Salt Flush 101

Shankaprakshalana (aka salt flushing) is an ancient Ayurvedic tool for healing. Shankha means “shell” and prakshalana which means to wash completely, and indeed you are essentially flushing out your colon by drinking a potent salt water solution.

The water for the intestinal cleansing must be physiological salt water, the same salt concentration as the body’s own, 0.9%. This allows the water to leave the stomach more quickly, while maintaining the same osmotic pressure upon both sides of the intestinal wall. This means that the body neither absorbs nor yields salt or water in significant quantities; the saline water stays in the intestinal canal on its way down through the body and is evacuated through the rectum.

I discovered salt flushes when I was doing a parasite cleansing protocol back in 2015, and used it as a way to help eliminate any blockages/ really clean out my GI tract as I was getting rid of parasites. It was an incredible tool for flushing out all the junk I was dislodging from the depths of my body.


benefits of salt flushing

Shankhaprakshalana is a natural Ayurvedic way of cleansing the digestive tract.

  • Removes toxins and rejuvenates your whole intestine

  • Improved digestion

  • Improved nutrient absorption

  • Combats constipation, gas, and bloating

  • Increased energy

  • Clearer skin

  • Clearer thoughts

How to do a salt flush

First of all, let’s address the importance of salt quality: you do not want to be doing a salt flush with refined (table) salt! Get your hands on some high quality sea salt (celtic salt is great).

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt into 1 litre of slightly above room temperature (lukewarm) water and stir until it is dissolved. You don’t want the water to be too warm because you need to drink it quickly; but still a bit warmer than room temp so that it helps relax the digestive tract.

  2. Chug the whole litre of salt water, as fast as you can. The faster you drink the litre, the more smoothly it will pass through your GI tract. Don’t make yourself sick, but try to finish the whole thing under 2-3 minutes (5 being the absolute max). Once you get the hang of them, you’ll be able to finish the whole thing in 30 seconds tops.

  3. You can now drink another litre of room temperature water a bit more leisurely, while you relax/ do some gentle movement (to help the water pass through your digestive system). A traditional Shankaprakshalana follows a set 5 yogic movements to help the water pass (see the video below). This is not necessary, but an option. The most important thing is that you stay relaxed and do a bit of gentle movement while you wait for the saline water to pass through you. Don’t stray too far from the bathroom!


  1. During your first couple of experiences salt flushing, it can take the body longer time to expel the water. Give yourself 2 hours at home after drinking the water (…to avoid any accidents). Once you have a better grasp on how your body works with them, you will have it down to a science.

  2. Avoid having caffeine directly after salt flush. Your digestive tract is more sensitive after it; opt for tea and warm nourishing foods. If you can skip caffeine all together on salt flush days, do!

  3. Make sure you hydrate well the rest of the day, and take a probiotic too.

  4. If you are severely dehydrated or your body is very mineral deficient, there is a chance you won’t expel the water. If this happens, know that your body needed the minerals, and consider adding more salt to your every day diet. Once you’ve increased your mineral intake for a couple of days, try another salt flush.