The following article is being reproduced with permission of its author, Kate Towell. Kate is a holistic wellness counselor who supports individuals to create the balanced, vibrant life they imagine.
Cleansing season is just around the corner and you know it’s one of my favorite times of year. The practice of cleansing is a vital part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Seasonal cleansing can improve energy, boost immunity, create clarity, improve sleep and encourage weight loss. I don’t know about you but my body is so ready for my fall cleanse.
I plan on starting the week after the equinox and wanted to share ten essential ingredients I’ve been gathering for my cleanse.
10 Essentials of Ayurvedic Cleansing
Dry Brush or Garshana Gloves – Your skin is your largest organ and a big time player in your cleansing process. The Ayurvedic practice of dry brushing (garshana) removes dead skin and stimulates circulation and the lymphatic system, which is a key player in cleansing and strengthening the immune system. To perform a garshana, you will need natural silk gloves or a dry brush. The ideal time to dry brush is in the morning before you shower. I leave my garshana gloves in the shower and use them daily, not just for cleansing.
Sesame Oil – Performing Abhyanga or Ayurvedic daily self-massage with warm oil is the one of the best ways to restore balance of the doshas and nourish the entire body. Abhyanga helps remove impurities and nourishes the tissues, increases circulation, moves the lymph, calms nerves and improves sleep, which are all super beneficial for cleansing season. There are many types of abhyanga oils on the market but sesame oil is a simple and affective choice.
Tongue Scraper – In Ayurveda, tongue scraping is another main component of a healthy daily routine and is believed to rid the tongue of undigested ama (toxins). Tongue scraping also helps to stimulate digestion, reduce cravings and freshens your breath.
Neti Pot – Neti, the practice of nasal cleansing, has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to alleviate sinus and allergy problems. Neti cleanses and protects the nasal passages and helps to support a healthy immune system. Adopt neti as a practice, especially if you are prone to allergies and sinus infections.
Epsom Salts – Taking an epsom salt bath is a big part of my cleansing routine. Both the steam and the salts from the hot soak help to draw the ama out of your body. Take a nightly salt bath while cleansing and you’ll sleep like a babe.
Greens – Even though Ayurveda cleansing mostly consists of eating a mono diet (see kitchari below) I still make sure to eat plenty of greens. Dark leafy greens and other green veggies such as green beans and zucchini can be easily added to your kitchari. They are loaded with nutrients and support the cleansing process. During a fall cleanse your greens should be lightly sautéed or wilted. Try to avoid eating raw during your cleanse.
Lemons – I start everyday with a mug of warm lemon water and cleanse days are no exception. Sipping lemon water aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the toxins and waste from the body easier, ensuring smooth elimination. One thing about cleansing is that you have to eliminate. You’ll be giving up coffee during your cleanse so be sure to make drinking lemon water part of your morning routine to ensure healthy bowel movements.
Ghee – In Ayurveda, ghee is revered for its medicinal properties, used as a carrier for the nutrients and to lubricate the tissues of the body. Ghee helps protect the gut and supports healthy GI tract and function, which is essential for cleansing! Bonus: ghee is also loaded with nutrients including essential fatty acids and Vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Kitchari Ingredients – Kitchari is the staple of Ayurveda cleansing. It is a potent blood purifier, deeply nourishing and rejuvenating. Traditionally you would eat kitchari for all your meals for several days. I opt out of kitchari for breakfast but it will be lunch and dinner for five days of my cleanse. Yum! Grab my Kitchari recipe here!
Herbal Teas – In addition to drinking plenty of water I stock up on herbal teas for my cleanse. I like Pukka brands detox tea and their triple ginger is awesome. I also sip Traditional Medicine dandelion tea throughout my cleanse.
Looking for a place to buy your supplies. Banyan Botanicals is the perfect place to get most of you essentials.