THE WHY, HOW, AND SUCCESS TIPS FOR LIVER CLEANSING
Whoo Dooooogie! I’m again in the midst of a full moon liver cleanse...YeeeHaaa!
During the week of the full moon of March, my roommate Lauren and I supported each other through a liver cleanse. It was intense because the three days before and after a full moon, there is more gravitational force on the body, which enhances any kind of cleanse. Lauren & I felt so great afterward physically, mentally, and emotionally, that we decided to do another liver cleanse this month!
Cleansing alone can be done, as I have done many times, but for many people, having support is key for successfully seeing cleanses through to the end. Since doing several cleanses with Lauren over the past 6 months, I now feel that anyone who attempts any kind of cleanse should have some kind of support.
What's new and exciting is that Jen McKracken, proprietress of Yoga Center Morro Bay, has asked me to help lead her friendly yoga community in group cleanses each spring and fall. When she asked me to do this, I immediately felt very excited, and deeply honored. Helping people heal themselves and bring vitality and energy back to their being, is one of the greatest paths of service I can think of.
Several weeks ago, just after spring equinox, Jen and I led the first group of 14 local yogis in their choice of either a colon cleanse or a candida cleanse. Most participants chose to do the colon cleanse, and some people did both cleanses at the same time! I love that everyone was inspired and motivated by hearing Jen and I talk about our cleansing strategies and experiences at the first meeting, and then after the three week program, everyone was delighted to hear each other’s experiences. One important thing we learned, is that everyone is biochemically different, as the group had the whole gamut of results and stories to tell. Also, Jen and I had allowed everyone take their cleansing as deeply they wanted to, either cleansing gently or deeply. This approach is best, I believe, as with diet and lifestyle it’s all about what’s best for the individual. We’re all excited, to say the least, for the fall group cleansing program at YCMB. Anyone can call or email me to request that we lead whatever kind of cleanse they’d like us to coach...Wow! Group Support AND Customized Cleansing, all in one high-vibration location!
At home, Lauren and I are deeply inspired when we cleanse together. We encourage and support each other to keep cleansing through the toughest parts of the cleanse. Also, cleansing together is easier because we’ve shared the workload of making the liver flush drinks together each morning, and stockpiling potassium broth to sip throughout the week, and the bitter, liver-cleansing teas. We’ve celebrated our spiritual epiphanies during cleansing together, as well as our practical new ideas about how to make the cleanse easier the next time. I feel truly blessed to be living in community with someone on the same healing foods path.
Here’s the why of cleansing, the details of what we experienced, and some words of warning...
As a safety precaution, the colon is the very first organ you’ll ever want to cleanse. Why? Doing so creates a clear pathway for toxins to leave the body when you decide to do a liver cleanse, or a kidney/bladder cleanse, etc. During any kind of cleanse, toxins are dumped into the colon so that they can be excreted. If you have a caked-up colon from years of eating the standard American diet and you try to do any kind of cleanse, toxins will be broken loose and just circulate around and around in your blood causing headaches, joint pain, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and intense mood swings. For those coming off the Standard American Diet, colon cleansing is one of the most important first steps on the road to vitality. Lauren and I started the year off with a full moon colon cleanse in January, and then we did our first liver cleanse in March at the spring equinox, which also coincided with a full moon - Yeee Haaa! Throughout the wheel of the year, the spring and autumn equinoxes are the very best times to cleanse. When the seasons change, is when the body naturally wants to cleanse.
Why all this cleansing? Lauren says she feels toxic since the holidays, and that although she's done many different "whole body" cleanses over the course of her life, she'd never done a liver specific cleanse. The liver and colon tend to accumulate toxins from everywhere, and then they start to loose their ability to keep our bodies free from toxins. For me, even though I eat a 90% whole foods diet, which is in itself gently cleansing, I’m prone to infections. When I told my dear friend Josephine Laing about this problem, she pointed me to Dr. Schultz’s herbal cleansing formulas/programs. Josephine told me that she had read that certain bacteria (ones that cause recurring infections) can take root in the liver and also in the kidneys and bladder, and that a series of cleanses (two per month for 5 consecutive months), would kick them out of my system for good. It feels like such a relief to know that there’s simply some deep cleaning that needs to happen in my body...I’m relieved because I’ve done both liver and kidney/bladder cleanses before, and I know that I have the discipline to do them again.
Okay! Here’s what’s involved in the week-long liver cleanse:
1) eat minimal fats and zero eggs, meats, or dairy for one week (and God forbid you touch any wheat, sugar, or anything refined), OR simply fast on liquids for the strongest cleansing effect
2) drink a potent liver/gallbladder flush drink each morning
3) drink strong, liver-cleansing tea throughout the day
4) drink potassium broth or spirulina mixed with water or juice when feeling hungry
fresh vegetable juice (especially juiced beets, beet tops, and dandelion greens) always adds to the effecacy of a liver cleanse
Fruits and vegetables of all kinds are allowed on this cleanse, preferably raw or juiced. So, late spring/summer during the warm weather is the ideal time to attempt most cleanses because 1) fresh produce at farmer’s market is totally abundant, and 2) because raw fruits and vegetables are cooling to the body (it’s easy to get chilled while cleansing), so the warmer weather helps one not end up feeling too cold while cleansing.
Depending on how deeply and effectively you want to cleanse, the diet during the cleanse can be anything from a liquid diet of teas and fresh green juices, or a raw food diet of just fruits and vegetables, or you can simply eat a whole foods diet with minimal fats and zero animal protein. I like to make the most of my cleanse, so I go for the fasting, liquid diet. This is easiest for me because I’ve found that my hunger subsides by day two or three if I don’t eat solid foods.
Whenever I’ve felt weak or depleted, I’ve mixed up a heaping teaspoon of good quality spirulina powder (a cleansing yet building superfood) into some water or juice to bring my strength back. You can live on spirulina, by the way - it has everything the body needs. Also, the last two times I’ve done this liver cleanse, I’ve made a big batch of potassium broth at the beginning of the week, so I could warm it up and sip it whenever I felt hungry. Potassium broth takes hunger away immediately, and replenishes the body with valuable minerals so it can keep functioning well.
How will you feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually during and after the liver cleanse? You’ll probably feel hungry in the beginning, and possibly weak, tired, and depleted throughout the week, but you’ll also experience random bursts of high energy, and serious bouts of delirious laughter (which is SO much fun!). If you fast for the strongest cleansing effect, as I have done, you could feel weak in the knees, flushed, slight twinges in your adrenal glands, and shaky at times. If you start to feel this weak, back off on the liver cleansing tea and re-build your strength with a teaspoon of spirulina powder stirred into water or juice in the mornings. You’ll also want to be aware that your emotions may bubble up at extreme ends of the spectrum, as physical cleansing can often bring about emotional cleansing. Thank goodness for those bouts of delirious laughter! And by the end of your liver cleanse, you’ll have a slimmer waistline, a lighter step, more luminous skin, sparkling eyes, and a sharper mind. You’ll be taking deeper breaths, and feeling more evolved in many ways...I usually feel ready and inspired to take the next step toward reaching my highest potential.
Yes, most types of cleanses are well worth the effort, and I welcome your calls or emails if you’ve any questions at all.