Ayurvedic Tips for Gentle Autumn Cleansing

Ayurvedic Tips for Gentle Autumn Cleansing

by Kathryn Herbert | 1/09/2016

As we approach the Autumn Equinox, the days get shorter, the fiery heat of the summer wanes, and the season slips into the dry, cool and airy qualities of the Vata dosha. Internally, our digestive fire weakens as the weather turns cold, leaving us feeling a little unstable. So, it’s time to leave the raw foods of summer behind and turn to warm, thick stews and soups, prepared with healthy fats and warming spices, to keep the digestive fire (agni) burning bright enough to clear stagnant summer Pitta out of the system.


Try these tips to cleanse the body of excess Pitta, and build up the immune system to ward of colds, flus, and seasonal allergies.


GO FRESH. Eat only fresh foods that are in season and, as often as possible, locally sourced.


EAT pomegranates, which are rich in colorful flavonoids. They deliver powerful antioxidants and fight free radicals for anti-aging and cancer prevention while tightening irritated and inflamed tissues. Make sure you eat the whole fruit kernels and chew, chew, chew the seeds well. That’s especially important if you are prone to candida and have been eating cheese, yeasted bread, sugar or grains like rice, wheat or corn. Drinking just the juice, with or without added sugar, will actually cause toxic buildup—what Ayurveda calls ama—instead of clearing it.


How to Eat a Pomegranate: Crack open the whole fruit, tap out the whole kernels with the back of a spoon, and chew the kernels well. Adding a few drops of rose water is a nice way to serve them.


SUPPORT your liver by eating nourishing foods like Ayurveda’s traditional one-skillet dish called kitcharee. The warming qualities of turmeric, black pepper, ginger, and cumin—all good agni stokers—are balanced by the cooling astringent properties of coriander to keep the digestive fire in check. Here’s Beth Shaw’s modern take on this classic dish, in which she uses quinoa instead of basmati rice to balance, reset, and rejuvenate the whole body. Note: Omit the yogurt for the autumn cleanse, and save it for springtime instead.


To learn more about how you can apply Ayurvedic principles to your daily life—and introduce them to your clients or students, join Kathryn at the Arlington MBF Conference, where she’ll be dispensing four days worth of Ayurvedic wisdom in her Advanced Ayurveda training (formerly Ayurveda III-IV).

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