Fasting for Better Health and Skin

Many of the world’s religions incorporate fasting as one of their practices. While some fast in observation of their faiths alone, the act of fasting itself can be extremely therapeutic and offers a myriad of health benefits.

Why Fasting Helps: When your body stops digesting for a period of time, it is able to focus on its other processes better.

Processes that have been neglected or slow to improve before will accelerate when you fast.

Your body’s ability to heal itself gets a boost. The rate of detoxification improves markedly when fasting.

When it is in fast-mode, the body will scavenge for fatty deposits and dead/damaged tissues—including abnormalities such as scar tissue, tumors, abcesses, and old wounds—which are burned off for energy or carried away as waste.

Fasting is also a natural function. In the wild, injured animals will fast and only start eating when their wounds have healed. They do this instinctively.

In fact, you probably have fasted a few times in your life without even realising it.

Remember when you fell sick and had no appetite whatsoever? This was your body’s way of taking care of itself. Without food to digest, your body can better focus its energies on fighting the infection and recover more quickly.

Effects of fasting:

– Its common for pimples and other skin conditions like eczema to clear up faster when a person fasts.

– Liver and kidney functions are improved which aids in the body’s detoxification. These positive effects actually carry on even after the fast has ceased.

– Fasting relieves the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It also relieves the swelling of the joints, bloatedness, and water retention.

– If you’re trying to quit a bad habit, fasting makes it easier to overcome unhealthy addictions to alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.

What to expect while fasting:

Be prepared for some discomfort when you first start your fast. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.

When this happens, try resting in a dark room and closing your eyes if the headache is too severe. Use essential oils and aromatheraphy to relax yourself.

If you stick with it for the first few days, fasting gets much easier and the withdrawal symptoms ease. Fasting is one of those things that require some short-term discomfort for long-term good health.

How to fast:

There are numerous ways to fast and it is entirely up to you. You can take it easy by dry fasting during the day and then end it with a small and healthy dinner. If you have the will, you can go on a 24 hour dry fast (no food or water) or a 24 hour water fast and then breaking it with a light and nutritious meal. You should repeat this fast for thirty days at least to reap the full benefits because your body will heal and detox its organs in stages.

If you’re trying to lose weight, incorporate some exercise during the day, especially during periods when your energy levels are at its lowest. Exercising during a fast will boost your blood circulation, relieve headaches, and burn fat and remove toxins faster. You’ll also find yourself rising out of the low-energy slump after 10-15 minutes of exercise.

More tips…

– If you’re looking for the best results, try a dry fast (no food and water) instead of a liquid fast (water or juice). One day of dry fasting is equivalent to 3 days of liquid fasting.

– Break your fast gently with healthy foods that are easy to digest. Fruits and vegetables should be included. You’ll be surprised how quickly you feel full with less food. If you stuff yourself when breaking a fast you’ll feel sluggish and overfed for several hours afterwards. Remember the feeling and you’ll naturally avoid over-eating next time.

– Try not to advertise the fact that you’re fasting. Once you do, you’ll feel obliged to do it because of the people you have told. Some people you tell will also feel the need to challenge your decision. This is unnecessary stress. Your resolve and willpower to fast will be stronger if your fast remains a private matter.

– And lastly, do not fast if your health is compromised by serious illnesses, pregnancy, menstruation, or if you’re nursing.

Further Reading:

Healing through Fasting

47 Replies to “Fasting for Better Health and Skin”

    1. Sati,

      I am also + and I am currently on day 7. I have continued to take my medication everyday without any noticeable discomfort. Consider though that none of my meds (Tivicay and Truvada) require fat to be absorbed properly. The tenofovir absorbs better with fat but I’ve done both with no considerable pattern and I have had stable viral loads for the last 5 years since I started taking it.

      Best of luck on your fasting my friend.

  1. Hi Sati, I wouldn’t recommend this for HIV-positive patients as extended fasting will involve the recurrence of old diseases – a process which can be very hard on the body. This is not only uncomfortable but may be dangerous for people with compromised immune systems.

    However, you can help your body heal itself better each day by giving it the best sleep possible.

    Sleep is when our bodies work its hardest to heal itself.

    Sleeping with a full stomach of rich food gets in the way of this precious healing process as food digestion will take up the body’s energy instead.

    To get the most high-quality and healing sleeptime as possible, simply limit your last meal of the day to light and easily digested foods, e.g. grains, vegetables and simple proteins like fish. Also ensure that you don’t sleep too soon after eating. You should feel the difference the next morning and wake up feeling better-rested with more energy.

    Hope this helps!

    1. Hi can anyone help me? I have keloids from past acne and i was wondering if fasting would break down the scar tissue or even dissolve it? Is this possible? I’ve tried every topical treatment/home remedy out there. I’ve had these keloids for about 3 or 4 years so thats probably why its not responding to anything. Any tips/advice you can give me is appreciated.

      1. Hi Anna, there are not many users who have shared their experiences of fasting and the effect it had on their scarring on the web. It’s possible that the level of fasting needed to dissolve old scars is just too difficult to get through. The body will go through phases, including the initial detoxing before it even gets to the stage of reorganizing abnormal tissues.

        But if you’re serious about fasting, I would recommend consulting with a skilled practitioner first and learning as much as you can because the process can be quite hard on the body.

        On a separate note, have you tried rubbing castor oil on your keloids? I’ve been doing a lot of research on castor oil recently and it sounds very promising. Try rubbing some on your keloids twice a day for a month and see if there is any difference.

        1. Hey thanks Samantha. Do you know how many days of fasting it would take to dissolve the old keloids if i do decide to fast? I haven’t tried castor oil but i’ll try to get my hands on it.

          1. For scars researched and did this mix castor oil and 1 drop of clove oil , 4 drop of SSKI and a teaspoon of DMSO rub on the scar tissue NOT around your eyes, the I put a heating pad over that with a wool pillow case over the heating pad place over effected are

            Fasting on juice is amazingly healing but I would talk to the doctor first. I have done many juice fasts and they do dissolve scar tissue I believe it starts on the 8th day of the fast I read three books of fasting on was Airola Paavo, Gerson and Gabriel Consens all great books very informative then I started fasting since I don’t have any health issues except dry itchy skin well I didn’t see a doctor. I just did first one for 7 days that seemed pretty easy so I did a few for two weeks

      2. Hello Anna, I found this post after some research, did fasting help your keloids? I am seriously considering this method too because I too have keloids. Please let me know. Thanks!

      3. I had rhinoplasty 2x . Anyhow, it resulted in scar tissue and dry eyes caused from the scar tissue and sinus congestion. The ENT doctor suggested surgery to get rid of the scar tissue since my sinus were not draining. I had the surgery again I had scar tissue build up again a revolving door cycle. This what I decided to do. First every day 2x a day after a shower I I would rub castor oil and tiny dmso mix onto my nose and sinus area to dissolve scar tissue. I took serrapeptase as well Then I went on a two juice fasts one for 14 days that one for 10 days I noticed that my sinus began to clear up my weight went from 115 . 5’5 weight went down to 105 my college weight . I did this entire fast under care of my Naturopathic doctor. It does work but, it takes work, coffee enemas, colonic two day after you start juicing. dry brush massage and CALM to clean out your body. My ND really likes green apple and pear juice fasting, I did this for few days and then changed to green juices.

        Anna, some people use castor oil and iodine on keloids

  2. hi samantha,,,
    i also have keloids on my chest,both of my shoulders, at my back,and also at my jaw…probably started because of acne…and its getting bigger and the number of my keloids are increasing…it became so painful it itchy,,,can you give me some advice? i hope and i pray you can help me…thank you…

      1. Hi QdogQtip
        Is that the same hydrogen peroxide that we use to clean our teeth, i mean used my dentist.Does it really works on keloid.

  3. As mention in the article that we should repeat this fast for thirty days at least to reap the full benefits because our body will heal and detox its organs in stages,I want to know should I keep fast continuously for thirty days or every alternate day or once in a week.I am really fed up with my keloid.I want to get rid of it at any cost.Pls suggest

  4. This is a really interesting concept – I could see how fasting might work for healing a number of chronic ailments. However, do the problems eliminated by the fast tend to come back after the fast is over? I could see that scar tissue could be permanently eliminated, but how about things like hemmorhoids or cysts?

    1. Hi Rosie,

      It’s always possible for hemorrhoids or cysts to recur (just like how bad skin can always come back in the right environment), but with the right mindset, fasting should ideally reboot the system as well as kick-start a healthier lifestyle and diet, rather than be the “be all and end all” to tackling a specific health issue. Besides, I consider hemorrhoids and cysts to be symptoms of deeper problems. Treating symptoms are a good money-making business for doctors and the pharmaceutical industry, but has got nothing to do with real healing IMO.

      For some people, changing to a healthier lifestyle after fasting will happen naturally. For others, reading more about fasting and what it does to the body can be a good motivator. For example, I find that whenever I complete a fast and go back to eating daily meals, I become very reluctant to eat junk food and sweets because I feel that I don’t want to pollute my body.

  5. Wow! I actually tried this and it worked great. My skin is way better. My acne and my psoriasis is gone. I think I will try this at least twice a year. Great info. on this site.

    1. Hi
      Please be honest with me!! (I don’t mean you are not)
      But really did this work for psoriasis??
      Please if yes tell me your experience
      thank you

  6. I love fasting but I would like to know if fasting cures Hepatitis B since it helps with liver detox/cleansing. Any idea for a very good friend of mine. She wants natural treatment as a cure.

    1. I don’t know if fasting can be a cure, but it could be supportive in healing infections.

      A study on mice (link) showed some positive effect on modulating the presence of Hepatitis B virus in the bloodstream through calorie restriction (e.g. fasting).

    2. Psoriasis on my hands and foot went away near the end of a 21 day water fast and hasn’t been back since April 22, 2014. It’s June 26, 2014 as of now.

  7. did it clear all your scars? how long was the healing process? i have a deep pitted scar on my nose, will this heal thru dry fasting?

  8. Great info! I just wanted to mention a TV investigation that looked into fasting and recent studies that have linked regular interval fasting with curing disease and longer life.. And as amazing as scientific studies are, even more amazing are religions that started giving this beneficial and life-enhancing advice hundreds and thousands of years before modern science. God is good!! 🙂

  9. I fast regularly to control my systemic mast cell disorder, which behaves like rheumatoid arthritis, crohn’s disease, psoriasis, and other fun stuff. It takes between three and ten days to get those symptoms under control, depending I suppose on how bad they were when I started the fast.

    The symptoms do always return, but then I fast again. Regular fasting has had other effects–like my face: I turned 50 this month, and people insist I look 30-35. I can’t say objectively, but I will say my skin is tight and smooth, with just tiny lines at the corners of my eyes, and no line at all from my nose to my mouth and none on my forehead. My pores are always tiny, even on my nose.

    I never ‘dry fast’; I believe staying hydrated will help with any detoxification my body is trying to do. I’m currently on day six of a fast I will push as far as 30 days, depending how I feel. I want to see the results on keloids and osteoarthritis, if any.

    Regards,
    Larisa

    1. Hi!!! Congrats on your fast. I’m on day 4 and I feel fine. My vision is a lil blurred and sometimes my mind is not as sharp but overall feel good. My mouth has that metallic taste which sucks, but that means its working right? But I also have a keloid on my chest and was wondering if it was working for you? That is a big reason for me to do this. Well thanks I hope you reply!!!

  10. Hi Samantha!
    I’m on day 14 now, and have not seen a change in my keloids, although my arthritis pain is maybe 90% improved and I’m moving better than I have in a couple years–I feel 20! I’ve never fasted longer than two weeks before; based on how things are going, I’m going to continue at least another week, and may still push it all the way to 30 days. If my keloids do diminish, I’ll be sure to post here.
    Thanks,
    Larisa

    1. Hi Larisa, that’s great that you’re feeling the arthritis pain diminish with fasting! Good luck with the rest of your fast, but remember not to overdo it also. Stay safe 🙂

  11. i never dry fasted larissa but i drink almost 3 liters of water a day. will that help clear my scars? i have this deep pitted scar on my nose. tnx!

  12. Hi akosiyao, I don’t know what direct affect the water will have on scars, but my understanding is that good hydration is crucial for skin healing an recovery, so it couldn’t hurt.

    I concluded my fast at 20 days, with dramatic improvements to my arthritis and also to my one “newest” keloid–a two-year-old surgical scar that flattened out where it had been quite thick–but no improvement to my three much-older scars. In addition to being older, they also weren’t as thick/raised, so any number of reason could be guessed as to why they weren’t affected. Overall, I think the changes that did occur for me with this fast were very encouraging. 🙂

    I’m going to do another ’round’ of fasting later in Spring, and will report again.

    Thanks!
    Larisa

    1. Sorry to jump in — but I just have to say that that’s really great!

      Not sure if you already know this, but your experience is also in line with the theory that with fasting or other detox methods, healing will occur “in reverse”. i.e the last ailment/injury we had will be healed first, followed by the one before that, and so on and so forth. So the oldest wounds may be the very last to heal.

      When I did a round of detox sometime back, out of nowhere, my wrist started to hurt. The pain went away after a few days over my detox, but I was mystified by why I had it until I remembered that I had injured my wrist weeks ago. I’d forgotten about it after it stopped hurting back then. But it mustn’t have healed completely since my detox sparked a “do-over” healing, which was pretty cool.

  13. Samantha,

    That certainly makes a lot of sense to me, and since I will need to fast cyclicly, probably for the rest of my life, I imagine I’ll reach the point where I will see a change in even the oldest keloids–one is over thirty years old, so I guess that will take a while. 🙂
    Thanks again!
    Larisa

  14. Your article about fasting is great. It is almost exactly what Muslims do every year in the month of Ramadan. Amazing!

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