Herbal Spring Detox Recipes For Cancer Prevention And Treatment

Herbal Spring Detox Recipes For Cancer Prevention And Treatment

By Patricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG) & Author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians.

Spring detoxification herbs known as spring tonics are used now to cleanse the body during cancer.  Many of the best spring tonics just happen to also be the first wild greens, or weeds, that pop up everywhere. You may have already noticed violet, dandelion, chickweed, yellow dock, nettles and others that herald the arrival of spring.

What these plants have in common is that they gently simulate all of the organs of detoxification: the lymph glands; liver; kidneys; and skin. Think of spring tonics as seasonal house cleaners that scour away toxins and waste from every nook and cranny in the body, making everything fresh and new. 

HOW TO DETOXIFY FROM CHEMOTHERAPY AND REPAIR THE BODY

Some cancer patients embark on a juice fast in the spring as a way to eliminate toxins, but since fasting isn’t appropriate for everyone, tonic herbs are a good alternative. If you’ve been ill recently, have been or are taking medications, or are not able to devote the time needed each day to prepare special foods, you can still reap significant benefits this spring using herbal spring tonics.

Spring tonics should be made into a tea, or infusion daily. To prepare a therapeutic infusion, steep one ounce (by weight) of dried herb, or 2 ounces of fresh herb (gently crushed with a wooden spoon), in 32 ounces (by volume) of freshly boiled water for at least an hour, covered. Strain out the herb and discard. Try to drink 1 quart each day. A one-quart canning jar is perfect for preparing tonic infusions.

Detoxification is especially important for immunocompromised diseases such as cancer Here are a two common spring tonics for you to consider. If you can gather them from an unpolluted place, the wild herbs are the best, but both of the herbs described here are also readily available from herb shops and on-line herb suppliers

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioca) strengthens and supports the entire body. It gently detoxifies all tissues. Considered a blood-cooling herb, it is a specific for anyone with eczema, acne, boils or other hot, eruptive skin conditions. Stinging nettle is a delicious wild green (when cooked) that is rich in chlorophyll, vitamin C, and other vitamins. Use the leaves in place of spinach.

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) is a general tonic that relieves liver congestion. Symptoms associated with liver congestion include migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndrome, breast tenderness, breast cysts, and chronic constipation. The leaves are also a wonderful spring tonic when eaten raw in salads.

Patricia Howell

Patricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG) is a clinical herbalist with more than 20 years experience and the author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians. A member of the Governing Council of the American Herbalists Guild, she is founder and director of the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies, located in the mountains of northeast Georgia.

Learn more at www.wildhealingherbs.com.

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Gentle Spring Detox Herbs

Nettles

Nettles

By Patricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG) & Author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians.

After a harsh winter, signs of spring are finally appearing as the earth turns green again and life seems to burst with new possibilities. Herbs known as spring tonics are used now to cleanse the body and help us move from the contraction of winter into the expansion and growth of spring. Many of the best spring tonics just happen to also be the first wild greens, or weeds, that pop up everywhere. You may have already noticed violet, dandelion, chickweed, yellow dock, nettles and others that herald the arrival of spring.

What these plants have in common is that they gently simulate all of the organs of detoxification: the lymph glands; liver; kidneys; and skin. Think of spring tonics as seasonal house cleaners that scour away toxins and waste from every nook and cranny in the body, making everything fresh and new.

Some people embark on a juice fast in the spring as a way to eliminate toxins, but since fasting isn’t appropriate for everyone, tonic herbs are a good alternative. If you’ve been ill recently, have been or are taking medications, or are not able to devote the time needed each day to prepare special foods, you can still reap significant benefits this spring using herbal spring tonics.

Spring tonics should be made into a tea, or infusion daily. To prepare a therapeutic infusion, steep one ounce (by weight) of dried herb, or 2 ounces of fresh herb (gently crushed with a wooden spoon), in 32 ounces (by volume) of freshly boiled water for at least an hour, covered. Strain out the herb and discard. Try to drink 1 quart each day. A one-quart canning jar is perfect for preparing tonic infusions.

Here are a two common spring tonics for you to consider. If you can gather them from an unpolluted place, the wild herbs are the best, but both of the herbs described here are also readily available from herb shops and on-line herb suppliers.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioca) strengthens and supports the entire body. It gently detoxifies all tissues. Considered a blood-cooling herb, it is a specific for anyone with eczema, acne, boils or other hot, eruptive skin conditions. Stinging nettle is a delicious wild green (when cooked) that is rich in chlorophyll, vitamin C, and other vitamins. Use the leaves in place of spinach.

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) is a general tonic that relieves liver congestion. Symptoms associated with liver congestion include migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndrome, breast tenderness, breast cysts, and chronic constipation. The leaves are also a wonderful spring tonic when eaten raw in salads.

Patricia HowellPatricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG) is a clinical herbalist with more than 20 years experience and the author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians. A member of the Governing Council of the American Herbalists Guild, she is founder and director of the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies, located in the mountains of northeast Georgia.

Learn more at www.wildhealingherbs.com.

 

Read Related Articles & Resources

 

The Simple Pleasures of Chamomile Tea

Chamomile flowers are full of chemical compounds responsible for a wide range of healing actions.

Chamomile Flowers are full of chemical compounds responsible for a wide range of healing actions.

By Patricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG)

Sometimes simple things result in dramatic changes. One of my favorite examples of this is chamomile. One of the most popular herbs in the world, it is found in almost every tea blend sold in the US. It is cultivated in just about every country in the northern hemisphere, and has been used for hundreds of years and for good reason.

With its pleasant aromatic flavor, slightly reminiscent of dried apples, chamomile flowers are full of chemical compounds responsible for a wide range of healing actions. In fact, chamomile is my first herb of choice for just about any situation. Why? Because it gently relaxes the nervous system, something we can all use as we ride the waves of overstimulation in our daily lives. Think of chamomile tea as a way to turn down the volume on stress and it’s damaging effects.

When you experience stress, whether it is generated by positive or negative events, your endocrine system generates a cascade of chemicals designed to help you react quickly. In response you stop digesting, your immune system becomes less vigilant, the muscles of chest and stomach contract to restrict breathing and, well… you get the idea. In time, the over production of stress-generated chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol, will have a damaging effect on just about every aspect of your health.

This is where chamomile comes in. By simply stopping in the course of your busy day to sit down and drink a cup or two of chamomile tea, you can counteract the damaging effects of stress.

Specifically, chamomile gently simulates digestion while it relaxes any tendency towards spasms or cramping in the stomach and intestines. It exerts this same soothing activity on almost every muscle in the body to relieve tightness in the neck and shoulders, low back pain, menstrual cramps, and tension headaches. The volatile oils found in chamomile are anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Pain and inflammation caused by stomach flu, respiratory infection, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, food allergies, gastritis, gastric reflux and ulcerative colitis, are reduced when you sip a cup or two of warm chamomile tea.

And chamomile is extremely safe for children and babies, pregnant or nursing women, and the elderly. So the next time you feel that life is moving just a bit too fast, sit down with a cup of chamomile tea and savor the simple pleasures of this gentle, calming herb.

Photo Source: Proverbs 31 Woman

Patricia HowellPatricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG) is a clinical herbalist with more than 20 years experience and the author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians. A member of the Governing Council of the American Herbalists Guild, she is founder and director of the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies, located in the mountains of northeast Georgia.

Learn more at www.wildhealingherbs.com.

The Magic of Dandelions and Breast Health

Dandelion & Breast Health

Dandelion & Breast Health

By Patricia Kyritsi Howell

When you look out at all those sunny yellow dandelion flowers in your yard this spring, rather than seeing them as a signal to do something about your lawn, I invite you to congratulate yourself for your good fortune. One of the most important herbal remedies for breast health is growing right in your own backyard.

Whether you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, are healing from breast cancer, or just want to have healthy breasts, you need to know about the healing properties of dandelion (Taraxacum officiale).

The seeds of this humble flower are dispersed by the wind. Once they are airborne, they travel vast distances, crossing oceans with ease. Once the seeds find solid ground, they cheerfully thrive in just about any kind of soil. As a result this Mediterranean native is now found on every continent except Antarctica.

Dandelion’s deep taproot is similar to a carrot though paler and much smaller. It’s difficult to eradicate or harvest by simply yanking it out of the ground. Dandelion is target of a well-­‐funded campaign by companies that manufacture herbicides.

In a futile attempt to eradicate dandelions, homeowners are encouraged to dump toxic chemicals onto their lawns. Once these toxins are introduced into the environment, they ultimately find their way into our water and food supplies. These carcinogenic substances, most of which are also estrogen disruptors, are a proven contributing factor in increased cancer rates, especially breast cancer.1

The most effective remedy for treating diseases caused by exposure to environmental toxins is actually the much-­‐maligned dandelion.

Dandelion root is one of the most detoxifying herbs we have and it is hepatic, or tonic for the liver. It improves liver and gallbladder function, which improves digestion and elimination. Most importantly, dandelion root helps the liver clear excessive estrogens and toxins from the blood and eliminate them. In addition, research with alcohol extracts (tinctures) of dandelion root indicates it may prevent or reduce tumors.2 Dandelion extracts also decrease something known as the tumor

necrosis factor (TNK) that causes inflammation and disrupts immune response to increase the risk of developing cancer.

Spring is the best time to gather dandelion leaves -­‐ a nutrient rich wild food with high levels of vitamins A, C, K and calcium that also stimulate endocrine secretions and supports digestion. Drinking dandelion root tea on a regular basis encourages the growth of 14 strains of bifidobacteria that are critical for healthy gut flora.3 When used regularly after taking a round of antibiotics or other strong medications that may disrupt digestion, dandelion root helps restore the digestion. Regular use of dandelion root tea or extract protects the liver from damage caused by pharmaceutical drugs and environmental toxins.

What all of this boils down to is the use of dandelion root and leaf to improve liver function, promote healthy digestion and elimination, and break down tumors, malignant and benign, is well supported by folk tradition as well as modern research. And because dandelion root is a food-­‐like tonic herb, it is suitable for long-­‐ term use. (In some rare cases it may cause a loose stool and it is contraindicated while taking antihypertensive or diuretic medications.)

Who would benefit from dandelion as a tonic or food? Women who suffer from cyclic breast pain and swelling or fibrocystic breast disease and anyone being treated for or at risk for developing breast cancer would be wise to consider dandelion root part of a long-­‐term health strategy. While harvesting dandelions from urban areas is not recommended as they contain toxins generated by air and water pollution, most health food stores and on-­‐line sources have organic dandelion root in various forms. Unlike pharmaceuticals, dandelion works slowly and deeply to bring you into balance. It can, and should, be used for months or even years as part of every woman’s wellness program.

How to Use Dandelion

Dandelion root is available in three forms: as bulk dried herb for tea; as a capsule; or as an alcohol extract or tincture. If you have a source of unpolluted dandelions, spring is the time to harvest them. Get a good sturdy trowel to dig up their long roots. Clean the entire plant and use it to make tea. Or eat the greens in salad. And of course there is always dandelion flower wine!

A Recipe for Dandelion Root Tea

Bulk dried dandelion root may be purchased from mail order sources or your local herbs shop. To prepare dandelion root tea, use 1 heaping teaspoon of dried root, or 2 teaspoons for fresh root (chopped) per 8 ounces of boiling water. Measure dandelion root into a teapot or quart canning jar and cover with freshly boiled water. Cover and steep for 40 minutes. Strain the herb and discard. Drink a half a cup of tea three times a day. The taste is bitter, which many people enjoy, but if you prefer you may combine it with other teas you enjoy, especially aromatics like lemon balm, peppermint or spearmint, and little bit of honey. Store tea in the refrigerator for no longer that two days.

Patricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG) is a clinical herbalist with more than 20 years experience and the author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians. A member of the Governing Council of the American Herbalists Guild, she is founder and director of the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies, located in the mountains of northeast Georgia. Learn more at www.wildhealingherbs.com

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