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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne & Monroe Counties Michigan

Old-Fashioned Spring Cleanse

The concept of spring cleansing is a very old tradition that comes from many generations before the average person had health insurance or could afford to go to the doctor. It was widely understood that many people got sick from colds and flus around the change of the season, and they practiced the spring cleansing rituals.

Common remedies were cod liver oil, enemas and hot toddies to build up immune systems or fight colds. These were the ways that poor people survived and the first best way of taking care of ourselves and allowing the body’s immune system to do the three things it was designed to do: recognize, respond and remember.

The body is designed to recognize what is and is not beneficial that comes in from the outside. Next, it is supposed to respond to invaders or threats by creating antibodies that will digest, engulf, neutralize or destroy them and remember them so that if they return, they will be repelled again.

There are three things that herbs and natural remedies can do in order to accomplish this, called the ABCs of health. They stand for Activate, Build and Cleanse. We use herbs such as echinacea and goldenseal to activate the immune system in time of need, but don’t use them all the time, just like antibiotics.

Cod liver oil, vitamin C, rose hips even cayenne pepper and super foods build up the immune system to prevent illness and help us recover faster from it. Lastly, we flush the system with water by drinking and irrigating the bowels (enemas and colonics), cleansing herbs such as cascara sagrada, senna and psyllium to move the waste out of the body and assist the immune system in working more efficiently.

Jesse R. Brown, ND, is the owner of the Detroit Wholistic Center, located at 20944 Grand River Ave., in Detroit. For more information, call 313-538-5433, email [email protected] or visit