signs you need a cleanse Skin & Hair Care
Body Detoxification: A Guide Of Signs and Remedies
APRIL 1, 2024

6 Signs Your Body Needs a Deep Cleanse

Summer is at its peak. In a few months, monsoons will be here. Summer's sunny, warm and vibrant hues will fade away and bring in the incessant downpours. Ayurveda believes Varsha ritu or monsoons are the best season to engage in a Panchakarma detox session. It is the best time to cleanse off the accumulated toxins from the body and revive your energy levels. It is normal to feel low on energy during monsoons due to the physical and emotional heaviness – an inexplicable feeling of being stuck, accompanied by lethargy and a lack of motivation to leave your bed.

Is your body trying to tell you something? Is there a reason your body is behaving differently and performing inefficiently?

This sluggishness results from accumulated toxins in the system – deep down at the tissue level – bogs you physically and slows down your mental faculties. You may even try to lift your spirits by indulging in comfort foods, but that will only start a vicious cycle and worsen the situation.

The good news is you can yank yourself out of this cycle with the help of an Ayurvedic cleanse. It is recommended to undergo a deep cleanse to let these toxins out of your body so you can get back to 100% – physically, mentally, and emotionally. In the meantime, you can also minimise the intake of complex foods and allow your body time to repair itself and bounce back.

The body tells us it needs to detox and deep cleanse. Here are a few warning signs that your body is full of toxins and is calling for a monsoon cleanse. Learn more about it before the monsoons come here!

Signs That Your Body Needs a Detox

1. You have gained weight and are unable to lose it

Abnormal weight gain is one of the telltale signs of toxins in the body. The accumulation of toxins slows metabolism, leading to weight gain. The body may expand fat cells and absorb the toxic load to deal with high toxicity and prevent toxins from affecting vital organs. After that, these fat cells are very difficult to eliminate. If you find that the fat stays on even with careful attention to your food quality and intake, this is a warning sign that your body needs deeper cleansing to trim and purify.

2. You feel generally tired or fatigued

In the morning, perhaps there’s no sense of excitement for the day; you drag yourself out of bed. By evening, you feel depleted. This is one of the early signs of toxic overload in the body. Even caffeine and other external stimulators fail to ‘cheer’ you up.

3. You don’t have a full night’s sleep

Somehow, your body’s clock has gone awry. You toss and turn in bed; your sleep is light and restless. Your mind churns as you lie awake in the wee hours. You wake up feeling stiff, sometimes with pains in your joints and muscles. Again, this is one of the signs you need a cleanse to remove toxins from the body.

4. You have minor but constant shifts towards imbalance

It could be sudden acne, rash, or a boil on the skin. Perhaps you keep sneezing out of the blue or a small dry cough. Your skin might be dry and appears to be newly wrinkled. Your hair is suddenly dull or thinning – increasingly. These are signs of toxin overload. Sometimes, signs of toxicity may overlap with the symptoms of a viral/bacterial infection or an underlying health condition. If your symptoms worsen by the day, consider getting a full health check-up to rule out any major concerns.

5. Your bowel movements aren’t regular

Sometimes constipated, bloated, and too loose. You feel you are always at risk of indigestion whatever you eat. These are some common symptoms of toxic overload, which reflect how your digestive system acts. Increasing the fibre in your food and water intake is beneficial, but remember that the bowels need seasonal detox.

6. You don’t feel good emotionally

The fatigue, lethargy, and possible insomnia – all add up and affect your mental and emotional state. Do you find it difficult to focus at work? Do you feel ‘low’ even when there is no apparent reason? Easily depressed, perhaps anxious, nervous, insecure, or moody? Sometimes, a disturbed mental state may reflect toxic body symptoms. Cleansing could help you get back in the groove!

7. Lower back pain

There might be times when you felt unbearable stretching and cramps over your lumbar region but thought it would be due to an irregular sleeping position or an approaching period! Lower back pain is a widespread condition that affects everyone at one point or another in their life. A sedentary life as a part of their work environment can strain the spine, resulting in poor posture. In addition, constant weight fluctuations, stress, poor diet and smoking can all add to the oxygenation and calcium levels in the body, promoting slow pain waves down the spine with time. Correcting these lifestyle habits and scheduling body detoxes could help you get back on track and stronger.

8. Recurring headaches.

Recurring headaches can be your companion after long work hours and stressful situations. These could be a part of your routine that you are accustomed to by now or something bothering you too much. In these instances, we understand the importance of destressing and detoxing as per one's body's demands. Stress and rush hours can result in several physiological imbalances, including neural responses that might initially come out as minor to moderate headaches, which shouldn't be ignored.

9. Frequent colds and viruses.

Low immunity.! Even if the person on the leftmost cabin of the large room you work in happened to have a common cold episode the day before yesterday, you might go green around the gills a day later! That's the level of immunological dysfunction one's body might suffer. It can result in frequent fevers, sneezes, runny nose, fatigue and physical exhaustion. Lack of energy to even carry out simple tasks. Boosting the immune system is essential not just to resist diseases but to boost the inborn vitality of our systems, for which a cleanse is a must.

If any of the above symptoms describe your condition, your body tells you it needs a complete detox. Spring cleaning is most important in cold climates to prepare you for the year ahead.

Traditional Ayurvedic Detox & How It Can Help Dealing with Hangover:

Here's what comes with spring!

Stay focused on the refreshing, gentle rains, Colours and Melting ice. According to Ayurveda, Spring is the season of Kapha (The water element) aggravation. Alongside the energy rush and cosy warmth, these adverse effects also make their way to steal the show-

  • Heaviness.
  • Bloating
  • Water retention.
  • Toxin buildup.

So we have to be prepared!

Panchakarma- To remove toxins, revive vital energy and restore the body's natural biochemistry!

Shodhana Chikitsa, also known as Panchakarma, is Sanskrit for "five activities" (Pancha denotes "five" and karma means "action"). It is one of the fundamental cleansing therapies in Ayurveda. A series of five essential therapies are used in this all-natural, holistic method to target each of the body's core functions and cleanse your system of the endotoxins and the waste products that have built up in your body over time in tiny, confined spaces known as "srotas."

Depending on the patient's condition and needs, Panchakarma therapy can last anywhere from 21 days to a month. At least 21–28 days of Panchakarma cleanse should be finished to start the process correctly.

The five shodhana therapies in Panchakarma include

  1. Vamana: The therapeutic vomiting.
  2. Virechana: The purgation therapy.
  3. Basti: A medicated enema.
  4. Nasya: Nasal detox.
  5. Raktamokshana : Bloodletting therapy.

Dietary Changes

To help understand what foods will favour your body type.! To know the difference between what you eat and what you should eat.!

Eating isn't a mechanical process to refuel ourselves with stuffed-up calories.! It's to be done with a presence of mind with our hearts open to welcome the energy our meals are meant to provide us. Our motto is to prepare with love, abide by Ayurvedic principles, and eat with mindfulness.

Your dosha predominant constitution or prakriti is accountable for the kinds of food you should be eating and the types of food you shouldn't be. If you are a Vata predominant person, eating cold, bitter and dry food, a lot won't suit you as it will only aggravate your dominant Vata. Hence, it will be favourable if you choose sweet, sour and warm food items with hot potency instead of the former ones.

Hence, a few factors must be considered while changing your diet habits.

  1. Quantity of food intake (2/3rd of your satiety levels are only what you need)
  2. Quality and Doshic compatibility.
  3. Climate-friendly foods.
  4. A balanced diet with all six tastes. (Shadrasas)

Self-Massage

Abhyanga (warm oil massage) is one of the simplest and most influential traditional Ayurvedic practices we may perform during extreme fatigue and exhaustion.

Ayurvedic Herbs & Medicines for Relief from a Hangover :

Ayurvedic herbs are an all-time reliable mode of medication to ease your systems and to help you when you go under the weather. So here are some herbal allies from the timeless science of Ayurveda that will help you detox and destress for significant benefits.

Kalmegh :

The kalmegh plant is utilised worldwide, and the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia also emphasises its significance. If you are looking for an all-rounder to assist your hepatic functions, that wait is over.! Due to its bitter and cooling properties, kalmegh improves liver functions and stimulates bile production. The liver, being the organ that helps detoxify and cleanse the blood, acts in advance to cut through the accumulated ama, igniting Agni, enhancing appetite, and thereby supporting easy digestion. Kalamegha is an all-in-one package!

Gotu Kola :

Relieve those frequent colds and fevers with Gotu Kola.! Scientifically known as Centella asiatica and natively known as 'Mandukaparni', the herb helps to calm the fevers and relieves the body of major imbalances. It actively assists the liver in detoxifying the blood and has mild laxative functions. With its cool potency and bitter post-metabolic taste, Gotu Kola helps the body maintain its Tridoshic balance. The wonderful herb has been utilised since ancient times to heal wounds and bring mental clarity and cognitive efficiency. And that becomes an add-on for one's body detox journey.!

Guggulu

Commiphora mukul, or Guggulu, is a popular herb utilised in inflammatory conditions and thyroid dysfunctions. Kanchanara Guggulu, Triphala Guggulu, Guggulu Tikthaka Kashaya and the list goes on.! Guggulu is a purificatory drug frequently combined with the significant ingredients of various ayurvedic formulations to maximise the effects. The herb aids in easing conditions like arthritis as it helps balance the inflammatory levels of the body by pacifying pitta dosha. The potential herb helps maintain a healthy body mass index and relieve high cholesterol levels. Do you want to keep the weight within fit parameters? Do you want to remove those extra calories and fats.? Are you scared of those deposits of cholesterol inside the blood vessels? Fear no more! Guggulu is suitable at your service.!!

Amla.

Amalaki, or Indian Gooseberry, is known as the 'Mother of Herbs' accounting for its deep rejuvenating properties. One of the Triphala herbs in Ayurveda, it's hard to list down the vast arena of benefits this herb offers our body! Amalaki incredibly supports the body with its high amount of antioxidants and Vitamin C content. Amlaki fosters a healthy immune system and defence mechanisms of the body. It also helps rekindle biofire, preventing Ama or endotoxin buildup. It helps with easy absorption and active elimination. It nourishes the bones, hair, and nails and aids in maintaining normal blood sugar levels. If you want to grow thick hair and help with nail breakages, skin radiance and irregular bowels, Amalaki is your call! With its Rasayana property, the herb rejuvenates every cell of your body inside-out!

Neem.

The herb is natively known as 'Village Dispensary', accounting for its wide range of benefits. Neem is notoriously known for its bitter taste, but apart from that, each part of the plant has at least one medicinal property. Neem is celebrated for promoting clear skin and radiant complexion, accounting for its ability to balance Pitta dosha. It cleanses the body of endotoxins and assists in easy digestion and evacuation. Neem helps with water retention and aids in maintaining healthy teeth, hair, and gums. The wonder herb is now not to be missed for good!

Here are some home remedies and lifestyle interventions that can help detox and reclaim your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Home Remedies to Remove Toxins From the Body

Eat a simple yet balanced diet

A detox process ‌starts with a gut cleanse, and there are certain things you can do at home to get off on the right foot.

Limit your intake of fried food and intoxicating substances, such as alcohol and cigarettes, as these substances increase the level of free radicals in the system.

Have khichdi for at least two out of three meals in a day. Khichdi may not be as filling as wheat bread and eat more than you should. Therefore, having small portions throughout the day is recommended when you feel hungry.

Snacking Done Right

Snacking fills the gap between meals and helps you power through the day. But it is important to do it right. That said, avoid potato chips, chocolates, and other processed items. Instead, you can have fruits, raisins, lotus seeds, avocado, nuts, and steamed vegetables. Cleansing does not mean starving.

Increase Water Intake

Hydration is essential when you are cleansing. Drink at least 4 litres of water daily. The warmer, the better. You can even infuse your water with digestive herbs- cumin, fennel, coriander or basil. Drinking water is one of the easiest and most effective ways to flush toxins from your body. However, avoid drinking water immediately before or after meals to prevent indigestion.

Triphala Tea

Triphala is an excellent Ayurvedic remedy to cleanse your GI tract and ensure regular bowel movements.

Add half tsp of Triphala powder into a cup of hot water. Let it steep for about 10 minutes, and then have it before bedtime.

Alternatively, you can take a Triphala tablet with water to induce bowel movement in the morning.

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Avoid Staying Awake in the Wee Hours

According to Ayurveda; you should have your last meal before sunset and go to bed by 10 PM. When you sleep at 10 PM and wake up at 6 in the morning, your body will get sufficient, restful sleep, which is paramount during a cleanse.

Herbal Remedies

Kerala Ayurveda provides a wide range of herbal formulations that can help you detoxify and cleanse your system. Some highly recommended herbal remedies for an Ayurvedic wash are Triphala tablets and Abhayarishta.

Abhayarishta is a non-habit-forming colon-cleansing syrup with Haritaki or Abhaya as the primary ingredient. Haritaki is one of the most potent herbs for constipation. Other digestive herbs are also used, made into a decoction, mixed with jaggery, and fermented. This delicious syrup can help clear the digestive tract and facilitate bowel movements.

In addition to experiencing constipation, certain individuals may also suffer from acidity and gastric irritation. Triphala presents a preferable option for them, given its dual benefits of alleviating constipation and possessing gut-healing properties.

Before you take these herbal formulations, it is recommended to read the description carefully or consult with an Ayurveda practitioner to rule out the risk of interaction with your ongoing medicines.

Key Takeaways

  • Poor eating habits and lack of physical activity can lead to toxin build-up in your system.
  • If you generally feel lethargic, fall sick frequently, experience abnormal weight gain or loss, have irregular sleep patterns and bowel movements, or feel that you have fallen into the spiral of depression and anxiety, it’s your body calling out for a full detox.
  • If you don’t have the time or resources to undergo an Ayurvedic cleanse, you can detoxify your body with a few simple remedies and dietary interventions.
  • Eating khichdi or any other light diet, along with herbal beverages, prevents further toxin accumulation while you try to detoxify.
  • To facilitate detoxification, take some readily available herbal formulations at Kerala Ayurveda. These include Triphala tablets and Abhayarishta.
  • After a few days into your detox regime, you may feel more energetic and joyful with a glow on your face. You may also experience diarrhea, carvings, sweating, and irritability. However, you should not worry as these are some symptoms of toxins leaving the body.

About the Author

Dr. Anna Chackanackuzhy
Dr. Anna Chackanackuzhy (BAMS)

Dr. Anna Chackanackuzhy is an Ayurvedic physician currently working at Kerala Ayurveda. Graduated from Vaidyartnam Ayurveda College, Thrissur, Kerala, and is well-trained in Kerala Ayurveda practices; she has extensive experience in the Ayurvedic domain working as an RMO in various hospitals in Kerala. She has expertise in Panchakarma, skin and hair conditions, and joint care.




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