An important concept in Ayurveda (traditional East Indian medicine) is the land and seed theory.
It's really very simple. The body is the "land." The "seed" is a virus, bacteria, toxic substance -- anything that can take root and cause disease.
In order to function properly, the body needs to maintain balance through good digestion and regular elimination. When toxins build up in the system through poor diet, inadequate digestion, or slow elimination, the "land" becomes fertile for the "seed" to grow and thrive, thereby causing discomfort and illness.
We restore the body's balance by periodically following a cleansing regimen. In Ayurveda, this is recommended at every change in season, but you can do this whenever you feel the need.
Since stress negatively impacts the digestive tract, reduce the amount of stress in your life by getting enough sleep and practicing meditation and other stress-relieving acivities.
Physical activity energizes both the digestive and immune systems. Engage in daily exercise, and don't be afraid to sweat! Sweating opens up the pores and allows toxins to escape through the skin. Breathe deeply, and open up the lungs.
Treat yourself to a massage or visit a spa. Take a warm bath or shower every day. (Jacuzzis, steam baths, and hot tubs feel wonderful!)
Flush out your system with plenty of water, fruit juice, vegetable juice, and herbal tea. Dandelion root tea is especially beneficial in detoxifying the body.
Promote regular elimination by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Add more fiber to your diet with whole grains and legumes.
Since this is a cleansing diet, avoid junk food, fatty food, processed food, sweets, soft drinks, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Limit your intake of meat and dairy products.
Spice up your meals with liberal amounts of fresh herbs and spices. Cilantro, mint, lemon, basil, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, clove, fenugreek, cinnamon, black pepper, and fennel whet the appetite and stimulate the digestive juices. Use extra-virgin olive oil whenever possible.
Prepare cool, light meals in summer and warm, nourishing meals in winter.
Follow this regimen for at least 30 days. People with chronic health problems or disabilities should consult a physician before making any diet changes or engaging in physical activity.
Dawn Pisturino, RN
Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, June 7, 2007.
Copyright 2012 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.