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Master Cleanse

The Master Cleanse essentially involves drinking only a spicy lemonade for three weeks to purify the body.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: August 15, 2012

Master Cleanse Overview

The Master Cleanse is a strict 21-day liquid-only diet designed to detoxify the body. Dieters subsist on a blend of fresh lemons (for potassium), cayenne pepper (for vitamins B and C, which improve circulation), and grade B maple syrup (which has sugar and minerals for energy).

The liquid supposedly tastes like a spicy lemonade, hence its nickname, The Lemonade Diet or The Maple Syrup Diet. Solid food is completely forbidden during the cleanse.

Who invented it: The Master Cleanse was devised by nutritionist Stanley Burroughs. Burroughs was researching alternative ways to treat ulcers and internal abnormalities.

The Master Cleanse was introduced in the 1940s, though it didn’t attract widespread notice until the 1970s, due in part to the publication of a book titled The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs.

Length of diet plan: The classic Master Cleanse lasts 21 days, though not all dieters choose to participate for the entire time. Enthusiasts who encourage the diet recommend committing to the diet for at least 10 days.

Celebrity Devotees

Actress and singing superstar Beyonce Knowles revealed to Oprah Winfrey that she lost 20 pounds on The Master Cleanse, whipping her bootylicious body into shape for her role in Dreamgirls.

Among other celebrity devotees are the svelte Gwyneth Paltrow, who has documented her experience in her online newsletter GOOP, as well as Howard Stern's on-air sidekick, Robin Quivers. Quivers claimed she did the Cleanse three times, ultimately dropping from 218 pounds to 145.

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