The Master Cleanse: step-by-step (Total Detox)

Master Cleanse is a cost-effective, easy, non-starving and effective method of total body detoxification.

Master cleanse is typically done for 10 days (minimum), but can be safely maintained for many more days, if desired. It is a liquid mono-diet and does not starve the body. No solid foods are consumed during master cleanse.

Benefits of Master Cleanse

Master cleanse detoxifies the body, breaks down old wastes, cleans the receptor sites of cells while regenerating unhealthy tissues and cells in the body.

Benefits of Master Cleanse:

  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Clarity of mind
  • Greater flexibility
  • Weight loss
  • Freedom from addictions
  • Increased strength
  • Reduced swelling and pain
  • Stops hair loss
  • Clear healthier skin
  • Allergies reduced

master cleanse step by step

How to Prepare the Body before a Cleanse

→ Some people go on a vegetarian diet for 4-5 days before a cleanse. Such a diet makes it easier to transition to the Master Cleanse.

→ If you drink coffee every day, start taking Vitamin B5 (400 mg, three times a day) for about 4 days before starting the cleanse. Reduce the coffee intake by 25% every day, so the day you start the cleanse, you will be off the caffeine.

→ Prepare the ingredients for the master cleanse: organic lemons, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, an herbal laxative, and sea salt.

→ People who have had organ transplants or are on immune suppressant drugs cannot do the master cleanse.

How to Do the Master Cleanse

Step 1 – Gather Ingredients

For a 10-day cleanse, you will need the following:

  • 60-80 organic lemons or yellowish limes (not green limes, nothing canned/frozen, only fresh)
  • 2 quarts Maple syrup, use the darkest grade with no formaldehyde
  • 1/2 cup Sea salt
  • 10 gallons of good-quality Water (or Spring Water)
  • 2 oz of Cayenne pepper
  • Herbal laxative – prepare enough amount for 10 days

If your lemons are refrigerated, remove them from the fridge 2 days before you use them, to increase their enzyme activity. You can set them in the sunlight to allow them to ripen. If they are ripening too quickly, rub a small amount of lemon essential oil on the lemon or lime peel to prevent spoilage.

Do not use sugar, other sweeteners, or honey as a substitute for maple syrup. The author of the book does not suggest using honey during a cleanse.

Stanley Burroughs (the author) recommends using formaldehyde-free maple syrup by Spring Tree of Brattleboro, Vermont that he uses himself.  There are many other brands that do not use formaldehyde too.

Step 2 – Take an Herbal Laxative (every night for 10 days)

Take a herbal laxative the night before you start the cleanse.

A laxative must be used each and every night of Master Cleanse.

A laxative may cause diarrhea in some people. If this happens, stop taking it until diarrhea stops. Diarrhea is when you go to the bathroom several times a day without much control of your colon. It is normal to have 3-4 eliminations from your bowel each day during a cleanse.

Step 3 – Laxative or “Saltwater” (in the mornings for 10 days)

In the morning of Day 1, drink a herbal laxative or salty water. 

→ You can drink salt water 3 times during 10 days of cleansing, and drink laxative the other days. For example, you can drink saltwater on Day 1, Day 4, and Day 8.

→ The saltwater starts to be eliminated within 0.5-1.5 hours. If you do not pass saltwater, it means you may be deficient in salt or in trace minerals, so just add more salt the next time.

→ Drink the laxative the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning (or laxative at night and saltwater in the morning)

Saltwater recipe:

  • 2 teaspoons of Sea salt
  • 1 quart of Warm Water

Drink the Saltwater slowly, within 10-15 minutes, to avoid nausea.

Step 4 – Drink “Lemonade”, 6-12 cups a day

After you begin eliminating the saltwater or the waste, drink a Lemonade.

→ Drink lemonade every time you feel hungry.

→ Drink 6-12 cups of lemonade every day. At least 6 cups a day.

→ If you feel hungry, tired, or cold, it is often because you are not drinking enough lemonade.

→ Always make and drink your lemonade fresh.

→ Drink water or herbal tea if you feel dehydrated or when the weather is hot. Remember to drink at least 6 cups of Lemonade every day of the cleanse.

→ Never microwave your Lemonade!

→ Do not use Meyer Lemons/Valley lemons (a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange) for the cleanse, because they are less acidic.

Lemonade recipe #1: 

  • 2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed Lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Maple syrup
  • 1/10 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 8 oz of Water, cold or room temperature

Stir and drink up.

If you can’t make Lemonade fresh each time:

Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and maple syrup and keep it cool in a thermos, or in the refrigerator. Measure 4 tablespoons of this mixture into a glass, and add water and 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper. As soon as you add water, drink within 5-10 minutes.

Lemonade recipe #2: 

  • 10 oz. Freshly extracted juice from the sugar cane (medium hot or cold) 
  • 2 Tablespoons of Fresh Lime or Lemon juice 
  • 1/10 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper (or to taste) – do not omit, it’s necessary
  • 8 oz of Water, cold or room temperature

Stir and drink it up.

Step 5 – Break the Lemonade diet properly

The First day after the cleanse:
  • Several 8 oz glasses of Fresh Orange juice during the day. Orange juice prepares the digestive system for regular food. Drink it slowly.
Second day:
  • Several 8 oz glasses of Fresh Orange juice during the day. You can add extra water to the juice if needed.
  • In the afternoon prepare a Vegetable soup. Use several kinds of vegetables (legumes, potatoes, celery, green vegetable tops, onion, etc). You may also add okra, okra powder, dehydrated vegetables, powdered vegetables, chili, curry, cayenne, tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, squash, brown rice. Spices for flavor, and a little salt. The less cooking the better.
  • Have the soup in the evening using the broth mostly. You can eat some vegetables too. No bread or crackers.
Third day:
  • Drink Orange juice in the morning
  • Eat Vegetable soup at noon
  • Eat Vegetables, salads, or fruits in the evening (no meat, fish, or eggs; no bread, pastries, tea, coffee, or milk).
Fourth day:
  • Normal eating may be resumed
  • If you experience distress or gas, continue the lemonade diet for several more days until your system is ready for food. (Discomfort means your body is trying to continue the detox mode, so continuing the cleanse would be good.)

What is allowed and what is not allowed during the Master Cleanse


  • Mint tea, occasionally (assists in further cleansing)
  • Herbal teas, occasionally
  • Drink at least 6 cups of Lemonade a day

Not allowed:

  • Do not eat solid foods during the cleanse period (minimum of 10 days)
  • Do not use or consume refined sugars or other sweeteners
  • Do not take vitamin pills or supplements
  • Do not drink coffee, tea, caffein-based drinks, soda drinks


→ Overweight people can use less maple syrup; underweight people may use little more.

→ Underweight people should not be worried about losing weight during the cleanse, they will lose mucus and waste. Healthy tissues will not be eliminated. You may even gain a healthy weight near the end of the cleanse.

→ While the body detoxes, some people may experience dizziness, weakness, vomiting, or other disturbances, for a few days. It means the body is detoxing, and it’s normal.

→ Even though lemon is an acidic fruit, it becomes alkaline as it is digested.

→ Addicts like alcoholics, smokers, or other drug addicts will greatly benefit from this diet too. The cleanse will remove the cravings and other deficiencies.

→ With the lemonade diet, you may live an active normal life. You don’t starve or stay in bed like in the water fast. The author (Stanley Burroughs) thinks several days of water fast is too dangerous, and he suggests the lemonade fast as a safe option.

→ Bathing 1-2 times a day is suggested during the cleanse to eliminate detox wastes by the skin.

→ Tom Woloshyn (the author) eliminated parasite parts while he was doing advanced Master cleanse on the 33rd day, in total, of his master cleanse. It continued throughout the year, and after 90 days of a non-continuous cleansing, the parasite was killed and was eliminated completely.

→ Buy herbal parasite cleansing product (which may contain cloves, black walnut, wormwood) and use it while doing the Master cleanse if you want to get rid of parasites while cleansing.

Disclaimer: These are my notes from the books and not medical advice. Please, consult with your doctor before trying this method. 



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  1. Amanda says:

    How would you know if you have, had a parasite. How would you know if you need to continue the cleanse for a longer period of time?

    1. organicbiomama says:

      Hi, Amanda! This protocol is not specifically for parasite removal but rather for total body detoxification. We all have parasites; what we aim to avoid is parasite infestation. It’s usually recommended to do cleanses 1-2 times a year. If you would like more information, you could get more answers from the books mentioned at the end of the post. Thank you, Feruza.

  2. Maude Barnes says:

    I would like to get the answer question posted here by Amanda.

    1. organicbiomama says:

      Hi, Maude! This protocol is not specifically for parasite removal but rather for total body detoxification. We all have parasites; what we aim to avoid is parasite infestation. It’s usually recommended to do cleanses 1-2 times a year. If you would like more information, you could get more answers from the books mentioned at the end of the post. Thank you, Feruza.

  3. Maude Barnes says:

    I would like to know the answer to this question.

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