The Master Cleanser – Therapeutic Fasting to Alleviate Toxemia

The Master Cleanser – Therapeutic Fasting to Alleviate Toxemia

lemons for cleansing

Only organic lemons

June 16, 1991, marked the passing of Stanley Burroughs, a pioneer in the field of alternative health care. Author of Healing for the Age of Enlightenment, and The Master Cleanser, Stanley was a man renowned for his research into the role of toxemia in disease.

Since his research and writings have influenced my own life and work to such a great extent, I feel compelled to share with you some of the highlights of one of his most important therapeutic tools the Master Cleanser Lemonade Fast.

It was in 1979 that I under took a specific type of cleansing program in order to prove to my room-mate it would not work! This program involved the Lemonade Diet, developed by Burroughs in 1941. It initially came about in response to his need to find a better method to treat ulcers, and it was some years later that he realized that this diet treated many other diseases successfully, and he named it the Master Cleanser.

This cleansing program worked so well for me that I went on to study all of Stanley Burroughs work and through 1980 I did 100 days in total of the Master Cleanser program and never felt better in my life.

maple syrup for cleansing in the master cleanse

Choose the darkest organic maple syrup.

Specific Procedures

The Master Cleanser is a liquid mono-diet that cleanses and detoxifies the body as it stimulates healthy tissue growth. It consists of fresh lime or lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper mixed with water and drunk 6-12 times a day. A herbal laxative tea is taken twice a day, and no other food is consumed.

This regimen that can be followed for 10 days, and may also be safely extended to 40 or more days, depending upon a persons physical condition.

Toxemia and Disease

red peppers for the master cleanse

Organic cayenne pepper.

To understand why this therapeutic diet works its necessary to understand what disease is from a holistic perspective. Dis-ease is simply the accumulation of wastes, toxins, or poisons in the body, which in turn creates the myriad of symptomatic illnesses we are seeing so prevalent in people to day.

The glands and organs of our eliminative systems can easily become overwhelmed by wastes from poor diet, lack of exercise, tension, air and water pollution etc. As much as several pounds of waste can literally become impacted in the colon, adhering to the walls. Over time, the waste will then begin to leach into the blood stream. causing it to be re-circulated throughout the body, and settle into the tissues and cells. This settling of toxins is the final step that acts as a precursor to disease because its constant presence weakens the cells and eventually the entire immune system.

It stands to reason, then, that cleansing the body of this accumulated waste serves to rejuvenate the innate healing mechanisms of the body. so that they can function at optimal capacity to restore health and vitality, the less toxicity that is present in the body, the greater our vital force becomes.

Physiological Process

Because the act of digesting food consumes our energy on an ongoing basis, it follows that the elimination of solid food for short periods of time will make the energy normally used for digestion available for the process of detoxification. Thus the first step is to stop eating food so that the lemonade drink can commence its work.

Because the lemonade drink is easily assimilated, it places little or no demand on the digestive system. Fresh squeezed lemon juice is a powerful cleanser for the body, and is also high in vitamins. Additionally, it is the only fruit or vegetable to contain cationic and anionic minerals.
Lemon also helps loosen and break up mucus in the body. Mucus is one of the body’s defenses to protect it self against irritations. When too much mucus settles in any one area, dis-ease is the natural outcome.

Those of you familiar with color therapy will also know that lemon, when consumed fresh squeezed, releases the color that stimulates the body to cleanse itself.

Cayenne pepper, another key ingredient of the diet, breaks up this mucous and acts as a cleanser for the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems. It is used by herbalists to treat a wide range of problems and to enhance the effectiveness of many other herbs.

The maple syrup provides energy from an unprocessed sugar which still contains many of its original nutrients.

The absence of minerals and vitamins in processed sugars makes the digestive system rob the body of these precious nutrient stores in order to metabolize the sugars. If too many processed foods are eaten, the pancreas seems to one of the first organs affected, often resulting in hypoglycemia and then further deterioration of the pancreas.

laxative for cleanse

Choose an effective Organic Laxative

The herbal laxative tea is used to stimulate peristalsis of the colon, since the only other way to do it is to eat a diet high in fiber. The lemonade drink, or Master Cleanser, having no fiber, must use a laxative to remove the waste as it is being shed from the colon wall, otherwise it will stay in the body, leading to tiredness and any number of problems.

tea for the master cleanse

Drink Organic Herbal Teas while on The Master Cleanse

Article from “Vitality”
May 1992
by Tom Woloshyn

Learn More About: The Complete Master Cleanse:
A Step by Step Guide to Maximizing the Benefits of the Lemonade Diet


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33 Responses to The Master Cleanser – Therapeutic Fasting to Alleviate Toxemia

  1. Randall May 19, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    I have been cleansing over 5 yrs using the lemonade diet per the instructions of Leonard Horowitz from his book Healing Celebrations. I picked up your book The Complete Master Cleanse at Whole Foods this week. I wished I had found your book 5 yrs ago! In fact, I had just finished a 30 day cleanse when seeing your book for the first time. If I have had great success, without doing the cleanse properly, imagine how much better it will be doing it correctly! Thanks for your book. I’m looking forward to even better results.

  2. Edna August 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    I am planning to start the Master Cleanser by recommendation of my sister. I saw the physical and well-being on her that had convinced me that I should do it too.
    Nevertheless I have some health concerns. I’ve been anemic most of my life (I’m 47 yr.old) and taking iron, folic acid and multivitamins pills daily. If I do the Master Cleanse, Do I need to stop any medications or vitamins/minerals too?

    I would greatly appreciate if anybody respond to my inquiry.


    • Tom Woloshyn August 4, 2010 at 10:11 am #

      It is not recommended to take supplements on the cleanse but I sometimes make exceptions when there is a healing crisis. Many people wean themselves off their meds over 3 to 4 days and then go back on after they finish the cleanse. Some people report not needing their meds after 1 cleanse , some report after 4 or 5 cleanses in succession. Only Drs. can prescribe or diagnose, please keep that in mind.

  3. Concetta August 17, 2010 at 5:08 am #

    Hi Tom, I am doing The Master Cleanse (day 7) and wanted to add a Parasite Cleanse to it. I am breastfeeding, not that much, but primarily I just feed my son at night before he goes to sleep. The Parasite Cleanse bottle reads, “Do not use if pregnant or nursing”. Do you agree, or do you think the company is just being overly cautious? A little late to ask now, but is The Master Cleanse safe to do while nursing? I think I read in your book that it is safe, but I just want to double check incase I misunderstood.

  4. Joan September 1, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    So glad you mentioned the Master Cleanse at Glen’s Party. The following day, friends invited me to dinner and they just happened to have the Stanley B urroughs booklet. Aha! So, today is Day 1 of starting the Cleanse…..thank you!

  5. Monica September 2, 2010 at 8:20 am #


    I am on day 33 and am planning to end on day 40. I’ve done several Master Cleanses in the past and have always broken it “by the book”. My question is, where this is such an extended fast, and I’d like to go raw for a while, how do I break this? (how many days on orange juice? On what day can I use my vitamix for fruit blends? When do I add nuts and raw veggies whole?) Thank you so much in advance! ♥

    • Tom Woloshyn September 4, 2010 at 12:04 am #

      Hi Monica, Drink OJ for 2 days and the third day start with OJ then a fruit salad and then a veggie salad. Use your Vitamix the 4th day, and all other foods on the 5th day on can be eaten. Tom

  6. Greg Johnson October 6, 2010 at 5:02 pm #


    I am currently on Day 6 of the Master Cleanse. I feel like it is going great. On day 2, I bought your book and read it through entirely that morning. Thank you. While I had been reading several sources about the cleanse, none of them were as complete as your book. Your tip on using juice as fresh as possible is invaluable.

  7. Virginia Forrister December 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    I’m starting the Master’s Cleanse tomorrow after reading your book. Is there an herbal parasite cleanse you suggest? One perhaps I could find at the health food store? Any suggestions would be great! Thank you!

  8. Esther December 31, 2010 at 2:36 pm #


    I will begin the Master Cleanse on the morrow, but I have one question… I am always on the run, and it is more complicated to bring supplies and measure out the Maple Syrup/Lemon Juice+The Water+Cayenne Pepper each time I desire to have a drink than to simply prepare a jug in the morning that would last me all day. Is this acceptable, though not recommended on account of the short lifespan of the lemons enzymes? I will go ahead and bother with bringing supplies with me everywhere; it would only be much more simple if I would not need to.

    • Tom Woloshyn January 7, 2011 at 1:41 am #

      To not drink the lemonade fresh is to not do the Master Cleanse, simply a waste of time and effort. Do it right or not at all, just bring the concentrate and that will be simple enough.

  9. Bill Wayt January 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi Tom,
    Where did I read that you could make up the mixture of lemon juice, and maple syrup, in and air tight container like a thermos, and that the syrup would act as a preservative. Then you just measure 4 Tbs. of the mixture, and add the water, and pepper, That is the way I have been doing it and it seems to work just fine. I thank you for your insightful book. I have used the cleanse to detoxify a couple of times now. The first time I went on it, I did it for 16 days and lost 30 pounds. I am now on day 7 and have lost 14 pounds. It looks like I am averaging about 2 pounds a day. I read your book and Stanley’s book on enlightenment but I cannot remember where the information about making the mixture came from. Why does the cleanse not work with the reconstituted lemon juice. I am having a real problem with getting fresh organic lemons.

  10. Marian February 9, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi Tom!
    I just did 13 days on the cleanse with amazing results. I lost 18 lbs (5 of which I’ve gained back) without any hunger or fatigue – it was just as I remembered it from 12 years ago. I’m feeling so much clearer and my knee injury improved dramatically after months of physio and exercise to no avail. I’m going back on it again in March to continue supporting my body to heal whatever it needs to for further revitalization.
    Thanks for all your support – vitaflex, colon lift, atlas adjustment & raindrop therapy! What a difference they made!

  11. WB March 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Hi Tom,

    I have your book as well as Dr. Burroughs book and I am so excited about doing the MC on April 1. I read some place (not in your book) of an author doing the MC in 10-day increments. For example: do the MC for 10-days, break it for 3-days (w/OJ & veggie sour), go back to a 10-day MC for 3-months. Do you recommend this? One can’t stay on the laxative tea for that long, right? Your comments would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • Tom Woloshyn May 12, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      Hi, The laxative must be taken the whole time on the cleanse, if not you will not have BM’s which are necessary to eliminate waste 3 to 4 times a day. Laxatives are addictive while one is eating and not while on the MC. Going on and off the cleanse works well but longer increments are generally more effective. Tom

  12. Pam May 4, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    Hello, I started the Master Cleanse before I found your book, but my Partner had Stanely Burroughs book on the M.C. He has never done the cleanse himself,but he said I can use the book. So I read the book and started the Cleanse and then I found your book on the subject and it has helped me to figure out that I started out wrong. I use the Agave , not the maples syrup. So I will change that ASAP. I am on day 4. So far so good. Is there any thing else you can suggest to do? so I can do it right.

  13. c May 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    R colonics Ok to do instead of the saltwater flush? I have anal fissures and the salt water causes unbearable pain..they say a colonic is like having 8 BM’s..

    • Tom Woloshyn June 30, 2011 at 12:06 am #

      You could also try a colema board as well and see if this works. You can do either until it is not painful to use the SWF.

  14. Cal June 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    I’m on day 25 of the master cleanse and my tongue is still not pink. I wonder why and how long do I have to stay on the cleanse for this to happen. Help.

    • Tom Woloshyn June 30, 2011 at 12:04 am #

      It could take 100 days for someone’s tongue to go pink while cleansing, this is not unusual and took about this long for me to accomplish this.

  15. Cal June 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Also, I’m still eliminating a lot of mucus, and I have pain in my kidneys in the last few days.

    • Tom Woloshyn June 30, 2011 at 12:02 am #

      Aches and pains can show up anywhere in the body during cleansing and indicate a stressed area is dumping and may need help such as Color Therapy, some body work or essential oils to ease discomfort and speed up recovery.

  16. t November 27, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    master cleanse, I did it for 10 days, it is not as hard as it is thought to be, atleast not in terms of feeling fatigued, you have high energy, some say, first 3 days are the hardest,for me it was the opposite, first three days just flew, the cravings started on day 4, and so did the hunger pangs, master cleanse needs a lot of determination, and does help loose a lot of weight, will start seeing difference in the waistline almost in 3 days. would recommend it to anyone, who wants to do a cleanse and also want to loose weight, and train themselves to eat healhty in the future,i am off it from six days and have not gained the weight back, plan to another one, starting tom, but for 40 days,this time.

  17. ryan brown March 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Hi Tom…Read the book and started my cleanse today…going well so far, minus the “ring of fire” lol…quick question, I am a smoker, and have been dieting for the past 3 months. Is it ok to still smoke cigarettes while on the cleanse? I didn’t want to quit smoking till after i stop my diet and or change my eating habbits…thanks

  18. Linda S. December 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    This is a question about using the VitaLight. I am finding that I’m freezing when using it for an hour. I don’t have the option of increasing the heat in my apartment, and my space heater is barely adequate. I’m painfully hot in one spot and shivering elsewhere. Any ideas for how to be comfortably warm while using the VitaLight?

  19. Linda S. March 16, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Thank you Tom for answering my question off line. In case this is helpful to anyone, what is working for me is to wear longjohns under my pj bottoms, I put a cover over my legs, I leave my pj top on my arms but bare my torso and wear my winter hat and gloves and now the heater on my covered arms is no longer painful.
    How the VitaLight helped me (to my surprise!):
    I sprained my wrist/forearm Krazy Karpeting down the biggest hill I’ve ever gone down on Jan 1, 2013. (Krazy Karpeting is like tobogganing but faster and less control). It was a severe sprain. I had just received the VitaFlex DVD so when I got home, I put Arnica cream on my forearm, iced it, and watched the DVD and, in a very imperfect way, did some VitaFlex on my leg and opposite arm (with VitaFlex you don’t do it on the injury I’d read).
    I was having trouble living and working due to the sprain but I could feel that it was healing unusually rapidly.
    I was using the VitaLight’s magenta at that time, then moved on with the intestinal colours simply because that was the sequence I had been working on when I sprained my wrist. Whoa, my wrist suddenly became hot and really achey again.
    I got out my “Healing for the Age of Enlightenment” book by Stanley Burroughs and after a bit of mulling (it’s not the most clearly written book), realized that the magenta had helped my wrist because it was a neutral colour, but the warm intestinal colours were for chronic conditions, hence my wrist’s poor reaction to them. I decided to alternate green and turquoise and whew, immediate relief and my recovery took off again at an amazing pace.
    A major sprain like that would normally take me a year of babying it until it got better. However for this major sprain, at the end of one month, I was 99% better, and I was carrying heavy groceries, working, typing, all without noticing anything. I was only feeling it slighly when hand juicing lemons for the master cleanse.
    Truly a-maz-ing.

  20. Gina March 26, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Hi Tom,

    My husband and I just started the master cleanse today. My son also wanted to do it but he is on medication for HIV… he was told he could not ever stop taking his meds. If he was to stop taking the meds the virus would take over his body. I hate that he has to be on this medication. But at the same time I’m afraid for him to stop taking it. Will it be okay for him to do the cleanse while he’s on his meds. After we’re done with the cleanse I’m going complete Vegan and from there would love to go raw. My son would like to do the same.
    Thank you

  21. April 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    There is definately a lot to find out about this subject.
    I really like all of the points you’ve made.

  22. Jennifer April 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    On Day 7 of the Master Cleanse and have been enjoying it greatly. I have more energy and feel much happier.
    However, I have not been able to have bowel movements the past two days. I’ve been taking the herbal laxative tea at night. I have only done the salt water bath for two days though (which is when the bowel movements stopped). Is this the problem? What can I do to make sure I’m having bowel movements now?!
    Thanks in advance!

  23. patricia Lodge June 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    I took your course many years ago and am a Massage Therapist now living in the U.S. I have used this treatment constantly on people.

    I ordered your new lamp recently and a set of gels. On the same day, I ordered another set of the gels . I received the lamp and one of the color gels and still have not received the other set.
    I hope this will reach you because I can’t find any other way to contact you on your site.

  24. robyn August 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Hi Tom, I attended your melbourne workshop about a year ago. On my second cleanse and feel fantastic. Today is day 9, and keen to go to 40. I have dropped 7kgs in 9 days! Lots of energy, sleeping well, sinus problems gone, vision clearer. I highly recommend your book on the subject.
    with much appreciation robyn

  25. Edgar May 29, 2015 at 5:06 am #

    Hi Tom, i am on day 10 and just wanted to make sure Inread the Master Cleanse book right; the laxatives must be taken every night on the MC and every morning as well day 1-10?

  26. Manni July 9, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    Hi Tom,

    i am in day 9.
    My teeth are tighter, no headackes, 3 kilos lost (i am anyway slim).
    Days 4 and 8 were not so good …

    But now i have 2 questions:
    – Is it bad to drink a clean vegetable broth, during master cleanse?
    – What do you think about changing sometimes from maple sirup to molasses?

    best regards

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