Round about APRIL the sunshine starts streaming in and we break out all the cleaning supplies we can. But internal cleansing during the change of season is just as important! We’ve asked wellness coach Nadya Andreeva of Spinach and Yoga to give us the 411 on cleansing from the traditional Ayurvedic perspective. Enjoy Nadya’s insights here and enter to win a one-on-one consultation to ask her all your diet and nutrition-related questions!
Spring is a natural cleansing season. Once it gets a little warmer, the human organism is wired to shed off extra winter pounds that kept us warm during the winter and flush out toxins that were accumulated from heavy cold weather foods.
If you don’t recognize this natural pattern or worse try to resist it by loading up on heavy foods, it will lead to internal clogging – spring allergies, sluggishness, water retention, heaviness in the limbs, and seasonal affective disorder.
Toxins or, ayurvedically speaking, ama, negatively affect all aspects of our being. If you notice that your tongue is thickly coated in the morning, that joint pain accompanies movement, that your nose feels stuffed even when you don’t have a cold, and that even the strongest anti-perspirant can’t prevent a strong body odor, you body is in dire need of a cleanse. A healthy rested body has plenty of energy throughout the day, a regular digestion, and glowing
No matter how clogged up we feel, the idea of starving yourself to cleanse is a little scary. However, detox doesn’t have to be stressful. All you need to do is to facilitate and support the natural cleansing process and the organs responsible for it. A simple nourishing diet without allergens, lots of hot herbal teas, enough rest, and a few other cleansing practices will allow your body to recharge and rest.
Below are a few ways that you can support the cleansing function of each organ.
6 Tips For Cleansing The Ayurvedic Way
The purpose of a cleansing diet is to reduce the workload of the digestive system by providing easy-to-break down nutrition. The extra energy that will be freed up due to lighter foods can be used by your body to fix and cleanse things inside.
- bitter greens
Add some bitter greens and spices to your daily diet to help out a struggling liver. Bitter taste is universally recognized as strengthening for digestion. Bitter herbs cause a reflexive secretion of gastric juices and tone the muscles of the digestive tract. They also support detoxification by helping the liver process incoming nutrients and filter impurities from circulation.
Try: turmeric, dandelion, goldenseal, gentian, milk thistle, and neem. Dandelion and milk thistle are my favorite as a tea!
- A light dinner
A light dinner is crucial to a successful detox program, since our digestive power weakens considerably in the evening.
Stay tuned for a weekly meal plan I'm sharing with The Chalkboard soon.
- Drink plenty of liquids
To stimulate toxin release try hot water with a pinch of
cayenne, ¼ lemon, 1 tsp honey, and a few drops of apple cider vinegar. This recipe is recommended by the founder of Joyful Belly to boost fat digestion and metabolism. The spicy drink restores energy and vitality by helping the body digest high-fat foods and add an intense metabolic spark that improves energy and enthusiasm.
Cumin, coriander, fennel tea is cooling and soothing for the mind, digestion and urinary tract. Add ¼ tsp of each spice to 2 cups of water, bring to boil and let it cool.
An ayurvedic blend of herbs called triphala can be very helpful. Triphala is a bowel tonic, not a laxative. It tones the bowel walls and helps the colon function at its optimal
level. Ayurvedic texts refer to triphala as an “toxin scraper”; it helps pull toxins out of the intestines and draws them out of the body.
- Break a sweat
To increase the detoxifying effect try sauna, steam room, hot baths, and cardio-induced sweating. Most gyms have sauna and steam rooms that you can use after a workout. If you don’t have access to one, take a hot bath with Epsom salt, ginger powder, and baking soda every night before going to sleep. Run, do yoga, jump, dance, whatever gets your heart pumping!
- Just breathe
In an always in a rush stressed out society our breath tends to be rushed as well. Our lungs rarely get a chance to open up and fill up with fresh air or to completely cleanse from all the stale gases. It takes an effort to let the breath be full and complete. Take a few minutes in the morning to just breathe deeply. Two-to-one breathing—a practice of exhaling twice as long as every inhalation—is a great technique for cleansing the lungs and calming the nervous system.
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