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It's cleansing time again!

Spring and fall are a excellent times to do a deep cleanse and help prepare your body for the new season. After winter, our bodies are sluggish from the contraction of the season and eating a lot of contractive, warming foods. Doing a cleanse at this time is also an excellent opportunity to let go of any habits (such as eating lots of sugary foods or too many coffees in a day) that have crept into your diet over the winter. Below is an excellent five day detox cleanse to get you in shape for the summer months.

NOTE: If you haven’t done a cleanse before, I highly recommend taking an herbal detox formula for at least 1 month, but preferably more, before beginning your cleanse to gently prepare your body for deeper cleansing. Detox reactions can be quite severe. It is also preferable that you are under the supervision of a Registered Herbalist or other natural health practitioner before beginning.

Cleansing Components & Protocol:

A detox formulation: It’s very important that you begin taking an herbal detox formula (as a tea or tincture) preferably 1 month before you begin cleansing, but at the very least 2 weeks. This will prevent you from experiencing intense detox symptoms. Start at a low dose and gradually build up to ease into detoxing.  Continue taking your detox formula throughout your cleanse.

Coffee: If you are a regular coffee drinker and tend to experience headaches if you go without coffee, you will need to slowly taper off the amount you drink a day for at least one month before you begin cleansing. Start adding a small amount of decaf to your regular coffee every day. Increase the proportion of decaf to regular every day until you are drinking only decaf and then taper that off as well. If you experience headaches during your cleanse from caffeine withdrawal, have a cup of green tea.

Bulk laxatives & acidophilus: Take 1 tbsp of a 50/50 blend of psyllium husks and flax seeds with two capsules of acidophilus in the morning and before bed in a ¼ glass of warm water. Follow with a full glass of warm water (you can add a bit of lemon to this). This blend flushes out the system and keeps the bowels moving. It is also anti-inflammatory and demulcent and soothes and heals the lining of the digestive tract. Keep taking the bulk laxatives for as long as needed following the fast until bowel movements are regular.

Vegetable and fruit juices: This cleanse is done using fruit and vegetable juices. The intensity of a cleanse is related to the amount of juice you have - the less juice you drink, the more detoxifying the cleanse, but also the more intense. You get the deepest cleansing when the blood sugar drops forcing the body to burn fat (thereby releasing toxins stored in fat). You should be drinking around 4-6 juices per day maximum for a deep detox.

  • Use only organic fruits and vegetables.
  • The most detoxifying juices are lemon, grapefruit, and any greens. But use a variety of fruit and vegetable juices such as carrot, beet, apple, pear, berries, etc.
  • Do not use starchy fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, yams, squash, or bananas or really sweet fruits such as mango.
  • Use no more than 1-4 ingredients in a juice. The more complicated the juice, the more difficult it will be on the digestive system.
  • Never mix fruit and vegetable juices together. Citrus fruits should not be mixed with any other fruit and only one kind should be used in a juice at a time. The only citrus fruit that can be mixed is lemon.
  • Add fresh ginger, garlic (1 small clove per juice maximum) or cayenne powder to vegetable juices to increase the detoxifying potential of the juice. Add cinnamon to fruit juices if you want. Do not add garlic to fruit juice. 
  • You can optionally add a green drink made of only one thing such as barley juice, green kamut, alfalfa, spirulina, chlorella, etc. to the juice to add more minerals and nutrients and to even out blood sugar.
  • Always dilute the juice. If you drink the juice straight it will send your blood sugar out of control. Use 4-5 ounces of juice at a time mixed with at least as much water or more. You can either mix the juice and water together, or drink the water after you drink the juice.
  • Chew your juices! Swish them around in your mouth to mix with saliva before swallowing.
  • As much as possible, make the juices fresh right before you drink them. They are at their most potent and nutritious when they are fresh.
  • If you need to be away from your juicer during the day, you can use the master cleanse instead of juice. To prepare the master cleanse: 12-16 oz purified water, the juice of a half of lemon (small to medium), 1-2 tbsp of dark maple syrup, and a pinch of cayenne. Drink as much as you need.
  • In a pinch you can use bottled organic juices.

Lemon water: Lemon water is very detoxifying, so drink copious amounts during your cleanse. You can have the lemon water either hot or cold. To deepen the cleanse, have a lemon water whenever you feel hungry instead of a juice first. With the second wave of hunger, have a juice.

Rest: Try to decrease the amount of work you do throughout the day and get more sleep. If possible, it is best to take the time off work.

Exercise: Continue exercising all through your cleanse, but decrease the intensity.

Saunas: Saunas are fine, but don’t stay in them as long as you usually would.

Internal Salt Water Bathing: This is optional. Add two rounded teaspoons of sea salt to 1L of lukewarm water. Drink the entire litre of water first thing in the morning (it must be taken on an empty stomach). The saltwater should make its way through the colon in about 15-20 minutes. It will thoroughly wash the entire tract in about one hour. You will have several eliminations in that one hour. If it doesn’t work the first time, try adding a little more salt the next time (just a pinch). Do this 1-2 times during your cleanse, and only when you have a free morning!

What to expect on your cleanse:

The second and third day you may find hard. What you experience depends on the level of toxicity you have. You may feel: hungry and think about food a lot; a bit off; achy or stiff; a bit befuddled in your thinking (not the time to do your income tax return!); emotional; and tired. After the third day you will find yourself with increasing energy, optimism and motivation – enjoy!


It's very important that you come out of your cleanse slowly to help your body ease into the routine of eating normal meals again.

Day 1 – 2:

Fruit: Eat fruit in the a.m. – any fruit you like but only one kind at a time. Do not eat bananas and oranges (mucus forming). Chew very thoroughly. Drink water before eating fruit to prevent griping due to the concentrated sugar.

Soup: Later that day have a very thin, brothy soup of a few different finely chopped vegetables such as celery, carrots, mushrooms and non-mustard family greens. Avoid cruciferous and starchy vegetables and zucchini. No grains, beans, sweet or regular potatoes. Include finely chopped garlic and/or onions if you want, but make sure they are well cooked. Do not use commercial soup bases; miso paste is OK. Use fresh and/or dried spices (fresh cilantro is excellent), salt and freshly ground pepper to add flavour to the soup (add pepper to your bowl, not the whole soup pot as pepper has been found to be highly irritating when cooked). Let the soup cook for a long time until the veggies are mushy. Eat only until not hungry, NOT UNTIL BLOATED OR FULL!!!! Even though you want to eat more, stop, and eat another bowl when you feel empty again. You will find once you start eating again you’ll feel really hungry. You can eat as many bowls of soup as you want throughout the day, just don't eat until you feel distended. The soup can get thicker (more veggies) the 2nd day.

You may experience some gas and accommodate for this (not the time to be giving public speeches).

Day 3:

Moderately thick soups (more ingredients) with a small amount of millet or quinoa. Sweet potatoes can be added at this time.

Day 4 – 7:

Soups are becoming more stew-like. Increase the amount of grains. Brown rice can in introduced as well as a small amount of mung beans or lentils. Also, regular potatoes and bananas can be added at this time. Potatoes and bananas never tasted so good!

One week later:

Eat normally but avoid for another week nuts and nut butters, soy products, dairy imitation products, all animal products, vegetable oils except flax and olive oils in very small amounts, anything fried, all snack foods, coffee, tea (except green with no milk), and desserts.

Week 2 on:

Normal life resumes.

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