What is an Ayurvedic Cleanse?

Helena Reimer

An Ayurvedic cleanse is a natural therapy that practitioners believe helps to cleanse both the body and mind. The remedies involved include an Ayurvedic cleansing diet, along with meditation and light exercises such as walking or yoga. The cleanse is recommended for those who lack energy, have digestive problems, crave junk foods or have poor concentration levels. There are three stages to the Ayurvedic cleanse known as Purva Karma, Panchakarma and the rejuvenation stage.

Coriander is often used to make Ayurvedic cleanses.
Coriander is often used to make Ayurvedic cleanses.

Purva Karma is the preparation stage, which begins three weeks prior to the actual cleanse. During the first phase, an Ayurvedic diet is followed, and all animal products, canned and processed foods, stimulants and leftovers are eliminated from the diet. The second phase of the preparation stage begins a week before the cleanse, during which the diet is restricted to mainly whole grains and vegetables. When preparing for an Ayurvedic cleanse, it also is important for one to engage in light exercises such as walking, deep breathing, yoga and meditation. Doing so will help to prepare not only the body for the cleanse, but the mind as well.

Cumin seeds, which can be used in an Ayurvedic cleanse.
Cumin seeds, which can be used in an Ayurvedic cleanse.

Panchakarma is the stage when the Ayurvedic cleanse begins and the toxins are purged from the body. It is a fast that lasts for several days and uses cleansing remedies such as herbal teas, laxatives and enemas, as well as plenty of rest, meditation and gentle exercises. The herbal tea that is recommended for the Ayurvedic cleanse consists of spices such as cumin, coriander, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, black pepper and ginger. The spices are brought to a boiling point in a pot of water and simmered for about five minutes. After being removed from the heat, they are allowed to steep for another 15-20 minutes before being strained.

Many Ayurvedic teas used for a cleanse include coriander seeds.
Many Ayurvedic teas used for a cleanse include coriander seeds.

The Panchakarma stage is not suitable for everyone, because the fast can be hard on the body. Therefore, it is recommended that it be done under the supervision of an Ayurvedic therapist. Individuals who want to do an Ayurvedic cleanse but are not able to do the Panchakarma stage can continue with the Ayurvedic diet for about 45-60 days for a gentler cleanse.

Cardamom is often used as part of an Ayurvedic cleanse.
Cardamom is often used as part of an Ayurvedic cleanse.

The rejuvenation stage begins after the cleanse and lasts for only about a week. The fast is broken with small and light meals that consist primarily of whole grains and vegetables along with plenty of fluids. At this point, strength and energy return to the body because it is no longer burdened with heavy toxins. The mind also begins its healing process, allowing the individual to reach a new level of consciousness. It is recommended for a person to continue with a healthy diet, exercise and meditation after an Ayurvedic cleanse for optimum health.

Drink plenty of fluids during the rejuvenation stage of an Ayurvedic cleanse.
Drink plenty of fluids during the rejuvenation stage of an Ayurvedic cleanse.
The diet of the Ayurvedic cleanse should be combined with exercises like yoga.
The diet of the Ayurvedic cleanse should be combined with exercises like yoga.

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