Natural Living: The Master Cleanse

There has been much controversy over the Master Cleanse detoxification program after it became a hit in Hollywood, touting its quick weight loss results. It was the most searched recipe in 2007 on However, before you decide if this is right for you, you must look at the history of cleansing.

The cleanse was first created in the 1940s by alternative health practitioner, Stanley Burroughs, who was constantly researching cancer cures. From the beginning of recorded history people have been fasting as a way to purify their bodies. The Chinese have the first written herbal prescriptions dating back to 2700 BC. Colon hydrotherapy, also known as colonics, was first recorded in 1500 BC, and the sauna has been used since the year 1112 as a form of cleansing. All cultures have traditionally used eliminative herbs that have laxative, diuretic, and blood purifying properties to remove toxins from the body. Even today, 60 percent of all cultures follow some form of internal cleansing.

The human body is amazing and miraculous. Unfortunately, the body can’t function at peak performance and live up to its miraculous potential if it’s clogged with impurities and is nutritionally bankrupt. We’re constantly bombarded with impurities from the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Our drinking water alone contains more than 700 chemicals! Our animal and dairy products carry antibiotics, steroids and hormones. Vegetables and fruits contain residues from pesticides. The cleaning products, skin care products and toiletries we use daily can contain hormones and chemicals. Many cities have air that’s labeled unsafe to breathe for physical activity or for the young or infirmed. Impurities are linked with many of the health problems and illnesses we see every day. This is why we should cleanse, not necessarily to lose weight but to detoxify our body of the impurities that affect it every day.

The Master Cleanse is specifically good during spring due it energetic effects upon the liver. In Chinese Medicine, the liver energy is most abundant during the spring time and is most sensitive to outside impurities, which when built up can lead to a host of health problems.

The Master Cleanse is only one way to cleanse the body as there are many types of detoxification programs out there to fit each person’s needs. One should consult his or her health practitioner before starting to make sure it’s the right fit for him or her.

Here’s how to follow the plan:

No solid foods are allowed, nor are any supplements. You consume only the Master Cleanse elixir to keep you hydrated. The plan calls for you to drink six or more servings daily of the lemonade drink. The only other options are a “salt water flush” of 2 teaspoons of salt mixed in a quart of water in the morning, and an herbal laxative tea at night, if needed.

A single serving of the Master Cleanse drink consists of:

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons grade-B organic maple syrup

1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper

10 ounces filtered water

After following this fast for 4-10 days, you need to slowly ease back into solid food, starting with foods like vegetable soup, followed by fruits and vegetables. The first three days is when you feel the worst (this is the time that most impurities will flush from the body), which is why it’s recommended if you’re working to start on Friday and by Monday you’ll feel a whole lot better. By day five, most people will feel improved clarity, less pain and less symptoms of what ails them. During this time if you feel like you can’t continue a variation is to add in salads with plenty of veggies and nuts with only lemon juice as the dressing. You’ll still be able to cleanse your system to a certain degree without having to stop.

Again, it’s important to do any cleanse under the supervision of a health practitioner if you have never cleansed your body before. Start today and feel the rewards of being less toxic!


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