'Practice intermittent fasting for 16 hours.'
'Eat the last meal of the day at 6 pm and then don't eat any solid food till 10 am the next day.'
Recently, Subah Jain, founder, Satvic Movement, organised a three-day juice fast that had 2,700 participants. According to her, detoxifying your body is crucial in the times of COVID-19.
"A virus is never the cause, but is, in fact, the outcome of a disease. If your body is free of toxins, no virus can survive within it," she says.
This year, since it will be impossible for you to visit a spa in the Himalayas or a naturopathy centre in Kerala, you should work on detoxifying your body at home itself.
Everyone needs to detox
When we stuff our body with greasy and spicy food, it accumulates in our intestine and cells, from where it gets into the bloodstream to cause toxaemia or blood poisoning. This needs to be eliminated.
Today, we are bombarded by toxins everywhere. Says Ishi Khosla, a Delhi-based clinical nutritionist: "There are pollutants in the air, poisons in the soil, pesticides and heavy metals in the food we consume, and chemicals in the pills and medicines we take."
"In addition, we are subject to geopathic stress caused by radiation present in the environment. All this causes inflammation in the body which we need to reduce by changing our diet and lifestyle."
1. Everyday detoxification
Incorporate rituals derived from naturopathy and Ayurveda into your daily routine.
Start the day with a glass of warm water, lemon, and a teaspoon of honey.
Experts also recommend turmeric mixed with black pepper, a tinge of honey, and a drop of ghee.
You can even have the juice of vegetables like ash gourd (safed petha) two hours before breakfast.
A cooling concoction made using warm water, aloe vera, ginger juice, a pinch of turmeric, honey and amla/lemon will also serve the same purpose.
Ayurveda experts recommend detox drinks highly.
Says Arun Sudhakar, Ayurveda doctor and spa director at the Kerala-based Niraamaya Wellness Retreat: "You can make detox drinks such as palm jaggery tea seasoned with ajamoda (celery), black cumin, dried ginger and black pepper, or a decoction of dried grapes, coriander seeds and jaggery."
He recommends three soups for detoxification: tomato soup seasoned with dried ginger powder and black pepper; brown rice soup seasoned with moringa leaves, pumpkin leaves and rock salt; and arrowroot soup with coconut milk and palm jaggery.
2. Focus on gut health
If your tongue has a coating, it indicates that you have digestion-related issues. Try oil pulling. Take two teaspoons of virgin coconut or sesame oil in your mouth and swirl it for some time.
"This helps in cleaning different areas of the mucosal membrane. Seventy per cent of illnesses can be cured by focusing on your gut," says Manoj Kutteri, wellness director at Pune-based Atmantan Wellness Resorts.
Put a little warm ghee in your nostril once a day and sniff. This therapy called Nasya will improve your respiratory health.
Fasting is mother nature's supreme remedy.
Says Jain: "Practice intermittent fasting for 16 hours. Eat the last meal of the day at 6 pm and then don't eat any solid food till 10 am the next day. You may have coconut water or vegetable juices, but avoid tea or coffee."
Next, incorporate herbs, spices and micronutrients in your diet.
Saffron, haldi (turmeric), cloves, cinnamon, gilohi (Tinospora Cordifolia) and several other nutrients raise the body's defences against diseases.
"In hot weather, avoid excess karha as it can be counterproductive," says Khosla.
3. Foods that heal
Fresh vegetables and fruits contain both enzymes and antioxidants (yellow and green coloured vegetables have vitamin A and C, selenium and zinc) that help in detoxifying the body.
Eat fresh food and avoid bottled, tinned, frozen and processed food.
Replace sugar with honey, dates or organic jaggery.
Says Khosla: "Protein-rich food should always be accompanied by twice as much vegetables. Also, add good fats and water to your diet."
4. Detox your skin
This year ensure that your skin remains in good condition with the help of home-made remedies.
Apply fruit packs made by crushing any seasonal fruit or pure natural oils.
Says Sudhakar: "Sesame (in cold weather) and coconut (in hot) oil are good for general massage. Ayurvedic Nalpamaradi oil is ideal for dry and sensitive skin and for the treatment of skin irritations. Lakshadi Keram oil is good for small children."
Examine the constituents of the creams you use.
Says Pritesh Asher, co-founder, Juicy Chemistry, an organic skincare brand: "Though the product may say it contains aloe vera, coconut, and other natural things, if you delve deeper you will find they use a lot of harsh chemicals."