wild-green-saladToday, I return to the theme of cleansing, something that was once part of our seasonal rhythm. In the springtime, traditional peoples naturally did a spring by eating the newly sprouting edible greens. Not only were they a welcome culinary addition to a winter of eating preserved food and meat, but the bitter compounds in spring greens like chickory and dandelion stimulate digestion, bile flushing and intestinal peristalsis. Eating with the seasons gave us a yearly .

The modern no longer follows the healing power of nature and therefore diseases like disease, and are epidemic. To combat this trend, I recommend that many patients consider a spring cleanse tailored to their individual needs.

There is an overwhelming amount of information and disinformation about , also known as cleansing or . People are making millions selling all kinds of products aimed at curing whatever ails you by detoxifying your body. There is also a lot of false information abounding discrediting cleansing as a useful healing tool. These next 2 posts are aimed at sorting fact from fiction.

I agree it is important to support the body’s natural elimination pathways: the colon, kidneys, liver, lymphatics and skin. Some therapies, foods, vitamins and herbs do aid these natural pathways and there are many that I regularly recommend to my patients. I also agree that we are exposed to many damaging substances in the environment and that some of them accumulate in the body.

The Environmental Working Group has compiled a list of studies showing the following Chemicals found in people: Organophosphate Pesticides (OPs), Organochlorine Pesticides (OCs), Metals, Lead compounds, Organic salts, Mercury compounds, Arsenic compounds, Cadmium compounds, Chlorinated dioxins & furans, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Phthalates, Volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs), Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), Brominated Fire Retardants, Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Perfluorochemicals (PFCs), Halogenated benzenes, Substituted benzenes, Brominated dioxins & furans, Chromium compounds, Bisphenol A & BADGE, Nitro- and polycylic- musks, Alkylphenols, Phenols, Perchlorate, Inorganic salts. For more information, visit www.ewg.org.

Naturopathic doctors are trained to look for signs of toxic exposure, do testing and offer support to the body to facilitate their elimination from the body. In my next post, I will debunk some popular and share more cleansing do’s and don’ts.

Margaret Philhower, ND