Ayurvedic Cleansing: A Natural Detox

According to the school of Ayurveda, cleansing is essential to finding balance in the body.  Cleansing reduces toxicity in the body, leading to a healthier life!  One of the cleansing techniques used in Ayurveda is by eating a monodiet of a dish called Kitctchari.  It is recommended to partake in this monodiet for three days in order to experience its benefits which include:

  • Better digestion
  • Higher metabolism
  • Healthy body weight
  • Improved energy
  • Increased clarity
  • Better sleep
  • Increased overall health

It is recommended to perform this cleanse while on vacation (not working), because during the actual cleanse, you may experience lower energy.  However, it is not recommended for pregnant, breastfeeding, or menstruating women, nor for people who are very sick or disabled.

To perform the cleanse, you will cook and consume Kitchari (my favorite recipe is provided below).  You will eat this dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, allowing at least three hours between meals.  You must not drink alcohol or caffeine during the cleanse!  They negate the benefits of the cleanse.  You may drink ample amounts of room temperature water and herbal teas, as needed.

After the cleanse, try to transition slowly in order to maximize the benefits.  You can start by introducing steamed vegetables and fresh fruits, eventually bringing back grains and alternative legumes.  Try to enjoy the process of the cleanse by journaling and meditating, staying conscious of the transformations occurring in your body and mind.

Kitchari Recipe

Provided by The Ayurvedic Institute


1/2 cup basmati rice

1 cup split yellow mung dal

6 cups water

1/2 to 1 inch ginger root, chopped or grated

¼ tsp mineral salt

2 tsp. ghee

1/2 tsp. coriander powder

1/2 tsp. cumin powder

1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds

1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

1 pinch hing

Handful of fresh cilantro leaves

1 and 1/2 cups assorted vegetables


Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones. Wash each separately in at least 2 changes of water. Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, about 20 minutes.

While that is cooking, prepare any vegetables that suit your constitution. Cut them into smallish pieces. Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.

In a separate saucepan, sauté the seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Stir together to release the flavors. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture. Add the mineral salt and chopped fresh cilantro and serve.







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