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The Master Cleanse (Lemonade Diet)

lemons and limes

Don’t get frustrated thinking you need expensive kits or herbal formula in order to begin cleansing and healing the body. Have you heard of the Master Cleanse (Lemonade Diet)?

What is the Master Cleanse?

The Master Cleanse or Lemonade Diet is a method of detoxification and healing that has been used by many people since the 1940s, to regain control of their health; and the beautiful thing about this diet is that you don’t need to have lots of money in order to do it.

Naturopath Stanley Burroughs (1903-1991), first introduced the Master Cleanse in the 1940s, originally as a cleanse for addressing digestive issues and ulcers. It was later published in his book, ‘The Master Cleanser’. By this time, it was purported as a diet for ‘every kind of disease‘. It is the go to diet, for not just detox or weight loss, but also conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibroids, stress, blood pressure, allergies, respiratory issues and many other complaints.

The diet is quite adaptable and is easy to follow. It has been shortened to as little as 1 day and has also been extended to 40 days and even longer periods.

Does it work?

It is quite effective for weight loss, and many people have also testified to being healed of all kinds of maladies.

How to do the Master Cleanse

Lemon and Lime
Lemon and Lime

If you are on a standard diet of meat, egg, dairy and starch, then it is advisable you do some preparation before starting, at minimum, a 3 day raw food diet, consisting of fruits, vegetables, smoothies and juices. A great addition to this would be an initial bowel or colon cleanse.

Before the diet: 

3 Days before – eliminate bad foods and preferably eat mostly fruit and vegetables.

The diet makeup:

  • Salt water flush in the morning (for elimination)
  • Lemonade drink throughout the day
  • Laxative at night (for elimination)

Ingredients of Master Cleanse

What makes the Master Cleanse an easy and inexpensive way to heal the body, is the fact that there is very little ingredients involved. Also, you don’t need a blender or juicer to do this cleanse.

Master Cleanse ingredients
  • Lemons or Limes
  • Maple syrup (grade B)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Filtered water
Other ingredients
  • Sea salt
  • Herbal laxative

Master Cleanser Recipe For One Glass


2 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
2 tablespoons organic grade B maple Syrup
Small pinch of cayenne pepper (approx 1/10 of teaspoon)
1 ½ cups distilled or filtered water (approx 10 oz)

Mix the fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water together in a glass.

Half-Gallon Master Cleanse Recipe


64 ounces fresh distilled or filtered spring water
12 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 tablespoons grade B maple syrup

Pour all of the ingredients in a half-gallon container (preferably glass). Shake it together or mix it with a spoon to combine. It’s preferable to store in the refrigerator until you need a glass.

Dr Sebi Food List Version

Don’t worry if you want to stick to Dr Sebi’s nutritional guide, only minor changes are needed to the lemonade recipe.

  • Limes
  • Agave nectar
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Filtered water

The measurements would be the same as noted above.

After the diet period

After the diet period, you need to transition slowly back to eating solid foods again.

Days 1 to 2

Orange juice throughout the day.

Days 3 to 4

Juices and fruits throughout the day.

Days 5 to 6

Juices, fruits, broths and light salads.

The longer the cleansing period, the longer it should take you to transition back to a regular diet.

Way forward

The Master Cleanse diet experience provides an opportunity to retrain yourself to eat differently, to improve your diet and eat more of the foods that will keep you well. A poor diet is usually the cause of poor health. If you  continue to eat mostly unhealthy foods, you will become unhealthy again. Eliminate bad foods from the diet such as dairy, alcohol, sugars, highly processed foods and meats; and incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables going forward.

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