Demystifying Detoxification: Reducing Your Body’s Toxic Burden
09/25/2023 | Season 3, Episode 86
In this special presentation of Be HEALTHistic, naturopathic physician Dr. Drew Sinatra welcomes his Healthy Directions colleague, integrative neurologist and Ayurvedic practitioner Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, to discuss detoxification. This practice has been followed by cultures worldwide for centuries — including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems — and involves resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. Its primary goal is to remove and eliminate toxins while providing the body with essential nutrients. There are many different detoxification methods that will safely lower your toxic load, and our experts talk about some of them today.
First, the doctors explain that no matter how “clean living” you are, we’re all exposed to hundreds of chemicals and toxins in the environment and in our food sources, which then accumulate in our bodies. Detoxification needs to be a part of daily life, not just something we do occasionally; we need to find ways in our everyday lives to support our natural detox systems to avoid having a massive build-up of toxins. Dr. Kulreet then explains why oils are such a key detox tool in Ayurveda, who should not engage in a significant detoxification program, and why a meditation practice is also an important part of the equation.
Next, Dr. Kulreet walks Dr. Drew through her own daily detox routine, developed over two decades — which includes oil pulling, meditation, drinking Prime Tea throughout the day, and taking the Ayurvedic herb, triphala — and explains how you can build on small steps to create your own program. She also talks about intermittent fasting, and an Ayurvedic cleanse ritual called Panchakarma — a more intense annual detoxification that really pulls everything out of the body. Finally, the doctors share their advice for how to leverage our natural detoxification systems to lower the amount of toxins we take in and also keep excess chemicals out. Don’t miss this informative episode of Be HEALTHistic!
LINKS & RESOURCES
- Visit the Healthy Directions website for more health and wellness content and information!
- Check out the Healthy Directions Articles Archive, where you can search for specific, health-related content from all of our Healthy Directions doctors and experts.
- The doctors both mentioned a 2005 Environmental Working Group investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood; find out more about that study and its findings.
- Dr. Kulreet talked about why the Ayurvedic herb triphala — and her meditation practice — were included in her daily routine; find out more about the benefits of triphala for regularity, detoxification and more and how mantra meditation works.
- Dr. Drew discussed an article he wrote on everyday ways to detoxify; read the full article here.
- Dr. Kulreet talked about her Prime Tea recipe; watch this video with her Prime Tea Hacks, where she shares her favorite tips and tricks for making this detoxifying daily beverage.
- The doctors talked about the importance of making detox a daily practice; check out Dr. Drew’s top tips for natural detoxification.
- During the discussion, Dr. Kulreet mentioned a few different Ayurvedic detoxification methods that she recommends and enjoys. Find out more about the benefits of oil pulling, as well as the healing power of abhyanga, a therapeutic massage technique.
- Dr. Kulreet mentioned an Ayurvedic health center in Fairfield, Iowa, that offers Panchakarma treatments; find out more about The Raj and their programs.
- Want even more tips and information on how to detoxify your body and mind? If you missed it the first time or you want to listen again, check out Episode 9: Healthy Detoxification: Spring Cleaning for Your Body and Episode 33: Brain Wash: Detoxing Your Mind.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Hi, and welcome to a special presentation of the Be HEALTHistic podcast, presented by Healthy Directions. Today we're focusing on detoxification, a practice that has been followed by cultures worldwide for centuries — including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems — which involves resting, cleansing, and nourishing the body from the inside out. Its primary goal is to remove and eliminate toxins while providing the body with essential nutrients. There are lots of different detoxification methods that will safely lower your toxic load, and we're going to talk about some of them today. I'll be discussing this topic with integrative neurologist and Ayurvedic practitioner, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, who has quite a bit of experience with this concept, so I'm excited to hear her point of view and get some great advice from her. Welcome, Dr. Kulreet.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Thanks, Drew.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: So first off, I just want to talk about what detoxification is not, what we're not going to be discussing today — and we are not talking about drug and alcohol detoxification. That is very, very different than what we'll be discussing. So people have probably heard about these inpatient treatment centers where you go if you're addicted to any sort of medication, or recreational drug or alcohol, and the detoxification that we'll be talking about today is very different. So I just wanted to say that right off the bat.
Now, people always say, “I'm not toxic. I don't have any toxins in me. I live a very clean life. I don't work in any chemical industry. I eat a hundred percent organic.” And the reality is everyone watching and listening to this podcast has toxins in the body. That's an absolute, hundred percent true reality right there. We all have toxins in our body. Of course, we can't see them, we can't really smell them, we can't taste them generally, but these ubiquitous toxicants are in the environment everywhere.
And I want to paint a picture of what we're dealing with here, because essentially, the Environmental Working Group, back in 2005, they did this study on cord blood. And what they did was they looked at cord blood for developing babies. These are babies that are still in the womb…just imagine that in your head, these are babies still in the womb. They tested the cord blood and they found over 200 plus chemicals per sample. I mean, let that settle for a moment there. You are in utero, you are exposed to 200 plus chemicals at least, and in every single sample they found lead, mercury and PCBs. And these PCBs, they're polychlorinated biphenyls, these were banned in 1978 but yet we're still finding these compounds in our body.
So this tells you that, yes, we have toxins in the environment that may never go away, or…they're called persistent bio accumulative toxicants, meaning they stick around for a long time and unfortunately they get deposited in our fat cells in our body and other tissues. And so today what you and I will be talking about, and I want to get the Ayurvedic perspective on this, as well, is really how to prevent these toxins from entering your body. And secondly, how to get them out of your body once they're in there.
So what's your perspective on detoxification? Where do you stand with this?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: So first of all, that study that you used, every talk I do about detoxification, I have a slide for that very study. So again, you're preaching to the choir here. So here's what was interesting, here's what kind of made me a little bit of a rebel initially in the Ayurvedic community, was I start first with detoxification. And the reason why that was a bit of a rebellious...I mean, as rebellious I guess as you're going to get with Ayurveda because it's pretty holistic...but the reason why that was kind of going a little bit against the grain is traditionally in Ayurveda you start with food — because food is medicine, okay? But now, what happens when your food source is partially medicine, partially poison? When the soil has been infiltrated with so many chemicals that whether, this is one thing that people don't realize is, whether you're buying organic or not organic the pollutants are everywhere.
It's not like we've got some kind of a secret barrier in the soil for the organic farms that are right next to the ones that are using all the pollution. Eventually, the earth is an organism, so whatever you put anywhere, it eventually will go everywhere — which is why we've got all this Prozac in our drinking water. Not because you're necessarily taking it, but because whatever we're doing on the planet, we're doing it collectively. And so, traditionally in Ayurveda food was medicine, you always, kind of, went to your food first. But now what if within your food there are also toxins. And just as you said, these toxins are accumulating in the human body, and so many of the toxins are specifically created where they stay in the female body even longer, and they throw off the neuroendocrine system and the reproductive system of the female body, even more so than the male body. Yet we're the ones making all the babies, which means — if it's accumulating in us, it is accumulating in every person born on the planet because this is where babies come from.
And so, that's how it starts out in the cord blood. No matter how hard mom is trying to eat healthy, it's accumulated in us in ways that we didn't have a choice in, in terms of even the chemicals that are placed into everyday items. Not even just our food, but just into everyday items. I didn't vote for that, I didn't choose that. And yet when I'm eating, I'm accumulating that. And then when you produce a baby, everything that is in you is going into the baby. And so toxins are now a part of life. And so, when I kind of got that, and of course in Ayurveda, gut health is so important, the gut-brain health is so important. But when there's so many toxins, it's nearly impossible to repair the gut and the brain when there's that level of toxin. So I actually start with detoxification. I don't start with harsh detoxification because usually your body can't even process it.
So just like you said, it's this process of increasing nutrients, starting to really heal the gut, the gut lining, and starting to break the food addiction cycles. And then throughout that, detoxing — and detoxing isn't something that you do once in a while, it's now a part of life. That's how we must live. Detoxification is life in the modern world until we realize what we're actually doing, because the way we're living is killing off bees, it's killing off insects. If it's killing them off and they're more resilient in many ways than the human body...we've got a pretty complex system...if it's killing off everything else in the planet, even large animals are now dying because of the pesticides that are in the foods that they're eating out in the wild because it's so concentrated. If it's killing them off, it's going to have really negative impacts. So if you want health, mental or emotional or physical, you will understand how to detox. And your detoxification is not going to be an annual event or a seasonal event, it's going to be a daily event.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah, it's certainly daily. I remember I wrote an article in 2008 on everyday detox, and it was really talking about how you absolutely need to do this on a daily basis. And it doesn't mean you need to do an enema every day, you need to, I don't know, do colonics once a week and whatever it is that might seem kind of outrageous. But these are just simple things, like you said, perhaps choosing food that isn't sprayed with chemicals on it, or at least preventing how many chemicals come in your body. Maybe using products in your home, hygiene products and such, that are chemical free and not full of all these different toxicants.
The everyday detox piece, I think it's critical that people know that and really focus on, don't just do this one week cleanse and all of a sudden you think it's just cleared all these toxins from your body. It needs to be an everyday thing. Now I want to show everyone a really quick diagram.
This is really old, this is from maybe like 15, 20 years ago. And just so I can talk here, if you think of your body like a bucket, you have all these toxins coming in. You also have the endogenous toxin production happening from just biochemical reactions in your body, and then you have allergens in the environment. There's all this stuff that's kind of filling up that bucket load. And if you think about the primary organs of elimination, we have the lungs for breathing, right, breathing out CO2. We have our skin for sweating out toxins. We have our liver and our gastrointestinal tract for helping poop out toxins. We have our kidneys for helping pee out toxins. And all these emunctories are kind of just, they're working in concert together to really stabilize this equilibrium within the body so that we aren't having this massive buildup of toxins.
So whenever we're talking about detoxification, I always remember to tell people, “Hey, you've got to support these organs.” So we'll get into practices later, of course, but it's really important to do that. And then just to hold this up one more time, if you see on the other side, you can have spillover of...essentially, when that bucket fills, you can have spillover into your skin, meaning you might develop a skin rash, or you might develop pruritus or itching of the skin. Musculoskeletal, you might develop some joint pain if toxin levels get too much. You might notice that your brain just isn't functioning as well. And then also there's mental and emotional changes where there's mood changes. You might be anxious, you might be depressed.
So I'm telling our listeners this because, really, when toxins do build up, yes, there's tests you can do, there's these urine tests that you can send in and they'll show you this whole printout of what toxins are being found in your urine. But you've got to pair that with how someone's feeling, too. I mean, if they're having all these symptoms, you really might want to work on detoxification a little bit harder than you would someone else.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Absolutely. No, I agree. And I love the bucket analogy. One thing I would add to that is in that bucket there's different types of toxins. A lot of people who think, “Oh, well, I'm drinking this or I'm doing that,” it might be clearing out some of the water-soluble toxins. But a big thing in Ayurveda, people are always asking me, “Why is Ayurveda always putting oil everywhere?” And I mean everywhere. And the reason is because the lipid soluble toxins are among some of the worst, and they stay with you the longest. Usually these lipid soluble toxins, so these are the ones that get stuck in your fat cells…and fat cells isn't just, like, the fat under my skin. It's the fat that covers your organs, meaning your organs are then layered with toxins that are seeping into each organ, that those won't come out without oil.
And so that's why there you see so much oil in Ayurveda, because on its own the body can get rid of, I think it was 0.5 or 1% of the load of lipophilic toxins, fat-loving toxins, that much per year. And we have treatments in Ayurveda where in seven days we can bump that figure up to 49, 50%.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: That's incredible. Okay, I always wondered why there was so many oils used in Ayurveda.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Now you know. And also, it's an act of love, doing some of the things with the oil. Oil is associated with love, but it's also to help with removing the lipophilic toxins.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Really quick, funny story — my brother, big into Ayurvedic medicine, he'll always come and visit, and our sheets just have all these oil stains on them and there's essential oil smells everywhere. And it's just so funny, because I'm like, “Step, you need to make sure that.. just please don't use all that stuff on these brand new sheets I just bought.”
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: I have to do the same thing when I come to visit, especially when I come out to the East Coast and I'm staying with Lynn and I've got all my oil stuff and I'm like, “All right, be oil conscious so you're not a bad guest.”
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Exactly. So first, tell our listeners who is a candidate and who is not for detoxification. I'm assuming breastfeeding women or pregnant women obviously are not.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Oh yeah, I'm so glad you said that. So first of all, Ayurvedic medicine always approaches, kind of, life stage, where are you at, before prescribing detoxification. Before you get pregnant we highly recommend it. We recommend it for both parents that are going to be contributing their genetic material. God, that made that sound really unsexy and really unloving.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: True though.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: But if you're going to be making a person with your genetic material, you should be doing a really significant detoxification. Something like Panchakarma is ideal before conceiving a child. But then once you're thinking about it, detoxification is off the plate because you don't want to be mobilizing those toxins because they'll be going into the baby that you're creating. And so definitely not while you're pregnant, not while you're breastfeeding…you don't want to be doing anything that's going to be heavily moving toxins out. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be consuming a clean diet, of course, you should be eating foods that promote just healthy living and healthy natural detoxification, but nothing that's mobilizing toxins out.
Now in terms of who should be doing detoxification, in Ayurveda we do detoxification on so many different levels and so there's some simple things that everybody pretty much can be doing. And then there's things that we build on, and Ayurveda is really big on being gentle, meaning nurture the body first, get the nutrients in, before you start doing some of the bigger cleanses. And especially making sure you have a meditation practice because, I mean, Drew, I'm sure you've seen this too, somebody does a detox and all the emotional stuff comes out. Right? And they're not prepared for it. We don't push people to have that.
But once you start detoxifying, once those channels...because those channels are not like, oh, here's a physical channel, here's a mental channel, here's an emotional channel...no, those channels are all connected. And so once you open that channel, everything starts to move out. So we get people prepared, get them into a meditation practice…like, how are they going to ground out before they start doing the stronger ones? So however you want to go through it, but I can kind of explain what would be something I do on a daily basis. What is something I do...
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Go ahead, so start off, let's talk about what you do. What do you do on a daily basis?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: All right, so first of all let's preface this, that this is after what, 20, I don't have to age myself so much, but after a couple of decades worth of doing this, this is what it looks like. So don't feel the pressure of doing all of this because I built onto this.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Sure.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: But for me, as soon as I wake up in the morning, I do oil pulling and people might not think of oil pulling as a detoxification. It is, it's a detoxification. You're putting oil in your mouth. It's changing the oral flora, which you know, that has such a huge impact on cardiovascular health, brain health. This flora here impacts the way that you have inflammation throughout the body. And so I do that. And I also do a daily Ayurvedic oil massage, which people are like, “What? You've got an extra 40 minutes in the morning?”
I'm like, “No, no, no. It's a five-minute process.” But the reason why it's so important is what's right underneath your skin. It's all your lymphatics. That's like the waste disposal system of your whole body. I mean, that's one of the major ways that trash moves. Your skin is so important for detoxification. So I'm moving those lipophilic, those fat-loving toxins, I'm moving them out of my body every single day. And I understand this is going to all start sounding like crazy, but remember this took 20 years to slowly build up to, but then I put a little bit of ghee, and I put a little bit of ghee on my eyelids, and that starts clearing some of the toxins out of here. And then during the oil massage I'll put a little bit of oil in my ears. And so that's just starting to…it's creating a daily routine where everything is moving out.
And then all throughout the day, I mean, I've shown you this now so many times, I've got a thermos full of the Prime Tea, simple tea — cumin, coriander and fennel. And I'm drinking that all throughout the day. Why all throughout the day? So at different times of the day, you have different detoxification channels that open up. And so that's pulling all of that out throughout the day. And then at the end of the day is when I take my triphala, and that helps to prepare my body to detoxify, the body and particularly through the gut, while I'm sleeping at night. And of course, and people oftentimes will forget this, you've got to detox your brain. So my morning practice is all centered around a meditation program. And then same thing in the evening, because if you're not detoxing the brain, you will never really get the full benefits of a detoxification program.
So that's kind of what I do on a daily basis. And for anybody who wants to start with this, this is the end of 20 years. You can start with just oil pulling every day, or just drinking the Prime Tea, or just taking triphala. You slowly build. But then once a month, I do a purgation. So what that means is I will fast for the day. I'll just do something like a liquid fast, for usually it's...I'm trying to count the hours...it's at least 24 hours, sometimes it goes even a little longer than that. And then I'll take a purgative. So sometimes I'll use specific Ayurvedic herbs that force all the toxins to come up into the bowels, so it'll force the toxins to move from the body into the bowels and then you have multiple bowel movements. Sometimes I'll just use castor oil in the morning as the purgative, but something that will lead to about usually three to four bowel movements at least.
And that day I'm resting and I'm just on a liquid diet. And that's because even when you're doing something on a daily basis, you can still accumulate, again because we're in a toxic pool, you can accumulate those deeper toxins that need some extra pull to come out.
And then finally, either I'll do this seasonally, where I'll do a dedicated cleanse during spring or the fall, or if I'm able to make it to India, which luckily I'm able to most of the time. If I'm not able to, like during the pandemic I couldn't, I'll do a home Ayurvedic cleanse that's a little bit longer. Or I will go to India and do Panchakarma. And Panchakarma is the mother of all cleanses.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I've heard that.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And it's wonderful because it's highly individualized to what you need right in that moment. So I've never had the same panchakarma treatment twice, because I'm not the same person each time I do it. So that's kind of my big, annual, pull kind of everything out. And by the way, when I say pull everything out, it doesn't mean you're just going to the bathroom. The last panchakarma I had, because I'm entering into a phase hormonally where I've got to be gentler, I had the most relaxing, nourishing panchakarma. And I was like, “Did we do anything?” Because I'm used to the really hardcore treatments. And they're like, “Yes, this is what your body needs now. It needs nourishing.” It doesn't mean you're going in and just suffering.
Some of the treatments are extremely, extremely nourishing, but it's always based on what do you need. And panchakarma, because it's done over time, I usually do mine anywhere from 14 to 21 days, each day those treatments go deeper and deeper and deeper into your tissue levels. So it's structured in a way so that it just keeps going until it can really pull the stuff out. Okay, this is a cool thing, so there's one treatment... I want you to try this one day.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Sure.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: There's one treatment that I finally did, because I'd been doing Panchakarma for a while, and it's a treatment with ghee. I'm going to leave it at that because I don't want to ruin everything, I don't want to ruin the punchline for you. But it has the potential, if your body's pretty open, which I'm assuming both you and Briana, if you decide to do this, your body would be pretty open, you can get all the way to the point where you detoxify to where you can actually open up the pineal gland, right? And you start to detoxify on the level of consciousness, the parts of you that are independent of personality.
And it's amazing, because when that happens you start detoxifying your senses, meaning colors start to look different, sounds start to hear different, tastes start to...it's amazing how far you can go. But that doesn't have to be your goal if you don't want it to be. You might just be like, “I don't really care. I just don't want to have cancer. Because now all of a sudden everybody has cancer.” Or, I want to have a bowel movement every day. You can make it whatever your goals are and then build to it. But after 20 years of doing this, a lot of my detoxification goals, other than hormonal balance because of my time in life, is really around...now, after 20 years...deeper states of consciousness, deeper experiences of life. Like taking the veil off so that I can look at a flower and be brought to tears. Or I could look at a child's face and just feel flooded with just how beautiful life is. That's, kind of, my detox goal now.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: That's so beautiful. I mean, the only experience I've had, well, I've had a couple, one was I did a four day, five night fast where I did a vision fast out in nature.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: You told me about this, yeah.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Just water only, and it was just so profound because, oh my gosh, your brain just starts to work in a completely different way once you've been off the addictions of food, and your cell phone's nowhere near you, and you can finally kind of come back into your natural self again. So I've experienced that before. And I also did a raw food retreat center for 12 days, where it was just this liquid soup that was made that was raw, and we did saunas and we did meditation, and we did enemas and all that stuff. And I had this massive rash just come up and it was so pruritic, it was so itchy, I was so uncomfortable. And I knew that that was something just coming up from within. And unfortunately I had to start eating food again and that rash just completely went away. So I feel like I needed to come back to that to kind of get that thing out of my system.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Oh, we'll do it. I've got the treatment I want you to try now, after hearing that. One day, we're going to get you to India and we're going to do it.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: We'll plan it. We'll plan it one day. Once my two-year-old gets a little bit older and I can travel more readily. Well, what I love about what you said there, there's so much that you said that I want to comment on. One are simple things you can do on a daily basis, like the oil pulling. By the way, which oil are you using? What do you like to use?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: So I use a sesame oil base, so I actually make my own. Again, 20 years later, for me at this point it just makes sense to customize things because I can. But it's a sesame oil base, and then I mix it with specific herbs that help to reduce gum inflammation and the things that I need. So I have a very personalized oil that I use. But sesame oil is really, really good for detoxification. It's excellent. You could just add, in sesame oil, add some tea tree oil, add some essentials like cardamom, cinnamon…these are really great essential oils for oral health. But for people who have active, acute inflammation, coconut oil is fantastic for the short term. But then once that acute process is gone, sesame oil is the one that will pull the toxins out. So coconut oil for acute inflammation, sesame oil with added essential oils for more of the long-term detoxification.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Okay, great, because that's something that most people listening could do easily at home is just start the oil pulling with the coconut oil, and transition to sesame oil and some essential oils.
I love the fact you mentioned just drinking water, having your bottle of water on your table and drinking it throughout the day. I mean, that's something that everyone can do. And then you mentioned fasting once a month, doing a 24-hour type fast, and then having sort of a cleansing using some laxatives and such. Fasting is interesting. I mean, I mentioned that I did that four day, five night fast. People, I find, are really resistant to fasting, and there's so much research to support its use for promoting autophagy, and cellular cleanup in the body and supporting detox. But we've been so conditioned to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it's hard to break out of that pattern and say, “Well, I'm not going to eat today.” People, they tend to freak out when they hear that.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: When I first heard about intermittent fasting, because my friends knew I was into this and so they're like, “Oh, have you heard about intermittent fasting?” I'm like, “Oh, no, what is it?” And then when I looked into it, I'm like this is called eating in India, meaning, you're just not eating all the time. You eat at set hours and you eat only when the sun is out. But what I found is as I'm getting older, I used to eat three meals a day…and then I hit this point where I was like, I don't need three meals a day. So I was still doing what we would call intermittent fasting because I would never eat, not never, but most of the time I was only eating when the sun was out. But then it was somewhere in my early to mid-forties I was like, I don't need breakfast. I moved it a little bit later, but I really am just eating things that I need from a medicinal standpoint, but it's not like a meal. But I'm like by 10:00 AM, though, I need this particular food for this particular result.
But as you get older you really need less and less food. And that's why addressing the food addictions is so hard, because it lets your body communicate to you how much food do you actually need. And just like you were saying, it's such a relief when your body isn't eating so much. Like at night, in Ayurveda, it's so important that dinner is your smallest meal and you don't eat after the sun sets — because your body is going into its natural nightly detoxification routine. Your body does know how to do this, it needs some assistance only because of all of the environmental pollutants that we're being exposed to against our will, but your body does have this natural detoxification. So just keeping your bowels...your bowels have to be empty to get to a certain degree of detoxification. They can't be full to get to those deeper states of detoxification.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: That's right, and the sleep piece being important, too. I mean, people can obviously work on their sleep. If you improve your sleep, your lymphatic detoxification in the brain will happen more efficiently overnight. So that's one thing that people can work on.
I wanted to ask, are there any centers in the States where people can do Panchakarma, or do you really have to go to the source, the homeland?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: No, there's wonderful centers in the U.S. It's not that…there's really, really some great centers, and The Raj is always one of my favorite ones. It's in Fairfield, Iowa of all places, but it's because it's one of the centers associated with the transcendental meditation program. The reason why I like it is they really try to do things authentically. The reason why I recommend India so much is, one, it's extraordinarily expensive when it's in the U.S. because it's labor-intensive, and so it's just less expensive. Even with the airfare, it's still less expensive to go to India to do it.
But we have access to certain herbs, certain ingredients in India, there's certain preparations for Panchakarma that you would...like the center that we helped to build in south India — we go out into the garden, pluck the herbs, and then we make the preparation for that treatment 30 minutes before the patient arrives. So there's just certain mechanics if you wanted to get the ideal or the maximum out of your resources, it's hard to replicate that. It's not that you can't get amazing results. I do send patients to these places all throughout the U.S., but when I take them to India, they're just like, “Oh, wow.”
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah, that's a real experience.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Yeah, and the vibration of the land is really different. And where we are, it's surrounded by all these temples. Again, when you're detoxifying, you're detoxing all the senses and so when you have places that are just surrounded with mantras, there's an energy there where the subtler bodies are able to release some of the stress that they hold. The subtler energy bodies are able to release the stress just from being in that environment. So these detoxes, they're so much more than just a physical detox.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah, oh my gosh. I just love what you said there — and that makes me really want to go to India badly.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: I want to take you, to be honest, so badly, I can't even tell you.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: We'll plan it, we'll plan it. Well, is there anything else that you want to speak to of in terms of detoxification? Anything else that comes to mind that would be helpful for our audience?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: I think one of the issues when we think about detoxification, and you've already addressed the first myth, which is we don't have to because we have a natural detoxification system. No, no, we do, but we live in a very unnatural time in the world right now. But it's to honor that…a detox isn't like I've got to shut the room for a week and live in a cave. A detox is ongoing, it's something that we're constantly participating in. All natural systems detox. Rivers detoxify, the ocean detoxifies, all natural systems are in a constant flow of detoxification. And just like our rivers and our oceans and our ecosystems are also suffering from too many toxins, it's only when...in your bucket analogy...when that bucket overflows, that we have to be more aggressive or vigilant where we're having to do it on a regular basis.
And so even if doing something like, oh my gosh, a one-day fast, that seems like too much, okay, so just do something on a daily basis. But I've got to say, my father-in-law who lives in Pennsylvania, just did his first castor oil cleanse, and he's never done anything like this and he wanted to come off his diabetes medications. He could not believe the difference after just doing that one day. And he ended up fasting 44 hours. He was only supposed to fast 24. He said, “I felt so good and I wasn't hungry that I didn't have to eat again for 44 hours.” And this is not somebody who's been into natural medicine his whole life. This is only recently he's been trying this, and he did amazing. So you don't have to be some kind of...it's not an extreme sport, you don't have to be some kind of an detox athlete.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: You don't have to train for it.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Yeah, anybody can do this, and you just build up to these things.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, Kulreet, thank you so much for being on the show today. I think we gave our listeners a lot of information around what detoxification is, certain practices that you can do on a daily basis. And even something like a Panchakarma, which is a little bit more detailed and intensive that they can do to really get these toxins out of their body, not only on a physical level but also on really on a mind, body level as well, and spirit level. So I think this was great, I'm super excited we had this conversation and I look forward to coming to India and doing more detoxification with you.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: It's a date, it's a family date in India.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: All right, I'm looking forward to it. Thanks everyone.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to this special presentation of Be HEALTHistic, presented by Healthy Directions. To subscribe to our podcast or to listen to past episodes, visit our website at BeHealthisticPodcast.com. See you next time.
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Meet Dr. Drew Sinatra
Dr. Drew Sinatra is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and self-described “health detective” with a passion for promoting natural healing, wellness, and improving quality of life by addressing the root cause of illness in patients of all ages. His vibrant practice focuses on treating the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) and finding missed connections between symptoms and health issues that are often overlooked by conventional medicine.
Meet Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary is an integrative neurologist, Ayurvedic practitioner, and author of The Prime and Sound Medicine. Her combined expertise in both modern neurology and the ancient science of health known as Ayurveda gives her a truly unique perspective that has helped thousands of people to feel better and achieve health goals they never thought possible.