Top 10 tips to spring cleanse your body and soul
18 March 2021
Dr Rosy Daniel, Weleda's Integrative Health Consultant, explains how a gentle springtime detox can improve wellbeing.The daffodils are up, the birds are singing loudly, the sap is rising, and the days are getting longer. It is time for us to come up out of our burrows, shake off our winter sleep and raise our energy levels for the bright days ahead. This is a perfect time for a spring cleanse of body, mind and spirit to get us into the best possible shape, health and wellbeing; far better than in January when our energy is lower.
The body has five major cleansing systems: the kidneys, the liver, the bowels, the skin and the lungs. Our spirits reside in the most exquisite piece of engineering! Our bodies work tirelessly to process, absorb and eliminate what is coming in through our skin, lungs and digestive system to maintain a state of balance, whilst fuelling, regenerating and healing themselves. Blood levels of fat, sugar, acidity, salts and minerals are kept at optimum levels to protect our brains and the other delicate tissues through which our blood flows.
Physical toxicity occurs when we absorb toxic chemicals through our skin, lungs or digestive system. We also become toxic through excess and imbalance if eating or drinking too much of one kind or food or drink, or by consuming too much altogether.
When toxicity builds up in the body this can be experienced as excess weight, achy muscles, low energy, fatigue, brain fog and spotty or itchy skin. Psychologically we feel weighed down and demotivated. When toxicity becomes extreme, our organs can no longer achieve homoeostasis and they start to fail, producing conditions like type 2 diabetes when the pancreas can no longer metabolise away excess sugar, or liver failure when the liver becomes poisoned and fibrous as it can no longer detox the toxic chemicals in the blood stream, or constipation and inflammatory bowel disorders when the gut is not flowing properly and the gut wall is reacting, or inflammatory conditions of the lungs and skin as well. This is more pronounced in people who have allergies or food intolerances.
So, when we are thinking about a spring cleanse, it is really about developing a far kinder, gentler and more conscious relationship with our beautiful bodies. Here are 10 steps to spring cleanse that you can take right now:
Step 1 – Ensure that you are adequately hydrated with 2.5l of water every day (still water is better than sparkling in this respect, as ideally drinking water should have a neutral pH of about 7). This will help wash toxins from your entire system and keep your detox organs functioning optimally.
Step 2 – Avoid taking in chemical toxins through skincare products, food additives, preservatives or colourings, household and garden products. Our lungs, skin and digestive systems are highly absorbent and any chemicals around you will find their way into your bloodstream, tissues and cells. This means eating organic as much as possible, growing your own food, and wearing a mask if working around chemicals.
Step 3 – Avoid excess with food and drink. Think about your portion sizes and seek emotional support if you know that you are comfort eating or drinking to excess. For the first time ever young people in their 30s are being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver due to ‘pre-lash’ drinking of shots. Pay attention to acidity levels; you can do this by measuring your salivary pH in the morning before any food, drink or toothbrushing. You are aiming for 7 to 7.5. For most of us this means cutting back on acidic drinks like wine, beer, lager, cider, fruit juices, tonic water and fizzy drinks, all of which have an acidic pH, and acid fruits like lemons, grapefruit, sour berries and tomatoes. This is not for ever! Just until we have regained our balance.
Step 4 – Try a gentle fast eating purely fruit, vegetables, salads and grains, juices and smoothies. Have a rest from heavier foods such as meat, fats, sugar, dairy food, refined carbohydrates, processed foods and alcohol. It is not advisable to fast heavily during the winter, or if you have a demanding job or parenting role, or if your health is challenged. For weight management, try an intermittent fasting approach, eating all your food within an eight-hour period. This means that your body has 16 hours for homoeostasis. It has been proven as an effective method to reduce weight, even if eating the same amount as you might previously have done over 12 hours. A good time interval is eating between 11 am and 7 pm, starting your mornings with cleansing herb teas.
Step 5 – Take an hour of aerobic exercise every single day, ideally outdoors in the fresh air, to get the blood pumping around your body, bringing oxygen to your tissues and removing waste products. Getting hot and vasodilated allows us to sweat and eliminate toxins through our skin. Breathing more deeply and rapidly allows us to excrete toxins through our lungs. It is wise to use a deodorant rather than an antiperspirant in order to sweat naturally.
Step 6 – Deepen the cleansing of your tissues with yoga postures which are designed to stretch and tone every single organ and tissue of the body. Qigong is also designed to smooth and balance the flow of energy or chi throughout all energy channels. In Oriental medicine all illness is seen as stagnation of chi. Establishing a daily practice will detox your energy system too.
Step 7 – Give special support to your detox organs. Support your bowel with plenty of fibre from muesli, fruit such as prunes and figs and fibrous vegetables, or taking some gentle laxative such as senna or psyllium husks, or a natural digestive remedy to get things moving. Support your liver by taking a break from alcohol, coffee and black tea and fatty foods. Support your kidneys with good hydration and low salt intake. Support your skin with skin brushing with a loofah and pumice stone in the bath, an exfoliating skin rub, or dry skin brushing. Support your lungs with yogic breathing exercises, especially the bellows breath and the crow.
Step 8 – Take cleansing herbs and tisanes to cleanse the body. Peppermint tea will stimulate the bowel whilst milk thistle will give detox support to your liver. Weleda’s Birch Juice, which is made from the fresh silver birch leaf tips from the new spring growth, will help shake off winter lethargy and literally put a spring in your step.
Step 9 – Support your physical detox with meditation and retreat into quiet nurturing time for yourself, being sure to set aside this time for yourself. Create some helpful goals for your year ahead and shed any negative thoughts or anxieties with the help of emotional freedom technique.
Step 10 – Aim to establish what you have put in place as a way of life rather than a short-term blitz. Every single aspect of life will be better if we can maintain this loving conscious relationship with ourselves.
Birch Body Scrub
Perk up lacklustre skin and step from the shower glowing and energised. The exfoliating granules within this invigorating scrub are made from natural waxes, are pleasingly gentle on skin and have zero impact on our precious environment. The 100% natural fragrance combines fresh citrus top notes of grapefruit and orange to revitalise body and soul, and warm woody base notes of cypress and cedar wood to soothe the senses. Dermatologically approved and with a skin-friendly pH, this gentle scrub is free from microplastics or artificial additives of any kind, and is entirely biodegradable.
Birch Cellulite Oil
From a holistic standpoint, an increase in cellulite can indicate a build-up in toxins within the body – most of which are stored within the body’s adipose (fatty) tissue. Regular massage and the use of specific cleansing and stimulating oils, can significantly improve the appearance of these areas – and support the body in its own process of internal cleansing. Weleda’s Birch Cellulite Oil is a certified natural massage oil for areas of visible cellulite on legs, thighs and buttocks. Extracts from organically grown birch, rosemary and butcher’s broom stimulate the skin’s metabolism, and are blended with active carrier oils, including vitamin rich wheat germ and nourishing jojoba. Invigorating essential oils of grapefruit and cypress provide the fragrance, and also work to uplift the mind, and energise the body. And it really works. A dermatological study confirmed that after using Birch Cellulite Oil twice daily over 28 days, testers’ skin was on average noticeably 22% firmer, visibly 21% smoother and cellulite significantly reduced.
A certified organic drink with birch leaf extract to gently cleanse the entire system – thereby restoring vitality and a healthy glow to skin. Biodynamic lemon juice completes the tonic effect. Simply mix a tablespoonful with a glass of water, or add to pure apple juice. The Czech growers have it for breakfast, stirred into yogurt!
A dermatological study confirmed Birch Cellulite Oil used twice daily over 28 days in combination with Birch Juice, noticeably improved testers’ skin, which appeared on average 35% firmer and skin elasticity improved by 20%. Visible improvement of skin-structure was recorded in 85% of cases, and testers’ skin showed a healthy 20-25% increase in blood circulation/ microcirculation.
(Tests were conducted independently by German dermatological specialists proDERM, Institut für Angewandte, Dermatologische Forschung, Hamburg, over 12 weeks, using Birch Juice for the first 3 weeks of the study.)
Weleda water bottle
A lightweight bottle made from BPA-free plastic. Fill with water and add Birch Juice to sip throughout the day. Ideal to pack in your sports bag or have to hand at your desk.
One of the ways our bodies naturally shift toxins is through sweating. So when embarking on a spring cleanse it is important to avoid antiperspirants, so that the skin can fully function. But we can still avoid body odour by using a fragrant natural deodorant. Weleda deodorants use plant extracts or essential oils effectively and naturally to disarm body odours.