Spring cleaning for your body: 3 herbal teas for detoxification

Spring is just about here which means it is time for spring cleaning and detoxifying our bodies! Herbs like dandelion, stinging nettle and  milk thistle are a great way to support your body’s ability to eliminate toxins.  Try them on their own with a little lemon or honey for taste, or combine them with your favourite herbal teas for some added medicinal properties!

1. Dandelion tea: dandelions appear in the spring and assist the earth by detoxifying the soil.  Why not try a cup to assist your liver and kidneys to detoxify your body?  Check out my post ‘3 things you didn’t know about dandelions‘ for more fun facts about this weed!

2. Stinging nettle: beware of stinging nettle the next time you go for a walk in the woods, topical exposure to this herb can cause a red, stinging rash! But internally, it is useful at decreasing inflammation in your intestines as well as promoting the function of your kidneys because it is a mild diuretic.

3. Milk thistle: this herb is an excellent liver tonic because it helps your liver cells regrow and replenish new cells.  It is not contraindicated with pharmaceutical drug use and can be beneficial for protecting the liver from harmful effects of these drugs.  It has virtually no flavour and can easily be added to other herbal teas.  Or you can be adventurous and add this tea to your homemade ice tea and popsicles for a sweet treat!

Take a moment out of your busy day to enjoy a wonderful cup of tea!

Spice up your holiday drinks with healthy herbs

Last week I was holiday shopping and while waiting in line one of the employees was asking the customers what their favourite holiday drinks were.  I mentioned that I liked mixing hot chocolate and a peppermint tea bag and the lady next to me got really excited and immediately punched it into her cell phone so she wouldn’t forget it.  I thought, if she is so excited about that combination she had to put it in her phone, maybe others would also be interested in my favourite holiday drinks and their herbal medicinal properties.

Here’s my top 3:

#1 Peppermint hot chocolate

Ingredients: Hot chocolate mix and peppermint tea

Instructions: Dissolve your hot chocolate mix as the directions recommend into your mug and add the peppermint tea bag.

Healthy herb info: Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is great for assisting the digestive process, especially when it comes to relieving gas.  Therefore, this drink is great following your large holiday meal!

#2 Apple chai cider

Ingredients: Apple cider and chai tea

Instructions: Heat your desired amount of apple cider by boiling it in a pot.  Either add the chai teabag to the pot or place a chai teabag in each individual mug.

Healthy herb info: Chai tea contains a variety of herbs, the most common being ginger, fennel, clove and cinnamon.  Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) like peppermint are useful in aiding your digestion.  They assist in relieving gas, bloating and nausea, also common symptoms experienced after large, fatty holiday meals.

#3 Cinnamon eggnog

Ingredients: Egg nog and ground cinnamon

Instructions: Sprinkle as much cinnamon as you like into your mug of eggnog and enjoy!

Healthy herb info: Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) also aids in digestion and has the added health benefits of lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugar.

Please share you favourite holiday drinks! Happy holidays!

3 things you didn’t know about dandelions

Dandelions are usually considered a pesky, unwanted and dreaded weed, forever cluttering up our lawns.  It seems the more we pull them up the faster they sprout from the ground!

And even though we know we shouldn’t do it, who can resist blowing at one of those little puff balls and assisting their spread to your neighbours’ lawns?

I sure can't!

Thanks to my friend and fellow naturopathic doctor Sylvi Martin for taking this photo.

However much you might HATE dandelions, you may actually need their ASSISTANCE at some point of your life!

Here’s 3 things you didn’t know about dandelions:

1. You can drink them as a tea!

Dandelion leaves are packed full of good vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, magnesium, and zinc

Here’s everything you need to know about dandelion tea and recipes to make your own dandelion tea!

2. Dandelions can help you stay regular.

Phytochemicals found in dandelion support digestive tract function and have a mild laxative effect which keeps your bowel movements on track.  Going to the bathroom at least once a day is ideal, if you are going less than that you are considered constipated 😦

3. Dandelions are considered the earth’s ultimate detoxifier, and they can also help YOUR body to eliminate toxins.

The leaves support the function of the kidneys which filter your blood, pull out toxins and waste products and eliminates them from your body in the urine.

Dandelion leaves and roots support your liver which eliminates toxins and bodily waste products, makes bile (a substance that helps you absorb fats and nutrients from your food) and makes a healthy balance of hormones.

Next time you’re in the garden weeding out the dandelions, stop and say hello to them because you may need them in the future to help you stay healthy.

FUN FACT: If you can pronounce the latin name for dandelion: Taraxacum officinalis then you are on your way to being a herbalist! To learn more about the taraxacum officinalis species and its medicinal properties visit this great site: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/dandel08.html