Let's look a little more at what you do when you first wake up, as this can set the tone for the rest of the day. Every morning before the tasks of the day begin to rule our minds, we can take time for self-care. This is what my early morning routine looks like right now, influenced by what I have learned through Ayurveda. I splash warm (or sometimes cold!) water on my face a few times (because what else wakes you up better than that?) then practice oil pulling, brush my teeth followed by tongue scraping, then my cup of warm water. As we sleep our body naturally eliminates toxins, so these practices (even the face washing) are very detoxifying. You may be curious about tongue scraping? I have learned that it is just as important as brushing your teeth! According to Ayurveda, all toxins begin in the mouth. These toxins are seen on the tongue as a white coating. Tongue scraping can improve your overall dental health, get rid of bad breath, prevent gum infections and recessions, increase your immunity, enhance taste and saliva production helping to break down food properly thus improving your digestion. Ayurveda states that you begin digesting the moment you taste your food. The receptors on your tongue send signals to the rest of your body to know what's coming and what enzymes your body needs to produce to break your food down. When your tongue is coated, your body has no idea what's going on. Also when you let tongue bacteria accumulate, the toxicity gets reabsorbed, enters the gastrointestinal tract and spreads to the rest of your body. Will your tooth brush do the trick? Studies have shown that no, it doesn't clean your tongue the same way as a stainless steel, u-shaped scraper can. Stay tuned next time for the benefits of Oil Pulling!