Important Notice: As of July 3, 2014 Panchakarma is taking a hiatus.
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When is the Best Time of Year to do Panchakarma?
The Panchakarma treatments are valued as a cumulative approach toward life extension. In my experience, the best time to do Panchakarma is the time that works for you, as a key goal is to have a calm mind and to disarm the nervous system. Each season offers a different benefit for doing Panchakarma. If these seasonal accumulations are properly dealt with each season then disease prevention and wellness are said to be the natural result. This idea of seasonal cleansing has been pretty much lost in the west as a means for prevention.
In Ayurvedic medicine the kya kalpa treatments, which claimed to transform every cell in the body into youthful and vital cells, where best performed at key junctures in one’s life. There are certain turning points in one’s life that are acceptable even here in the west. Soon after delivering a baby is one very special time, puberty, menopause and losing one’s virginity are some of the periods mentioned.
Let’s examine how nature ensures our good health with it’s natural detoxification cycles.In the winter ,as the weather gets cold and dry, natureprovides a harvest of nuts, grains, soups and stews. This is a naturally occurring higher protein, higher fat diet.This is why squirrel s eat nuts – the nuts act as warming insulators for the long cold winter. This high protein, high fat time of year is when we store minerals, vitamins and nutrients as preparation for nature’s new year , starting in the spring. Winter is the season for deep rejuvenation for the nervous system – something we all need due to our very stressful lifestyle. The right kind of detox and rejuvenation can be miraculous in the winter when designed correctly.
During Winter, eat foods off the Winter Grocery List.
Spring’s first line of duty is to detox all of the excess fats and proteins and holiday food we stored all winter. It is nature’s weight loss season. (Look for my next article in January on Ayurvedic eight loss.) The first foods that are harvested in the spring are the bitter roots, like dandelions and the florescent green spouts that fill the valleys every April and May.The bitter roots sweep the excess mucus out of the sinuses and intestines, while the chlorophyll rich sprouts fertilize the gut to re-establish our natural intestinal flora, which is our good bacteria. These are followed by an abundant harvest of leafy greens and berries. The leafy greens are wonderful alkalizing lymph movers and blood cleansers, while the berries are detoxifying antioxidants to finish the detoxification process of the spring.
The problem is that while we watch all this happen every spring we rarely eat enough of the spring harvested foods to get the benefits of nature’s new year detox.If you lived on a farm you would quickly realize how fast and furious the harvest is in the spring. You simply can’t eat the leafy greensand berries fast enough.So this spring, take advantage of nature’s detoxification season and eat more greens, sprouts, bitter roots, berries and cherries . You will find a grocery list for all the seasons in my book, The 3-Season Diet or download them off my web site for free:Spring Grocery List. If you want to do a pre-holiday detox, just eat more of these cleansing spring harvested foods for a week while you eat less foods off the Winter Grocery List.
Summer and Fall Cleanse
In the summer, and through the fall, is another effective time to detox. As the summer heats us up, the body swells and is ripe for deep tissue detox.At the end of summer, the blood, liver and lymph are loaded with toxins ready to be eliminated.
In nature there is an opportunity for detox with every season and even during each day. So don’t miss an opportunity to detox. I always feel the best time to detox or do Panchakarama is when you have the time to really rest and retreat yourself.