According to the healing system of Ayurveda, your natural state is health, balance, and happiness. A toxin is anything that enters your body-mind and interferes with your natural state, creating imbalances that, over time, can lead to illness. There are many kinds of toxins that you can distill into two major sources:
• Physical toxins found in your food, personal and household products, air, water, and other elements of your environment
• Emotional toxins, such as negative thought patterns and beliefs, self-criticism, chronic stress, and painful experiences that you haven’t fully digested
Ayurveda recommends detoxifying on a regular basis to eliminate toxins and return to your innate state of health and well-being. While a complete Ayurvedic detox often lasts several weeks.
Panch means “five” and karma means “action.” Panchakarma consists of five therapeutic actions or therapies to safely and effectively remove Ama (toxins) from different areas of the body without damaging or weakening the system. The goal of Panchakarma is not to remove physical toxins alone, but truly restore the mind-body system back to a healthy state of balance on all levels – including the mind and emotions.
Panchakarma is unique in that it is tailored to meet each individual’s needs according to their constitution and Doshic imbalances. Ayurvedic philosophy provides the framework for assessing the individual’s constitution and imbalances, which dictate the necessary Panchakarma protocol for an individual. Before entering the process of Panchakarma, a skilled Ayurvedic Physician must assess one’s imbalances and determine the individual’s constitution and current state of Doshas, as well as which tissues, channels and organs are involved in the imbalance and need to be addressed.
A personalized Panchakarma plan is then designed by the Physician, which is a comprehensive process involving diet, nutrition, herbal formulations and supplements, bodywork therapies and lifestyle guidelines. The bodywork therapies performed by a Panchakarma therapist include customized herbs and oils to loosen Ama (toxins) from the deep tissues in order to be removed through the body’s natural channels of elimination.
A typical detox diet involves a period of fasting, followed by a strict diet of fruit, vegetables, fruit juices, and water. Sometimes a detox also includes herbs, teas, supplements, and colon cleanses or enemas. This is claimed to :
• Rest your organs by fasting
• Stimulate your liver to get rid of toxins
• Promote toxin elimination through feces, urine, and sweat
• Improve circulation
• Provide your body with healthy nutrients
Detox therapies are most commonly recommended because of potential exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment or your diet. These include pollutants, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, and other harmful compounds.
These diets are also claimed to help with various health problems, including obesity, digestive issues, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, allergies, bloating, and chronic fatigue.
There are many ways to do a detox diet ranging from total starvation fasts to simpler food modifications.
Most detox diets involve at least one of the following :
• Fasting for 1 to 3 days.
• Drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, water, and tea.
• Drinking only specific liquids, such as salted water or lemon juice.
• Taking supplements or herbs.
• Avoiding all allergenic foods, then slowly reintroducing them.
• Using laxatives, colon cleanses, or enemas.
• Exercising regularly.
• Completely eliminating alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, and refined sugar.
Detox diets vary in intensity and duration.
Your body is frequently exposed to toxic substances. However, most of the time, it can remove them without additional help. While detox diets may seem tempting, their benefits likely have nothing to do with vanquishing toxins, but rather with eliminating various unhealthy foods. A much smarter approach is to eat healthier and improve your lifestyle rather than go on a potentially dangerous cleanse.
Detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they’re claimed to remove, and evidence that they remove toxins at all is lacking. Your body can clear itself of most toxins through the liver, feces, urine, and sweat.