It is that time of year again! With the new year just around the corner, it is time to bring the focus back to ourselves, and more specifically to our health again. Cleanses are a great way to reset the system and pave the way to making better health choices to come. Long-term detox programs often initially bring lowered energy levels and therefore are recommended to only do when you are able to take some down-time at work and otherwise. If you are like me however, I am just too busy to take more than a day or two off at a time. So as with all other Ayurvedic rituals, the Ayurvedic Cleanse can also be modified to fit our current needs and schedule. And although a three day cleanse is not terribly long, it can still be very powerful for detoxifying the body, balancing the mind, boosting the digestion/metabolism and setting the stage for a healthier future.
This three day cleanse is appropriate for all different body types and imbalances, although there may be slight changes for specific Vata, Pitta and Kapha needs. It consists of a mono-one diet of Kitchari, cleansing herbal medicine, oiling (both inside and out), sweating, and a few other self-care necessities. This step-by-step chart is lined up to guide you on a very specific three day cleansing regimen; however, modifications can be made if needed. The most important factors will be to stick to the Kitchari diet, avoid all sugar (even honey) and apply as many of the recommended self-care practices as possible. Here is a list of your cleansing needs:
The 3 Day Ayurvedic Cleanse
- Tikta Ghrita or Triphala Ghrita
- Triphala Churna
- Nasya Oil (Prana Nasya for mind; Soothing Sinus Nasya for sinus issues)
- Detox Tea
- OM Shanti Tea
- Basmati Rice or Brown Rice (or quinoa for Kapha types)
- Split Mung Beans (substitute with split red lentils)
- Agni Churna or similar spices
- Plain Ghee (can be substituted with coconut oil for Pitta or sesame oil for Vata and Kapha types)
- Veggies such as kale, collards and carrots
- Tongue Scraper
- Medicated Massage Oil (Vata Oil, Pitta Oil or Kapha Oil)
- Ginger-Baking Soda Bath Blend
Follow this chart to the best of your ability for each day of the cleanse. As you can see, this is a very time-involved cleanse and therefore it is best done on non-work days. For the “down-time” between activities, it is recommended to take it easy, rest, avoid social activities and spend some time in “Self study”. Make the most out of your cleanse and keep your integrity high! You are worth it!
After the cleanse is over, slowly incorporate new foods in, although keep to eating warm, nourishing meals (click here for some recipe ideas); avoid cold and raw foods. Keep up as many of the Self-care practices as you can, even if only a couple days a week. For example, you can take a ginger bath 1-2 days a week, continue to drink the Detox Tea, take a 20 minute walk daily, practice the Self-oil massage 1 day a week, and make time for the 10 minute mediation each morning. Remember, a cleanse is not a quick fix to perform just to go back to your old habits; instead, use it as a preliminary measure to reset your body and mind with the intentions and action plan to hold these healthy practices with you each day.