Spring Cleaning: Inside & Out
Posted Mar. 23, 2014, 8:52 am
Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist
We are all ready for rebirth, newness, and spring cleaning! Here are some healthy ways to think about spring cleaning, inside and out.
Spring Into Health
Spring is the season of awakening. Cultures throughout history have instinctively cleansed themselves and their living environments upon the annual arrival of spring for two reasons. First, there is a natural need to cast off the winter blues and feel renewed. Second, according to Chinese medicine, the liver and gall bladder are most active in the detoxification process during spring.
To strengthen yourself against spring illnesses, the 5,000-year-old Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine advises you to rise early and go to bed early, dress for cold mornings and evenings, stretch and exercise, and express your feelings freely.
Spring is a good time to undertake a liver-cleansing fast or practice other liver-cleansing activities, supervised by your natural health advisor. Here are a few things you can try to clean yourself from the inside out:
1) For your detox diet, eat more beans, brown rice, oat bran, vegetables, fruits, and organic chicken or turkey.
2) Make a detoxifying juice from aloe vera, apples, asparagus, beet greens, cabbage, carrot greens, celery, cucumbers, parsley, and turnips.
3) Make a vegetable broth from the following items: collards, Swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, cabbage, dandelion, Brussels sprouts, daikon radish, watercress, seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, cilantro, garlic, leeks, fennel, anise, ginger, and turmeric.
4) Squeeze one lemon into 12 ounces of hot water. Drink this first thing in the morning after waking.
5) Take a soak in an herbal bath. To help draw out toxins, take a 20-minute bath daily with infusions of eucalyptus, wintergreen, peppermint, fennel, cinnamon, and epsom salts.
Ancient Taoist Masters believed the body could be totally cleansed and purified by nourishing and strengthening the liver system. Some herbs that can give the liver an added boost include the following.
1) Schisandra berry has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to protect the liver and sooth emotional anxiety.
2) Dandelion cleanses the liver and helps release built-up anger. Drink as a tea or take in capsules.
3) White peony root is a Chinese herb often used to sooth the liver and balance the mood.
4) Rose petal tea is thought to calm the emotions and help eliminate toxins by cleansing the liver and gall bladder; simply add the petals to tea or look for rose tea bags.
Most of these herbs are included in my formula made to nourish the liver and the gall bladder called Internal Cleanse. This formula increases the ability of the liver to cleanse the body of internal and environmental pollutants or toxins. It also balances the nervous system and calms the mind.
Household Spring-Cleaning Tips
When preparing for a spring-cleaning, choose safe, natural cleaning products that will not pollute the environment. Seeking longevity means protecting ourselves from unhealthy products. Remember that household cleansers containing bleach or chemicals are harmful to inhale.
If you do not have an all-natural cleaner like the Ionator, which cleans with ionized tap water, you can try cleaning with products you may already have in your home. Diluted vinegar is an effective cleanser in the kitchen and bathroom, and will work for tiles, windows, toilet bowls, mirrors, and even carpets. The acetate acid in vinegar also helps inhibit bacteria and mildew.
Try this: mix one cup of distilled white vinegar with one cup of water and use it just like any other cleaning product. For jobs requiring a bit more elbow-grease, avoid chlorinated powder and scour with baking soda instead.
An important part of cleansing your house of the old, stale energy is cutting back on the clutter. Simplify your surroundings. Clear out any unnecessary belongings and give them to charity. You will be amazed at how eliminating clutter can decrease stress and open up positive energy in your environment.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine, and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter, visit www.taoofwellness.com.