Offering an alternative approach to health and wellbeing, independent nutritional and naturopathic researcher Irene McCabe and medical herbalist Nikki Biddiss of A&M Eagleshams Herbs & Natural Remedies in Cresswell Street, Glasgow, offer help and advice using the healing power of plants.

Should I think about doing a spring and summer detox?

Medical herbalist Nikki Biddiss:

Our body naturally detoxifies itself every day. The key organs responsible for the processing and removal of waste products are the liver, bowel, kidney, lungs and skin. A healthy body is capable of eliminating waste products, while a balanced diet is less taxing on the system.

There are a number of herbs traditionally used as spring tonics which are mildly diuretic, nourishing and bitter which will stimulate digestive juices to flow and improve digestive systems which have become sluggish over winter.

Dandelion, commonly known as "pee-the-bed" due to its diuretic action. Its leaves are a source of vitamins and minerals and the young leaves can be used in salad or drunk as a tea.

Nettle - if you can avoid being stung as you pick it (wear gloves), the fresh green leaves are a valuable source of vitamin C and iron and can be cooked and eaten like spinach or made into a nutritious soup.

Cleavers are stimulating to the kidneys and the lymphatic system, this herb helps drain away metabolic waste, clearing and cleansing the skin. Like dandelion, it can be cooked and eaten with other greens.

While Burdock root has mild diuretic and laxative actions and is traditionally used in digestive complaints or to help clear eczema or acne. Dandelion and Burdock are often combined as a drink.

And dried herbs are available from the shop to make into herbal teas. If they taste too green for your palette, you can add lemon or lime juice, honey or some freshly grated ginger.

Consult a herbalist or health practitioner before following any advice if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have underlying health issues.

Naturopathic nutritional expert Irene McCabe:

Spring and summer are the ideal months to detox and awaken the body's cells after the slumber of the winter months.

Some fad diets promote unsafe practices such as extended fasting or eating one type of food exclusively for an extended period of time.

Naturopathic diets provide a safer method combining a detox routine with techniques such as skin brushing, Epsom salt baths or hot and cold showers can help the lymph detox impurities from the cells more efficiently.

If you are new to the idea, adding a juice to your daily routine provides a daily detox and nutritional boost that has huge benefits and is a great step towards preparing your body for a periodic detox.

Try to drink this juice within 20 minutes of preparing it if you can. If that's not possible, add the juice of half a lemon and stick the juice in a flask for later.

Experiment with your own juice recipes and vary the contents. A basic juice to get your started could include a handful of kale or spinach (energising), one stalk of celery (helps balance salts), quarter of a cucumber (B vitamins) and a piece of fruit of your choice.

Add to this some of our Super Greens Powder (£22.99 for 200g) which contain chlorella, spirilina, wheat grass and barley grass for a big energy boost, plus some chia or flax seeds, which help you obtain beneficial essential fatty acids, turmeric (helpful for inflammation) or some Solgar Whey Protein Powder which is a natural amino acid complex to helps build muscle tissue in a natural way.

Add a small bottle of water to this mix for crucial hydration and you are good to go.

Complementary therapy is not intended to replace the advice or treatment offered by your GP. In all cases before visiting a therapist your GP should be consulted.

Nikki Biddiss is a medical herbalist, aromatherapy massage therapist and stress and wellbeing coach. Irene McCabe has been an independent nutritional researcher who practices allergy and intolerance testing (using kinesiology and homeopathy), advanced clinical hypnotherapy, and from June naturopathic nutrition. She is the owner of A&M Eagleshams Herbs & Natural Remedies (formerly Napier's Glasgow) at 61 Creswell Street, Glasgow. Consultations are available, call 0141 339 5859 or visit