Note: this post is excerpted from a post on Organic India's blog by Ayurvedic Wellness Educator and Herbalist Hopi Darnell.
An essential part of Ayurveda is following cues of nature, and that means eating what nature provides for the season.
Interestingly, fall and spring are the two times per year that the seasonal harvest foods have an especially cleansing effect on the body, helping us transition into the extreme weather cycles of winter and summer (both of which have great impact on our body’s inflammatory response, stress levels, and digestive health).
In the early fall months we have a great opportunity for deeper cleansing, signaled by the arrival of apples, beets and green beans. This harvest of lymph-cleansing foods expels heat we've accumulated in our bodies all summer, resetting the body’s inflammatory response before the colder, harsher months of winter (when the available foods are naturally heavier, richer, and more difficult to digest). Should we miss this opportunity for fall cleansing, we can likely expect to catch more seasonal illnesses in the winter, experience digestive imbalances, and have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.
The Equinoxes – when day and night hang in equal balance – are considered in Ayurveda to be the best times to cleanse. The traditional Panchakarma is a simple, 4-day detox that can be easily performed at home using herbs, skincare and an important therapy called oleation. In Sanskrit, pancha means 5 and karma means action – these are the 5 actions that can be used for a fall cleanse.
Steps:1. Daily Oleation, where melted Ghee is consumed first thing in the morning in increasing amounts (flax, hemp, or coconut oil can be used as a vegan alternative). Note: Organic India has an awesome buy-one-get-one free deal for ghee going on right now!
3. Skin brushing with a cotton washcloth or raw silk gloves designed for this purpose, prior to evening bath or shower
4. 20-minute evening bath or shower
4. Self massage with organic food grade raw sesame oil or coconut oil during or after evening bath or shower
Photo via Organic India.
If you're going to participate in this cleanse, I highly recommend using products by Organic India. They are a conscious brand who you can trust for high-quality, exceptional organic foods. In working with Organic India's PR team, I was incredibly impressed by their generosity, professionalism, and compassion. Seriously leaps and bounds above so many brands I've worked with!
Would you do an Ayurvedic cleanse? Have you done one? What was your experience?