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How to Do a 10-Day Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse

Naturally Cleanse Your Body At Home

ayurvedic detox cleanse

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This year I missed doing my spring Ayurvedic cleanse due to the pandemic disaster. This morning I woke up feeling heavy and lethargic, no doubt from eating too many comfort foods during the lockdown. But better late than never, right? So, even though spring is the ideal time for cleansing, I decided to begin an Ayurvedic detox cleanse in July to lighten up my body and mind and strengthen my immune system before the next wave hits.

Keep reading to get the full instruction for a 10-day Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse.

Panchakarma – The Perfect Ayurvedic Detox

The cleansing procedures of Ayurveda are called Panchakarma. They were originally created for Indian royalty to extend longevity. So like me, if you are feeling:

  • Heavy
  • Blocked
  • Fatigue
  • Poor digestion
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Or have a thick coating on your tongue

It's a pretty good indication you have stored toxins or ama as Ayurveda calls it.

Panchakarma is a process of cleansing the body's deep tissues of toxins that accumulate over time due to:

  • Over-eating
  • Indigestion
  • Polluted air, water, and food laced with chemicals and pesticides

It is generally safe for everyone and can be done for 3 to 10 days.

Avoid detox if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • Recovering from surgery
  • Have anemia
  • Generally very run down or have not been practicing good self-care

Know Your Dosha

Your first step is to know your doshas, that is, your main mind-body energy pattern. The three patterns are:

We all have the doshas in varying percentages. One is usually prominent, with the others secondary and tertiary. Some people are tri-doshic, with all 3 doshas relatively even.

An Overview of the Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse

If you can manage, set aside a week’s vacation to detox. This may seem self-indulgent, but it is far cheaper than a week at a spa or endless trips to the doctor.

During the 10 days, try to remain as stress-free as possible and remain calm and relaxed. You will be eating and drinking various foods and beverages designed for everyone, and for your most prominent dosha.

It also helps to plan a schedule of enjoyable things to do during your detox. Organize reading material about Ayurveda, and some fun light reading. Organize some yoga DVDs or plan to stream them. Think of various nature walks you can enjoy, and organize a calm area for meditation.

Plan regular bedtimes and waking times.

Many people refrain from sex during their detox to avoid too much excitement and focus on their inner balance of energies. Ayurveda teaches that deep relaxation is needed to let go and release the stored waste.

If you can’t take off a whole week, ease into it during a few weekdays and then try to finish with a long weekend. Note that your frequency of urination and bowel movements will change, so you might need to use the bathroom more often and should plan not to travel too far from your home or office.

There are several recipes you will have to prepare ahead of time. These are ghee, and kitchari. You will also be making herbal tea based on your dosha. We have included the recipes at the end here.

There are a couple of herbal supplements you can use to support your detox depending on what type of dosha is dominant. Flaxseed is also useful during your detox and adds a nutty crunch to any dish.

Your vegetable options for cooking and massage will be based on your dominant dosha. Your eating plan will be based on your dominant dosha.

Only eat the foods on the list on the days permitted, and don’t overeat. Eat small portions and really pay attention to your food. Don’t wolf it down.

Drink plenty of water. Invest in a filtered pitcher or an attachment for your tap so you don’t have to keep paying for bottled water.

We have included a colon cleanse suggestion if you wish, but it is not required. If you tend to be constipated, it might be worth a try.

Finally, if you are interested in Ayurvedic weight loss, it would be a good idea to weigh yourself to see if there is any difference at the end of the detox.

Keeping a detox diary or journal can help you with your health goals. Get a pencil and paper or a small notebook to write down your weight and anything else important as you do your detox.

When the rhythms of your life do not align with the rhythms and cycles of nature, toxins are inevitable.  

How to Do a 10-Day Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse

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Day 1

Morning

Get up and have a warm, not hot shower. When finishing the shower, turn the water to cold and rinse your hands and feet to help ground your energy.

Then head to the kitchen to make your ghee (recipe linked).

If you are in good health, consume 3 tablespoons of warm ghee. If you are Vata, add a dash of salt. If you are kapha, add a pinch of the Ayurvedic remedy trikatu.

If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, eat 2 tablespoons of flaxseed 15 minutes before you eat breakfast. If you are vegan, you should also use flaxseed. You can also eat 1 tablespoon of pure coconut oil, which will usually be solid unless the weather is very warm.

Suggested Breakfast

Oatmeal made with water or basmati rice with some coconut milk.

Afternoon

Enjoy a dosha-supporting meal. If you are Vata, eat fruit as a snack on its own 2 hours after eating.

Evening

Before your meal, place 1 teaspoon of Triphala powder into a cup and add 1/2 cup of boiling water. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes, then drink warm. It will serve as a mild but nourishing laxative. Enjoy a dosha supporting dinner. If you are Vata, wait 2 hours and then have your fruit for dessert.

Go for a walk after your meal. Enjoy some relaxing reading. Don’t watch TV or work on the computer for at least 2 hours before your regular bedtime.

Before bed, journal about your day. How did things go?

Day 2

Morning

Shower, then sit in a comfortable place to meditate for 10 minutes. You may wish to set a timer. Do a simple breathing meditation. Focus only on the breath, in and out, in and out, for a total of 10 counts. If you have any distracting thoughts, start counting again. You may be surprised to find you don’t get past 1.

Eat ghee or flaxseed as on the first day, and breakfast.

Eat a dosha supporting meal at lunch and dinner. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but stop about 2 hours before bedtime so you do not have to get up in the middle of the night.

About an hour after dinner, try some simple yoga poses such as Mountain, Tree and the various warrior poses.

Journal if you wish, then head for bed.

Day 3

Do the same as Day 1. Make more ghee if needed.

Day 4

Today we have some exciting recipes to try. Take a shower and get ready to cook breakfast.

Cook kitchari and eat nothing else for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (See the recipe linked.) It should be enough to last the whole day.

Drink your tea specific to your dominant dosha. See the recipes below. Have one cup with each meal, and plenty of fresh water throughout the day.

Make more ghee if needed.

Throughout the day, practice mindfulness meditation, in which you try to pay more attention to the things around you, especially how your body feels after several days of detox.

Go for a walk after your evening meal.

At bedtime, give yourself a massage for 15 minutes with several ounces of warm organic oil, as follows:

Vata – sesame oil
Pitta – sunflower oil
Kapha – corn oil

Wait 5 minutes so your skin can absorb the oil. Then take a warm shower or bath. Wash your body with pure unscented liquid Castile soap or vegetable glycerine soap, but allow some oil to remain on your skin.

After your shower or bath, head to the kitchen. Mix 1 teaspoon of triphala powder with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Drink it warm and head to bed.

Day 5

Day 5 is the same as Day 4.

If you are lacking in energy, try inhaling some essential oils. Grapefruit, neroli, or peppermint will be uplifting.

If you are feeling stressed, try lavender or eucalyptus.

Make more ghee if needed.

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Day 6

Day 6 the same as Day 4, except this time, you can add a couple of vegetables to your kitchari according to your dosha. Add about 10 minutes before the mixture is fully cooked. Do easy yoga poses an hour after dinner.

If you wish to do a colon cleanse, about an hour before you plan to have your shower, boil 1 tablespoon of dashamoola in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. After it has cooled to body temperature, strain it through a coffee filter or paper towel, and use the liquid as an enema. See the shopping list below for enema kits.

Wash your hands well after using. Try to retain the liquid for at least 30 minutes before defecating. Do some light reading while you wait.

Day 7

Day 7 is the same as Day 6. Vary your vegetables. Instead of yoga, go for a walk. When you get back, do breathing meditation for 15 minutes.

Make more ghee if needed.

Use aromatherapy oils as an inhalant throughout the day to keep up your energy levels or reduce your stress as needed.

Repeat the dashamoola enema if you wish. While you wait, do some light reading and/or journaling.

Day 8

Day 8 is the same as Day 7. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
 
Do yoga today. Try a practice designed for your dosha.

Day 9

During your shower today, concentrate on clearing your sinuses. Run the shower as hot as it will go for about 5 minutes before you get in, so the bathroom becomes very steamy. Turn down the temperature until it is warm and shower as usual, but try to blow your nose into your hands several times to clear any congestion.

After your shower, do alternate nostril breathing. Sit in a comfortable position in a chair or on the floor. Set your timer for 5 minutes. Block off one nostril and breathe through the unblocked one 10 times. Switch nostrils.

Then head off to start your day, following the Day 6 routine, with yoga after dinner.

Make more ghee if needed.

End the day with an enema, oil massage and shower if you wish. Or just have a plain shower or a soak in the tub with a few drops of your favorite aromatherapy oil added.

Day 10

Concentrate on eyes and ears this morning. When you are in the shower, gently wash your eyelids, lashes, and eyebrows with your mild soap in order to remove dust and allergens. Don’t press too hard; avoid getting soap in the eyes.

When you get out of the shower, use cotton buds gently to clean your ears. Do not poke too far inside or you might damage your eardrums.

Shower in the morning and do alternate nostril breathing for 5 minutes.

Today you will be adding a longevity tonic (Rasayana) to your daily routine. Use the Rasayana designed for your dosha. (See recipes below.)

Today you can eat unlimited steamed vegetables for every meal, according to your doshic diet.

Do yoga in the evening and enjoy some light reading. Try yoga poses suited to your dosha. Journal and take your Rasayana again before bed.

Post Cleanse

So what’s next for your health?

Ayurvedic practitioners recommended you gradually add more foods to your diet and to take your Rasayana for 30 to 60 days. (recipes below)

Avoid anything with yeast; you can eat flatbreads like paratha and poori in moderation if you are not sensitive to gluten. Otherwise, try to use oatcakes or rice cakes instead of bread.

Continue taking the Triphala for 2 to 3 months after your detox.

Continue eating according to your dosha type.

Conclusion

A lot of people love the idea of detox but don’t want to put in the effort, especially if it means not eating everything they like. This Ayurvedic detox cleanse has stood the test of time. Any deprivation you feel will be well worth it when you start looking and feeling so much better.

It may also seem self-indulgent to spend so much time on yourself and doing things you enjoy, like reading, walking, and yoga, but the truth is you can’t care for others if you don’t take care of yourself first. Invest the time and effort and see what a difference and Ayurvedic detox can make to your life.

Ayurvedic Tea Recipes

Vata Tea

½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
1 cup of boiling water
Steep for 5 minutes and drink hot.

Pitta Tea

½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground fennel seed
1 cup of boiling water

Steep for 5 minutes and drink hot.

Kapha Tea

½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
A generous pinch of ground cloves

Steep for 5 minutes and drink hot.

Ayurvedic Rasayanas

 

Vata

1 teaspoon of ashwagandha
1 cup of hot milk (organic raw cow milk, goat milk, or soy milk)
Stir well and drink as soon as it is cool enough not to burn your mouth.
 

Pitta

1 teaspoon of Shatavari
1 cup of warm milk (organic raw cow milk, goat milk, or soy milk)
Stir well and drink warm.
 

Kapha

1 teaspoon of Purnarnava
1 cup of warm milk (organic raw cow milk, goat milk, or soy milk)
Stir well and drink warm.

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Written by Jackie Parker

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