Our bodies are constantly detoxing on daily basis. Toxins come into the body everyday. Eating an organic diet, avoiding skin care products with preservatives, and eliminating toxins in the home are ways to drastically reduce the toxins that get into your body but unfortunately it's nearly impossible to avoid them 100%.
When your digestive system is healthy it will help to eliminate toxins on a daily basis. If things are not working optimally (which is the case more often then not), you may see some negative side effects such as skin rashes, congestion, body odor, constipation, low energy, brain fog, among others. These are all signs that it's a good idea to do a cleanse diet and to start adopting some daily detox habits.
My Morning Detox Ritual
After participating in many different diet plans and cleanses, I've tried all sorts of morning detox rituals. Some of the things I tried did absolutely nothing, and others were really beneficial. There are two things I do every morning that help my body to detox on a daily basis. Sometimes I do more then just these two things but these are my two required morning habits to start the day. Before I even take a sip of water in the morning I start with this ritual.
#1 – Oil Pulling
Oil pulling originated in India as part of natural healing practices described in ancient Ayurveda texts. Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that was created 3,000 to 5,000 years ago in India. Oil pulling began as a way to prevent health issues like bleeding gums, tooth decay, dryness of throat, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw.
There are three types of oils that are used for oiling pulling, which are sesame, sunflower, and coconut oil. Today, it seems the most popular oil choice for oil pulling is coconut oil because of its anti-bacterial properties. Coconut oil may or may not be the best oil for oiling pulling, it depends on, what Ayurveda calls, your dosha. You can find your dosha with this quiz on the Chopra website here.
Generally, sesame oil is warming, sunflower oil is more cooling, and coconut oil is coolest. The type of Oil you use can be alternated seasonally or based on the climate you live in to balance out your temperature. Whatever oil you choose, use either “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed” oil, do not use refined oil or toasted oil.
I'll give you an example, using myself. My dosha is Vata which has a tendency to be more cold and dry, light and airy so things that are “warming” are the best choice for me. Warming oils or foods balance out my Vata properties. Based on this philosophy, the best oil for me to use is sesame. In warmer months, I may choose to use coconut oil to balance out temperature during that time.
How to do Oil Pulling
- Using either sesame, sunflower, or coconut oil, swish the oil in your mouth as you would mouthwash. Pulling it through your teeth and all around your mouth. (For a little extra added benefit, I sometimes add essential oils such as Young Living's Thieves Oil)
- Do this for 15-20 minutes.
- Spit out the oil into the garbage (do not swallow and do not let it go down the drain and clog your plumbing).
- Rinse out your mouth with room temperature water. You may add a little salt to the water to make the rinse even more effective and to get rid of any residue.
Oil pulling is great for oral health, keeping gums healthy and clean. It has also been said that people use oil pulling to actually heal their cavities. I haven't seen this personally but I believe it could happen along with some additional dietary support.
The purpose of doing the oil pulling for 15-20 minutes is to fully receive all of the detox benefits of this practice. Swishing the oil for this length of time on an empty stomach draws out saliva and activates digestion. Through this process, bacteria, fungus, toxins are drawn through membranes in the mouth. Toxins then bind to the oil in your mouth which causes the mixture to become thicker. It is said that this oil pulling process draws out harmful elements from the body and eliminates them through the mouth.
#2 – Drink a Quart of Lemon & Apple Cider Vinegar Water
After I'm done oil pulling and I've rinsed out, then I drink a quart of room temperature water (not cold) with 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice and 1-2 tsp. apple cider vinegar (sometimes I add a little local raw honey or a couple drops of stevia extract).
Lemons have antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting properties that are really powerful. Lemons contain citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene which are all nutrients that support a strong immune system. Lemon juice is also is a digestive aid and liver cleanser which is one of the biggest reasons why I choose to add it to the first quart of water I drink each day. It wakes up the digestive system and prepares my body for it's first meal of the day.
It's also great for your skin! The Vitamin C in Lemons is a beauty booster and makes skin look younger, reducing wrinkles and combating acne.
The addition of Apple Cider Vinegar boosts the healthy properties of my morning drink even more. Apple Cider Vinegar has thousands of health benefits and a simple google search will bring you to all of them very quickly. The reason I drink ACV in the morning is because it balances the body's PH and it helps to fight yeast. Balancing the PH of your stomach first thing in the morning aids in digestion and sets your body up for the day. The natural probiotics in this fermented vinegar helps to keep yeast in check so it doesn't overtake your gut, causing candida and other digestive problems.
Just like lemon, ACV is excellent for your skin. Since it helps to keep the gut flora in balance it can help to prevent break outs.
After this morning detox ritual, I take a shower, brush my teeth, and eat breakfast about 30 minutes later. Doing this morning detox ritual has really helped to get my system ready for the day and has also enhanced my digestive and immune systems. Ayurveda invites us to get a jump-start on the day by focusing on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms and balance. This fosters two very important values for holistic health – self-care and self-discipline.