Spring Cleaning for Athletes means Root Beer

down goes the thermometer book cover

Just about the time spring rolls around, I often notice my performance beginning to lag. Winter’s a tough season on the body. Between the flu and cold season challenging our immune systems and the relative lack of fresh vegetables as well as fresh, warm air, it’s no wonder so many of us feel sluggish and heavy by the time the trees are beginning to bud. Even if I’ve done a terrific job of eating right and exercising regularly through the dark months, I like to take the opportunity each spring to cleanse my body inside and out.

Spring cleansing can include a fast and colonics and the whole, intense experience of deep cleanse systems, but I’ve never quite gotten into all that. Instead, I like to make my cleanse a luxurious experience. Root beer is one avenue to that end.

In ages past, before commercial soda factories spoiled their brews with artificial flavorings and sweeteners, folk brewed their own root beers both as medicine and as food. Roots such as sarsaparilla, sassafras, licorice, dandelion, and burdock were combined with birch bark for their blood cleansing properties in tonic beers, usually sweetened with honey and allowed to lightly ferment.Sioux_City_sarsaparilla_bottles

Beyond cleansing the blood, including clearing the kidneys and circulatory systems, homemade root beers offer antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, liver support and clearing, improved digestion, and even and weight reduction.
Licorice and dandelion in particular help to clear the liver and digestive systems. Burdock root helps clear the skin while offering nutrition and antioxidants. Birch helps your body digest more, reducing your overall cholesterol and helping with weight loss.
Your joints and internal organs will also benefit from the anti-inflammatory power of burdock and sarsaparilla roots while your lungs and respiratory system will enjoy the sassafras. Sassafras helps clear the lungs and eliminate any excess mucus that may be lingering from recent illnesses as well as boost energy by supporting the hormonal system.

Adults and children alike can benefit from a good, old-fashioned root beer, just be sure not to drink too much!

Try this:

Make Root Beer Syrup. Take two tablespoons in a cup of water or sparkling water up to three times a day.


Make a decoction using equal parts Dandelion root, burdock root, Sassafras root, Sarsaparilla root, and Dandelion root, and Birch bark with half a part Licorice root. Take a half a cup decoction with half a cup water up to three. times a day…Sparkling water or mineral water will give you that old-timey soda fountain feel.


Make a tincture blend using equal parts dandelion root, burdock root, sassafras root, sarsaparilla root, and birch bark with half a part licorice root. Take one to two droppers in a cup of water up to three times a day.

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