Spring is an ideal time to think about doing a “detox” of some sort. From an Ayurvedic perspective it is a time to eat more lightly as a part of Ayurvedic detoxing, to get more physically active and to focus on eliminating toxins in our system that may have built up during the winter months. Happily this follows quite naturally when we are tuned into the seasonal changes at this time of year as the warmth of the sun’s rays is felt in our bodies and the influence of that warmth seen in Nature around us.
Spring is a good time to consider committing yourself to a new term of Yoga classes, to go for a bush-walk (though watch out for the snakes in spring!), to undertake a pranayama practice, to be more mindful about your dietary habits and possibly to do a fast of some sort. When it comes to fasting, Ayurveda advocates a more gentle and sustainable approach to fasting, rather than extreme approaches that can be debilitating and sometimes aggravating of Vata(wind) dosha.
A fast could be as simple as having only a light soup for dinner for a week or eating kichadi (a gently spiced mix of mung dahl and rice) as your main midday meal for a week. For recipe ideas for kichadi, take a look at the Thermos flask lunch under Ayurvedic Tips in the last Satyananda e newsletter.
I include below a few Ayurvedic cleansing teas that will assist the detoxing process:
Agni (digestive fire) Promoting Tea – balancing for all three doshas.
2 -3 cups of water
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
Put seeds in a teapot , pour in boiling water. Let sit for 3 – 5 minutes and drink after a meal. An excellent digestive aid.
½ teaspoon of Ajwan seeds (Wild Indian Celery seeds) Available from Indian groceries
I cup of boiling water
Pour boiling water over the seeds in a cup. Let sit for 5 minutes. Sweeten with ½ teaspoon of raw honey if required. Excellent for lung and gut congestion.
Ginger, Cinnamon and Clove Tea
2 cups of boiling water
¼ tsp of ginger powder
A cinnamon quill
¼ tsp of cloves
Place ingredients in a warmed teapot, pour in boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and allow to cool before serving. Add fresh honey to taste. An excellent winter tea that reduces mucus from the lungs and sinuses and stimulates the digestion. Great for Kapha dominant body-types.
1 tsp of fenugreek seeds
2 cups of water
Mix fenugreek seeds and water in a small container and soak overnight. In the morning boil the seeds and water. Strain the seeds and drink warm to hot. Add a little fresh honey if desired. Excellent for the lungs, sinuses and nervous system. Not to be used in pregnancy, though is recommended for the six weeks after birth. Increases milk production and is good for weight loss due to excess fluid retention.