At Home Cleanse

This cleanse has elements of panchakarma, please do not attempt PK type cleanses if your body is in a depleted state–winter may not be the best time to participate in a deep cleanse (know your own strength).  Please check with your medical doctor before embarking on any change in diet, cleanse, or these PK practices.

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It was requested that I share an Ayurvedic cleanse used to reset when transitioning between seasons or from one year to the next.  Honestly, the simplest way to cleanse (and best way, especially if you’re new to cleansing practices) is to eat three days of kitchari for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (with no snacking in between, unless VPK necessary); it’s simple, clean, and nourishing.  You can also have a kitchari day one day a week to have a more frequent mini easy to digest meals to take pressure off the digestive system.  An intense cleanse is not always the best answer.  Deep cleansing is not for a weakened state (mind, body, and spirit), but simple kitchari can be eaten at any time to support healing and health (even, and especially, when going through an illness).

The following is a deeper cleanses/reset (with PK principles).  I modify the cleanse depending on the current state of health, doshas, and the season, so do not hesitate to tweak for your personal needs; in fact, please do.

The best time for a cleanse is during transition seasons of spring and fall.  I find that after the craziness of the holidays and the transition into a new year, January feels like a nice time to reset my body and mind.  I find that January is a time of year that I can really turn inward and better pay attention to my body’s needs through a deeper cleanse.  There are no starvation aspects to this cleanse and the practices are supportive to Vata.

I am starting a variation of this diet on January 16th.  If you would like to make it a group ‘project’, I am happy to provide guidance.  The cleanse is modified from Dr. Vasant Lad’s book:

You will need: triphala (for 9 days), ghee, kitchari beans, rice, & spices (for 6 or more days), doshic tea or spices (for 6 or more days),  Abhyanga oil of choice (for 5 or more days), dashamoola or castor oil (for 3 days), rasayana of choice (for 3 months).  There may be other supplies you need to make your cleanse uniquely your own.  I have most of the products on hand.  You may also choose to use the Banyan link below to make your purchases (I recommend a 32 ounce bottle of your chosen oil for the cleanse).

Day by day.
–All 9 days of the cleanse will end with a mug of triphala tea. To make add 1/2-1 tsp to 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cool and drink. Making triphala into a tea makes it easier for Vata; it is less drying and harsh.

Day One (Wednesday January 16th): Eat an easy to digest, clean diet that meets the needs of your dosha or winter/Vata. Begin the day drinking 2 ounces of melted ghee (if you are choosing to take in these large quantities of ghee, you must be prepared to follow through on one of the “PK” practices (purgation with castor oil or enema) below to expel the dislodged dosha from the GIT).
Vatas may choose to have their ghee with a pinch of salt.
Kaphas may choose to have their ghee with a pinch of trikatu.
Day Two: Repeat Day One.
Day Three Repeat Day One.

A great book for dosha balancing meal options is:

Day Four: Eat a diet of kitchari with vegetables for every meal and drink dosha pacifying teas through the day.  You may choose:
Vata: ginger, coriander, and fennel tea
Pitta: cumin, coriander, and fennel tea
Kapha: ginger, cinnamon, pinch of clove tea
–In the evening, warm 6-8 ounces of sesame oil and massage your whole body with the oil (see Abhyanga how to) and let it soak in for 15-20 minutes.  Follow with a shower using gentle soap (I choose a neem soap).
Day Five: Repeat Day Four.

Day Six: Eat a diet of plain (no vegetables) kitchari for every meal and drink dosha pacifying teas through the day.
–In the evening, warm 6-8 ounces of sesame oil and massage your whole body with the oil (see Abhyanga how to) and let it soak in for 15-20 minutes.  Follow with a shower using gentle soap (I choose a neem soap).
–After your shower, you may choose to end the day with a Dashamoola Basti/enema (of 1 Tbsp dashamoola boiled with 2 cups of water; strain and cool to body temperature). Try to retain fluid for 30 minutes before evacuating.
–If a Basti/enema is contraindicated for you, or you are not comfortable with the practice, you may chose to close the day with 2tsp-1Tbsp Castor oil to encourage purgation.
***(remember: if you have taken the three days of 2 ounces of ghee internally you must expel the dislodged dosha from the GIT).  NOTE: I am not suggesting that you do either of these practices if you are not comfortable with them.  It is a lovely cleanse without the internal ghee and enema or purgation***
Day Seven: Repeat Day Six.
Day Eight: Repeat Day Six.

Day Nine:  Return to a diet of kitchari with vegetables.

Day Ten and Beyond: gently ease yourself out of the cleanse and transition to a dosha balancing or winter/ Vata pacifying diet.  Rejuvenate the tissues with super nourishing foods, herbs, and spices.
–As a Rasayana/rejuvenative you may choose:
Vata: 1 tsp Ashwagandha in 1 cup of warm milk at the end of each day.
Pitta: 1 tsp Shatavri in 1 cup of warm milk at the end of each day.
Kapha: 1 tsp punarnava in 1 cup warm water at the end of each day.
You may choose to rejuvenate with Golden Milk or Chywanprash as other options for maintaining healthy tissues.

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11 thoughts on “At Home Cleanse

  1. We are VERY excited to start this powerful cleanse tomorrow! When does the Kapha person take their castor oil? (Evening? Empty tummy? Before bed???)
    And what is timing for the Vata’s suggested enema?

    ♡ Here’s to Letting Go and Welcoming in Space for New Possibilities ♡


    1. It always depends on the individual constitution and dosha, but the castor oil should be taken in the evening between dinner and bedtime (not directly after food). The basti/enema is done in the evening: Abhyanga, take a shower/bath (relax), then the Basti (enema). This is time for nurturing self care (there will be another post coming with more information/reminders for this part of the cleanse). These practices are (by their nature) stressful on the body, so we balance that with kindness and gentleness in all the other ways. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing until sleep. Gentle teas. Soothing books. Gentle stretching. Etc. Stay warm and cozy.

      I’m super excited too!! Letting go and making space!!!


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