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Fasting for Healing

Fasting is an important step for healing and reversing disease. You must undergo water fasting for a minimum duration of 24 hours before starting the Healing Phase Diet. Depending on the health condition, the recommended duration for water fasting can vary from 1 to 7 days. In addition to initial water fasting, we recommend intermittent fasting and regular weekly fasting for a day.

Fasting promotes detoxifying, autolysis and repairing in the body.

  1. Detoxifying: During fasting, your body first uses the food remains in the gut. Then it utilises adipose tissue and glycogen stored in the body. It helps to remove extra nutritive material from the body. It digests the non-digested food particles and removes them from the body. The non-digested food particles are the major cause of toxins stored in the body. In terms of ayurveda, these toxins are called Ama dosha. Fasting helps to remove its storage. It promotes the elimination of toxins. Therefore, fasting is an important step for detoxifying the body.
  2. Autophagy & Autolysis: Fasting stimulates autophagy. Autophagy is a natural process of self-digestion. In this process, cells break down its own protein and other components. Use them for energy. It also destroys pathogens (viruses and bacteria). It also breaks down diseased and dead cells in the body. It absorbs and eliminates dead cells and tumour-like growths. This process is very importance for cellular renewal and slowing down the aging process. (Credit: Yoshinori Ohsumi Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016).
  3. Repairing: After autophagy and autolysis, fasting promotes repairing and healing. During fasting, the body repairs the tissues and organs rapidly. It helps in forming new cells in the body and redistribute nutritive material. It rejuvenates the cells and reverses the aging of the body. If you follow fasting as we recommended in this article, you can see improved skin tone and elimination of blemishes, blotches, and fine lines. It removes cysts, blockages and small tumours and reduces the size of large tumours. The repeated fasting helps to eliminate large tumours as well.

How to Fast for Healing

Generally, we recommend three types of fasting simultaneously.

  1. Initial Fasting.
  2. Weekly Fasting for a day.
  3. Intermittent fasting.

Initial Fasting

Before you start the healing phase diet, we recommend fasting in the following way:

Day 1Water Fasting
Day 2Vegetable Juice Fasting
Day 3Salad Fasting
Day 4Salad Fasting
Day 5Start the Healing Phase Diet

Water Fasting (Day 1)

Keep water fast for 24 hours. Drink lukewarm water. Do not take anything else except water. In this case, you skip your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you feel a strong appetite during water fasting, you can skip breakfast and lunch. From dinner, you can start vegetable juice fasting. It happens in the case of people with Pitta Body Type.

You can drink homemade and freshly squeezed juice of any seasonal, local and non-starchy vegetables.

Signs of Effective Water Fasting

  1. Increased appetite.
  2. Increased energy.
  3. Feeling lightness in the body.
  4. The clarity in mind.
  5. Clean tongue – discolouration (white, black or yellow) of tongue disappears.
  6. No digestive ailment like bloating, gas, abdominal heaviness, etc.
  7. One will feel appetite, and his/her body will demand food passionately.

If you do not feel signs of effectiveness, you may require a longer duration of water fasting.

Juice Fasting (Day 2)

After water fasting, we recommend staying on vegetable juice for 24 hours. You can drink juice as much as your body allows and according to your appetite. You should keep at least 4 hours gap between the two timings.

You can take any type of homemade freshly squeezed juice. We advise vegetable juice based on a health condition. However, children can also take fruit juice instead of vegetable juice. You should give first preference to vegetable juice. Fruit juice is always a second preference (but only allowed for children).

Salad Fasting (Day 3 & 4)

You can eat a salad made of non-starchy vegetables. You can also include group 1 and 2 fruits.

Vegetable & Fruit Ratio: The vegetable and fruits ratio should be 2:1. For example, if you eat 600 grams vegetables, you can eat 300 grams fruits.

There is no recommended amount at this time. You can eat as per your appetite and digestive capacity. Eating less should be better. Eat whenever you feel appetite.

Fasting Duration

Sometimes, we also recommend our patients for a longer duration of water fasting. It depends on their health condition, body type and endurance.

It varies from 1 to 5 days, followed by juice fasting and salad fasting. In such cases, juice fasting duration also varies from 1 to 7 days. Salad fasting duration may also vary from 1 to 21 days.

Without professional supervision, you should not have water fasting for more than 24 hours. You may follow the initial four days of fasting regimen without professional supervision, as explained above.

Weekly Fasting for a Day

You should have a fast for a day each week. Choose a day in the week on which you can have fast. The day should be the same every week. For example, if you choose Friday for fasting, you should fast on every Friday.

How to Do this Fast

BreakfastNothing
LunchNothing
Dinner (6:00 pm)Salad

You should not have anything till 6:00 pm. You can have lukewarm water during winters and normal water, or water kept in an earthen pot during summers before 6:00 pm. The dinner should be at 6:00 pm.

The salad should consist of preferably non-starchy vegetables. You can also take fruits from group 1 or group 2 fruits. Check Fruit Guide to know about fruit groups.

Even if you are healthy and following the Preventing Phase Diet (lifelong phase), you should also keep fast for a day every week.

Intermittent fasting

You should eat food in 8-10 hours window daily. You can choose your eating window depending on your circumstances and preferences. But make sure you do not eat after 7:00 PM.

TimingsFood Types
8:00 AMVegetable Juice or Smoothie
10:00 AMFruits (Group 1 or 2)
1:00 PM (Lunch)Salad + Herbs + Whole Grains +/- Legumes +/- boiled vegetables +/- Seeds
4:00 PMFruits (Group 3 or 4)
6:00 PM (Dinner)Salad + Herbs +/- Nuts +/- Whole Grains

We generally recommend the Eating Window between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. If you follow this eating window, you can have vegetable juice at 8:00 am, fruits at 10:00 am, lunch at 1:00 pm, fruits at 4:00 pm and dinner at 6:00 pm.

Practically, you are eating between 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Vegetable juice is recommended in the Healing Phase Diet and Stablizing Phase Diet. It is optional in Preventing Phase Diet (lifelong phase).

Fasting Contraindication

You should not keep water fast if you suffer from any of the following conditions:

  1. The progressive wasting of the body.
  2. Aggravation of Vata Dosha.
  3. Fear.
  4. Anger.
  5. Excessive physical relations.
  6. Excessive grief.
  7. Excessive physical exertion.

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Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh (B.A.M.S., M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants) is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist. He has successfully treated thousands of patients with Ayurveda (including Herbal Ayurvedic Medicine and Ayurvedic Diet). Ayur Times is an initiative of his efforts to bring quality information on Indian Medicine with the highest level of relevancy and scientific evidence.

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