I Tried an Aryuveda Cleanse and Got Hives?!

Jul 27, 2023My Store Admin

I’m curious about all sorts of healthy lifestyles. When I had the opportunity to experience a Spring Ayurvedic Cleanse with a highly recommended ayurveda consultant, I was open to a new experience. I was excited to learn about my doshas, but the consultant didn’t read my dosha. She said that is a superficial reading that has infiltrated mainstream and our doshas change all the time. I love learning something from an expert that goes against the trends!


The cleanse ultimately wasn’t for me, but I did learn healthful habits to add to my routine. Most importantly, it got me out of my rut and helped me enjoy food again!


Positives I learned from the cleanse that reinforced good habits:

  1. Eat only fresh foods for optimum nutrition (not canned, frozen, or leftovers).

  2. Prime sleeping hours are between 10pm-2am; very important to be asleep by then for the body to restore and repair.

  3. The ritual of oiling in the morning and taking a magnesium salt bath at night. It helped me slow down and incorporate more self-care into my daily routine.

  4. Zucchini, beets and asparagus are helpful to clearing out the system.

  5. Eating the largest meal between 12-2pm when the sun is strongest.

  6. Not eating after sundown.

  7. Cutting out peanut butter/nut butter - this advice helped feel less bloated. I don’t eat a sensible amount when I eat nut butters. I consume waaaay too much!


Parts of the protocol that did not agree with me:

  1. Eating a cooked apple in the morning - this was unappetizing to me. It didn’t help me go #2 which is the point of eating this first thing. I love fruit because it’s fresh, juicy and refreshing. Cooking fruit seems to remove all the things I love about it.

  2. Warm smoothies. Ayurveda does not recommend any cold beverages, including smoothies. The warm smoothie was tough to swallow.

  3. Eating as much dried fruit as one pleases. That is way too much sugar for me. (I’d rather eat fresh fruit than dried fruit.)

  4. Cooking everything and eating very few raw vegetables. I love a fresh salad as well as roasted/stir-fried vegetables. Eating everything super cooked down seemed like food for someone with digestive issues, but I felt my metabolism and stomach can handle breaking down salads in moderation - of course!

  5. Not washing your hair daily. I go into that in more detail below.

  6. Eating very little protein. I understand for someone who isn’t training for an event or a goal, they may not need to eat a certain amount of protein, but this didn’t work for me or my current goals to become stronger.

  7. Fenugreek seed. You pretty much add this to everything because it’s supposed to help detox. It made me smell so badly even I couldn’t stand to be around me!

  8. Abstaining from organic, whole soy. It’s in my DNA to love and thrive on tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.

  9. Not consuming garlic and onions. It was an adjustment for my taste buds to enjoy eating savory foods without either of these ingredients.

I started strength training in late March and was reluctant to embark on any sort of cleanse while I am consuming a certain amount of protein to make sure I’m eating enough. My cleanse instructions immediately removed my main fuel sources: organic tofu, organic fermented brown rice protein powder and organic peanut butter (I love peanut butter).


I followed my protocol EXACTLY the first week. The protocol actually made me constipated, bloated, weaker in my lifting sessions and my nails were starting to break - this only happens when I’m not eating enough protein. I let the consultant know that I can’t follow a diet of just beans as my source of protein because it’s not enough. Personally, I have a hard time digesting beans - it makes me bloated and constipated (even with sprouted beans). I can enjoy them in moderate amounts, but not as instructed for the cleanse. I have an easier time with lentils, but this is more of a carb with some protein than a dense protein source for me. I listened to my body and added back in my organic tofu, edamame and tempeh, and my trusty organic rice/nut/seed protein powders. My bowels started moving again and the bloat went away.


The consultant was understanding and open, but also surprised that her protocol was giving me issues. She also advised that tofu and soy products aren’t good for me. I’m always taken aback when someone says that to me because billions of Asians live well on soy, and I’m one of those Asians!

  • Lesson #1: a nutrition coach or health consultant of any kind can only guide you on what they know. You ultimately know your body best.


  • Lesson #2: when you’re vegan and your consultant is not, there are biases on both sides and differences of opinions on what’s healthy.

During the second week, my very expensive supplements and oils finally arrived. I was skeptical of this company because not all of their ingredients are organic, and everything has strong health claims. I followed the consultant’s instructions and used various oils for my skin, hair, nostrils, added a horse gram protein powder and triphala to further clean out my digestive system. I also started washing my hair less frequently. I’ve been washing my hair daily since I can remember. I never changed my routine because I like that my hair is thick, shiny and healthy. When I started shampooing my hair every 4-5 days, this actually made my hair dry and less shiny.

  • Lesson #3: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! When I hear from my friends and others who wash their hair once/week or only a few times per week, they have wavy/curly/thin hair which is a completely different hair structure than my thick, straight, Asian hair.

  • For hair like mine, washing daily and the motion of massaging my scalp benefits my hair type. This is just my opinion and what works for me.


After my third week of the cleanse, 21 days to the mark, my body broke out in hives. I’ve never experienced hives before. It scared me and made me lose my appetite. My body was swollen from inflammation, and I started losing sleep from uncontrollable and unpredictable flare-ups. The ayurveda consultant agreed to immediately stop taking any of the supplements and oils. My dermatologist thought I was having a bad reaction to medication. I let her know I haven’t been on any medication with the exception of new supplements as part of the ayurveda cleanse. The dermatologist told me to stop using any of those products. And, after my hives go away, I can gradually add one back in at a time to see what was the culprit.


It took another 3 weeks, exactly another 21 days, for the hives to finally cease. The only thing I changed was resuming my normal eating and staying away from the ayurveda products.


I’ve heard this type of cleanse protocol has helped many others. It just didn’t work for me. It may work better for you! I found this protocol to have many similarities with the Medical Medium books. I enjoy trying cleanses that incorporate organic foods or even abstaining from food altogether such as a water fast, but this cleanse protocol ultimately coincided with a breakout of hives. Whether the hives were a reaction from stress, something environmental or the ayurveda cleanse, I’ll never know. I don’t plan on ever trying the ayurveda supplements or oils again because I hope to never experience hives again. One never knows how long they will last or what triggers them. I’ll play it safe and stick to the foods that I know nourish and work for me. If I ever feel like I’m in a rut again, I’ll go on an adventure trip that always seems to do the trick!

More articles