PREPARATION FOR SELF-DETOX
I. Follow the Detox Diet
1. Avoid ama-producing foods. In general, you'll want to avoid foods that produce ama, such as leftovers and dead foods such as packaged, canned and frozen foods. You'll have to stop coffee, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, protein, sugar, wheat, and dairy, as this will make your detox easier and more thorough. You'll also want to avoid foods that create garvisha, such as non organic foods, foods grown with chemicals, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and foods with chemical additives. Stay away from nightshades, which are tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers and eggplants.
2. Eat ama-reducing foods. Favor vegetarian food that is light, warm, cooked and digestible. Avoid heavy dairy products such as cheese or yogurt (although lassi is good); foods that are fried or oily; raw foods of any kind; heavy desserts; and foods with refined sugar and honey as these are harder to digest and create ama. Avoid yeasted breads and dry breads such as crackers. Freshly made flat breads, freshly made soups and dhals, organic vegetables cooked with spices, and freshly made grains are ideal.
Certain fruits, vegetables and spices are especially helpful in detoxifying, so you'll want to favor them during detoxification.
Fruits: cooked prunes, figs, apple, pears, pineapple and papaya.
Vegetables: cooked leafy greens, brussel sprouts and cabbage.
Grains: quinoa, barley, amaranth, rice and kanji (rice water.)
Spices: ginger, turmeric, coriander, fennel and fenugreek. These spices help open the channels up and support the flow of toxins from the skin, urinary tract, colon and liver.
3. Choose foods according to your body type or imbalances.
4. Drink plenty of hot water throughout the day. This will flush toxins out of the body through the urine. Or better still, choose a detoxifying herbal water, found in the article `Prepare your own Detox Waters.`
HOW TO DO A SELF-DETOX CLEANSE
First I want to introduce a few herbs that will be your best allies during your detox journey.
Avipattikar, a wonderful Ayurvedic herbal combination for detox. Avipattikar is easy to get online http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/prodinfo.asp?number=7521.
Mix eight teaspoons of avipattikar, eight teaspoons of ghee, and eight teaspoon of raw, unrefined sugar. You may substitute guava, xylitol or stevia. Take one and a half teaspoons of this mixture on day one, one teaspoon on day two, one and a half teaspoons on day three, two teaspoons on day four and two and a half teaspoons on day five. Then reduce the amount by one half teaspoon per day until done.
Many people with cholesterol issues express worry and concern about taking ghee because it is made from butter. This concern is understandable, but misplaced. Ghee is the oil of butter. It is what is left after the heavy fats of butter are removed. Ghee is the lightest oil known to mankind. It is lighter than flax oil, olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. There has been extensive research done that proves that ghee actually reduces cholesterol rather than increasing it.
Most Westerners think of using water to detoxify the body and question Ayurveda's use of ghee to purge the body. Very simply, ghee - the oil of butter - loosens toxins in the body by saturating bodily tissues with a lubricant that cleanses them and leaves them lubricated.
Other supportive herbs
Take triphala powder one hour after supper or before bed. Place 1 tsp. of triphala on your tongue and swallow with hot water, or steep for ten minutes in a little hot water and then drink.
Learn where to find the herb ; if you are in Ottawa, the Wheatberry on Main Street carries this herb.
· Aloe Vera Juice
Taken internally, aloe vera juice helps to cleanse the liver and digestive system, soothes stomach irritation/acidity and tonifies the tissues. Take aloe vera gel: 1 tbsp with a pinch of ginger and turmeric three times a day or aloe vera juice: 4 tablespoonfuls with a pinch of ginger and turmeric three times a day in warm water. Best taken around 30 minutes before meals.
· Milk Thistle
This powerful herb is a gentle liver cleanser.
Cleansing the liver is essential for all three doshas.
The liver is one of the sites of Pitta. Pittas tend towards illnesses involving the liver and must take care and cleanse regularly. Take milk thistle with meals in a form of tincture or caps, as indicated.
The third step, which is critically important, is that after the cleanse you must follow the diet that is correct for your body type. Here is a suggested soup for all doshas (body types) to takeduring your self-detox program.
This is a traditional healing stew that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic cooking. It uses a combination of mung beans, rice, ghee, vegetables and healing spices to create an easily digestible and protein-rich meal. It is quite nourishing and can be made as a thick stew or a lighter soup. Spices and vegetables can be modified and played with to suit your dosha and the season. Fresh, organic and in-season are best.