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Circadian Rhythm Reasons to Cleanse in January
Ayurveda suggests cleansing and detoxing when seasons change from winter to spring and summer to fall, but I also have a large number of patients do a short cleanse in January, to reset their digestion and mood after the holidays.
Circadian science backs up the instinct to cleanse at this time, too.
During the winter months, with less daylight and more artificial light usage in the evenings, our modern experience of winter can have a disturbing effect on our circadian rhythms, which are linked to immune system health, mood, the ability to detox, sleep, energy levels, and much more.
(If you are looking to learn more about this, Satchin Panda’s new book, The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy, and Transform Your Health from Morning to Midnight can help.)
The human body’s natural response to winter, without the use of artificial light, is to produce more melatonin, which encourages deep sleep.
According to new research on circadian rhythms, melatonin also plays a huge role in helping us detoxify. Since we naturally produce more melatonin in the winter, nature offers us the opportunity to boost detoxification during this darker season.
However, if the sun sets at 5 p.m. and we don’t turn lights and screens off until 10 or 11 p.m., we block natural melatonin production for those five to six hours. Melatonin is the body’s night janitor, responsible for detox, rejuvenation and repair. Missing six hours of that each night puts us in harm’s way.
Supporting the body with an Ayurvedic cleanse mid-winter can help mitigate the risks of light-induced melatonin deficiency and its related health concerns.
See also Anxious Teens? Melatonin Balances the Circadian Clock
In one study, melatonin was shown to be a powerful detoxifier of BPA (bisphenol A) in plants. BPA is toxic to both plants and animals. It is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1950s. In this study, BPA caused significant free radical damage to tomatoes as measured by increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative degradation of lipids. The application of melatonin on the tomato plant reversed free radical damage, increased glutathione production (a liver detox enzyme), and activated genes that regulate BPA detoxification.
Many studies have documented the ability of melatonin to activate the same detox pathways in humans and protect cognitive function as we age.
Melatonin has also been found to boost immunity and mood during the winter, when we need it the most.
See also Melatonin for Memory and Brain Health
Winter Cleansing with Ghee and Abyhanga Balances Vata in the Winter
The cold and dryness of winter are the primary aggravators of vata. Most of us experience these vata imbalances as sleepiness, worry, an exacerbation of dry skin, stiff joints, occasional constipation, and dry sinuses–which can all result in compromised immunity.
The process of oleation, or using ghee, in Ayurvedic cleansing, is not only used as a detox agent, collecting toxic material and helping us flush it out, but also as a restorative process for the intestinal lining and the microbiome, which supports a whopping 70 percent of our immune response.
The intestinal track, which is the main target of our Ayurvedic Short Home Cleanse, is considered the seat of vata and the nervous system. Ghee has the highest food source of butyric acid, which is the main driver of a healthy gut lining, gut microbes, and immunity.
See also The Power of Ghee for Cleansing and Detox
In addition to using ghee, adding a daily Ayurvedic massage (abhyanga) to your January short home cleanse can help balance vata and the nervous system, and protect your skin from unwanted dryness.
See also The Science of an Abyhanga (Daily Oil Massage)
Try our Short Home Cleanse and let us know how it helps! Get the free ebook here.
3 thoughts on “The Science-Backed Benefits of Doing a Short Cleanse in January”
Happy New Year! What is in the smoothie in the photo?
On 2014 I had a problem with my right hand, holding it to my chest and dragging my right foot.. I had to tell myself to pick my foot up. Went to the doctor and he said I had Parkinson’s and put me on their carbidopa levodopa and I was being OK…I feel they put me on a stronger dose at the beginning. Six months ago I got a new doctor and she put me on the new stuff called Rytary it’s the same thing except it’s newer it’s a release form 12% comes out first and the rest comes out eventually… of course with anything new with the higher price runs about $1028 a month but my friend put me on paperwork where I got it for free based on my income. So I am taking that and I’m taking amantadine. Twice a day before 12:30.. Doctor said when you take a to late in the day it will it will make you sleepy….they also got me onBaclofn, 5mg,3times a dat because of spasms.they have gone, bu I steill get cramps in thigh,and buttocks area…then about three Nice later I started having My legs phone asleep on me and my feet I’ll be standing somewhere and I would fall to the ground… I have a referral in to see the doctor for my back and see if something is cutting nerves off but I probably won’t see him till February. My question to you is there anything else I can do I am so bewildered with this is this does not run in my family my job was cleaning houses and maybe the chemical stuff did this to me.. we went and had a dat scan and said I had -3 on both sides can you replace doppamine.. I feel like they know the cure but of course good old pharma is not letting anybody know so they can make their money… I appreciate any help you can give me thank you..
I don’t like your free ebook approach. I’ve witnessed too many people hooked into things by the small print, thus I couldn’t read your free ebook. Why not just make the book really free and not put me through the whole “add to cart” experience.