The Grape Cleanse (Cure de Raisin)
Your body, whether or not you realize it, is very sensitive physiologically to seasonal changes. Seasonal cleanses like the Grape Cleanse help its ability to adapt to the coming season, including by supporting proper function of hormonal pathways.
The Autumn in particular is the time of the year when thyroid function is very important and intestinal absorption is at its greatest since the body needs to “warm and store” for the cold winter months.
Helping your body optimize its adaptability to the seasons is best done by living in harmony with the cycles of Nature and eating local, seasonal, phyto-nutrient foods is the best way of doing that. The Grape Cleanse is a great way to get you started!
The Cleanse – Why Grapes?
The Grape Cleanse is a very old and popular cleanse in France and has been touted with many virtues. Putting aside the more colourful claims, grapes have many beneficial properties particularly helpful for joints, the circulatory system and overall immune health.
Despite their sweetness, they reduce insulin solicitation, help the digestive organs to “rest”, and reduce the production of lipids because they are rich in fructose instead of sucrose, a “ready-source” of energy.
Grapes are very rich in vitamins and trace minerals, including Vitamins A, B, C, E, calcium, magnesium, manganese and sulfur which help favor tissular nutrition and re-mineralization.
Grapes also contain anti-inflammatory properties including antioxidants, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and stilbenes (resveratrol). In addition, they are a rich source of vitamin K, copper and B2 (Riboflavin), which assist in adaptation and immune function, such as coagulation, oxidation, oxidative phosphorylation and methylation. Grapes contain melatonin and help regulate adaptability of the adrenal and thyroid pathways during the autumn and winter. They promote the excretion of toxins since they are diuretic (and help prevent the formation of kidney stones), improve pelvic circulation and liver/gall bladder function.
This of course presupposes eating the whole grape from skin to seed and sticking to the pesticide-free varieties!
The Grape Cleanse is not a piece of cake, no matter how sweet, so commitment is necessary but the benefits are worth it.
Precautions and Preparation
- The Grape Cleanse is best done once a year, in early autumn, when grapes are in season. The best time to do it is from end of August to early November and ideally it is recommended for at least 3 years in a row, then as necessary.
- If you suffer from any serious health issues, please see your health practitioner prior to undertaking the Grape Cleanse.
- Dietary preparation for the cleanse is highly advisable especially if your normal diet includes lots of processed, fried, sugary foods, alcohol and stimulants like coffee, tea and cigarettes. Preparation allows your body to begin to cleanse gradually, decreasing the potential side effects of the cleanse.
- It is also highly advisable to try maintaining the benefits of the Grape Cleanse by extending healthy eating habits afterwards. After the cleanse you may notice that you’re not drawn to unhealthy foods as much and you may also feel full with much less food since the cleanse helps modify your eating rhythm. Try staying off processed and refined foods, wheat, sugar, candy and chocolate, stimulants, alcohol and unhealthy fats afterwards. Continue instead with seasonal and leafy vegetables, pulses and lean meat/fish proteins, ancient grains, and cold-pressed nut and seed oils.
- Grapes should be eaten every 60-90 minutes while awake to prevent an insulin surge.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent constipation. Lemon water or doing the Lemon Cleanse alongside it (a lot of commitment is necessary for this!) accelerates the healing, alkalizing, and anti-thrombotic properties of the cleanse.
- Use only ORGANIC grapes giving preference to red and black grape varieties though including white grapes is fine and actually recommended for variation. Make sure you eat the skin and if possible the seeds as well. The cleanse requires about 2-4 kg of grapes per person/day though you might find yourself not requiring as much in the later stages.
- Drink only water, pure organic grape juice, organic lemon water or gentle herbal teas during the Grape Cleanse. I like to simmer grape juice with spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and clove for 10-15 minutes making a warming “mulled grape juice” drink.
- You may also decide to take food-grade medicinal clay internally during the cleanse (preferably in the morning on an empty stomach) which will promote intestinal cleansing and exchange of trace minerals. Taking Epsom salt baths while on the cleanse also helps excretion through the skin and exchange of mineral.
- Ensure you have plenty of rest and do the cleanse when you are not submerged in work or stressed. Days 3-6 in particular require gentleness and down time.
- Do not be surprised or discouraged if you have headaches – these may appear in particular from day 3-6, or other physiological symptoms like furry tongue, brain fog, fatigue or variations in energy, skin breakouts or other symptoms. These result from the release of toxins from fatty tissue into the blood and the ensuing overload to organs of excretion. It is the reason it is very important to do the preparation before the cleanse and keep taking liquids, especially water, throughout the Grape Cleanse. These symptoms will decrease with time so don’t give up!
The Grape Cleanse can be part of a healthy yearly routine but is especially useful for specific indications such as:
- Dysbiosis (gut flora imbalance)
- Rheumatic diseases and joint pain
- Metabolic Syndrome (obesity)
- Thrombotic disorders
- Pancreatic rest (important to eat every 1.5 hours to prevent insulinic response to glycolysis from the cleanse)
- Detoxification from drugs and anaesthesia
Let’s Get Started!
Below is a table showing how to go about doing the Grape Cleanse. Ideally you want to do the grapes-only bit for 7-10 days but if you can keep it up for up to 3-5 you will already get a lot of benefits. If you decide to do the grapes-only bit for lesser time, then prolong the preparation phase both before and after the cleanse.
|Pulses, nuts and seeds||✔||✔|
|Ancient grains: rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat (avoid wheat, rye and corn)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Vegetables (avoid potatoes, tomatoes, aubergine, peppers)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Fruits (all seasonal)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Grapes (organic, primarily red/black but also vary with white)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
For more information about the Grape Cleanse, contact Sabrina at firstname.lastname@example.org.