Every Ayurvedic detoxification program has three steps: preparation, cleansing, and post-cleansing. Let’s start with the first one.
STEP ONE: PREPARE FOR SELF-DETOX (15 DAYS)
Preparation is actually the most important part of an Ayurvedic detox program. To prepare your body for detoxification, you must first balance your agni, or digestive fire by following a basic detox diet. If possible, it’s also good to connect with an Ayurvedic expert, who can give you specific herbal recommendations tailored to your unique constitution and state of balance. If not, the detox diet is a great place to start your cleanse.
HERE ARE THE BASIC DETOX DIET RECOMMENDATIONS:
Eat ama-reducing foods. Favor vegetarian foods that are lighter, warm, cooked, and digestible. Avoid heavy dairy products such as cheese or yogurt, 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 foods, freshly-made soups and organic vegetables cooked with spices, and freshly-made grains are ideal.
Avoid ama-producing foods. In general, you'll want to avoid foods that produce ama, such as leftovers and non-fresh foods such as packaged, canned, or frozen foods. You'll also want to avoid foods that create ama/toxins caused by chemicals, such as nonorganic foods, foods grown with chemicals, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and foods with chemical additives.
Favor a diet rich in fruits, veggies, and spices. The following foods are especially helpful in detoxifying:
Fruits: cooked prunes, figs, apples, pears, pineapple, and papaya.
Vegetables: cooked leafy greens and cabbage.
Grains: quinoa, barley, amaranth, rice, and kanji (rice water).
Spices: ginger, turmeric, coriander, fennel, and fenugreek. These spices help open up the channels and support the flow of toxins from the skin, urinary tract, colon, and liver.
Choose foods according to your body type or imbalances. This will help regulate your digestive fire.
Drink plenty of hot water throughout the day to flush toxins out of the body through the urine. Or better still, choose one of the detoxifying herbal teas offered by your Ayurvedic Practitioner.
Here are the basic detox lifestyle tips:
Get enough rest. You may need more sleep while detoxifying. It's also important to go to bed early (before 10 p.m.) and get up early (before 6 a.m.), as both staying up late and sleeping late in the morning can flood the shrotas with toxins.
Exercise each day. Gentle exercise such as Gentle Yoga and walking can support detoxification by improving digestion and elimination and moving toxins out of the body. Walking for twenty minutes or half an hour is ideal, because it allows you to breathe deeply, purify the respiratory system and supply the cells with cleansing prana. During the preparation for detox and the actual self-detox program, it's best to avoid strenuous exercise.
Massage daily. One of the most important purification procedures in Ayurveda is warm oil massage (abhyanga), and you can do it every day on your own. Abhyanga loosens impurities from your tissues, allowing them to flow into the digestive tract, where they can be easily eliminated through the bowel. While you're detoxifying, take a little extra time with your morning massage, and you'll magnify the results many times. Use warm massage oil with herbs added, as the herbs are chosen to penetrate the surface of the skin and reach the deeper layers and tissues, purifying and nourishing the channels of the skin. By gently massaging the whole body, you're also gently purifying other organs as well. Increasing circulation also helps purify the blood. Always follow your abhyanga with a warm (not hot) bath. If you don't have time for a bath, a shower can substitute.
STEP TWO: TAKE AYURVEDIC DETOX HERBS (45 DAYS)
Now that you’ve prepped your system by following the detox diet for two weeks, it’s time to dive into your detox. Throughout these 45 days, continue to follow the ama (toxin)-reducing diet, daily routine, and eating habits mentioned Step One. Meanwhile, it’s time to add some Ayurvedic herbs, those will be recommended by your Ayurvedic Practitioner based on your specific constitution or bio-type.
STEP THREE: POST-DETOX CARE
After spending 15 days preparing for your Ayurvedic detox and 45 days actually doing the self-detox program, you should feel much lighter, more blissful, and more energetic! You may even have shed some unwanted pounds.
Give yourself time to gradually transition into your normal routine and eating habits. Take time to gradually add heavier foods to your diet, and be sure to get enough rest for a few days after detox is over. Follow your normal Ayurvedic routine and recommended diet for your body type by your Ayurvedic Practitioner.
It's important to know that detoxification should always be soothing and nurturing. It should never be drying or aggravating to the doshas. If you are doing any detox program that makes you feel drained or exhausted, or results in symptoms of disease, that is not a safe or balanced detox program. With Ayurveda, you gain the full value of detoxification without creating any new imbalances. And that is what makes it a perfect system of health care.