The Ayurvedic home cleanse is based on ancient panchakarma practices. Panchakarma translates to mean "five therapies" and describes gentle detoxification processes of Ayurveda—like flushing the system with a purgative and removing excess toxins through a basti, or enema.
The preparation phase
In addition to detoxification therapies, panchakarma includes a preparation period, of few days up to a few weeks, during which a simple cleansing diet is adopted. This can be a diet full of easy-to-digest foods like well-cooked veggies and whole grains, or it can be tailored to your specific Ayurvedic constitution type. The preparation phase also integrates oiling the body from the inside by ingesting clarified butter (ghee) on an empty stomach each morning and from the outside by oiling the body through a daily self-massage.
The complete Ayurvedic home cleanse—including the preparation diet, ingestion of ghee, and other specialized therapies—can offer some very profound cleansing effects:
Cleansing effects of the Ayurvedic home cleanse
- Removal of excessive doshas from the body. Ayurveda has two specific types of therapy: shamana and shodhana. Shamana refers to palliative care, and it calms the doshas through diet and lifestyle practices. With this method, mild to moderate conditions can be soothed but may return if the practices are discontinued. Shodhana refers to therapies that actually remove the excessive doshas from the body so that conditions do not reoccur when a more flexible diet or lifestyle is reintroduced. These specialized panchakarma therapies are body purification therapies—which is what makes them so profound.
- Removal of fat-soluble toxins, which triggers mental, emotional, and spiritual cleansing. Heavy metals, pesticides, and negative emotions are all toxins that store themselves in our fat cells. The ingestion of ghee during the cleanse stimulates secretions in the tissues, allowing greater flow so that these toxins move out of the cells and can be flushed from the body. In this way, the fat works like a soap to loosen and remove unwanted buildup.
- A metabolism boost from eating real foods. The Ayurvedic cleanse is not based on starvation, and in fact, there are benefits to eating certain foods during your cleanse. Kitchari, a traditional cleansing dish of spiced split mung beans and basmati rice, has an astringent quality that gently pulls built-up toxins from the intestinal wall. This supports the health of the intestinal tract and allows for better absorption of nutrients. Eating easily digestible foods on the cleanse feeds agni (digestive fire), which speeds up the metabolism. Spices often included in the Ayurvedic cleanse like ginger, cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds also support a balanced metabolism.