Six Daily Detox Tips from Ayurveda
Detoxes are so central to Ayurvedic medicine that they're the first step in any treatment you might undertake - be it for acne or depression! The rationale being that all ailments within the body stem from a fundamental imbalance, with toxins often being a leading cause of that imbalance - and hence must be eliminated before any systematic treatment can be effective. Panchakarma is the crown jewel of Ayurvedic detoxes and is pretty intense, to say the very least. Involving therapeutic vomiting and oil enemas (!), this detox should be undertaken under the supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and often involves a 5-7 day (sometimes longer) stay at the facility in question. I love, however, that in the typical Ayurvedic tenet of moderation, there are plenty of daily detox tips that take 2 minutes or less to exercise but can have a huge impact on your beauty, wellness and general health overall.
Here are some of my favorites:
1. Mouth detox: Our tongues can become notorious hot beds for bacteria accumulation if not cleaned properly. Ayurveda recommends tongue cleaning morning and evening, ideally with a tongue scraper (a brush can sometimes push some toxins into the tongue hence a scraper is preferred). When you can, practice oil pulling - this is amazing for your teeth and gums, and a surefire way to really pull deeply embedded toxins out. Swish coconut or sesame oil around your mouth and spit out into a trash can (avoid spitting into the drain!). I do it in the shower to save me time!
2. Dry Brush: Simply the best way to stimulate limbic detox (and fight dreaded cellulite!). Using a vegetable bristle brush, start at the ankles in circular motions moving upwards towards the heart.
3. Start your day with a cup of warm water (bonus points for squeezing in some lemon!): This helps kick your digestive system into high gear and rids the oesophagus of toxins built up overnight
4. Sub in honey for your regular face-wash in the AM for a beautiful face detox. You don't need a ph-disturbing soap wash if you cleansed well at night and honey, with its deeply anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, can deliver hydration and glow. I layer a spoonful on before jumping into the shower - let steam go to work and as the last step in my shower I remove it with a clean, warm washcloth. I then do a quick final rinse with cold water. If you struggle with rosacea or eczema, this might just change your life!
5. Add the following to your daily diet as you can: bran, dandelion root, psyllium seeds, dried figs and flaxseed husk and should be heavily included in the diet during a detox.
6. Finally, try triphala or 1-2 teaspoons of castor oil at night to build bathroom regularity! Triphala is very celebrated in Ayurveda for its internal cleansing properties and is readily available at most health food stores or Amazon. If you're pregnant, I'd recommend avoiding this last detox.