Juicing has been popular for years in the natural health and alternative medicine community. Juice fasting has been promoted as a way of cleansing toxins from the body, losing weight and improving health and wellbeing. Some people live purely on juice and nothing else.
Juices are becoming more and more popular with fresh juices being available in every major city and town, not just from alternative hippy loving health food cafe’s. You can get a juice almost anywhere. The world loves juice!
There is a great reason why juice is so popular and can make us feel so good.
When we drink juice it has a particularly nourishing effect on the plasma (rasa) tissue of the body. This means that it has a cleansing effect on our blood, lymphatic system and skin, giving us greater energy and vitality almost instantly as a result.
This is a wonderful thing. We all want to feel better, look better and live better. If we over do our juicing however, the body can start to become depleted and the natural juice ‘high’ starts become an over juiced energy ‘low’. The motivation behind ‘juice fasting’ is often to ‘detox’ and improve the functioning of the digestive system.
In Ayurvedic medicine, poor digestion and a build of toxins in the body is often due to the air element in the body (Vata) being out of balance, leading to undigested food mass, gas, bloating and feeling out of it.
To detox and improve digestion with this in mind, we must balance the air (Vata) element by having the opposite to cold, fresh, raw juices (which will only increase Vata) and instead choose to have warm, light, brothy vegetable soups for example. It’s a different way of viewing things and comes from a perspective of balancing elements and qualities to improve digestion, looking at the reason why things have gone pear shaped and treating the cause.
Balance is the key.
For some people, at certain times of their life, under certain circumstances and conditions juice fasting might prove to be the best medicine. For other’s juice fasting might be too depleting and a in the case of wanting to ‘detox’ to improve digestion, a few days on warm Vegie soups might be the best medicine!
To incorporate a Vegie juice or a fruit juice into your daily eating in a balanced way can be a wonderful way to build your blood (great for women particualry or those with Anaemia), get a boost of minerals and cleanse your body in a balanced and grounded way.
Ayurvedic wisdom reminds us that we are all unique. We must live, eat and drink in ways that are harmonious for ourselves as individuals. To find inner and outer balance we must respond to our own body and see what works for ourselves, rather than following what works for someone else.
So enjoy your juices with awareness and being in tune with your body and what it needs. Remembering that one man’s medicine is another man’s poison. We must learn to listen to our own bodies and trust that guidance with our food and life choices.
Ayurvedic Principles for Balanced Juicing:
- Mix vegie with vegie & fruit with fruit.
- Add ginger to balance the heavy, sweet qualities of juice.
- Have a moderate amount, a small or medium sized cup will be plenty as it is so concentrated.
- Allow 20 mins until eating or drinking something else, to give the digestive enzymes time to do their thing.
- Go for Vegie juice as much as possible, the minerals in vegie juice are great for the blood and full of goodies your body will love. (My favourite!)
- When having fruit juices, keep combinations simple. eg: Apple & Pear or Apple & Pineapple. This makes it easier for the body to digest.
- Drink your juice mid-morning, when the sun is getting high in the sky. In Ayurveda the digestive fire is strongest in the middle of the day, so having something like a juice which is quite dense will be most effectively digested in the morning or close to lunch time.
- Finally, love your juice and treat it like medicine. For women, having a Vegie juice with Beetroot around the time of menstruation can be a wonderful remedy for building the blood.