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Springing Back to Health

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    Posted: 13 January 2006 at 6:42pm
Springing Back to Health (Source: Seasons Journal )

By Nabila Hanson

Nabila Hanson is a licensed acupuncturist and homeopath.

In traditional Chinese Medicine, the Five Element Theory states that each organ of the body relates to a particular season. The liver and gall bladder are the organs that relate to spring. The liver has many functions, some of which are to store and distribute nourishment for the body, to form and breakdown blood, and to filter toxins from the blood and break them down for elimination. When the liver is overburdened, it is less able to detoxify the body, and poisons remain which can potentially lead to chronic and debilitating illnesses, including cancer.

The emotion related to the liver is the emotion of “anger” which can include feelings of frustration, repressed anger, resentment, and irritation. If the liver energy is flowing smoothly, the emotional state will be happy and optimistic; conversely, a poor emotional state will affect the smooth flow of the liver energy. In the fast pace of American life, many people experience much stress in their daily lives. It is important to preserve the harmonic balance of the body by finding ways to balance these stresses through prayer, meditation, exercise (yoga is excellent), and enjoyable, relaxing activities. Diet plays a large role in maintaining the integrity of the body. Taking a moment to relax before you eat allows the body to preserve its energy and ensures that food is eaten slowly and chewed well, which is the first step in good digestion. Never eat when you are tense, upset, or in a stressful environment. The foods that benefit our bodies are called “whole foods,” which include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains (millet, cracked wheat, rye, oats, quinoa, etc.), seeds (raw sesame and sunflower), and nuts (especially raw almonds, pecans, and walnuts). Dairy foods may be consumed but should be consumed in moderation due to their tendency to cause mucus in the body, and meat should be eaten in moderation (once or twice a week). It is important to protect the body from products that will harm the body such as white flour, white sugar, caffeine, processed foods, and food with added chemicals. We live in a very toxic age, and it is advisable to support the liver on a daily basis with herbs that tonify and support the liver energy. Milk Thistle and Dandelion are an excellent herb combination that can be taken in liquid form. There are many teas that aid in liver function such as dandelion root tea, sassafras bark (especially useful during the springtime), chamomile flowers, bupleurum, and Oregon grape root.

Many health experts consider annual or biannual body cleanses and fasts to be an essential practice if one is to avoid chronic disease and maintain good health. A very effective and popular cleanse that gives most people energy while cleansing is the “master cleanse,” sometimes referred to as the “lemonade diet.” To prepare the lemonade, use 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed organic lemon or lime juice; 1–4 tablespoons of pure organic maple syrup; and 1/10 teaspoon of non-radiated cayenne pepper. Mix all the ingredients with eight ounces of pure spring water. Drink at least six glasses a day for one to two weeks. Also, it is important to keep the intestines clean in order to clear the toxins, so one tablespoon of cold-pressed olive oil should be taken twice a day. In addition, laxative teas such as senna leaf should be taken in the morning and before going to bed.

For more advice on fasting, Staying Healthy with the Seasons by Elson M. Hass, M.D., and Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford are excellent books. They provide information necessary for successful cleanses and good physical and mental health.

Happy Spring!

nb: If you are pregnant, nursing, or have a chronic health condition, please seek the advice of a professional health care provider before considering a cleansing fast or a major dietary change.
"I am a slave. I eat as a slave eats and I sit as a slave sits.", Beloved, sallallahu alyhi wa-sallam.
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