Since the detox season is in full swing and so much is being said about the subject, I thought it would be the right time to put things into perspective.

Today, a 24-year-old lady came to see me feeling tired all the time, low in energy and suffering from constipation, anxiety and baggy eyes. In her over-zealous attempts to be healthy, she had been doing heavy workouts in the gym, drinking three litres of water a day, stopped all sweet foods, fatty foods, wheat and dairy products and had, instead, been eating a bland diet of salads.

She also showed me a herbal detox formula she had been prescribed by a homeopath.

Many of you may have watched a recent programme on TV which showed people getting drained and ill after heavy detox treatments. It is not advisable to punish and starve the body and mind. They respond much better to tender, loving care.

Asmita and I advise and follow a rational approach based on ayurvedic principles of perfect balance and ayurvedic cookery. A gentle detox with good, tasty and nutritive food made from a variety of ingredients, with a reasonable fluid intake and a gentle yogic breathing exercise programme promotes a happy feeling in our body.

Restful periods and deep breathing are very important when detoxing the body as energy and oxygen enable the liver, lungs and kidneys to throw out the toxins which have been mobilised by the detox programme.

Good wholesome and interesting food is vital if you want to generate a happy feeling. It is very interesting to hear Asmita talk about the detoxifying "happy vegetables and herbs" in her ayurvedic cookery. Some years ago, I came across a fascinating book written by eminent author Madhav Chaudhary, from India. The Indian Government awarded him a national prize for his 38 books on the medicinal properties of herbs and seasonal vegetables.

Tickling the taste buds also stimulates digestion. Ayurveda says we should eat foods which combine all the six tastes:

Sweet, sour, salt, pungent, bitter and astringent. This ensures you get foods with all the necessary nutrients to detox and nourish your body.

For example, sweet and sour foods such as potatoes, rice, cheese, dairy, meat, oil, butter and oranges give us calories and protein to nourish the body. Bitter tasting foods include most leafy vegetables and fruits which provide minerals, vitamins and a detoxifying effect on the body. Pungent strong tastes such as chillies, peppers, garlic, ginger and onions give a kick start to the body and herbs stimulate digestion.

Astringent tasting foods include nuts and vegetables which provide the body with minerals such as calcium.

This is a simple and clever philosophy which can be used by everyone. Try it out yourself and see if you can get to grips with foods with the six different tastes.

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 e-mail: