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10 DAY - Ayurvedic Balancing & Detoxing Fast

 

Introduction

          If Panchakarma is not possible, fasting can be a highly effective alternative. It balances the doshas, rectifies agni (digestive fire), clears shrotas (channels) and strengthens all dhatus (tissues). It removes aam (toxic accumulations) from body, mind and emotions, and helps to reduce excess weight and swelling. Fasting improves the overall functioning of the body; provides tranquillity, strength, energy and vitality; increases immunity and also develops the ‘inner healer’.

Cautionary Notes

          Total fasting on water alone is generally not recommended for more than one and a half days at a time. Very long fasting not only depletes the agni (digestive fire), but also gradually increases vata and causes it to move upwards. Extending the period of total fasting over two days should only be considered for those with a kapha constitution or for patients with fever who should fast until the temperature has returned to normal. Another exception are patients suffering from problems such as arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes etc. who can benefit greatly from fasting for longer periods, but only under the supervision of a doctor and only whilst taking medicines prescribed for them according to their pulse.



The Ayurvedic Balancing & Detoxing Fast

          In order to prepare the body and enable it to release toxins more effectively, it is extremely important to prepare the body prior to fasting by eating only mung soup or peya (see recipes below) for three to four days.

These days of preparation are followed by one and a half days of total fasting on just a fasting drink. On the evening of the second fasting day only a small meal of mand without ghee should be taken. It is very important to break the fast in this way, since the digestive fire, which has been rectified by the fasting should not get overloaded again.

On the subsequent five days only the diet described below should be taken. This will gradually re-accustom your system to normal eating again and also act as a vehicle to bring more toxins out of the body. If any other food is taken at this stage, it will not be processed correctly and toxins will accumulate, undoing all the good results you have achieved.

          As much as possible during fasting remain in silence and meditate. Try to do the total fasting period on a weekend or on days when you are not working, as your body needs full rest during this time. Apply ghee onto the temples and soles of the feet before bed to calm the mind and promote sound sleep.


 

 

10 DAY AYURVEDIC FASTING PROGRAM – A Summary

 

DAY 1: MUNG SOUP

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

DIET: Mung Soup (eat only when hungry and previous meal has digested)

PM: Ghee on temples and soles of feet before sleep

DAY 2: MUNG SOUP

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

DIET: Mung Soup (eat only when hungry and previous meal has digested)

PM: Ghee on temples and soles of feet before sleep

DAY 3: MUNG SOUP

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

DIET: Mung Soup (eat only when hungry and previous meal has digested)

PM: Ghee on temples and soles of feet before sleep

DAY 4: TOTAL FAST

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

TAKE FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

T O T A L  F A S T

PM: Ghee on temples and soles of feet before sleep

DAY 5: HALF DAY TOTAL FAST

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

TAKE FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

HALF DAY TOTAL FAST

DIET: Mand with spices but without Ghee in Evening (chew the soup!)

PM: Ghee on temples and soles of feet before sleep

DAY 6: RESTORATITIVE DIET DAY 1

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

TAKE FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

Diet: Eat only Mand with spices but without Ghee today

DAY 7: RESTORATITIVE DIET DAY 2

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

TAKE FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

Diet: Mung soup with ghee

 

DAY 8: RESTORATITIVE DIET DAY 3

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

TAKE FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

Diet: Take Peya with spices and ghee

 

DAY 9: RESTORATITIVE DIET DAY 4

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

TAKE FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

Diet: Mung soup and rice with ghee

DAY 10: RESTORATITIVE DIET DAY 5

 

AM: Hot water with ghee #

TAKE FASTING DRINK DURING DAY (MAKE A THERMOS IN MORNING)

SIDDHA PASTE ON NAVEL

AYURVEDIC HERBS *

Diet: Mung soup with vegetables, rice and ghee


NOTES:


NB: On the restorative days, eat only when hungry!

 

NB: For the 10 days following this Ayurvedic Balancing & Detoxing Fast, follow a Panchakarma diet of No wheat, sugar, tomatoes, dairy products, potatoes, sour or fermented foods or meat. Try to eat foods like: just dal, rice and vegetables well spiced with ghee.


* AYURVEDIC HERBS – We suggest visiting an Ayurvedic doctor for a check up, upon which you may be prescribed a herbal remedy. The effect of this fast is even further enhanced when combined with herbs individually prescribed to you by an Ayurvedic practitioner, which may include remedies such as: Jivanyog, Chandrakalaras, Praval Moti, Anulom, Sumedha, Suhruday, Subuddhi etc. These remedies should be taken throughout the entire fast.

# Hot water with ghee – a suggested ratio is 250ml hot water to 1Tbs ghee.

 

As for the ghee used as prescribed above, we strongly suggest to use ghee made from organic butter, as commercial butter is high in hormones (given to the cows to produce more milk, thus transferred into their milk and onto to you, the consumer) and thus not recommended to use in this detox program as it is a ‘de-toxic’ after all.

 

 



 

Fasting Recipes

           

 

Fasting Drink

 

          During the preparation, the actual fast itself and for at least five days afterwards, one of the fasting drinks given below should be taken throughout the day. (The relevant fasting drink for each patient is determined by his or her constitution.) This drink is essential to keep the body strong, prevent a doshic imbalance and support the rectifying of the agni. It also helps to digest and eliminate toxins from the body. Ghee should be taken internally to reduce pitta and support agni (1 – 2 tsp. with hot water in the morning on an empty stomach).

The ingredients in these tea’s are available from any good Indian spice store. Try and get the herbs as fresh as possible.

 

Fasting drink for Pitta Types

 

4 cups water

2 tsp. cumin powder

2 tsp. coriander powder

20 rose petals (approx. one whole rose) or 1tsp. rose water

4 cardamom

1 tsp. fennel seeds powder

1 pinch asafoetida

4 basil leaves

1 pinch black pepper

½ tsp. ginger juice

 

Mix everything together in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and keep it covered for a further 20 minutes. Filter and keep warm in a flask to drink regularly throughout the day.

 

Fasting drink for Vata Types

 

Use the same recipe as described above, but add 3 pinches of ajwain powder and 1 tsp. ginger powder.

 

Fasting drink for Kapha Types

 

2 tsp. ginger juice (squeeze the juice from a few slices of root ginger)

10 basil leaves made into a juice

1 pinch asafoetida

2 pinch black pepper

1 tsp. cumin powder

3 cups water

 

Mix everything together in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and keep it covered for a further 20 minutes. Filter and keep warm in a flask to drink regularly throughout the day. If you experience dryness in the mouth during the fast, just add half a teaspoon of liquorice root to the flask.

 

Herbal Remedies during Fasting

 

          The effect of this fast is even more enhanced when combined with herbs individually prescribed to you by an Ayurvedic practitioner, which may include remedies such as: Jivanyog, Chandrakalaras, Praval Moti, Anulom, Sumedha, Suhruday, Subuddhi etc. These remedies should be taken throughout the entire fast.

         

Siddha Paste

 

          Applying siddha paste around the navel once a day is an effective way to speed up the removal of intestinal blocks and toxic accumulations.

 

1 small onion

½ tsp. dry ginger powder

½ tsp. ajwain powder

¼ tsp. black pepper

2-4 cloves garlic

2 pinch asafoetida

2 tabs. Suhruday *

2 tabs. Anulom *

 

* These two ingredients are difficult to come by outside of India, a good substitute is the digestive aid called ‘Triphala’, which is available from your Ayurvedic doctor or Indian health store or click here to order online. If neither is available then the paste can be made without it.

 

          Chop the onion and put it into a blender with the garlic and all the spices. Push everything through a sieve in order to make a fine paste. Crush the medicines and add to the pulp. Apply on the stomach all around the navel area and leave for at least 15 minutes. This paste is also an excellent remedy to apply on any body part that is painful such as the lower back or on strained or aching joints, muscles and tendons.

 

Diet for the Time after the 1½ Days of Total Fasting

 

          Fasting rectifies agni, but in order to establish and maintain a proper functioning of the digestive fire, it is extremely important to return to normal food gradually. Five days is the absolute minimum time needed before a wider variety of foods can be re-introduced without causing digestive problems. This is very important, because if agni is not properly supported at this stage, new aam and toxins will be created again. Due to the same reason, it is advisable to maintain a meat and wheat-free diet for a further 10 days thereafter.

 

1st Day         Mand with spices, but no ghee. Eat and chew the soup; don’t drink it!

2nd Day        Mand or mung soup with ghee.

3rd Day         Peya with spices and ghee.

4rd Day         Mung soup and rice or vilepi with ghee. Evening: vegetable soup.

5th Day         Vilepi, mung soup or vegetable soup and rice with ghee.

 

          It is very important during this whole programme to only eat when you are hungry, never to fill your stomach to its full capacity and not to eat the next meal until the previous one has been completely digested, i.e. 3-4 hrs after eating or when there is pure belching after taking some hot water. Try to take your meals in a calm and quiet atmosphere, focusing on the food and chewing it well.

 

Mand, Peya and Vilepi Recipes

 

          Mand, peya and vilepi are three types of khichadi. Khichadi is a special Indian dish, which is very easy to digest, highly nutritious and, most importantly, it ignites the digestive fires. All three khichadis are prepared in the same way, but require different amounts of water. The amounts of water given below apply when cooking in a pressure cooker; more water should be added when cooking with a normal pan.

 

Mand: 1 part rice, split mung and vegetables to 8 parts water.

Peya:  1 part rice, split mung and vegetables to 6 parts water.

Vilepi:  1 part rice, split mung and vegetables to 4 parts water.

 

 

 

Cooking instructions:

 

          Soak the split mung beans for at least one hour before cooking. Heat ghee or olive oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Then add some finely chopped onion, root ginger and garlic and sauté until golden brown. Stir in 1 tsp. turmeric powder, ¼ tsp. asafoetida, some black pepper, a few bay leaves, ½ tsp. coriander powder and 1 tsp. garam masala. At this stage don’t add salt as it makes the beans tougher, and they would therefore take longer to cook. Add to the pan ½ cup of rice, ¼ cup of mung beans and ¼ cup of chopped vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, courgettes or asparagus. Now add the required amount of water as stated above. In a normal pan you might need to add more water and cook for about 30 minutes, whereas in a pressure cooker it will cook within about five minutes after coming to pressure.

          When the khichadi is ready, ie. the beans have dissolved and the rice has become completely soft and broken up, add a little salt and serve the dish with ghee and freshly chopped coriander leaves.

          Mand should have a very watery consistency (blending it in a liquidizer helps to improve its flavour). Peya is like a thick soup and vilepi has a consistency similar to mashed potatoes. Use a thermos flask to take some soup with you when going to work.

 

 

Mung Soup

 

                   Mung beans are less gas producing than other beans, remove toxins from the body and when cooked with the suggested spices, stimulate the digestive fire. Soak the mung beans either over night or for at least one hour before cooking. Heat olive oil or ghee in a pan and add a teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2 pinches asafoetida (to take the gas quality out of the beans) and two bay leaves. (All ingredients are available in any Indian food store.) Discard the water from the soaked beans and add the beans into the pan with fresh water. To one part mung you need at least three to four parts water. Leave to bubble away for 30-40 minutes adding water as necessary. (If you have a pressure cooker the soup is cooked much quicker.) Slowly the beans begin to soften and break up. Continue to cook until all the beans are soft.


Whilst the beans are cooking heat some oil or ghee into another pan and add one
heaped teaspoon of cumin and coriander seeds plus any other herbs or spices (except chilies) such as garam masala, black pepper, kokum etc. Sauté briefly and then add a finely chopped onion, some fresh root ginger and 2-3 cloves of garlic. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown and then remove from the heat. Once the beans are soft add the onions and some salt into the pan and continue to simmer for a further few minutes. Don’t add salt until the end as this makes the beans tougher and they would therefore take longer to cook. Serve with rice, fresh coriander leaves and ghee.

 

 


 

 

  

General Ayurvedic Recipes

 

 

Ghee - Clarified Butter

 

To make ghee for use in this program, use unsalted and good quality ORGANIC butter as commercial butter is high in hormones (given to the cows to produce more milk, which is thus transferred into their milk and onto to you, the consumer) and thus not recommended to use in this detox program as it is a ‘de-toxic’ after all.

 

Place the butter in a pan and let it melt and simmer on the lowest possible heat. In the beginning it will make a lot of noise, the butter will look thick and cloudy, and a foam will appear on the top. In the first five minutes occasionally give the liquid a stir to allow all the water content to evaporate, and then leave the liquid to continue simmering for a further 15 minutes. Slowly particles will sink to the bottom, the foam will settle on the top and in between the pure butter oil will become clear. The moment the sediment on the bottom starts to turn brown, remove the pan from the heat, skim off and discard the foam, and strain the liquid through a very fine sieve or muslin into a jar.

Don’t store ghee in the fridge: it doesn’t go rancid and will keep for months. Use it for cooking (ghee doesn’t burn as quickly as butter does) and you can always add a teaspoon to your food. ENJOY!

 

Khichadi

 

Khichadi is a simple stew of rice and split mung beans which is easy to digest and stimulating to the digestive fire.

Soak the split mung beans for at least one hour before cooking. Heat ghee or olive oil in a pan and add cumin or coriander seeds. Then add some finely chopped onion, root ginger and garlic and sauté until golden brown. Stir in 1 tsp. turmeric powder, 1 tsp. asafoetida, some black pepper and a few bay leaves. Take a cup and fill half with mung and the remaining half with white basmati rice. (One can also add any chopped vegetables that you have such as carrots, pumpkin, green beans, courgettes, asparagus etc.) Add the beans into the pan with min. four cups of water (more if you have added vegetables). In a normal pan you will need to cook it for about 30 minutes, adding more water as necessary whereas in a pressure cooker it will cook within about 5 minutes after coming to pressure.

When it’s ready, ie. the beans have become completely soft, add a little salt and serve the dish with ghee and freshly chopped herbs. Experiment with different vegetables and spices to create different flavours.

 

 

An Ideal Breakfast - Porridge

 

In the evening place some water in a pan and soak at least 10 black raisins, 2-3 dates and some dried figs and apricots if desired. (Dried fruits should either be soaked over night or cooked into a compote.) You can also soak a combination of any of the following seeds and nuts: sunflower and pumpkin seeds, blanched almonds, hazelnuts, shredded coconut, sesame and linseeds (flax). In the morning bring the water and soaked fruits etc. to the boil and add 2 tsp. cinnamon powder and 4 crushed cardamoms. Then pour in rolled oats and cook until soft. Experiment with adding different grains such as flaked millet, popped quinoa, amaranth etc. and try altering the flavour by adding 1 tsp. fennel seeds. To make the porridge creamier, use Oatly (oat milk), soya or rice milk. If you like it really sweet, add any syrup of your choice (date, barley, rice, maple etc.), fruit spreads or hazelnut and almond butter.

 

 

Ginger Water

         

          Ginger water is the ideal remedy when you have a cough, cold or excess mucus accumulation in your throat and sinuses. Being hot in nature ginger has the quality to cut into and loosen mucus as well as stimulate your digestive fire so that the stomach can clear the mucus effectively. Due to this stimulating action on the digestion it is also the perfect drink to be taken either before you eat a meal or half an hour afterwards. Don’t drink it more than twice daily as it might then increase pitta too much, but when suffering from cold, ginger water can be drunk in small amounts throughout the day.

          Cut 4-5 slices of fresh root ginger and place in a pan of water. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for at least 5 minutes. Strain into a mug and enjoy! If you wish to sweeten it with honey, add it only after the liquid has cooled to drinking temperature, as honey is not heat stable.

 

 

Digestion Enhancing Tea

 

Place 4 cups of water, 2 tsp. cumin powder, 2 tsp. coriander powder, 20 rose petals (or 2 tsp. dried rose petals), 4 crushed cardamom, 1 tsp. fennel seeds, 1 pinch black pepper, 1 pinch asafoetida and 2 slices fresh root ginger together in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and keep it covered for a further 20 minutes. Filter and keep warm in a flask to drink regularly throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

References:    Ayushakti Training Course
 
 
 

This article was published on Thursday 21 May, 2009.
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