When we think of the new year, we think of renewal and all the possibilities that lie ahead. Many of us make vows to improve our health, some people go on a cleanse, others go on a diet, and some may start an exercise program. While I personally am not a fan of a traditional cleanse or detox, I do believe in using herbs to support your body’s natural detoxification systems. Instead of a liver cleanse or a harsh detox, why not use herbs to support your body daily? A couple of my favorite herbs to gently support your system (including the liver) are dandelion and milk thistle.
A lot of us think of dandelion as just the weed that grows in our gardens, but that little sunny flower really packs a health punch. This humble little weed has been used for thousands of years in Chinese Medicine and for centuries in traditional medicine as a restorative tonic and edible food. I love a big salad with the bitter and delicious leaves of this plant! Dandelion is great for moving the lymph, helping the body’s elimination channels, gentle yet powerful detoxification, clearing the skin, and supporting the liver. And this is only the beginning of what you can do with this amazing plant! Dandelion is readily available in many forms in your local health food store or tea shop, but if you decide to harvest your own, make sure to harvest from a place that you trust has not been treated with chemicals!
Milk Thistle is always my go-to after the holidays. Since we tend to indulge in sweets, fatty foods, and alcohol through the holiday season, it is sure nice to give your body a little love this time of year. Milk Thistle helps to draw toxins out of the body all while protecting the liver. This powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb can help promote digestion and is soothing to the mucous membranes of the body.
Burdock is another great plant ally to help support your body’s natural cleansing functions. This antioxidant powerhouse has been used for purifying the blood, clearing the skin, cooling internal heat, and strengthening the lymphatic system. Burdock can be consumed in many ways. It is readily available in tincture form, found in many teas, and if you can get your hands on some, the fresh roots and young tender leaves can be cooked and eaten. It grows very well in our climate, but beware if you plant this wonderful herb, it spreads like crazy!
Something I really enjoy doing at the beginning of the year is treating myself to an at home facial. Your skin is your biggest organ, so what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it! I like to begin by doing a facial steam. I use our Flora Facial Steam that is packed full of nourishing and hydrating herbs to gently pull out dirt from my pores. After that I love to do a mask! There are tons of great face masks on the market, but sometimes all I want is a little honey. I smooth raw, wildflower honey on my face, leave it on about 10 minutes and rinse to reveal the softest skin! Next, I use an organic toner, witch hazel, or hydrosol to help tighten my pores and remove any dirt the steam and honey may have missed. Finally, I hydrate using an oil-based serum. It feels so good knowing that while I am supporting my internal organs, I am giving my skin some much needed love as well!