Every year come late September, without fail everyone begins to drop like FLIES. Summer “cold”, sinus congestion, lethargy, exhaustion, and migraines for YOU, and YOU, and YOUUUU! Ayurveda has thousands of years of studying people and how their bodies react to shifts in the seasons behind it, but let’s just look at the simple facts here:
+ When it is warm out, our channels open up to circulate blood more quickly and efficiently, when it is cold out those same channels shrink down to keep the blood flow closer to the core where our visceral organs live.
+ This means that when there is a drastic shift in temperature, the vascular system shrinks down and can leave us feeling “congested” or “blocked” as these shrunken channels become overloaded with toxins that were previously being evacuated freely during the warm summer months. Thus resulting in all kinds of inflammatory responses, including, but not limited to, the aforementioned ickiness.
Here are some tips to ease that toxic load and make your transition into Fall a graceful one!
1. Remember to M.O.W! Eat foods that are easily digestible and Moist, Oily, and Warm. Barley, rice and wheat are recommended. Steam your veggies and dress them with a quality olive oil and sea salt for extra minerals. Cut back on leafy greens, uncooked vegetables and salads. Increase sweet, sour and salty foods.
2. Drink room temperature water (instead of ice water) to keep Agni (digestive fire!) in balance. Start your day with a big glass of (organic!) lemon water + a pinch of sea salt. Avoid ice cream, and reach instead for cooked spiced apples/pears/berries in crisps or pies.
3. Consider taking an Ayurvedic liver formula or liver supportive herb daily during September—it will help support the cleansing of old pitta (heat) from the blood and liver. Some great western herbs to support health and gentle detox are: Milk thistle, Dandelion root, and Chicory. Experiment with some liver tonic herbs for 6-8 weeks and pay really close attention to any shifts in mind, body, or energy! *Nursing/pregnant mommas should avoid intense detoxing during these seasons of life! Talk to your doctor before making any big changes or introducing any new herbs.
4. Dry brush in the mornings before showering! Long brush strokes from the feet up toward the heart help to gently stimulate the lymph system and keep skin glowing.
5. Consider intermittent fasting or a Kitchari fast! Fasting allows the digestive tract time to heal and expel toxins from the body! Choose an amount of time/type of fast you are comfortable with! One option is to stop eating around 7pm, and fast until around 10 am. If you are already a high anxiety “Vata” type, Kitchari fasting may be better for you as you can still eat nourishing meals during this type of fast! Listen to your body, but don’t be afraid to try new things.
*Herb Pharm has a great liver detox and support tincture available on Amazon. It runs about $28 for a bottle that has aprox. 170 servings. This should last you a couple of months!
*If you are new to Kitchari, Banyan Botanicals has an amazing "kitchari kit" that I have personally used and loved! It makes it very easy and comes with a great recipe.