Spring is the season of new beginnings and from a health perspective it is associated with cleansing of the body. This is a practice observed throughout history in many cultures and traditions. In Christian tradition, it is lent, a time of self-examination, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. In Buddhism, fasting is used as a means to invigorate one’s practice, ultimately lending to Buddha’s spiritual awakening upon completion. Or In Ayurvedic tradition, the goal of a cleanse is to the rid the body of Ama, also known as sludge, which is the buildup of toxins and impurities’ in the body.
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Cleansing involves the clearing of toxins from body fat, filtering of the blood and the removal of waste, primarily through urine, sweat and bowel movements. Although cleansing is generally safe, anyone who is suffering from a health condition should proceed under professional supervision.
Drinking water is an important part of any cleansing protocol. Urine is the vehicle by which we remove toxins from the blood. You want to approximately drink two to three liters of water daily, spread over the day. Use a timer, or a smart phone app as a reminder. Get yourself a water bottle you like drinking out of and you can flavor it up with all sorts of fruits. If temperature is important to you, try bitter teas such as burdock and dandelion that act as diuretics, stimulating urination and promoting toxin removal from the liver.
Home Cooked Meals
Learn to cook and be in charge of what goes into your mouth. Be curious of vegetables you haven’t tried before. Discover different ways of preparing and enjoying a great variety of foods instead of resorting to being a comfort eater that consumes the same 10 foods every day. Focus on a home-made, preferably organic, primarily vegetarian diet.
Sweat! Our skin is also an organ that removes toxins for us. Exfoliation is a great way to help shed dead skin and clear out toxins. The best method of course is sweating, whether through exercise or a sauna, schwitz those toxins out.
Avoid packaged and processed foods that contain preservatives, flavor enhancers and artificial colors. Stay away from non-organically produces foods sprayed with chemical herbicides and pesticides. Cut out the alcohol, coffee, tobacco. And for those more ambitious amongst you, avoid common foods that are allergenic (peanuts, cow’s milk, eggs, wheat.
Castor oil is extracted from the seed of the castor bean plant and has been used for centuries for its therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Castor oil has been shown to increase circulation and promote elimination and healing of tissues and organs underneath the skin. The oil is easily transmitted through the skin’s surface into circulation. Its best applied over the liver to help detoxification. Just before you go to bed, rub it on the upper right side of your abdomen and then put on a dirty shirt that you don’t mind getting dirty. Head to bed and let the oil do its job.