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- DIY Ayurvedic Skin Care (Part I: Cleanser + Mask)
- 4 Surprising Ways that Ayurveda Can Aid Poor Digestion
- 5 Tips to Feel Great after Thanksgiving Dinner
- Mellow the Holiday Madness with Nutmeg
- 5 Easy Practices to Cool Excess Pitta
- Avoid Black Friday Frenzy: Here’s Your Ayurveda Gift-Giving Guide
- Recipe: Glazed Sweet and Spicy Pecans
- 10 Ways to Increase Your Immunity
- Stress or Ease? You Choose.
3 Strange Things that Happened To Me on an Ayurvedic Cleanse
Jacob and I have been deliberating, weighting the pros and cons, but in the end we both decided to do the Colorado Cleanse again this spring. This will be Jacob’s fifth time and my second time doing this cleanse, so you might guess that we think it’s the best cleanse program out there.
Last spring was my first time doing an Ayurvedic Cleanse, and it was surprising for me on many levels. I have done different sorts of “cleanses” before, mostly juicing and other types of reducing programs that sent me into Vata crazy-land every time. Doing a cleanse where I was to eat real food (though a limited kitchari mono-diet for most of it) was refreshing. The cleanse brought up certain effects that, while for the best, I was not expecting. Note that while these three things were my personal experience, no two people go through the same cleanse.
1- Poo poo poo poo poo
If you have read Dr Douillard’s recent article about the benefits of cleansing with Ghee, you might guess that an important feature of the Colorado Cleanse is a daily ingestion of ghee on an empty stomach while eating a fat-free diet the rest of the day. This causes the liver to flush its old bile to make room for fresh new bile that is more alive and able to digest food.
I have had some issues with my liver years ago, when my bile duct spontaneously twisted itself in my body, causing me to have jaundice. It resolved itself naturally but I am aware that my liver is more sensitive than other people’s. There is some incidence of liver problems in my family, and I am also quite fond of wine and cheese, which probably isn’t the best (I’m on French descent, does that make it OK?)
So on the cleanse, from my very first ingestion of ghee, I had very loose stools many times a day. Since old bile gets flushed into the intestinal track, the more bile you flush, the more your body will make sure to get rid of it throught that channel. After the third or fourth day my stool became closer to normal, which meant that most of the old bile had been flushed. It was quite a relief.
2-My quads are killing me!
Around the fourth or fifth day of the main cleanse, I woke up with pain that started around my sacrum and shot down my quad muscles. I thought maybe I had pulled a muscle playing with the kids, or maybe it was a return of some sciatica issues I had had years ago. I even went to see a massage therapist friend who specializes in those kinds of issues and got some massage, which helped a little.
Later on I took some time to read through the helpful FAQ’s that Dr Douillard sends to you every day as part of your cleanse. Turns out someone else had had the exact same symptoms that I had and asked a question about it! Dr Douillard said it was a normal side-effect and that it my be a sign of the release of toxic debris deep in the tissue. And again, after a few days, the pain disappeared.
Towards the end of the main cleanse I started to get tired around 8:00 pm and going to bed at 9 pm at the latest. That is highly unusual for me, as my mind often gets activated at night, and all my ideas are often keeping me up past midnight. But now I was going to bed early without any effort. I woke up at 6 am fully rested and going into quiet introspection felt natural and easy.
There are many other things that happened as part of this cleanse: I lost 5 pound of winter weight, my skin became brighter, I had more stable energy throughout my day and easily stopped drinking caffeine for a few months.
I understood that the challenges that arise during a cleanse are part of the price to pay for the unwise lifestyle choices that I make on a regular basis. The vibrant health that follows is more than worth temporary unpleasantness. So here we go again, Colorado Cleanse, here I come!