Thursday, December 29, 2011

Inexpensive Gentle, Cleansing Herbs

We are heading into the new year and I'm sure many of you feel like me right body could use a little boost and helpful cleanse after eating all those yummy holiday goodies.  There are a few gentle herbs that we use regularly in our family to help the body along in it's cleansing process.  These are dandelion leaf or root, burdock root, milk thistle, and garlic.  To read about gentle cleansing and the wonderful benefits of these 4 herbs, you can read this article.  These herbs are inexpensive and easy to integrate into your day to day routine.

We love to eat garlic in so many dishes, whether cooked or raw, this herb packs a powerful punch when it comes to helping your body's overall health.  We like to eat it raw in salad dressing or salsas, and cooked in just about every dish imaginable (if you do cook it, be sure to mince it well, then allow it to sit at least 10 minutes before eating it, as this will allow it's medicinal effects to remain at optimal levels).  If you are not a big fan of garlic, you can consume this herb in capsule form.
 My favorite way to consume milk thistle is in tincture form.  This means that the herb has been soaked in alcohol to pull out it's medicinal benefits.  Ready made tinctures are quick and easy to take and come with instructions on the side of the bottle.  Milk thistle seed can be difficult to make as a tea and it's properties are often extracted better in an alcohol medium.
 Dandelion is taking in three forms in our home.  I will often buy dandelion greens from our local farm or we get them in our coop.  These are very good when sauteed until soft in a bit of olive oil and accompanied by some minced garlic and onion.  I also used dried dandelion leaves in tea form and the root is made into a decoction (this simply means that it is simmered on low for about 45 minutes, then strained).  These teas can be a bit strong, so be sure to season with some honey as you sip on them throughout the day.  The general rule of thumb when making the teas is one teaspoon of herb in 1-2 cups of water.  I recommend one serving per day unless otherwise instructed by a certified herbalist.

Our burdock root is consumed the same way as the dandelion root.  It too is a strong tea, so be sure to season with honey and sip throughout the day.

As with any herb, I recommend rotating use and not taking them all every day.  These 4 herbs are gentle and a wonderful way to start a gentle supportive cleanse.  You can buy these herbs in their dried, capsule, or tincture forms from Mountain Rose Herbs.  Just click my icon to the right and it will take you to their site.  Be sure to check out their amazing giveaway on their blog!

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