Of course, cleaning your house and workspace is important, but don't neglect your body and mind this year when it comes to spring cleaning. Here are some scary statistics:
About 6,000 new chemicals are listed weekly in the Chemical Society's Chemical Abstracts. That adds up to more than 300,000 new chemicals every year!
We also consume an average of one pound of pesticides and herbicides every year.
Our bodies were designed to eliminate the toxins we encounter, but not at the level we are currently encountering them. Our science has progressed faster than our bodies can evolve to cope with these changes.
It sounds bleak, but there is hope.
Obviously, the first solution is to eliminate some of the toxins you come into contact with, including:
- Quit smoking or using drugs.
- Avoid excessive alcohol.
- Eat fresh, non-processed food.
- Buy organically-grown foods when possible and wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
- Drink a lot of clean filtered or spring water to help your body flush out toxins.
- Use simple cleaning solutions like diluted vinegar, baking soda, and lemon to clean your house.
- Read the labels on your personal care products and try choosing more natural brands.
- Make your own personal care products with foods like oatmeal, avocado, bananas, cucumbers, etc.
- Decrease your impact on the environment by using your car less to reduce toxins. You'll also receive the added benefit of getting more exercise as you walk, bike, or rollerblade to your destinations.
The next solution is to help your body's detoxifying organs—the liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin. According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the liver and gallbladder are the active organs during spring, so adding foods and herbs that support these organs are especially important. Examples are dandelion (drink it as tea or use the leaves to make a salad), artichoke, milk thistle, and many green vegetables. Recognize that if your body is very toxic, you may experience a "cleansing reaction" which is a temporary worsening of symptoms, or flu-like symptoms, before you improve.
In addition, a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner can help create individualized detoxification and support programs suited to the individual.
Image: Chiot's Run