The Master Cleanser*(See recent addendum below)

(adapted from Stan Burroughs)

  1. The night before Day 1 of your cleanse, do not have a heavy dinner, and drink a cup of laxative tea before bed. Something with senna as the main ingredient is good, & an organic tea is best.
  2. Day 1 through Day 10 of your cleanse:
    1. First thing in the morning drink one quart of lukewarm salt water. Prepare this by mixing two teaspoons of un-iodized salt into one quart of lukewarm water. (An empty milk bottle does the trick nicely.) If you can’t stomach swallowing salt water, there is an alternative. Instead, first thing in the morning you may again drink a cup of laxative tea.
    2. All day long drink as many glasses of the lemonade drink as you like. I typically drink one glass per hour for every hour that I am awake. It's important that you not restrict your intake of lemonade in the least. YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT REGARDLESS. (Additionally, restricting your intake of the lemonade may make you hungry & liable to quit.) The lemonade is made by mixing 2 tablespoons of organic grade B maple syrup (or dark grade A), 2 tablespoons of organic lemon or lime juice, and one tenth of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a 10 oz glass & filling it with water. The purer the ingredients you can use, the better. The lemon or lime juice may be fresh squeezed, or—if you get it from a bottle—check to make sure that it is ONLY 100% pure juice & not from concentrate. The beverage may be hot or cold or any temperature in between. The amount of cayenne you use may be “to taste,” but use at least 1/10 of a tsp of cayenne more often than not in your drinks. (A few times a day, I like to have a drink without any cayenne, just for taste variation.) You may pound the lemonade in one fell swoop, sip on it over several minutes, or hold your nose & gulp it down if need be. Whatever works!
    3. In between lemonade drinks, rinse your mouth with water. Swish & spit as if you are at the dentist’s office. This is very important; the maple & lemon in conjunction with one another are tough on your teeth.
    4. As a variation in flavor, you may also drink mint tea. Again, use organic if possible. Remember that the mint tea doesn’t have any calories, so don’t use it as a replacement for any of the lemonade drinks, but use it in addition to/in between drinks, or use it if you just want a change of flavor. Remember: You are not to drink any other beverages during this cleanse (including coffee)!
    5. The last thing before bed, drink a cup of laxative tea.
    6. Repeat this process from step a above as many days as you choose to cleanse. (I personally don’t find it necessary—or convenient—to drink the laxative tea every night along with the salt water every morning, but most mornings. The idea is that as the lemonade cleanses your tissues, you need the laxative tea to loosen the detritus, & the salt water [or the morning dose of laxative tea] to flush out what is loosened. So be sure to engage in this full process more often than not! [And stay by the toilet.])
  3. Breaking the fast:
    1. Day 11 – Drink organic orange juice—as much as you like—all day long.
    2. Day 12 – Drink organic orange juice for the 1st half of the day. Sometime during the day, prepare homemade vegetable soup as follows & eat it for dinner. Ingredients you may use in your soup: recommended vegetables include 1 or 2 kinds of legumes, potatoes, celery, carrots, green vegetable tops, onion, okra, tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, etc. USE NOTHING CANNED, but you may use an organic vegetable bouillon cube for flavoring, as well as seasonings & spices (go delicately)—including okra powder, chili, curry, cayenne pepper—(go sparingly on the salt, though). You may also use brown rice. DO NOT USE ANY MEAT OR MEAT STOCK. A few rye wafers may be eaten sparingly with the soup, but no crackers or bread.
    3. Day 13 – Drink organic orange juice in the morning, eat leftover vegetable soup for lunch, & for dinner make a fresh, raw vegetable salad (or eat anything in the form of vegetables, salad, or fruit). NO MEAT, FISH, EGGS, BREAD, PASTRIES, TEA, COFFEE, OR MILK!
    4. From this point on you may resume eating normally, but go slowly & be cautious! You may experience a period of abdominal discomfort or pain after eating. You can return to the lemonade beverage to help with this specifically or return to drinking it at any time. Some continue to use it as a meal replacer. (Some people like it like coffee 1st thing in the morning.) I also like to make a very large pot of vegetable soup on Day 12 & eat on it for several days afterwards, not just through Day 13. It’s best, in general, to avoid dairy products, eggs, & meat in the immediate days following your cleanse, & DON’T EAT LARGE PORTIONS of anything! (Note that following the cleanse, the author recommends lemonade for the morning meal, & that a strictly fruit, vegetable, seed, & berry diet is then followed.) I find that you can eat pretty much anything after Day 13 AS LONG AS YOU ONLY EAT SMALL PORTIONS.





2 Tbsp Grade B (or dark Grade A) real maple syrup 2 tsp un-iodized salt 2 kinds of legumes
2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice 1 qt lukewarm water potato
1/10 tsp cayenne pepper celery
~10 oz water carrot
ALSO SEE VARIATIONS BELOW!* green vegetable tops
brown rice
green pepper
vegetable bouillon cube
okra powder
rye wafer (as accoutrement)

*2009 Addendum: I have fasted in this manner every year for 5 years running with excellent results every time. I lose about 10+ pounds each time, weight which gradually comes back on until I am back at my normal weight. (I have always been height-weight proportionate & do the Master Cleanser for health benefit not weight loss.) Aside from overall health improvements & mental & emotional clarity, the one thing that the cleanse HAS changed that HASN'T changed back is permanent loss of several clothing sizes (despite weight ultimately being roughly the same). So cleansing has changed the shape of my body!

One variation I employ is that some years I cleanse for 7 days & come off it for 3. The net result is that you are still only ingesting liquids for 10 days. (Good for when you can't dedicate 2 solid weeks to not eating.) See Jen's Easy One-Page Ten-Day Fast: Modified Master Cleanse.

Two VARIATIONS in the cleansing beverage I have tried with success are: 1)Substitute apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice in the exact same proportions. 2)Substitute pure UNSWEETENED 100% pressed cranberries (a product like "Just Cran" NOT cranberry juice cocktail) for the lemon juice, & adjust the proportions as follows: 3 TBSP Just Cran to 1 TBSP maple syrup, and everything else the same. These beverage variations are good if you get flavor fatigue—better to mix it up than to quit. But personally, I like to do all 10 days on the same beverage & then just change that beverage from year to year.

The Master Cleanser is the single most powerful thing I have ever done for my health. Yes, it's difficult, but it's self-reinforcing because it's so beneficial. Otherwise I wouldn't keep doing it year after year. IT'S WORTH DOING. I recommend the Master Cleanser to anyone with any kind of health problem. TRY CLEANSING FIRST! It's good for you. The human body was built for famine not feast!