Diet and Fasting

There was a time when ‘Naturopathy’ implied Natural medicine, diet and fasting. From my youth in London, I still can remember one of my old mentors frequently fasting, and as an osteopath and (ayurvedic) naturopath, not taking on any new patient, unless they would start with a detoxifying fast (grapes, or raw-food) to clean out the system of accumulated toxins.

I should also add that he was a superb cook, and would prepare delicious lunches (cooking the Sunday evening) for Monday lunchtime at his clinic. This became a favourite time for patients and students, and I can still remember the spiced salads and exotic Indian and Asian side dishes, and remember the shared meals with about 20-30 people.

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He would tell the story, of how, once in Beijing there was a very famous restaurant — where diners would be assessed by the herbalist (tongue, pulse diagnosis, and a range of questions about signs and symptoms) and then the dish would be chosen and specially prepared by the chefs, according to the health and nutritional requirements of the individual. The meals of course, would also be hearty and delicious, and herbs and specials teas would also be prescribed.

What a remarkably different culture! How radically different from our own profit-driven food-chains, where the only incentive is profit for the company and shareholders, and to sell as much as possible — with little thought to the quality of the ingredients, and the chemical additives and food processing involved.

For a detox fast on grapes, it is essential to eat about three kilograms (or more!) of grapes per day (24 hours). Starvation is not a detox fast! The resveratrol and fructose in the grapes are essential for the cleansing of the body, and detoxification through the liver, kidney, large intestine, skin, etc.

Fluids and herb teas are OK, otherwise dehydration may result. Do the diet for a minimum of three days — or longer, seven to ten days is OK. Once you get past the second day, the rest is easy. Break the fast gradually on raw food, a salad with maybe a little oil dressing, and later something cooked (soup).

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mike inman   osteopath


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