Late winter, early spring every source of media start pumping out news about the latest spring cleanse and fad detox plan. Yes by all means once a year do a full on detox but NOT for the reason we see it plastered all over magazine covers (a flat belly). No; instead do it for you! For all the reasons the body needs a good clean out.
A total detox can be a horrible experience when we eat and do what we want the rest of the year! Cleansing the body that quickly will leave you feeling exhausted, sick, achy and encourage skin eruptions before you start to feel good, real GOOD! Why put the body and mind through this annual torture? If we add in some key plants to daily meals they will help to keep the system clean so that the “spring total” does not leave you drained.
Red Clover Blossoms – Bright and fresh these little “weeds” are quite tasty and pack a load of nutrients. Used throughout history as a blood purifier and lung tonic, we now toss the pretty little heads in salads to aid digestion and help keep cholesterol in check!
Calendula Flowers – This bright, summery, edible flower has been used for centuries to calm and soothe the digestive system. A skin tonic it can be used topically to soothe minor burns, stings and rashes or internally by cleansing the liver and kidneys.
Lavender Flowers – Perhaps my favorite of all the edible flowers this is a staple in my house for too many reasons! Flowers and leaves can be used fresh or dried. Benefit from Lavenders antibacterial, antiseptic and stress relieving properties by sprinkling some over salads, use in baking (lavender shortbread…yummmm), and add to lemon water for a refreshing drink! The leaves of this fragrant herb can be used in place of rosemary in most dishes; thus leaving you no reason not to enjoy this delicious summer flower.
Spearmint Leaf and Peppermint Leaves – Great for easing digestion troubles, calming the stomach and taming headaches. These fragrant leaves have unlimited uses. My picks: mint water, chopped into a wrap, finely diced and sprinkled over strawberries, fresh leaves muddled into hot water for and after dinner tonic…the list goes on!
Dandelion Leaves – The leaves of this sunny flower have been reputed to settle digestion, prevent gall stones and purify the blood among other folklore. One thing for sure is that 100 grams of leaves provide a little more than 500% of the daily recommended value of vitamin K. Wow! Add in the vitamins A, B’s, C calcium, iron, potassium and flavanoids; the question becomes why aren’t we eating these daily? Add the greens to salads, toss them in a stir fry, or sauté with a bit of garlic and olive oil.
With summer in full swing it’s easy to find these yummies in markets and your own backyard! Adding a few of these to your weekly meals will help to keep the body clean and in great working order so that the springtime cleanse is not so rough. 🙂
Soothing Summer Salad Recipe:
- 1 cup Dandelion Leaves
- 1 cup Baby Spinach
- 1 small head Butter Crisp Lettuce
- 2 sprigs sliced Mint
- 1 cup mixed flowers (Red Clover, Calendula, Lavender, Violets or any others you like)
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
- Tricolor Pepper to taste
In a large bowl toss greens together. Squeeze the lemon over the salad and drizzle with olive oil. Season with fresh ground pepper to taste.
Up next: Funny things you find in your Summer CSA and what to do with them!