By Amanda McQuade Crawford
While your stomach rarely gets credit for anything other than your appetite, your digestive system plays an important role in your health.Â This vital bodily system is responsible for both absorbing nutrition from the foods we eat and expelling the wastes and toxins we create.
Learn how cleansing can improve everything from digestive efficiency to the strength and function of your immune system!
Understanding the Cleanse
The center of your physical body is actually outside of you. Huh?! Well, the digestive tract, from the mouth to the other end, is like the inside of a donut: it is a surface that interfaces with the environment outside of us.Â Admittedly, it is a lot more sophisticated than the inner surface of a donut.Â We have digestive linings rich with cells that sense chemicals, temperature, delicious food, healthy flora, nasty germs, and a whole lot more.
Our lives depend on the anatomy of the digestive system with all its special structures, from the nerves in our tongues that translate tastes into bodily reactions for healthy metabolism, right down to the sensation of fullness that prompts our civilized stroll to the nearest facilities for sanitary excretion.
Clearing away Winterâ€™s Excess
Loading up on starches, sugars, fats and proteins during colder, darker, winter days may have helped our distant ancestors. But today we can use the prompt of the New Year to give the old organs a much-needed vacation.
Just a little rest, a mild cleanse — a manageable pushing of the â€śreset buttonâ€ť â€“ is all our body asks of us at this time of year. Like rebooting a computer system, this internal â€śmachineryâ€ť of stomach, liver, spleen, and intestines just craves a little â€śspaceâ€ť to package up wastes and ship them out.
It is easy to do. Giving our guts the gift of a cleanse does not mean we have to lay about, weak as starving creatures. No, the simplest way to feel on the top of the world is to use natural plants that gently turn on the â€śself-cleaning optionâ€ť on the digestive furnace that burns our daily fuel.
All Natural Cleansing
Soothing plant combinations in powder mix readily with water and go down the hatch, scouring away at build-up, activating immune response to organisms that donâ€™t belong, and securing these â€śinternal bordersâ€ť with healthy gut flora.
If this cleanse is the only item on your list of New Year resolutions, it can kick-start weight loss, pain relief from inflammation, or a clear complexion.
The skin is a mirror of whatâ€™s in the guts: when we give a week or two in January to â€śgood housekeeping,â€ť our reflection in any mirror shows us at our best in plenty of time for Valentineâ€™s Day.
For your own sense of happiness, regardless of others, clear those bags under eyes or the worry about needing breath mints. Be the healthier you that the rest of us are waiting to greet.
About Amanda McQuade Crawford, M.A.
Amanda McQuade Crawford, M.A. is an herbalist and clinical psychologist practicing integrative health care in Ojai, serving Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
Amanda is an invaluable resource when it comes to natural health remedies, and has authored several popular books on the subject, including The Natural Menopause Handbook, Herbal Remedies for Women and more.