Ayurveda Guidance on How to Detox
Everyday we deal with stress, pollution, frequent changes in weather, and sadly - different types of unhealthy, processed foods. This causes rapid accumulation of toxins in the body. Although some natural detox does occur in our body on a daily basis, our bodies are often not able to flush out all the toxins completely and effectively.
Ayurveda - the 5000 year old science of highly efficacious natural medicine - can help. An Ayurvedic detox addresses the relationship between the body and the environment, and can help neutralize the impact of our - often inadvertent - poor dietary and lifestyle choices by optimizing the body’s natural ability to detox. As our digestive systems get congested over time, our bodies reach an imbalance, causing numerous mental and psychological ailments such as indigestion and bloating, weight gain, anxiety, depression, acne, or low energy levels.
This Ayurvedic, wholly natural, detox will help you remove impurities from the body, reset your digestive system, balance your blood sugar, and revitalize your energy levels, all of which will also have a profound impact on your mental and emotional well-being.
- (Room temperature) H20 is the Way to Go!
Water is one of the most vital parts of our diet. Keep yourself hydrated at all times by drinking lukewarm, or room temperature, water instead of ice cold water (which impedes our agni). Agni, our digestive fire, helps our bodies digest what we eat, and when that fire is hampered, our body has a difficult time digesting food and breaking down toxins. Aside from being vital to good health, this Ayurvedic remedy of staying hydrated also helps even skin tone and balance our natural biological rhythms. We suggest starting out the day with a glass of lukewarm lemon water in order to help metabolize your breakfast, keep your digestive tract moving and loosen toxins. Add the juice of half a lemon to warm water, mix well and add a dash of honey if you need!
- You are what you eat
What you eat affects both your physical and psychological well being. A simple vitamin and mineral rich diet will stimulate a healthy digestive system and balance in the body. Eat fresh, seasonal foods from the local market. These light foods will strengthen your agni. Avoid empty calorie foods, oily fried foods, overly salty foods and follow your body’s natural urges for sustenance to balance your blood sugar. Not only will this fight irritability and anxiety, but it will also help ground your focus. Spices like cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and black pepper can also help flush out your digestive system and aid your liver detox. Fennel can help with uncomfortable stomach bloating. Herbal tea filled with antioxidants can also help your body get back into balance. Cleansing herbs you can try include milk thistle, red clover and coriander. Throw in a few dandelion leaves to help with liver detox and balance blood sugar levels!
- Tongue Gunk Begone
Aside from brushing our teeth and flossing on a daily basis, be sure to give attention to your tongue. Not only is it a main detoxification pathway, but the tongue is also a sure sign of whatever digestive ailments may be plaguing you. A thick, unpleasant coating on your tongue is a sign that ama, or digestive toxins, from undigested food is in your digestive tract. Use a tongue scraper (or just your toothbrush if you can’t get your hands on one!) every morning before brushing your teeth to scrape off the accumulation of toxins from the night before. Start from the back and slowly scrape your way to the tip of the tongue using 7-14 strokes. This will scrape away bacteria, toxins, and get rid of bad breath! Tongue scraping also stimulates digestion by activating salivary glands and improve your sense of taste.
- Take it down a notch
An Ayurvedic detox is a holistic practice, promoting balance and cleansing in both the body and mind. When you are upset, stressed, or angry, your body temperature increases. A constant body temperature is crucial for the mind body connection to be healthy and in balance. An overworked mind can also lead to fatigue, insomnia, irregular menstrual cycles and that dreaded weight gain! After a long day of multitasking and rushing around, sit down in a comfy chair and take some time to meditate, relax, and reflect. Maybe open up a journal and jot down some thoughts. A foot soak can do wonders for better circulation, relaxation, and better energy levels. Yoga and meditation can also reduce stress and relax an overtaxed mind. Try some of these simple yoga poses to get yourself started!
We hope these natural and powerful solutions will help shine some light on how to detox the Ayurveda way, and be the beginning of an understanding of Ayurvedic medicine and therapy. Many of Ayurvedic remedies and medicine rely on an understanding of your Ayurveda body type (or your “dosha” - which can be one of vata, pitta or kapha) and choosing the right diet and lifestyle for your dosha. Here is a handy guide to determining your Ayurvedic body type.