Cleansing in Ayurveda
A great way to recover from the overeating of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, is with a Ten Day Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse.
Ten Day Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse versus Purgatives
A Tend Day Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse is used routinely in Spring, when it is desirable to melt some of the Ama (Toxins) and Kapha dosha that build up naturally in winter. But, this cleanse is gentle enough to also use in Winter, especially after the holidays, when many folk have overdone alcohol, sugar, meat, and food in general.
Ayurveda reserve purgatives for very strong overheated Pitta types. If that’s you, you can use purgation therapy, but in Ayurveda we only use purgation during Panchakarma therapy, which treats the root of the problem. But a ten day Ayurvedic cleanse diet makes radical purgative cleanses such as they sell at health food stores unnecessary, in fact, it could really serve as the basis for anyone’s long term healthy diet.
The Problem with Purgatives
From Ayurveda’s perspective “cleanses” involving the use of purgative herbs like cascarda sagarda, senna, and rhubarb are actually harmful, as they damage the Agni/Digestive Fire that is at the root of healthful digestion. And they dont get to the root of why you need them in the first place.
If you need purgatives, don’t use them, but deal with the cause of the problem not just the symptom. And if you don’t need purgative, then for sure don’t use them, just because you had too much cake and beer over the holidays. Just restruct food; the body is self cleansing.
The Problem with Strict Fasting.
On the other hand, strict fasting, with no food at all, is only suitable for strong Kapha types… Strict fasting creates more toxins in Vata and Pitta dosha types. Vata is already week, and Pitta’s fire and intensity will flare up with is. Instead, Ayurveda prefers “monodiet” fasting taking only liquids, or rice and yogurt with spices, or only kitcharee for a few days.. More on fasting in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine.
The starting point for this cleanse is “No Sugar No Wheat No Dairy No Meat”
Cleansing diets in Ayurveda are usually part of mental cleanses. I recommend a diet like this be accompanied by a commitment to some kind of renewed meditative process, maybe observe silence for a day or two on the weekend, observe a fast from the computer, from t.v., from electronic media altogether.
Good Luck and write if you have questions,
Ten Day Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse
This Should Be Modified to Suit Your Individual Dosha and Level of Wellness.
Please contact me or another Ayurvedic practitioner for details, and do not do if you are ill or weak.
What Not to Eat
- No sugar, no wheat, no dairy, no meat, except for diluted spiced unsweetened yogurt or kefir
- No fruit juice, soda, coffee. Tea is ok, especially Pu Er
- No melons or bananas, except watermelon if in season
- No caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco. No Television, Social Media, News
- Raw food, cold food, refrigerated or iced foods and drinks
- Artificial sweeteners
- Avoid chillis, vinegar
What to Eat
Fruit and Veg
- 1-2 serving of fruit a day, but no melons or bananas.
- Limit sweetener to very small amount of unheated honey per day.
- Cooked green leafy vegetables like kale, dandelion
- Cooked cruciferous vegetables like brocoli, cauliflower
- Starchy veggies like yam, butternut squash
- Dark green salad greens, according to your digestive fire
- Raw foods in small amounts depending on dosha
- Sea vegetables like kelp, nori, wakame, arame
Grains and Legumes/Protien
- Whole cooked rice, millet, quinoa, amaranth, teff
- Small amounts of seeds and nuts
- Legumes, beans, tofu, tempeh depending on your dosha, not usual for Vata
- Small amounts of fish if you need extra protein, especially for Vata dosha.
Herbal Tea and Condiments
- Drink one cup of ginger tea each day
- Spices: Depending on your dosha–fresh and dried ginger
- Culinary spices and churnas appropriate to your Dosha like cumin, coriander, cardamon, cinnamon, clove, hing, mustard seed, curry leaf, fennel, fenugreek, black and long pepper
- Chile/Chillis are only ok in small amounts for Kapha types.
- Minimize salty and sour condiments,except cultured foods, like miso, raw sauerkraut, kim-chee, and sea veggies-
- Drink Dosha pacifying teas during the day like ProVata from Ayush
- Herbs if needed–for Vata or Kapha–Triphala; for Pitta, Neem; for Kapha, Guggal