See the history of cleansing at a glance.


Cleansing is often thought of as a fad.

But cleansing isn’t a new concept at all.

We've been fasting and detoxing since the dawn of civilization.

I created this sweet little compilation of cleansing throughout history with a list of resources for you to follow up with.


An early account of fasting is in the “Essene Gospel of Peace,” translated by Aramaic by E. B. Szekey in the 1930s. In this account, Jesus encourages fasting and instructs lepers to do enemas.


  • Purvakarma pre-cleanse of snehan (oil massage of the colon area) and svedana (sweating)
  • Five Basic Shodanas: Cleansing Methods
  • Vamana: therapeutic vomiting or emesis
  • Virechan: purgation
  • Basti: enema
  • Nasya: elimination of toxins through the nose
  • Rakta Moksha: detoxification of the blood


  • An Egyptian medical document, called "Ebers Papyrus", describes the process of colon cleansing and evidence suggests that there were "bowel specialists" in ancient Egypt to assist people in the practice of cleansing the colon in rivers by using a hollow reed to get water to flow into the rectum.


  • Cleansing rituals were incorporated into medical practices as a method to eliminate the body’s toxicon, which is the etymology of the word toxin. Greek physicians Hippocrates (4th and 5th century B.C.) and Galen (2nd century A.D.) used enemas to relieve fevers.


  • China's great physician, Chang Chung Chin, recommended colon cleansing to improve health.
  • The Chinese also conceptualized other detoxing techniques detox cupping, scraping (Gua Sha) and meridian tapper.


  • Angelo Catho, a French physician, used colon cleansing to save King Louis XI's life in 1480. King Louis XIV, some say, had over 2,000 colon cleanses in his lifetime.


Yoga has detoxification techniques, called Shatkarmas or Shatkriyas

  • Neti pot (nasal pipe)
  • Kunjal (stomach wash with saline water)
  • Dhauti  ( food-pipe cleansing)
  • Nauli (Abdomen Churning or abdominal massage)
  • Basti (enema)
  • Trataka (looking at a flame to clean the eyes) 
  • Kapalbhati (cleansing through breathing techniques)
  • Uses special herbs to clean the skin and teeth
  • Tongue scraping


  • Tissue Cleansing through bowel management Bernard Jenson (using herbs and supplements to remove mucoid plaque)

Food Based Cleansing

  • Eliminating inflammatory foods and toxic 'food products' and adding cleansing ones

If you are interested in learning more about food based cleansing, click on the following link to get instant access to my 90 minute masterclass 'How to Use Cleansing for Weight Loss where I share my 10 steps to cleanse:


Resources and References:


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