When gentle spring breezes start to blow, it's time for spring cleaning — not only for your house but for your body, too!
Toxins tend to accumulate all year round, due to improper digestion and high levels of stress—not to mention the chemicals in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the foods we eat. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, toxic build-up can eventually manifest as a health disorder. And as we grow older, the body's mechanisms for eliminating impurities tend to be less efficient, making it even more important to cleanse every season.
This is especially important during spring (ideally, in March). Why? Biologically, nature supports cleansing of the body in spring. During winter, the digestive fire is high, and people eat more sweet and heavy food. Most of the time, they aren't able to assimilate these hard-to-digest foods, so ama (the sticky, toxic product of incomplete digestion) starts accumulating. When warmer spring temperatures melt the snow, impurities within your body also start to liquefy, flooding the microcirculatory channels (shrotas) that carry nutrients to the cells and waste away from the cells. When these essential channels get clogged, it can leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and toxic. A spring detox may be just what you need to feel fresh and energetic again.
Detoxifying in spring is an important part of the ayurvedic seasonal routine, called ritucharya. And the good news is — you don't have to go to a health spa to detoxify. Here's a complete plan for cleansing at home using a detoxifying diet, lifestyle habits and herbal formulas. All three aspects work together to loosen toxins and help them flow out of the body through the natural elimination systems of skin, urine and bowel.
As your body is releasing toxins, it's also important to help the purification process by getting more rest. Sleep at least eight hours a day, go to bed before 10:00 p.m. and rise before 6:00 a.m. to keep your microcirculatory channels clear of toxins. But avoid sleeping during the day, as that will clog your channels and prevent toxins from flowing out.
Maharishi Ayurveda recommends that you continue following the same detoxifying diet and lifestyle for one week after the herbal cleanse is completed. Take time to gently ease your body into your regular diet and lifestyle. Give your body a chance to adjust gradually. This is actually the most important part of the entire cleanse, to avoid overloading your digestion with heavy foods after the cleanse.
By the end of your spring cleanse you should be feeling lighter, healthier and more energetic. You may notice that your joints are freer and you may even have shed a few pounds.
In order to prevent toxic build-up after the cleanse is over, you'll want to make sure your digestion is running smoothly on a regular basis. Follow the ayurvedic guidelines for healthy food preparation and avoid food combinations that create toxins (see section below).
Gradually, consider adding the traditional Ayurvedic herbs that support respiratory health. Protection Plus Respiratory System contains 26 herbs that act synergistically to protect the lungs from respiratory problems. This formula separates ama from the Shleshaka Kapha, the subdosha related to joint lubrication and body fluids, making it easier to cleanse the lungs. It also cleanses the channels of ama and nurtures, lubricates, and restores balance to the lungs as the impurities are dissolved, supporting the body's natural immunity.
You can also drink a warm, immune-supporting tea such as Sniffle Free Tea twice a day, with your meal or after it. The herbs in this thermogenic tea will help balance Kapha immediately. If your head is feeling heavy or congested, you can also use Sniffle Free Aroma oil to help create balance and clear the sinuses.
Maharishi Ayurveda identifies certain food combinations, called "incompatible foods," that are known to cause toxins. Avoid combining the following foods.
Avoid combining with alcohol, fermented foods (such as apple cider, soy sauce, vinegar), citrus fruits, pickled foods, eggs, baked goods containing eggs, green leafy vegetables, meat, fish, salt, salty foods, or yogurt.
Avoid combining with milk, sour fruits, melons, fish, starches, cheese or bananas.
Avoid combining with other foods in general, and especially grains, starches, fried foods, and cheese.
Avoid combining with milk, yogurt, melon, fruit, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant.
Avoid combining with dates, raisins and bananas.
VEGETABLES OF THE NIGHTSHADE FAMILY (POTATO, EGGPLANT, PEPPERS)
Avoid combining with yogurt, milk, melon and cucumber.
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