Time For A Spring Cleanse? Ayurvedic Summer Detox Tips
When spring arrives, all the cold and frozen water in the ground begins to melt, the snow that has fallen during the winter in the high mountains begins to flow like rivers towards the towns, results in the heat of the sun.
Spring season is followed by the winter season, in India it can be called from March, April and May, this season ends in the form of the summer season. In India, people do not fully enjoy this season because of the warm atmosphere here.
As the season changes to summer our body, face the changes from cold and frozen temperature to hot climate which increase the Kapha dosha in us.
Therefore, some typical Kapha discomforts are seen at this time of year begin to manifest, for example:
- You have digestion problems of any kind
- You have intense cravings for very sweet or very salty foods
- You feel tired almost all day, even in the mornings
- You lack energy in general
- You feel melancholic and somewhat depressed
- You feel a subtle and undefined malaise that prevents you from spending your days with joy
- You have accumulated a few extra pounds
- You feel the heaviness of body and mind
- You have excess mucus, allergies, phlegm or congestion in general
You may have one more of all the imbalances we have mentioned. You may also have them to a greater or lesser degree because it will depend on what your birth constitution or Prakriti is and how you have looked after yourself during the year.
If you do not know which is your constitution of birth you can do a test of your Doshas. For all these reasons spring or so-called summer in India is considered the best time to do a detox or cleaning process. Since it helps to cleanse us of all the toxins accumulated during the winter so that they flow out of our body like the rivers towards the sea.
You can choose the duration of days of your fast according to your needs and the capacity of your body to support the process. You can try to fast 1 day, 3 days, 5 days or more up to 21 days, but for fasts of more than a week it is good to have the supervision of a specialist.
Health benefits of fasting
Cleansing in Ayurveda way will help you detoxify your body from the imbalances of the 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and eliminate them through the digestive tract. Among its benefits, you will see some of the below changes.
- It will help calm the nervous system.
- Promote clarity and spiritual aspects in you
- It will give you an improved sense of energy, vitality, and enthusiasm for life.
- Support the maintenance of a healthy body weight
- Promote a regular and balanced elimination of toxins
- It will help you recover your natural balance
- Prepare tissues for deep nutrition
- Will rejuvenate you inside and out
Why We Eat Kitchari for Cleansing?
Sometimes we may feel a sense of heaviness or some other sign that our body may be intoxicated. The Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that offers essential nutrients to support the digestive system in its detoxification and cleansing process, which will help us feel lighter.
It is an ideal food for those people who have the little digestive capacity and a lot of accumulation of Ama (toxins). It is hot and energizing, it helps us to recover the digestive fire ( Agni ), to balance the 3 Doshas and to improve the practice of Yoga.
It is a well-known recipe and used in purification processes during seasonal changes (especially in spring). It can also be consumed as a mono-diet. It is a sattvic meal, recommended within an Ayurvedic lifestyle It is also ideal for children and the elderly, or those who are in periods of convalescence.
It is an intermediate stage between illness and health, during which the body gradually regains vitality and health since it is easy to digest compared with other legumes. This dish is made with mung beans (moong dal), basmati rice, spices if you want you can add seasonal vegetables (according to the constitution), and ghee (or clarified butter).
Mung beans are notable for their high protein content (25 g per 100 g), fiber and carbohydrates, as well as their low-fat content. It is rich in B vitamins, including B1, B3, B6 and particularly folic acid (B9). It is also rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, calcium and selenium.
How to Make Kitchari?
Here is a simple Recipe of Kitchari that can be made easily at home.
- 1 cup basmati rice.
- 1/2 cup of mung beans or split red lentils.
- One teaspoon of Ghee.
- Spices according to your preference (ginger, turmeric, fennel seeds or cumin).
- A handful of chopped cilantro leaves.
- A little salt (optional).
- Thoroughly wash beans or lentils and rice.
- Melt the Golden Ghee in the pot and add the spices.
- Add the rice and beans or lentils together with 6 cups of water and bring to boil.
- After boiling, let cook over medium heat until the vegetables are cooked (approximately 25 minutes).
- You can incorporate the vegetables you want during cooking or apart at the end.
- When serving, add the coriander leaves over the Kitchari.
Fruit fasting for healing
Another option to the traditional Ayurvedic cleansing is to try a fast based on fruits or juices for the same duration, choosing the fruits according to your constitution or the dosha that you have more unbalanced. Some recommendations are:
- Vata: grapes, pineapples, plums, mangoes, papayas, oranges, kiwis, strawberries
- Pitta: red apple, coconut, red grapes, melon, pomegranates, pears
- Kapha: apples, blueberries, peaches, pear, plums
Ayurvedic herbs to remove toxins from the body
Additionally, you can accompany your fast with Ayurvedic herbs that will help you boost the detoxifying and rejuvenating effect:
1. Triphala churna
It is one of the most recognized formulas in Ayurveda to cleanse and detoxify the colon and digestive system. If you suffer from constipation, bloating, gas, bad digestion, take 2 capsules or 500 mg to one gram per of Triphala at night before going to sleep will be of great help.
An Ayurveda formula designed especially for cleaning liver and kidneys. These organs are essential for the detoxification of our body and often some failure of them leads us to feel various discomforts.
So if you think something in them is not working well this is the ideal time of year to give them a little help. For a correct liver and kidney cleansing, you can take Parsley juice in the morning.
This medicinal plant can provide chlorophyll, a vegetable substance that, in additional have antiseptic properties, and offers us a large number of antioxidants to optimize renal function.
This plant helps us to calm the nervous system, it gives us clarity and peace of mind, it takes away the bulging and heaviness of the mind so typical of this season.
A fresh juice of 10-20 ml or Brahmi powder dose of 2–3 grams at night before bed you can rest better and wake up with an open mind in the mornings.
During fasts of mono diet, either with kitchari or fruit the idea is not to eat another type of food. Taking infusions of Brahmi juice during the day will help us in cleaning and purifying through the urine.
Beside this Tulsi infusions are also perfect for this, they are digestive, anti-stress, lift the mood and balance the metabolism. If you are taking anxiolytics, you must speak with your doctor before to see if you can or not to take Brahmi.
Note: Before fasting take advise of doctor if you are extremely weak or convalescing from a disease, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding.