Dry fasting
Comments 15

Dry fasting

When you tell most people you’re thinking of doing a dry fast – that is, a fast in which you eat or drink nothing at all – they think you’re crazy.  That either you’re a crazy religious fanatic.  Or that you’re just crazy-crazy, with a tendency towards suicide.  Here in the modern world, we’re conditioned to believe that fasting without water is plain and simple stupid, if not dangerous, with little or no possible health benefits.

I week ago I might have said the same thing.

Like everyone else, I had formed a judgement not based on knowledge and experience but upon ignorance and fear.  This fear is ingrained at the very heart of our modern consumer society.  Consume, consume, consume: this includes the ‘need’ to eat and drink almost constantly, as much as the ‘need’ to go shopping and travel on expensive holidays.  We are like the “hungry ghosts” described in Tibetan Buddhism: insatiable beings with huge mouths, constantly trying to fulfil our inner needs through devouring the outside world…  Modern consumer society conditions us to believe that we really do need expensive holidays and non-stop eating.  That without these things we’ll suffer and die.  As a result we fear life without expensive holidays and wide-screen TV’s – not to mention life without continual eating and drinking.  We don’t even consider the possibility of existence without these things – even for a short while.  And so we live locked into a consciousness of narrowed horizons, narrowed possibilities.


In giving up eating and all the other things you believe you “really do need”, though, you won’t die.  No, far from it.  You’ll wake up.  You’ll begin to free yourself from the matrix, untying the cynical subconscious knots which tangle you into consumer society – the same consumer society which is slowly destroying our planet…

As someone who has practised water fasting for a decade now, I know on a bodily level that there’s no need to eat every day.  Through the annual experience of 7- and 10-day water fasts (as well as occasional longer water fasts), I know firsthand the cleansing and healing that only a zero-calorie fast can provide.  And yet still I was duped by the myth that dry fasts are inherently bad for you.

Then I started reading about the work of doctors and scientists in Russia, where dry fasting isn’t such a taboo subject.  (Isn’t it also interesting that Russia succumbed to the tide of consumerism and big business only recently?  In my mind, it’s no coincidence!)  In fact, dry fasting was successfully used after the Chernobyl disaster to heal victims of radiation exposure when other therapies had failed.

Despite these facts, many people continue to think that dry fasting is stupid and dangerous because you don’t flush the body out with large quantities of water, as happens in milder fasts.  Without drinking, how can you wash the toxins out?  Won’t they just stay in your body and poison you?


Just think of animals.  When they’re ill, injured or need to heal, what do they do?  They stop eating.  Do they compensate by drinking large amounts of fluid?  No.  They stop eating and drinking.  They begin a dry fast until healing or dying.

This should be natural for us humans too, and the idea of dry fasting still exists in ancient cultures as a means of purification – both spiritual and physical.  The problem is that here in modern life we have forgotten this ancient wisdom.  No wonder.  We have become addicted to the drugs of modern medicine, which deals with hiding symptoms without addressing root causes of illness.  It’s easier and more comfortable to pop a pill than stop eating and drinking for a few days.  Of course, it’s also more profitable for the big businesses of the pharmaceutical industry as well…

Aren't they pretty?
Aren’t they pretty?

Once you have experience in water fasting, though, dry fasting provides an even more powerful healing experience.  The mechanics of a dry fast work on several layers.  First, denying yourself fluids doesn’t mean that you’ll immediately dehydrate.  As your body breaks down and burns fat cells through the process of ketosis, free hydrogen molecules are released – which then go on to bond with oxygen molecules in the blood.  Hey presto: water!  Dr. Sergei Filonov, an expert in dry fasting, estimates that every day the body is able to produce over a litre of metabolised water this way.  It is through this water that toxins are removed from the blood, and during any dry fast the need to urinate should continue – even if less frequently than usual.

Another reason that dry fasting provides such an effective detox is that the fluid which normally fills the intercellular space begins to dry up.  Yes, without drinking you do dehydrate to a degree.  As a result, the pressure inside each cell becomes greater than the pressure outside (in the intercellular space).  Consequently, the fluid within each cell begins to leak out into the intercellular space, carrying with it toxins which would normally remain locked within the cell.

Through denying yourself water, you also deny any harmful bacteria and viruses of the water they need to thrive.  Any inflammation in the body occurs through a build-up of water – and so inflammatory problems can be healed through dry fasting.  In addition, Dr. Filonov explains how there are areas of, effectively, “stagnant” water in the body, which are hard to flush out using extra water.  As we all know, stagnant water provides an ideal breeding ground for harmful organisms.  Just think of mosquitos.  Do they prefer fast-running streams or swamps?  By drying up the “swamps” inside our body during a dry fast, we can rid ourselves of harmful bacteria and parasites.  This is only the beginning…

Unfortunately, very little reliable information on dry fasting is available in English.  The only detailed information is found in an automated Google translation of Dr. Filonov’s book Dry Medical Fasting: Myths and Reality.  The translation is almost unreadable, but it’s better than nothing!

Next: my first experiences with 36-hour dry fasts.

If you enjoyed this article, please share on social media, using one of the buttons below:


  1. Gary Sheets says

    Is it OK to do a 10 day water fast with a 2 day dry fast in the middle? Maybe 4 day water fast, 2 day dry fast the 4 day water fast.
    Thanks for your information

  2. marius says

    I will try next week dry fasting for 5 days maybe less since i have to travel. In february i did a 30 day water fast for first time. I fasted Ramadan for 8 years now, so i had some experience with fasting. Water fasting was difficult in the beginning because of the water it wasn’t very clear. With up and downs i finished, lost 18 kg of weight and feel great.

    • Tallis Shivantar says

      Hi Marius,
      Thanks for sharing. Glad you’re feeling great 🙂

  3. Anonymous says


    I have heard many things about dry fasting and I am beginning my dry fast to hopefully heal myself completely from HSV. I dont want it dormant, I want it OUT of my body.

  4. Taylor says

    I just finished a 3 day soft dry fast, and the inflammation in my body is gone. It’s still not 100% but I can walk without feeling pain. I drank 4 oz of water every half hour the first day after the dry fast, and today I am up to 16 oz per 90 minutes. I am also doing a parasite cleanse. I am very grateful for the article, as well as all of the comments. I have not decided how long I will do the water fast before I move to juices, then smoothies, and back to food. I will be listening to my body, and not the voices of people who may not understand what I am doing. Thank you again!!

    • Tallis Shivantar says

      Hi Taylor,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. That’s great your fast has reduced the inflammation and pain to this extent! If you live with chronic pain, a fast like this can provide a wonderful and welcome sensation of relief.

      Let’s hope that what I’m about to say doesn’t hold true for you, but it’s important to be aware that the reduction of inflammation may not be permanent after ‘only’ 3 days of dry fasting. This will depend on the cause and severity of your condition. The same may hold true for the pain (depending on whether the pain occurs as a direct consequence of the inflammation).

      Also, I’m glad you’re planning for a slow, gradual refeeding process after the water fast, as this will help to preserve reduced levels of inflammation afterwards. Of course, once you return to an everyday diet, it’s equally important that you follow an anti-inflammatory protocol in what you eat.

      If your fast does bring only temporary relief, this doesn’t mean that it was all in vain. Beyond the pain-free time it’s already given you, it’s possible that continued fasting in the future (combined with good nutrition in between) may gradually lead to a long-term improvement.

      Until proved otherwise, though, let’s hope for the best!

  5. Rajiv Ramchandra says

    Hi Tallis,

    I hope this note finds you well. Your website and writings have been informational and inspiring in my fasting journey. Last Friday, I completed my very first 24-hour dry fast. It was a ‘soft’ dry fast and I loved it. I am grateful that I experienced no discomfort, aside from a slightly longer afternoon nap 🙂

    I am writing today about healing muscle knots and old injuries through fasting (dry or water). In my case, the knots are primarily in my calves and the old injury is in my right piriformis muscle area.

    While I sense progress is taking place (I haven’t had an ‘Aha!’ moment of knot release that I did many years ago), I was wondering if you could shed some light on how fasting (dry or water) may help with knots and injuries (especially where there may be scar tissue) and if there is anything more one can do (in addition to, and perhaps during the fast itself) to catalyze the process.

    Thanks so much for your time and input.


    • Tallis Shivantar says

      Hi Rajiv,

      Thanks for sharing. Fasting will definitely help with clearing out old knots and injuries. When the body is in ‘healing mode’, the immune system searches out scar tissue and dissolves it – not dissimilar to the way it searches out foreign bodies such as viruses and bacteria as well. If you think about it, scar tissue IS a kind of ‘foreign’ body when compared to healthy tissue. We simply don’t need it any more after the original injury has healed, and the scar tissue has done its job. The body does eventually clean out old scars, but this process is greatly accelerated while fasting.

      Both dry fasting and water fasting will help. Dry fasting is probably more effective on a day-by-day basis in this respect than water fasting, but obviously you can water-fast much longer than dry-fast. So it’s a question of weighing up the benefits of both, and seeing what works best for you. If you try dry fasting for this kind of healing, you’ll need to last much longer than just 24 hours, so I’d probably focus on longer water fasts at first, perhaps adding a period of dry fasting (nothing too long or extreme!) in the middle of this.

      Hope this helps,

      • Rajiv Ramchandra says

        Thank you for your prompt reply Tallis. This definitely helps. I’m gradually extending the length of my dry fast – 36 hours this time.

        In addition to regular fasting, I eat a clean vegetarian diet, meditate, get exercise regularly and massage (trigger point therapy) the knots. So fingers crossed I will ‘break through’ – pun intended 🙂

        My goals (if I can call them that) are motivated by dissolving the knots (‘nots’) in my being – mostly negative thinking, history, pain, trauma – that get carried around as baggage and are usually stuck somewhere on the body. I sense the muscle knots are related to the psychological/emotional ones.

        Thanks again.

        With much warmth,

        • Tallis Shivantar says

          Hi Rajiv,
          It sounds like you’re approaching both fasting as well as the whole issue of bodily knots in a conscious manner – which is of course the best thing you can possibly do! My advice would be to observe the knots throughout the duration of your fasts. Another thought would be to do the same through a water fast. Given the intensity and relatively short duration of dry fasts, though, it can be difficult to tune into subtle body-emotion issues. A water fast, on the other hand, might give you more time to feel out your subconscious (if you undertook a longer one, say a week or so).
          In any case, I wish you all the best on your path,

  6. Xkullslinger says

    I’m excited to stumble across your page. It seems 2018 had lots of people discovering fasting. And you’re a doctor who has read Filinov too! In the US, they like to push pills onto us.

    I have fasted my whole life, but began doing longer ones in my 20s. My longest water fast went about 28 days and I stopped counting. Just as I ended my fast, the benefits were just becoming apparent. All but two of my skin tags vanished. I’m going to do a dry fast soon, and part of me is doing it for science. I want to prove that fibroid tumors can be destroyed by dry fasting. I have many, some the size of small cantaloupe and large grapefruits and lemons. I want to show that it’s much more drastic to opt for surgery, full hysterectomies, over fasting. Since processed foods/sugar and caffeine promote fibroid growth (at an amazing speed, I can say from experience), they will return as long as women continue eating those items. My doctor wants to make money off of a hysterectomy. His excuse for not doing the embolization was his lack of experience/knowledge. I never went back.

    Fibroids have their own blood supply, it’s like having a parasite! And they need moisture to live. That is why water fasting didn’t reduce their size by much. I’m ready to dry fast and actually look forward to it, seeing how hard it was for me to drink even water while fasting. My body seemed to ‘want’ the dry fast instead. I try to learn from nature. I watched my cat dry fast after getting into a fight and have the base of his tail cut open. It was a deep gash, and within days, it closed and he was back to playing and eating.

    Though I hate taking pictures, my goal is to show how I look 8 or 9 months pregnant before the fast and what my after results are. Not just how it looks, but my health in general, how it feels. I already am vegetarian with good blood pressure and cholesterol levels. I will be happy to not feel 15 years pregnant anymore. But the biggest benefit I always experience is mental clarity! My purpose always comes into focus during a fast. I experience a long-lasting high from it. I’m convinced most American food is a bit poisonous to a healthy body/life. They feed us sugar in various forms and shapes and no one questioned til now (notice all the Netflix documentaries about our terrible food industry). I will bookmark this site and hopefully report back after it’s over. Thank you for doing this blog!

    • Tallis Shivantar says

      Hi Xkullslinger,

      Thanks for sharing your story. Do let us know how things work out for you!

      You’re already clearly an experienced faster, and I’m sure you’ll get on just fine. Just one thing to keep in mind, though, with regard to dry fasting as opposed to water fasting. Healing (which obviously applies to you) tends to require longer time than simple cleansing and detox. And a lot of time is one thing which dry fasts don’t give you compared to water fasts. So although it may be more effective in terms of what it’s able to achieve on a daily basis, your dry fast may not be enough to heal you.

      Although it may be tempting to push the length of your dry fast as a result, it’s EXTREMELY important not to go beyond your capabilities. A general rule of thumb is that dry fasts over 5 days should take place under supervision of some kind!

      The gist of all this is to say: don’t put all your eggs in one basket emotionally, into this one dry fast. If it doesn’t bring you the result you were hoping for, all sorts of solutions are possible here. You can perhaps combine multiple dry fasts (not too long) with an ongoing water fast or just aim for a succession of longer dry fasts, separated by periods of refeeding and rehydration. If you’re not sure how you might want to do this, then I do offer fasting consultations here:

      Wishing you the best of luck and improved health soon!

    • Tabitha Ndiho says

      As a woman with fibroids, I’m curious to learn more about your personal experience with dry fasting and fibroids. I’m currently on a 30 day water fast focused on dissolving my fibroids while at the same time staying very in tune with any communication from my body.

      On another note – thank you for this very informative site, Tallis. Do you do any at home groups for dry fasting? I only saw it for water fasting.

      Warm regards,

      • Tallis Shivantar says

        Hi Tabitha,

        Both water fast and dry fasting can be effective in healing fibroids. I have come upon certain cases, though, in which dry fasting has worked where water fasting hasn’t. Although I haven’t encountered the opposite situation, we shouldn’t read too much into this, I believe – because in any case most people start with water fasting before trying dry fasting (and not the opposite). Does that make sense? Also, every fast really is different than the last, so just because a particular kind of healing (such as eliminating fibroids) doesn’t take place on one fast doesn’t mean it won’t on the next, regardless of whether you’re doing a water fast or a dry fast.

        Thanks for asking about groups for dry fasting. Good idea! Unfortunately, though, there aren’t (yet) enough people interested in dry fasting to make this a reality.

        All the best,

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.