Its been a week since my castor oil cleanse and I’ve been tracking the changes in my body. But like with any contemplation, reflection actually has brought more realization about the cleansing process than my results themselves.
While my castor oil and ginger tea detox sounds tame, it has been one of the toughest, most intense cleanses I have done. And through this, I have realized that the cleansing process is a sacred one that must be done with more gentleness and preparedness than I done it. I have often view cleansing as a trial in discipline, and I have gotten a sense of accomplishment from their completion. But as the nausea and tummy grumbles of this detox affected me, in retrospect I think that cleansing cannot be something we fit into out weekly schedule – but rather undertake as a more conscious process.
So, as the cleanse canary I have anointed myself, I have the following tips for you:
1. Cancel all obligations – I felt really ill on this cleanse, and the last thing I wanted to do was execute planned activities. But, somehow I found myself running around as usual, which depleted my already taxed body. Even worse, was I felt ill and had to try to stick to my schedule, and while I was smart enough to know I should limit my cleanse to weekend days (and spread it out over four weeks), I still pushed myself by doing work at home , seeing friends, and running errands… so if you are going to cleanse, I say take time off work… I mean take time off all work (calling all work-a-holics). Not only did I do everything slower and with less focus, but my frustration probably caused internal inflammation.
2. Plan your meals – I was ill prepared on the food front. With some cleanses I’ve need to follow a strict diet, so meal planning is essential, but even with a cleanse like this, I neglected to be as vigilant. And believe me, prep would helpful – again t would place more focus the cleanse, and less on chores. Also, when we cleanse, we want to eat foods that are light, gentle on our digestive systems and void of c*@!. For Ayurvedic Detoxifacation, it is recommended we eat kitchari as it is nourishing and easy on our bodies. Kitchari is a rice and mung bean dish which provides protein, moisture and digestive comfort. Its also easy to make and has few ingredients making it a no-fuss option, which is perfect for when our constitutions are being exhausted by detox. Note to self: use the Ayurvedic knowledge you have.
3. Rest – Lastly, its not only important to clear your schedule, but to make a point of relaxing and recouping. Again, according to Ayurvedic opinion on detox, cleansing is a time of rest, meditation and reflection so it we should try to put ourselves in a peaceful mind space. This way all of our body’s energy is completely devoted to detoxing. This concept came to me as I realized that I, myself, did not relax properly, and I don’t think I cleansed and well or as deeply because of it. Its funny how awareness can slip by you when you are in the middle of your life. So, if we are going to go through the effort of doing a detox, we must remember that cleansing does more than clear the digestive tract and remove waste from our tissues, it is also about the elimination of ama (toxins) from the mind. Dr. Vasant Lad once said that cleansing emotional ama is just as important as physical ama.
Saying this, we need to make this experience also about grounding and releasing unresolved emotions and issues – making this cleanse truly holistic. And while I am grateful the act of reflection post-cleanse, hopefully next time I will take a page from this proverbial detox diary, making it more effective.