Kitchari: Ayurveda’s #1 Superfood for Cleansing + Rejuvenation

In This Article

Kitchari Basics 

Above all other Indian meals, kitchari is considered beneficial for spiritual growth, intestinal repair, and rejuvenation. It’s an Ayurvedic detox food, but in my house, as in many around the world, it’s consumed regularly as a staple throughout the year. 

Kitchari, pronounced kich-ah-ree and sometimes spelled khichadi or khichdi, has long been used to nourish babies, the elderly, and the sick, along with healthy adults during special times of detox, cleansing, and spiritual practice. 

A simple, porridge-like blend of beans and rice, kitchari is often referred to as the Indian comfort food. But, contrary to Western idea of comfort food, kitchari has many nourishing and cleansing benefits. 

Join me as I investigate the subtle magic of kitchari, its profound benefits, and a simple recipe. 

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The term kitchari is used to describe any mixture of rice and beans. Traditional cleansing kitchari consists of split yellow mung beans, long-grain white or basmati rice, and a blend of Indian spices. Let’s take a look at the constituents on their own before we dive into how to blend them. 

Why White Rice?

kitchari recipe white rice in bamboo basket image
During a cleanse, long-grain white rice may be preferable for ease of digestion.

The first question you might ask is: Why white rice? During a cleanse, metabolism slows and digestive strength weakens, so foods must be very easy to digest. 

White rice is used for kitchari because the husk has been milled off. While brown rice may be used (and will actually supply more fiber and nutrients), the husk makes it much harder to digest. During cleansing, a time of already compromised digestion, the husk can irritate the intestinal wall and cause digestive gas or abdominal pain. 

Remember, kitchari is still used today in India as baby food—a food that is super easy to digest. Under normal circumstances, the husk of rice and other protective antinutrients on grains and legumes are healthy and support robust gut immunity, but, during a cleanse, the gut is in repair mode, so we make it as easy as possible. 

Traditionally, farmers brought rice to the miller to dehusk based on their needs. If someone was sick, elderly, or there was a baby in the house, all of the husk would come off, making white rice for ease of digestion. Brown rice was used only if digestive strength was optimal or when funds were short, as it was expensive to have rice prepared and dehusked. 

Long-grain white rice was typically used because it was believed to be more nutritious than short-grain. Even without the husk, it was considered more blood sugar stable. Now, studies have shown long-grain white rice is a low glycemic index food, lower than short-grain and other forms of rice.1 

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Why Split Yellow Mung Beans?

kitchari split yellow mung dahl beans image
According to Ayurveda, split yellow mung beans are the one type of beans or lentils that will not produce gas.

To be called kitchari, rice has to be cooked with a legume. Traditionally, that legume is split yellow mung dahl beans. 

Split yellow mung beans also have their husk  removed. When split, the husk, very hard to digest and gas-producing, naturally falls off. This process renders them much easier to cook, digest, and assimilate. 

Imagine how long it would have taken to prepare a bowl of kitchari in the traditional way when you had to dehusk the rice and split the mung dahl by hand. The benefits must have warranted this painstaking process. 

Mung Bean Science

Perhaps the most exciting research on mung beans suggests two of its major flavonoids, vitexin and isovitexin, are able to turn off one of the body’s major anti-aging switches, called HMGB1 (high mobility group box 1), which triggers release of toxic degenerative cytokines.10,11 

In a study on rodents, these mung bean flavonoids block up to 82% of HMGB1 protein activation, a protein closely related to many serious health concerns.10,11 

The Anti-Gas Bean

In another study, mung beans were found to be free of any “flatulence factors,” suggesting it may be the only bean that does not produce gas.2,9 This is one reason this bean has been used for babies and convalescence. 

According to Ayurveda, it is the only bean classified as anti-vata or anti-gas. This means that, unlike every other type of beans or lentils, they will not produce intestinal gas. It is no surprise that Ayurveda chose this bean as the “cleansing bean” over all others. 

Magnesium Deficiencies

It is estimated that seven out of 10 Americans are deficient in magnesium. In one large study of more than 58,000 people, those with the lowest magnesium intake had a 51% increased risk of dying from heart-related issues. Mung beans are a great source of magnesium.3,11 

Blood Sugar

As a naturally low glycemic index food, mung beans, as part of a healthy diet, have been shown to support healthy glucose, insulin, and fat levels in the blood.6 

In animal studies, mung beans were also shown to block production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which wreak havoc on the body when blood sugar levels spike.6 

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Kitchari: Perfect Protein

The combination of rice and beans has been a staple around the world for 10,000 years, and for good reason. You’ve probably heard the term complete protein, but let’s take a minute to really understand what it means. 

There are 20 amino acids that combine to make the protein we need. The body can synthesize 10 on its own. The other 10, called essential amino acids, the body does not make, meaning we must get them from food. Animal proteins are complete, containing all 10 essential amino acids. While plant foods are also complete, the amount of certain amino acids in plants is more abundant when plants food like rice and beans are combined. 5 

Rice, like most grains, is  low in the amino acid lysine. As a result, if you live on grains alone, you may slowly become lysine deficient. Legumes and lentils, on the other hand, have lots of lysine, but are generally low in methionine, tryptophan, and cystine. Fortunately, grains are high in these. 

So the marriage of rice and beans, as found in kitchari, provides the 10 essential amino acids, making robust complete proteins for cultures around the world for thousands of years. For plant-based cultures, this is often what allows their diet to be sustainable. 

Kitchari for Cleansing

During a cleanse, it’s essential to have adequate protein to keep blood sugar stable and burn fat. 

One of the most common reasons folks have trouble cleansing is unstable blood sugar made worse by the detox process. During a fast, for example, you are asked to drink only water or juice. For many, this type of austere fasting can be a strain and deplete blood sugar reserves. Then folks get really hungry, irritable, and end up with a low blood sugar headache or crash. 

While the goal of a fast is to shift the body into fat metabolism and detox fat cells, this will not happen if the body is under stress and strain. 

Here’s the basic equation:  

  • Stress = Fat storing 
  • No Stress = Fat burning 

If you attempt to detox heavy metals, preservatives, chemicals, pesticides, and environmental toxins from fat cells with a cleanse, make sure you aren’t straining, or the amount of fat burned will be minimal. 

Kitchari provides nourishment in the form of all the amino acids needed to keep blood sugars stable. Otherwise, ironically, the body may react to the cleanse as a fat-storing emergency! 

The goal of any cleanse should be to convince the body and the cells that life is not an emergency and it’s okay to burn stored fat and release toxins. During a kitchari cleanse, you eat this complete protein three times per day, so there is no starvation response whatsoever. 

In fact, I always say that during our Colorado Cleanse and Short Home Cleanse, if you’re straining or hungry, you aren’t getting optimal benefits. The more comfortable you are, the more fat you’ll burn. 

Check out all the LifeSpa cleanses here

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Kitchari to Reset the Gut Wall

In India, kitchari is often the first food for babies, not only because it’s so easy to digest, but also because it heals and soothes the intestinal wall. 

With 95% of serotonin produced in the gut, it’s clear we process stress through the intestinal wall. Chronic stress will irritate the intestinal wall and compromise digestion, the ability to detoxify through the gut, and cope with further stress. During a kitchari cleanse, the digestive system can heal. 

While we offer three dietary options in our kitchari cleanses: the mono-, duo-, and poly-diets. Eating just kitchari as a monodiet delivers a significant amount of fiber used by gut microbes to create gut-healthy butyric acid.7-9 Kitchari allows much of the digestive process to rest, while providing nutrition to heal the gut and nourish the body.  

The duo-diet combines kitchari and vegetables to provide a broader spectrum of nutrients for the cleanser not quite ready to eat the mono-diet (or kitchari only). The poly-diet is a combination of kitchari (or any combination of grains and legumes), along with vegetables and fruit. This is the best plan to start the cleanse with unless you are a seasoned cleanser. You can work your way down to the duo- and monodiets during the cleanse if you are feeling comfortable. 

Spiritual Practice + Deep Inner Calm

kitchari benefits inner calm sun shining through trees image
Adequate protein to maintain blood sugar stability during a cleanse can facilitate feelings of inner peace and calm.

Fat metabolism facilitates deep calm, making it the natural state for spiritual inquiry and practice. For this reason, kitchari was fed to monks and ascetics to help create a sense of stillness in which to gain greater access to old toxic emotional and behavioral patterns. This is also why kitchari is the food of choice of panchakarma, Ayurveda’s deepest detox retreat. 

Kitchari Recipe

This recipe makes enough kitchari for three or four meals. You can play with the mixture of spices. Many people prefer this recipe with spices doubled or even tripled. 

*Note: During a cleanse, we recommend kitchari be made with less or no ghee. Because ghee is a fat, it will slow the shift into fat metabolism. The less ghee you use, the deeper the cleanse. Outside of cleansing, as part of a regular diet, it is important to use ghee. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup split yellow mung dahl beans
  • ¼ – ½ cup white basmati or long-grain rice 
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root 
  • 1 tsp each: black mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric powder 
  • ½ tsp each: coriander powder, fennel, fenugreek seeds 
  • 3 cloves 
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 7-10 cups water 
  • ½ tsp salt (rock salt is best) 
  • 1 small handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves 
  • Can add steamed vegetables or lean meat when not cleansing, or for extra blood sugar support during cleanses 
  • NOTE: If not cleansing, add ghee during the cooking process. 

*Split yellow mung dahl beans are available at Asian or Indian grocery stores or on our online store. Different spellings include mung or just dahl. Note: you do not want whole mung beans (which are green) or yellow split peas. 

*LifeSpa also carries Organic Kitchari packets with long-grain white rice, split yellow mung beans, and Ayurvedic spices for a quick and easy meal. 

Method

  1. Wash split yellow mung beans and rice together until water runs clear. 
  2. Optional: In preheated large pot, dry roast ginger and spices (except bay leaves) on medium heat for a few minutes to enhance flavor. 
  3. Add dahl and rice and stir, coating rice and beans with spices. 
  4. Add water and bay leaves and bring to boil. 
  5. Boil for 10 minutes. 
  6. Turn heat to low, cover pot, and cook until dahl and rice become soft (about 30-40 minutes). 
  7. Add cilantro just before serving. 
  8. Add salt or Bragg’s to taste. 

For weak digestion, gas, or bloating: Before starting to prepare kitchari, first parboil split mung dahl (cover with water and bring to boil), drain, and rinse. Repeat 2-3 times. OR soak beans overnight. Drain and cook as directed. 

Kitchari : A New Favorite in Your Kitchen

Make kitchari when you’re sick, sad, cleansing, for a loved one under the weather, when you can’t be bothered to cook, when you come back from a long trip, or when you need to regain your strength, but maybe not for dinner on a first date. 

You’ll be surprised how warming and comforting it is, and pretty soon it’ll be the stuff your cravings are made of. 

>>> Check out our Organic Kitchari Packets and Organic Mung Dahl Beans 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19169946 
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20801948 
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15930481 
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22341866 
  5. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45274218?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=mung+bean&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= 
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18767859
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1374147/ 
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3070119/ 
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11340104 
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22845335 
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23193422 

79 thoughts on “Kitchari: Ayurveda’s #1 Superfood for Cleansing + Rejuvenation”

  1. I am going to be doing a 7 day kitchari spring cleanse. I was wondering though, I would really like to have grapefruit for breakfast instead of kitchari or spiced barley. I would like to do this as part of the lifestyle change aspect of this cleanse in which I will carry healthy habits into daily routine. Eating a grapefruit a few times a week is part of the lifestyle change I’d like to develop during this cleanse. However if you think that eating grapefruit is counterintuitive to the cleanse please let me know. Thank youfor this article and your sharing of knowledge.

    Reply
  2. This stuff is so good it’s almost addictive, the recipe is awesome but I cook it with much less water and a handful of vegetables… best healing food ever thanks so much

    Reply
    • Hi William,
      Please add the ginger, at the same time as all of the spices, to the pre-heated pot in step 2 of the instructions. I will correct the recipe above to clarify.
      Thanks!

      Reply
  3. I simply couldn’t leave your site prior to suggeting that I really enjoyed the usual
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    Reply
  4. Hello – what is the guidance on eating kitchari post surgery? I’m about three weeks post surgery and have come off all my pain meds…

    Reply
  5. Kichari has been my all-time favorite for a break from eating bad foods and during times of digestive issues. My recipe, however, involves a mixture of slit green mung beans with white rice. Spices include whole cumin seeds, turmeric and a spoonful of ghee (plus salt). I like the simplicity of it this way – and at times, add cilantro to it as well. Traditionally, we eat kichari with some plain yogurt/ buttermilk. I prefer it on its own when in healing/detox mode. Thanks for sharing your recipe! I’ll give it a try.

    Reply
    • My 2 cents. I am from India and Khichadi is a regular dinner at home. The real Khichadi as we know would use green split Moong dal. We seldom use yellow dal. The other thing is curd has heating tendency. So be it curd or buttermilk, churn it atleast for 10 minutes using blender to ward off heat. Also as per ayurveda curd is poison at night so only take it during day. Buttermilk is always better than curd. Hope this helps. All the best on your journey to health.

      Reply
      • In my Kitchari, I substituted with ghee and red lentil due to store availability what is your opinion on this? Thank you!

        Reply
        • Hi Keia thanks for reaching out. Split mung dahl has more protein per serving, and is typically a bit easier to digest. Red lentils can be substituted of course if that’s all you have access to!

          Reply
      • Hi yes we use the green mung beans as practised in India and here in the west. I have a sensitive tummy and the green mung is just fine and soothing. Both ayurveda doctors here in the west and east gave me the green beans. I had that deadly legionnires virus and surrvived on steamed mung beans 1 part and rice 2 parts.

        Reply
  6. I learned about Ayurveda from my yoga instructors. Their approach to yoga is traditional, combining it with Ayurveda (the sister science to yoga), meditation, and philosophical study. Certainly the benefits of any of these practices are greatly enhanced when done together, but I have to say that changing my diet from the typical American routine – cheeseburgers, pasta, ice cream, donuts, etc. – to a traditional Ayurvedic, mostly vegetarian routine has, over the course of a few months, produced the most obvious and profound changes in my life.

    Kitchari is the central dish. I eat it at least once per day. The cool thing about it is that it’s so versatile. The base is always the same: yellow split mung beans, basmati rice long grain, fenugreek seeds, yellow mustard seeds, corridander seeds, cumin seeds, asofotidia (which I can’t spell right), and ghee (which is a fabulous alternative to unclarified butter – rather more expensive but definitely worth it). Ghee is the only animal product I eat now, except for a bit of yogurt on occasion.

    To this base, you can add whatever vegetables are consistent with your dosha. Sometimes I also add miso just to mix it up a bit.

    It sounds minimal, and it is. But you’ll be surprised how filling this is. And as the author of this article points out, it provides a complete protein profile. I keep reading how serious athletes and martial artists, when they need to get in shape, will restrict themselves to a kitchari-only diet. I totally understand that.

    I’m a vata dosha. Very tall, thin-boned, and generally thin, though yoga practice has added significant muscle tone. However, I’m approach 40 now, and I’ve discovered in the last few years that poor exercise and diet will go straight to my belly. Sticking to an Ayurvedic diet with kitchari at the heart of it cuts out that belly fat really fast – faster and than any stupid fad diet ever would!

    Reply
  7. “Because ghee is a fat, it will slow the shift into fat metabolism.”

    But I thought we were supposed to take a spoonful of liquid ghee when doing the cleansing…

    What the hey…what do we do? Tks.

    Reply
    • Hi Michael, thanks for reaching out. Onions can be pitta aggravating and rajasic in nature. It’s best to have them in small amounts if at all. Be well.

      Reply
  8. Im having difficulty adjusting to the flavor of the spices and the texture of the kitchari. I can only eat a very little bit (1/4 cup) before my gag reflex kicks in… Is it possible to create the mixture so it is more rice like and not so porridge like? Are there other combinations of spices to use and still get the heat? Using less spice perhaps? I would like to get the full benefit for my cleanse but Im having trouble getting it down. Thanks for any suggestions.

    Im glad I came upon your website with great explanations.

    Reply
  9. I’m wondering about using a pressure cooker to deactivate lectins as much as possible as I tend to be sensitive to them. This sounds very appealing and I would like to try it but I’m afraid it may aggravate my immune system. Many thanks for all the wisdom you share!

    Reply
    • Hi Abigail,
      Boiling beans for at least ten minutes has been shown to reduce lectins by 200-fold. As cooking temperatures must only reach beyond 176°F in order to begin the breakdown of lectin, your standard 14.5 or 15psi pressure cooker will definitely work.
      Be Well.

      Reply
  10. How does the body begin to burn fat with a kitcheri cleanse?, when rice and beans turn into sugar, supplying the body all the glucose it needs, why would it turn to fat burning?

    Reply
    • Hi Sonya,

      That is a good question, thank you. The fat-burning magic to the kitchari cleanses (Colorado Cleanse or Short Home Cleanse) is the oleation therapy using ghee. In the mornings, you will break your overnight fast with a daily increasing amount of ghee to stimulate fat-burning for fuel. Kitchari scrubs your intestinal villi and helps literally cleanse your digestive system. It also keeps your body from going into ‘starvation mode’ and helps with that balance during cleansing. We hope this answers your question!

      Be Well.

      Reply
      • Hi Sonya, I see that for weight loss it is recommended in this post that little or no Ghee is used, as using Ghee will slow the shift into fat metabolism. Plus, eating kitchari at home for a weight loss cleanse will not involve oleation therapy. It seems that the easy to digest, low calorie, slow release energy provided by kitchari allows the body to divert energy to burning fat and healing? Unless I totally misunderstand!!

        Reply
      • Great article, but I am getting confused. Where does starvatiob mode come from? Starvation mode starts when the body has depleted its own stores of required nutrition, which can take weeks on a water fast. Until then it is in fasting mode. So even on a 21 day water fast, same duration as panchakarma, no way the body will ever enter starvation mode. On an extended fast there is a point when hunger returns, a warning that one is about to switch from fasting into starvation mode e.g. for Jesus and Pythagorus that was about 40 days.

        Reply
        • Hi Inaki,

          According to the newest research by Valter Longo at USC, a diet of 800-1000 calories per day will deliver the same stem cell and autophagy activation benefits without the risks associated with fasting.

          Starvation mode means switching to a fat burning state which for a short period of time is healthy for us.

          Read more here: lifespa.com/cleansing-vs-fasting-risks-benefits

          Be Well,
          Dr. John

          Reply
  11. When one completes say a ten day ritual of kitchari, what do you eat initially. I read somewhere that you could continue Kitchari as one of your daily meals. I don’t want to start eating chicken and meat right off. Thank you for your site, so informative!

    Reply
  12. Hi, is Kitchari good for person that has high count of white blood cells? What food would you recommend, as my mum had 9 times higher the maximum level of white blood cells.
    If someone good give some advices, it would be very grateful.

    Many thanks

    Reply
  13. Lyme recovery is leaving me with a gut that can’t digest grains or beans… what can i do about this? I do make pancakes with teff flour that has been fermented overnight with homemade kefir but that’s it. Eating rice or beans hurts.

    Reply
    • I an bean eating kichshari for 15 years. I love it and forbinding it with referent veggies .and spices. And doing Gym training so to get enough protein i take milk product (whey) and nuts also.

      Reply
  14. DR John,

    I would like to do the spring cleaning but it seems that I have reactions with the split mung bean. Each time I have eaten those I got some throat issues. Something like irritation. The last time was 2 years ago. So, do you think I should retry? Or, is There another bean that could replace it? Maybe red lentils?

    Thank you very much tout answer.

    Reply
  15. Yes very much agree with all the points, I am a great fan of Kichari as well… One important Question… When i have Kichari diet for 2-3 times a day… I feel constipated the next day. What is it that can be blended in the daily practice to avoid constipation while consuming Kichari diet

    Reply
  16. Vitenix and isovitenix mung bean flavonoids turns “off” the body’s HMCBG1 “anti-aging” switches? Don’t you want “anti” aging turned on?

    Reply
  17. I have tried the recipe and can’t get the Dahl to be soft enough to eat. How do cook it so we can eat it? I have followed the instructions given and also tried different brands of dahl. Yes I used the split ones.

    Reply
    • I make my kitchari in a rice cooker – basmati rice and the dahl 1/2 and 1/2. I have to use the ‘brown rice’ setting. Works great…also helps to use a little more water.

      Reply
  18. I first saw it spelled kedgeree and referenced as a British comfort food (no doubt adopted from the Raj days in India).

    Reply
  19. The article says, “During a cleanse, we recommend kitchari be made with less or no ghee. Because ghee is a fat, it slows the shift into fat metabolism.”
    Will adding extra virgin olive oil do the same?
    Thank you.

    Reply
  20. I read so many positive reviews about Kitchari, that I can’t get my mind around my own experience.

    I cooked the Kitchari from the recipe above multiple times (with soaked and washed rice) and in a few situations, my digestion (and body) got completely upset: stomach acid, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat and a severe headache up to the point where I couldn’t handle any form of sensory stimulation and only wanted to lie down in a dark and silent room. My reaction was kind of similar to a migraine attack. This is not my usual reaction to food, even not the foods that I am intolerant for.

    I decided to change the recipe and had a few variations:
    – Mung dhal substituted by yellow lentils
    – Rice substituted by quinoa
    – Left fenugreek and asafoetida out
    – Reduced the amount of spices (only half of the recipe)
    – Added vegetables (beets, sweet potato), since – in moderation – this usually calms down my digestion
    – Added fat (olive oil, ghee), since this usually calms down my digestion
    – Drank ginger tea before and/or after my meal
    – Took a digestive supplement

    Some of these changes improved my experience, but still I feel like I couldn’t digest kitchari.
    I found out that kitchari with sweet potato, yellow lentils and only a little bit of spices works best for me. But even now when I am drinking ginger tea afterwards and took my digestive supplement, I feel like the kitchari didn’t leave my stomach (after 2.5 hours) and I still have acid reflux.

    Should I conclude that Kitchari just isn’t a proper dish for my digestion? Why does it calm down almost everyone’s digestion (at least those from the persons I read the reviews), but upsets mine? And more importantly, how do I find an alternative monodiet meal?

    Reply
    • Hi Suzanne,

      Some folks have trouble digesting grains so for now I would not eat it.

      The golden rule in my cleanses is to avoid fat which gives you many options. Sweet potatoes, soup, cooked veggies and even lean protein can be successful.

      The more simple the diet, the better but sometimes folks need more diverse nutrition until we can fully reset digestive function.

      Be Well,
      Dr. John

      Reply
  21. Thanks for sharing such a super informative article about kichari. We generally made khichdi at home with less spices. Do not use any whole spices like clove and bay leaves. And that kichari also taste good. kichari a Ayurvedic dish known for its ability to detox the body. Thanks once again, really need this.

    Reply
  22. Hi ! I ordered the Colorado Cleanse for Candida. I cannot find the recipe for the kitchari without the rice. Where can I find this?
    Thanks!
    Inna

    Reply
  23. I have an eating disorder – Binge Eating Disorder – and it is difficult for me to stay on a diet, let alone a cleanse. However, I am also a yoga student and am working a recovery program for my eating. I’d like to try the kichari, have tried in the past, but I’m not sure I can stay with the cleanse. Do you recommend 3 meals a day with nothing in between or can one have kichari in between meals to see one through? what do you think?

    Reply
    • Hi Chrisa,

      Thanks for reaching out about this.

      Cleansing is generally not recommended for anyone working through an eating disorder. If you feel this cleanse could be a good fit for you, consider getting approval and supervision from a doctor or other medical professional. You may want to consult with the leader of your recovery program to determine if this cleanse would be a good fit for you.

      Dr. John’s overall recommendation is to eat enough at each meal to get you through to the next meal, having 3 meals a day. If you need something between meals, there are lots of options for the cleanse. For phases 1 and 3, Dr. John’s main between-meal recommendation is a tart green apple. You could alternatively take the green tonic or beet tonic (those can also be taken as meals if you find the cleanse is too much food – I like the green tonic as a soup in the fall). During phase 2, kitchari would be a good choice for between meals. If you choose the duo or poly diets (recommended for first-time cleansers or those with blood sugar issues), you could choose lightly steamed vegetables.

      Hope that helps.

      Best,
      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  24. What about the high levels of arsenic in rice? Yes I know white rice has lower levels than brown, and that levels vary from region to region; but really? How do you cleanse using a contaminated food?

    Reply
    • Hi Hank,

      Dr. John had our LifeSpa Kitchari tested for arsenic levels and it sits below the legal limit, although it is important to be able to detox things like that properly.

      Dr. John compiled an article with over 35 citations of scientific studies all about arsenic and includes some natural detoxifiers, which you can read here: https://lifespa.com/hidden-arsenic-food/

      Best,
      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  25. Can you explain to me about the aspect of the cleanse that is taking ghee by itself in the morning but not using ghee with the kitchari? Why is that? Thank you.

    Reply
  26. Is there a way to print this recipe? I’m not even able to copy and paste it…would love to cook it, but I need it on paper.

    Reply
  27. There is so much information about fat burning and or weight loss. What about those of us who are under weight. Should I add fat such as coconut oil? Ghee is pretty repulsive to me. Also, I have a lot of mucus though I am vata/pitta. Could I be tridoshic? The mucus is my only kapha trait? Should I not use oils to reduce mucus though it seems to help my dry vata?
    I love Kitchari though I add veggies.
    Some years back I did a 30 day fast with spirulina in juice. I was still working and cross country skiing. I never felt better in my life…until I stared to eat again.
    Thank you so much for all your incredible information.

    Reply
    • Hi Patricia,

      It sounds like you may have some level of doshic imbalance, which you will want to work with an Ayurvedic practitioner in private sessions to develop a plan for balance.

      If you are in an area heading into winter, it should be find to include coconut oil, as the season will help balance the effects of the oil.

      You may benefit from this free eBook on digestion as well:
      https://digestive.lifespa.com/

      You should also consider reading this article on cleansing vs fasting to learn more around why Dr. John does not recommend more than intermittent fasting:
      https://lifespa.com/cleansing-vs-fasting-risks-benefits/

      Best,
      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  28. Hello, this recipe deviates from the one provided in Eat Wheat. Which do you recommend for regular consumption i.e. not fasting? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hello Julia,

      Both recipes are great to eat anytime. It would be up to your personal preference on which recipe you like!

      Best,

      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
    • Dear Nora,

      We hope you are enjoying the recipe! Recent research has shown that pressure might help preserve the nutrients, so it would have no harm to your dish.

      Best,

      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  29. I have a vacuum sealed package of split mung beans that I purchased a few years ago. It has never been opened. Are they still good?

    Reply
    • Dear Carmela,

      We would recommend following the date that is on the package to ensure the food is good.

      Best,

      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  30. Dear Dr. John,

    You have been an inspiration.

    Not sure but my understanding was that in one of your earlier recipes for Kichadi, you had mentioned about the main three spices – Trikatu – namely, Ginger, Black Pepper and Pippali
    (long black pepper). Apparently, it is this combination that contributes the most. You had also mentioned about Oleation with Ghee (actually increasing amounts) in the morning to be melted and taken on an empty stomach during the period of the cleanse. Is there any reason why the current recipe has been modified with the omission of the “Trikatu” and Oleation process? it was explained that Ghee actually helps to get rid of the excess Fat and toxins. Thanks in advance for the clarification.

    Reply
  31. Hi,
    I am not sure what to plan to eat for the cleanse. I want to do the short one to start. I have been struggling with food sensitivities and etc for quite some time. At this point I don’t seem to feel well after rice and beans . Maybe a soup(broth) with carrots and celery and onions .. possibly white chicken?

    Reply
    • Hi Betsy,

      We are excited to hear that you are thinking of doing a cleasne. There are a lot of recipe recommendations in our Colorado Cleanse book to try!

      Best,

      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply

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