Ayur Detox

I began to realize the significance of detoxification only when I started taking a course of detoxification in an Ayurvedic clinic. Detox is as important as giving nourishment to our body. It is essential to keep not only toxins but also toxic thoughts & toxic people at bay for our well being. Since Ayurveda is more effective for detoxification, it is a good idea to include detoxifying herbs & spices by incorporating ayurvedic concepts into our detox diet. In this post I have outlined the Ayurvedic concepts and shared a few of the recipes for Ayur detox.

Ayurvedic concepts:

I find a similarity between Indian Ayurveda & Astrology as they both were meant to guide us when to take risks or when to stay low. However, wise old people (like our grandparents) or enlightened souls (yogi) do not rely on such support systems since they are able to strike a chord of harmony with Mother Nature effortlessly. But others prefer to cling on to Ayurveda both for our food and medicine.

Ayurveda is pivoting on the principles of three major forces of energy vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (water). It states that we have a mixture of these energies (dosha) within ourselves and also in our environment in different proportions at different times. Ayurveda believes that when any of these forces are out of balance (or exerted excessively on us) it causes disease. Essentially Ayurveda recommends us when to take dosha pacifying food and when to avoid dosha aggravating food.

You may refer the comparison tables below to understand how our body & mind is influenced by these forces.

dosha-elements Ayur Detox
Dosha types

Doshas in different stages of our life:

According to Ayurveda children until their adolescence are influenced by kapha dosha, adults up to the age of 50 by pitta and people above 50 by vata dosha irrespective of their body type. This is the reason we normally find children suffering from frequent cough & colds, adults finding it to difficult to manage acid reflux, and old people suffering with arthritis. We also find some children rebellious, adults audacious, or old people inflexible, most likely they all attribute to excessive dosha. If we notice pimples on the face of an adolescent, we all cry out for hormonal imbalance today. But my grandmother simply dubbed it as “choodu” (excessive body heat). So she asked us to wash our face with tender coconut water and to take overnight soaked fenugreek seeds in the morning to reduce the body heat.

dosha-stages-of-life Ayur Detox

So it is better to exercise prudence by encouraging kapha type children taking kapha-pacifying food till they reach their adolescence. Similarly, pitta type adults avoid taking pitta-aggravating food until they could feel the decline of pitta. And vata type old people need to take necessary precautions before they turn 50. Besides we are influenced by these dosha in different seasons of a year and at different times of a day. You may refer the dosha calendar & dosha clock (created for tropical Indian climate) shown below to know when each dosha is exerted more on us.

dosha-seasons Ayur Detox

Doshas in different time of a day:

The dosha clock below indicates that our mind & body is as cool as water duing kapha time, aggressive like fire during pitta time, and as active as air in vata time. Our grandparents considered vata time in the morning (4-6 am) auspicious for every new beginning. So we conduct a special pooja or house-warming ceremony, make pongal for harvest festival, etc. early in the morning. We insist children to wake up & study before the sunrise (4-6 am) and play in the evening (4-6 pm) during vata time. Spiritual leaders suggest that the kapha time in the morning (6-8 am) is ideal for practicing yoga (or other fitness regimens) and in the evening (6-8 pm) for prayers & meditation. It is our custom that we light lamps at 6 pm and offer prayers. It may be because we all would feel grounded like water during kapha time.

dosha-clock-1 Ayur Detox

During pitta time (10 am to 2 pm) we all feel hungrier and our digestive system is also fiery enough to assimilate the ingested food. So it is our tradition to take liquid food like fermented rice water in the morning, a large meal (arusuvai virundhu, a feast comprising 6 tastes) for lunch and a light meal for dinner. We can prepare Ayur detox and drink them at the right time to enjoy the benefits to the fullest.

Ayur Detox:

Although Ayurveda recommends a number of detoxifying herbs, I find jeera water, plantain stem juice and haritaki drink very effective. Nevertheless, we can prepare them easily and include into our regular diet also.

detox1-scaled Ayur Detox
Detox for weight loss

Jeera water:

Cumin seeds (jeera) are well known for pacifying all three dosha and also for its excellent detoxifying properties. So we can prepare jeera water as shown below and drink all day long instead of water.

cumin Ayur Detox
Jeera water

Plantain stem juice (vazhaithandu juice):

Plantain stem juice, a natural diuretic, aids in detox & weight loss. Since banana stem pacifies kapha & pitta dosha, we can take this juice during kapha or pitta time of a day. You may add a tablespoon of curd (or a teaspoon of lemon juice) to prevent oxidation while extracting juice.

banana-stem-juice Ayur Detox
Vazhaithandu juice

Haritaki (kadukkai) drink :

According to Siddha & Ayurveda, Haritaki (kadukkai) is one of the most powerful and healing herbs. It is also useful for detoxification as a natural laxative & for weight loss. We can mix a teaspoon of haritaki powder into a glass of tepid water and drink it before going to bed.

haritaki Ayur Detox
Kadukkai powder mixed with warm water

Other detox drinks:

We can include other juices shown below into our detox diet at an appropriate time to pacify our dosha. I have not added sugar or salt into any of the juices shown below. But I have added cumin seeds powder into some to balance the dosha and also to enhance the flavor.

detoxdiet-juices Ayur Detox
Ayur Detox

Here I have just shared my experiences with which I got benefited. But you may consult an Ayurveda practitioner before taking them. Luckily I grew up listening to the words vatham, pitham & kapam articulated by my grandparents and other elders in our family. I am grateful to all of them who taught us invaluable life lessons and made us richer by peerless experiences.

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  1. Ayurveda is a wonderful study! I love your articles that always includes so much beautiful tradition and beneficial education in daily life.

      1. Will be coming back to follow. Your mandala with letter M drew me to your blog, very effective. ( in a comment on another post) ?

    1. Thank you so much.
      By the way, I guess you might have taken jeera water during your childhood days.

      1. Yes Megala infact We make it here in the US as well , it’s our every day drink πŸ™‚ .I was not aware of the plantain stem juice good to know all these facts.

  2. You have explained this so beautifully.Too often my medications don’t bring complete relief and now after reading this I’m tempted to try these juices.
    Well done, Megala! Keep up the good work.

    1. I’m so delighted to hear this, and I wish you could reap the rewards of ayurvedic detox.
      Thank you.

  3. I wouldn’t think that “delicious” and “detox” could go together in the same sentence, but that drink sounds fantastic! I’d be happy to drink it any day.

  4. Fascinating post Megala – sounds like you have lots more knowledge in this space that could benefit your followers!

    1. I’m glad you felt so, thanks a ton!
      My grand father was an agriculturist, he wrote columns in newspapers & delivered radio speeches for farmers, and he preached Siddha at home. But sadly none of us showed any interest in his talks except my mother!

      1. Very great, some persons live as a treasure to our society and happy you have one in your family. Your blog posts are also so special it not only says how to cook also says the benefits origin and every details about that food. You are also doing something special to this society. Truly you are hidden treasure, but you are shining well in WordPress. Hope in future you will go places.

  5. This is an awesome post! Yeah I always have pitta or kapha dosha and my mom always tells me to reduce body heat by drinking certain herbal drinks. This was a really helpful post and def gonna try these drinks soon. Thanks for sharing this Megala πŸ™‚

  6. Megala, thank you for sharing your and your grandmother’s wisdom. This is just such an awesome reading and easy to follow up. I really like the idea of cumin water. but I have a question to that, do you soak the cumin seeds in hot water or just room temperature?

    1. Glad you liked it, thanks much!
      We normally add roasted cumin seeds into boiling water and keep the pan closed allowing the flavors infused into water. Later we strain the water into a jar for consumption. But if we soak cumin seeds at room temperature, the flavors may not get infused entirely into the water.

  7. This has been a most enjoyable read, Megala, with a lot of very interesting ideas. I’ve also loved your use of the images, which highlighted, even more, the information you’ve provided. &
    How wonderful to have been influenced by your grand parents and other elders in such a beneficial way. Well done to them and you… πŸ™‚

  8. This is great! I like the idea of incorporating regular detox foods/herbs into daily life, instead of the more extreme versions that are supposed to balance out everything in a short period of times. Ayurveda is so good at balance.

  9. Such a nice and great info… beautifully written !! Love these Mother Nature’s detox methods…I do make cumin water method but plantain one is interesting… definitely I ll try to detox with your methods? thanks for sharing Megala❣️

    1. Being a Keralite you might have taken cumin infused water since your childhood. May I know your take on cumin water?

  10. Very nicely written, easy to understand, Megala…. We are loosing our roots, there is need to bring back in daily routine, simple things work wonders.Thanks for sharing.

    1. So true, it is indeed wise to align ourselves with nature like our ancestors. Thanks Rita!

  11. Wonderful post Megala! Thanks for sharing:) The banana stem is a bit difficult to grind to a juice right? It leaves lot of fibre? Yours looks great..:)

    1. We need to remove the fibrous outer layers and use the core of banana stem alone. It is not too difficult to extract the juice when we use the core. We also cook banana stem for making poriyal, etc., hope you would like to try banana stem once. πŸ™‚
      Thank you.

  12. Nice post, Meg. ? I did not know about banana stem juice. Time to try it. ??
    There’s another fruit that pacifies pitta – kokkam juice. It’s used a lot in coastal Karnataka.

    1. Thank you, and thanks for reminding me about kokum, I will include in this gif right away. πŸ™‚

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