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Master Cleanser Side Effects

Let’s rename The Master Cleanser Side Effects. I want to call them Front Effects because they are simple, natural, tolerable and, most importantly, a sign of your healing in progress. The term “side effect” has an emotional trigger for most of us. We associate the term with the life-threatening effects of modern prescriptions. We think of side effects as something unwanted. The Master Cleanser Side Effects are very much wanted. These “Side Effects” are why we are Master Cleansers to begin with.

Master Cleanse side-effects

The Master Cleanser Side Effects are well worth it and so natural.

Are Master Cleanser Side Effects really “Side Effects” at all? I have a hard time referring to the Master Cleanse “Side Effects” as such; at least in the traditional sense.

Master Cleanse side effects

When I think of side effects, I think of those absurd TV commercials for artificial prescriptions that big pharmaceutical companies are trying to convince us we need. They even “brand” a disease with a term and then give it an acronym (such as ED for erectile dysfunction) so that they can market a “Cure” for you. Then they have the nerve to list dozens of horrifying side effects while calming music plays and we watch very healthy, happy people illustrating just how healthy and happy we can be if only we take their product. For life — or at least for as long as their product doesn’t kill us, make us bleed from the eyes or have 4-hour erections, etc.




It is mind boggling that people will denounce The Master Cleanse as a treatment, cure, prevention, cleanseetc. because you might have a headache on the second day or break out for a few days, whereas these drugs being offered as cures include catastrophic side effects such as paralysis and “an increased risk of death.” HA!

They slip these “Side Effects” in the side door when you’re not looking, hoping you will be so convinced you’re already dying that their prescribed increased risk of death won’t look so bad.

Master Cleanse side effects

Positive Master Cleanser Side Effects

Since The Master Cleanse is a Detox Diet, or Cleansing Diet rather than primarily a Weight Loss Diet, the fact that you will likely lose weight is, in fact, a side effect as well.

Master Cleanse side effects, weight loss

  • Most people would view a side effect of weight loss as a positive one, but not all. Those of us who are already living a balanced, healthy lifestyle will not have much weight to lose, thus rendering weight loss unwelcome, as it would likely mean lean muscle loss.
  • Those who have weight to lose will lose weight as a side effect of the Master Cleanse. Those who have some weight to lose will lose that weight and plateau at their natural weight. It has even been reported that those who are under-weight will actually lose no weight and even gain weight.

So even though many people use The Master Cleanse for Weight Loss, that doesn’t make it the primary intention of the Detox. In fact it is more about weight management than weight loss, since the loss of weight is not your body’s primary objective either. The primary objective is DETOX and the positive results of the detox: the cleansing of our bodies of toxins and waste results in the side effects we Master Cleansers refer to as Healing Events.

Healing Events (Healing Crisis)

Tom Woloshyn refers to Healing Events as Healing Crisis, but I prefer the term Healing Events since it casts a more positive light on the events. The Healing Events truly are positive as they represent the elimination of something that caused a Disease Event when they were first ingested.

There is a saying in the Master Cleanser Community about the side effects we call Healing Events: “Sick in, Sick out”.

When you pick up something like a flu virus, bacteria, or something your body wants to reject, you experience a Disease Event. Your body is not “At Ease”, but rather in a state of “Dis-Ease” because of it. Your body’s immune system then deploys any and all available defense mechanisms to expel the intruder. These mechanisms include:

Master Cleanse side effects

  1. Stuffed Nose, Runny Nose or Congestion
  2. Coughing and Sneezing
  3. Sore throat and swollen glands
  4. Fatigue, Muscle aches and other Cold and Flu Symptoms
  5. Skin Irritation such as Rashes and Breakouts
  6. Headaches
  7. Fever
  8. Cold sores or other mouth sores

All of these “side effects” of a cold, flu or any other disease agent are the result of your body’s primary objective: to rid the body of the disease agent.

All of these “side effects” are actually just the reaction to the disease agent as it now exits your body.

And best of all: these “side effects” are temporary. They last for only a brief period. The Healing Events resulting from the Disease Agent are far less severe than the Disease Events which were the cause of the ingested Disease Agent.

Problem Days with Greater Side Effects




There are generally 3 days during which most cleansers experience the greatest number of master cleanser side effects, especially those of the Healing Crisis variety noted above. Day 1, Day 3 and Day 4 always seem to be the hardest. In my Day-to-Day account of the characteristics of each day during The Lemonade Diet, I have named these days: Day 1 – Bandwagon, Day 3 – Healing Events, and Day 4 — Hump Day.

  1. Day 1 – Bandwagon Side Effects: The side effects of day 1 are usually Detox Side Effects or Withdrawal Side Effects (both discussed below).
  2. Day 3 – Healing Events: Day 3 is when most of the Healing Events tend to surface. This is likely due to the detox part of the Master Cleanse really starting to reach a critical point.
  3. Day 4 – Hump Day: Healing Events are often short lived, lasting only a day or two. I once had severe cold symptoms for one night only. They disappeared as quickly as they came. Day 4 is Hump Day like Wednesday is in our work week. Just get past these Healing Events, and you are likely to succeed the rest of the way.

Master Cleanser Detox Side Effects

There are a few side effects of The Master Cleanser that are not directly related to Healing Events. I call these the The 10-Day Skin Brushing Detox: The easy, natural plan to look great, feel amazing, & eliminate cellulite, as they are not the common cold or flu symptoms we experience when our body is fighting off a new invader.

The following side effects are results of the Laxative, SWF, improperly taking the Lemonade and/or the general detox process  itself:

  1. White Tongue: A general side effect of the detox. It is generally reported that the tongue turns pink again once detoxing is complete.
  2. Bad Breath: Related to the aforementioned White Tongue. This is due to the extra release of toxins through the tongue.
  3. Greater Tooth Plaque: Related to above.
  4. Mucous Increase: A primary tool of our immune system, the loosening of mucous including sinus congestion and draining is brought on by the Fresh Lemon Juice and Cayenne Pepper.
  5. Increased Ear Wax: Similar to above.
  6. Nausea: Usually the result of the Salt Water Flush.
  7. Dizziness: Usually the result of not drinking enough Fresh Lemonade or not drinking it early enough in the morning upon rising (especially after the SWF).
  8. Feeling Chilled: Not “chills” like when you have a cold, but feeling cold as the result of lowered metabolism.
  9. Passing Gallstones: This is not uncommon and is good news.
  10. Diarrhea: Either from the SWF or from an excess of Vitamin C from the Lemon Juice.

Withdrawal Side Effects




Discussing these side effects from the perspective of the Healing Events and Detox is necessary, as they are indeed related to the cleanse.  However, many of the side effects felt by cleansers are not necessarily the result of the detox, or healing, nor are they some awful sign that cleansing is not for you. They are often just symptoms of withdrawal from some chemical dependency you have.

There are many common chemical dependencies which (if you did the cleanse properly) you would have had to stop feeding during the cleanse.

  1. Nicotine
  2. Alcohol and Drugs
  3. Caffeine

These substances are obvious. Most of us know we go through nicotine and alcohol withdrawal, but we don’t always realize that caffeine withdrawal can be even worse. Caffeine is a food (found in coffee, tea and other foods like chocolate). Food is addictive as well. Most of us know that, but we don’t dig much deeper than that basic understanding. Caffeine is a drug which is found in food. All food is a drug, as are all substances. Everything we consume is a chemical that our bodies break down, then decide to use, expel, destroy or quarantine.

So we can be addicted to anything. We can be addicted to coffee, sugar, pasta, or sushi.

And when our body doesn’t get a substance it is expecting, it will send us signals — often painful ones — that it wants that substance NOW. Once the body is re-accustomed to NOT expecting these substances, a new norm is set and symptoms disappear.

Now most of those foods aren’t as chemically addictive as caffeine is, but they can certainly be emotionally or psychologically addictive.

Emotional and Psychological Master Cleanser Side Effects

The loss of Comfort Foods can be devastating both emotionally and psychologically. We are so used to managing our chemistry by ingesting foods we like. If we feel down, we turn to food because eating it will make us feel good, either because we like the taste so much or because we have another association built into that food. Perhaps this type of cookie reminds me of my childhood when times were more simple. Maybe that ice-cream puts me into a state of subconscious self-loathing that I have come to depend on.

This is a major topic and is beyond the scope of this article, but it is worth mentioning because it leads to the following two Emotional Side Effects and Psychological Side Effects of The Master Cleanse:

  1. Impatience and Irritability: Our patience can really be tested when we are not getting what we want, when we are not comforted by our crutches.
  2. Flashbacks (Feelings, Tastes): in his book “The Complete Master CleanseTom Woloshyn describes the body as a “Time Machine,” saying that his clients report tasting cigarettes or feeling “stoned” as they relive past experiences.

Any other Master Cleanser Side Effects?

I have avoided going into detail on a number of very common side effects in an attempt to keep this post from getting too long. I want to leave the forum open to you to so you can add your own feelings. What were some Master Cleanser Side Effects that you experienced? How did you overcome them?

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122 Responses to Master Cleanser Side Effects

  1. Ai January 29, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

    I am experiencing muscle soreness in my legs and my hamstrings are very tight and hard to stretch. This is my 4th MC and these symptoms are new for me. I’m getting a massage tomorrow (day 5) so I hope that helps.
    Tip: I warm the salt water on the stove a little, makes it much easier to drink. I pretend it’s a broth haha.

  2. Mike January 28, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    Day 5. I hate the tea. I really do. I’m using the Smooth Move tea. SWF doesn’t bother me but man, that tea is awful. I experienced swollen glands and pretty severe sore throat during sleep. Getting up and moving around alleviates the pain. Less last night. Stayed in bed through the night. I’m hoping for a more restful night tonight. I’ve continued to run but I’m noticeably weaker. I feel an improvement in my overall well being. I miss coffee. Life goes on in my house and the smells of cookies and muffins and especially coffee brewing is difficult but I’m dealing. The hardest thing is the naysayers. I’m tired of defending the program. My wife is not supportive at all. So I stay strong and forge ahead!

  3. Lemonade Wise January 11, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    Hi Mike, I have also written an article on the side effects of the master cleanse but my list is a bit different to yours. Your readers may find it useful I hope! http://www.lemonadewise.com/diet/side-effects/

  4. TL January 7, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    I started the MC on Monday, and this is Thursday, my 4th day. I have lost a total of 4 lbs. I had a BM on Monday, but have not had one since. I’ve been using ICP every night, but still no BM. I took DiGize this morning and had a small BM about an hour later–I know this is TMI, but several marble size balls with lots of mucus! Is this normal?

    • Mike Olaski January 7, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

      Hi TL, what is ICP and DiGize? That’s not part of The Master Cleanse. Are you taking the herbal laxative or the Salt Water Flush?

    • Sam January 18, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

      There is no “NORMAL” with the Master cleanse…There is just YOU and YOUR BODY and what YOU PUT IN IT…COMING OUT! Keep going, keep going, keep going.

  5. Anthony January 6, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

    Hi, I’m 40 years old; on my 8th day of the Master Cleanse. Side effects have been minimal. I vomited on my 8th day, (today) for the first time. I’ve lost weight, felt tired and weak, felt dizzy once, and experienced a loss of appetite, but I feel good. Still working out at the gym too. Having at least two bowel movements per day. Two more days to go.

  6. AIM January 4, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

    Day 1 major headache all day late evening began feeling nauseated tried downing some of lemonade mix but did not work I ended up throwing up twice. Still have a headache and body is aching I feel like I’m getting sick.

    I was a BIG COFFEE DRINKER sonic hire the headache part has something to do with the withdraw., cant wait to get my energy !

    I have done this cleanse before a couple times and never had that problem.

    Any ideas?

    • Anthony January 6, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

      Don’t stop

  7. Me January 2, 2016 at 2:22 am #

    I don’t know what happened to me, but while I was on the third day I had this burning sensation in my chest and after that I had insomnia for a whole month and constipation and now I feel bloated all the time and not feeling like my normal self. I did stop the cleanse after the third day. I’m slowly trying to get my body back. Been to the hospital and clinics. They did find out that I had Hpylori but that was it. Even after taking care of the Hpylori I am still not well. I don’t know if this was a result of the master cleanse or when I did the master cleanse it triggered some issues I was having that was not present or what, but all I know is that after I did the cleanse my body has not been the same.

    • Sam January 18, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

      That was a “HEALING EVENT” or “HEALING CRISIS” YOu should have continued the cleanse to the end. Essentially you started to squeeze out toxins and then abruptly stopped leaving them trapped in your system. I suggest trying again, or trying a water or juice fast. Though the master cleanse is SUPERIOR at dissolving any and all toxins. (lemon/cayenne<–super power!) good luck. YOu already knew this answer, your body has been telling you for sometime…YOU JUST AREN"T LISTENING BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE TOO MUCH IN "medical science". WAKE UP~! AND HEAL YOUR HEALTH! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

  8. ije December 31, 2015 at 10:57 am #

    i am on my 3rd day and I’ve already lost 8 lbs. On the second day the side effects stormed up. I was too nauseous to sleep and i burped like crazy! Later that night, before bed, i took the laxative tea, helped a little with the burping. In the middle of the night, i had the cold, was very chilled. I thought to quit the moment i wake up but after checking my weight, i was too motivated to stop. But day 3 sure came with its own side effects- itchy skin!
    I haven’t been able to pass a steady bowel movement, why is that?

  9. Winnie December 3, 2015 at 8:04 am #

    I was at the 3rd day of cleanse I started getting cold symptoms and didn’t know that could be a side effect so I ate dinner last night. Lol does that mean I have to start over or can I still continue on as day 4 today. I thought I was getting sick from stress because I have finals next week. I didn’t realize it could just be a side effect from the cleanse.. Any tips?

  10. TC December 1, 2015 at 6:59 am #

    Anxiety. Whoa, I’m on day two and my heart is pumping! I did the swf yesterday morning but did not do the night lax tea, and this morning I did not do the swf due to lack of time. I have the worst headache, but that’s normal even from when I haven’t had one meal so that is not surprising. But this bit of anxiety is so uncomfortable.

    • Sam January 18, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

      The laxative tea and the salt water flush ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE DETOX CLEANSE!

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