The Master Cleanse is a well-known detox program that involves consuming a lemonade made from distilled water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Designed by Stanley Burroughs in the 1950s, the diet was published as a booklet that is still in print today. All detox programs are meant to help the body's internal organs function optimally. Get medical clearance from your doctor first if you have never tried a detox program before.
Lemons provide vitamin C and as part of a detox program, whether juiced or sipped in water, it can assist detoxification. Lemon juice helps cleanse the kidneys and the colon. Were you to consume just hot water and lemon juice first thing in the morning, as Elson Haas, MD, author of "The New Detox Diet" recommends, that might be enough to prompt a bowel movement. Lemons contain compounds called limonoids that have been shown in animal studies to be effective in resisting skin, lung, stomach and colon cancer, according to The World's Healthiest Foods. Researchers from the U.S. Agricultural Research Service have conducted studies that show that humans easily absorb and use limonin, which may stay present in the blood for as long as 24 hours after it is consumed.
One ounce of maple syrup has 22 percent of the daily recommended allowance of the trace mineral manganese. According to the World's Healthiest Foods, manganese is needed for many enzymatic and antioxidative functions in the body. For example, superoxide dismutase, an oxidative enzyme, which disables free radicals inside the cells, needs manganese to function. Maple syrup also provides zinc, important for maintaining healthy endothelium cells, which are inside blood cells.
Maple syrup is a less refined source of sugar and as part of a detox drink, provides calories. As one ingredient of the Master Cleanse, maple syrup makes the lemonade less acidic and the additional calories makes it possible for people to remain on the lemonade fast for the 10 or more days required by the program.
Distilled water has no calories and also no toxins, making it ideal for a detox program. All detoxification diets are designed to remove toxins stored in the colon and other internal organs. These toxins are from our exposure to environmental pollution including pesticides, cigarette smoke, heavy metals from manufacturing and from car exhaust. By drinking distilled water, you are reducing the risk of adding more to your toxic burden. Taken all together, lemon juice, maple syrup and distilled water are good components for a detox program. Consult a nutritionist or your physician for specific guidelines that would be most appropriate for you.