If you're looking to amplify the effects of an ayurvedic cleanse, herbal therapies are a powerful choice because they can assist in the breakdown and removal of ama (toxic waste). And generally speaking, since agni (digestive fire) is the opposite of ama (toxic waste), the best ayurvedic herbs for detoxification are ones that stimulate agni. The astringent, bitter, and pungent tastes can be a powerful combination as the astringent taste dries the ama, and the bitter and pungent taste helps destroy and digest it. This is why bitter, astringent and pungent herbs are known to clean the blood, lymph and bile.

In addition, for comprehensive and effective ceansing, ayurveda recommends herbs that aid movement in all of the detox pathways:

  • Diaphoretic herbs (that make sweat)
  • Carminative herbs (that expel air)
  • Expectorant herbs (that get rid of phlegm)
  • Diuretic herbs (that eliminate through urine)
  • Laxative herbs (that increase bowel movement)
  • Emmenagogues (that relieve congestion of blood)

Best Ayurvedic Herbs for Detoxification

Here are Ayurveda's favorite herbs for cleansing and detoxifying the body:

Triphala

Triphala is actually a blend of three fruits: Amalaki (which is a powerful antioxidant super high in Vitamin C and one of the main ingredients of Chyawanprash), Bibhitaki and Haritaki. Triphala supports the whole GI tract. Both Bibhitaki and Haritaki have a laxative effect and support gut health and amalaki is a powerful rejuvenative that supports longevity. The rasa or taste of Triphala is sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent; the only taste not contained within the formula is salty. Its taste is not particularly pleasant, but it is really effective! It is usually taken right before bed or first thing in the morning. Even if it is particularly recommended for Kapha, it brings all doshas back to balance thanks to its powerful detoxification powers. How to take triphala? Triphala can be taken in a powder form in warm water, milk or non-dairy milk, mixed with honey, in capsules or liquid extract.

Manijstha

Manjistha is an effective herb to promote healthy liver function. It strengthens agni, the digestive fire, and reduces the load on the liver. It is probably the best blood and lymph purifying herb. It cools and detoxifies the blood, dissolves obstructions in the blood flow and removes stagnant blood. It is very effective for toxic blood conditions, and cleanses and regulates the liver, spleen and kidney function. It is great to balance Pitta and Kapha but can be too drying to Vata if used in excess. How to take manjishta? Powder (250mg to 1g), paste, medicated ghee.

Guggul

Guggul is a resin that is bitter, pungent and astringent and that balances Kapha and Vata. It may increase Pitta if taken in excess. Guggul is the most important resin used in Ayurvedic medicine. Similar to myrrh, it possesses strong purifying and rejuvenating powers. Guggul is fantastic taken in the mouth and chewed in case of mouth ulcers, because it heals the skin and mucous membranes. It also helps the regeneration of nerve tissue. It is also recommended for arthritic conditions. How to take guggul? Capsules, powder (250 to 500mg) or paste or gum

Neem

Neem bark and leaves are bitter, cooling and pungent. Neem cleanses the blood. It cools fever and clears the toxins involved in most inflammatory skin diseases or ulcerated mucous membranes. It can be taken internally whenever a purification is needed since it clears away excessive tissue, is very astringent and promotes healing. Taken externally, in the form of medicated oil, it is a great healing and disinfectant agent for skin diseases and an anti-inflammatory agent for joint and muscle pain. It is great for Pitta and Kapha but can be aggravating for Vata is taken in excess. How to take neem? Infusion, powder (250 to 500mg), paste, medicated ghee, medicated oil

Kitchen Herbs

The good news is that you don’t have to go far to find herbs to supportive herbs for cleansing. You can find powerful herbs right in your kitchen cabinet. Herbs such as dried ginger, cumin, fennel, black pepper, mustard seed, garlic, and coriander all assist in removing ama.

Bamboo Salt

Although bamboo salt is not an herb, it's another remedy to consider when trying to boost agni for detoxification. High-quality bamboo salt, like our Bamboo Salt 9X, increases agni and stimulates appetite, while the minerals help with the assimilation of nutrients. There are many ways to incorporate bamboo salt into your daily routine, including sprinkling a pinch of the crystals onto your tongue.

Seasonal Recommendations

When choosing Ayurvedic herbs to use for your detoxification, be sure to pay attention to your dosha imbalance and the time of year you are detoxing! For Pitta imbalances and ama accumulation in summer, you might want to incorporate cooling herbs, like aloe vera, burdock, dandelion and echinacea. Coriander, turmeric, fennel, and chamomile are also great allies in the detoxification process, and are so easy to incorporate in your meals or teas!

Questions? Message me at @cecileantoine_! Cécile Antoine Alfonzo Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant

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