Is juicing right for you? Juice cleanses are generally customised to the number of days you commit to and the level of intensity of the juices you drink, not your Ayurvedic dosha.
What is a dosha?
A dosha is the Ayurvedic term for the three main energetic forces that govern our psychological and physiological actions and characteristics. These three doshas are known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha and are each derived from two of the five main elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Depending on the elements involved, the predominant qualities of the individual will reflect the qualities of those elements.
Very few people making juices or writing about juice cleanses consider the unique, individual nature of people. According to Ayurveda, what is great and beneficial for one person can be poisonous for another. It all depends on your dosha, your current state of health and digestion, seasonal changes, and emotional state. Very few recommendations are generalized across the board in Ayurvedic science. The same goes for juicing.
Vata – Wind
Wind-like Vatas tend to be lean, agile, and energetic, but when out of balance, they’re prone to anxiety and energy crashes. Vata’s benefit from mixtures rich in fruits and veggies that stave off blood sugar crashes—think beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, fennel, and cucumber. Dense greens, like cabbage, celery, and kale, on the other hand, are not recommended, in part because they can cause gas – Vatas generally have sensitive digestive systems.
Spices like cinnamon, ginger, and tumeric, add wonderful flavour, as well as lemon, which can help counter the dryness of green juice. Vatas, often have parched skin and hair as dryness is a characteristic of the Vata type.
Pitta – Fire
The digestive fire in Pitta dosha is very strong, hot, and intense. As a result, if they don’t eat at regular periods they get very irritable. A liquid cleanse that isn’t purely juice is recommended. Quinoa or Chia pudding in the morning, followed by two cooling juices between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m is recommend. A blended broccoli or zucchini soup for dinner is a good option.
A cooling juice will contain veggies like cucumbers, asparagus, and broccoli, which help lower inflammation during the middle of the day, when digestive fire is strongest. Flavour can be added with spices and herbs such as coriander, cilantro, and cardamom.
Kapha – Earth
Grounded Kaphas can feel fully energized while cleansing because they tend to be very stable and a have a bit of a heavier constitution. Though Kaphas are often drawn to sweet foods, they feel most balanced eating bitter, astringent, and pungent options. Avoid sweet fruits like pineapple, pear, and mango. Cucumber, celery, kale, broccoli, and cilantro blends, as well as sunflower sprouts and pea shoots work best for Kapha. For flavour, try cinnamon, ginger, or cayenne pepper.
If you feel at all bloated while cleansing, an abdominal massage with coconut or sesame oil, using clockwise circles that get bigger, then smaller, will help to ease the belly. Also, try sitting in a warm bathtub with three spoonfuls of ginger powder. Both these practices will help alleviate any nervous energy that’s collected in the gut.