The New Year is always a time for reflection upon ways we can improve our lives. Many resolutions revolve around health. But rather than only making the same old resolutions this year, how about trying something different and new to keep yourself motivated?
Detox With Oil Pulling
We have all used oil to cook our food and maybe you have even used it for massage – but did you know that gargling with oil is good for your health? Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic technique used to detoxify the body that has been practiced for thousands of years. And it’s amazing what swishing a little bit of oil can do for your health. In ayurveda, this technique is used to cure problems in the stomach, heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, and intestines. In some cases, it is used to treat malignant tumors. It also dramatically improves the health of your gums as well.
The two most common oils used for oil pulling are sesame and sunflower oil. In the morning, before you eat breakfast, take about 2 tablespoons of sesame or sunflower oil and gently swish it in your mouth. Initially, you can do it for a few minutes, but eventually you can continue for up to 10 minutes as you are taking a shower or getting dressed. Spit out the oil and then brush your teeth as you normally would. If your spit is white and frothy, you did it correctly. If your spit is yellow, then you need to gargle it longer. You can also use a tongue scraper afterwards to remove the toxins that have come to the surface of the tongue. The darker your tongue, the more toxins that are present. As with any detox, you may be surprised what comes out – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Work With Clay
Working with clay can help you feel more grounded and centered. This, in turn, supports your digestion, bladder, kidneys, and reproductive organs. When was the last time you put your hands in some mud or clay? Working with clay is a very soothing and nurturing activity that stimulates the right side of the brain, which tends to be our more creative side. This helps us to rest the commonly overworked left side of the brain, which is responsible for our more logical skills. The overall result is feeling more relaxed and grounded, which improves how our organs function.
Ayurveda recognizes five key elements in nature – space, wind, fire, water, and earth. When there is an excess of the elements of space and wind in the body, you can feel scattered and ungrounded. The two key elements in clay are earth and water. Working with clay brings more of the qualities of water and earth into our body, which is grounding and balancing to the mind. Especially after the holidays, many people feel like they barely have their feet on the ground, and working with clay can help counteract this sensation.
Put on some soothing music, light some candles, and bring out some clay to help you feel more rooted. You may be pleasantly surprised at what a piece of clay can do for your peace of mind. Working with clay is just another natural method of healing with no side effects and it fits into any budget. If you have kids, let them play too and you’ll help them to feel more grounded as well. You may just lose track of time all together, which means your right brain is finally having some fun!
Substitute Ghee for Butter
You love butter, but your doctor says you have high cholesterol. No worries: Welcome to the wonderful world of ghee. Ghee is clarified butter. It tastes like butter because it comes from butter, but it is much healthier because it’s been purified. Ghee has been used in Indian kitchens for thousands of years, not only for cooking, but in medicine as well.
In moderation, ghee lowers blood triglyceride levels and elevates beneficial HDL cholesterol. It also helps you recover from exercise-related strains and injuries, such as tight hamstrings. Ghee decreases oxidative stress, which contributes to coronary artery disease. Ghee has been used to improve the quantity and quality of semen in men, enhance memory, and improve digestion as well. Ghee is one of the most delicious health habits you can have.
Ghee is now available at many health food stores, but you can also make it yourself. Just follow these simple directions:
Take the desired amount of either salted or unsalted butter (I prefer unsalted butter) and place in a medium-sized pan. Melt the butter on medium heat until it is completely liquid. Continue cooking until the butter starts to foam and boil; you will begin to hear the butter crackling at this point. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook the butter until it clarifies. You will know it is clarified when you part the foam on top and the butter is clear enough to easily see the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking the butter until the crackling subsides. Make sure not to overcook the ghee or it will burn. Let it cool for about 30 minutes and then strain it using cheesecloth. It can be stored in glass jar.