Fasting Benefits As Per Ayurveda and Basic Guidelines

Cleansing Fasting & Detoxification as per Ayurveda
Cleansing Fasting & Detoxification as per Ayurveda
Fasting purifies both body and the mind. The fasting process mainly helps in removing the body of accumulated toxins. With fasting, the body gets sufficient time to relax, purge out toxic matters and grant a new, or rather renewed lease of life to the body organs. In order to have a successful and complete fast, the ‘will’ to do must be supported by strong determination.


Every day of every week, we tend to put our digestion and metabolism under strain:
  • We eat when we're stressed
  • We eat on the run
  • We overeat
  • We skip meals
  • We eat at irregular times
  • We eat bad food combinations
  • We eat heavy foods that are difficult to digest
  • We eat our next meal before our previous meal has digested
  • We eat too much, too late at night
Basically, unless we live a very peaceful, contained, strict or physically active life, caring for our digestion every day, at every meal, is a challenge.

As a result
, it is somewhat inevitable that our digestive fire (referred to as Agni) will become imbalanced, in one of three ways:
  • It can get too hot and overcook our food
  • It can get too low and undercook our food
  • It can become erratic—sometimes hot, sometimes low—sometimes overcooking, sometimes undercooking
When our food is undercooked or overcooked, it creates undigested food waste or toxins known as Ama in sanskrit. 

For example:
Carbohydrates digest into simple sugars. But if carbs do not break down properly, it produces di-saccharides, which our bodies do not understand.

Similarly, digested proteins convert to amino-acids. If not properly digested, proteins become indoles and skatoles—very inflammatory and gene altering substances.

Fats are digested to fatty acids. Undigested fats will end up as arachadonic acid, which stimulate inflammation.

Undigested food toxins are collectively called AMA accumulates in our digestive tract and can eventually overflow into our channels and tissues, hampering cellular nutrition and waste disposal. Imbalanced Agni and accumulated Ama are considered the root cause of ALL disease in Ayurveda.

Normally, a healthy body is able to recognize toxins and dispose of them regularly, but an overwhelming response will put the body’s intelligence in jeopardy and activate disease—a phenomenon called Pragya-Apradh (mistake of the intellect) in Ayurveda.

Fasting does not mean starvation. During the seven days of the week, abstain from use of one essential element, like for instance, fruits, salt, protein, sugar, saturated oil, spices, chillies, carbohydrates, cereals, drinking or smoking. Another method is to allot a day each to fast exclusively on fruits or fruit juices, or milk, curd, or water etc.

Our sages suggest to do water fasting. Water Fasting is a spiritual practice to help burn karma as well as make the human instrument healthier and stronger to do practices. Learn More..

Fasting is a healthy and natural way to purge, disinfect and deodorize the body from almost all toxins and foreign matter deposits and filth from body system. When the body is free from all such undesirable elements as mentioned above, mind will also attain a state of ecstasy and happiness. Fasting therefore, offers an upbeat mood to mind, body and intellect.

Fasting is effective for weight loss!

Ayurveda divides us in different body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Most of us are a combination of two and rarely three.

Vata dominant are low weight people with light bone structures and irregular appetites.
Vata people feel cold easily, like warmer temperatures and prefer hot food and drinks. When out of balance, Vatas tend to experience hormonal disturbances, irregular energy, nervousness, anxiety, worry and insomnia. Dry skin, constipation, gas and cold hands and feet all indicate imbalance. Vatas need to be careful when fasting, as these people have low reserves and tend to burn out easily. Warm soups with vegetables, mung beans, meat or fish work well for Vata. Ginger is also a wonderful remedy; just add it to food or tea. Know more about Vata Type Body

Pitta people tend to have medium physiques, greater digestive fires and large appetites. They have a hard time handling heated foods, hot spices like cayenne pepper, garlic, fried foods and red meat. Pittas are good speakers, who are prone to perfectionism, angry outbursts, irritability, skin rashes and inflammatory disease. Pitta dominant people can fast on vegetables, smoothies and broths. Know more about Pitta Type Body

Kapha people tend to have strong physiques, good muscle mass with exercise and a tendency towards weight gain as they have slow metabolisms. Usually, they have good stamina and strong immune systems when in balance. They are typically gentle, kind-hearted people. When out of balance, they tend to get overweight, heart disease, diabetes, allergies and depression. Water or herbal tea can be a really good method for fasting. Know More About Your Body Type

Ayurveda recommends that everyone should fast once a week.
Even skipping one or two meals is beneficial. Ginger tea is good for almost every body type, as it kindles digestive fire and burns off AMA’s toxic buildup. Pittas can add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds. Kaphas can double up on ginger. For Vatas, try ½ to 1 teaspoon of ginger powder in tea. You can also sprinkle ginger powder and other spices on food. Cooking, however, will generally destroy all medicinal properties.
Click for Ayurvedic Tea Recipes

We also recommend following Ayurveda Detox Tea

If you're fasting weekly, choose a day that fits your lifestyle—when you are unlikely to be doing too much physical activity, socializing or super-demanding mental work. 

Ayurvedic intermittent fasting or liquid diet days are an easy, effective habit for your ongoing preventative health regime. Not only does it reduce toxins and support a strong digestive fire, it also calms cravings so you tend to make better decisions. 

Here is a wonderful recipe for detoxification:


Here is a simple Ayurvedic cleansing soup, which cooks quickly. It will strengthen Agni, cleanse Ama and stabilize your blood sugar because it is low on the Glycemic Index. The quantities in this recipe can serve two people.

⅓ cup basmati rice (1 cup = 250ml.)
⅓ cup split moong dal with skin
8 cups boiling water
1 tsp. (tea spoon, 1tsp = 5ml.) ghee
¼ tsp. turmeric
1 pinch asafoetida or hing
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. finely grated ginger
1 tsp. garam masala (make your own – equal parts cumin, fennel, coriander and black pepper seed ground in a spice grinder)
Salt to taste
Lemon to taste
Coriander leaves to sprinkle on top (optional)

Soak your rice and moong dal overnight. In the morning, drain, rinse and put it in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low heat and simmer until the moong is cooked. Serve hot with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, masala, a generous squeeze of lemon and ghee. Cooking time is approximately 20 to 30 minutes.


Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of clean, lukewarm water a day and doing breathing exercises will help you maintain perfect balance, along with good sleep, healthy digestion and elimination. Sleep is essential for the restoration and repair of the body and mind. Good digestion helps assimilation. Elimination is the key to immune health.

You cannot attain optimal wellness if one of these fundamentals is lacking. For total health, combine and maintain these practices regularly.

Some guidelines for fasting:
  1. Fasting does not imply giving up foods taken on daily basis. Instead, a food item can be given up for a day. This will also help to break the habit of dependence on one particular food item, although for only a day in a week.
  2. Growing children, pregnant women, weak and undernourished, underweight people, the elderly and hypo-diabetics (who suffer from low blood sugar), low blood pressure, labourers, should not take to fasting, as their physical disorders may aggravate and worsen.
  3. During the day of fasting, a teaspoonful (5ml) of honey, mixed with lemon water should be taken with water three to four times a day, so that the body retains its natural vitality, and so that there is no accumulation of gas. Else, at least stick to drinking tender coconut water.
  4. The person who is on a fast can live on milk and seasonal fruits or only fruits on the day of fasting, apart from use of honey and lemon juice. Further, juices of fruits and vegetables are excellent diets for people who fast. Banana and milk diet is also a well-balanced, nutritive and healthy combination, apart from lemon juice and honey.
  5. Fasting helps in a smooth change-over to other foods, but excessive intake should be avoided at any cost.
  6. Another way of fasting is to impose self-imposed dietary regimen. Have a normal breakfast of milk and seasonal fruit, skip over your lunch and have near-normal dinner. A gap of 12 hours or so, should be given between breakfast, and dinner, as it is an ideal way to semi-starvation or moderate fasting. However, care should be taken to note that dinner menu is not loaded with sugars, salt, fats and spices, although there is no harm in their moderate use.
  7. Sufficient water should be taken when fasting during summer else, the body may not be able to withstand ravages of summer heat. Similarly, even during other seasons, the water-sodium balance should never be disturbed during a fast.
  8. Fasting should not be extended beyond two or three days a week and fasting should never be taken on successive days. There should be a gap of at least a day or so in between each fast.
The positive signs of effective fasting, include:
-Lightness in the body, clarity in the mind, and increased energy.
-Regular bowel movements with no gas or bloating.
-A clean tongue and fresh breath.

It’s best to choose a fasting period in which you’ll be able to follow a peaceful, non-stressful routine.


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