Woodford Files: Easy and Delicious Spring Detoxing

Now that April is upon us, the spring season has gained glorious momentum with birds singing and rivers running fast. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), they say that each organ system has an emotion and a season intimately connected to it. In spring, chi rises in the liver just as sap rises in the trees. Since spring is considered as ‘liver season’, now is a great time for clearing and cleansing metabolic waste from our winter-weary bodies with the help of exercise and nutritional medicine.

This month we offer some easy detoxing strategies in two of our features:

1) Spring Detox with Wild Herbs and Weeds by medical herbalist Susan Elliotson explains how plants such as dandelion, yarrow, and burdock work to cleanse the liver, kidneys, and lymphatics. Regular use of teas and tinctures made from such medicinal plants assists our eliminative organs to cast off their heavy loads.

2) In A Tale of Two Cookbooks, two holistic nutritionists present rejuvenating recipes made with carrots, beets, and dandelions. These liver-loving dishes are colourful, easy to make, and proof positive that good nutrition can taste divine.

I recently had occasion to test drive the effectiveness of exercise and nutrition for liver cleansing on myself. TCM doctors say that the emotions governed by the liver are anger and depression. As it happened, for weeks I had been feeling tired and grumpy. Many months spent working too much, sitting too much, and eating too much had taken their toll. My mood had turned dark, my eyes drooped with fatigue, and I struggled to get out of bed in the morning. When I finally couldn’t stand my dreary self any longer, I decided to get up from my desk and do something. Leaving my cell phone behind, I set out for an afternoon walk in High Park. As I wandered along the trails, breathing the fresh air deeply, listening to the rustle of trees, and feeling the sun on my face, my dark mood began to lift and jangled nerves to unwind. It was then that I had an inspiring thought – nature has created the ideal conditions for nourishing our well-being and we only have to return to her embrace to be renewed. The trick is to find the time and energy to return often.

After my little epiphany, which occurred on the shore of a pond with ducks quacking at my feet, I returned home to a lunch of beets, carrots, and coconut tortillas. My liver detox had begun, and the sparkle of spring was at last filtering in.

And just when you thought the measles debate was over, a new story has hit the news about two parents locked in a legal battle over their daughter’s measles vaccination. We hope that the judge who ultimately rules on the case will get a chance to read our feature this month entitled Measles Hysteria by long-time vaccine educator Edda West. Here she offers evidence that ,not only did old-school doctors consider measles to be a “self-limiting infection of short duration, moderate severity, and low fatality,” but they also believed that measles infection may confer anti-cancer benefits. Interesting stuff.  ~ JW

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