Mung-bean Soup Cleanse

 

The transitional times around the Equinox – going from winter to summer or vice versa – are good times to have a simple home detoxification. This helps clear out the accumulated toxins of the previous season and to enter the new season clear and refreshed.

 

The Eastern Medicine traditions all hold the strength of the digestive system central to our health. Fasting gives the digestive system and related organs such as the liver and gall-bladder a rest so that it can catch up with and replenish itself. In the same vein, a simple way to cleanse that has profound effects is going on a mono-diet for a number of days. This means eating the same thing breakfast, lunch and dinner. Three days is plenty but make sure you listen to your needs. One day is also a victory!

 

Mung-bean soup is a good all-rounder that nourishes us while we detoxify. It is a highly nutritious bean whilst also being easy to assimilate. Digestive spices are used that help stimulate the digestive enzymes as well as burn off toxins. Nourishing while cleansing at the same time helps the body (and mind) have the strength to perform all its cleansing processes.

 

For the cleanse it is important to:

  • Drink plenty of warm fluids, preferably spicy, digestive teas like ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, star anise, fennel.

  • Make sure you rest – getting enough sleep, doing gentle exercise and avoiding overstimulation ie news, radio, having a reduced social agenda.

 

Other helpful things are:

  • Taking a mild laxative Triphala available from most health-food stores that helps clean the digestive system while also nourishing it.

  • Giving yourself a self-massage every morning with Sesame/ Coconut/ Almond Oil, leaving it on 20 minutes and then washing off in a warm shower greatly helps in the elimination process.

 

It is a good idea to cook enough for one day so that you have fresh food on a daily basis that is full of vitality and prana. Sometimes cleansing symptoms such as tiredness, irritability, emotional upset can occur. This is normal, remember to be gentle on yourself.

 

During the cleanse we can become quite aware of our attachments with regard to food as well as becoming aware of the patterns of our mind. Take the time to go for a gentle walk, remember to breath, meditate and give thanks.

 

One of the most important things to remember and one of the hardest is reintroducing ourselves back to food slowly. This cannot be overemphasised. A good rule is for every day of cleansing have one day for slowly reintroducing yourself to food. Our digestive fire will be lower than normal and we need to build it up slowly. Eat small portions or organic, easily digestible, simple foods. Don’t snack as this slows the digestive fire. Instead drink a digestive, stimulating tea.

 

After a cleanse people feel lighter, clearer, have more energy and may be happy for no reason at all!

Happy Spring!

 

Mung-Beans

 

 

Mung-bean soup recipe

 

(Serves 2-3)

100g Mung-beans

400ml water

3cm seaweed (kombu)

½ tsp cumin

¼ tsp turmeric

1½ tbsp ghee/ oil for frying

½ tsp each of cumin, coriander, fennel and mustard seeds

1½ cm fresh ginger

1/8 tsp asafoetida powder

Seasonal vegetables

Pinch salt

Pepper

Handful fresh coriander

Lemon/lime

 

Soak mung beans overnight. Drain, add fresh water and simmer 40 mins with seaweed, ground cumin and turmeric.

In separate pan heat ghee/oil and fry cumin, coriander, fennel and mustard seeds on medium/ high heat until they pop or go brown. Add ginger and asafoetida and cook for a few seconds. Pour this mix into the soup with the seasonal vegetables and simmer for 10/20 mins. Add water depending on consistency you like.

Add pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper and serve with fresh coriander, tsp of ghee/ dash of oil and squeeze of lemon/lime.