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Health & Support
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The Master Cleanse/Lemonade Diet

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I'm considering embarking on The Master Cleanse, which is not primarily focused on weight loss, but rather focused on ridding the intestines of built up bacteria. Weight loss is an effect of the Cleanse because it's basically a fast where one drinks a mixture of fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water for a recommended minimum of ten days.

I'm interested in any feedback from those who have done the Cleanse themselves or know anyone who has done it. I know this is generally not in line with the mentality of this website and I know that maintaining any benefits gained from a cleanse of this nature requires lifestyle maintenance.

Thanks so much for the feedback! If you've never heard of The Master Cleanse, Google it! There's a ton of information.

Keep on keepin' on folks! Whatever you wish is achievable and YOU ARE WORTH IT!! :D

Edited Oct 21 2009 04:09 by nycgirl
Reason: Locked as against posting guidelines, we do not support the Master Cleanse for longer than 1 day for any purpose. Moved from WL to Health & Support forum
77 Replies (last)
Raehn by the way... I did the MC at the same time as my bf, and not only was he a "caffeine addict" he was also a smoker. I was worried he wouldn't last long on it because of the cravings. He told me he barely had any cravings. Probably because in the first days you're more focused on the fact you're not eating, and you're adjusting to that. Then past the first 3 days, you're pretty much good to go in terms of caffeine and nicotine cravings. He went back to drinking coffee regularly afterwards but he's not a regular smoker anymore =)
Props to jhealynyad, united2gether, and pyrettablaze.

This "cleanse" is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of. What mythical benefits do you think you will gain by crapping so much that even the softest TP feels like 60 grit?

Go get your shakras realigned while you're at it, why don't you?

Grade B maple syrup is the finest kind, IMHO, as it has very intense flavors. It is for pancakes, french toast (mmm...grilled maple bread!) and soft-serve ice cream (yum! There's this place in Montpelier ...). It is most certainly NOT some mythical substance that is going to purify you!

Good gravy. Some of you will believe *anything*.
I found a really good cleanse diet a while ago!

All you have to do is sit down and eat a tub of fat-free sugarless icecream for dinner!! Then wait 3 - 4 hours.... (it was sure a suprise to me)

Way more fun then eating syrup (at least while you are eating it)
A search on medline revealed ZERO articles on "master cleanse".  Thus, the "peer-reviewed" articles were most certainly not reviewed by actual scientists or medical doctors.  The so-called "peers" who reviewed this snake oil must be the same crazies who are out there aligning their shakras and pooping their guts out. 

Sorry, I'm not a believer in the "benefits" of the Master Cleanse.  I've seen people do it and turn into complete zombies (who really shouldn't be working, driving, operating heavy machinery or taking care of small children).  Your body needs those bacteria to digest your food...that's why you get diarrhea when you rid your gut of them!  And your brain needs calories to function if you're not giving it the calories it needs, it's not surprising that you think starvation is a good thing.  Do your body and your brain a favor and skip the cleanse.

*jumping off soapbox now and ducking*
"must be the same crazies who are out there aligning their shakras"

Yanno, sometimes, the way these threads deteriorate from a discussion worthy of merit and reason into sludge-flinging insult festivals just never ceases to amaze me.

For the record, there ARE people that believe chakra (and if you're going to insult it, spell it right) and energy work are vastly beneficial and many more from Eastern religions who incorporate it into their spiritual/religious life.

Maybe you could just stick to rubbing mashed potatoes on your head... it might insult fewer people.  Diversity awareness, people.  Seriously.

Erm.  Just to be clear, I'm not the one mocking Chakras.  That's a religious concept as far as I am aware, and I try not to mock people's religion.

I just rub potatoes on my head and read medical studies.
Mar 07 2007 22:29
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i have never seen a peer reviewed reputable medical source recommend the master cleanse or any detox diet for weight loss reasons or to cleanse the body of toxins or impurities... the body is set up to work well if we give it the foods we need; plant based foods with fiber in them and not refined, stripped and processed out... you can't strip all the fiber and not expect to get a little plugged up. 

Drinking cayenne pepper with maple syrup or in lemonade... yikes... to burn your insides?  why?  it sounds like pure torture....

show me the medical basis for doing this... a reputable source and i would consider doing it if my doctor thought i should...

but until then... i just don't wanna feel the burn = torture
No, that would have been behanna and mesize8 with the inappropriate comments.  Sorry to sidetrack, but my tolerance for that type of commentary is limited to non-existent.
Well, raehn, my tolerance for new age stupidity is also limited to non-existent, so I guess we're even. "Cleansing" and "detoxification" most certainly fall into the "new age stupidity" box.

As for "inappropriate," I'm afraid those who support something as stupid and dangerous as this "master cleanse" procedure are the ones who are behaving inappropriately.

*steps off soapbox*
First, I just want to say that I don't think attacking anyone on this issue is worthwhile. We are all here to learn, to share our own experiences and to exchange ideas. It is a fact of life that we will all disagree with one another at some point.

Personally, I am not sold on this method at this point. I have read several articles which claim the detox diets to be at best useless and at worst harmful. Here is one that is written by a physician and a toxicologist. Some interesting points that are brought up are:

  • "There are thousands of testimonials that describe experiences of less bloating (actually the result of eating less food), clearer skin (improved hydration), decreased headaches (reduced alcohol and caffeine), and reduced bad breath (potential "sweet" ketosis)". These are not the effects of an extreme diet, instead they are the effects of cutting out some poor diet choices. This can be done without an extreme fast.

  • "We have emphasized that healthy adults, even overweight adults, have been endowed with extraordinary systems for elimination of waste and regulation of body chemistry. Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system are effective in removing or neutralizing toxic substances within hours of consumption." We have biologically designed mechanisms for dealing with toxins as it is. Those that we cannot eliminate, will not be displaced by lemonade nor maple syrup. Here is another article that argues this as well (from webMD).

  • They should not be followed by people who are undergoing growth and development, such as children and adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding women, older adults who may have impaired renal or hepatic function, those with heart disease or diabetes, those with irritable or functional bowel disorders, those who are struggling with chronic illness, who may suffer from protein calorie malnutrition, anemia, or malabsorption (such as gastric-bypass or eating-disorder patients), those who may be on "blood thinners"??all may be subject to significant adverse reactions or interactions on the typical detox vegetable/fruit and water regimen.


    "The bottom line is that a more healthful lifestyle includes eating a variety of foods from the basic food groups while staying within energy needs, increasing daily intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat or low-fat milk and milk products, and participating in physical activity every day, as outlined in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. "

Furthermore, I looked and looked on CAM on PubMED (complementary and alternative medicine search criteria); NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine); MedlinePlus, and EMedicine for peer reviewed articles on cleansing diets and I have yet to find any. This is not inherently a mark against the diet, it just means that the research probably hasn't been done yet (or that I just haven't found it). I'll keep looking though!!

Again, please don't attack each other. We're all here for support!!
Furthermore, I just read comments that are arguing there is no medical research being done on complementary medical practices such as alternative diets, lifestyles and even energy medicine (shakras) and the like. That's simply not true. My medical school class completed a 6 week long unit on complementary medicine. Here we learned the basics on how to regard alternative practices and how to make sure we recognize that many patients are interested in methods that fall outside of traditional medicine. If you are interested in peer reviewed articles on these topics visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 

The main theme is that just because we don't know a lot about it, this doesn't mean there is no validity to it. It just means we have to be careful and be discriminating about what is SAFE. 
And just what, exactly, does someone's religious beliefs and practices have to do with a discussion surrounding "detoxification" particularly when discussed in the vein of comparing said detoxification to the religious beliefs and/or practices of another individual (and whole other culture) which may or may not be contrary to your own? 

Something that doesn't agree with your own ideals or values doesn't automatically earn the label of "crazy" or "stupid" as you so eloquently put it, whether that be regarding detoxification diets, spirituality or any other platform for that matter.

My point is... those kinds of comments don't belong here.  You can make your point without the inflammatory comparisons.  You don't see me running around here talking smack about all the bible thumping fundamentalists, do you?  No.  I respect every individual's right to their beliefs, opinions and practices even when they do not agree with my own as well as respecting their right to voice them in a forum free from hostility and insult.

Make your point intelligently or don't make it at all.  My apologies for the blunt directness of my post, but this type of behavior has no place here and is the reason why threads end up locked.

Carry on.
Sorry, raehn, but I'm not playing your game. Sit up on your high horse and feel superior if you must.

I am not going to "respect" stupidity just because it is someone's viewpoint. It is *still* stupidity, and in this case, potentially dangerous stupidity at that.

Ever watch someone die when their liver and kidneys shut down? I have. A program like this could easily put someone with marginal kidneys into real trouble.

Now, go ahead and take us off on tangents, arguing about unrelated side issues and why you are so superior for not pooh-poohing someone's point of view. Go ahead. I know you can't help yourself.

And, should this thread get locked, that'd be a blessing. There is nothing more productive to be said on it.
Another point lost in the void of ego.... c'est la vie.

*edit* And for the record, I held my father's hand as he died from kidney failure during emergency dialysis (after undergoing dialysis 3x a week for nearly two years).  AGAIN, a completely irrelevant comment, but since you asked.
I just wanted to weigh in here.  I just got finished my second Master Cleanse (both times completing a total of 9 days) in 2 years. 

The first cleanse I did was the one that helped me figure out that I was allergic to dairy.  By cutting everything out except lemon juice and maple syrup, I found that my arthritis symptoms totally disappeared.  All I had to do was "experiment" with one serving of milk (a latte if you must know) to find my symptoms all return.

This last cleanse I did to totally eliminate candida.  My digestion was getting really "noisy" particularly with respect to fruit sugars.  So, during the cleanse, I took a lot of fungus-killing herbs (garlic, pau d'arco).  And then as I started getting back on whole foods, I took a ton of probiotics (Gr8-Dophilus pills).

I feel *way* better now, even though before the cleanse I was already eating an exclusively Paleo/raw diet that made me feel pretty alright.  It was essentially a "reboot" for my intestinal flora.

So, the cleanse can be a really important tool, regardless of whether you believe in toxins.

Oh, and by the way -- I lost 5 pounds (3 of it was water, so I gained that back), and none of it was muscle mass.  I kept up my weight training regimen through the whole thing.  Impossible on 600 calories a day?  Hardly.  I had more energy than ever.
Lots of arguing going on here and I would love to agree with this cleanse I did just research it and disregarded it for my needs.  Those of you who can do this--MORE POWER TO YOU, everyone else STAY AWAY.  no matter how much I read everyone posted about their weight loss with only added references to medical relief.  This is about weight loss if you are trying this!! Don't try to fool others that it is about medical alternatives.  It is simply a quick weight loss plan you want somebody to back you up with.  I would not try this without seeing your doctor 1st.  They are the only qualified expert to address.  Only they know your full medical background and family history.  BE CAREFUL AND BEST OF LUCK, hope to see you on the threads about a real course of long term action soon.
*pops her nose in*
*puts on a chicken costume*
I think we all need some more silly.
*wiggles and struts her ego*

Here's something to distract and entertain you. ? Enjoy!! -google/
Good distraction Lillipop!  This thread is a good example of how different we all are.  Thank God you put on that Chicken costume!
Venix, where are you getting 600 calories a day? I calculated it out and it's more like 1350 or so... assuming you use the specified amounts of maple syrup.

Also I don't get it - if you were trying to eliminate candida and were having problems with fruit sugars, well, isn't maple syrup just straight sugar???
Someone was asking some questions, though I am not sure they were really looking for answers, but based on my research this is how it works:

This is a type of fast. Instead of an outright water fast though the lemons/limes, grade b maple syrup (not normal table syrup), and the salt (unprocessed sea salt, not ordinary table salt) nourish the body of the cleanser so it is not a starvation diet... the salt water flush is also a known cleanse that has been used for a long time in the East... I do not subscribe to the Yogi religious beliefs but if the flush works, it works.

I have done another cleanse, not this one yet but have read a lot about it to decide whether or not to try it, and I can see how people have some of the questions they do without having done any reasearch... it is a shame people will resort to slamming and name calling instead of doing some research but that is what often happens on these forums :(

The toxins released: John Wayne had pounds of waste in his system when he was autopsied. That backed up, caked on, and not going anywhere gunk would have been very toxic to his system. In fact, waste that is impacted so as not to be evacuated can be absorbed back into the system (in addition to causing other problems... I know what it feels like to not floss for several days and my gums start to hurt (so I floss) so imagine having stuff stuck to your colon for a loooong time because it is impacted and the irritation that could cause over time). Mucoid Plaque can also form. The other backed up waste, and the Mucoid Plaque, are great places for parasites and other toxins to take up residence and not get evacuated from the system so there is more opportunity for the person to basically be poisoned by their own waste (toxins). I imagine we don't need to go into the benefits of flushing parasites, such as worms, out of our system.

One reason the cleanse works is because the body is not overwhelmed with digesting and processing all the food and drink normally thrown at it. Remember the last time you had a huge meal and in a short time had to take a nap (this can also happen from a heavy carb/sugar meal). That is your body switching gears to focus on the overabundance of food, and likely a bad combination of food, to digest it... the cleanse allows the body to not be so wrapped up in fighting alligators so to speak that it can remember the task at hand is to drain the swamp, and can actually put forth energy for accomplishing that task.

I have evacuated Mucoid Plaque during another cleanse and have also had long worms, that had obviously taken up residence for a while, removed while cleansing so it is a great idea... after the Mucoid Plaque came out I had more energy... having who knows how many worms not sucking up my nutrients and likely contributing their own waste, as well as getting out a lot of material that was formed so it looked like it had been in my system a long time, provided great benefits to me.

I do not need scientists to run tests for who knows how long to know I benefited... feeling better overall and having more energy are good indicators to me the other cleanse, though not as drastic as this one, provided me with great benefits.

I am not going to slam Western medicine but they are not paid to cure but rather to treat, they do get paid for every prescription they write btw, and in the process people have gotten used to pushing their health off on their Dr. with the "what can you give me for this problem" mentality... how many commercials do we see now for how many different medications to improve this or regulate that... the problem is do you get to a point where you no longer need the medication, other than dying?

Many people have received permanent benefits from cleansing (such as no more arthritis or severe allergies) because it does remove toxins from the body, unless you are that special case who has not eaten the typical Western diet, you have not abused drugs alcohol or tobacco, you exercise regularly, you eat all organic produce, you drink filtered or clean spring water, and any meat you eat is completely free of hormones and pesticides by being fed an organic diet, you live in the country away from the pollution and all the man-made chemical sludge in many of the products people use daily, and that last one is getting worse as body care products now often contain petroleum by products as do detergents.

Unless we eat all organic, we are inundated with pesticides in our food. That waste has to go somewhere and what organs in the body process waste then finally eliminate it from the body.

Also, many people do not think about how much they eat compared to how much comes out the other end. If we eat 3 meals a day plus snacks and go to the bathroom once a day or less, where is the extra material--- inside, backed up. It is a fact that countries normally known for health and longevity quickly experience Western health issues the moment the typical American diet hits their area... fast food draws people and if you think about it, how many aisles in the average grocery store really contain edible food? Not many... the organic produce section and some of the frozen and very little in the baked goods... the rest is processed and/or laden with sugar and meat and dairy are very hard on our systems, in addition to the fact we have not been discouraged from eating very complex meals, including meat, which then practically ensures the meat or some of the other food items will not digest properly.

Also, I have read where people on this cleanse are sometimes still evacuating solid material after 8 days and what comes out is formed so it is not muscle that has been canibalized for protein.

After getting off the cleanse the cleanser is encouraged to ease back into eating regular food but hopefully not returning to their old diet: Starbucks coffee + muffin, fast food for lunch, lots of processed food with sugar for snacks or even sometimes for a meal, complex meals that do not digest well, etc...

The need for repopulating the persons system with flora is also noted so people are aware the flush is a full flush and the good bacteria will need to be replaced, but what happens to those good bacteria with the typical Western diet and all the pollutants and chemicals we take in, including antibiotics (which btw after you are prescribed antibiotics does your Dr. tell you to replenish your flora... they should).

After the research I have done, I plan to try it for 10 days... I am not advocating it for anyone else but I do suggest anyone interested really research it and read the book... it is cheap online and on some sites you can read the entire book as a pdf... every site I found always says the same thing--- read the entire book before you try the cleanse.
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