Ask the Ayurvedic Expert: Detoxification - Constipation
Question: I have problems with my stomach. The movement of the bowels is weak and incomplete, and the colon is irritable. I eat only warm, fresh vegetarian meals and no cold beverages. -M.Q., Bogota, Colombia
Answer: In general, for more regularity, the Herbal Cleanse formula helps. Also try the following tips: Eat a stewed apple for breakfast. Replenish the digestive flora with fresh buttermilk (yogurt and water mixture) and have it at lunch. Add bulk and water-soluble fiber to your diet, such as psyllium husks, oatmeal, fruits and zucchini. Cook your foods with equal amounts of turmeric, cumin and coriander. Take a walk about a half hour after lunch. Increase the digestive fire by chewing about 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds 3-4 times daily between meals. Mix raw and baked seed together -- 50% of each. Constipation is a Vata imbalance. So, before bed, apply Youthful Skin Massage Oil to your hands and feet. Detoxification
Question: I have never done a detoxification program. I am 38 years old and have recently become interested in ayurveda. I understand ayurveda considers cleansing very important for good health. Can you please give me some advice on how to begin? -E.N., Washington
Answer: You are correct -- ayurveda considers regular internal cleansing crucial for good health. Although the body has its own systems of elimination of impurities, often the body can't keep pace with the rate at which toxins build up inside. Toxins inside the body form a breeding ground for disease, according to ayurveda. If you have never done a cleansing program before, ideally you should begin a three-month process of purification now.
After that, a one-month purification program is recommended at every change of season. Maharishi Ayurveda health centers offer a royal, comprehensive purification program called Panchakarma. This occurs over several days under the supervision of an ayurvedic vaidya. Or you can do it yourself at home, with diet and lifestyle changes and herbal formulas.
Here are some tips to get you started: In the morning, or two hours before you go to bed, give yourself a relaxing full-body oil massage (abhyanga). This will improve circulation and help dislodge impurities from body tissues. Then take a warm bath to support the process of elimination of toxins.
After that, take Elim-Tox or Elim-Tox-O herbal tablets to aid the cleansing of the blood, the colon and the entire body. The Herbal Cleanse formula works to regulate elimination.
Continue taking the herbal formula for at least three months. Avoid eating leftovers and hard-to-digest foods.
Avoid intake of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. Drink plenty of warm water throughout the day. Eat lots of sweet, juicy fruits. Get plenty of rest -- go to bed before 10:00 p.m.