My favorite way to cleanse is using the bounty of nature to enhance my liver's ability to protect me from the toxins in the environment, in food and water, and generated by my body as a part of normal metabolism. Today I share my top 5 cleansing gifts from the earth.
Dandelion is a common “weed” that grows abundantly on lawns, in fields and along highways. It’s known for the wispy sprays that top the stem after the flower dies away. As I kid, I loved to blow on them. It was said to be good luck if you could blow all the wisps away with one breath.
I later came to discover that dandelions are one of nature’s most powerful plants. They are part of the sunflower family, another of my favorite plants growing up.
There are about 100 species of dandelion. The entire plant is an effective cleanser.
The root is a common ingredient in detox teas and it stimulates the bile and liver. It also acts as a diuretic and stimulates the release of toxins via your urine.
The leaves are cleansing and nourishing additions to salads, smoothies and soups. A little goes a long way. The bitter flavor stimulates the release of stomach acid and bile, which is why herbalists call dandelion a hepatic.
It’s also considered an aperient (gently moves the bowels), diuretic (makes you pee), tonic, and stomachic. It is useful with all kinds of conditions involving kidney, liver, gallbladder and inflammation of the bowels. The fresh root is good for helping with gallstones, jaundice, alcoholism, hepatitis, scurvy, and especially enlargement of the liver and spleen. Dandelion is also a tonic for female reproductive congestion.
Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)
Burdock is a powerful detoxifier. It’s also a delicious food that can be added to soups, salads, stews, smoothies and stir-fries.
It’s considered by herbalists to be a deep cleaner for it stimulates the release of toxins through sweat, urine and feces. It can also help lower your blood pressure. In Healing with Whole Foods Paul Pitchford writes, “(Burdock) is a virtual cure-all for conditions of excess, and significantly purifies the blood while reducing fat and regulating blood sugar.”
In the West, burdock is known to cleanse the blood, and is useful in situations such as exposure to environmental toxins such as cigarette smoke or air pollution, heavy metals such as mercury, lead or arsenic, and chronic bacterial or viral infections.
In macrobiotic tradition, a popular way to use burdock is cut into match stick sized pieces with equal parts carrot and sautéed in sesame oil. The resulting dish, called kinpura, is considered a deeply cleansing food.
We rarely think of avocados as a cleansing food but these nutritional powerhouses lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels while blocking artery-destroying toxicity.
Avocados contain a nutrient called “glutathione”, a potent antioxidant enzyme that is used by your liver in phase 2 detoxification reactions.
According to the human genome project research, glutathione tends to be low due to genetics in almost 50% of the population due to a single nucleotide polymorphism (an alteration in a gene). The enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, responsible for making glutathione, is missing or deficient in close to 50% of the population.
Glutathione is a master antioxidant that’s important for detoxification of synthetic chemicals, for blocking at least thirty different carcinogens and for increasing the activity of the most important aspect of liver detoxification, the phase 2 cytochrome P450 system.
Cruciferous Vegetables and Leafy Greens
The foods in this detox category include kale, collard greens, dandelion, arugula, spinach, chard, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts and Brussels sprouts and many more.
Green foods are powerful allies in cleansing your liver by providing a plethora of minerals, antioxidants and cofactors that support liver detox pathways. Greens are abundant in chlorophyll which has the ability to suck up environmental toxins from your blood stream and neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides. They are also cleansing to your colon as they provide an abundance of fiber to “sweep” your digestive tract clean.
Crucifers and leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. They can be blended to make smoothies, soups and salad dressings, marinated, processed with nuts and seeds to make crackers and bread, and eaten whole, dipped in guacamole or a healthy dip. Leafy greens make tasty wraps, a cleansing alternative to tortillas, pita bread, sandwich bread and other popular grain based processed wraps and tortilla shells.
Bitter greens like arugula, dandelion greens, mustard greens and chicory help increase the creation and flow of bile and aid in the removal of waste from your organs and blood.
Turmeric is a bitter spice used extensively in East Indian cooking. It contains a chemical constituent called “curcumin” that helps cleanse your liver, purify your blood, and promote good digestion and elimination. It stimulates your gallbladder to produce bile and scavenges free radicals. The spice is aromatic and has a bitter taste. The plant, which grows five to six feet tall, is found in tropical regions throughout Southern Asia; its fingerlike stalk contains the spice's healing agents.
Turmeric has been shown to be a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent. It has been shown to increase two very important liver detoxification enzymes, UDP glucuronyl transferase and glutathione-S-transferase. Turmeric has also been found to inhibit free radical damage of fats and, prevent the formation of the inflammatory chemical cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).
When rats were fed curcumin, the active constituent of turmeric, for 14 days, glutathione-S-transferase production increased by 16%, and a marker of free radical damage called malondialdehyde decreased by 36%.
Turmeric looks similar to ginger, except that it’s bright orange and the roots are smaller. It’s what gives curry its characteristic bright yellow color.
GREEN Cleansing Strategies
My Gut Rejuvenating Easy Energizing Natural Cleanse is a food based cleanse, although you can supplement with detox herbs and formulas if desired, but it's not required.
Whether you live in a small town in the Midwest or a bustling metropolitan area, you have access to grocery stores and can get an abundance of fresh produce. That's all you need, along with a blender, to do my G.R.E.E.N. Cleanse.
We currently have over 100 people ready to begin their cleanse on Monday. They've been busily preparing by simplifying their food choices and increasing their green foods.
It's not too late to join!
It includes recipes, menu plans, recordings and support calls for guidance and detailed instructions. There’s a private facebook group to provide support and accountability, as well as a sharing of recipes and resources.
My Gut Rejuvenating Easy Energizing Natural Cleanse may be just what you need to sweep out the cobwebs and jumpstart your body into vibrant health. And a side benefit is a flatter belly, a clearer mind and enough energy for all the things you love.
I look forward to getting to know you during my next Gut Rejuvenating Easy Energizing Natural Cleanse
Here are a few sample recipes to get you started:
Super Cleanse Smoothie
- 3/4 bunch of parsley with some stems
- 1 handful arugula
- 1 handful kale
- 1 handful broccoli sprouts
- 3 leaves dandelion greens
- 1/4-inch slice turmeric
- 1/2-inch slice ginger
- 1-inch slice burdock root
- 1/2 – 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 green apple, cored (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 teaspoon milk thistle seed powder (optional)
- enough water to blend
Blend and enjoy.
Hot and Cleansing Liver Juice
- 1 bunch kale
- 3 leaves dandelion
- 1 cucumber
- 1 small sliver of fresh turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
- 1 lemon, juice of
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 green onions (scallions)
- 1 handful broccoli sprouts
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 3-inch piece of burdock root
Run all the ingredients above through a juicer.
Benefits to the Body:
This juice is the ideal liver cleanser. It’s stimulating and does powerful work to keep your liver functioning at its best.
Love, Health and Joy,
P.S. As a bonus when you register for My Gut Rejuvenating Easy Energizing Natural Cleanse you’ll also get two months of ongoing live support from me through our VITAL Health Community.
Click HERE to get details and join in.