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Popular Cleanses and Detox Diets: Healthy vs. Hype

Yellow Juice in a glass with lemonAs the weather warms and more skin starts to show, the promise of quick weight-loss makes cleanse diets and liquid fasts all the more appealing. But can a cleanse really deliver other health benefits? Most cleanses promise to flush out built-up wastes, rid the body of toxins and promote weight loss. However, many cleanses go even further, claiming that they will help you think better, get sick less often, have more energy, suffer from fewer allergy symptoms and sleep better. Can drinking a special juice really deliver on such high promises? Here’s a run-down on some of the most popular cleanses, accompanied by expert health opinions.

The Master Cleanse

Also known as the “maple syrup diet” or the “lemonade diet,” the Master Cleanse remains one of the most popular cleansing systems. It was created by alternative medical practitioner Stanley Burroughs in 1941, and consists of water, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and maple syrup, all mixed together into a kind of lemonade. Burroughs promoted the plan in his 1976 book, The Master Cleanser, but there are also a number of sites that detail how to best do the detox, plus different strategies of how to “ease in” and “ease out” of the cleanse. In the 1974 text, Burroughs recommends following this diet for a minimum of 10 days.


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