I’m sure you’ve seen this movie cliche. It’s early morning; a couple wakes up in bed and immediately starts kissing and making out. It’s a staple of romantic comedies everywhere. The first thought I have when I see this: “Wow, they must have really good Agni!” Yes, I’m an Ayurvedic geek, because I watch movies through the lens of ancient wisdom.
Waking up with fresh breath, with energy and vigor to jump out of bed tells me two things. The couple has a strong immune system and metabolism (Agni) and little to no morbid mucoid plaque (Ama) lurking in their systems. Ama is that whitish goop on your tongue caused by improperly digested food. One of its side effects is foul-smelling breath. You can be sure that if you have bad breath, you have Ama. And if you have Ama, there is probably putrefaction in your body. Yes, that is nasty!
So, my second follow-up thought is usually: “Wow! This is certainly something to shoot for. Thank you, Hollywood, for giving us positive ideals to emulate!” (Yes, that really is what I think.)
So how do we do this? How can we wake up every morning with neutral to sweet-smelling breath? How do we scrub Ama from our system and kindle Agni so that we can burn through and digest anything- be it a heavy cheeseburger or a heavy day at work. (Strong Agni ensures that we have energy to burn through any and all obstacles).
Here are 5 key steps to fresh breath.
1. Take Triphala
Unlike the stuff below, this is easy to do and only takes a minute. Triphala scrapes gunk from our digestive systems, reducing our risks for cancer (studies show this!), improving absorption and assimilation, working as an antioxidant and relieving constipation. And best of all, it’s super cheap!
2. Kill Sugar
I’ve talked about this in previous articles and on my website blog. By eliminating sugar for 5 days, you starve the bad bacteria in your gut, giving the good guys a chance to reload and attack. Like terrorists hijacking your body, these bad bugs don’t need any more ammunition. In fact, combined with #3 below, you deliver a 1-2 punch to put them away for good by eliminating elective sugars from your diet!
3. Feed the Good Bugs
Taking a colonizing probiotic will arm and proliferate the good bugs in your body, leading to stronger Agni and reduced Ama. It also helps create good cravings so sticking with your “Kill Sugar” program becomes way easier.
4. Space Your Meals
By only eating every 4-6 hours, you give your body time to process what you’ve given it. Think about it- you wouldn’t put a load of dirty clothes in the washer, turn on the machine, only to come back 15 minutes later, mid cycle, and throw in more dirty clothes, would you?
Well, that’s what you do when you eat a meal, then, an hour later, snack on something else. Think of your mouth like the front door of your washer- once it’s shut, it doesn’t open until its cycle has finished! This way you avoid the putrifaction created when foods mix at different stages of digestion.
“You wouldn’t put a load of dirty clothes in the washer, turn on the machine, only to come back 15 minutes later, mid cycle, and throw in more dirty clothes, would you? Well, that’s what you do when you eat a meal, then, an hour later, snack on something else!”
5. Learn how to drink water
Another free and easy tip is to learn how to drink water.