Spring Cleaning 
By Karen Thomas
 
Spring has arrived!  The flowers are blooming, trees are pollinating, the days are longer, and feelings
of rejuvenation are palpable. Health strategies during this season often focus on the rejuvenation process
through support of bodily “spring cleaning.” One way to facilitate this cleansing is through healthy 
elimination and detoxification.  Often environmental allergens are high at this time and, if the body
is already overwhelmed with toxins, fighting those allergens becomes more difficult and symptoms are stronger.
 
Healthy Elimination & Cleansing
 
Healthy elimination is vital to optimal wellness. The most well known nutrient, for its ability to keep
 us regular, is dietary fiber. Adding bulk and moisture to stool, dietary fiber sources such as psyllium,
oat bran, flax seed and apple pectin enhance intestinal motility and transit time. Fiber further supports
 gastrointestinal health through the ability to be fermented in the large intestine into short chain fatty
acids (SCFAs), the preferred energy source of colonic cells.  
 
Encouraging healthy elimination is actually not a new wellness approach.
Elimination and detoxification have played a role in many traditional medical systems. For example, the 
Ayurvedic triad of herbs known as “triphala” has been used for thousands of years as a tonic for the 
intestines. The Ayurvedic System bases many of its treatments and recommendations on the body’s ability
to digest and utilize nutrients, which includes the assimilation and elimination processes.
 
Detoxification
 
The health of the liver is vital for our overall wellness. It is one of the primary organs of detoxification,
involved in breaking apart harmful compounds, filtering the blood and synthesizing bile, which aids in digestion.
 
Research studies in animals and humans suggest that botanical herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion and artichoke
 can promote liver function through their potent antioxidant properties.  These herbs have been found to increase
 hepatic levels of glutathione, which is intricately involved in the liver’s biochemical functions.  Milk thistle
 is also thought to promote the integrity of liver cell membranes and beneficially stimulate hepatic cell growth. 
 
Another botanical compound showing great promise in promoting liver health is berberine, an alkaloid that is found
in herbs such as goldenseal.  
 
Nutritional compounds are also involved in the maintenance of healthy liver function. Bear with me as I get a
little technical here.  Trimethyl glycine (also known as betaine) has been found to increase hepatic levels of
s-adenosyl methionine, which serves as the key methyl donor in the liver, therefore playing an important role
in reducing oxidative stress and supporting healthy liver enzymes. Vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, glutathione
and n-acetyl-l-cysteine are all antioxidant nutrients that are involved in protecting liver cells from free
radical damage. 
 
A Season of Rejuvenation
 
Spring serves as a time of rejuvenation of our planet and the inhabitants of Earth.  By following nutritional
 strategies that promote healthy elimination and detoxification you can support the rejuvenation of optimal 
health.  Healthy elimination can be supported by foods and supplements rich in dietary fiber as well as other
nutritionals mentioned in this article, and stocked by the Island Drug Wellness Center.
 

 

The above article is general information that is in no way intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any medical condition.  Further it is not intended, nor recommended, that this information
be used without the supervision of your medical provider.