Spring Cleanse? Let’s Clear Up Some Misconceptions

fresh fruits
Eat a healthy diet all year long and you’ll have less need to cleanse in the spring.

Finally, the wait is over and spring is here. People seem to be extra conscious about their health and fitness this time of year. It makes sense—who doesn’t want to look good in their summer vacation pictures?

But there is a deeper reason to pay attention to your health now. In Ayurveda, when the seasons change, especially in spring and fall, it’s the right time for cleansing.

In spring, the earth and water elements (represented by Kapha dosha) get vitiated. This is one reason we get mucus, sinus, and respiratory problems this time of year. Ayurveda recommends diet and lifestyle activities that are opposite in nature to Kapha, which is heavy and watery. So being active and losing weight in spring makes perfect sense.

Is Detox Suitable for You?

Before we embark upon the fancy world of detox, we need to understand exactly what we want to achieve, and furthermore, if we’re even ready for it. For example, somebody who does not have a good amount of physical strength should not undertake any intense cleansing protocols. In fact, whether or not you do should depend upon your individual constitution. Ayurveda suggests that every individual is a unique entity and thus their dietary, lifestyle, or cleansing needs will be different too. So before blindly undertaking a detox, take a step back and think if it is really suitable for you.

Do You Detox Daily?

People sometimes opt for extreme detox programs hoping for a great miracle to happen overnight. But if you neglect your diet the rest of the year, a one-week cleanse won’t be very beneficial.

Our body does cleanse itself on a daily basis. If we pay a little attention to our bodily functions each day, the need for a spring or autumn detox will be basically minimized.

Apparently, constipation is a huge problem in modern life. Our diet is rich in refined carbs, fat, and protein and low in fiber, minerals, and other vital nutrients. And sadly, we have replaced water with carbonated drinks. Simply adding more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and other fiber sources into our meals will help keep our bodies regular.

Ayurveda considers our digestive system to be the root cause of every imbalance. If your digestion is disrupted, it is very likely that you’ll suffer from other imbalances as well.

The Power of Water

My single Ayurvedic tip to everyone is “please start your day with at least 15 to 20 ounces of warm water.” This one action alone can take care of your daily and yearly need to detox.

The most important quality of water is that it cleans. Be it our clothes or our kidneys, water takes away all the toxins. So drinking enough water on a regular basis is essential.

For many of us, coffee is the first liquid of the day. And coffee has always been associated with being regular. While coffee might help, water does a better job. If you drink a good amount of water first thing in the morning, it will serve many more purposes than coffee does. Then, if you want, make coffee your second drink.

Happy spring, and happy cleansing!

Dr. Gyawali is an Ayurvedic physician and Assistant Professor of Physiology at MUM. Email myvaidyaji@gmail.com.