After the Christmas season's indulgence, with all that alcohol and chocolate, many of us may be feeling quite heavy in the liver.

Charak, the ayurvedic physician, says: "A happy soul is a healthy body" and it certainly is lovely, sometimes, to unwind with a bit of spirit and merry making.

However, while a little alcohol is good for the heart and circulation and can stimulate the brain and relieve fatigue, too much of it certainly puts a load on the liver and the pancreas. Combined with an overindulgence in rich food, which is difficult to digest, it can cause an accumulation of toxins in the gut, body tissues and liver.

Here is how you can get rid of the toxins and cleanse the liver and the body tissues:

Firstly, mind your diet for a while. Do not eat meat for a week as this is difficult to digest and produces toxins from bacterial action. Eat lots of salads, fruit and easily digestible foods such as rice, yoghurt, pasta and lentils, cooked in herbs such as bay, basil, ginger, coriander and cardamom.

Drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice every morning. Here is my recipe: Mix a diced carrot and one floret of broccoli with a glass of fruit juice, preferably cranberry.

Add one teaspoon of a mixed powder of cumin, coriander, star aniseed, ginger and curcumin extract (available from Asmita at our clinic) and prepare your detox drink in a blender. Curcumin is the best liver detox and star aniseed kills parasites and candida in the gut. The herbs promote digestion.

Take two to three tablets of trifala detox for a week and then regularly, once a week (available at Planet Janet, 86 New Church Road, Hove). It is a well-recommended ayurvedic herbal medicine for detox and antioxidant effect, made from a combination of the three myrobalan fruits -

embelica officinale (Indian gooseberry), haritaki (terminalia chebula) and bibitaki (terminalia belerica).

Those who are heavily laden with toxins and feel sluggish will need a panchakarma detoxification and rejuvenation. This is a proper system of detoxifying the body and the liver in order to prevent and treat illness and to restore the healthy function of the liver itself. Dr Asmita Jani is an expert panchakarma therapist and trained with Dr Kasture, an internationally acclaimed professor of ayurvedic medicine and a panchakarma expert.

Panchakarma means "fivefold" therapy and is used extensively in ayurvedic hospitals in India. It includes having a light diet for a week, taking detoxifying herbal mixtures and tablets, deep-tissue ayurvedic massage with oils to unblock clogged up channels in the body, a herbal steam treatment to sweat out the impurities and a herbal enema to cleanse the gut and stimulate the abdominal and pelvic charkas.

After panchakarma, you will feel much lighter in the body, clearer in the mind and revived in vitality. Follow the detox with a rejuvenating herbal tonic like chyavanprash to serve as an anti-ageing potion.

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and
holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove.

Call them on: 01273 777448 or email: