Ecuador healers are fanatical about detoxing. They use morning mists… walk in wet grass…. many teas… and baths… melon and squash. Plus the Andeans have many water purification ceremonies.
Water purification ceremony on an Ecuador Shamanic Minga Tour.
Autumn has definitely arrived in the Blue Ridge and this season, along with spring are the most important times for detox and purification.
John Douillard writes about this at his lifespa.com website.
Nature’s Natural Detox
Every spring and fall certain foods are harvested that naturally provoke a cleansing response in the body. Sadly, most of us eat the same foods 365 days of the year and miss out on this seasonal detoxification. Today – in a world that has become more toxic than ever – seasonal detoxification is required.
After a long winter of heavy, insulating, warming and holiday foods, the intestinal tract can become boggy and congested in the spring. The hair-like villi become compromised at the end of winter and early spring because of these heavy foods. These villi drain fat soluble toxins and nutrition off the gut wall into the lymph and blood stream. Spring is a wet, rainy and muddy time of year that can add to the congestion of the intestinal tract, further bogging down the villi and stagnating the lymph drainage around the gut where 80% of the body’s immune system lives.
In the fall, after a long hot summer, similar imbalances occur in the digestive system. Because summer heat tends to dry the mucus membranes in the gut, they compensate by reactively producing excessive mucus which bogs down the villi and congests the lymph. The lymphatic system pulls toxins off of the intestinal lining and neutralizes them with white blood cells. Lymph vessels act as drains for the entire body. Without a lymphatic system, we wouldn’t have an immune system and would be dead in 14 hours. Therefore, optimal lymphatic flow is essential. Let’s look at how nature cares for this precious system.
Spring and fall harvested roots cleanse and pull toxic mucus off the gut wall and villi. Roots like dandelion, turmeric, goldenseal, oregon grape, ginger, fenugreek, phyllanthus and picorhiza are great intestinal villi mucus pullers. At LifeSpa I use two formulas for this: Liver Repair and Turmeric Plus.
In the fall, seasonal fruits like apples and pomegranates act as detoxifiers for the gut wall and villi. These and other fall harvested fruits are great lymph movers and help to de-stagnate the lymphatic system, which commonly becomes congested.
In the spring, shortly after the roots are harvested, the chlorophyll rich sprouts surface and the valleys turn fluorescent green. These spring greens provide the fertilizer to regrow the good bacteria on the intestinal villi. These good bacteria that line all the villi control the efficiency of digestion, assimilation and detoxification. Every spring and fall after the bitter roots remove excess mucus congestion in the gut, the greens – if eaten in abundance – will seed the villi with essential good bacteria and flush the lymphatic system.
Once the villi have been cleansed with roots and then fertilized with greens each spring and fall, nature moves to cleanse the lymph that surrounds the outside of the gut wall. In the spring this is done with leafy greens, berries and cherries which are harvested towards the end of season.
In the fall the lymph is cleansed by more leafy greens, apples, pomegranates, and other seasonal fruit, as well as by beets, cranberries and assorted wild berries that are also fall harvested. The main herbs that I use for de-stagnating the lymphatic system are Manjistha and Red Root.
Each spring and fall, if these foods are eaten in abundance, a natural detoxification will result. Many of us however, like myself, never seem to get around to eating enough of these seasonal roots, greens, fruits and berries. So I detoxify twice a year with herbs and a cleanse to make sure I am not accumulating dangerous toxins in my lymph, liver and fat. Please don’t miss nature’s opportunity to detoxify each spring and fall.
Some Cleansing Options
If changing your diet is hard for you then take a look at some of our cleansing options at www.lifespa.com
Ecuador shamans have taught us many cleansers. One is a great drink we serve at our Cotacachi hotel Inn Land of the Sun… alfalfa with mango. Nutritious… and delicious!
Other detox foods are:
Watermelon. Eat a whole one on an empty stomach… nothing to eat four hours before and after.
Pineapple. Eat a whole one alone also on an empty stomach.
Cinnamon-sweet pepper tea (black cardomom).
We wake at dawn and take wonderful early morning walks when we are in Ecuador. The village awakenings are natural and quiet. Our inn sparkles (we have spiffed it up a lot) and is natural and clean as it shines in the rising sun.
One detox comes from a plant that grows freely here and we see often on our walks, the castor bean! This always keeps me thinking about the multitude of natural healing benefits that come from castor oil.
Edgar Cayce was very involved in natural health awakenings and recommended the use of castor oil in many ways…most related to the body’s lymph system.
The lymph system drains toxins from the system and regulates the body’s immune system. Lymph moves through the system via muscular contractions, so a lack of exercise allows toxicity to build up in the breasts, skin, joints, and muscles.
A sluggish lymph system creates fatigue, exhaustion, skin conditions, sore throats, puffy hands and feet, and weight gain to name a few.
Castor oil can help eliminate fluid retention that creates swollen joints and pain, arthritis, sinus, tonsils and inner ear problems. Castor oil also helps mitigate colon, gallbladder and liver problems as it reduces cirrhosis, hepatitis, menstrual-related congestion and nerve inflammations such as sciatica and shingles.
A good Vedic physician told me that if I take a quarter teaspoon of castor oil a day for six months, on a full stomach, the swelling in my knuckles (too much pounding on the key board) would go away.
Castor oil packs can also help deal with conditions that stress or compromise the immune system.
One practice that permeates every healing practice, we have heard or seen from the Andeans, Amazonians, Tibetans, Indians, is that all have one form of cleansing or another. Castor oil is an ancient cleanser. This is one of the most horrible tasting, but most powerful digestive tract cleansings we have experienced and regularly use. This is an excellent tonic everyone should consider.
In Ayurved, the taking of castor oil on an empty stomach is called a virechana.
Many whom I have shared this natural awakenings tip with have told me tales of how their mom or grandmother used to make them take this when they were ill. A virechana does not have to wait for a health imbalance to begin. This technique can correct imbalances. To take a virechana, eat a light lunch, skip dinner or have a small snack and before going to bed to take the caster oil. I take (at 150 pounds) six teaspoons. Merri at 115 pounds takes four, but you may wish to start first time with less (one or so).
I take mine mixed in a bit of orange or lemon juice and try to just slug it down. Ugh! It is also easy to take a lemon and sink your teeth into it and soon as it is down. This helps. You may wish to begin on the lighter side rather than heavier and don’t do until you have a night when you do not have to sleep through. Chances are (though not always) you will be up at least once in the night.
A normal awakening after this cleansing leaves us feeling natural, much lighter and brighter, full of energy. Yet sometimes we awake afterwards feeling very dull and loggy. We often try to take this on a night when the next day we can have an easy one. The day after the virechana we always eat very lightly, just juices or light easy to digest food. Always the next day we feel natural and wonderfully great!
Another help I find in this cleansing is they reduce my hunger. As a former fatty (I used to weigh 220 pounds), my weight seems to run away with me if I am not careful, so this has become a great weight control device for me.
Castor oil is a powerful cleanser and in another message we will look at its entirely different cleansing capacity when taken with meals.
The best castor oil to use is organic cold-pressed castor oil normally available in health food stores.
However, there is a second aspect that Edgar Cayce attributed to castor oil. He suggested that castor oil has a vibrational quality that helps harmonize and promote healing within body cells.
Autumn is here… enjoy the crisp air… the excitement that comes as the holiday season approaches and the energy of this special season with detoxes large or small.
Learn more about natural detox at an Ecuador Shamanic Minga Tour.