My Review of The Master Cleanse: Day 1

A simple look into fasting led to my discovery of the landmark Master Cleanse diet, and that simple look ended up changing my life forever.

The Master Cleanse is a short book written by Stanley Burroughs that outlines the Master Cleanse diet and its ability to cleanse every organ of the body.

This article is the first in a series of 13 articles chronicling my own journey with the Master Cleanse. In this series, I share with you my unfiltered impressions of how my body reacted to the Master Cleanse “diet”. Though in truth it shouldn’t be called a “diet” at all because people go on “diets” to lose weight while the Master Cleanse is designed to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins. Quite different from a “diet”, it is a Cleanse (partially a colon cleanse but it also on other areas), and it’s designed to increase the body’s effectiveness.

I began this cleanse on Saturday, but these progress update blog posts will be posted a day later so I have added clarity in my perspective of the previous day. In fact, I will hereby publicly promise that I will post daily blog entries, on schedule, until I have completed the cleanse, including my transition back to solid food. These daily posts will serve as progress reports, and I sincerely hope that this day by day log will prove useful (as a complete Master Cleanse blog series) for those who are considering undertaking the cleanse so that can know what to expect.

Thousands of people have done though Master Cleanse; and when used properly, it can help you successfully improve the state of your health, allowing you to be a more energetic, virus-free, and clear-minded human being. In short, a more effective body results. However, I am not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, so please keep in mind that nothing contained on this site is professional medical advice, only firsthand experience. Please talk to your doctor before you change your diet. I’m sure you’ve heard this before.

Curiosity is Piqued

Through my research in fasting, I stumbled upon The Master Cleanse diet, and I discovered it to be highly regarded in the cleansing world. Accounts of other’s experiences such as Marianne Guarena’s were very encouraging to me and gave me an idea of what to expect. I got the book and began devouring it. And as I stated above, The Master Cleanse is actually a short book that outlines the Master Cleanse “diet” and its ability to cleanse every organ of the body. If you’d like a hardcopy, it is available at And when you buy something after clicking on any of the Amazon links in this article, a small percentage of sales made will go to supporting Byteful Travel. Only through your support can I continue to provide all of the content on Byteful Travel free of charge. Thanks in advance. 🙂

Take Criticism in Context

While some criticize the Master Cleanse as being a flawed “diet”, after doing some easy research I soon learned that it’s actually not a diet at all. Most people go on a diet to lose weight, but the Master Cleanse is designed to remove toxins (as well as excess mucus) from your body. In fact, people tend to gain most (if not all) of their weight back after they’ve stopped the cleanse.

And while many people who do the Master Cleanse feel much better during and after, some say that this is because any change to the standard western diet will be an improvement since it consists of unhealthy processed foods and processed meats. But this argument completely falls apart in my case, since I am vegetarian and am very careful about the quality of food that I eat. So if I feel great during and after this cleanse, then there’s clearly something more complex at work here. (Note: See later articles that show that I did indeed feel better and recommend the cleanse.) So remember to take criticism in context.

Overall, what attracted me most was the simplicity and results-driven focus of how the cleanse was presented in the book. Aside from wanting to remove toxins from my body, I wondered how it could effect my state of mind, clarity, and creativity.

So what does the creator, Stanley Burroughs, have to say about the cleanse’s purpose?

Burroughs says that the Master Cleanse’s purpose is:

  • To dissolve & eliminate toxins that have formed in any part of the body.
  • To cleanse the kidneys and the digestive system.
  • To purify the glands and cells throughout the entire body.
  • To eliminate all unusable waste & hardened material in the joints & muscles.
  • To relieve pressure and irritation in the nerves, arteries, and blood vessels.
  • To build a healthy blood stream.
  • To keep youth and elasticity regardless of your years.

And so I picked up these ingredients:

  • 3.2 oz Cayenne Pepper (See it on Amazon)
  • 2 Quarts Grade B Maple Syrup (See it on Amazon)
  • 12 Lemons from local grocery store
    It’s important not to buy all of the lemons at once. They could rot!
  • 2 lb Sea Salt (for colon cleanse) (See it on Amazon)

I have purposefully left out the specific recipe from this article because I highly recommend that you read the book to get the complete story. The book is the story straight from the Burroughs’ mouth, and you owe it yourself to read original text. Don’t expose yourself to error (and health dangers) by relying on 3rd person accounts. Plus, the book is dirt cheap.

Day 1: I Begin the Master Cleanse

The book suggests you take Smooth Move Tea the night before beginning the fast to break up the contents of the intestines. I happened to already have some in the kitchen, drank a cup, and went to sleep around midnight.

On the first day, I woke up feeling slightly strange, which was probably due to the tea. But it was more than that. It was almost as if I could feel the change in the air. Either that or my body already knew something was up. So I got up and reviewed the instructions.

Every morning of the cleanse starts with a salt water bathing of the colon. (Remember, it’s very important that you use salt without iodine added, such as sea salt, because the salt water wash will not work at all if you use salt with iodine.) I decided to use my 1.5 liter Nalgene bottle to hold the full liter of salt water required to cleanse the colon. After an exciting english to metric conversion, I discovered that 1 quart is very close to 1 liter and filled up the bottle to the 1,000 ml mark. Then I added 2 teaspoons of the sea salt and shook the contents. I began by taking a drink, waiting, and taking a drink again. After a few minutes I looked down at my bottle, sure that I must be making wonderful progress, but I had only drank 10% of the salt water.

Though disappointed at this, I continued, taking my time to finish the rest, and finally finished the liter about 45 minutes later. With a salt water cleanse, it’s important to slow down, as I did, to avoid making your stomach upset. The salt water works because it is the same molecular weight as blood, so it bypasses the kidneys and cleanses the intestines instead. Just as I was beginning to setup a place to make the lemonade, what I like to call Lemonade-X, the colon cleanse suddenly began to work, and I was delayed for a while thereafter. 😉

Making the Lemonade-X for the First Time

I began by making just two cups for my “breakfast.” After cutting the lemon in half, removing the seeds manually, placing the lemon juice and pulp in blender, I blended it all up. I measured out the rest of the ingredients, all multiplied from the original recipe in the book, and hit blend again. The first cup was rather strong, but tasty.

After a few hours, this had run out, and I decided to make the rest of the day’s Lemonade-X. This time, the final mixture was almost too much for the blender to handle and I added the last two cups of water and stirred manually.

Once I had finished making this batch that would last me the rest of the day, it occurred to me that normal meal cycles no longer applied. I wasn’t going to sit down and drink a “meal” of Lemonade-X. Instead, I hypothesized that an even schedule of about 1 cup every 2 hours would fit the drink very well. At about 9 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM I got a refill, and it worked well. Of course, water may be drank at any time during the fast.

The Net Effect for the 1st Day

Even though this is the first cleanse-type of regimen I’ve ever undertaken, I feel surprisingly satisfied at the end of today, and I’ve experienced no perceivable energy drain. In fact, one unforeseen bonus of this fast was not getting tired after eating a meal. This allowed me to work longer without feeling tired and desiring a break.

Finishing the first day of ten is a good feeling, and I’m looking forward to how my body will detoxify itself. For a moment, I wasn’t sure if I could do this for 10 days straight, but then I remembered where my reality springs from: my own beliefs. I am committed, and I’m too curious about how this will play out to stop.

Coming Up Next:

Continue to Day 2 of the Cleanse →

Below is a guide to all articles within this series:

12 bits on My Review of The Master Cleanse: Day 1

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  4. This was a very good post, I found it to not only be very helpful infomation but also touched on what I was researching in good detail. Keep up the work!

  5. Thanks, Gregory. I’m glad you found the article helpful.

    Rose, that article is quite misleading and contains a lot of statements which are verifiably untrue.

    For one thing, the article says “detox” doesn’t mean anything, but it does. It means “detoxification” which is the process of removing toxic substances from the body. From my research, I’ve found that detoxing is very beneficial and according to some studies even can help your body eliminate harmful metals.

    From reading that article, it was clear to me that the author was on the outside of the situation looking in, especially since she (the author) continually describes it as starvation, which it quite obviously is not. Doing this cleanse gives you lots of complex carbohydrates to burn, so calling it starvation is not only misinformation but also dishonest. I suspect that if Claire Coleman, the author of that DailyMail article, had actually tried the Master Cleanse instead of ridiculing all detoxification systems from a distance, she would think differently.

  6. thanks so much for this article. it was just what i needed as i am on day 1 of my first ever cleanse. i was unable to read the book as it is unavailable where i live.
    i used just the juice of the lemon. didnt know to blend it with the pulp etc. so thanks for that.

  7. Hi Adi,

    Thanks for sharing your insight about Master Cleanse. Using Master Cleanse without proper guidance could lead to nothing. Some people just jump directly to the lemonade recipe without really understanding what it does and they don’t even last the first day.

  8. @Sophia

    You’re very welcome! How did your cleanse go?


    You’re quite welcome! It’s true. Understanding is key.

  9. Hi Adi,

    I am proud to say I successfully completed the 10-day cleanse that I set out to do and am so glad with the effects. Presently trying to gear up for another in the near future. Thanks again.

  10. Congratulations, Sophia!

    As you know by now, if you’re willing to exercise some willpower, you can reap some great benefits from doing the cleanse.

    Thanks for posting back here with your progress. It encourages others who are also thinking about doing it.

  11. Thank you for sharing your encouraging story. I like to detox regularly to get rid of the toxic contaminants my body absorbs living in this modern-day world.

  12. I read your article and is great because you started your cleanse diet. I don’t know what to do. I would like to start my detox diet too but I’m afraid of no results. I’m a smoker and I can’t quit cigarettes.

    Anyway good luck to you!