The process of detoxification is the process of removing the obstacles or toxins from the body to achieve good health: an essential principle of Naturopathic sciences, especially in Ayurveda. In Ayurveda, detoxification can be the removal of ama, or toxins which could be physiological, mental, and emotional waste products that block the normal functioning of the body.
Their removal clears the way for the restoration of health and well-being.
In the absence of these obstacles (like pollutants, deficiencies, negative emotions, etc) our body function naturally begins to lean into balance. For this profound effect, it is important that detoxification occurs at all levels of being from single cells up to the whole body.
Emunctorology: The science of detoxification
The emunctories are described as organs of elimination that support the process of detoxification. There are 6 major emunctories:
- Gastrointestinal tract
- Kidneys/Urinary tract
The science of detoxification, Emunctorology, teaches us the language to understand and manage this process of detoxification.
Activation of Emunctories
All emunctories, organs of elimination, are active at all times; constantly working to ensure the best possible health and physiological balance. Their functions can be enhanced by targeted daily choices in activity, food, environment, and hydration. Here are some simple strategies for activation:
The health of our skin is an important indicator of toxin build-up in our bodies. The appearance of acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, etc. demonstrate different forms of imbalances in the body. Skin expresses what is not eliminated regularly from other emunctories. So, effective support of all other emunctories is the first step to promoting skin health.
The main mechanism for toxin elimination from the skin is to sweat. Another way is to shed old skin to prevent the build-up of dead materials. Here are some ways to support:
- Sweat regularly:
- 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise, done 5 times per week.
- Sweat in a sauna or steam room after exercise for 20-30 mins.
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Did you know that sweat, by itself, is actually odorless, and it’s the bacteria that thrive in it that make it smell skunky? Mehfranz works by banishing those toxins or ama that actually lead to this bacterial formation and thus actually solves the root cause of the problem. Besides, it’s also enriched with Cardamom, the Ayurvedic super sweetening spice that keeps you smelling fresh for longer periods!
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- Skin brush: Use skin brush to gently scrub off old, dead skin. Brushing towards the heart also helps to promote lymph flow; For example: start at the hand and brush towards the shoulder.
If you do not prefer something as harsh as a brush, you can also try the Kansa Massage Wand, anall-natural, non-electronic (no batteries, no wires) massage wand to give your skin a naturally firming, tightened look along with a smooth texture and an improved skin tone by also taking care of the appearance of signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and saggy-looking skin.
It also gives the jawline and cheekbones a firmer appearance by relaxing the face, neck, and shoulder muscles for a more appealing posture. It’s even been credited to give a 'natural facelift' without the use of any external ingredients and just with a natural massage.
Also perfect for a calm, relaxing, detox session, Kansa Massage Wand gives the triple benefit of toning, detoxifying, and revitalizing skin naturally to maintain a clearer-looking appearance.
Learn more about Kansa Massage Wand here!
- Apply oil: Perform self-massage or abhyanga with sesame oil for Vata dominant body type, coconut for Pitta, and Olive oil for Kapha body types, 2-3 times per week; ideally 10 minutes before going in the sauna to sweat. The oil nourishes the skin and sweating helps to pull out fat-soluble toxins from skin layers.
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What’s even more impressive about Balaayah is that it can be used not just as a deeply soothing massage session before bath but even as a leave-it-on moisturizer post-shower for an ADDED FORTIFYING effect!
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And if you’re not sure which one of these would suit you, try our travel-friendly and purse-friendly Mini Body Oil Kit, with not 1 or 2 but 5 different body oils that suit all skin types and solve all skin problems!
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With every breath we take in, we get much-needed nutrition and oxygen; and we throw out the toxicant, carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is constant and well known to most of us. However, most of us tend to be unaware of our breath and usually breathe very shallow.
To rectify this, take deep, full breaths to saturate your airway with oxygen – the accompanying pressure also helps to promote healthy gas exchange.
You can also follow a couple of these breathing exercises too, for support. The simplest of these is deep diaphragmatic breathing, also called So-Hum breathing. The mantra ‘So-Hum’ actually has a very interesting meaning. When said out loud, it not only mimics the sound of breathing but also means 'I am that' in Sanskrit, which can be broken down into ‘identifying as one with the universe, ultimate reality or all of creation.’
To practice the So-Hum technique,
- Inhale through your nose, filling your lungs to full capacity.
- Hold your breath for 3 seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth.
- Repeat this exercise 16 times, twice a day.
These organs support the subtle digestive processes and absorption of nutrients. They also support the absorption of medications in the system. As a result, these organs are constantly exposed to toxicants from our foods and medications. The simplest way of protecting these organs is to eat organic, fresh, whole foods; and to avoid all processed foods.
An easy way to protect the liver is through the following:
- Eat 2-3 servings of green leafy vegetables daily.
- 2-3 servings of colorful seasonal vegetables.
- Eat 1-2 servings of seasonal fruits daily.
The health of the gastrointestinal tract is the most common for my patients. This is where we are most vulnerable to the absorption of toxins on a daily basis. The digestive tract is also the home of over 100 trillion bacteria that protect our health by supporting digestion and enhancing the immune system.
To protect the digestive tract by protecting normal function and providing regular replenishment of the gut bacteria, follow these:
- Include several servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily (same used for liver detox). These provide fiber and probiotic gut bacteria for normal activity of the intestines and promote regular bowel movements.
- Eat regular fermented foods: Yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, sour cream, kefir, etc. This nutrition is crucial for replenishing gut bacteria.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day.
The function of this emunctory ensures that we can efficiently get rid of water-soluble toxins from our bodies. It also helps to maintain electrolyte balance in the body so all our cells can function and communicate with each other. When you don’t drink enough water, the health of the urinary tract is compromised.
To support ideal kidney function, keep track of these tips:
- Eliminate refined sugars from the diet completely. 1-2 teaspoons of honey daily will satisfy your needs.
- Drink plenty of water. You can even add lemon slices and/or mint leaves to alkalinize the water.
- Support probiotic intake: Yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, sour cream, kefir, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably homegrown or picked up from farmers' markets.
The mind is our main interactive organ in social and emotional circumstances. It can become exposed to displeasure (anger, frustration, and irritability), emotional pain, trauma, as well as unhealthy thoughts and ideas. Emotional imbalance is often the result of inadequate or improper processing of these exposures of the mind.
Peace, solitude, and rest are easy ways of inducing the processing of these experiences. Here are some ways to do it:
- Meditation is a way to help quiet the activity of the mind. Regular practice of about 20 minutes twice a day can help to clear the mind.
- Walking is a moderate-level exercise that also gives an opportunity to rest the mind from being engaged in doing things. Regular walks in natural settings like the woods have been shown to improve mood and self-esteem, and even boost the immune system.
- Playtime with family and friends: whether it is physical activity or creative projects – play time is an ideal way of giving the mind a break from the daily grind.
- Sleep: 7-8 hours of sleep every night between the hours of 10 pm-6 am. This helps to align the hormonal activity in the body and the mind with circadian rhythm, the day-night cycle of nature.
- Infusing these simple activities into your daily and weekly routines can help to optimize your natural capacity for detoxification. This helps to sustain a good baseline of cleanliness for all your tissues, body, and mind.
Detoxification is a natural and essential process for cultivating and maintaining health. It can be optimized by our daily choices and can become the foundation of disease prevention and longevity. Comprehensive detoxification allows the body to eliminate toxins effectively rather than just redistributing them.
Engaging all the emunctories regularly in the detoxification process is the ideal approach to attaining this. While the foundational practices of diet, exercise, sleep, stress elimination, meditation, laughter, and play help tremendously – you can also keep in mind the tips mentioned above to take extra care of your body this holiday season and continue them throughout the year too.