Spring is the season of new life and new beginnings, of upward growth and strength, and of creating a flexible structure for our year. However, it’s also an excellent season for cleansing, not just your house, but your liver as well. In fact, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (as well as other traditional healing systems), the liver and gallbladder are organs that are associated with the spring season.
One of my goals this year is to not only connect with more people here at home and on the Internet but to also connect with my body more. One way I’m doing this during the spring season is by evaluating my health and doing a bit of liver spring cleaning.
Today, I’m sharing a recent development with my health as well as what I’m doing to get things back on track. I hope that this will motivate you to assess your health and inspire you to do a little liver spring cleaning as well!
Living Life Naturally: A Constant Goal
I’m a reasonably healthy person. I mean, I eat real food as much as possible, I use as many non-toxic products in my home as I can, and I use herbs for wellness as opposed to running to the doctor and taking medications for every little thing. I have no chronic health issues, and the worst acute issue I face from time to time is the common cold. Maybe it’s good genes, perhaps it’s the effort I put into staying healthy, and perhaps it’s God’s blessings. It’s most likely a bit of all three.
Now, please don’t think I’m perfect because I’m not! Sure, I go out to eat, and no, it’s not always healthy. Yes, I still use some toxic products in my home—like my mascara, for instance. I have never found a decently priced non-toxic mascara that doesn’t end up all over my face, so I still use the toxic kind. Also, if all natural methods of ridding myself of a headache fail, you can be sure I’ll be taking some ibuprofen to ease my misery.
So no, I don’t live a perfectly natural lifestyle. I still have room for improvement but don’t we all. Looking back over the years, though, I can see that I’ve come a long way. Sometimes I take two steps forward and one step back, but ultimately, I am always moving forward which is the goal.
Some Red Flags & Putting The Pieces Together
In the last several months, I have noticed a variety of little things with my health that, while on their own may not be a bit deal, but in combination, could lead to more significant health issues down the road. Things like some random cramping in my lower abdomen in the morning—with or without coffee; skin issues such as dry skin, increased acne, and a bit of rosacea; a mild form of eczema on my hands; being easily frustrated or angry; tender breasts close to my period; dizzy spells; and brain fog.
As these symptoms continued, I began to pay attention, and red flags started going off that something was up with my health.
As an herbalist, whenever I hear specific symptoms, I immediately think of body systems that are commonly associated with those symptoms. Understanding these connections not only helps me to have a focal point for the herbal protocol I will implement, but it helps me to identify the root of the issue. Whenever you face a health situation, you always want to find its root and address that if you want to resolve the situation. If you don’t address the root cause, the symptoms may go away for a while, but you can be sure they’ll come back again.
So as I began to pay attention to these symptoms and what my body was telling me, I put all of these little puzzle pieces together and realized that all of these symptoms were rooted in one thing—my liver. Knowing what I know about the body, I knew these were all classic signs of liver congestion, and while some of my symptoms were showing up in other body systems, my liver was the root of it all. If you’re not familiar with the term “liver congestion,” it’s the herbalist’s way of saying the liver is overburdened and not detoxing as well as it should.
Realizing this, I knew I had to get my act together and get my liver back into a balanced state of health. What I needed was a little liver spring cleaning!
4 Ways I’m Doing Some Liver Spring Cleaning This Year
In an effort to do some liver spring cleaning—aka, balance my liver and clear it of congestion—I needed to make some changes in my life.
First, I started with a big dietary cleanse. I recently shared a blog post about what I was giving up for Lent (well, part of Lent that is). This diet change was basically a strict vegan diet with no sugars (other than fruit), no caffeine, and no alcohol. One of my goals with this short-term diet change was to get gently cleanse my body and flood it with fiber and nutrition in a different way than I usually do.
Next, I started working on hydrating myself well. I began by drinking celery juice every morning. No, I didn’t know what a fad this was when I started it. My husband came home telling me he’d heard some doctor on the radio talking about how great it was for you, and then I listened to a blogger I follow mention that she drinks celery juice every morning, so I decided to give it a go just because it was healthy. Come to find out, celery juice is an excellent liver detoxer, and it has many other health benefits as well. Who knew! Anyway, I’ve cut out my morning cup of coffee and replaced it with a couple of cups of celery juice first thing in the morning followed by a healthy breakfast (smoothies and oatmeal). I’m also drinking way more water than I usually do to keep myself hydrated and flushing toxins properly.
I also cut out all cardio type exercises during this period and instead focused on yoga only. Yoga is very balancing and centering on its own. It focuses on body strength and flexibility. There’s lots of breathing involved which has many health benefits of its own, and there’s a lot of twisting involved which is also thought to help with detoxing. I also incorporated dry skin brushing and fascia toning as well. Skin brushing encourages lymphatic flow while fascia toning helps to break up of fat stores—both of which help the body in clearing toxins.
Lastly, I added in some herbal supplements into my daily routine. I began by taking some turmeric supplements for their anti-inflammatory properties. When those ran out, I switched to taking some adaptogens for adrenal health. I’ve also incorporated milk thistle into my day along with bitters before every meal. Both of these things are beneficial to the liver. All of these things work in many different ways and impact many different body systems (liver, digestive, endocrine, nervous, immune), but all towards the common goal of balancing my overall health. As spring continues along, I’ll also incorporate a variety of alterative (blood purifier) spring herbs into my daily infusions as well all to keep my liver happy.
My Progress So Far
At this point, I’m four weeks into my liver spring cleaning, and I’m happy to report that all of the symptoms I was experiencing have disappeared, except for the skin issues—those are taking a bit longer to resolve themselves, but they are improving.
So what have I learned through all of this?
One, I need to be more in control of my diet and not slack up so much when life gets busy. I need to keep healthy homemade meals a priority which means simplifying them as much as possible to make cooking easier for me. Two, I’m chronically dehydrated, and I need to drink more water whether I’m thirsty or not. Three, I should be doing better taking herbs regularly that keep my liver in good health. Our livers do a lot of work for us, and in the world we live in, we’re exposed to a lot of toxins, even when we try to live as naturally as we can. Daily supplements can help support the liver so it can support us!!
Okay, so I hope this post on liver spring cleaning has given you some encouragement into the season of spring and its association with the liver as well as staying proactive in your health—even when you’re not facing serious health issues. Remember, it’s the little things that can build up over time and become big issues!
Love and light,