When ever I feel bloated, heavy or like my gut just isn’t processing well I know it’s a sign that I need to cleanse — and that simply means taking pressure off of my digestion.
Giving a break to the digestive tract underpins all cleanses or detoxes — because when we stop putting pressure on the digestive system we give it time to process what’s been accumulated and naturally come back into balance and strength.
In Ayurveda we look at metabolism as a fire called Agni — a digestive fire.
Using this metaphor we can think about:
The Ayurvedic system recognises another simple and basic truth — what ever we don’t digest becomes toxic.
We call this toxicity Ama, and it shows up in how we feel and look, on our tongue and skin, in our elimination and so much more.
Signs of poor digestion and Ama:
Signs of good digestion and strong Agni:
Common Ways We Dampen Digestive Fire
The most common issue with digestive fire is often overloading it. Putting on huge, damp logs in the form of over eating, too much processed foods, heavy foods and alcohol and expecting the body to be able to keep up.
The second most common issue is expecting your fire to be consistent and strong when you’re only feeding it kindly, short burst fixes of sugar, caffein, snacks or low nutrient foods.
What’s your digestive fire like?
To create good balanced digestive fire, first you need to know what kind of digestive fire you have and how it tends to go out of balance — then you can regulate the fire appropriately.
There are three typical types of digestion:
Those with irregular digestion need to pay attentions to creating a hunger rhythm by eating at regular times, rather than over eating and putting the fire out then under eating and letting it get too sharp.
Those with sharp digestion should focus on reducing hot spices like chilli and curry, relax their mind before eating, eat more slowly and focus on eating alkaline foods.
Those with slow digestion should add more spices to their food to increase digestive fire, reduce dairy, heavy foods and portion size and allow more time between meals to let the digestive enzymes and bile (fire) regenerate before eating again.
General Tips for Stoking Digestive Fire
If you want to learn more about digestive health and cleansing keep space in your calendar for my annual New Years Detox starts Jan 31.
Share in the comments your favourite ways to stoke digestion.
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