Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Ayurvedic cleanse:

Cleansing routines are recommended as daily practice, as well as in seasonal cycles to help the body minimize toxic build up, clear the mind and steady ones emotions. This reduces oxidative stress and slows down the aging process of the whole body. In addition to cleansing the physical tissues of the body, energetic cleansing is also achieved through healthy food intake, breathing exercises and movement practices like yoga. In this discussion, we will discuss the principle features of an Ayurvedic cleanse, their cleansing effects on the body, and how you can do all of it for yourself.

Goal of a cleanse:

The main goal of cleansing processes is to cultivate closer, more intimate and intuitive relationship with your body. The joy of this practice arises from the time given to the process and rewards achieved by mindful application.

The main culprit for all processes of early aging and degeneration are caused by accumulation of ama. Ama, meaning toxins, build up because of intake of heavy food, weakness of cellular and liver detoxification processes, and because of overwork and stress on daily basis.

This ama can represent itself as mental fatigue, physical fatigue and sluggishness, build-up of aches and pain in the body, gas build-up and heaviness in the stomach, irregular appetite and bowel movements, etc. When toxins build-up and body is not able to get rid of it, there is an increased oxidative and inflammatory activity in the  body. Which results in the symptoms of Ama. Goal of the cleanse is to eliminate Ama from the body and slow down the degenerative processes.

**Note of Caution**:

The steps of Deepana-Pachana, Snehapana, and Virechana are simple. However, they must individually curated for most effective and safe detox process. Please, avoid undertaking this process without guidance from a trained professional.


First stage of any Ayurvedic Cleanse Deepana-Pachana. This term deepana means “igniting” and pachana means “digesting or processing”. In this first stage of the cleanse, we begin with activating the various metabolic pathways of the body. The cytochrome enzymes of the liver and lysosomal enzymes at the cellular level are the primary detoxing enzymes of the body. These control the detoxing processes of the body. Additionally, digestive enzymes in the stomach and small intestine also help in breaking down undigested food material in the digestive tract. Furthermore, the mitochondria in each cell uses oxygen to burn of fuel (food) to make calories of energy.

DIY Deepana-Pachana: Continue these practices for all 14 of the cleanse before the purge.

  • Detoxing tea: mixed herbal tea like classical formula called Amrutottaram. It is made with Guduchi, Haritaki, and Ginger. In can be modified with herbs like Vibhitaki, Trikatu, Pippali, Bhumyamalaki based on individual’s constitution. This ignites the gross digestive process of stomach and small intestine, as well as support the liver and lysozymes start subtle detoxing on all tissue levels.

  • Cumin-Coriander-fennel tea: mixed herbal tea with equal parts of cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds. These seeds are gentle and cleansing. They help to relax the body and the bowel to begin the subtle process of release.

  • The diet is generally soupy and easy to digest, process, and eliminate. Traditional recipe of khichadi makes for the ideal meal during detox. Breakfast usually consists of oatmeal or buckwheat porridge with dried fruits and nuts.

  • Breathing exercises: Pranayama is the practice of moving the vital force within our body through breathing exercises. There are two important exercises that support the detoxification process: One to quiet the mind like Alternate-nostril breathing, the other to activate the metabolic system like kapalbhati or bhastrika.


Snehapana is taken up during the second week of the cleanse process – day 10-14. This is another unique process to Ayurveda. It involves taking herb-infused or plain ghee to stimulate deeper cleansing action. This works for four reasons: 1) because most old toxins are stored in fatty tissue. 2) because oil penetrates all the tissues and helps drive cleansing process in hard-to-reach regions like the spine and brain. 3) fats also moves through the lymphatic system, supporting our immune system regeneration. 4) high oil intake can support gentle gallbladder flushing.

For this process we use Ghee (clarified butter). Ghee intake is slowly increased throughout the second week cleanse. This slow increase prevents shocking the system with excessive fat intake, while slowly saturating the system to prepare for the final flush. High quantities of ghee intake may be problematic if you have no gallbladder. If you have any concerns please, consult with Dr. Anup or your physician before taking on this cleanse.

Additional snehapana can be achieved by taking 1-2 tsp of ghee on your breakfast, lunch and dinner during the cleanse.

Virechana: The Purge

Virechana is the movement of toxins out of the body. So far, the work of the detox tea, CCF tea, and snehapana has helped to loosen and prepare ama (toxins) for elimination. This purge is designed to drive out the ama. It is to be done on day 15, ideally on a day off.

DIY Virechana:

Your morning on Day 15 will start early, around 5-6 am. At this time of the day, bowels naturally get activated. Thus, supporting the purging process. Wake-up and take your purgative preparation. This will be either Avipathi choorna or Gandharvastadi oil. Which is determined based on your constitution. Individuals with vata or vata/kapha constitution benefit from the choorna, while those with pitta or pitta/kapha constitution benefit from the oil.

2 tablespoons of the powder or oil is taken in the morning, followed by sips of warm/hot tea. Bowel movement begin 1-2 hours after the intake. Individuals may have between 2-8 bowel movements over the course of 2-3 hours. Hydration is very important throughout this process. One must keep taking sips of hot water through out the morning to stay hydrated and minimize bowel cramping.

After this, one naturally feels hungry. At that time, a light khichadi meal can be taken to complete the process.

**Note of Caution**:

The steps of Deepana-Pachana, Snehapana, and Virechana are simple. However, they must individually curated for most effective and safe detox process. Please, avoid undertaking this process without guidance from a trained professional.

Rasayana: The Rejuvenation Phase

A good rasayana process helps solidify the effects of cleanse. Rasayana means rejuvenation and it involves replenishing the body with nutritious food and regenerative herbs. A locally grown, whole foods, seasonal diet is the ideal diet for healthy individuals. It can be optimized by doing certain things:

  • Vegetable intake: 2-3 cups of colorful seasonal vegetables per day

  • Leafy greens: 1-2 cups of fresh leafy greens per day

  • Fruits: 2-3 servings for seasonal fruits per day

  • Up to 100g of protein: For omnivores: 2-3 oz of lean meats, grass-fed organic is ideal. For omnivores and vegetarians: 1-2 cups of cooked lentils, 2oz of tofu, tempeh, seitan… Also, 1-2 handful of nuts and seeds per day.

  • Oil intake: 2-3 tsp of ghee or coconut oil or olive oil… added over food. This is in addition to cooking oil.

  • Up to 60-100g of grains per day: amount of grain must be managed based on activity level. High protein grains like quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth help to reduce blood sugar spikes. Alternate rice: brown rice, wild rice or red rice are good alternative to white rice.

    • In addition to this, a Rasayana tea is very beneficial to support the body’s energetic, immune and hormonal function to improve.

      • For this, we take a Rasayana tea made with Guduchi, Amalaki, and Gokhshura. This tea can also be individualized by adding herbs like Rasna, Vidari, Anatamul, etc.

This is the basic framework of a DIY Ayurvedic cleanse. This cleanse is an ideal way for relatively healthy individuals to undertake a seasonal detox. This helps the body to transition from one season to next, allowing our physiology and metabolic system to adapt. As we are all individuals, results may vary. This process is not designed for weight loss or treatment of disease. Ideally, it must be individualized undertaken under expert supervision.

**Note of Caution**:

The steps of Deepana-Pachana, Snehapana, and Virechana are simple. However, they must individually curated for most effective and safe detox process. Please, avoid undertaking this process without guidance from a trained professional.

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