Implementing Ayurvedic daily rituals into your daily routine is emphasised by Ayurvedic medicine in order to optimise health.
This is because each and every one of your organs and even your cells are run on clocks (1). When your biology is synced into the rhythms of nature, it has greater ability to ward off any diseases that may come, plus it has the freedom to radiate energy to live life to the fullest.
Here are four Ayurvedic health rituals you can easily implement into your daily routine to support daily detoxification and energy optimisation.
ONE - Tongue Scraping
Tongue scraping, known as “Jihwa Prakshalana,” has been a crucial part of the Ayurvedic daily routine for maintaining oral and general health for millennia.
Have a look at your tongue in the morning. Do you see any coating? It may white, yellow, sometimes even a dark brown/blackish.
This coating is toxins from the day before that have accumulated on the tongue overnight. When you sleep, your body detoxifies (hence sleep is very important for not only regeneration, but also detoxification). This overnight detoxification process is further enhanced when taking purification herbs around dinner time.
One of the detoxification pathways is the mouth. So, this coating, mucous or other debris that you see on your tongue in the morning needs to be removed with a proper tongue scraper.
While brushing and flossing removes bacteria from the teeth and gums, it is the neglected bacteria residing on our tongue that can cause bad breath, disrupt our sense of taste and even cause digestive issues.
Nearly 50% of our oral bacteria live in the deep crevices of the tongue, and are a major source of bad breath, gum disease and dental decay. Yikes!
Cleaning or scraping of the tongue should be done within the first three minutes of waking up (no morning snoozing) because after that, the body’s systems wake up and become active and then the toxins will reabsorb back into the body.
This elimination of toxins is easily achieved using a well-designed tongue scraper or cleaner, commonly made from stainless steel, silver or copper (our favourite material due to the anti-bacterial qualities of copper).
How to Scrape Your Tongue:
- This can be done before and/or after brushing your teeth.
- Hold the tongue scraper gently in both hands. Open your mouth and bring the curved part as far back on the tongue as is comfortable.
- Gently pull the scraper forward over the surface of the tongue to the tip of the tongue.
- Repeat this a few times, rinsing as needed, and you will be scraping the coating off into the sink.
TWO - Oil Pulling
You may have recently heard of oil pulling as a modern natural health trend, but this oral practice has actually been part of the Ayurvedic daily routine for thousands of years, and for reasons far beyond just teeth-whitening and cosmetic benefits.
Oil Pulling, known as “Kavala” or “Gandusha” in Ayurveda, consists of swishing oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes daily. This simple practice claims to deliver a wide range of health benefits:
- Reduce plaque
A handful of studies show oil pulling for 10-20 minutes a day can reduce plaque, decrease Streptococcus mutans populations (bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath), promote greater oral hygiene, cleaner teeth and healthy gums.
- Literally “Pulling Out Toxins”
Oils are lipophilic, meaning they attract other oils and fat-soluble toxins to “pull” them out from the area that the oil interacts with.
This is also seen in Ayurvedic oil massage, another powerful practice in the Ayruvedic daily routine, where toxins are removed from the skin.(5) Or when one consumes ghee, one of the most healthy oils, toxins are “pulled out” from the digestive tract to be escorted to the channels of elimination.(4-5)
In the mouth, fat-soluble toxins are “pulled” out from oral cavity by the oil, promoting a healthy mouth and fresh breath.(2,3).
- Lubricates the Head, Neck and Throat
Ayurveda shares that the daily routine practice of oil pulling goes beyond the mouth to lubricate the whole head neck and throat region. This is why oil pulling supports thyroid health, optimal hearing and visual perception and helps prevent sensory degeneration.
In order of superiority:
- Medicated oil pulling oil
- Cold-pressed sesame oil
- Cold-pressed coconut oil
(If you can’t get cold-pressed oils, it is still beneficial to use them).
Method of Oil Pulling:
- Gently swish 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of oil in the mouth and suck or pull through the teeth for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Swish after brushing teeth and scraping tongue so you don’t brush off the protective coating the oil has left.
- The oil quantity will increase in your mouth as it collects toxins and saliva.
- When you are done, spit the oil down the toilet or into the garden/plant.
- Rinse your mouth out with warm water.
This practice is so easy because you can do it whenever: while you’re in the shower, during exercise, while practicing self-abhyanga oil massage, while cleaning the house, it’s so easy because you can multi task! As long as you aren’t talking or singing at the same time.
Most of us bathe and wash ourselves every day, (great! you are already doing one practice part of the Ayurvedic daily routine), but in addition to washing and cleaning our body and skin each day, Ayurveda teaches we also have to apply oil to our skin and massage it daily.
This is done by giving yourself an oil massage (Abhyanga) with coconut, sesame or a medicated Ayurvedic oil before your shower or bath.
Abhyanga enhances the lymphatic system, improves blood circulation, feeds the microbiome living on your skin (who do all the hard work for your body) and most noticeably, pacifies the nervous system and strengthens its ability to adapt to any stressful situation.
For an even greater experience of self-care, self-respect and nervous system rejuvenation, drink half a cup of hot water with a big pinch of One Eleven Bliss just before your self-abhyanga to de-excite your nervous system and magnify your attention towards this profound Ayurvedic practice of self-nourishment.
FOUR - Sipping Hot Water
Sip plain hot water frequently throughout the day. This melts toxins in the gastro-intestinal tract and flushes them out, just like it does the same to grease on your dirty dishes.
This simple yet powerful Ayurvedic dietary recommendation dilates (opens) the channels of the body, especially the lymphatic system.
This Ayurvedic daily routine sounds very simple, but you’ll find that is has a powerful affect of purifying and strengthening the gastrointestinal tract, as well as detoxing and rejuvenating the major systems of the body. Furthermore, it hydrates the tissues as the hot water penetrates into the deeper tissues.
On the other side of the thermometer, cold water (and any cold drinks) hamper digestion. They put out your digestive fire, freeze digestive enzymes and fluids in your G.I. tract, disabling your body from effectively digesting any substance.
It’s not about how much water you drink, it’s about how frequently you sip pure quality hot water.
- Caraka samhita Ch V -78 to 80.
- Sharma HM, Midich SI, Sands D, Smith DE: Improvement in cardiovascular risk factors through Panchakarma purification procedures. J Res Educ Indian Med, 1993; 12(4); 2-13.
- Heron, Fagan. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine in its September/October 2002 issue, two