According to Ayurveda period from October to February is considered a Vata season. To prepare our bodies to the external weather condition of blowing cold and dry winds, we need to strengthen our immune system with a fall cleanse. Unlike the spring cleanse meant for detoxification of toxins accumulated due to heavier diet in winter, fall cleanse is designed to strengthen the digestion and cellular metabolism. By following simple recommendations during the change of season from summer to fall, it is possible to start the new season with a clean slate.
1.Follow Vata pacifying diet that is light, warm and well spiced. Strengthening the digestion is done through diet, lifestyle and often herbal support. The spices that you may be most familiar with in your kitchen are the same one used for igniting the digestive fire. Fennel and ginger tea is excellent for enhancing digestion. Spices used commonly in fall cleansing include cardamom, fresh ginger, cinnamon, fennel, cumin, and turmeric. Including these spices with your food at each meal will enable you to better absorb all the nutrients of the foods you consume.
2.Herbal support may be used to strengthen appetite and digestion and rejuvenate liver to optimize the body’s metabolic processes. One herbal formula that Vaidyas recommend is Triphala Plus. The addition of Bhumi Amalaki and Yastimadhu assists in tonify function of liver and gall bladder. Triphala Plus cleanses and tones digestive tract, promotes regular elimination and helps assimilation of nutrients.
Ashwagandha also known as Indian Ginseng has a wide range of benefits and significance in Ayurveda. Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years as a rejuvenative and Adaptogenic herb. In Sanskrit word “Ashwa” means horse and “Gandha” is vitality – a herb that promotes vitality and virility in its traditional use to support healthy male reproductive system.
Ashwagandha benefits athletes by building blood, muscles tissues and healthy semen. Ashwagandha used daily in a beverage helps minimize the negative effects of stress, supports a healthy immune system and helps build sexual and reproductive balance.
Here is a recipe of Ashwagandha Beverage. Though it could take a few days to get accustomed to its bitter and astringent taste but the health benefits are immense!
3.During the fall cleanse, it is essential that one exercise daily for 20-40 minutes depending on one’s health history. Yoga practice is excellent for this, though one may find benefit from a walking regimen or other types of full body, weight-bearing, sweat inducing exercise.
4.Establish daily routine of Abhayanga or self massage. It helps to remove the accumulated stress and toxins in the mind and the body, increases circulation to the nerve endings and promotes stamina throughout the day. It increases mental alertness and tones muscles and lubricates the joints. Apply warm Nourishing Vata oil lightly to the entire body. Wait for few minutes and then apply even pressure with the whole palm and massage with circular motions over rounded areas such as head or joints and straight strokes on arms and legs, directed towards the heart to enhance lymphatic flow.
5.Go to bed early (well before 10:00 p.m.) and rise before 6:00 a.m. Extra rest during this time of seasonal change helps to keep the doshas in balance.