The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs

Originally published in 1976, Stanley Burroughs' book, The Master Cleanser, is the basis for the detox fast known alternately as the Master Cleanse, the Lemonade Diet and the Maple Syrup Diet.

The Master Cleanser is hugely popular with lots of vocal advocates who do the Cleanse on a regular basis (usually annually, sometimes more often), but it may have just as many detractors who claim it doesn't do anything at all besides make you lose water weight.

What is the Master Cleanser?

The Master Cleanser concoction is pretty simple. It's a drink consisting of water, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup and you drink at least six glasses of it a day.

In addition to the drink which is supposed to encourage detoxification, you are also supposed to do a salt water flush in the morning and should have a cup of senna tea at night. Both of these step up elimination and should prevent constipation.

Each Cleanse lasts a minimum of 10 days and some advocates recommend doing it for as long as 30 days. There are also lots of folks who do the Master Cleanse annually.

Lose Weight, Have More Energy & Be Happier in 10 Days, Second Edition
Lose Weight, Have More Energy & Be Happier in 10 Days, Second Edition

While you can do the Master Cleanse just by following Stanley Burrough's instructions, Peter Glickman's book is a very detailed and concise explanation of what you need to do and it answers a lot of common questions for contemporary readers. Highly recommended.


Jared Leto

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Jared Leto prior to weight gainJared Leto during filming (2007)Jared Leto in May 2008
Jared Leto prior to weight gain
Jared Leto prior to weight gain
Jared Leto during filming (2007)
Jared Leto during filming (2007)
Jared Leto in May 2008
Jared Leto in May 2008

Celebrities on the Master Cleanse

Though the Master Cleanser wasn't promoted as a weight loss diet by it's original author, Stanley Burroughs, it has been popularized by celebrity dieters such as Beyonce Knowles and Jared Leto, who both claim to have used the Master Cleanse to lose significant amounts of weight very fast.

Jared Leto did the Master Cleanse in order to drop the 60 lbs he gained to play Mark David Chapman for the movie Chapter 27. Leto has always been pretty skinny though, so losing the weight and keeping it off might not have been as much of a trial as it would be for someone who has a more sluggish metabolism

And Beyonce shared with Oprah that she had used the Master Cleanse to quickly drop 20 lbs so she could play Deena Jones at two different ages in the movie, Dreamgirls.

If you spend about two weeks drinking nothing but lemonade, I don't think it is too surprising that you'd lose a significant amount of weight. It's questionable whether you would be able to keep it off without a significant lifestyle change to accompany it though. 

Has the Master Cleanse benefitted you?

Have you done the Master Cleanse? I'd love to hear about your experiences with it. So feel free to share in the comments. All comments are moderated however, in order to eliminate spamming. Thanks!

More by this Author

What's your experience with the Master Cleanse? 3 comments

shardy 7 years ago

This is a great product. I did a cleanse about 10 years ago now using this book as a guide and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. I would encourage anyone who is relatively healthy to do this immediately. Thanks for sharing.

Nia 7 years ago

I have tried this diet for 10 days, and although I cheated once with a small slice of pizza I still managed to lose 18lbs at the end of it. My aunt tried it also and she lost 21lbs at the end of the period and she was faithful to the diet. I even got some of my co-workers to try it as well and it work just as good for them.

The next time I used the diet I'll be consistant for a better result.

Barbra Gordon 5 years ago

I tried the Master Cleanse, and it was OK. But I now have a better cleanse. Im a very healthy person. I am on my second Dr Max Powers "15 Day Cleanse" and it has really been worth it. I am down 12 lbs! My body feels great, I am not hungry at all.

I just want to say for anyone thinking about this…JUST DO IT =) I recommend the cleanse, its awesome.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article