatures. Choose steam cooking, for example.

– Do a detox with lemon water: squeeze half a lemon, put the juice in a cup of hot (not boiling) water and drink directly every morning on an empty stomach for 21 days.

Mono-diet

– A mono-diet can also help to relieve and support the work of the liver. So, during this spring detox, once or a few times a week, you can follow a mono-diet, preferably with a raw vegetable (carrot) or fruit (apple or grape), a salad, or even better, a juice. But if you don’t want to get bored, you can prepare your daily meals in different ways throughout the day: fresh fruit, fruit compotes, dried fruit.

– You can progressively follow the monodiete, eating just one meal at first, then two, and so on.

– You can choose a day during the week when you can do an alkalinization cure: a diet based on alkaline fruits and vegetables, limiting meats, cereals, cold meats and alcohol, and drinking alkaline herbal tea, 3 cups (nettle or burdock) a day for a total hydration of around 2L a day.

Sleep

Stabilizing sleep time is imperative to regain energy. Going to bed before 10 p.m. is ideal. The liver’s deacidification work is at its best between 10 p.m. and midnight, and only when we are asleep. It is therefore important to go to bed between 10 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. (11 p.m. maximum) to optimize the body’s liver (and kidney) deacidification process. Having a stable routine helps to maintain balance and avoid mortgaging fragile reserves.

Hot water bottles

To pamper your liver: apply a hot water bottle to the liver area in the evening to support its elimination functions, while providing a warming sensation that helps you fall asleep.

Physical activity

Walk for half an hour a day, jog for an hour a week, swim… In addition to getting you outside and breathing… These activities play an important role in the defecation process and help eliminate toxins.

Hydrotherapy

In fact, a good sauna8 or hammam will have the same effect!

Energy circulation

The liver becomes very sensitive when overwhelmed by emotions, so it’s the ideal time to practice acupuncture or hijama.

Essentials Oils

And of course, adopt an essential oil10 Organic liver tonic is very important in the liver detoxification process, here are some examples:

rich in verbenone (ketone) with antioxidant and liver-protective properties. It is an excellent lipolytic agent, breaking down fats in the blood and making them easier to excrete. In particular, it is an effective solution against the accumulation of bad cholesterol.

This oil remains a classic in liver treatments, and can be found all over the world.

“For a detox effect: it is mainly used orally or by the skin.
2 drops in ½ tsp. olive oil for 5 days over 3 successive months, in the morning on an empty stomach.
(To be avoided by epileptics, pregnant and breast-feeding women, children under 7 and formally contraindicated in hormone-dependent cancer pathologies)”.

“For the detox effect: it is generally used by the skin. 2 drops in 1 tablespoon of olive oil) and apply to the liver area for 21 days (avoid for pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under 7)”.

Balsam fir essential oil (Abies balsamea) has additional draining effects: its component, alpha-pinene, l’alpha-pinène14, is a circulatory decongestant. It tones the vascular and lymphatic walls, activating water circulation in the body. For example, balsam fir essential oil supports rosemary or Labrador Tea dans l’élimination des toxines.

For a synergistic effect, take rosemary verbenone oil orally and apply diluted Labrador tea oil or balsam fir oil to the skin at the same time.

Pregnant women, we haven’t forgotten about you:

Detox cures are not recommended during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.
Enjoy nature by going for a walk every day, taking care not to stress your liver or other organs.

Did you know that nature also influences your immune system?15 ? Yes! Trees and plants emit volatile anti-microbial compounds.

However, parameters linked to inflammation and allergy will also be improved, as will the activity of NK immune cells (natural killer cells or lymphocytes).

A good spring detox takes place over 21 days.

Happy spring detoxing!

This article presents a set of tips and does not in any way replace medical advice or constitute a prescription.

This article is not intended to prevent you from consulting your general practitioner or specialist, or from stopping your treatment.


References :

1—Hélène Gilgenkrantz. A single stem cell in the liver : the hepatocyte ! Med Sci (Paris) 2015; 31 :357–359

2—Li Yun Yuan, Neil Kaplowitz. Glutathione in liver disease and hepatotoxicity. Published online August 26, 2008.

3—Protective effects of Taraxacum officinale L. (dandelion) root extract in acute experimental phase on chronic liver failure. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=taraxacum+officinale+liver

4— Pharmacological studies of artichoke leaf extract and its health benefitshttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26310198/

5— Betaine modulates oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis, autophagy and Akt/mTOR signaling in methionine-choline deficiency-induced hepatic steatosis DOI :10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.01.043

6— Liang Yan, Yachun Yan. Therapeutic potential of sulforaphane in liver diseases: a review. DOI : 10.3389/fphar.2023.1256029

7- Yang Z, Zhuang L, Lu Y, et al : Effects and tolerance of silymarin (milk thistle) in chronic hepatitis C virus infection patients : a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Biomed Res Int 941085, 2014. doi: 10.1155/2014/941085

8-Hubbard_Sauna_Detox_with_rescue_workers.pdf

9- Umme Hani and Dr. Md Saleem. Review on cupping therapy (al-hijama): A miraculous alternative system of medicine, which is an unbeatable cure for all ailments. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2019; 8 (2):2406–2414.

10—Encyclopedia Of Essential Oils—Alix Lefief

11— Antioxidant activity of rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and its hepatoprotective potential. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25002023

12 — The benefits of Labrador tea (ledum groenlandicum) By Frédéric Verville

13— Rahim Amini, Masoumeh Asle-Rousta, Safieh Aghazadeh. Hepatoprotective effect of limonene against chronic immobilization induced liver damage in rats Epub 2020 Jun 8.

14— Therapeutic potential of α- and β-pinene: nature’s miracle gift. 14 novembre 2019 DOI : 10.3390/biom9110738

15— Andersen L, Corazon SSS, Stigsdotter UKK. Nature Exposure and Its Effects on Immune System Functioning: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Feb 3; 18