Gut Health and The Ayurvedic Panchakarma Cleanseblog
Welcome to Episode 2 of the Heal yo’ self series!
In this video I talk about a fantastic way to get started on a healing journey – focusing on gut health.
Why is gut health important? The microbiome lining your digestive tract has a massive impact on your well-being. It affects everything from your metabolism to your mood to your immune system.
And on top of all that, science now recognises a communication system between your gut and brain – the gut-brain axis.
We have approximately 100 billion neurons (or brain cells) in the human brain.
Your gut ALSO contains 500 million neurons, which are connected to your brain through nerves in your nervous system. Studies are showing that the health of our digestive system can also impact our mental health and diseases such as alzheimers.
In Ayurveda, it’s said that disease in the body stems from the digestive tract, and that it’s the first thing we should turn our attention to when we experience out of rhythm symptoms in our body and mind.
If you’re wondering what the heck Ayurveda is…
It’s an ancient health care tradition that has been practiced in India for at least 5,000 years. That’s 2000 years longer than Traditional Chinese medicine which is more well know in the west.
There are some similarities between the two healing modalities but I personally resonate more with the Ayurvedic philosophy as it ties in with the sister sciences of yoga and astrology which I also use as tools on my journey.
Ayurveda is based on the idea of balancing the bodily systems to be in harmony with nature. It utilises diet, herbs, yoga, and pranayama, and daily routines to restore the body, mind, and spirit.
Now, I did a special Ayurvedic cleanse a couple months ago that totally transformed my gut health. It’s not for the faint of heart and requires a lot of dedication, BUT if you’re serious about improving your health, I highly recommend it.
The cleanse is called a Panchakarma which is a protocol of eating a very strict mono diet of kitchari – which is basically a stew of basmati rice, lentils, ghee (clarified butter), and certain spices prescribed by a practitioner for your constitution.
Check out this kitchari recipe on Goop.
The protocol I did was approximately one month long – so I eat the same thing every day – which also consisted of a lot of fasting as you only eat two small meals a day.
You also eat a ton of ghee which is increased in dosage over three weeks.
The ghee is meant to oleate the system, deeply drawing ama (or toxins) our of the depths body and into the digestive tract. You then purge the digestive system by drinking castor oil, and performing herbal enemas which flushes everything out and allows for proper cellular communication.
It’s intense. But it works.
Panchakarmas are personalised protocols which also includes several abhyanga sessions (oil massage with steam) that also releases toxins.
So clearly this isn’t something you just do on your own. You need to seek out an Ayurvedic practitioner, which luckily, isn’t too hard these days.
Once the cleanse is over, you are prescribed an ayurvedic diet specific to you that is meant to be followed for life.
It’s basically common sense whole foods but certain things eaten at certain times of the year to follow nature’s rhythms.
You also focus on building your gut biome back by consuming fermented foods like sauerkraut and yogurt.
And I tell ya – it took me a bit to recover… after stripping my system I had to build it back up. But now my whole system from ingesting food to eliminating is exceptionally regular and on track. My mood has even improved.
If you’re not up for something this intense, I suggest at least working with an ayurvedic practitioner to get a personalised eating plan.
Remember, every body is different and we all don’t respond to fad diets the same.
Embracing a whole foods diet specific to your needs is the best and most holistic approach for healing.
Chaga tea was also a great help on this cleanse as the drink choices were super limited and coffee is a no-no.
You can learn more about it’s amazing benefits HERE.