Spring Liver Cleanse ! and Wild Greens Pesto

 

home-greatest-lifeWhat do Kale, Dandelion greens, Watercress, Parsley, Nettles, Broccoli Rabe and Mustard greens have in common? They are all green super foods that strengthen and purify your blood, boost your immune system and cleanse your liver and gall bladder. They are readily available, some, in your own back yard.

Right now, nature is "preparing" for Spring. The earth's energy that has been resting is beginning to move upwards through the Earth's crust. This movement is the unstoppable impulse that fuels the growth we experience in Spring. Since our own physical rhythms are in synch with nature's rhythms, our body-mind is undergoing a similar "preparation" and just like a garden or Spring project require some planning, this "preparation" requires our attention and some know-how.

In the wisdom of Chinese philosophy, the energetic movement within the earth and our bodies that relates to the seasons also relates to a pair of organs. The liver and gall bladder are the organs associated with the energy of Spring. We are coming out of Winter when we are more housebound, tend to exercise less and eat denser food for warmth. This can create sluggishness and congestion, particularly in the liver and gall bladder.

The liver is our most important organ of detoxification. To a large extent the health of our liver determines the health of our entire body. Liver congestion and exhaustion interfere with all vital functions. At an emotional/mental and spiritual level, the liver is associated with the third chakra/energy center, where our sense of self resides and gives rise to sel-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect. It also provides the physical and energetic foundation for the heart, fourth chakra, where our body, mind and spirit are integrated.

So...just like we clean our house, we need to Spring clean our body-mind-spirit. Mother nature provides us with super-greens to help us do that. Many of the greens that pop up in early Spring and are considered weeds are packed with nutrients to help our bodies adjust to Spring energy by flushing out toxins and replenishing minerals. Let's focus on one that is proliferious in Spring, the bright and resilient Dandelion.

Michelle Dirks

Dandelion Greens

It's said that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. This definitely applies to plants. When we use a whole plant, the benefits far outweigh what we get by using a part.

Dandelions are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamin A, C, E and K, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper. They are especially beneficial for the liver/gall bladder and for flushing out toxins. Every part of the plant can be used. Collect the leaves before the familiar yellow flowers emerge to ensure the least bitter taste, and gather the flowers once they turn yellow. Never collect wild plants from chemically treated lawns and gardens.

Benefits Of The Dandelion Plant:

Liver Cleanser: It helps to clean the inflammation and congestion of the liver and gall bladder.

Diuretic: A natural source of potassium making it a safe, gentle diuretic.

Immune Support: Rich in antioxidants that help fight infection and speed wound healing.

Healthy Skin & Gums: A good source of vitamin C, which supports collagen formation, the foundation of youthful skin and healthy gums.

How To Use The Dandelion Plant:

Leaves: These supply all the major antioxidant vitamins including C and E. Steam, sautee with garlic and olive oil, use in pesto, slice finely and add to salads, use in juicing, smoothies and teas.

Flowers: Dandelion flowers contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron and other nutrients. The colorful petals contain antioxidants, which help to lower blood pressure and boost immunity. Take the petals apart and add to salads, or make tempura with the whole flower, also great as a tea.

Roots: Pick up some dandelion root coffee at your health food store and use it as a caffeine-free coffee substitute. Dandelion roots have antiviral properties and contain a probiotic that encourages healthy gut flora. Spring roots can be chopped finely and used in soups, stews, stir-fries and teas.

All the greens mentioned earlier are great added to soups. Every Spring, my grandmother would pick fresh nettles and make a delicious nettle soup that served as a great liver cleanse.

As science is catching up to old wisdom, we see medical magazines toting the medicinal benefits of Dandelion greens. Watch for them in your local health food store, farmers market and your back yard.

Spring Liver Cleanse

Dandelion

If you would like to do a

liver cleanse

here are a few things

you can do.

Mild Liver medicineconvention.com Cleanse

  • Instead of thick soups, have brothy soups with slivered and diced spring greens, scallions and or chives.
  • Dandelion greens tea, milk thistle tea or milk thistle seed extract are also good.
  • Add Spring greens to your green juices a few times a week.
  • Bitter herbs stimulate the liver and bile flow.

Medium Liver Cleanse *Drink once or twice a day for a week.

  • Squeeze the juice of one lemon or two tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice into a glass of pure water.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of pure water with 1 teaspoon of honey.

Strong Liver Cleanse *Do this only if you are in good health

  • Wash an organic lemon thoroughly and cut it into 4 pieces (yes, you are using the rind too). Blend it with one cup of pure water and add a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup if desired. Begin this on a weekend so you can assess your reaction (it may send you to the bathroom rather quickly). Depending on your reaction drink once a day or a few times a week for a week or two.

Wild Greens Pesto

Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of walnuts or roasted pumpkin seed
  • One of the following combinations:
  • 2 cups of super greens, 1 cup of basil, 1 cup of parsley (chopped)

1 cup basil, 1 cup parsley

1 cup basil, 1 cup fresh dandelion greens

1 cup basil, 1/2 cup parsley. 1/2 cup nettles or watercress

  • 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds (high in magnesium, folate, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamin B6)
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or umeboshi vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon (optional)

Preparation:

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor except for the olive oil.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil at a time while processing for about three minutes until you get the desired consistency.

Enjoy!!! Michele Dirks