3 Winter-Appropriate Ways to Detox

ImageChinese medicine holds firm to the belief that in order to be healthy and live a long life, one must live in accordance with the seasons.  The season of winter is a time for conserving energy, cultivating stillness, and above all, staying warm.  Liver cleanses and juice fasts are something to consider in springtime, and if done in this season can actually do more harm than good.  The way to detox in winter is quite different, and in my opinion, much easier. 🙂  This is a list of just 3 things that will make an impact while staying in alignment with the energy of this cold winter.  

1. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that has been shown to improve dental health, support a healthy lymphatic system, and detoxify the blood.  The best oil to use for this is organic sesame oil because of its antibacterial properties.  Oil pulling is very simple, and when practiced regularly will improve overall health.  To learn more about the science behind this visit, www.oilpulling.com.

To oil pull: Place 1 tablespoon of organic sesame oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes.  This seems like a long time and at first it is.  It is easy to accomplish if you do it while in the shower, and getting ready for the day.  Do not swallow the oil, as it is toxic (because it is now filled with the toxins that it pulled from your body).  After 20 minutes of swishing spit the oil out.  Repeat daily.

2. Zeo-force earth clay (or Intestinal Drawing Formula)

These are earth clays from one of my favorite companies, Health Force.  These supplements help rid the body of toxins such as heavy metals, ammonia, and other harmful environmental chemicals.  Both formulas contain the detoxifying earth clay, however, for people who may tend toward constipation, it is more appropriate to use the Intestinal Drawing Formula.  The Intestinal Drawing Formula contains added ingredients that naturally lubricate the intestines and help move stool out of the body.  For those who have regular bowel movements or tend toward looser stool, stick to the Zeo-force.  I am happy to sell these products in house (at Healing Roots @ 11617 W Bluemound Rd Suite 3), and they can also be purchased online: https://healthforce.com.

3. Swap Cleaners

Let’s swap out the toxic chemicals residing under our sinks and replace them with non-toxic, natural cleaners (they still do get the job done 😉 ).  Due to the freezing cold, we cannot live with our windows and doors open, airing out our space everyday.  The air tends to be stagnant, so the best we can do this time of year is to try not to add anything toxic to the air we are breathing everyday.  If you do not want to buy everything brand new from scratch, there are ways to make the cleaners from safe household supplies.  I have found some easy home-made cleaning supply recipes here: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2013/03/13/green-thrifty-cleaning-products/.


“Of all the ele…


“Of all the elements, the Sage should take water as his preceptor. Water is yielding but all conquering. Water extinguishes Fire,
Or finding itself likely to be defeated, escapes as steam and
Water washes away Soft Earth, or, when confronted by rocks, seeks
a way around.
Water corrodes Iron till it crumbles to dust; it saturates the
So that Wind dies. Water gives way to obstacles with deceptive
For no power can prevent it following its destined course to the
Water conquers by yielding; it never attacks but always wins the
last battle.
The Sage who makes himself as Water is distinguished for his
He embraces passivity, acts from non-action and conquers the world.”
Tao Cheng
Eleventh century A.D.

In Chinese medicine, each season has an element that governs it.  The element Water rules the season of Winter.  “Water ascends to fullness in the frost of winter as plants submerge their energy into their roots, animals thicken their hides, and ponds harden into ice.  Movement slackens as matter and energy concentrate.” (Harriet Beinfield, Between Heaven and Earth)  Chinese Medicine teaches that to be healthy, we need to live harmoniously with nature.  To be in harmony with Winter is to behave like Water does in the Wintertime.  It is time to slow down and to cultivate stillness in our daily lives.

The medicinal pumpkin seed




October’s end is fast approaching, yet grocery stores and farmers markets are still supplying mounds of pumpkins.  With Halloween upon us this week and trick or treat-ers come and gone, many of us simply pass on by thinking, “Been there, done that.”  Yet carving pumpkins can yield so much more than just a Jack O’ lantern.  The seeds that we  prepare as a seasonal treat actually have medicinal and nutritional properties.   Pumpkin seeds cleanse parasites from the large intestine and can even expel roundworms and tapeworms.  They can be used for motion sickness and nausea and can also help treat a swollen prostate.  The seeds are a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin E.  There is still time to make the most of what mother nature has to offer us this season, so give those pumpkins a second thought next time you pass them by 🙂 Happy carving!