Woodford Files: Benefits of Spring Bitters; Curing Depression and Addiction NaturallyJulia Woodford April 1, 2017
With the joyous momentum of spring’s arrival, we throw open our windows and breathe in the fresh air. That is, if we can find some fresh air amid the truck exhaust, cell phone towers, and homes off-gassing chemical laundry detergents. Since we know that air pollution has been linked to cancer and diabetes, how can we help ourselves survive this daily toxic assault?
Answer: Take care of your body’s largest organ of detoxification, the liver. And there’s no better time to start cleaning and strengthening the liver than spring. In fact, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers spring to be ‘liver season’, a time when the liver meridian opens wider and the chi runs faster through it. This makes spring the best time of year for detoxing since even a little effort brings benefits.
Because bitters are a powerful ally for liver flushing, this month we bring you a feature by culinary herbalist Pat Crocker on the “Bitter Tastes of Spring.” Here we discover a smorgasbord of bitter greens, including dandelions plucked from the backyard, and radicchio plucked from the local farmer’s market. From ‘Wilted Greens Soup’ to ‘Dandelion Pasta’, Crocker’s recipes explain how to make these mean greens palatable and easy to include in your daily menu. (Maybe you’ll even learn to love them some day.) I like to stir-fry dandelions in olive oil and then blend them with various grains and a shot of balsamic vinegar. However you choose to prepare them – raw, steamed, or stir-fried – a daily dose of bitters will go a long way towards helping this hard-working organ.
The liver is also strongly impacted by alcohol and prescription medication. When the sum total of so many toxic challenges overwhelms our livers, we can become angry, frustrated, and ultimately depressed. According to TCM, these are the emotions associated with an inflamed, congested, ‘hot’ liver. This month we bring you an updated feature by Helke Ferrie, entitled “Depression-Free Naturally,” on orthomolecular medicine’s astonishing ability to cure both depression and addiction with nutritional medicine. This approach analyzes the toxic load of each patient, and prescribes a regimen of herbs, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids to detoxify and repair their damaged liver and resolve nutrient deficiencies. This method, spearheaded by Dr. Joan Mathews-Larson, MD, has helped thousands of alcoholic and drug-addicted people recover from addiction and get their lives back. It is a remarkable story.
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Julia Woodford, Editor