Yogananda’s Cleansing Diet



Two weeks ago I started your 9-day cleanse. I was doing very well and think it is peraphs the best cleanse I have ever used and will stick with it. However, because I work 2 days a week and could not take time off, I had to come off the cleanse on the third day, which I did very gently. A few days later I had large blotches and lumps on my body which itched so badly I had to use a brush to scratch! Did I stir up something that needed to be eliminated? Thank you for your help.

—Verette Pennycooke, Canada


Dear Verette,

Yes, Yogananda’s 9-Day Cleansing Diet is a wonderful way to remove toxins from the body and to enhance vitality of body, mind and spirit! However, it is designed to be followed for a full 9 dyas, ideally. Speaking from an Ayurvedic perspective, it takes a minimum of 7 days to clear the toxins from the 7 levels of tissues in the body. Because of this, I encourage people to follow the cleanse for at least 7 days if they are not able to do the full 9 days. Many sources on detoxification say that the first 3-5 days on a detoxification or cleansing diet is when the toxins are being freed up from the body’s tissues; then the remaining days of the cleanse are to ensure that the toxins are removed from the body. In other words, if you only do a cleansing diet for a few days, you may end up feeling more toxic than when you began, as all you’ve accomplished is to pull the toxins our of the tissues without eliminating them. Since the skin is one of our major organs of elimination, it is not unusual for skin rashes to develop as toxins search for a way out of the body.

Yogananda’s cleansing diet also advises drinking plenty of water and taking an herbal laxative every night, to ensure that toxins are being eliminated from the body through the bowel. If one is on a cleansing diet and doesn’t eliminate completely through the bowel, it would be common to have skin “eruptions” result as the toxins attempt to leave the body. This would be especially true if one’s normal diet (prior to the cleanse) included significant amounts of meat, highly processed food, sugar, alcohol, etc.

Yogananda also directs the person on his cleansing diet to take a warm bath every night with Epsom salts. This is specifically designed to help eliminate toxins through the skin on a daily basis.

So, I would encourage you to try this cleansing diet only when you have enough time to do a minimum of 7 days, followed by several days of gradually resuming a normal vegetarian diet. In addition, please be sure to take the daily epsom salts baths and the nightly herbal laxative.

The most ideal way to do this Cleansing Diet is to come to Ananda’s Expanding Retreat for one of our programs that is dedicated to guiding people safely and comfortably through the detoxification process. This setting also supports the cleansing of body, mind and spirit by including meditation, yoga postures, beautiful natural surroundings, etc. The next one of these programs is April 29 – May 7, 2011.

Blessings to you,

Nayaswami Mangala
RN, MN, NP, Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist