Master Cleanse

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Master Cleanse ingredients

Master Cleanse is a modified juice fast that permits no food, substituting tea and lemonade made with maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Proponents claim that the diet detoxifies the body and removes excess fat. There is no scientific evidence that the diet removes any toxins, or that it achieves anything beyond temporary weight loss. Though unlikely to be harmful over the short term it can be harmful over the long term. Short term side effects include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and dehydration, while long term harm includes loss of muscle mass.[1]


Master Cleanse was developed by Stanley Burroughs, who published it initially in the 1940s, and revived it in 1976 in his books The Master Cleanser[2][3] and Healing for the Age of Enlightenment.


Nutritionist Jane Clark points to a lack of essential nutrients in this program, citing a deficiency of protein, vitamins, and minerals. As a result of these deficiencies, including far fewer calories than the recommended amount for health and optimum functioning, individuals on the diet may experience headaches and a variety of other symptoms in the short term and the diet is potentially harmful over the long term.[4] The program has been described as an extreme fad or crash diet, and any weight lost during the fast can be expected to be regained once the diet is stopped. Dietician Keri Glassman has said those following the diet are "guaranteed" to gain weight after stopping.[5]

The diet calls specifically for grade B maple syrup on the mistaken belief that the darker colored syrup is less refined than lighter colored grade A. All maple syrup, when produced according to standard methods, is made by the exact same process, with many trees producing grade A syrup earlier in the spring and grade B later. No maple syrup is refined. Color and flavor are the only differences between grades of syrup.


  1. ^ Jennifer Murray. "Master Cleanse pros & cons". Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  2. ^ Stanley Burroughs (1976). The Master Cleanser. Burroughs Books. pp. 16–22, 25. ISBN 0-9639262-0-9. 
  3. ^ Glickman, Peter (2011). Lose Weight, Have More Energy & Be Happier in 10 Days. Peter Glickman, Inc. ISBN 0-9755722-5-3. 
  4. ^ Clarke, Jane. "The nutritionist's view". The Times (London UK): pp. 4. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  5. ^ "Do "Detox" Diets Work? Are They Safe?". CBS News. April 23, 2008.