2004-04-16 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

Settling Into Spring
By Dr. Nancy Gahles

Health & Harmony

By Dr. Nancy Gahles

Settling Into Spring

At this time of year you may find that you are feeling very tired. Physically tired. This is because that with the change of season comes a change in our metabolism. As the days get longer and we receive more sunlight our hormones have to re-adjust. We kick into a different "energy gear". The process of change fatigues at first. The body begins to do a cleansing, it starts to lighten up for the lighter weather. So we follow the call of nature and listen to what our bodies are telling us. To facilitate the cleansing we can start by lightening up the foods that we eat. Heavy meats, root vegetables, rich gravies can give way to greens like dandelion which is a cleanser for the liver and gallbladder. It is one of the ingredients in any spring tonic. I like to begin eating all the sprouts of the season on my salads, such as alfalfa.

Alfalfa has a high fiber content and so has the ability to absorb and carry intestinal waste out of the body. Alfalfa is a natural stimulant to the Pituitary gland, the master controller of the hormones. In the cleansing of the spring season, Alfalfa neutralizes acids as they are excreted from the system. Maintaining alkalinity is one of the keys to preventing chronic, degenerative diseases like cancer and arthritis. Green plants like Alfalfa contain natural fluoride, which prevents tooth decay and hardens the bones naturally. Very important for preventing and helping with osteoporosis is this fact along with the amazingly high calcium content in Alfalfa. It also contains all the known vitamins and minerals needed for life. Of course, we cannot live on alfalfa alone as there are only trace amounts present.

My next choice of greens for spring tonic cleansing is dandelion. Fresh, lightly boiled with lemon and olive oil. This is highly regarded in the Greek culture. Dandelion is a potassium rich herb, which has some diuretic effects thereby facilitating detoxification through the kidneys and decreasing stiffness in the joints. The increase in mobility is needed for the increase in springtime/outdoor activities. Dandelion induces bile flow from the liver and decreases sluggishness. It has also been known to reduce serum cholesterol and uric acid in the system. Dandelion is also a high nutrient food that contains all the nutritive salts needed for the body to purify the blood. It acts as a gentle laxative and is invigorating and strengthening to the body. European herbalists use it to treat diabetes and liver conditions. Drink water with fresh lemon juice to support the system to flush out toxins and waste.

Simple and easy! Eat the fresh sprouts and dandelion leaves. Do not begin to take supplements or tinctures of these herbs without consulting with your health care practitioner about their efficacy given your own state of health. Keep it simple and safe!

May The Blessings Be!


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