alive logo

Spring Cleaning


Winter is a time when most of us accumulate a few extra pounds. For many MfuVfu- metabolism can slow down if only a little bit in the colder months

Winter is a time when most of us accumulate a few extra pounds. For many MfuVfu- metabolism can slow down if only a little bit in the colder months. Then spring arrives, signalling that it is time to pick up the pace and clear out any digestive debris that has stockpiled due to our lowered metabolic rate. Spring cleaning shouldn't only refer to good housekeeping.


You may know that bitter herbs have long been associated with observation of Passover the Last Supper celebrated by Christ and his disciples. Beyond the symbolic spiritual meaning of bitter herbs, there is also a practical side. Taking bitter herbs not only purges the liver, gallbladder and stomach, but also tones and nourishes them and the rest of the digestive system, which, in turn, nourish and replenish the blood.

Your blood is the conduit for oxygen and nutrients for every cell in your body. If your blood is full of debris from poorly functioning digestive and eliminative (bowels, kidneys) systems, your blood can't carry nutrients and oxygen effectively, let alone remove the wastes created by the cells. If your blood is too full of debris to carry nutrients, many of your body's billions of cells will have to go hungry. Garbage will also accumulate throughout your body.


Cleansing the blood is a sensible and simple way to improve cellular nutrition, functioning and energy output.

The Taste of a Generation


Nowadays, bitter is not part of our dietary vocabulary. Yet our tastebuds have receptors not only for sweet, salty and sour, but for bitter as well. It has been demonstrated that a bitter taste stimulates the nervous system, which in turn stimulates the digestive system. Starting gently is a good idea for those among us who have never savored the bitterness of dandelion greens. Cleansing the digestive system and its organs, as well as your blood, doesn't have to be a heroic effort in therapeutic machismo.

The following three herbs will work wonders on balancing and cleansing your system of digestive debris with the added bonus of not tasting like an exercise in purgatory.


Perhaps when you were a child, you used to pick apart this flower and suck the heavenly nectar from it. It's red clover food for the bees. Effective for suppressing appetite, as an antibiotic and blood purifier, this herb is a cornucopia of nutrients. Red clover is rich in vitamins A, Bl, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, folic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, choline, inositol, isoflavonoids, bioflavonoids zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese and copper. No wonder bees and livestock love this plant! It has been used for cancer, HIV, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disorders, kidney problems, skin complaints and poorly functioning immune systems.


Personally, I think that red clover tea tastes far better than most herbs. (And I should know I've had to drink quite a few of my own concoctions to reassure others that "they taste just fine.")

Yellow dock, or curled dock, is the next on our roster of blood cleansing herbs. Its long history of use as a blood purifier and as a toner for all body systems isn't surprising, when you consider that this herb is a rich source of iron, manganese and beta carotene. Yellow dock is good for anemia and for improving liver and colon functioning.

Yellow Dock


Yellow dock is also an effective laxative. Keeping the bowel moving regularly prevents the recirculation of stagnant digestive wastes back into the bloodstream. It makes sense, then, that this herb is used effectively for hives, psoriasis and rashes. Yellow dock, however, should be used in moderation. The recommended dose is two to four millilitres (1/8 teaspoon) three times a day or one to four grams (of the dried herb three times a day. This herb might irritate mucus membranes and the kidneys, as it contains potassium oxalate (oxalates contribute to the formation of stones in the kidneys).

Burdock Protection


When I was a child, we called this one "Devil's rhubarb," and wore the huge soft leaves on our heads for shade. Although few of my neighbors would appreciate the blessings of growing this herb, it is grown in Asia as a root vegetable. The Japanese take burdock as a tonic herb/food, with its welcome benefits to the reproductive system and libido. This herb is the largest ingredient in the Essiac cancer formula, with good reason.


Burdock has been used for centuries as a blood purifier and as a restorative for the liver and gallbladder. The immune system, gout and boils are also helped by this herb. Even more interesting is that burdock has a documented ability to lower blood sugar in laboratory animals. Taking burdock may help reduce the dose of insulin needed by insulin-dependent diabetics. As a tonic herb, it can also nourish the pancreas. Burdock contains vitamins B1; B6, B12 and E, as well as biotin, copper, inulin, iron, manganese, sulphur, zinc, essential oils, arctiin and tannins. Isn't it interesting that the very herbs that offer cleansing benefits for our bodies also feed them with vitamins and trace minerals?


Each of these herbs will benefit you if taken alone, but they also work very effectively as a team. Cleansing the blood, the liver, stomach, gallbladder and intestines, these herbs will also nourish and support many different body systems. Don't wait for Easter! Try some of these herbs today and experience first-hand the improved healthy functioning of your digestive system and the benefits of cleaner blood.


AU Naturel

AU Naturel

Natural hair color and care to keep your locks at their most luscious

Carime Lane

Carime Lane

Rooted in Science

Rooted in Science

The Land Institute is changing the agriculture game for a sustainable food future

Adam Meyer

Adam Meyer