The Spring Immunity Cleanse
What minimal grass has been available has been utterly trashed into the deepest of wallowing knee-high and boot-sucking mud, paddocks have been shut off, and on some livery yards our horses have been kept in for days on end. I’ve even heard of some YOs throwing in the towel this winter. With pretty much the only forage available being hay, well-stocked yards have been running out and having to turn to different suppliers of hay and grass types, which would have put extra stress on those horses whose gut systems have had to adjust to the differing diet.
Yet here we are, with us (allegedly) being on the cusp of Spring. Spring is a season of regrowth and regeneration; for me it’s a season of ‘firsts’ – the first dandelions (last week, yay!), the first blossoms, the first magnolia tree (the house opposite us is in full bud so anyday now!). In the office on Friday we heard the first lawn being mowed, and I swear I heard a cuckoo yesterday. And for our horses it’s time to do the first cleanse, to shake off the weight - literally and figuratively - of a long, cold and very flippy wet, winter.
We don’t need to undertake drastic measures to give our horses’ internal engines a clean-up, because the body, whether horse or human, already has its own amazing, and very sophisticated system, to detoxify itself - as I call them, the 3-Amigos, specifically the body’s filtration system, aka the Liver, Kidneys and Lymph Nodes. However, after a terminally long forever-wet winter, some days below freezing and getting through to the bone marrow, alongside freezing water to drink, significantly less movement, a hay-only diet with fewer nutrients, and lack of sun on the body to create the all-important vitamin-D, there are some awesome herbs to assist the natural cleansing process and rebalance the body.
If you think of the body’s organs as a solar system, the liver is the sun, the primary centre of the body’s natural purification system, and its primary function being to filter toxins out of the blood before they’re sent to the large intestine for elimination out of the body.
The liver is intricately connected to the other organs, i.e. the kidneys, lymphatic system, colon, lungs and skin, which all filter different toxins from the body, which thanks to this horrible winter has been affected by weather stressors and often emotional disturbances.
In addition to being one of the body’s detox organs, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers Spring as being governed by the liver, controlling the flow of qi/chi through the body. Chi, or Prana in ayurvedic medicine, is considered the life force, the vital energy of the body. After the misery of winter, chi is restored and strengthened by a nutritious cleanse, getting back to regular exercise, and getting adequate rest/sleep.
Finally, think of the lymphatic system as the backup cleaning crew for the liver and kidneys. The lymphatic system drains waste from the entire body, including the brain, skin and lungs, into the lymph fluid, which filters itself through the lymph nodes (where the killer cells sit ready to kill viruses/bacterial infections) and finally dumps the waste into the bloodstream for the kidneys and liver to eliminate.
However, although it’s a circulatory system, unlike the heart it lacks a pump to move the lymph, so physical movement, including exercise, massage, and skin brushing, is vital to stimulate lymphatic movement and drainage.
Before turning to supportive herbs for cleansing, we need to remember the importance of a healthy diet – no cleanse or detox is going to undo the toxic damage and metabolic waste that a poor quality, inappropriate diet has caused, and as you all know me and my all-things-feed rantings, those shiny bags making fake promises yet actually only providing CRAP (Carbs, Refined, Artificial, Processed) in the feed merchants does not a healthy horse make.
So with the feedbowl fixed, let’s now look at some of the awesome actions of herbs commonly used for a 3-Amigos Spring clean-up. Alterative herbs, which helps the body alter itself back to balance, are especially important during a detox and exceptionally supportive of the liver’s natural detoxification function.
Often referred to as blood cleansers, herbs such as Dandelion and Burdock are detox rockstars, working to keep the detox channels open and moving so waste and toxins are shifted out of the body. Maybe there’s a reason that the humble dandelion, considered nature’s pharmacy, is one of the first plants to appear in spring despite our waterlogged sun-starved soil.
Which is why … our LKL-CARE (Liver, Kidneys & Lymphatics) organic herbal immunity blend is one of our March 2020 Featured Products with 10% Off.
Happy Spring Cleaning 😊Carol