There are claims that the Master Cleanse, consisting of 10 days of lemon drink, salt water and herbal laxative tea, leads to weight loss and detoxifies the body says, WebMD. Doctors debate the effectiveness and safety of this diet.
The Master Cleanse plan requires a diet of lemonade, salt water and herbal laxative tea for 10 days, with no alcohol or solid food, says WebMD. After this time other foods are introduced back into the diet slowly, including juice, soup and raw produce. The plan prescribes reducing meat intake and cutting out dairy entirely. Doctors agree that the reduced-calorie intake likely causes some initial weight loss, but suggest that the weight is regained easily. They also warn that bone and muscle mass could decrease while on the Master Cleanse, and that malnutrition is possible.
Doctors recommend a healthy, balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meat for effective weight loss, rather than the Master Cleanse, notes WebMD. Proponents of the cleanse say that cravings and sick, achy feelings are common if the cleanse is not done properly, but doctors suggest that these are simply symptoms of extremely reduced-calorie intake. Cleansing and detoxifying the body are not necessary, since a healthy liver performs this function.