The lemonade diet is a restrictive regimen that you follow for at least ten days. You will not be eating anything, and you will be drinking nothing more than the lemonade itself, plus water, laxative tea or mint tea and the morning “salt bath”. Eating anything on the lemonade diet may make you quite sick.

The lemonade diet, also known as the master cleanse, is a pretty severe diet to undertake. It is actually not a diet, but a cleanse, but you will lose quite a lot of weight — as much as 2-3 pounds a day. However, if you have issues with food, like anorexia, or strong binge/purge habits, this cleanse is going to re-enforce your bad habits. This is extreme dieting.

That said, if you want to lose weight fast, and look radiant and feel great (about the initial detox), this diet is the bomb. I love it, and I’ve done it five times. You will not be hungry so long as you drink enough lemonade. I do not have good willpower at all, and have no serious problems sticking to this diet after the first day or so. It really, really helps to know that eating anything would make me sick, so that kind of removes my interest in eating. It is also nice to not have to cook, wash dishes and pay for groceries for two weeks.

I did eat a handful of almonds once on the first day of a cleanse, about 12 hours into it, and sure enough, it did make me kind of nauseous. My neighbor has eaten raw vegetables on the cleanse — about a cup or so of them at a time, for lunch and dinner — and she said it does not make her sick. Still, ingesting anything besides the lemonade, water, tea or the salt bath is NOT following the master cleanse. This is a powerful cleanse, and I really do recommend you follow the instructions.

Master Cleanse Recipe

“2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice (approximately 1/2 of one lemon)

2 Tablespoons genuine Grade B maple syrup

1/10 Teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste

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Water, medium hot (spring or purified water

Combine the juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper in a 10 ounce glass and fill with medium hot water. (Cold water may be used if preferred).

Use fresh lemons or limes only, never canned lemon or lime juice nor frozen lemonade or frozen juice. Use organic lemons when possible.”

Master Cleanse Instructions

Here are the exact instructions from Stanley Burroughs’s book, The Master Cleanser. The Master Cleanser is THE book that started it all, and while there are other good books about the cleanse, they are all derived from Burroughs’s slim little volume.

I have quoted from Burroughs’s book pretty heavily below, but there is a reason. The amount of misinformation about the master cleanse is staggering, and because this is a powerful cleanse, I think it is a bit dangerous to undertake your own version of the cleanse. Burroughs’ formula works, and we should follow it. Do NOT get creative in how you implement the cleanse.

“Follow the diet for a minimum of 10 days or more — up to 40 days and beyond may be safely followed for extremely serious cases. The diet has all the nutrition needed during this time.”

Take from six to twelve glasses of the lemonade daily during the waking period. As you get hungry just have another glass of lemonade. NO OTHER FOOD SHOULD BE TAKEN DURING THE FULL PERIOD OF THE DIET… for those who are overweight, less maple syrup may be taken. For those who are underweight, more maple syrup may be taken. Never vary the amount of lemon juice per glass. About six glasses of lemonade a day is enough for those wishing to reduce. Extra water may be taken as desired.”

“Mint tea may be used occasionally during this diet as a pleasant change and to assist further in the cleansing. Its chlorophyll helps as a purifier, neutralizing many mouth and body odors that are released during the cleansing period.”

Instructions continued, quoted exactly from Burrough’s book:

Helping the Cleansing Along

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As this is a cleansing diet, the more you can assist Nature to eliminate poisons, the better. If your system feels upset, it is because you are not having sufficient elimination. Avoid this possibility by following the directions completely. Above all, be sure you have two, three, or more movements a day. This may seem unnecessary not eating solid food, but it is Nature’s way of eliminating the waste it has loosened from the various cells and organs in the body. They must leave the body some way. It would be just the same as sweeping the floor around and around and never removing the dirt from the house if the wastes were not passed out. The better the elimination, the more rapid will be the results.

A LAXATIVE HERB TEA is found to be the best helper for most persons. It is a good practice to take a good laxative herb tea right from the beginning – the last thing at night and first thing in the morning. There are several good laxative teas. They are best taken in a liquid form. Buy them in your health food store.

Another Cleansing Aid: Internal Salt Water Bathing (aka “The Salt Bath”)

As it is necessary to bathe the outside of our bodies, so it is with the inside. Do not take enemas or colonics at any time during the cleansing diet or afterwards. They are unnecessary and can be extremely harmful.

There is a much superior method of cleansing the colonic tract with- out the harmful effects of customary colonics and enemas. This method will cleanse the entire digestive tract while the colonics and enemas will only reach the colon or a small part of it. Colonics can be expensive while our salt-water method is not.

DIRECTIONS: Prepare a full quart of lukewarm water and add two level (rounded for the Canadian quart) teaspoons of uniodized sea salt. Do not use ordinary iodized salt as it will not work property.

Drink the entire quart of salt and water first thing in the morning. This must be taken on an empty stomach. The salt and water will not separate but will stay intact and quickly and thoroughly wash the entire tract in about one hour. Several eliminations will likely occur. The salt water has the same specific gravity as the blood, hence the kidneys cannot pick up the water and the blood cannot pick up the salt.

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This may be taken as often as needed for proper washing of the entire digestive system.

If the salt water does not work the first time, try adding a little more or a little less salt until the proper balance is found; or possibly take extra water with or without salt. This often increases the activity. Remember, it can do no harm at any time. The colon needs a good washing, but do it the natural way – the salt water way. It is quite advisable to take the herb laxative tea at night to loosen, then the salt water each morning to wash it out. If for some reason the salt water cannot be taken in the morning, then the herb laxative tea must be taken night and morning.

How to Break the Master Cleanse

Coming off the lemonade diet properly is highly important – please follow the directions very carefully. After living in a semi-tropical and tropical climate for many years, I find that people have increasingly turned to a raw fruit, nut, and vegetable diet. Following is the schedule for people who normally follow such a natural vegetarian diet:


Several 8 oz. glasses of fresh orange juice as desired during the day. The orange juice prepares the digestive system to properly digest and assimilate regular food. Drink it slowly. If there has been any digestive difficulty prior to or during the change over, extra water may be taken with the orange juice.


Orange juice in the morning. Raw fruit for lunch. Fruit or raw vegetable salad at night. You are now ready to eat normally.