Should I Do a Cleanse?

Green Smoothie

Whether or not someone should do a cleanse depends upon their physical condition and the time of year.

Traditionally, humans in many cultures and religions around the world cleansed or fasted at specific times. Especially, in the spring and again during the fall.

Some examples include Orthodox Greeks that fast for up to seven weeks during the spring. They abstain from eating animals (meats, poultry, game) and any products from animals (milk, cheese, eggs, fish and seafood). Wine and olive oil are also restricted during the fast.

Catholics traditionally fasted for forty days prior to Easter starting at Lent. This included abstaining from meat entirely and eating only one light meal per day. Modern Catholics have lightened up on those strict guidelines and now only go without meat on Friday’s for the duration of the fast.

Many religions use the spiritual discipline of fasting and abstaining from food to free up energy from digestion, and that helps them connect more closely to God or the Universe.

When we are not focused on finding, eating and digesting food, we receive nourishment from elsewhere.

For example, Jesus fasted for forty days in the dessert while seeking spiritual guidance (spiritual food).

This is one of the reasons cleanses or fasts traditionally incorporate prayer and meditation as part of the fasting/cleansing ritual as well.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Liver and Gallbladder meridians correlate with the rising energy of Spring. Reducing animal fats and heavy proteins, as well as fasting, helps support the proper functioning of this complementary organ system. When the Liver and Gallbladder are functioning properly creativity, energy and enthusiasm for life flows.

As noted above, the religious and cultural wisdom of our ancestors regarding fasting and cleansing can benefit the physical, emotional and spiritual body.

And, as fate would have it, our human body is very wise as well; it knows exactly when to cleanse! Oftentimes, during the spring, the body will naturally begin cleansing itself by releasing a flu or cold. Some folks may also experience mysterious aches and joint pains; these are toxins that need to be discharged from the body.

Below are some indicators that it may be time for a cleanse:

  • Allergies and food sensitivities
  • Migraine headaches and/or pain behind the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Shoulder, neck and joint pain
  • Heartburn and inability to digest
  • Cysts, lumps and growths
  • Excessive PMS symptoms
  • Cracked fingernails and toenails
  • Easily irritated and quick to anger
  • Frustration
  • Procrastination
  • Feelings of being stuck (emotionally and physically)

We can aid the liver and gallbladder through the natural cleansing process by eating lightly prepared meals, eliminating animal products for a specific period of time, or fasting from food entirely.

Every Spring, I too, begin a fasting ritual. I eat lighter foods (salads, light spring soups, fish) and reduce heavy animal proteins, eggs, dairy and fats for a few weeks. I usually follow that with three to five days of fasting or drinking a mixture of vegetable juices (beet, carrot, apple, ginger) that also contain spirulina and/or chlorella.

It’s important to note that cleansing is not for everyone. If the body is in a state of deficiency or weakness, cleansing may not be the right approach and it could make certain conditions worse.

Folks suffering with deficiencies usually need to “build” their body before cleansing it.

Some examples of deficiencies include people with wasting diseases (Muscular Dystrophy), anemia, leukemia, thyroid disease, osteopenia, osteoporosis, adrenal fatigue, IBS, colitis, crohns and others.

Do you think it’s time for a cleanse?

If yes, join me in the kitchen for a Liver Cleanse Cooking Class and support your body so you can fully enjoy the spring season!


  • Kirstin

    I am currently experimenting with cleansing and detoxing after chemo and radiation therapy. I want to just get rid of all the residue so that I can focus on building up my body’s immune system again, a step that gets completely ignored by conventional oncologists. There are many methods to choose from, I find it’s imperative to listen to your body and adjust accordingly. Weight loss is definitely not something I need right now! Oil pulling, skin brushing, epsom salt baths and coffee enemas all help the body shed toxins too.

    • Right on, Kirstin! Very wise of you to do cleansing after chemo and radiation. Keep up the great work on yourself!

  • I really enjoyed reading this! Great perspective! Have a lot of views about cleanse regimens that are marketed to people without helping them to understand some basic body considerations, like you just so gently explained. Will share this later, on my page, with some added thoughts based on my own experiences with cleansing. I appreciated very much some of the considerations you brought up and they will have me mulling some of these thoughts today while I clean my house 😉 <3

  • Linda Cristina Morales

    Thanks Andrea!! Always love your advice. I’m currently a IIN student and am always inspired by your lectures! You rock it Girl! (-:


    your books are so inspirational thank your for all you help I was healed from cancer and use your books for my daily foods thank you for being a great vessel of information to all amen god bless you and family grisel

    • Thanks Grisel – keep up the great work on yourself. You are worth it!

  • michaeleseip

    What are you including un your cleanse?

  • <a href="http://paleodietcookb

    Very interesting information and thank you for providing it. A close friend of mine is facing chemo or radiation and I’m trying to find lots of good information for her.

    • After radiation and chemo is a great time to cleanse. Especially, to add more “green” stuff like chlorella, spirulina and sea veggies into the diet. They bind with toxins and help detoxify the system.

  • Takekawa

    I prepare to cleansing mind for taking spiritual satisfaction, if I can manage it it will easy to cleansing everything in my whole body.

  • when can we see
    this again?

    • You can watch it at anytime. It was recorded. Use this coupon code to receive 30% off the class. *ACTZH32L*