Friday, 26 June 2020

The transformative impact of Ayurvedic juice cleanses

*Produced by SilverKris for EGA Juice Clinic*

While cold-pressed juices and juice cleanses are ubiquitous at gyms and health food stores, Singapore’s EGA Juice Clinic aims to offer something different. Founded in 2016 by India-born entrepreneur Sumit Nanda and physician Ratheesh CT, it runs on the principles of Ayurveda.

Sumit has experienced firsthand the life-changing impact of the ancient Indian health science. A decade ago, Sumit used to weigh 100kg and suffer from diabetes and hypertension, but the 51-year-old founder credits his weekly juice cleanses with eliminating the need for painkillers.

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Sumit Nanda used to suffer from multiple ailments until he tried Ayurvedic treatments

Eager to spread the word about healthy detoxing, Sumit opened EGA Juice Clinic, which now has six outlets in Singapore. The main ingredient in the majority of its cold-pressed juices is turmeric, which has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. The clinic also offers packages for juice cleanses, herbal shots and pulse-reading consultations.

We speak to Sumit, who moved to Singapore in 2011, about how he went from being an Ayurveda sceptic to a juicing advocate.

What inspired you to establish EGA Juice Clinic?

I’ve been an entrepreneur from day one, but it’s a 24/7 job. My brother and I used to run a manufacturing company in India, and I ended up neglecting my health because of work. I had a fatty liver, an enlarged heart, hypertension, diabetes and severe migraines. I was miserable. I would pop a painkiller every morning just to prevent the migraines from coming. On top of that, I was also gaining a lot of weight.

So what changed?

One day, in 2014, a cousin introduced me to Ratheesh, an Ayurvedic doctor in Kerala who eventually became my business partner. I didn’t believe in Ayurveda then, but I was so desperate for a remedy that I was willing to try anything. During my consultation, the first thing he said was that my body was full of toxins. Whatever I was eating was not getting digested well, and my metabolic health was like that of a 65 year old. I was 40 then.

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EGA Juice Clinic’s products are rooted in the Ayurvedic tradition, an ancient Indian system of medicine. Photo credit: Nila Newsom/Shutterstock.com

What was the course of action he prescribed?

He advised me to establish a routine – sleep by 10pm and wake up by 6am – and embark on a juice fast for one day each week. The new diet had a laxative effect on me, except instead of making me feel weak, it gave me more energy. After a month, my body felt lighter and the ailments all went away. It’s been six years since I popped a pill, and I’ve lost about 25kg. It totally changed my life.

What was the reception like when you first opened EGA Juice Clinic?

I opened our first store at Cluny Court in January 2017. It started as a consultation clinic at first, but we eventually created an “experience centre”, where customers could buy freshly made juices and learn how to make them at home. Within the first week, whatever we made was selling out. We received so many orders that we had to work until 2am every night during our first month. Even today, we have customers waiting for us to open in the morning, so they can purchase turmeric shots.

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Sumit with Dr Ratheesh CT

What are some of your best-sellers?

We specialise in cold-pressed juices made with fruits, vegetables and turmeric. Our vegetable juices are very popular. We have six varieties, including Simply Mean Green, which has lots of celery and cucumber, and Hardcore Green, a health tonic that is made with 20 kinds of vegetables. Almost 1kg of greens goes into making the Hardcore Green juice.

What sets you apart from other juice companies?

I don’t consider EGA an F&B company. We are more of a healthcare company. The knowledge behind our business all comes from Ayurveda, which sets us apart from other juice companies. Our store managers are all Ayurvedic doctors. We also have a farm in Kerala where we grow turmeric for EGA products because that’s the most important ingredient for us.

What is your wellness routine like now?

I undergo a day of juice fasting every week to reset my digestive system, and I take a turmeric and amla shot every morning. Amla has 20 times more vitamin C than orange juice, and 30 times more antioxidants than red wine. I wake up every day before the sun rises, and do 20 minutes of yoga and deep breathing. At night, I take a Triphala Lax Tablet, which contains tannin-rich fruits, for my digestive system.

This power shot is packed with nutritious ingredients such as garlic, turmeric, ginger and Himalayan salt to fight bacterial and viral infections

How should someone new to detox diets begin juice cleansing?

Some people get over-enthusiastic and jump into a one-week detox diet. There are also people who do it for 30 days. I always tell people to start slow – one day of juice cleansing every week. Make it a regular routine, instead of thinking that you have to do everything at once. If everyone undergoes a juice cleanse for a day each week, we’ll all be protected from many health issues. It will boost immunity, clean out the stomach and provide a lot of raw enzymes to nourish and heal the body.

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