The week or so after purgation can be as crucial to health as the purgation itself. Virechana will expel pita from the body, including the fire for digestion.
Like making any fire, kindling digestive fire (agni) must be done correctly or the fire won't start, beginning with newspaper and kindling, building up to bigger logs. But if you feed the fire a big log too soon the fire will be extinguished. If your digestive fire is extinguished toxins (ama) will build in the body, causing more health problems.
So to kindle agni the best food is mung dahl, of course! A soup of mung dahl with cumin and rock salt can be taken throughout the treament and as a staple for the weeks afterwards. Sip this as often as you want. On the second day after treatment take water that rice has been boiled in, this can also be taken frequently for as long as you need it. It is important to take small regular meals for this time.
Basmati rice is the next food to be introduced, cooked in the dahl as kichadee. The quantity of rice is up to the patient, some need more for strength, some need less to prevent constipation. Keep the kichadee very soupy to begin with and build up to it being more solid.
Finally after the length of time prescribed by your practitioner break your fast with whole wheat. One chapati or one piece of mountain bread is plenty. You may feel quite heavy afterwards. Pumpkin and zucchini are also excellent foods to break your fast with. Return slowly to your normal diet, but try to eat according to your dosha and the season for some months afterwards.
If the subject is particularly weakened by the treatment they may take some chai with cardamom and jaggary. It is common to be constipated for a few days after purgation, respect your agni and this will return to normal. Some people may have sore stomach muscles for a few days.
It is important to take this time to rest and reflect. Stay with your emotions, even if it is uncomfortable. Avoid loud talking, big groups of people and travel. Sleeping during the day, whilst usually frowned upon, is important in this recovery period.
This is an excellent time for breaking bad habits and addictions. Bear this in mind when returning to your usual lifestyle, now is the time for a new normal!