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Arthritis Cleanse Diet

 By Indra Devi


            Indra Devi gave this rice & squash diet during the Unity in Yoga’s Peace Conference in Jerusalem January 1996.  Mataji Indra Devi is called the “Mother of Yoga” as she was the first European woman Yoga teacher.  She passed away just 3 weeks prior to her 103rd birthday in 2002 and was quite healthy – having her own teeth, not wearing eyeglasses, no arthritis, and maintaining her figure. She lived her final 20 years in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she has over 2000 weekly students at her 6 major centers. 


Mataji claimed that 90% of those people who followed this diet get relief from their symptoms within ten days.  For ten days eat a diet consisting only of 90% whole grain (brown or basmati) rice and 10% of any type of cooked squash.  Add no flavorings to the diet.  Every spoonful of rice is to be chewed at least 50 times until only a watery gruel remains in the mouth.  Every two hours between meals have a relaxing non-caffeine tea.  During the diet consume no other foods – no coffee, sugar or condiments.  Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.  For those with hypoglycemia who need more protein, you can add soybeans or tofu to this diet to maintain your energy level. 


Be prepared for your body’s release of toxins that are the cause of the arthritis.  This may take the form of headaches, body pains, constipation, moodiness, irritability, etc.  Practice being present to yourself and do not medicate yourself to avoid your feelings with addictive substances – sugar, caffeine, food cravings – nor avoid your true feelings by watching excessive TV or seeking other sensory stimulation.  If you become constipated take an enema or one tablespoon of castor oil just prior to bed. 


            If there is pain from the arthritis symptoms, take a raw potato and slice it to the size of the painful area.  Lay the flesh of the potato against the painful site and tie it there with gauze.  Let it stay until the potato becomes hard then replace it with another.  This can be done during the day though it is especially good for overnight use. 


                If there is inflammation, apply a milk compress (a small towel soaked in milk) at room temperature.  For fever apply a vinegar and water compress on the shin and calf area down to the foot.  Wrap your lower legs fully to retain the moisture then lay in a warm bed and within four hours the fever will be gone. 


            Indra Devi made the following recommendations for an ongoing arthritis diet in her classic Yoga  book Forever Young, Forever Healthy, pg. 98-99.  The regular diet should be composed of fresh fruit, salad, vegetables, greens, nuts except peanut, whole grains, soy, dried fruit and honey.  It should eliminate all meats, fish, eggs, salt, peas, beans, lentils, asparagus, mushrooms, processed flour, sugar, coffee, tea (other than decaffeinated herbal), cocoa, and chocolate. 


I would add that one should especially pay attention to an anti-pitta regimen (to lessen heat and inflammation) is recommended for your regular routine – eliminate all night shades (potato, tomato, eggplant, bell pepper, and tobacco) and spicy foods.   The chart of Pitta recommendations will help you to identify the most likely aggravating foods and activities.  More details can be found in any Ayurvedic book. 


The best drink for arthritis is distilled water with fresh lemon juice taken as often as possible (1/2 to three lemons per glass of distilled water).  An equally effective way for those who do not want to fast or go on the ten-day cleanse is the sixty day lemon juice plan.  On the first day one takes the juice of one lemon before breakfast; on the second day it is taken before breakfast and before lunch, on the third day before breakfast, lunch and dinner.  You continue to increase this quantity until you reach thirty.  That is 10 lemons before breakfast, ten before lunch and ten before dinner.  The next day you should start decreasing their number by one every day until you are back to where you started. 


Lemon juice is a most potent solvent for breaking up the calcified formations existing in the body.  One has only to be careful to protect one’s teeth by rinsing them thoroughly after drinking the lemon juice, or by sipping it through a straw.  For those badly crippled with arthritis and unable to exercise, the lemon juice plan, together with lemon leaf tea will give satisfactory results.  The tea is prepared in the following way: boil 4 lemon leaves and 4 orange leaves in 3 cups of water until the liquid is reduced to one cup.  Add raw, unheated honey and the juice of half a lemon.  First squeeze out the juice then put into the cup the half lemon itself as well.  Drink at night before retiring to bed. 




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