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Master Cleanse FAQ’s

The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions. If you would like to add a question to this list, please post your question below in the comments form. We are currently analyzing the nearly 15,000 comments on the website to group them into logical question formats so we can identify more FAQ’s that are clearly the most pressing to most Master Cleansers. This list represents the bulk of those questions to date. Please click on each link to see the answer to the question, and discussion on each individual page.

Master Cleanse Frequently Asked Questions


83 Responses to Master Cleanse FAQ’s

  1. Anne Whalen August 28, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    This is my 8th day and I haven’t lost any weight. I haven’t had a bite to eat unless chewing sugarless gum, 3 stcks counts. I have upped the sea salt to almost double and the SWF only results in watery evacuations. I also upped the cayenne to about 3/4th teaspoon. I have done the lax tea and lax tablets(to max dosage) with no BM. I still feel constipated but that may just be water bloat. No problem with hunger at all even though I only do 2 lemon/syrup drinks a day. I am taking my regular prescriptions of muscle relaxers, oxymorphone and sleep aid.
    Any suggestions to show where I went wrong? If not I am considering moving to the veggie & fruit step down, thinking my system requires some solid food to jump start my metabolism. I would rather finish the MC with some weight loss. I am 5’3 and 129 which is 10 lbs. over my clothes fitting – I do not want a new wardrobe.

    • Mike Olaski August 28, 2014 at 9:22 pm #


      In short.

      Dear Anne, did you read the instructions?

      1. 1 – Don’t chew gum, especially sugarless (read chemical filled)
      2. Don’t double the salt. You’re already having your movements, so all you’re doing is taking more salt
      3. “Watery evacuations” are all you’re supposed to have. You have no solid food to eliminate.
      4. Upping the cayenne isn’t that bad
      5. 2 drinks? You’re starving yourself, so you’re not going to lose weight. You need 6 minumum, 12 is ideal. 18 max drinks per day. Less is NOT more. You will no lose more weight if you starve yourself.
  2. Cynthia Watts August 26, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    Hello, my question is referring to the maple syrup. I have never been a syrup type of person I don’t even eat it on my pancakes and waffles. I was told about the Master Cleanse by my sister who informed me that it was o.k. to use honey instead. Is this true? Because I am on day 3 and I feel fabulous but I have been using honey instead of syrup and I would be devastated if I have been doing wrong this whole time and could possibly not benefit from it.

    • Mike Olaski August 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

      Hi Cynthia,

      You’ll find that info here:

      In short, no to Honey.

      Inevitably someone always asks what an acceptable substitute might be. I will list the most common ones of note, but let me be clear: RICH MAPLE SYRUP IS BEST :)

      Sorghum Syrup – Stanley Approved, but please use Rich Maple Syrup

      Sugar Cane – Stanley Approved, but please use Rich Maple Syrup

      Blackstrap Molasses – An alternative For Diabetics. See Stanley Burroughs‘ book for more details

      The newest addition to this list : Coconut Nectar – 100 % raw, vegan, low glycemic, low fructose, very nutritious as well as has neutral PH.

      Inappropriate alternatives for the Maple Syrup:

      Maple Flavoured Table Syrup: Yes, “Aunt Jemima” I am talking about you. This is flavoured corn syrup and is NOT the same at all lacking all nutrients and worse.

      Artificial Sweeteners (Spenda, Equal, Aspartame) – Contains no calories, you will be starving yourself and adding artificial toxins, counter productive to a detox.

      Stevia – Contains no calories, so you will be starving yourself

      Agave nectar – very controversial these days and in some cases made of inulin and processed to fructose and half-sugar which is a devitalized. High glycemic sugar.

      Honey – A Pre-digested food that is disdained by Stanley Burroughs (though not exactly sure why).

      Happy cleansing,


  3. Anna August 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    I’m on day 3 and have come down with a fever, coughing, runny nose… I don’t think it’s detoxification symptoms, since I stared feeling sick already on day 1, and my toddler has had a cold for 4-5 days with my exact symptoms. My husband is comming down with it too now.
    Although, partly why I do the cleanse is to boost my immune system which has been quite bad my whole life, and when I read that you might get symptoms of old sicknesses while on the cleanse, I was curious to see if something would show up. (I can’t find that passage in the books now – anyone know on what page it is?) I was thinking maybe this is a mixture of this virus (I am positive it is a virus) going around in our home and symptoms of old flus/colds…?? Don’t know…
    So my question is – should I continue the cleanse with this infection in my body? A part of me says yes – I feel ok and not hungry or so, and I think maybe this is the optimal state for the body to fight an infection? And the other part says that my body might not get what it needs to fight the sickness… What are your advice?

  4. Laura May 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    Lemonade Diet Day 2

    Hi this is the 2nd day and second time I do the SWF. I can’t keep it down, I keep throwing it up. I tried holding my nose while I drank it, it didn’t work. Is there anything else I can try?

  5. charlotte April 5, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    Hey, I am on day 4 and have been doing the cleanse correctly but haven’t lost any weight! is this normal?

  6. Angela April 2, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Is there a difference between pure water and purified water? Can I use bottled purified waters?

  7. trista February 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

    Hey master cleanse, I am starting this method on day 2, the first day was fine and I didn’t feel any hungry and I have 2 times bowel movement very successfully, I think everything was fine. But, I drink the Laxative Tea on day 1 night and have SWF in the morning of day 2, I keep going to the restroom,like more than 20+, but most time only water…I don’t know why and have I done something wrong and I think probably my stomach and bowel are already empty … what should I do then, I drink the lemon juice like 120 oz each day… I love the taste and I don’t drink any more water…when I am hungry or thirsty, i only drink lemon juice… since I am 165cm and 120lb, I do this not for weight loss, but for detox… can I drink this lemon juice everyday to replace dinner but still have normal breakfast and lunch? For the SWF and Laxative Tea,can I keep drinking them to help me do the bowel movement, since I have constipation before I start Mater Cleanse… Please answer my questions and I do need any solutions… thanks!!!

  8. Kevin January 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    If you do the MC for 40 days. Do you stop the lemonade diet on day 37 and then begin your phase out? i.e. orange juice. Or does the lemonade diet continue for a full 40 days?

  9. Portia January 13, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    Will the maple syrup cause weight retention or gain during the cleanse. Ideally it is suggested 6-12, 10oz drinks per day, right? So my question is can there be weight gain attributed to the cleanse ingredients? What is the average number of glasses of lemonade to take in on a daily basis?

  10. John January 12, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    I’m on day 8 and doesn’t feel like I lost any weight

    • Portia January 13, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

      Are you following the instructions to the letter? I am only on day one and I hope things are working for you. I had a question and maybe it may apply to you ….it is a concern that the maple syrup high caloric intake, can it cause weight gain? How many lemonade drinks and how many ounces are the ones you drink? Do you feel any different?

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