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4 DIY detox tips


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As our side of the earth starts to warm up, with longer days and plenty of sunshine, it’s the perfect time to cleanse out the accumulated excesses of winter. Here are four of my favourite detox tips and recipes that not only taste fantastic but have supportive therapeutic benefits, too.

 

Coriander pesto

There is nothing quite like the taste and smell of fresh coriander. Western herbalism traditionally uses the seed as a digestive aid. The leaves, called cilantro in America, possess a number of therapeutic qualities such as anti-inflammatory and cleansing, possibly even of heavy metals.

I’m so grateful this recipe found me as it is truly a taste sensation. The ingredients provide a gastronomic delight and a huge array of health and detoxification supports. First, there’s vitamin C in the lemon juice. Then dulse, a tasty maroon seaweed, provides a matrix of minerals with a particularly high dose of calcium. Flaxseed oil delivers a splash of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Brazil nuts are a fantastic source of the antioxidant selenium, which like the zinc contained in the pumpkin seeds is a common nutritional deficiency due to our depleted soils. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds provide additional magnesium for the nervous system (among other things) and cysteine to boost internal antioxidant action. The garlic supports blood cleansing.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup Brazil nuts
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups packed fresh coriander
  • 2/3 cup flaxseed oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dulse powder
  • Sea salt to taste

 

Tear the coriander and place, along with the flaxseed oil, in a blender. Blend until the coriander is chopped. Add the garlic, partially chopped Brazil nuts and seeds, dulse and lemon juice. Mix until the mixture is finely blended into a paste. Add a pinch of sea salt to taste if needed (the dulse is fairly salty) and blend again. Store in dark glass jars if possible. It freezes well, so buy the coriander in season and fill enough jars to last the year.

If you’re a lover of all things pesto, you will be impressed. It’s amazing that something this good for you can taste so wonderful. Use it in salad dressings, over vegetables, on crispbread and in many other ways.

 

Nettle tea

A deep, green infusion of nettles is a wonderful supportive drink at any time of cleansing. Many herbalists regard it as the major trophorestorative for the kidneys. As a nourishing restorative tonic, nettle tea is a gentle support for any urinary system that’s been pummelled by excessive caffeine or alcoholic beverages during the winter.

Rich in minerals, particularly calcium and vegetable (non-heme) iron, it’s particularly nourishing for mothers and mothers-to-be.

As a rule, it’s a refreshing tea that can be drunk hot or cold. Strangely, it can occasionally taste a little seaweedy. If its bland taste puts you off, or if you want to boost its therapeutic effect, add some peppermint, alfalfa or lemon balm to the brew.

 

Spices mix

I found this spice mix recipe in an Ayurvedic book by Nancy Lonsdorf, written for women transitioning into menopause, though this tasty spice mix can benefit anyone.

The therapeutic effects are quite subtle but are great additions to any cleansing regime. The cumin helps to absorb and use nutrients. The coriander seeds support elimination of toxins through the kidneys. Fennel seeds improve digestion and reduce flatulence. Turmeric root supports liver detoxification.

 

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp ground cumin
  • 6 tsp ground coriander
  • 10 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder

Warm the mixed spices in frying pan until browned (2 minutes). Store in an airtight jar. Use half a teaspoon of spice mixed in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and pour over vegetables, fish or tofu.

 

Lemon juice

Many of my clients tell me how they drink water with lemon juice first thing in the morning. Indeed, it’s a refreshing way to start the day and provides the intestinal tract with an alkalising antioxidant bath — though watch your teeth enamel. Among its many constituents lemon contains polyphenols that support liver function.

The acidity of lemon when squirted over food helps to lower the glycaemic index, according to Dr Lindberg of The Greek Doctors Diet fame. By reducing the GI one feels satiated for longer, thus less likely to snack or over-eat. Of course, nothing is better for healthy longevity than eating less!

Our herbal tradition has a concept of “bitters”, which suggests that bitter receptors on the tongue trigger digestive juices, thus firing up digestion and reducing toxic build-up throughout the gastrointestinal tract and supporting healthy elimination. So squeeze lemons with abandon this spring while the citrus trees are abundant with fruit.

 



 

Sally Mathrick

Naturopath and yoga teacher Sally Mathrick offers health courses, workshops, detox retreats and individual consultations that support fresh thinking and whole health. With her third university degree underway, Sally is passionate about sharing effective, wellness wisdom that makes life more wonderful.