Disclaimer: This article on the Master Cleanse is based on the suggestions found in the book ‘The Master Cleanser’ by Stanley Burroughs. This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or health advice. Any choices you make for the health of your body you do at your own risk and agree to accept 100% responsibility for. As always, please consult your doctor if you have any health conditions and/or medications that could conflict with this cleanse. There are also some affiliate links which I may get a commission or if you decide to buy something via the link. If you disagree with these terms, please do not read this article.
How to Do the Master Cleanse
Table of Contents:
- Pros + Cons of the Master Cleanse
- Master Cleanse Drink Measurements
- Flushing + Cleansing the Digestive Tract
- What to Expect During the Master Cleanse
- Completing the Master Cleanse
Pros + Cons of the Master Cleanse
- Increased creativity
- High energy
- Greater clarity of mind + body (opportunity for internal growth + better self-awareness.)
- More motivation
- Cooler body without having to digest food (good to do in the summer)
- The salt water flush can be a little tough at first, but it gets easier the more you do it.
- Low energy on some days (especially if you haven’t given your body a break from food in many years.)
- Cooler body (can be tougher in the winter, but you can wear more clothes to stay warm.)
- Can be mentally challenging due to all the food ads everywhere.
Benefits of the ‘Lemon Cleanse’
This article is merely a summary of the Master Cleanse process. It covers the basics of doing the cleanse. If you are interested in doing the Master Cleanse, I highly recommend getting a copy of the original book ‘The Master Cleanser’ by Stanley Burroughs. Inside you will find detailed guidance and instructions that will support you if you choose to do the cleanse.
The secret key to reaping the benefits of The Master Cleanse is to follow the simple instructions found in the book. I suggest you familiarize yourself with the different steps and procedures of the cleanse well before beginning the cleanse. If you have any questions, they should be answered in the book.
Some people call The Master Cleanse the “Lemonade Diet” because the cleanse is primarily focused around lemons and maple syrup. This cleanse can also referred to as a “juice fast” or “lemon cleanse.” The “lemonade” will provide your body with more than enough calories to function. You may even have more energy due to the high amount of vitamin C from the lemons.
In some cases you may find that you may experience a little weight loss as a byproduct of doing the cleanse. To experience a little weight loss, simply reduce the amount of maple syrup you add to the lemonade. I find the measurements in the book to be a little high on calories, so I’ve experimented with less maple syrup + lemon juice, but kept the cayenne + sea salt measurements.
What is the Purpose of The Master Cleanse?
Please note that this is a cleanse and not a diet. It is also considered a juice fast, because you won’t be eating any solid food for the duration of the cleanse.
The purpose of this process is to cleanse the body and flush the junk out. It’s kind of like the need to change the oil in your car at regular intervals. If you never changed the oil in your car, the oil + engine would get so filthy inside that it would eventually fail.
Our body is made up of a trillion or so cells and those cells can only feed on what we put in our body. If our eating habits are less than optimum, the cells are going to function accordingly.
This cleanse combined with the flush for a duration of 10 days or more (depending on what you can handle) will give your body a rest from digestion (which is a considerable amount of work for your body) and will give your cells the time to release a lot of waste + toxins.
Master Cleanse Drink Measurements
The main reason I do the Master Cleanse for 10 days a couple times a year is to give my body a break from the digestion process and allow my body to flush toxins and mucous.
The following is a recipe for making a 1 gallon jug of the “lemonade.”
- 13 +/- ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 13 +/- ounces of pure maple syrup
- 1 1/4 +/- teaspoons of cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 +/- teaspoons of unrefined grey sea salt
Personally, I also add 2 teaspoons of food grade quality diatomaceous earth to assist in flushing toxins + microscopic parasites.
Once you’ve added all the ingredients, simply fill the rest of your 1 gallon jug with filtered or purified water. Depending on your palate, you may choose to add or subtract a little from each ingredient. If you find it a little too sweet, you could reduce the amount of maple syrup and lemon juice to 12 ounces. If the cayenne is a little too hot for your palate, you may choose to reduce it to 1 teaspoon.
Once I’ve made the gallon jug of “lemonade”, I then funnel some into a smaller 1L bottle. Having another 1L bottle of purified water is a necessary companion to the lemonade. Yes, you will still need to drink water on the lemon cleanse. Do your best to drink the equivalent of water to what you drink of the lemonade.
VIDEO: How to Prepare the Master Cleanse
When + How Much Lemonade Should I Drink?
The cue to have a drink of your lemonade is when you feel hungry. I usually will take a swig of lemonade and follow it with a similar swig of water until I feel satiated/satisfied.
Depending on your body’s needs, you may need to drink 1-2 1L bottles a day. When your 1L bottle is empty, simply top it up with your 1 Gallon jug using a funnel. When your 1 Gallon jug is empty, simply mix another batch.
I keep all the bottles in the fridge to keep them fresh and to prevent bacterial growth from getting out of control. By placing the 1L bottles side by side in the fridge, you can measure how much water you’re drinking in relation to the lemonade.
VIDEO: Mixing + Pouring the Drink
Flushing + Cleansing the Digestive Tract
One of the most important steps in doing the Master Cleanse is the flushing process. This can be started on Day 2 of the juice fast and continued every morning you are doing the juice fast. What you will need for the salt water flush is:
- smooth move tea (aka herbal laxative tea)
- pure unrefined grey sea salt
- 4 cups of room temperature purified water
Before bed: Brew + drink a cup of smooth move tea.
As soon as you wake in the morning: Dissolve 2 teaspoons of grey sea salt into 4 cups (1 quart) of room temperature water and drink it all down.
Chugging the salt water down first thing in the morning gets the flushing process started and it may take up to an hour or so before you need to eliminate.
Not doing the salt water flush can cause you to feel terrible as toxins are being released. Your body needs to eliminate daily for you to feel better, so it is very important to do the salt water flush. Be sure to listen to your body and what it’s needs are as this is not a one size fits all.
The flushing process will cause your body to eliminate multiple times, so be sure you are close to a bathroom for a few hours after drinking the salt water and if you get the urge to “pass gas” DO NOT do it unless you are sitting on the toilet as the salt water flush will cause a lot of liquid to come out.
By drinking the tea every night of the cleanse and drinking the salt water first thing in the morning, your body will flush a lot of stuff out. In fact, you might be amazed that stuff keeps coming out each morning when you do the flush.
This is an absolutely crucial process in successfully doing the cleanse for 10 days. In my experience, if you don’t do the daily flushing process you will feel terrible and be unable to continue the cleanse.
VIDEO: Salt Water Flush + other Tips
What to Expect During the Master Cleanse
The First 2-3 Days
Depending on your body, health, etc the first 2-3 days can be a little tough. If you’re a daily coffee drinker, you may experience headaches and caffeine withdrawal. You may also feel lethargic and weak. Try your best to stick with it and you will feel better.
The Next 4-5 Days
If you’ve done the cleanse before, these are typically the easier days. Once you’re past the initial few days, you should have more energy and feel a lot better. You may find you are gaining a greater clarity of mind during this period.
The Final 2-3 Days
This is the home stretch of the process. You may find your mind beginning to obsess over food and eating. I suggest keeping yourself occupied with activities that don’t expose you to being around food or commercials as this may cause food cravings that could cause you to give in and eat.
Over the Entire Process
Expect that your body will likely be a lot cooler since it is no longer expending a lot of energy trying to digest food. You may need to turn up the heat a little and wear a sweater if you are doing the cleanse during winter time.
With a virtually empty bowel, your body can eliminate mucous and other waste from your bodies cells that it couldn’t before because it was focused on digestion and other body processes.
If this is your first time doing the cleanse, know that the mucous is a very normal elimination process of the body. It’s just more obvious now because of the lack of stool elimination.
VIDEO: How you may Feel on Day 2+3
Completing the Master Cleanse
If you make it to 10 days, days 11-13 are the transition days back to solid food.
Day 1: after cleanse (as recommended in the book)
The book: The Master Cleanser recommends drinking multiple 8 oz glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice and water for day 11.
Drink several 8 oz glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice and water during the morning + afternoon of day 12.
In the afternoon, start preparing a fresh vegetable soup for dinner. The options the book recommends are: legumes, potatoes, carrots, green vegetable tops, onion, etc. Spices and grey sea salt may be added for flavour. The book recommends mostly ingesting the broth and very few vegetables for dinner.
Drink orange juice in the morning and have more soup for lunch ingesting the vegetables. Resume eating solid food for dinner.
Day 1 + 2 after cleanse: (For Me)
Personally, I usually will do the orange juice during the morning/afternoon of day 11 and have the fresh vegetable broth in the evening as I find my stomach can handle it.
On day 12, I will drink orange juice or leftover lemonade for breakfast, broth for lunch, and solid food for dinner.
Use your discretion and do your best to listen to your body as you transition back to solid food.
Concluding Thoughts + Advice
The recommendation is to only do this cleanse after reading and familiarizing yourself with the book “The Master Cleanser” by Stanley Burroughs.
If you have any health conditions and/or are taking any medications, be sure to consult your doctor or health practitioner prior to doing this cleanse.
Remember that you are ultimately responsible for what you put into your body and for know the potential risks of doing a juice fast.
If you haven’t done the research and prepared your mind for the discipline it takes to go off food for 10 days, then the recommendation is to NOT do this cleanse.
If you do choose to proceed with the Master Cleanse after reading this article, this is the preparation process:
- read the book
- gather the ingredients
- mentally prepare yourself to go off food for up to 10 days
- have all the proper equipment ready to go for Day 1
- get oranges + vegetables ready for transitioning back to food on Day 11/12
You may also wish to take some before and after pictures and measurements of your body including BMI, weight, and size measurements.
You might be surprised at the difference in your body shape and size and how you feel after completing the Master Cleanse.
By documenting this for yourself, this can serve to motivate you to make healthier choices in the future regarding what you put into your body.
You may also notice that certain food cravings you had before the cleanse may be gone after the cleanse.
By doing this cleanse 1-4 times a year, you may notice many positive improvements in your physical, emotional, and mental health.
Remember too that it’s your body, so it’s important to listen to and understand your bodies needs verses wants. You may experience mental hunger. (When your brain is obsessing over food, but your stomach is not growling.) This is normal. Do your best to keep yourself occupied at these times. Warning! Watching TV can cause food cravings due to food commercials.
Test out what works for you. If you make it 7 days and you begin obsessing over food, maybe it’s time to begin gently transitioning back onto solid food. If you reach day 10 and your body feels great, you may choose to continue on the cleanse for another few days or even a week.
If this is your first time doing the cleanse though, try your best to allow your body the time it needs to flush excess mucous and toxins out. This might take 10, 20, or 30 days, but don’t white knuckle it. If you make the 10 day mark, celebrate your accomplishment. You can always do the cleanse again in a few months or so.
You might also decide to reduce your caloric intake when you start eating solid food again by eating smaller portions if you’d like to keep the weight off. In the end, how you wish to do the cleanse is up to you. You’re ultimately responsible for the final decision about how your cleansing process looks.
Wishing you good health for many years to come!