Detox for Spring Cleaning

Posted on March 30th, 2013 by in Healthy Living, Nutrition

Spring—the perfect season to clean out your closets and cleanse your system, too! Ayurvedic medicine teaches that seasonal health routines, such as a gentle detox at the start of the spring season, are an essential part of creating lifelong health.

According to nutrition and lifestyle educator Alison Shore Gaines, there are varied opinions as to detox protocol. Total abstinence from food and drink is the most demanding form of fasting; you can also do a water-only fast. The “master cleanse” consists of fresh lemonade sweetened with maple syrup and cayenne pepper. A juice fast includes fresh fruit and vegetable juices as well as herbal teas and water. Ayurvedic and macrobiotic cleansing practices use grains and whole vegetables.

The safest cleansing methods include some solid food and exclude congesting foods such as dairy, fats, animal protein, sugar, and flour products. For the detox novice, supervision is highly recommended—and a cleanse is best undertaken when you can rest and don’t need to drive or work.

Alison offers two simple recipes to support a nourishing and purifying spring cleanse.

Vegetable Broth

Yield: 2.5 quarts.

2 quarts spring water
3 medium potatoes, diced
4 carrots, cubed
2 medium Spanish onions, chopped
1 small beet, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons dried, flaked dulse (seaweed)
Pinch of sage

Wash and scrub all vegetables. Keep the peels on if they’re organic (except for beets, which should be peeled even if organic).

Bring water to a boil. Add vegetables, return to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot. Simmer 20 minutes until vegetables are soft but not mushy.

Remove 2/3 cup of vegetables, blend in blender, and return to the pot to form a heartier broth.

This soup is alkaline and rich in minerals, especially potassium, which can be flushed out of the body when taking extra liquids (as in a fast).

Apple Cucumber Juice

Yield: 10 ounces.

1 large or 2 small cucumbers, sliced lengthwise
1/2 apple, sliced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley

If the cucumber is not organic or if it’s waxed, peel it. Slice the cucumber and apple to fit the juicer. Use the apple and cucumber slices to push the parsley through the juicer. Drink immediately for maximum benefit. If storing fresh juice in the refrigerator, use a dark-glass container.

Cucumber is alkaline and high in silica, which strengthens connective tissue. Cucumber is also useful in cleansing sugar from the body, and helps to dissolve kidney stones.

Parsley is high in vitamins A and C, magnesium, and potassium. It’s also rich in chlorophyll, which stimulates oxygen metabolism and cell regeneration. It’s highly alkaline, a great blood cleanser, and especially beneficial for the kidneys and liver.

Apples are rich in vitamins A, B, and C as well as iron, magnesium, potassium, and silicon. Apples are cleansing for the liver, and apple pectin absorbs intestinal toxins and aids in elimination.



8 Responses to “Detox for Spring Cleaning”

  1. Patricia Patterson March 30, 2013 1:30 pm #

    Is that all you should eat while cleansing and how many days should you do it for? Thanks

  2. KripaluEditor March 31, 2013 7:43 pm #

    Hi Patricia,

    It all depends on the individual, but I will see if the nutritionist has some input to help you determine what is best for you. Stay tuned.
    Kim from Kripalu

    • Patti Patterson April 8, 2013 3:52 pm #

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your response, have you been able to ask the nutritionist?


      • KripaluEditor April 9, 2013 10:10 am #

        Yes. I spoke to our expert, Annie Kay. Here is her response.

        Hi Patricia,

        Detoxification through simplifying the diet can be beneficial, and these recipes are great ones to include in a detox. Without knowing who you are—your health history, current diet and reasons for cleansing, my recommendation is to try less in terms of restrictiveness.

        So, even making sure that you meet the CDC recommendations for 9-13 servings of fruits and veggies including dark greens, avoid processed food and added sweeteners, focus on beans and nuts for protein, healthful oils like EV olive oil and drink plenty of good clean water is a lovely way to get clear and prepare for the upcoming spring season.

        All the best,


  3. Paula Dawson April 11, 2013 7:51 am #

    Detox for Spring Cleaning is a great way to welcome in the warmer weather. I liked apple cucumber juice more.

  4. Ambronse Vik April 12, 2013 6:54 am #

    Liquid potassium seriously plays a important role in maintaining a good health as most of potassium is concentrated inside the body cells and helps in absorbing the nutrients from the food we eat .And supplementation of potassium must be taken under the consideration of your doctor.

  5. laura johnson April 14, 2013 7:10 pm #

    Should I take my regular vitamins and supplements during the cleanse?

    • KripaluEditor April 14, 2013 7:22 pm #

      Hi Laura,

      You should talk to your health care professional or nutritionist to determine what is best for you. Some people stop taking supplements but some maintain—it really depends on what you are taking and why.

      Best to you,
      -Kim from Kripalu

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