In traditional Chinese medicine there are several herbs and techniques used to aid the spleen. The spleen makes up part of the lymphatic system and is responsible for renewing our cells and eliminating toxins from the body. Unless badly damaged, the organ will actually repair itself, but a cleanse serves as an excellent way to support spleen health and functioning. The two main goals of a cleanse are to make the spleen's job of self-repair easier and to directly cleanse the spleen through traditional herbs and healthful behavior.
Supporting the Spleen
The most important step you can take to promote a healthy spleen is by adopting a nutritious diet. By avoiding foods that cause the spleen to overwork, it's free to focus on self-repair and cleansing. Whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables require very little from the lymphatic system. By sticking to a diet of unprocessed ingredients, you allow your spleen the time and energy it requires to purge itself. In general, avoid foods that are highly processed and difficult to break down, including processed sugars, red meats and bleached grains. Fast foods and high-sugar foods of any kind are extremely taxing to the spleen and should not be eaten during a process of spleen cleansing. Be sure to drink plenty of water during any cleansing process. Six-to-eight cups of water per day is recommended. Also, the acids present in fruit juices are helpful in cleansing the lymphatic system. Cranberry juice—pure cranberry juice, not the more commonly sold cranberry juice cocktails that contain large amounts of processed sugar—mixed with water is especially effective during a spleen cleanse.
In traditional Chinese medicine echinacea is closely associated with the spleen. It is also linked to general-purpose immune-system support. Astragalus has been used by the Chinese to support the spleen for centuries. Wild indigo root encourages lymphatic flow and cleanses the lymph of damaging microbes, which will ultimately aids the spleen. These herbs often come in pill form or, if purchased raw, can be made into teas and tinctures. As with any medicine, take care to always follow the recommended dosages—even herbal remedies can be dangerous if taken in excess.
The lymphatic system bathes the cells of the body in a fluid called lymph, which carries away bacteria and toxic-waste products. Along with a healthful diet, supportive herbs, and plenty of fluids, the best way to support this system is through regular physical activity. Blood flow to extremities and an elevated heart rate will encourage the flow of lymph, making the spleen's job easier and allow it to maintain a salubrious balance.