The Nine-Day Cleansing and Vitalizing Diet* as it is called by Paramhansa Yogananda, has been proven to be one of the most effective methods for detoxing the body.
It is important to remove toxins in the body that have built up over time, in order to help purify and heal the body, mind, and soul. To see if you have a build up of toxins in your body, click here to take an ayurvedic test.
With the Master Cleanse of Paramhansa Yogananda, you will consume fruits and vegetables that are full of vitality and healing qualities to help aid you in detoxification. At the end, you will feel a renewed sense of energy and joy, more mental clarity, and a deeper spiritual practice.
To start this cleanse, you will need the following foods:
- 1 and 1/2 grapefruit
- 5 oranges
- 1 and 1/2 lemons
- 1 raw vegetable salad
- 1 cooked vegetables with juice (quantity optional)
- 3 cups Vitality Beverage (one at each meal): 2 stalks chopped celery, 2 cups chopped spinach or turnip greens, 5 carrots chopped including part of the stem, 1 bunch of chopped parsley, 1 quart of water, and no salt or spices. (See special instructions below on how to prepare the vitality beverage.)
- 1 glass of orange juice with 1 teaspoon of senna leaves (laxative) every night before bed. For best results, take 1/2 teaspoon at first, and later increase to 1 teaspoon of senna.
Throughout the day, it is important to consume the above foods in whatever format suits you best. You will want to eat the oranges at breakfast and throughout the day whenever you feel hungry, the vitality beverage at meal times (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), the raw salad at lunch (harder to digest the raw foods at night), the grapefruit at breakfast time, and the lemon upon waking. You may consume the lemon as lemon juice with hot water, a very powerful fruit known for its hydrogen balancing effect on the pH of the body. If you get hungry while on the cleanse and need extra nourishment, have one tablespoon of thoroughly ground nuts (like almonds) with a glass of orange juice.
As you come off the cleanse, be sure to ease into foods that are harder to digest or with toxins. Throughout the cleanse, Yogananda recommended taking salt baths, and to keep these up throughout the year for upkeep.
How to Prepare the Vitality Beverage:
Note: Paramhansa Yogananda often recommended the use of raw foods, but in this instance, he recommended cooked vegetable juice, which is easier to digest and alkaline in pH levels.
There are two ways to prepare the beverage, but here is the way in which the juice is cooked:
Chop celery and carrots, lightly boil in water for 10 minutes. Add selected greens and parsley and boil for 10 minutes or more. Strain. Drink one cup of the beverage, at each meal (3 per day).
This vitality drink is a blood tonic and effective against rheumatism, stomach disorders, chronic catarrh, bronchitis, and nervous breakdowns.
Frequently Asked Questions While Cleansing:
If I only drink the broth of the vitality beverage, what should I do with the left-over vegetables?
You may choose to freeze and later eat the boiled vegetables used for making the vitality beverage, but the vitamins and nutrients go into the broth that you consume so it would not be necessarily important to save them. For this reason, when cooking vegetables, it is best to consume them with their broth.
The first few days of the cleanse I had many bowel movements, but now they seem to have slowed down, should I drink more of the senna tea?
Often when we are cleansing, our body goes through phases. It is best to observe the process and wait for things to normalize as the days goes on without feeling the need to force release with additional senna tea. Senna tea is a wonderful aid during cleansing, but it can be habit forming, so be aware of its effects and cautious about overuse.
During this cleanse, you may at first experience more bowel movements due to the immediate releases that occur in our intestinal tract due to a more fibrous, high vitality and detoxifying fruit and vegetable diet. However, as you continue with the cleanse over time, additional energies are freed up that may be experienced as constipation, and should be just seen as part of the process. They too will be released and your bowel movements will then return to a more normal, daily routine.
I just started the cleanse and have started feeling really tired, but not necessarily hungry. Is this normal?
Yes. The first day you may or may not have a difference in energy levels, but days 2 and 3 many people start to feel mentally cloudy or foggy, fatigued, or just “down.” This is due to the release of toxins in the body during the cleanse. When we are letting go of the “old” and blocked energies or toxins, our liver gets busy and the feeling of fatigue or cloudiness just means that the liver is doing its job. If you can get through these first few days without reaching for quick, energy “uppers”, you will be able to get through the hardest part of the cleanse.
In addition, for most of the foods that you go without on this cleanse (coffee, white flour, sugar, etc.), a few days is needed to also experience the withdrawal effects (fatigue, sadness, anxiety, cravings, or wanting to give up). There are also the habits or tendencies to reach toward certain foods, to eat a certain way, or to prepare certain meals that at first are hard to overcome. But if you focus on what good habits you are doing on the cleanse, the great foods that you are eating, it will help you to move through that more challenging part.
What can I put on the raw salad?
Feel free to squeeze lemon juice and add just a bit of salt for taste. Keep it simple still, but allow for some creativity so that– most importantly– you stick with the cleanse!
Can I do the cleanse for different amounts of time?
Yes. In fact, Yogananda recommended cleansing one day per week on a diet of freshly squeezed, organic orange juice and almond butter as needed throughout the day. He also suggested fasting once a month on just water for three days, to help flush out the internal organ systems and keep the body running smoothly throughout life. But on this cleanse you may decide that you want to do another week, to do instead only 5 days at a time (due to scheduling), etc. and that is fine. The important thing is that you feel you can accomplish the cleanse for the number of days you set out to do, and to not give up!
*Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet. This diet is not appropriate for those taking prescription blood thinners, those who are pregnant, or those who have diabetes.
For more information on the proper yogic diet as written by Paramhansa Yogananda, I suggest reading How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality, part of a Living Wisdom Series of books available online.
- The Energization Exercises of Paramhansa Yogananda
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Get Re-Balanced!
- Ayurvedic Conscious Eating Habits
- Inspiration to Change Behavior: Getting Rid of Bad Habits for Good
- How to Fight Fatigue Naturally