Spring is the time for cleansing!
This is an ideal time for a Pancha Karma cleanse to detoxify, rejuvenate and prevent Spring allergies. Visit your ayurvedic doctor to plan your cleanse. It doesn't have to be expensive. Many practitioners have a home cleanse option that costs very little.
Fast on Kitchari
If you can't make it to a Pancha Karma center or Ayurvedic practitioner, try a kitchari fast, i.e. a week of cleansing kitchari, castor oil self-massages and ginger baths. Come off your fast carefully, leaving allergenic foods such as wheat, dairy, soy, peanuts and nightshades until a week after your fast, and avoiding alcohol, smoking, sodas, white sugar and junk foods during and for at least ten days after your fast. In Spring, eat plenty of bitter greens, including unsprayed tender dandelion greens from your garden.
Self Oil Massage
Self oil massage is a daily brisk massage with warm, castor oil to loosen toxins and excess doshas and begin to bring them into the digestive tract for elimination.
Oiling must be done on an empty stomach (at least 3 hrs after last meal), so for most people the morning is the best time.
Oil from head to foot, with most attention to head and feet. Continue at least 1/2 hour
Warm the oil by putting a small plastic squeeze bottle of it in a sink or bowl of hot water for several minutes.
Be sure to have old towels available to sit on and for under your feet (you will also need old towels for drying yourself after the sweating.
Let the oil soak in a few minutes while you prepare your bath. Be sure not to become chilled at any time.
Ginger/baking soda bath
1/3 cup each of dried ginger & baking soda for each bathtub full of tolerable hot water (avoid excessive heat.)
Be sure the bathroom is warm. Avoid getting chilled at any time.
Have extra "oil" towels available.
Soak after oiling and then get out when begin to sweat.
Cover with towels and continue to sweat in the warm bathroom until you are beginning to cool down.
Do's & Don'ts for sweating:
Don't eat before sweating.
Be careful of your slipperiness after the oil massage! don't slip & fall!!
Do not overheat in any of the methods, you should just be breaking a mild sweat over your whole body, not getting red. Sweating may start at the top of your body and work its way down. Be sure the bottom is sweating also.
After sweating be careful not to get chilled - take a shower (again, careful not to slip on oil in tub!!). One tip to remove excess oil from hair--put shampoo on hair before wetting hair in final shower. You may need to suds more than once. OR just don't worry about oily hair right now. Leaving on a light coating of the oil won't be a problem for the days of the treatment .Better not to use soap on the skin at this time.
Be sure that you're not getting dehydrated from the sweating - drink plenty of Fluid Replacement Tea. Recipe: 1 quart of filtered or spring water; 1/4 cup Mint; 1/6 cup Gotu Kola/ Brahmi; 1/4 tsp salt; 1 small squeeze lime
Carefully clean the bathroom and tub after oiling and sweating to avoid slipping.
On hyacinth and lilac
Fresh snow on the foothills.
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!