Rasayānas: Why detoxing is only half the work
Detoxing has been all the rage the last decade or so. We at yoga veda are totally for this trend. However (and it’s a rather important however), it really doesn’t stop there. In ayurveda detox programs called Panchakarma पंचकर्म are temporary measures used to eliminate the buildup of Āma आम (undigested food and toxins). Once that’s been done it is so important to rebuild healthy tissue. Without that we are left stripped of a lot of nutrients without taking care about what new nutrients are going in to replace the old ones.
Detox programs, like everything else in ayurveda, are of course designed to suit the individual however in general they tend to be on the harsh side because they aim to clean out any dirty tissues. This means that it is ultra important afterwards to come in with a little more of a soft and supportive approach. To soothe, calm and support the tissues.
Diet is of course the first place we look to rebuild healthy tissue. It’s important to eat grounding and nutrient rich foods after a detox program (especially for people prone to weight loss, such as vata-types). But for this ayurveda has something especially fantastic in its toolbox: Rasāyana, रसायन.
Having been described in the Charaka Samhita rasayānas are literally translated as ‘the path of essence’ and are the go-to for nourishing rejuvenatives. They enhance immunity and stamina and increase longevity. Rasayānas nourish and restore all seven dhātus. They move into rasa dhātu (somewhat equivalent to blood plasma) and enkindle agni. Since rasa dhātu is the first of the seven tissues it then goes on to nourish all the other dhātus one after the other.
Rasayānas are not only good post-detox but are generally very supportive when we are going through periods of stress and, even more so, burn out. Today’s stress levels are booming and rasayānas could hold the key to provide that crucial support for countless people.
So without further adieu, here are some of our favourite rasayānas:
Soak in water overnight and blend with warm milk in the morning.
Can be used in cooking and melted over any warm dish.
Coconut meat and water:
Drink throughout the day to stay hydrated, especially in hot times of the year. Drink cool but not cold.
Aloe vera gel:
Fillet and consume the gel only. If you include the skin it will act as a laxative. Blend with water and any tasty herbs.
Stir into warm water or milk in the evening.
Stir into warm water or milk in the morning.
All plants considered adaptogens and aphrodisiacs.
Detoxification and rejuvenation go hand in hand. They are the two sides to the same very crucial coin. Together they help not only increase our longevity but just as importantly, our quality of life so that we can go through life feeling good and ageing well.
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