The Master Cleanser is a fasting diet designed to cleanse the colon and detoxify the body. The diet is also known as the Master Cleanse, the lemonade diet or just the Lemon Cleanse. I have done the Lemon Cleanse four times now but when I first heard about it I thought it was crazy. A friend of mine had just purchased the book “The Master Cleanser” by Stanley Burroughs and was very excited about trying the diet. The book was written in the 1940′s by Mr. Burroughs as a way to treat many health conditions and has been used by people who want to eliminate toxins and chemicals from their bodies.

Initially I thought it would be a very bad idea to abstain from solid food for 10 days. I told my friend it couldn’t be healthy to do this. But her persistent enthusiasm perked my interest and I read book.  What caught my attention was the part of the book about the affect of the lemonade diet on addictions. At the time I was drinking a lot of coffee daily and was having difficulty getting off of my caffeine addiction. The Master Cleanser claims that any addiction will be wiped out after purging your body of toxins and cleaning your colon for 10 days. This was enough to push me to give it a try.

The first two days on the cleanse were very difficult. I felt like I was starving and constantly thought of food. My stomach was begging me to give it something other than the spicy lemon juice it was getting every hour or so. But on the third day my stomach relaxed and my energy levels remained constant throughout the day. I remained like this for the rest of the eight days and was able to function normally at work and I slept well.

Throughout the cleanse, even though I was not eating solid food, I continued to eliminate solid waste. I’m not sure which was more disgusting: the “stuff” that came out of me or the salt water bath Mr. Burroughs recommends in the mornings while on the cleanse. Drinking the salt water bath is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do. The theory is the salt mixture is the same specific gravity of  your blood and is therefore not sent to your bladder and the mixture goes through the intestinal tract cleaning it out in the process.  Twenty minutes after drinking the salt water, it found its way through my body. Make sure you don’t have to leave the house shortly after the salt water bath. It could be a recipe for disaster.


After finishing the Master Cleanser it was the moment of truth. I was back on normal food and while driving to work I would slowly pass the coffee shops I used to stop at in Vancouver. I watched the expressions on the their faces as they took the first sip of coffee. The pure satisfaction from the caffeine “fix”. I kept driving. At work (right beside a Starbucks) I lasted the day without even a slight craving. No headaches, no irritability, and no inability to concentrate.

What do you need for the Lemon Cleanse?
The Master Cleanser ingredients

I’ve done the lemon cleanse once a year and each time the amount of “stuff” eliminated has diminished which demonstrates that it is cleaning the colon and intestinal tract.

According to the book, a cleanse diet or fast is a very important part of any treatment of disease . It is primarily used for detoxifying the body. The Master Cleanse has become hugely popular through word of mouth and the book is available at health food stores in Vancouver and around the world.

Recently the The Master Cleanse has become popular as a weight loss diet. Some celebrities have testified that they have lost large amounts of weight on the diet. Beyonce Knowles announced on the Oprah show that she lost 20 pounds using the Master Cleanser. Robin Quivers, Howard Stern’s co-host claims to have lost 73 pounds on the diet. However, in my opinion, the Master Cleanse diet is not a good weight loss diet. The weight lost will most likely return if you go back to your old lifestyle after the cleanse. Fasting will cause your body to shed pounds because the calorie intake is lower than your calorie expenditure. But the weight will come back on if you go back to a high carbohydrate diet with insufficient physical activity.

The Master Cleanser is a great way to cleanse the colon and to revitalize the body. It does take some discipline, especially to get through the first couple days, but it is well worth it. The discipline and commitment to the process is much higher than the foot detox spa but accomplishes different goals. The Detox Foot Spa works well with the Lemon Diet because it helps to detoxify the body in another way and stimulates the lymphatic system to help eliminate released toxins.

The Lemon Cleanse Diet Recipe

Makes enough for 1 day

  • 12 Tbsp organic dark maple syrup
  • 12 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 60 oz purified warm or room temperature water

Combine the lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne with the water. Stir.

Many people enjoy doing the lemon cleanse in the spring to re-energize before summer. I prefer to do it at New Years. Fasting is a great way to kick off the new year and allows you to remain focussed on your health if your resolution is to achieve improved wellness. I start on January 2nd because I don’t want to miss my families New Years Day dinner! Whenever you decide to start your cleanse just remember three things. First, for most people the first two days are really tough. After that it gets much easier. Focus on making it through the first 2 days and the other 8 will be easy. Second, don’t let the salt water bath stop you. I wish I could say you get used to it but you won’t. It is really hard to swallow! But try it and if you can’t deal with it substitute the herbal laxitive tea in its place. Third, consult a qualified health care practictioner before starting your cleanse. Especially if you are dealing with any chronic conditions.

If you decide to try the Lemon Cleanse have fun with it. It is a personal accomplishment to conquer your stomach and show it who is the boss. Take it on as a personal challenge and it will be a great experience. You will realize that a lot of time and energy is spent on shopping for, preparing and eating your food. Not to mention the time and energy spent cleaning the dishes. Until you stop eating you don’t realize just how much time and effort goes into your daily meals. Doing the Lemon Cleanse will allow you to spend this time on other activities. Use this time to read a book, listen to your favorite podcasts or pursuing your own creative ventures. The Lemon Cleanse is a way for you to take control of your hunger and cravings and helps develop a commitment to lifelong wellness.