Dr. Otto Buchinger (1878-1966) discovered the benefits of fasting when, in 1918, after decommissioning from the German navy due to ill health, his doctor colleague Gustav Riedlin recommended a fast. After 19 days, Buchinger found that strength actually returned to his crippled fingers and he managed to recover. He then dedicated his research to understanding why fasting was so effective and his book “The Therapeutic Fasting Cure” (1920) inspired the opening of many fasting clinics, including his own Überlingen clinic opened together with his daughter Maria and son-in-law Helmut Wilhelmi. The method is now widespread across Europe, but especially in its native Germany. Therapeutic fasting is also considered a self-reflective and even spiritual experience, hence it finding favour in many religious practises. However, in the Buchinger programme the main aim is to detoxify and thereby rejuvenate the body.
Buchinger’s fasting programme is based on liquids - light fruit and vegetable juices, vegetable broth and herbal teas. By easing guests slowly into and out of the Buchinger fasting programme, by way of alternating “relief” and “fast” days, the diet avoids negative side effects, such as an increased appetite after the programme has ended.
The recommended length of a Buchinger fasting programme is at least 2-3 weeks, however many of our guests see positive results after just one week. Click here to learn more on our blog: 4 best fasting retreats in Germany
Example Fasting Menu at a Buchinger Clinic
Each Buchinger clinic has its own specific meal plans, however most of them are fairly similar. Here is an example meal plan from one of our Buchinger fasting clinics: