This process, along with the herbal laxative detox tea, is probably the most confusing, most alarming, most questioned part of the master cleanse, apart from the fact you don't eat anything except the lemonade. The strong reactions come from the strong associations we have with words like "salt" and "laxative" and so worry about safety is present just beneath the surface of each question, and rightfully so (even though misplaced).
6 reasons why the salt water flush didn't work
If the salt water isn't flushing through your system in an hour or two, you're probably guilty of one of these 5, and only 5 reasons:
If you take the sea salt water solution too soon after eating, the food will soak up the liquid and not allow the digestive system the opportunity to reject the solution independently. You basically just make a nice salty soup inside your stomach
Your salt water was too salty
You can't over do it. Less is more in this case. It's hard to know exactly what will work. Where did you start from? Always start at the base of 2 teaspoons of sea salt. One common mistake here is to use 2 tablespoons, easily enough confused by the 2 tablespoon measure of both the fresh lemon juice and the maple syrup. I used to make that mistake all the time, and even published it as such, because 2 tablespoons worked for me, which is why I know, the ration can vary greatly with success rates.
You didn't use enough salt
If less was more in the case above then now more is more. The right amount is more or less exactly what will work for you (did that make sense?). Usually the problem isn't too little salt as most people don't start out with less than 2 teaspoons, and if there is another measuring area to cause issue it's the water volume. 1 litre should be used, and often people will use a standard glass, 8-10 oz which is just 1/4 liter, again finding themselves in a less is more situation. They need more water to balance the right amount of salt, if the ratio was right. Long story short. 1 liter. 2 teaspoons. Increment first up 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you get to 4 teaspoons, which is still 2 teaspoons less than the 2 tablespoons I have had work for me. If the salt water is still not working, revisit the other reasons on this page (especially the last one)
You used the wrong kind of salt (iodized salt, table salt)
As covered in another faq regarding the type of salt to use in the salt water cleanse we made it clear that you must only use sea salt, and non-iodized sea salt. Iodized sea salt will not work. Did you know that our salive is 99% saline? Did you know that we evolved from the sea (
maybe, probably) [this is long before our early primate phase], and that the similarities between human blood and sea water prove (arguably), that we came from the sea (where all life probably did). If fact this is why the sea salt water flush works, because the solution is so much like our blood (specifically what's called the specific gravity), that our digestive system won't process the liquid like food. We're built to avoid the salt, and osmosis and diffusion go to work for us to pass out this usually dangerous drink as to prevent any harm to our cells.
You didn't completely drink the entire salt water solution
Often times it can be hard to get the whole 1 liter of lovely saltiness down your throat without sending it back up like a whale's blow hole. It's a challenge I know. You do tend to get used to it, and there are several tricks to make the salt water flush easier that you should definitely check out because if you don't manage to get it down in 1 short time span, you won't get the flushiness you need. Sipping here and there from the edge of your teaspoon won't cut it. It may taste brothy but it's a FLUSH, not a can of Campbell's salty finest. You have to chug it to flush it (as the saying goes –I know that's not a saying).
The sea salt gods didn't favour you
If you're doing all else right, as many have proclaimed in frustration "flush not working" you might just consider that god simply doesn't like you. That's god with a lowercase g, cause I am sure God loves you. But this god, the god that decides why the salt water flush doesn't work for you has chosen to curse you with one more challenge in life today. But know this to overcome even that seemingly insurmountable obstacle. The Salt Water Flush is optional. It's great, and if you can get it to work you should try to get a couple in for each 10 day master cleanse, but you can simply use the herbal laxative detox tea. As long as your having a bowel movement and eliminating toxins that the lemon cleanser and the rest of your "every body detox" is stirring up each day.
What did you do to make the salt water flush work?
If you have any tips please do let us know, and if you think your situation is special, then please tell us your struggle. We'll lend an ear and support your efforts. Leave a comment below, and share this post if you found it answered your question "why isn't the salt water flush working?"