Lemon Juice for Detox

by Kimberly Fleming ; Updated April 18, 2017

Lemon juice mixed with water is used for detoxifiation.

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The goal of any detoxification or "detox" diet is to cleanse the body of toxins that may have accumulated.The Master Cleanse Diet or the Lemonade Diet uses lemon juice for detoxification. It involves adding lemon juice and a few other ingredients to water and drinking it throughout the day. To avoid any drawbacks, undertake this or any other detox diet under the guidance of a nutrition or health care expert.


The lemon juice detoxification or Master Cleanse Diet was created by Stanley Burroughs in 1941 as a way to remove harmful toxins and cure ulcers. Although Burroughs was not licensed to practice medicine, he was well known for his remedies for various illnesses. He claimed that lemon juice used to do detox reduced the cravings for drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances. The lemon juice diet increased in popularity after the publication of the book The Master Cleanser in 1976.


Some diets that use lemon juice for detox involve drinking only lemon juice mixed with water throughout the duration of the diet. This combination reduces daily calorie intake significantly which may lead to the deprivation of certain vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a balanced nutrition. The Master Cleanse combines lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and filtered water, but is similarly lacking in essential nutrients. Lemon juice detox diets can lead to dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea.

Time Frame

Because lemon juice detox diets restrict daily caloric intake while depriving you of essential nutrients, it is important to stay conscious of the time frame when using them. To increase the beneficial factors of using lemon juice for detox try to limit the amount of time you stay on these types of diets. Since long-term use of this detox can lead to malnutrition and other complications break up your detox days into segments. For example, follow the program two days on and two days off or one week out of every month. This allows you to reap any potential benefits and remain healthy at the same time.


According to the MayoClinic.com, drinking lemon juice might help reduce the risk of kidney stones by reducing calcium levels in your urine, although there have been no studies to verify the theory. Proponents of lemon juice diets believe that, If used correctly, they can improve digestion, increase energy, clear up skin, aid in the prevention of chronic diseases and improve mental focus, but there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.

Expert Insights

According to Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., there is little research that shows that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. She says that because some people believe that they are doing something good and healthy for their bodies, they report feelings of being more focused and having more energy while on detox regimens. She also points out that the best diet is a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein.


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About the Author

Kimberly Fleming has been a professional writer since 2003 and has been published in a number of blogs and magazines. A personal trainer in Atlanta, she earned a Bachelor of Science in political science from Georgia State University. Although she starting writing in the legal field, her love of fitness led her to earn her certification from the American Council on Exercise.