There can be a lot of pressure to jump-start a new diet or cleansing regimen in the month of January. But if you ask your body, you might end up hearing it say that it wants to hibernate just a little longer, that it’s still winter.
Just like spring and fall cleaning, physical cleansing is most effective when done during the spring and fall.
However, there are still good things you can do for your body to cleanse and detoxify in the wintertime, especially if you are experiencing a winter “slump”. These methods are gentle but effective, and they will help prepare the body for a more intensive spring cleanse, should you choose to embark upon one. Here are some favorite ways to keep healthy in the winter:
Triphala is a digestive cleansing agent that can be taken year round. Before starting a cleanse, the digestive tract must be strong and clean so that it can usher toxins out of the system without reabsorbing them into the body. Triphala prepares the way by toning the digestive organs and clearing them of the toxins and buildup that interfere with proper digestion and elimination.
Triphala balances and heals the digestive system so profoundly that it has been known to help lift minor depressive spells all on its own. When taken regularly, it can bring a sense of relief and empowerment that comes from effectively cleansing and regulating the digestive system.
Fresh, hot, ginger tea has the dual benefits of detoxifying the body and keeping you warm. If you have ever experimented with drinking “paint thinner-strong” ginger tea, you will know that ginger is a powerful cleansing herb. Adding fresh, stimulating ginger tea to your daily regimen will clear toxins from the digestive tract and get your blood moving.
To make ginger tea, finely chop pieces of the fresh root, cover with water, and simmer, covered, for at least 15 minutes. The longer the simmer, the stronger the tea. Ginger tea keeps in the fridge for at least 5 days and can be re-heated or added into daily drinking water for ease of use.
Nettles & Cooked Greens
Nettles gently detoxifies the liver, supports respiratory health, and provides the body with softening, nourishing mineral content. Fresh nettles is one of first plants to grow in the spring because it’s a perfect herb to support spring cleansing. In the winter, dried nettles can be taken to give the body an energizing boost and a healthy anti-inflammatory response.
Adding cooked dark greens to your diet, such as kale, collards, and spinach, also gently cleanses the digestive tract and provides the body with energy-boosting vitamins and minerals. Raw greens should be avoided during the cold season.
Oil Massage & Internal Oliation
Internal and external oliation prevent toxins from being reabsorbed into the body when they are released during cleansing. Much of a cleanse’s success depends on whether the body tissues are well-oiled and resilient. You can start preparing your body now by treating yourself to oil massages and adding coconut oil to your hot beverages.
Massage draws toxins from the muscles and organs, and oil massage is even more helpful for building long-term strength. Taking the time to do an oil massage is grounding and gives you some quiet time to yourself, which is very much in keeping with the spirit of winter stillness.
For internal oliation, enjoy spoonfuls of coconut oil or ghee in hot beverages on a daily basis.
Gentle yoga stretches are one of the oldest, time-honored methods of toning and cleansing the body and mind. Poses that involve twists are particularly detoxifying and helpful for digestion, like the following:
Rest well and enjoy the season!