Truth about Kitchari
If you are a newbie to Ayurveda, one of the first buzz concepts you have heard is about kitchari cleanse and how transforming it is for our health!
This post is to clarify the misconceptions about the kitchari detox and how you don't need it at all!
During the initial days of my practice when I was still an amateur, I came across a lot about this practice of westerners eating khichdi and then doing a detox with Triphala or other herbal pills. It became such a big internet sensation that every Ayurveda business started selling the kitchari detox set. All the internet gurus wrote blogs and included it as the main recipe in their books on khichdi and its healing power.
Kitchari/khichdi is not an ayurvedic detox food! As per the classical texts, it is nourishing in nature and not cleansing food.
Sorry not sorry!
Kitchari is a loosely translated version of khichdi, a common and popular type of Indian meal. Kitchari is a combination of cooked rice and split moong dal; many people consume it as a tiffin/meal across the northern states of India. Kitchari is not a detox food or cleansing food. It is the opposite of what you called a cleansing food; it doesn't boost your agni or remove toxins.
Modern Kitchari recipes recommend using basmati rice which has the qualities of being heavy and nourishing. Basmati is sweet, heavy, and increases Kapha. Though, moong dal is lighter, when combined with rice and other spices and cooked. The end product is heavy and nourishes our bodies. Of course, you might be thinking if I am writing my own opinions here. No, this is as per classical texts including Bhavaprakasha nighantu and Sushruta Samhita.
It is nourishing in nature and boosts strength and virility. It increases Kapha and can lead to constipation due to heavy quality in excess.
Qualities of Kitchari as per the classical texts
Durjara(gets digested slowly)
It increases the quality of semen
It is nutritive and tonic
It enhances memory
It causes constipation
It aggravates Pitta and Kapha and balances Vata
Why did I feel great afterward?
Some of you might argue that after the cleanse, you felt better. It has little to do with eating kitchari and more to do with eliminating junk foods, caffeine, alcohol, and following a good routine. As most kitcahri cleanses recommend you taking mild laxative like triphala, it does make you feel better afterward.
So dear ayurvedic enthusiasts, if you are looking to try something really authentic. Don't fall for Kitchari cleanse! That's enough bad news for one week I presume. I will be back with something interesting soon!