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With curative abhyangas, energy-boosting adaptogens, and stress-relieving pranayama, Ayurveda has truly become the go-to for those seeking the ultimate holistic treatment. But still, one particular therapy remains the subject of much discussion, curiosity, and even hesitation: Panchakarma, or the Ayurvedic Cleanse.

Perhaps best known through movies like ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Ayurvedic cleanses and detoxes have long been studied for their healing and restorative properties. But it is by no means a simple or easy remedy.

So, what precisely does an Ayurvedic cleanse entail? Let’s break it down.

But first,

What is Ayurveda?

Simply put, Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that focuses on healing the mind and body. Ayurveda emphasis a holistic approach that not only treats the symptoms of the disease, but the root cause of an ailment.

Ayurveda has gained immense popularity in recent years as it encompasses a wide range of therapies, remedies, and practices that are both curative and preventative, thereby inculcating a balanced and healthier lifestyle; the effects of which are significant and lasting.

What is meant by an Ayurvedic Cleanse?

An Ayurvedic cleanse involves the release of toxins and waste that have accumulated in the body, in order to restore health and balance.

An Ayurvedic cleanse allows you to heal from inside out, essentially ridding your body of the toxic material that causes diseases, stress, and emotional turmoil. In this way, the therapy provides an immensely healing and restorative experience.

How do you do an Ayurvedic Body Cleanse?

An Ayurvedic Cleanse or Panchakarma is an intense and customised 5 step program that entails the following main treatments:

  1. Virechan- The use of medicinal powders or pastes to induce purgation
  2. Vaman– Therapeutic vomiting
  3. Basti- Administration of enemas of warm, herbal oils
  4. Rakta Moksha– Bloodletting
  5. Nasya– Nasal clearing

Along with these, specific meal plans and massages are curated to ensure optimal healing and balancing of the doshas.

While the traditional cleanse is ideally a 3 to 4-week process; a simpler, shorter, and less intense version could be performed at home. However, this too must be overseen by a licensed Ayurvedic practitioner, and must adhere to the following three phases:

Phase 1 (Preparation)

This phase focuses on preparing your gut. This is achieved by eliminating meat dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods from your diet; and instead consuming warm, simple meals with plenty of leafy green vegetables.

Hydrating well is also a key factor in optimising gut health and ensuring healthy digestion.

Phase 2 (Cleanse)

Also known as the Kitchari stage, you now focus on cleansing and digestion. As such, the traditional Indian dish of Kitchari, along with daily doses of ghee, are consumed to nourish, replenish, and satisfy your body.

Ghee is a vital component of the daily diet as it is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and acts as a lubricant for the digestive tract.

This phase also integrates self-care rituals and detoxification therapies to help you achieve a state of deep rest.

Phase 3 (Rejuvenate)

Basically, a return to phase one, with a focus on simple meals and hydration. This phase is designed to slowly reintroduce your body to a larger variety of foods.

It is also crucial to remember that the detox is aimed at ridding the body of physical and emotional toxins and blockages. This can lead to an upsurge of emotions, and even a healing crisis. However, this is considered to be both normal and necessary.

What can you expect from an Ayurvedic Body Cleanse?

The Ayurvedic body cleanse is often described as a life-altering experience. But it is much more than that.

The detoxification process has incredible therapeutic value that helps restore balance within the mind and body. This is turn allows you to emerge from a state of uncertain agitation and exhaustion, to a revitalised and refreshed reality. How?

The Ayurvedic cleanse:

  • Rids the body of toxins
  • Relieves stress
  • Alleviates anxiety
  • Improves digestion
  • Resets the nervous system
  • Promotes a sense of calm and clarity
  • Eliminates lethargy
  • Improves the quality of sleep

And these are just off the top of my head.


Yes, it is intense. Yes, many feel like quitting. And yes, they all say it was worth sticking it out.

While still not as widely accepted and practised as other Ayurvedic treatments, there is no doubt about the incredible benefits and efficacy of an Ayurvedic cleanse.

And for all those who have tried this life-changing detoxification treatment, they can wholeheartedly attest to its rejuvenating, relieving, and restorative effects.

If you too are looking to reap the incredible benefits of an Ayurvedic cleanse, visit The Ayurvedic Clinic today! Our panel of experienced Ayurvedic therapists and consultants will create a customised treatment plan just for you to help you eliminate toxins, restore vitality, and attain optimal health.

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