Every Spring, my mission is to encourage people to cleanse their intestinal tract, improve their liver function and detoxify their body through natural treatments. I believe that annual detoxification is critical for good digestion, optimum health and longevity. As you know, in our modern world we are inundated with chemicals, pollutants and other toxic substances each day!
From nature’s perspective, Spring is the season when our body needs to cleanse before the arrival of the warmer summer days. After reducing our body’s toxic burden and extra weight, we will have more energy and feel lighter.
Most people acknowledge the importance of detoxifying the body; however, few individuals regularly practice this critical aspect of health maintenance. I hope that this article will educate, motivate and inspire each of us to cleanse and detoxify this spring. Contact me, if you need personal assistance and suitable herbal products for your cleanse, Khabir of Ojai, CA.
Since ancient times, Ayurveda aims at cleansing the body regularly and strengthen its natural healing mechanisms through detoxification before disease and illness develops.
Almost every chronic health condition at its core is a toxicity overload. Thus, to recover from obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammation and many chronic health conditions requires comprehensive cleansing and detoxification.
To some degree, the body will detox naturally, but due to the excessive amount of toxins in our environment the body is unable to keep up. Various health conditions result when toxins accumulate, congest and irritate an organ or system to the point that it stops functioning properly. Usually, it tends to be the weakest organ that is affected first.
We build up toxins daily through undigested food, airborne chemicals, chemicals in the water, pesticides on produce, preservatives in food and the use of medications. Irregular eating habits, excessive snacking and eating at night contribute to undigested food in the intestinal tract which becomes a toxic substance. Any congestion in the colon or build up of fecal matter due to constipation will leach toxins back into the bloodstream - a type of auto-toxicity.
Generally, the first signs of excessive toxicity are stubborn weight issues, poor circulation, skin rashes, allergies and brain fog. This is often followed by inflammation, pain, liver or kidney problems and other more serious health conditions.
Intolerance or allergies to foods like dairy and grains are mostly a sign of weak digestion and other imbalances. Poor digestion becomes weakened from poor eating habits, cold foods/drinks, pesticides in foods or improper food combinations. When digestion is weak, it is difficult to digest heavier foods like [the proteins in] wheat and milk, so they seem like they are a problem. The real problem in 95% of cases is week digestion and intestinal toxin accumulation (low agni and high ama, in Ayurvedic terms). In a proper herbal cleanse, the body gets a “reset” through treatments that are designed not only to draw out toxins (ama) but also strengthen the digestive fire (agni), thus improve overall digestion.
Indeed, detoxifying properly will cleanse the eliminating organs and lymphatic system leaving us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. An effective program will generally boost immunity, improve the skin, establish regular bowel movements and often improve cognitive function.
When we follow a natural cleansing process we are allowing our body to improve the function of our eliminating organs: skin, lungs, colon, liver and kidney. After our bodily has been decongested from built up toxins, these eliminating organs and the lymphatic system become more effective at performing their respective functions which include detoxification. Additionally, a congested liver, stagnant gallbladder or thick bile will greatly hamper digestion and reduce our ability to absorb nutrients especially fat.
Despite its popularity, juicing is not a complete cleanse. Juicing assists the body in the PROCESS of releasing fats, sugars, and toxins not necessarily eliminating them. Just having juice will not provide the body with enough opportunity to eliminate toxins unless the process is combined with a colon cleanse. Many people while doing a “juice cleanse” experience intense hunger pains, headaches, joint pain, fatigue and brain fog. This is a result of cleansing out toxins from the tissue and bringing them back into the bloodstream without providing sufficient channels of elimination. Fasting has many of the same drawbacks and is not suitable for the underweight, frail, or elderly.
Kale, dandelion greens, cilantro, cabbage and beetroot with lemon juice make an excellent cleansing recipe.
Almost always, the first step in detoxification is to eat only two or three easy to digest home-made meals each day at roughly the same time without any animal protein. Of course, we want to eliminate the consumption of additional chemicals by eating only organic foods. During the detoxification process, the diet needs to be light, warm and nourishing. This should include light cooked greens, soups, grains like barley and rice, plenty of legumes, healthy fat and seasonal fruits between meals (as per your body-type [dosha] type and health condition). Make sure there is ample fiber in the diet or add additional fiber such as ground flax seeds to support regular bowel movements. Between meals drink two or three glasses of liver supporting herbal tea for liver function and some water with lemon juice to support the flushing out of toxins via urination.
During any cleanse we must strictly avoid restaurant food due to their use of low quality cooking oils, sugar and table salt (not sea salt). Additionally, we have to abstain from fried foods, processed foods, margarine, meat including fish and chicken, most dairy, too many nuts, all alcohol, coffee, and synthetic vitamins.
The recommend Ayurvedic diet during a cleanse is an easy to digest Indian dish called Kitchari which is made of split mung beans, white basmati rice, spices, ghee and lightly cooked vegetables. By having a mono-diet of Kitchari two or three times a day will effectively cleanse the body and improve digestion in one or two weeks.
Herbal teas are recommended over plain water because of their therapeutic value to decongest, open up and stimulate the body’s eliminating organs, circulatory system and lymphatic system. As mentioned, fresh lemon or lime juice in water is also very helpful and tasty.
Start with a slow colon cleanse for a week or more using supplemental fiber and herbs to remove accumulated fecal matter from the colon. Doing daily enemas with sea salt is also highly recommended as this is one of the most ancient forms of colon cleansing. If a person is already constipated then starting with herbal laxatives for about a week will be necessary. In the cases of chronic constipation [and high pitta], an intestinal purge using Castol oil to flush the entire intestinal tract is very effective.
Our liver is the body’s center for detoxification with a chemical system for neutralizing and excreting drugs, hormones, and other toxins. Regrettably, our liver is often overwhelmed by the high level of toxins we are exposed to each day. When strained and congested, the liver can't balance hormones, burn fat, or effectively get rid of toxins. In my opinion, those over the age of 30 should annually cleanse their liver and flush out gallstones. In my experience, many people notice a clear improvement with their overall health and digestion after such therapies.
I recommend, liver detoxification for 7 to 21 days days by taking liver supporting herbs after meals and juice therapy between meals. The gallbladder flush is a naturopathic procedure that involves taking olive oil and lemon juice together after not having any dietary fat for 24 hours and purging the intestinal tract. This treatment results in the gallbladder expelling out all of its bile along with gallstones and other toxic build up within the bile duct and liver. Clearly, this process is preferable to a painful gallbladder attack and having the gallbladder surgically removed!
Before the long hot summer days where liquid intake needs to increase, a urinary system cleanse is recommended. Those with poor kidney or bladder function will be unable to drink sufficient fluids during warm weather without having to undergo some discomfort and the inconvenience of having to urinate at all times of the day and night. Congestion in this system leads to toxicity and a toxic bladder or kidney results in inflammation and possibly infection.
A kidney cleanse is particularly important because the kidneys perform an important detoxification function within the human body by filtering the by-products of metabolism and digestion. Minerals and compounds are absorbed by the kidneys while toxins and waste products like urea and ammonia are expelled. Surplus minerals and salts are filtered via urine so that there is no toxin build up in the human body. There are many proven kidney cleansing protocols and herbal formulas to flush and cleanse out the urinary system. I advise most clients to have an herbal tea for 7 to 14 days days prior to a short therapeutic juice flush followed by a liquid fast for 24 hours. If done properly, this therapy can relieve a person from having to urinate at night, urgent urination and urinary tract infections.
Having a whole body massage (preferably with warm oil) and doing hatha yoga daily will decongesting the lymphatic system which needed to be working well before detoxing the internal organs. Additionally, I recommend that a warm salt bath or hot sauna be taken daily during any cleanse to allow the body to eliminate toxins through its largest eliminative organ, the skin. Remember, eating only two or three nutritionally complete meals a day with two or three bowel movements a day is crucial. Herbal formulas may be required to improve digestion and regular of bowel movements throughout any cleanse.
“My experience with the Heavy Metal Detox [Workshop] was a welcomed journey and I was able to walk out of "head fog" and into much CLEARER thinking. Also I did not trigger any health challenges and that was my greatest fear.” Venessa Kay, Live Blood Consultant, Santa Barbara
“I'd done cleanses before, but doing the liver-gallbladder cleanse with the Ayurvedic herbs was so much easier. Thank you, Khabir!” - Catherine Ann Jones, Ojai.
“The results were impressive [from your Gallbladder/Liver Flush Workshop] and I will be doing my second gallbladder/liver flush in a few months. Thank you, Khabir, for your guidance through this process and being available to answer any concerns” Mary Kennedy, Ojai.
“I first sought out Khabir’s help as I was feeling effects that often coincide with over exposure to heavy metals. I knew what these effects were as I work in manufacturing, where these symptoms are closely monitored on the factory level. I was feeling dizziness, lightheaded, metallic tastes, slight depression and disruption in sleep. We completed a full detox of the liver and gallbladder. I can say that since completion, the symptoms are gone. I’m sleeping better and my focus are back and sharp. Due to the mass amounts of heavy metals that are put in our atmosphere thru ground and airborne aerosols, we all need to detox just to keep our body running properly”. Thanks Khabir! John Whyte Ojai