Spring is a season for renewal – the perfect time to reset from a long and cold winter. When it comes to our supplement routine, I highly recommend changing things up to focus more on our lung health & liver– two important organs for detoxification and overall health. Especially since spring is the start of allergy season, increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients can go a long way towards natural relief.
Respiratory health and allergy support
This is nature’s anti-allergy medication. Vitamin C can help to stabilize mast cells in the body, which are responsible for histamine release (think sneezing, congestion, hives and itchy, watery eyes). It is best taken in divided doses (two or three times per day) and should be started before allergy season arrives.
This ancient anti-inflammatory golden spice is a powerhouse. Not only does it reduce inflammation that causes congestion (think stuffy nose) but it is also an antioxidant protecting our brain, cardiovascular system and more! You can choose to eat turmeric in spice form, normally 1 tbsp per day is suggested, but it is hard to absorb. Be sure to pair it with a pinch of black pepper and some healthy fat to maximize how much your body will use. Taking it in supplement form is best with food.
Post-winter liver reset
Dandelion is a herb traditionally used to support liver function. This is especially important when we change seasons or have had a period of overindulgence (winter comfort foods anyone?). Although you can prepare dandelion in several ways (sauteing it like other greens or in a capsule form), my favourite way to incorporate it is in a tea. Some versions use roasted dandelion and this makes an excellent coffee substitute. Be sure to buy organic and steep your tea bag in hot water for at least 10 minutes for more benefit.
Officially known as Silybum marianum, milk thistle is nature’s liver tonic. There is almost nothing this plant can’t do when it comes to your liver. Whether it’s reducing your toxic burden (from overconsumption of medications, caffeine or alcohol) or protecting your liver from infections like hepatitis, it’s a superstar antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. With all of these benefits its no wonder milk thistle has become a staple ingredient in many supplements in recent years. Although it is not usually recommended to be taken long-term, spring is a fantastic time to consider adding it to your routine for a month or two. As always, when buying herbs look for quality brands and organic labels if possible to ensure you are getting the pure herb.
*NOTE* Both dandelion and milk thistle are members of the asteraceae family of plants (along with others like daisies, chamomile and ragweed). If you have an allergy to this group these should be avoided.
Need customized support for your health concerns? Make a virtual appointment with a naturopathic doctor who can help you determine what your body needs most in order to feel its best.
Dr. Laura Belus is a Naturopathic Doctor that focuses on detoxification and hormone balance for weight loss, stress management, and greater energy. She believes in making simple, yet powerful, changes to diet & lifestyle habits that create lasting results. She practices in Mississauga and Toronto.