Updated: May 11
Ayurvedic Spring Cleansing
I would love to share some Ayurvedic springtime cleansing inspiration with you! This is the perfect time of year to spring cleanse your mind + body. Ayurveda holds an abundance of wisdom to help us understand how to flourish this season. In this edition, enjoy a delightful springtime cleansing recipe and timeless wellness tips.
"A cleanse strengthens digestive fire and helps eliminate the toxicity that might otherwise inhibit it. A cleanse can therefore serve to initiate a powerful process of renewal and healing at many levels" Banyan Botanicals
The springtime brings many blissful moments; the warm kissing of the sunshine on bare skin, celebrations of longer days with golden light, the awakening of the vibrant colours + beautiful blossoming of nature, flowers, trees, animals. A sense of childlike wonder fills our hearts. We experience the increasing fertility, inspiration, playfulness & innocence in nature & we too can invoke this essence within ourselves as we mindfully witness + prepare for the season.
Ayurveda emphasises the importance of seasonal transitioning; learning how to shift our lifestyle to optimise how we feel at different times of the year. This wisdom is available to us to offer us both a holistic perspective and practical guidelines to ensure we can maintain alignment with natures rhythms + therefore are able to stay well and to truly flourish each season via our diet + daily lifestyle.
Springtime from an Elemental Perspective
As the elements fluctuate in the environment each season, we too naturally experience changes within. With these changes, there is an increasing possibility for imbalances showing up for us, characterised in Ayurveda by the doshic (constitutional) forces of “vata” (an excess of air and ether), “pitta” (an excess of fire and some water), and “kapha” (an excess of water and earth). Imbalances can manifest differently for each of us, according to our own combination of elements or doshic forces.
Anytime there is a substantial shift in the environment,
we are more vulnerable to becoming imbalanced.
In May, WATER + EARTH elements are still the dominant presence in our environment, in particular in Wales, UK ( in our microclimate here in North Wales, it's still damp + moist) However this is a significant turning point where the season and it's dominant elements begin to transition and we receive a glimpse into hotter, drier days. The beginning of the spring is considered Kapha Season, and we are slowly transitioning towards Pitta Season in June. The season of FIRE + WATER elements.
One of the ways that Ayurveda utilizes the laws of nature is with a simple premise: LIKE INCREASES LIKE. OPPOSITE QUALITIES BRING BALANCE.
Therefore, our focus is to balance;
Moist, Cold, Heavy, Dull
qualities of the Kapha, Earth + Water, which can manifest as; tendencies towards depression, fatigue, weight gain, water retention, respiratory conditions, thyroid issues, circulation issues or cold related conditions like chillblains or raynolds.
We can focus on implementing opposite qualities;
Warm, Dry, Lightness
through our diet, daily rituals & routines. Warming (but not overheating) herbs & spices to balance our foods. This month we benefit from slowly moving towards a lighter, more sattvic diet. Sattvic meaning foods that invoke energetics of purity, harmony with nature and flourishing.
Tips for inviting in a more Sattvic diet + lifestyle;
Seasonal Produce / Organically grown / Home grown produce in to our diet
Seasonal fruits & Vegetables to align with nature + our bioindividual constitution
Cleansing & Detoxing Practices
Eating easy to digest foods
Eating our main meal at lunchtime
Correctly prepared grains / Pre Soaked
Eating and preparing foods with intention + gratitude
Time to fine tune our daily habits, diet + lifestyle....
Here are some simple + effective steps to implement during May;
Invite the medicine of the season in to both your inner + outer spaces.
We can enjoy the springtime bounty by wildcrafting herbs and flowers in our local environment. We can fill vases of wildflowers, infuse water with flowers & herbs like mint, primrose + cherry blossom to add a hint of flavour + radiance boost to our day. We can enjoy facial steams & bathing with flowers, such gorgeous rituals. Flower essences are vibrational medicine and work with the subtle body for cleansing and healing. Time to get creative on how you can infuse the season's gifts into your daily rituals! If you do not have access to any wildflowers or herbs, you could start exploring and getting to know some local businesses that sell local wildcrafted or organic herbs and flowers.
This botanical practice can be a beautiful invocation to harness our divine feminine essence.
2. Drink a glass of warm water upon rising in the morning.
Each constitution will benefit from a little something different in your first morning glass of hydration!
If you are a Vata or kapha dosha you could add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice to your water. If you tend to feel cold easily, a little bit of ginger to stay warmer from within will feel lovely. If you are dominantly pitta dosha you could add Lime juice which is more cooling, however please discern according to the weather + warmth in your climate.
3. Sip on herbal infusions throughout the day
Whether you are gathering or buying your wildcrafted / homegrown herbs this season, mint, spearmint, lemon balm, cleavers, nettles, are all good choices. With these carefully selected herbs you could enjoy making a daily pot of a vitality boosting herbal infusion to sip on. It is so simple and only takes a few moments each morning to prepare. Herbal infusions have an abundance of vitamins + minerals! I love to make this in the mornings in a pot or tea pot on the stove, changing up the ingredients + medicinal properties as and when is needed for different moods, cycles or the weather (You could get creative with various herbs, orange + lemon peels, pine needles, wildflowers)
CCF Tea, Cumin, Coriander, Fennel Tea, is an Ayurvedic favorite to sip on this month for Lymphatic Support, Balancing excess moisture and sustaining energy levels especially if you run cold or live in a chiller climate and prefer to stay warm throughout this month.
It is helpful to know which herbs and blends of herbs compliment your constitution or any current conditions so please do ask for advice if you have any health conditions that require specialised guidance.
4. Carve out some time + space in your schedule to reset + cleanse with Kitchari, an Ayurvedic Staple dish.
Can you carve out 3 days this month to reset your digestive system, improve energy levels naturally, and remove excess toxins from your body?
If this is your first mono diet start with a 3 day cleanse. If you have some Ayurvedic cleansing experience, This diet is safe for 3-21 days. There are many different ways to go about the journey. The structure, length, intensity, and depth can all be adapted to support each individual.
The cleanse involves eating this dish, kitchari which is made up of basmati rice, mung beans, spices + selected vegetables, for either two or three meals of the day. You can eat overnight soaked oats, stewed apples or Ayurvedic spiced rice porridge in the mornings instead to change it up a little! *This cleanse is extremely gentle and should not cause much discomfort, however you may still experience some cleansing symptoms, ups and downs on either emotional or physical levels, heachache, a little drowsiness so take it easy*
“Kitchari is a sattvic (pure) food that is balancing to all tissues and all doshas, perfect for anyone who wants to restore and heal any element in their life”
~ Mauli Organics
5 .Think light. Minimise foods that increase excess moisture and heaviness to support energy levels and clear radiant skin..
This means you may want to minimize your meat, water + salt intake. Water retention is expected this month. Considering that we want to decrease EARTH + WATER elements. Heaviness can be associated with the dense earth + or foods that are too salty or full of water - they create water retention. Other foods to consider minimizing include: heavy dairy products, (you could swap for good quality plant based milk, avoiding oils / PUFAS. Check the ingredients) Or if you drink raw dairy, dilute it! If you have a tendency towards fatigue, low energy levels, or congestion -minimise excess oily foods, avocados, bananas, olives, cheese, egg yolks, nuts.
Kitchari Cleansing resets the digestive system, and helps us to lose any excess wintertime weight that we have stored up over the previous months. Once we finish cleansing and transition back to eating more variety of foods again we get an opportunity to create mindful habits moving forward into the warmer months.
Depending on your constitution, each individuals cleansing process + seasonal diet plan would naturally be slightly different. however overall this month you could consider eating more; bitter leafy greens, dandelion greens, watercress, rocket, wild garlic, sorrel, lightly cooked chard, kale, asparagus, in coconut or olive oil, lighter grains such as quinoa, white basmati rice, and couscous, and favour eating seasonal fruits & vegetables such as in the UK; Rhubarb, artichoke, radishes, cauliflower & carrots.
Vata dosha shouldn't eat raw vegetables or too many salads ideally, especially if there is a current doshic imbalance, this includes women during postpartum.
This can aggravate your Vata this month in particular.
Tip: Focus on adding pungent (spicy), bitter, astringent tastes in your diet.
However eating too many pungent foods can aggravate pitta dosha so please be careful with this, eat in small amounts if you have pitta imbalance / inflammatory or heat related conditions. Similarly, bitter and astringent foods can aggravate Vata dosha.
One man’s medicine is another man’s poison’ This is an important Ayurvedic concept. Know Thy self: Know your constitution and Know you're medicine!
Ayurvedic Cleansing Recipe
I am really excited to have discovered such a delicious & simple recipe for Kitchari.
I have tried many of them - trust me! I have struggled with finding a recipe that felt exciting to me, but I have found the one...
This is the easiest + most delicious kitchari I've made!
Here’s how to make really delicious Kitchari.
1 Cup of basmati rice 1/4 cup of coconut flakes 2 tsp of ghee or coconut oil Fresh ginger
Handful of Wild Galic (optional)
Handful of fresh Coriander / Cilantro 1/2 cup of mung beans
Sea Salt / Mineral Salt
1 tsp turmeric
6 cups of water
Pinch of warming spices cinnamon,
cloves, cumin and cardamom (optional)
Soak your mung beans for a few hours / overnight then drain.
Put ginger, coconut flakes, wild garlic, cilantro and the 1/2c water into a food processor and blend until liquefied. Heat the ghee on medium in a large saucepan and add the blended items, turmeric and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil to release the flavor.
Next mix in the rice, mung beans and the six cups of water. Return to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for five minutes.
You can also add some cinnamon, cloves, cumin and cardamom here.
Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the dal and rice are tender.
A Joyfull Belly Recipe ~
Stay in touch with me to discuss your wellness journey.
If you would like more personalised guidance with doing a 3 day Ayurvedic Cleanse for detoxification & alignment with the season according to your unique mind - body type please feel free to contact me!
I hope you in-joy implementing some of these practices into your day.