If you are loving yourself with the true love of radiant health, might I suggest an Ayurvedic Castor Oil Cleanse?
Recently integrative nutritionist Melissa Patruno interviewed me for her upcoming Trust Your Gut Summit, and we explored the intelligence of Agni, or digestive fire, to create radiant health. But frankly, after three months of being on the road, including six weeks in India, my agni feels spent, so I’ve moved this Agni reboot to the top of my weekend agenda.
In his book, The Hot Belly Diet, my friend and Ayurvedic Master Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar writes, “Castor oil has long been known as a flushing agent for the gastrointestinal tract, as it cleanses out and sanitizes the system – especially the gallbladder and liver, optimizing the flow of bile to boost digestion… It will also stimulate your body to burn fat and cleanse the deep tissues of your body.”
Dr. Kshirsagar, who was the Ayurvedic consultant for Maharishi, goes on to write, “Since its first recorded use three thousand years ago… it (castor oil) has been a home remedy to relieve pain, increase lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and treat everything from constipation to heartburn.”
In her book, Enchanting Beauty, Dr. Manisha Kshirsagar (yes, they are an Ayurvedic power couple) recommends we do the castor oil cleanse monthly, because, she notes, “when the liver is strong, and the blood is clean and free of toxins, then the skin will shine with luster and a healthy glow.”
I guess that’s why I think of it as a great act of self-love: This Castor Oil Cleanse reignites your inner fires so that not only will you have that dewy glow of love, you will feel awesome, which will make you fall in love with your life all over again. So will everyone else, of course, because self-love is infectious.
Come on baby light my fire…
Castor Oil Cleanse – 3 Days
For a few days, eat simply:
Breakfast – Fruit or plain yogurt
Lunch – Kichari (there are many recipes on my site)
Dinner – Steamed veggies or vegetable soup
On the morning of the third day, preferably a day when you can stay home and REST, right after you wake up, on an empty stomach, take your castor oil + OJ tonic (recipe below). Don’t eat that day until you feel hungry, and then eat kichari, or vegetable stew, or something gently cooked and light. You may feel tired that morning, or achy, or light-headed, but those are signs of detox-ing, so rest and go slow.
Castor Oil Tonic
1 t castor oil*
1 small glass orange juice
Mix the two together in a glass jar with a lid that tightens. Shake, shake, shake until the oil is blended very, very well, and the glistening bubbles dancing throughout are tiny.
Drink on an empty stomach. Sip hot water (with lemon, or ginger, or both) throughout the day. Don’t eat until you are hungry, and then kichari and or steamed vegetables are best. NOTE! Castor oil is a purgation so stay close to a bathroom, and rest, rest, rest.
The point is to get your bowels moving, so don’t be surprised if they move! If, however, you don’t experience movement, opt for light soups if/when you get hungry and keep sipping boiled, lemon-y water. Get a good night sleep and you’ll likely wake up to movement in the morning.
* Castor oil can cause cramping, so while some advise 1 tablespoon, I think it is better to start with less and see how that goes, which is why I am recommending 1 teaspoon here. Above all, don’t add more than 1 tablespoon and only do this once a month at most. More is often not better, and this is one of those cases. I purchase from here.
Banyan Botanical’s Insight Blog has a great list of ways to use castor oil for beauty care and luscious hair, Dr Manisha includes taking castor oil internally in her 9 Simple Tips for Radiant Skin and Joyful Belly gives the warnings, including do not take if you are pregnant.
Be sure to check out the Trust Your Gut Summit which begins Monday with 21 smart interviews on digestive health and practices. It’s all free – and host Melissa Patruno has some really inspiring and insightful guests. I am looking forward to listening and learning as well as hearing what you think of the interview she and I did together.
Also, please be in touch with me if you would like a more targeted Ayurvedic consultation to address specific health issues. Ayurveda has great solutions for chronic ailments – especially those that western medicine seems to ignore.
I’d love to hear how your Spring is going. How are you keeping healthy, happy and whole these days? What lights your fire?