A guide to fasting and detoxification

One of the more popular topics in natural health circles is the subject of fasting and detoxification. Unfortunately, it’s also a subject area riddled with confusion, inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and among its detractors, a great deal of skepticism. But while those who dismiss it as fanciful nonsense remain perplexed despite their admonishments against it, one of the reasons why the subject of detoxification remains a perennial issue is because as a practice it has been with us since before the dawn of civilization. The concept itself is hard-wired into our relationship with nature, and is expressed as an important component of physiological function that maintains homeostasis. In this free preview of class 15 of the Food As Medicine program, Todd Caldecott provides a detailed review of the subject of fasting and detoxification, from both a scientific and traditional medical perspective. In this class, subjects covered include fasting, herbs for cleansing, heavy metals, treatment of parasites, and other important elements of fasting and detoxification.

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What is Triphala?

Triphala is among the most common formulas used in Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine (TAM). Comprised of the fruits of three trees, Indian gooseberry (Amalaki, Phyllanthus emblica), Belleric myrobalan (Bibhitaki, Terminalia belerica) and Chebulic myrobalan (Haritaki, Terminalia chebula), Triphala is mentioned throughout the ancient literature of Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic alterative and gentle aperient, highly prized for its ability to regulate the processes of digestion and elimination. Used by itself or in formulation, Triphala plays an essential role in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions.  


  1. Hi Todd, great video, thanks, very needed. I read in other text you wrote, probably about one of that “superfoodes, and in other more “serious” sources that is not possible alkalize the blood trough nutrition, but in the video you apeears to said that is. Can you clarify this, please? thanks!

    1. Hi Pedro – There is a little bit of research showing that foods can provoke temporary, small changes in blood pH, and this can also be confirmed by measuring urinary pH. The issue is whether or not these changes have pathological or therapeutic implications. While we cannot support the thesis that “acid blood” is the cause of most disease, clearly, some diseases are characterized by a failure to properly excrete acid, such as gout. Thus using “alkalizing diuretics” to promote the excretion of the excess acid in these cases makes therapeutic sense, but it would have to be an ongoing measure to upregulate kidney excretion while limiting nitrogenous foods.