We are marching into spring. Today is one of the best days as we get more sunlight to enjoy longer days and more sunsets, yet we lose an hour or two of sleep. To know me is to know I preach the importance of a good night rest. Go to bed earlier to adjust the rhythm of your body and energy to the change of the season.
You can do as much cleansing, juicing, and detox, but the role of sleep is foremost in cleansing our system.
How? You may ask.
A good night’s sleep clears our mind. Studies have shown that the space between brain cells increase during sleep. This allows the brain to flush out toxins build up during waking hours. During sleep, a plumbing system called the glymphatic system opens, letting fluid flow rapidly through the brain.
The glymphatic system helps control the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to clear out toxins faster. Accumulation of these toxin molecules can create brain disorders like Alzheimer disease and neurodegenerative disorders.
During deep, restful and sufficient sleep, toxins are cleared out faster. So make sleeping 7-8 hours as part of your cleansing program, and more hours for children and if recovering from illness.
Getting acupuncture, Tuina massage that rocks the spine which we do here, fire cupping on certain points loosens these toxin molecules to flush out from the body as well.
Some herbs to help with sleep:
A hot soothing drink before bedtime can help bring sleep. The perennial plant valerian has a mild sedative action and is available in a variety of forms. Steep 1 tablespoon of the dried root in 2 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes, add honey to taste and drink 45 minutes before retiring.
Honey alone can be made with lemon and drink 45 minutes before bedtime.
Lily flowers is another tea that can be made. Use 30-40 grams in boiled water and add honey to taste.
Chamomile tea, use 1 teaspoon of the dried flowers to 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 5 minutes.
Other herbal formula combinations below are sometimes used. I usually dose this according to age, weight, body constitution and pattern discrimination. In Eastern Medicine, herbs work better, complement each other synergistically and safer when combined together at an appropriate dosage, compared to taking an individual herb in a big dosage.
Chuan Xiong, Rhizoma Cnidii: Encourage the flow of Qi while improving blood circulation. Pharmacologically, has a hypotensive and vasodilating effect and is an antispasmodic.
Ban Xia, Rhizoma Pinellia: Remove dampness, accumulations, swelling and soothe the stomach. Pharmacologically have antiemetic and sedative effects.
Ren Shen, Panax Ginseng: Calm the internal spirit while soothes Qi. Pharmacologically, increases the resistance of the body to stress by acting on the pituitary gland.
Suan Zao Ren, Zizyphi Spinosi semen, Jujube seeds: Soothe the spirit and heart, nourish Yin. Pharmacologically, has a sedative effect, inhibiting central nervous system, and as a hypotensive effect.
Dang Gui, Radix Angelicae Sinensis: Considered as female ginseng, it nourishes and supplement, is a blood tonic and helps quiets the heart.
Customing herbal formula is one of my favorite thing to do. Growing up, I would sit with mom and grandmother to make herbs and cook them in clay pots. Now in modern time, we have many options. No longer do we need to only rely on strong herbal decoction, herbs are available in capsules, granules, and tinctures. These are easily digestible and without any strong smell :).
Herbs are an important part of my treatment plan. I stock most and take great pride in my custom formulas. Come see me to get a herbal plan.
Enjoy Spring and as always,
Sending you much joy and good health.