The Seneca Indian Cleansing Diet is a four-day detoxification ritual designed to rid the human body of toxins while strengthening the digestive tract and enriching internal organs with important minerals. The regimen is used primarily for health and purification rather than as a tool for weight loss. Dietary intake is limited to herbal teas, vegetables, fruits and broth.
Before the influx of European settlers, the traditional diet of Native Americans was heavily dependent on "guts and grease" with consumption of large quantities of animal protein and fat. The indigenous tribes of North America routinely practiced various fasting rituals as a means of achieving spiritual and physical purification. Renowned herbalist Hanna Kroeger is widely credited with popularizing the Seneca Indian Cleansing Diet in her book "Ageless Remedies from Mother's Kitchen."
Cleansing of the colon is the goal on Day 1 of this diet, and a buffet of fruit is meant to accomplish just that. Happily enjoy as much fruit as you wish with absolutely no limitation on the amount or variety. Bananas are the only fruit banned from this 24-hour segment.
Day 2 may be a bit more challenging as it restricts you to consumption of only herbal teas with no food whatsoever to fill the stomach. Teas containing caffeine or other stimulants (such as green, black or ginseng) should be avoided, although you may sweeten the drink with raw honey. A full day of downing only herbal tea urges the body to dump toxins, salt and excessive calcium that may have developed in bodily tissues.
Previously, you've been cleaning out the digestive tract. Now, it's time to put some good stuff back in with a barrage of vitamins and minerals. After a long period of no food at all, vegetables take center stage on Day 3. Eat as much as you wish and indulge in any type as long as the veggies are raw or steamed. Feel free to season lightly with herbs.
Day four allows a bit more creativity as you stew up a big pot of vegetable broth loaded with many of your favorites. Unless those favorites are the typical "starchy" veggies such as potatoes, corn and beans. Stick to healthier fare such as tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, onions, peppers, carrots and celery. Hopefully, you're feeling exceptionally healthy at this point. While you may be getting a bit tired of vegetables, fruit and soup, keep in mind that all of those minerals are fortifying your blood flow as well as the nervous and glandular systems.
Benefits and Danger
Sticking to the discipline of the Seneca Indian Cleansing Diet could certainly seem to be quite taxing. But it's supposed to be. The discipline of fasting has always been used as a tool of spiritual development. This is a spiritual and physical purification process designed to cleanse both mind and body. However, in no way should it be used as a weight-loss program or long-term dietary effort, as it lacks the nutritional requirements for any well-rounded weight-loss plan.
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