How To Do An Ayurvedic Cleanse
Do you suffer from fatigue, bloating, constipation, indigestion, heart burn, bad breath or mental fog?
If so, then you are not alone but it’s positive, in that you are being given clear signs that your blood tissues and vessels are clogged. The substance causing the clogging is called ‘ama’, which in Ayurveda is considered the very root of all diseases, be it mental or physical.
Ama is a toxic, sticky substance made up of unabsorbed food particles flowing through your body. When your dosha becomes aggravated by a poor diets, processed or faulty food combinations, negative emotions or an unhealthy lifestyle; the internal fire - referred to as ‘agni’, becomes disturbed which in turn leads to poor digestion.
In Ayurveda the focus is on prevention as opposed to cure and while at this stage, there is disease, it’s not too late to reverse the damage. An efficient way to do this is through a cleansing ritual.
PANCHAKARMA AYURVEDIC CLEANSE
Panch = 5
Karma = Actions
The traditional Ayurvedic cleanse is a 5-step process to eliminate disease and can only be carried out by a qualified Ayurvedic doctor, usually in a dedicated treatment centre. Please do not attempt this procedure without supervision from a qualified practitioner.
While it’s tempting to head off to India to have the treatment, I would personally not prescribe that option, unless you have plenty of time. The body needs time to acclimatise and if you enter a different time zone, temperatures and then immediately go into the full panchakarma, it’s just too much of a shock to the system. Furthermore, traditional panchakarma includes induced vomiting and blood extraction; both of which are banned in UK, and so the treatments here are a little gentler and better suited to our way of living. Regardless of your choice, here’s a little of what to expect.
- Internal oleation – to prepare your body for extracting the toxic Ama, the procedure starts with greasing the tissues from the inside. This usually means drinking warm, liquified ghee butter for the first 7 days of the procedure. A spoon of warm ghee in the morning really helps and I’ve listed below how best to take it based on your dosha.
- External oleation – next we soften the muscle tissue and draw the toxins out by applying oil to the skin. An Ayurvedic doctor would perform full body oil massages to help move the dislodged ‘ama’ towards the the gastrointestinal tract. It only takes skin 540 seconds to absorb oil into bones and blood vessels, so is a vital function of panchakarma and again, of good health generally. I will cover more on oils and usage in future newsletters.
- This is followed by a steam bath, which further loosens the toxins and increases their movement.
- After these procedures, the doctor will assess if the doshas have become sufficiently ‘ripened’ and are ready for removal. Then he or she will select the best route to eliminate the excess doshas and ama from the body.
- These may include:
- Laxative therapy
- Medicated enema
- Nasya (nasal administration of medicine)
As mentioned, in India, your therapy plan would include induced vomiting and blood illumination but not here in the West.
HOW TO DO AN AYURVEDIC CLEANSE AT HOME
If you don’t happen to live close to an Ayurvedic treatment centre or would prefer a little gentler approach, you can still an effective purification programme at home. The steps are similar to those in Panchakarma, just adapted to fit around work and busy lifestyle:
- Internal oleation – for the first 3 days, take 2 ounces of warm, liquified ghee butter to build up a greasy film over your internal tissue, which will prevent Ama from sticking. To balance this step to your body type, add:
- For a Vata individual – add a pinch of salt to the ghee
- For a Kapha individual – add some trikatu (equal measure ginger, Pippli or otherwise known as Indian long pepper)
- For a Pitta individual – just plain ghee will work.
If you’re not sure what dosha – Vata, Kapha or Pitta – you are, please take our quiz to find out.
- External oleation – Next, for 5-7 days, apply warm oil to your skin, while massaging your body from head to toe for 15-20 minutes.
- For a Vata individual – opt for our Surender Oil, which his warming and soothing.
- For a Pitta individual – use our Serenity Oil which is cool and calming
- For a Kapha individual – try our Spirited Oil which is strengthening and uplifting
- After this warm oil massage, follow up with a hot shower or bath, but be sure to leave a little bit of the oil on the skin, don’t wash all of it off.
- During the home Ayurvedic cleanse, every night after supper, but no sooner than an hour after the last meal, take a spoon of Triphala; an Ayurvedic blend of herbs, which you can find in specialist shop, or in our Brain and Beauty Plant Alchemy.
- To complete the home purification process, perform an Ayurvedic medicated enema with dashmoola
During this entire process it’s very important to make sure you get plenty of rest and observe a light diet. Once you’ve completed the internal oleation stage, so days 4-8, eat only kitchari, which is equal measures of basmati rice and mung dal cooked with cumin, mustard seed, coriander and 2 teaspoons of ghee butter).
Be your own healer. Do this simple home Ayurvedic cleanse and take responsibility for your own healing. Notice as you feel lighter, brighter and fall back in love with your life.