The temperature is rising outside…have you checked your internal gauge lately? If signs of pitta imbalance are starting to appear, or you notice that toxic residues may be building up from poor digestion, it may be time to do a summertime cleanse. Not only will it help you have a more enjoyable summer, you will also be preparing your immune system for the health challenges that come with fall and winter!
A gentle whole foods cleanse at home can be the perfect way to get rid of any left-over kapha imbalances from the spring, prepare your system for the upcoming pitta season, or wash away any pitta imbalances that have already started accumulating. A whole foods cleanse is a simple way to reset your entire system by removing accumulated toxins and strengthening digestion.
In the summer, it is especially important to give the digestive system a boost, because the digestive fire is naturally low during this season as the body seeks to keep cool by dispersing heat throughout the body. That’s why nature provides lighter and easier to digest foods in the summer season. Summer fruits and vegetables also play a role in detoxifying your liver and cleansing the digestive tract. Healthy digestion actually supports immunity, since a major part of your immune system is found in the gut (in the form of lymphatic channels). And by keeping the digestion strong and healthy in the summer, these lymphatics stay clean and ready to go when cold and flu season rolls back around in the fall.
So how is a summer cleanse different than other times of the year? The basics are the same. For more detailed reading on how you can benefit from an Ayurvedic cleanse and a basic 7 day home regimen, download our free cleanse Ebook, Ayurvedic Cleansing: Waste Be Gone!. Below are some tweaks that you can apply to customize your cleanse for the summer:
- For your massage, consider Pitta Massage Oil instead of plain sesame, as this will give you the benefits of soothing herbs. Or, for a really cooling experience, try mixing it with coconut oil.
- Add sweet vegetables and greens to your diet. You can do this throughout the summer; during the actual cleanse, be sure to eat them in a cooked form. Enjoy asparagus, beet greens, cabbage, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, kale, collard greens, summer squashes, and bell peppers. Garnish your foods with some yummy cilantro and a touch of coconut. You can also try Everyday Greens to supplement the greens in your diet.
- Make a cooling detoxification tea by boiling ½ teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and fennel in 2 cups of water. Add a few leaves of fresh mint for a refreshing treat.
- Also try a cleansing tea made from dandelion greens boiled in hot water. Before drinking, add a little honey and lime to taste if desired. Great for supporting the liver!
- Use supplements to support the tissues where imbalanced pitta tends to build:
- Blood and Skin—Cooling and cleansing herbs like neem and manjistha are great during this season. Try them together in Blood Cleanse.
- Liver—As a predominant part of the cleansing system of the body and the major seat of pitta, the liver is not only affected by physical pitta imbalances, but also mental and emotional pitta imbalances, such as anger and hatred. You can also support a healthy liver with Liver Formula, and for an added boost, try the powerful effects of Kutki liquid extract.
- Intestines—Pitta can accumulate in the intestines, especially the small intestine, which can lead to abdominal discomfort. Amalaki, known for its immune supporting benefits, also has an affinity for cleansing pitta from the intestines.
Once you are done with the cleanse, enjoy the light and sweet things that summer has to offer, including berries and other sweet fruits. Ayurveda recommends that summer is also the time to enjoy the company of friends and family who are also sweet and refreshing; cooling colors like green and blue; soothing yoga and cooling pranayama; and calm evenings in the moonlight. Now doesn’t that sound like just what your pitta needs?