If the excesses of the festive season have left you feeling sluggish and lethargic, the New Year is the perfect time to detox.
Here’s how herbal medicines can help.
Why detox in the New Year?
Over the holiday season, many people tend to eat more than they otherwise would.
They swap their usually healthy diets for increased quantities of foods such as meat, dairy products, sugary foods and refined carbohydrates like bread, biscuits, cakes and chips – often accompanied by increased consumption of alcohol.
With their high fat, sugar and carbohydrate content, these types of foods are not easily metabolised (especially when eaten in large quantities) and can add to the load on your digestive system, leaving you feeling sluggish, bloated and heavy.
Chinese Medicine says excess leads to Dampness
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), eating and drinking to excess in this way may also contribute to excess Dampness in your body, often accompanied by excess Heat and/or stagnation of the Qi (life force energy), especially as it affects the Liver organ-meridian system.
The resulting symptoms may include digestive difficulties, fluid retention (especially in the legs), weight gain, skin problems, and musculoskeletal aches and pains.
Australian summer humidity a problem
These issues may be particularly problematic during the peak of the Australian summer, because high humidity levels can further contribute to an excess of Dampness.
Switching to a lighter, cleaner, more nutritious diet that’s based on fresh fruit and vegetables and is more appropriate for our hot, humid climate may reduce the load on your digestive tract and give your body the chance to process and excrete any wastes and toxins that have accumulated over the holiday season.
Herbal support for your detox
In addition to changing your diet, it may also be beneficial to take detoxifying herbal medicines, especially those traditionally used in Chinese medicine to release toxins from the body, clear Heat and resolve Dampness.
For example, Asian Dandelion (also known as Pu Gong Ying) has traditionally been used to enhance detoxification and aid liver function, bile flow and fluid retention. It may be especially useful when chronic inflammation or minor skin conditions such as dermatitis are present.
Similarly, Rhubarb (Da Huang) has laxative actions that promote bowel movements, helping to clear wastes from the colon and relieve constipation.
Other Chinese herbs traditionally used to clear Dampness, Heat and toxins include Phellodendron (Huang Bai) and Baical Skullcap (Huang Qin).
These herbs are often taken in combination with Western herbs with synergistic properties, such as Barberry and Pau D’Arco, both of which stimulate immune system function and have anti-infective actions, helping to reduce microbial toxicity.
If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, suffering from a chronic health problem (including a history of substance abuse or exposure to toxins), taking prescribed medicines or in your senior years, do not undergo a detox program unless advised to do so and monitored by your healthcare professional. Detoxing is also unsuitable for babies and children except on professional advice.
Mr Vitamins recommends
Fusion Health, premium quality Australian-made supplements that combine the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine and the science of modern Western herbalism, including:
- Fusion Health Detox: A convenient all-in-one detox formula containing herbs traditionally used to promote the elimination of wastes and support liver, kidney, bowel and skin health.
- Fusion Health Liver Tonic: Combines Milk Thistle with traditional Chinese herbs that support liver and gall bladder function, detoxification, and the elimination of wastes.
- Fusion Health Probiotic Advanced: A dairy-free blend of clinically tested probiotic strains to help maintain healthy digestive function, improve bowel movements and restore balance to the microflora of the intestines.
Have you been eating and drinking too much over the festive season? If so, it might be time to detox your body so you can start the New Year feeling fresh.