Editor’s note: Wellness Word is an informational column which is not meant to replace a health care professional’s diagnosis, treatment or medication.
Why Cleanse in Spring?
Never before in human history has the human body been faced with such an onslaught of toxins. Man-made chemicals, plastics, solvents and fake foods are putting a lot of pressure on our natural detoxification system. The good news is our bodies are designed to come in contact with toxins and designed to remove them. Modern life seems to have pushed things over the edge.
In my study of Ayurveda, I found an answer. Ayurveda is the living and affordable healthcare system from The Vedic Texts. This ancient system is designed to bring about the return to a natural state of balance, vitality and total well-being of body, mind and spirit. It is known as the medicine of the people because it is simple to use with proper guidance and education by utilizing everyday resources accessible to the masses
Ayurveda teaches that through seasonal cleanses, utilizing diet and daily practices, we are able to open the channels that helps to release toxins we come in contact with in modern day life. The system also teaches that most toxins in our bodies are actually produced inside our body, as a result of poor digestion.
We can’t control the fact that the glass company down the street has been poisoning our air for years or that diesel fuel, plastic bottles and synthetic perfumes are spewing out xenoestrogens all the time but, if one of the main sources of toxins in our body is produced inside of us due to poor digestion, then it is largely under our control.
There is no denying something is going wrong inside of us when we are plagued with gas, bloating, heartburn, chronic constipation, loose stools or just fatigue and malaise. It seems to be a sign of the times to have digestives issues. In Ayurveda a great deal of focus is on increasing the digestive fire and removing accumulated toxins through diet, daily practices and seasonal cleanses. Ayurveda teaches how to improve the ability to digest and detoxify with simple means.
Some examples are
• How we eat – No rushing, multitasking or gulping of food.
• What we eat – The most important question you can ask yourself when choosing your food is: Can I digest this food? Choose easy to digest food when in doubt.
• When we eat – Timing matters. Between 10 am – 2 pm is when digestive fire is strongest. Eat your largest, most difficult to digest meal midday when you have your best chance of digesting it well.
• Where we eat – Sit down and enjoy your present company when eating. Be in a receptive state when eating as your goal is to receive nutrition.
Next is removing the build-up of toxins that have accumulated from undigested foods putrefying in our body. We do this by utilizing seasonal cleansing practices. The Ayurvedic method excels at teaching practitioners how to reset the digestive system and how to reset fat metabolism though gentle food cleanses.
Spring is the most beneficial time of year to cleanse. During winter months, our body needs heavier foods and healthy oils to endure cold weather. In spring, we should eat what nature provides…bitter roots, sprouts and leafy greens. These alkalizing foods stimulate the body to drain stored toxins and excess mucous built up over the winter. The bitter and pungent tastes of spring are all about circulation.
Aging is about accumulation, so get things moving and circulating in spring. Start your day by drinking hot water with a sprinkle of mineral salt and a squeeze of lime. Dry Brush your skin before your shower, it great for exfoliation and increasing circulation. Drink warm purified water with electrolytes throughout the day, but avoid drinking fluids with your meals
Spring is a great time of year for an Infrared Sauna. Fill your diet with living foods like bitter roots, leafy greens, sprouts, apple cider vinegar and kimchi. Don’t forget about Dandelion tea and soup. This “weed” is one of the best for supporting liver/gall bladder and the lymphatic systems ability to detox.
Did you know Dandelion was brought over to this continent by American settlers as a medicinal plant? Dandelion is a hardy plant that is a powerhouse for natural cleansing.
Susan Bass is a Registered Ayurvedic Practitioner, Nutritional Consultant & Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist. 503.208.2716. TheArtofDigestion.com