A Window of Opportunity for Cleansing
Transition from Summer to Autumn
Is This You?
• Would you like to feel lighter, mentally at ease, get sick less and naturally find you want healthier foods?
• Have you recently been feeling more easily angered, impatient or critical of yourself or others?
• Are you noticing a change in your digestion with a tendency for increased acidity and ulcers, rashes, acne, boils and skin disorders of all kind?
• Have you noticed an increased tendency for bloodshot eyes or eye problems?
• Are you noticing weight gain, cravings, allergies, swollen hands or feet, water retention, headaches or swelling around the abdomen?
If so the time is right to take action
With the transition from summer to autumn, we are entering a gap between seasons (in Ayurveda known as Ritu Sandhi). This is a special time of the year where the body’s natural cleansing systems go up a gear. Now the heat and sour quality that may have accumulated during the unseasonably warm summer is being released into your bloodstream to be cleansed. Isn’t our body amazing!
Sometimes this build-up of seasonal impurities can be too much for our body’s cleansing systems. Left unaddressed these imbalances over time are linked to heart disease, emotional upset, indecisiveness and lacking the desire to face challenges and make important decisions.
Traditionally Ayurveda aims to keep you well and recommends a preventative strategy of gently facilitating the natural cleansing process at this time of the year.
Do I need to help my body cleanse?
If your body’s natural cleansing processes are overloaded or taxed then your body will give you a sign
Here below are the top 10 signs of impurity (ama) overload.
- You wake up tired even after a good night sleep.
- You feel lethargic.
- Your tongue is coated especially upon waking in the morning.
- You don’t feel real hunger even when you haven’t eaten for hours.
- You have generalized aches and pains. They are often noticed the day after eating certain heavy foods, like meat, cheeses, desserts and fried foods.
- You lack mental clarity and energy.
- You have a sense of heaviness in the abdomen, legs or body as a whole.
- You feel weary and unenthusiastic.
- You experience frequent indigestion like gas bloating and or heartburn.
- You feel blocked anywhere in the body, including constipation, sinus congestion and difficulty breathing.
If you are currently experiencing 1-2 or more of these symptoms of ama overload your body needs a helping hand
Seasonal Cleanse Action Plan
I have used the following cleansing programme successfully over the years. It is gentle and easy to do as part of one’s everyday life.
If you have a normal appetite take 2 tablets of Detox (MA1010) (aka Elim Tox) prior to breakfast. Or if your appetite tends to be sharp take Detox Pitta (MA1663) (aka Elim Tox O) 2 tablets after breakfast. The herbals in these detox formulas support cleansing of the whole body right down to the cellular level.
- Have a light breakfast of stewed pear or apple cooked with some figs or raisins.
- After 30 minutes if hungry follow this with a bowl of warm cereal.
Prior to lunch take 2 tablets of LiverCare (MA579) to help support the liver as it is busy cleansing the blood and nourishing your tissues.
- Make lunch the main meal of the day. Aim to have main quantity of food at this time.
- Favour light food: no raw food, no animal protein, reduce intake of fat, take fresh cooked meals, avoid hard cheeses, sour cream, yogurt and chocolate/sweets/ desserts.
- Eat sitting down, with full attention.
- The thermos flask lunch (details below) is an effective way to get a warm lunch easily during this time.
After lunch take Digest Medium (MA685). This is a gentle digestive that is carefully blended to ensure that digestion is supported without over stimulating the digestive fires
Prior to your evening meal take 2 tablets of Apana Balance (MA3347) along with 1 tablet of Triphala Plus (MA505) (aka Digest Tone). This combination supports the kidneys, digestive system and bowel to ensure an all round effective cleanse.
- Have a light evening meal like a soup or vegetables with wholegrain, sprinkled with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Have your evening meal by 6.30pm.
- Follow your meal with a gentle evening stroll to aid digestion for 10-20 minutes.
After your evening meal take Digest Medium (MA685).
Take 2 tablets of Triphala Plus (MA505) to help support elimination.
Be sure to be in bed a little earlier than usual to support your body’s cleansing.
Exercise according to your capacity most days. Walking is a great exercise for this time and is easy to do anywhere you find yourself.
Thermos Flask Lunch Recipe
This is an ideal solution for those wanting to have a hot meal at lunch
It can be prepared in the early morning and will cook itself in the thermos in time for lunch. Find a good stainless-steel food flask which has a wider neck than a normal drink flask and will not break if dropped.
- 1/4 cup yellow mung dahl (wash well) or lentils.
- 1/4 cup basmati rice (wash well) or barley.
- 1 1/2 cups fresh vegetables cut to a size that will fit into the thermos.
Spices to taste – Pitta Mild Seasoning mix is a good option at this time of the year.
- 2 tsp of ghee (clarified butter) or safflower oil.
- 2 cups water.
In a pot, gently fry spices in about 1 tsp ghee or oil for a few seconds, add mung dahl, rice and chopped vegetables. Cover well with the water, and boil for two minutes only. Without wasting time pour the mixture into a thermos food flask. Screw on the lid and leave the thermos closed for approximately four hours. The meal will cook in its own heat while you go about your business and will be ready to eat four hours later.
NOTE: You may like to experiment with quantities and cooking times.
Always remember that the mung dhal and rice swell up substantially so that you need a generous amount of water for proper consistency and ease of serving.
Heavier lentils and beans will need more than 2 minutes of cooking. They should be cooked first. After frying the spices, add rice first and then vegetables should be added later.
Heavier vegetables like carrot, beetroot etc need 1-2 minutes of cooking along with rice and dhal. Spinach and other light, leafy vegetables can be added just a few seconds before pouring the whole dish into the thermos.
If the time between cooking and eating is 5-6 hours, then less than 2 minutes cooking on the stove is necessary. If the time is only 2-3 hours, then a little more is required. The exact amount of time also depends on how well your flask retains heat.
Frying spices correctly to bring out their full flavour and value without burning them is quite an art. Don’t have the ghee or oil at a temperature which is so high that a lot of smoke develops in the kitchen. Begin with whole spices such as fresh, chopped ginger, whole black pepper, cumin seeds, mustard seeds. Fry them one by one until they turn a light brown and their flavour is brought out. Then add the ground spices such as ginger, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, pepper (Note – a spice is usually used either whole or ground in one dish, not both).
The following sequence and combination is common:
- Mustard seeds, until they pop.
- Cumin seed, until the flavour is brought out and light brown.
- Ground turmeric 3-5 seconds.
- Ground black pepper 3-5 seconds.
- Then add water.
The recommendation is that you follow the basic recipe above to begin with, and as you become more comfortable with the meal, you may desire to experiment a little.
Wishing you the bliss of balance
Linda Sinden, Maharishi AyurVeda Consultant
Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our health articles. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity.
Mobile: +64 212 237 525