Master Cleansing

Eye of newt, claw of monkey, dash of Worcestershire sauce—that’s what I start thinking when I hear about the “Master Cleanser.” Hocus pocus and double, double toil and trouble. Not familiar with the Master Cleanser diet? Well, Karen Matthews of the Associated Press has got a whole story on it. Take a look:
Devotees of the diet eat no solid food but drink up to 10 daily glasses of the lemon juice cocktail and round it off with saltwater in the morning and laxative tea at night. They are supposed to stay on the cleanse for at least 10 days, then ease back into normal eating with orange juice and vegetable soup.


The main drawback: You never want to be too far from a toilet. The cleanse produces very liquid and copious bowel movements. As for other side effects, some say they are always hungry.

Medical authorities say they have yet to see any evidence of harm from the Master Cleanse, though experts generally caution against extended fasting and other extreme diets.

They say those who try the Master Cleanse to lose weight will just gain it back. And they dispute the claim that the Master Cleanse or any other diet can "detoxify" the body from the effects of red meat, sugar, fried foods or alcohol -- or that the body needs to be detoxified at all.
Okay, we’ve talked about this before, but, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t believe in magic potions either. Here’s what he had to say about the Master Cleanser. From Master Cleanser Redux:
Taking maple syrup (sugar) during a fast weakens and even removes the longevity benefits of fasting. Empty calories or low-nutrient calories prevent the cells from dumping lipofuchen and other toxins. It speeds up the utilization of glutathione in liver and retards detoxification. The Master Cleanse is a master farce. Using sugar and pepper as stimulants to give you energy, while fasting is robbing the body of its opportunity to maximally heal. The power in the battery is proportional to its charge and reduced by the utilization of its energy. These stimulants (irritants) rob the body of its healing powers and significantly reduce the healing and rejuvenating potential of fasting. Lemon is not much of a problem.
Now, Master Cleanser aside for the moment. Why would experts “caution against extended fasting?” In our modern gluttonous age, fasting gets a bad rap. But in Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health, he contends fasting is an incredibly useful tool:
Therapeutic fasting accelerates the healing process and allows the body to recover from serious disease in a dramatically short period of time. In my practice I have seen fasting eliminate lupus and arthritis, remove chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, health the digestive tract in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and quickly eliminate cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and angina.
For more on fasting and the Master Cleanser diet, check out these previous posts:
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