The lemon and cayenne pepper diet, or Master Cleanse diet, is a regimen that proponents claim purges toxins from your body, while shedding weight. The diet consists solely of a drink made of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. The medicinal value of this mixture is purported to come from the chemical capsaicin in the peppers and acid in the lemons. The maple syrup is alleged to provide energy. Before beginning such a restrictive diet, consider the risks involved.
Pros and Cons
Decide if the lemon and pepper Master Cleanse diet is right for you. Most people will initially lose weight due to the diet's extreme lack of calories, and there are some beneficial vitamins in the lemon and cayenne pepper ingredients. But the diet might pose a danger to your health. The cleansing diet is extremely restrictive and does not provide well-balanced and adequate nutrition. A long-term fast such as this can lead to muscle breakdown and a depletion of essential vitamins and nutrients, weakening your body's ability to fight off infections and illnesses. A restrictive diet like the lemon and pepper diet can upset the potassium, blood sugar and sodium levels in your body,
If you have any medical conditions, especially anemia or digestive problems, consult with your physician before beginning a lemon and pepper diet.
The Master Cleanse Diet
Prepare the lemon detox drink by following the recipe devised by the founder of the Master Cleanse method, the late alternative health practitioner Stanley Burroughs. Add to a 10-oz. glass 2 tbsp. of lemon juice, 2 tbsp. of maple syrup, 1/10 tsp. of cayenne pepper and 8 oz. of water. Mix the ingredients well by stirring or shaking. Drink six to 10 glasses of this mixture each day. No other foods are allowed while on the diet. Drink an herbal laxative tea every evening while on the Master Cleanse diet, and each morning practice a salt flush by consuming 1 qt. of water with 2 tsp. of sea salt added.
Stanley Burroughs recommended staying on his detox diet plan for seven to 10 days.
Stopping the Diet
When you stop the lemon and pepper diet, it's important for your health to reintroduce food slowly. When you do not ingest solid foods for several days, your body needs time to rebuild its intestinal flora and the mucus lining in the intestines. Limit your food intake to several glasses of vegetable juice and broth for the first couple of days after stopping the diet. Slowly re-introduce fruits, nuts and seeds, and on the fourth day resume your normal eating plan.