BY BONITA CAROL
We don’t hesitate to change the oil in our automobilesevery 3,000 miles. Failure to do this simple maintenance routine can destroythe engine or shorten the life of the car. For the human body, it’s just as important to keep it tuned up through regular purfication or detox programs.
According to Ayurveda, the ancient East Indian science of maintaininghealth, our bodies are divine vehicles that need seasonal “oil changes” tomaintain properly running systems. When the body is thrown out of balance becauseof a crazy schedule, harsh diet, or emotional challenges, the digestive systemis compromised and toxins called ama are produced. Without this timely purification,fatigue, headaches, skin problems, colds, allergies, mental fog, muscular aches,and depression can set in.
Biologically, nature supports cleansing the body in the spring. Whenthe warm weather melts the snow, this same warmth also opens the channelsin the body, allowing impurities to flow out. But the volume of toxinsmay be so great that the channels of the body become clogged.
According to Dr. Rama Kant Mishra, a leading authority on Ayurvedic medicine,detoxification is multifaceted. It means not just isolating the physicalbody, but also taking the person’s mental and emotional state intoaccount. Because of this, it is important to have some guidance and supportfrom an experienced health professional for the maximum effect.
Dr. Mishra points out that there are many levels of toxins in the body. “Iam seeing more damage from detoxification than from the actual toxins,” hesays. In addition to ama, which clogs the nervous system, Dr. Mishra saysthere is also something called amavisha—ama that begins to moveto deeper tissues of the body, causing disease; garvisha—ama fromingestion of heavy metals, pesticides, and antibiotics; and IndravajrabhjenyaVisha—electromagnetic toxins from computers, cell phones, microwaveovens, and electrical overload.
Many clinics use heavy castor oil and senna for detoxification, but accordingto Dr. Mishra, this extensive purging causes damage to the system. “Thereis a saying in North America: ‘no pain, no gain.’ These purgativesare like Drano to the colon, yet many believe it is good for them. Interms of purification, this is absolutely false,” he says.
Whenever highly acidic toxins like amavisha and garvisha are releasedfrom the liver and fat tissues, they can destroy the friendly bacteriain the colon. In addition, if the channels are blocked, the toxins arereabsorbed back into the liver and colon, creating more problems.
“Detoxification should be holistic in nature,” says Dr. Mishra, “notjust focused on one aspect. It takes a special nutritional program toprepare the body for detoxification to ensure the channels of eliminationare not damaged. We gradually clean the intestinal walls a little biteach day until gradually you bind the toxins.”
Four-Week Spring Detox
The following is a gentle detoxification procedure from Dr. Mishra. Itopens all large and small circulatory channels, evacuates unwanted material,rejuvenates the physiology, and relaxes one mentally and emotionally.
Drink 1 liter of Spice Water each day. This clears out deposits of amafrom deep within the tissues and cells without harming the channels.It also helps to reduce acidity.
Boil 2 quarts of water and pour into a thermos. Add:
1/4 teaspoon marshmallow root (not the confection)
1/8 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1 pinch DGl (deglycerized licorice)
1/8 teaspoon Indian sasparilla
1 whole clove (crushed)
2 mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon Arjuna (an herb) or 1 tablet crushed (optional, for emotionalsupport)
Let the spices and herbs steep for 30 minutes. Drink 1/2 cup of the water eachhour throughout the day. Drink warm or room temperature. Don’t eat thespices. Discard after 6:00 p.m.
Make Spice Water fresh each day.
Include Detox Soup in your lunchtime meal.
1/4 cup tapioca pearls
1/4 cup white daikon root
1 cup zucchini, yellow squash, or Lauki
1 tablespoon whole organic coriander
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaf
1/8 teaspoon kalonji seeds (optional, or substitute fennel)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 quart pure water
Salt to taste
Fresh lime juice
Gently boil all ingredients, except the lime juice, to a well-cooked consistency.Remove from heat and squeeze lime into the soup. Eat only at lunch time.
Drink this digestive beverage between lunch and dinner using the followingproportions.
40 percent fresh papaya
40 percent fresh sweet pineapple
20 percent soaked prunes or figs
Add a little water and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency.
Triphala is a highly regarded supplement that you can take to rid thebody of ama. You can take it for several months—or for a lifetime.Take 1 or 2 tablets at nighttime with a glass of warm water.
Clay to Remove Impurities
Apply a pure clay such as Moor, green French, or Ayurvedic to the skindirectly above your liver for five minutes a day (morning only), thenrinse off in the shower. The clay draws out impurities. You can also applyclay all over your body for a total mind/body rejuvenation.
During this time, avoid heavy, cold, salty, and oily foods, such as icecream, cheese, fried foods, sugar, cold yogurt, and tofu. Include coriander,cumin, turmeric, and fennel in your diet, along with clarified butteror ghee. Favor fresh fruits, organic vegetables, whole grains, legumes,and sprouted almonds. If you need caffeine, green tea is recommended.
Exercise each day, and avoid daytime sleep.
Panchakarma (an intensive Ayurvedic detoxification and elimination treatment)is recommended only when your pH level is at least 6.5. Then the bodycan safely do a deeper level of cleansing. The above tips should helpprepare for it.
Bonita Carol is a licensed massage therapist and certified panchakarmatechnician by Vaidya Mishra. Reach her at (641) 472-2804 or Bonita@lisco.com.