Detox or Panchakarma has been one of the most recognizable forms of Ayurveda in the West. I have had some good and some awful experiences with detoxes. There is so much information out there about the “best” way to do it and why it is important. Here is my take on how and why we should detox!
No “one size fits all”
In alignment with my approach to Ayurveda, I believe it really depends on what feels best for your body. I did Dr. Junger’s clean diet (as a detox) when I was still growing and had some really adverse effects….then I tried an ayurvedic diet and was too strict with myself and ended up with a headache for two days. Some of these adverse effects are actually toxins leaving the body, but only you will know what is shit leaving, or malnutrition.
So why even do it if it can be that complicated and tricky? There are 3 reasons I would offer a detox to someone.
1. They are having serious GI tract issues.
This could be malabsorption, pain or difficulty with bowel movements. A detox is a way to hit the reset button on the body. When there is a misfunction in the GI tract it can be very helpful as long as you prepare properly and end properly. The body usually needs any type of drastic change to be slow and steady so as to not shock the system. This can look like a full and specific diet created for you uniquely, often with a lot of kitchari, smoothies and tea.
2. It is Springtime.
It can be helpful to release the excess kapha build up in the body (earth element, feels sluggish and can manifest in head colds or mucus build up) in the spring before there is too much heat. This can simply look like skipping dinner once a week and replacing it with a tea specific for the season.
3. It is Autumn
Similar to spring, autumn is a great time to release the excess pitta build up in the body. (fire element, makes us feel not “good” enough and can manifest as a fever, rash or infection) This can look like simply eliminating certain things from the diet for a short time and having more easy to digest foods (mushy and warm) to give the stomach a break.
Hope this has helped you to think through detoxing and what might be right for you. Feel free to reach out for a easy springtime balancing tea.
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