Can You Eat While Doing the Master Cleanse?

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The Master Cleanse, also commonly known as the Lemonade Diet, was devised as a body detox method by Stanley Burroughs in the 1940s. Burroughs believed that all disease is caused by a buildup of toxins in the colon, and developed the Master Cleanse regime as a method to cleanse the colon and eliminate toxins. Master Cleanse practitioners recommend following the program for a minimum of 10 days.


In order to ease your body into the cleanse, follow an "ease-in" protocol. If you have been accustomed to eating a standard American diet which consists of many processed and acid-forming foods, you are likely to experience severe detox symptoms during the first week of the cleanse if you don't prepare yourself correctly.

The ease-in period lasts three days and will prepare your body for the cleanse, as you will only eat nonprocessed, natural foods. During the 10 days of the cleanse, no solid foods are to be consumed.

Three days before you begin the cleanse, eat only raw fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts. Eliminate all animal products and processed foods from your diet. Eat more vegetables than fruit, due to the high sugar content of fruit.

Two days before beginning the Lemonade Diet, stop eating solid foods. Only consume freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices, or blend a combination of fruits and vegetables to make a smoothie or cold soup.

The day before you start the cleanse, prepare 2 pints of freshly squeezed orange juice. This can be squeezed manually or by using a citrus juicer. Drink the juice throughout the day, along with plenty of pure water.

Salt Water Flush

During the 10 days of the Master Cleanse, do not consume any food. Upon arising, Burroughs recommends performing a salt water flush to clean the colon. Add 2 level tbsp. of non-iodized salt to a quart of lukewarm water, mix well and drink the mixture within half an hour. Very soon after drinking the salt water you are likely to experience several bowel movements in quick succession.


In addition to the salt water, during the cleanse you should drink between 6 and 12 servings of lemonade per day. Combine 8 oz. of pure water with 2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice and 2 tbsp. of grade B maple syrup, add a pinch of cayenne pepper and stir. This will make one serving of lemonade.

Laxative Tea

Drink water when desired, and you can take a laxative herbal tea before retiring at night to aid cleansing the bowel on awakening. Do not consume other foods or liquids.


It is vitally important not to immediately return to your regular eating habits when you finish the cleanse. The digestive system will be unaccustomed to solid foods, and eating too quickly is likely to cause extreme discomfort. The ease-in period should now be repeated in reverse; the day after you finish the cleanse, continue drinking your lemon drink plus 2 pints of homemade orange juice. On the following day add blended fruits and vegetables, plus a selection of fresh juices. On day 3 begin to eat solid food in the form of raw nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables