Detoxification and Weight Loss - The Risks, Benefits and Ayurvedic Wisdom Behind It

April 4, 2014  | 

What is all of this hype about detoxification? Why have so many people become interested in this concept and do we really need to actively detox? How does one lose weight during detoxing?

We recently had a Detox seminar at our center and I will present some important points discussed.

First, I will start with some background. In my medical school training, the concept of detoxification was taught in a very scientific way. We systematically learned about organs which clear toxins from the body, such as the skin, liver and kidneys, but truly never spent time appreciating how we could encourage the body’s natural detoxification process or how we are affected if our detoxification pathways are blocked.

I believe in seasonal detoxification with foods and supplements, and have been recommending doing this for years. The following information will detail why I believe supported detoxification is important for your health!

Toxins, Toxins Everywhere…

Did you know that there are 5 million man made chemicals have been registered in the US alone?

In 2003, a CDC 2003 study on 4700+ people found the in the blood, hair, and urine the average number of chemicals people carry was over 488!!! YIKES! Now 10 years later, what do you think the toxin burden is in our bodies???

The most concerning Toxins are OBESOGENS. These are chemicals that inappropriately alter:

  • Fat storage (lipid soluble)
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Metabolic set points (thus making it harder for you to lose weight)
  • Energy balance
  • Dysregulation of sex hormone production (endocrine disrupting chemicals)

These obesogens can modify the regulation of appetite and satiety to promote fat accumulation and obesity. Examples are BPA, air pollution and phthalates, to name a few.

How Do we Detoxify?

Our major organs of Detoxification are the:

  • Liver (supported by nutrients/herbals such as B2, B6, B12, Milk thistle and Magnesium as in Zira Nourished Mind
  • Gut (assuming you are having at least one formed bowel movement per day!) Triphala, Total Omega and/or Spore based probiotics can help for those who are having difficulties here
  • Kidneys (Drink your CCF tea and stay hydrated! to clear toxins here)
  • Skin (Yes, this is an organ of detox!) Abhyanga massages and Oil Pulling for all (to be discussed in a future blog…)
  • Lymphatics (Massage helps move toxins from the lymphatics, especially if you use Sesame oil (Vata types) or Coconut Oil (Pitta types).
    These oils are fantastic carriers of toxins and help them make their way out of our body!!!

Encouraging our organs to cleanse is important because if the organs are blocked, we could have challenges detoxifying. Foods, medications, pollutants, hormones, etc may not be appropriately processed and cleared from our body. When we are unable to detoxify, we start to develop symptoms of toxin overload.

Detoxification and Weight Loss the Ayurvedic Way…

Ayurvedic Medicine, which is 5000 years on origin, explains the importance of detoxification, especially at the time of season change. Imagine you have just endured a very COLD AND DRY winter (not too hard to imagine for my Chicago friends!). During this time, your body has accumulated a lot of VATA energy. The energy of Vata, based on the air and space elements, combine to form "wind" blowing in your mind and body. Imagine wind blowing around and through you…how would you feel?? Cold and Dry! Wind in your mind leads to racing and feeling ungrounded. Wind in your digestion leads to gas, bloating and constipation. As the season transitions, your Vata energy needs to be "cleared" to allow a more Kapha state which normally occurs in the spring. This moist state, governed by earth and water elements, starts to become predominant. If your pathways are blocked, you may find yourself having either excess Vata or excess Kapha symptoms. Examples can be a feeling of heaviness, lethargy, congestion and poor digestive function. This process leads to the formation of AMA.

  • Ama, in Ayurvedic medicine is considered to be toxic food, thoughts or any substance leftover in body which creates disease.
  • Daily Maintenance of Good digestion (strong Agni, digestive fire) and open and clear pathways allows Toxins to Clear easily!!!


Tips for Detoxification:

  1. Manage your Stress through Yoga, Mindfulness and Better management of your Emotions. Stress leads to excess production of cortisol, which can increase blood sugars and lead to weight gain in the mid-section. Ayurvedic herbals for your mind type can be very helpful, along with doing yoga for your specific dosha.
  2. Strengthen your Digestion
  3. Encourage Detoxification through the Liver with Supplements or Teas or Yoga
  4. Get massages with Sesame or Coconut Oil
  5. Eat Foods that Detoxify Your System based on your Ayurvedic type
  6. Surround yourself with happy, supportive friends and family!
In Harmony and Health,
T Gokani
Trupti Gokani

Zira Mind and Body Center
"Healing Your Head Involves Healing Your Mind and Body"

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