Thursday, January 21, 2010

Detoxifying Tea -- the Cleanse

Yesterday I had two uninterrupted hours to myself, bang in the middle of the day, a rare opportunity on a week day. I could have taken a much needed shower, cooked something more elaborate than serving up masoor dal, baked tilapia and aloo-gajar yet again or at least cooked something, anything. But did I do that ? No.

Instead I googled for "detox diet ayurveda 3 days". Don't ask me why. Maybe I overdid the Biryani that we got on Sunday and the body was sending toxic signals.At least I didn't ask for "detox diet in a packet". Ok hold on, let me google this. Guess what there IS a detox diet in a packet, what fun, packaged, processed and with all the chemicals.

But the ayurveda detox thingy is not easy. They don't do things fast, to do it the right way, you need 60 whole days, S-I-X-T-Y, who has that ? But they have a point, the body is like your child, no point hurrying it, it is best to go with the flow, to let things balance out gradually.
"A complete ayurvedic cleansing program includes 15 days of preparation and 45 days of actual cleansing. Ayurvedic healers recommend paying special attention to your diet during these two phases to avoid overtaxing your digestion and to enable purification to occur easily and completely. Maharishi Ayurveda does not recommend fasting or entirely liquid diets such as juices, because that may cause your digestive agni to become imbalanced."

Why Do You Need to Detox ?

According to Ayurveda, there are three different types of toxins that can impact the physiology: ama -- the waste product of incomplete digestion, amavisha -- the reactive form of ama i.e ama + other doshas and garvisha -- external toxins from the environment, exposure to chemicals etc..

Ayurveda recommends a program of internal cleansing at every change of seasons to clear the channels of the body of toxins that may have built up over the previous season. Detox is particularly recommended at the time when winter is phasing into spring.

The Detox Routine according to Ayurveda

The following is a general guideline of what to eat and to avoid during this phase.

To know more in details about the kind of fruits and vegetables that you can eat depending on your body type, check this Food Guidelines

Along with the diet you also need to follow a routine of sleep, exercise and massaging. And then there is the eating habit you need to follow, of never skipping a meal and eating slowly, chewing each morsel.

Basically "the Ayurveda Detox Diet is what your Mom has been telling you since you were six and you never listened until Google told you to".

But seriously what I like about the detox plan is the use of spices in cooking the vegetables.

"Ginger, turmeric, coriander, fennel and fenugreek help open up the channels of the body and support the flushing of toxins via the skin, urinary tract, colon and liver"

These were the main spices (along with Nigella seeds and mustard seeds) that were used in the everyday Bengali Food that my Ma made. She did not use garlic or onions much and neither does everyday home cooked Bangla meals call for that. Everyday Bengali food is light, subtly spiced, not much garlic, onion, red chili or cream and tends to retain the texture and taste of the vegetables. Ahh, if we could just add some fish to that detox diet, I could have sealed the deal

Main Reference: Ayurvedic Detox Diet -- Maharishi Ayurveda

Though I don't have the determination or resources to go on a sixty day detox diet right now and I need to use up the 20% discount coupons at the local restaurants, I decided to do my body some good by making and sipping the Detoxifying Tea throughout the day.

This is a very light and extremely easy to make tea. A big cup of this and small sips throughout the day will help you feel good about yourself and you will also get all the water. Just drinking this tea alone will do nothing to detox I am sure but here's to a better beginning.


Detox Tea

Original Recipe

Bring to boil two quarts of water in the morning.

Add 1/4 t. whole cumin,
1/2 t. whole coriander,
1/2 t. whole fennel to the water and let steep for ten minutes with the lid on. I also added some fresh grated ginger and 3-4 Tulsi(Holy Basil) leaves.

Strain out the spices and pour the water into a thermos.

Sip throughout the day.

Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor. Biology was not even amongst my main 4 subjects in High School


  1. I've tried detoxing before, I can never get through the first day :D

  2. what a co-incidence Sandeepa for a couple of days I also was thinking of going for a detox diet. yesterdy only googled and stumbled upon Maharishi's site. I have been feeling very lethargic for it nonstop running after the baby or my bong genes..I need to detox. great info.

  3. Thats so nice of you Sandeepa! The detox tea is really good. For best results boil the water along with ingredients until it reduces to 1/3 or 1/2. These kind of teas are the bext when had 3 hours from the time of preparation after which the effect of the spices starts coming down. You can make them fresh twice in a day if planning to have it for a whole day!

  4. While reading the post i was like wow it takes indeed a lot of days. My mom swears on auyverdic medicines, love the idea of that tea, wut i have never seen tulusi leaves here. Not the one we get back home. In my moms place we had few planted of tulusi an now to think it was always taken for granted.

  5. Ahh, if we could just add some fish to that detox diet, I could have sealed the deal hahahah, it would be the same reaction for me too :):)

    if it was a three day program, I'd have gone in volunteerly, but 60 days...., hum hum, I'm sure I'll double the normal quantity I eat within 48 hours, hihihihi

    your detoxifying tea sounds interesting; I have never tried ayurvedic teas but I do with green tea, a kinda diuretic cure one whole day and like drinking cucumber juice too.... your method sounds safe, comforting and good!!!
    will try this next time!

    I know one program called the seneca indian cleansing diet, a 4 day cleansing program :

    1st day, eat only fruits and their juices ( all fruits are allowed), illimited quantity
    (it is supposed to clean your colon)

    second day, drink all herbal teas you want, raspberry, chamomille, peppermint... ( supposed to eliminate toxins along with excess salts and calcium deposits)

    third day, eat all vegetables you desire, quantity= illimited, but raw, steamed or cooked, in soups, but without oil ( the digestive tract is supplied with mineral-rich fiber)

    day four, make a large pot of vegetable broth, simmer veggies ( cauliflower, cabbage, parsley, green pepper, onion, garlic & other veggies), season with SEA SALT, and drink the broth the whole day!!! (the blood, lymphatic system and other organs are nourished with minerals)

    now, all we need is some courage to do this one :):)

    have a nice day!!

  6. Good morning!

    Phew! Yeah, Ayurvedic detox should be a lifestyle rather than a quick fix, don't think I can do it. I tried liquid diet one day, got so tired. It's hard to consciously think of eating certain food. I think we can get away with herbal Tea for a day or two.

    But I am happy to hear that you got 2 hrs to yourself. Sleep for a while and rest instead of cooking elaborate food whenever you get that opportunity. I know it's hard to juggle everything specially with 2 young kids.

    Hugs to you. Have a great weekend. Not much will go on for this weekend for me, boring. May be I will read the whole weekend! :)

  7. Sandeepa, I like the sounds of this one. The herbal tea is a great one to have detox or not.

    Good Luck and take that nap.

  8. i am just having green tea to make space in my tummy for a parsi wedding dinner later...i think this is the secret of the Orientals

  9. I was advised a tea with what seemed liked all the spices - coriander, fenugreek, cumin, cinnamon, fennel - and then just a stick of cinnamon in water - also the water in which methi is soaked - did all this religiously - what's the point if we eat junk along with all this? And it's a pain to make them everyday, though I have been thinking about resuming it ...

  10. I've been thinking of doing one of those weekend detoxing for a while, but something or the other comes up. Sixty days!! Wow, can't even imagine that.

  11. Well I get good workout running around Nish and I'm like crash for bye EOD . I'm so happy to know that you got T-W-O hrs for urself. Tea looks very refreshing and soothing. Nice warm picture BTW.

  12. Dam 60 days- I will never go through! I guess u took a resolution to shred some pounds :)
    The tea sounds smoothing!

  13. Hi Sandeepa,

    Thank you for the post. I have been working towards a detox but wanted to do it according to the ayurved, this information will certainly help. I started Bikram's yoga two years ago and finally am at a point where I am comfortable. I was thinking another topic you and your blogger audience may want to explore is natural scrubs etc. I left India at the age of 12 and vaguely remember my older cousins rubbing their skin with some dal ?? paste to exfoliate. It will be interesting to see what people use for facials, hair etc. As always I find your posts very informative, educational and entertaining.

  14. great info..and nice recipe too

  15. I am not sure if I have the discipline for detox, but that tea is GOOD

  16. Delightful tea.Thanks Sandeepa.

  17. Sixty days! Not sure I could do that, wait, no, I'm positive I'm not going to do that, but the tea looks like a great way to ease your way into the idea. Thank you.

  18. I am definitely going to try that tea! I am not big on cleanses, but looking at this one it doesn't actually seem that bad to me. I am curious if you know why raw foods and fermented foods are a no-no.

  19. I am currently on colon cleansing, will give this a try after I complete my colon cleanse.

  20. Thanks for your advices, they without doubts are gonna be very useful fro me, due to the fact this is gonna help me to get a healthy life. Besides my other had been looking for this since a long tie m ago.

  21. It's the best thing, spend the time with yourself, as you commented above. I think all the people needs that. In my poor opinion,you can change the style to written, but the style isn't bad enough yet.

  22. Wow…I am bowled by your level of knowledge. I am so impressed. I think you have got a deep insight into this topic. Could not think on those lines ever…I think you are gifted…keep going. Thumbs up!

  23. Look for a good detoxifying plan to cleanse your body. Drinking tea is a good start.

  24. Drinking tea can definitely help in a diet. You always need to consider relaxing; there are essential oils Australia can offer that you can use.


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