Methods to Detoxify ~ continued . . .

moon bathing - 1000 pics / FB

moon bathing – 1000 pics / FB

In my previous article, I mentioned the following types of treatment methods unique to Ayurveda: Shamana and Shodhana.  Shamana is a general term for palliation or palliative treatment.  The subdivisions of Shamana are dipan (kindling the digestive fire), pachan (burning ama), fasting, observing thirst, exercise, sun or moon bathing, and specialized breathing or pranayama. Each subdivision can be utilized as a treatment independently or can work simultaneously depending on the practitioner’s intention.  In this article, I give tips on how the Shamana methods, done simultaneously in a program, can enhance the detoxification of ama or toxins in the body.  This is a huge subject and therefore, can only be briefly touched upon here.

Dipan, Pachan, Fasting, Thirst

First things first.  Look at your calendar.  How long can you dedicate to an ama cleanse?  As mentioned in the last article, preparation and timing are important.   I recommend a cleanse of 14-40 days depending your level of doshic imbalance, stress, and quality of ama.  Secondly, check in with your Pitta dosha.  Eliminating ama can sometimes aggravate Pitta or Pitta predominant people.  Make sure to calm the Pitta before focusing on an ama cleanse.  Next, onto burning the ama and kindling the digestive fire.  The idea here is to avoid anything that creates ama (heavy, oily, sticky, cold foods), while at the same time integrating substances that kindle agni.  We have covered this in past articles, so you’ll be familiar with the concept.  Eat small meals at the same time daily.  Integrate agni stimulating appetizers such as a mixture of raw ginger, Himalayan salt, and lime into your daily menu.  Add spices such as ginger, trikatu, cumin, coriander, and fennel to simple foods such as steamed vegetables, soups, and salads.

fennel in garden

fennel in garden

During this time, I recommend two kinds of fasting to lower ama; a monodiet of kitcheri or a cumin, fennel, coriander tea fast.  Take only one day out of the week to fast and have it be the same day weekly.  Please refer to the kitcheri recipe on or Mira Murphy’s cookbook.  Listen to your body and take it easy physically on the days you fast.  Adhering to thirst is for more advanced Kapha pathologies.

Exercise, Sun and Moon Bathing, Pranayama

Exercise daily and focus on movements that strengthen the core such as boat pose, twists, and leg raises.  Sun bathe regularly and at the minimum of three times a week.  While sunbathing, expose the midriff to the sun and receive the healing rays of the fire element above as it connects to the fire element in the body.  Moon bathe during this time, either to cool off Pitta dosha (if it’s getting aggravated) or on the night of the full moon to cleanse the liver.  Do fire breathing daily.  Make sure, if you’re susceptible to headaches, to be aware of too much heat in the head.


Towards the end of your Shamana program add nourishing substances back into your diet slowly.  Take at least 3-5 days to integrated heavier foods such as organic dairy products and small amounts of the sweet taste.  I suggest taking Chyavanprash or Shaktiprana during this time.  Again, you can find these on  These are rejuvenatives that are deeply nourishing to the body.  Don’t overlook this important step.  Please contact me or your local and highly qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner if you have any questions.   Blessings and Namaste.

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Melissa Camacho has a clinical Ayurvedic practice and has a Masters in Oriental Medicine.  You may reach Melissa at (505) 920-9466 or email . More information here.

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