Ayurveda recommends internal cleansing of the body at regular intervals preferably at the change of seasons so that different srotas (channels) of the body are cleared of the accumulated toxins. As per Ayurveda, the best time for detox is the spring season as the body’s natural cleansing processes are at the highest in this season.
As per the classical ayurvedic process- detox routine has three steps — Prep, actual cleansing and lastly post-cleansing. It involves physiological detoxification like vaman (therapeutic vomiting), virechan (therapeutic stool evacuation), vasti (medicated enema), rakta mokshan (bloodletting), nasyam (detoxification of nasal passage and sinuses).
To understand this in a better way let us first know about toxins. Toxins are of two types:
Toxins generated inside the body due to improper digestion of food i.e. ama. It blocks the circulatory (micro and macro) channels of the body and obstruct the flow of nutrients to that area and to the excretory channels causing different diseases.
Toxins which enter the body from outside like environmental toxins such as pesticides, poisons, preservatives, chemicals, genetically modified food, air and water pollution, genetically engineered foods, synthetics and chemicals in clothing and drugs and toxins from spoiled or stale foods.
Our body is constantly creating toxins. Even if one eats organic food, lives in clean and pure air and absolutely no stress, the body still would produce toxins. Apart from this, we are subjected to lots of chemicals and pollutants from food and atmosphere. Lack of physical exercise and high stress these days let these toxins keep on accumulating- slowing down our one or more systems, blocking different channels, bringing down our immunity, zaps us of our energy levels, making us ill and diseased.
Ayurveda provides us certain guidelines which are useful for detoxification. These must be taken care of while we are on any kind of detoxification diet so that maximum benefits can be reaped.
- Avoiding foods that may create toxins in our body (ama), such as canned food, leftovers, packaged and frozen foods; foods which are grown using chemical fertilizers and pesticides or foods which have chemical additives.
- Eating food which reduces ama i.e. light, warm and freshly cooked food, organic vegetables and whole grains cooked with spices.
- Choosing food as per our body type cooked in a way that it helps regulate our digestive fire.
- Eating only three fourth of the capacity and giving proper time to the body to digest the previous meal.
- Eating a major meal of the day at noon and lighter meals in dinner and breakfast.
- Drinking lot of warm water and herbal tea throughout the day to flush out toxins through urine.
After a detox program, one feels more energetic, lighter on steps, peaceful and happy. It also helps remove digestive issues and heaviness of your body. One should gradually adopt normal routine and eating habits. Heavy foods should be added to the diet slowly. Naturally intelligent foods such as organically-grown fruits and vegetables, whole grains etc should be taken.