Cleansing is, for most of us, a simple and easy way to regain or enhance our level of health.
From the basic Ayurvedic cleansing practice of regularly sipping plain hot water, to the deeper, month-long, arise and shine, “clean-me-out” cleanse – there is a cleanse to suit any body type and state of health.
Often deep cleansing needs to be followed with rejuvenating and re-building foods and lifestyles. This is usually relatively easy as the clearer mind and lighter body after cleansing naturally leads us towards continuing our newfound good habit.
Spring is a particularly good time to cleanse as we emerge from the more inward moving energy of winter. We are naturally ready to shed; physically, mentally and spiritually, so cleansing is often easier and more effective. However, we can, with a little individualising, cleanse at any time of the year.
Why Cleanse – The Cause of Disease
Toxicity, congestion, poor absorption and poor nutrition, and their impact on thoughts and feelings, can lead to some disease. Destructive lifestyles impact on all areas of our body-mind, but it is usually the digestive tract which suffers first. Poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle, negative emotions, stress etc, first effect our digestive fire (called ‘agni’), which governs digestion and assimilation. When this becomes weakened or disturbed food is not properly digested.
Undigested food turns to acidic build-up, which clogs the villi in the small intestine and prevents absorption of nutrients and minerals. Over time this leads to deficiencies, which further lead to disease. Vital electrolytes become deficient and this causes the bile to become more acidic and thus the digestive tract loses its ability to efficiently digest food. It also loses its ability to defend against pathogens, so the individual becomes more vulnerable to infections, flus etc.
Stress may cause acidity in the whole system, this may reduces immunity and unbalances the metabolism. As the bowel becomes toxic the blood, during the assimilation process, is forced to pick up bowel toxicants. These may travel to the liver and place an extra burden on it. Over time the liver loses its ability to function normally. This is why usually we must cleanse the bowel as part of a successful liver treatment.
Our liver is one of the first lines of defence of our body against toxins that come into it. These toxins, as mentioned, are often the acid forming foods we eat, but we are also exposed these days to many environmental toxins. Heavy metals, lead, pesticides, growth hormones etc, which are in our food chain, lodge in our bodies if they cannot be broken down or expelled by the liver. Thus, we need our liver and bowel, especially, to be functioning as well as possible in order to prevent disease.
Negative emotions may also be trapped in the acidic accumulations which built up. As we begin to cleanse our bodies we also cleanse, or “pull out”, the negative consciousness which has become stuck in physical tissue. Many people easily let go of negative attitudes, emotions and habits while cleansing. This feels good and is often inspiring spiritually.
Over years of guiding people through cleansing I have no doubt it is one of the most valuable tools in regaining health and vitality. It is important to individualise your cleanse, or to tailor it to your specific bodily constitution, age, present state of health etc. We recommend a naturopathic consultation with one of our naturopaths where you can receive an appropriate cleansing regime tailored for you. We also have cleanse program guides and books available.
Find out more about getting specific cleanse advice tailored to your needs after Cleansing – to rebuild and restore balance
After cleansing, or if already depleted, it becomes a priority to nourish and rejuvenate our body-mind. In Ayurvedic medicine there is a whole group of wonderful herbal preparations called rasayana’s, which nourish mind and body on a deep cellular level. They also nourish and restore our Ojas (our deepest energy reservoir). By feeding our bodies and nervous systems in this way we enhance overall immunity and state of health.
We offer a few of these rasayanas: Chawanprash, Kesri Kalt, Brahmiprash.
All of these are available in dried, encapsulated or tincture form.
To maintain health an awareness of the potential causes of disease is important so you can avoid them or deal with them appropriately. Everything we take may affect our state of health from our food and environment to the love or lack-of in our relationship. Avoiding or at least reducing junk food, choosing more positive habits and inspiring the spirit support good health.
The second step is taking action to modify causes you can’t avoid or control (like the weather). The next step is to restore balance once it is lost. The main method for doing this is to apply the opposite quality or qualities. If for example you are over heated, maybe from having some hot soup or something warm to drink, or you have become agitated or upset (maybe you watched that violent movie against your better judgement) then sit down and do some deep breathing or meditation, or walk out in nature to calm your mind and emotions. If your pitta (fire) has been provoked and you’re feeling hot under the collar, take a swim or again walk in nature, or have some sweet, cooling fruit (like stewed apples) to cool you down.
This principle seems so simple it can be easily forgotten, but it is extremely powerful and effective, try it. See how quickly and effortlessly you are able to restore balance to your mind and your body. Of course if you have a chronic disease then further measures may be necessary to restore good health, but still this basic principle of applying the opposite quality will help strengthen basic health.
Find out more about cleanse kits that we offer at Mullumbimby Herbals – Cleanse Kits and Cleanse Programs