Are you looking for a complete description of detox methods and how they work?  If so keep reading because this article reveals everything you need to know to get you started.

The body is an amazing machine and actual does a great job of detoxing itself everyday day in and day out.   The major organs responsible for cleansing and detox are: the colon, the liver, the kidneys and the skin. All detox programs simply support these organs do do their work more effectively.   Some detox methods are designed to address one of these organs in specific. Others support more than one at a time.

Detox and cleansing diets explained

Lets take a look next at the benefits of cleansing and detoxing your body…

The Benefits of Cleansing and Detox

The variety of benefits that people experience by regularly cleansing and detoxifying their bodies includes a broad range of improvements in overall health.

Here is a list of the most common benefits of cleansing that people have reported to experts in the field.

Physical Benefits

  • Quick and easy weight loss – average of 5kg (10 lbs.) up to 18kg (40 lbs.)
  • Relief of constipation and restoration of regularity
  • Easier nutrient absorption and smoother digestion
  • Decreased bowel transit time
  • Disappearing acne, rashes, dry skin, eczema, moles, freckles and other skin problems related to toxicity
  • Softer skin, improved skin tone, reduced sun sensitivity, fading of age spots and liver spots
  • Shinier thicker fuller hair, elimination of dandruff
  • Brighter, clearer eyes and sharper vision
  • Relief of headaches – including migraines
  • Reduced incidence of heartburn
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Relief of asthma symptoms
  • Reduction or elimination of food allergies
  • Improved resistance to some diseases
  • Relief of arthritis and joint pain
  • Stronger cardiovascular system
  • Vitality as zest for life and increased stamina
  • Smoother muscle action and greater agility
  • Increased resistance to cold weather
  • Disappeared muscle pain
  • Needing less sleep
  • Eating less – living longer (low calorie consumption is the number one indicator in extreme longevity)

Emotional and Mental Benefits

  • Elimination of food cravings and binge eating
  • Clearer thinking and sharper mental focus
  • More balanced emotions
  • Greater motivation
  • Elimination of depression
  • Increased confidence
  • Release of stored emotional traumas
  • Overcoming laziness or lethargy

Spiritual Benefits

  • Awareness levels increase
  • What was beyond awareness comes into focus
  • Increased connection with the natural world
  • More joy and fun

These are all fantastic reasons to a thorough cleanse program. But the biggest benefit of a detox  is that it gives you confidence in your body’s own natural healing ability.

We’ll take a look next at some popular types of cleanse and detox diets.

In our research we’ve used all of the following  methods to help people improve their health and in some cases  even save their lives. What we’ve seen is that no one method works for everybody. Read through these types of detox to see which one attracts you most.

Cleanse and Detox Methods Explained


fasting is the most intense way to cleanse your body. During a fast you completely eliminate solid foods, which gives your digestive system a break and supports all of your body systems to improve their functioning. Fasting on water only, for a period of 3 to 10 days, is a very powerful practice and should be done only with the help of a health care professional. Fasting on fresh green juices is another option that is also very effective.   Like water fasting, it is best reserved for people who have experience with detox and cleansing.

The Master Cleanse

(a.k.a.:  The Lemonade Cleanse, the Lemonade Cleansing Diet, Lemon Juice Cleanse, Cayenne Pepper Cleanse)

What it is: The program  is based on a book called “The Master Cleanser” published in 1941 by Stanley Burroughs (1903-1991).   It is available on  In this small book Burroughs advocates a 1 to 40 day fast on a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup, water and cayenne pepper.  Lemon juice is added to alkalize the body and balance electrolytes; maple syrup is added to maintain blood sugar levels and cayenne to dilate blood vessels to allow for easier circulation.  This Lemonade Cleansing Diethas become especially popular in alternative health circles over the past 15 years.

The Recipe for the Master Cleanse or Lemonade Diet Drink:

– 2 tablespoons FRESH squeezed organic lemon or lime juice (approx. 1/2 lemon) – no canned or bottled juice!
– 2 tablespoons genuine organic maple syrup, Grade B (the darker the better) – some people use agave or raw honey instead of maple syrup
– 1/10 teaspoon (a small pinch!) cayenne pepper, gradually increase (the more BTUs the better)
– 300 – 500 ml (10-14 oz) pure water

How much to drink: Burroughs suggests that you drink as much of this cleansing drink as you like, sipping it throughout the day.  In addition you should drink a minimum of 1.5 l (50 oz.) of pure distilled or spring water for every 45 kg (100 lbs.) of body weight.

How long to stay on this cleanse: Burroughs recommends staying on this fast for a minimum of 10 days and up to 40 days.

How to break the cleanse: The key to breaking this fast, or any fast is to GO SLOWLY and listen to your body.  Gradually add fresh orange juice, apple juice, salads and fruits back into your diet.

How Does This Remedy Rate?

The lemonade cleanse, like any fasting program, does support the colon to remove some mucus and old fecal matter.  It leaves deeper layers of mucoid plaque untouched.

Our Experience: Several of us  completed a 10 day “Master Cleanse” ind 2008.  The only thing we changed was to use agave syrup instead of maple syrup.  We all lost weight and   felt better after the process.  But we also experienced significant highs and lows of energy.Based on our experience, we’d call the “Master Cleanse” more of a fasting diet than a cleanse.   In comparison to the herbal cleanses we’ve completed, the lemonade diet was more difficult to complete – not eating for 10 days or more, presents extreme physical and emotional challenges.

The Natural Cleanse Diet

This detox method is accessible to pretty much anyone regardless of their level of health. It is the most simple form and in the long run perhaps the most effective. That’s because it’s based on elimination foods that slow digestion while at the same time eating lots of fresh foods that help the body cleanse. Without at doubt this is the easiest method for most people since it involves no hunger pangs or invasive procedures. The Natural Cleanse Diet also helps you establish long term positive eating habits. You can try one of two paths with the natural cleanse diet – high fiber or raw vegetarian. We’ll look at both below.

A.  High Fiber Diet

Definition: A high fiber diet contains a minimum of 40g of dietary fiber per day.   Dietary fiber comes only from plants and is found in greater quantities in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

What it does: A diet high in fiber reduces the transit time of food through the bowel from 72 hours to less than 24.  Less time in the bowel gives pathogens less of a chance to survive. Fiber also gives the bowel something to work against during peristalsis.  This strengthens the muscles of the colon.

When to use: A diet with less than 25g daily fiber intake is potentially harmful to the health of the digestive system. A balanced diet should include a minimum of 30g of fiber per day.   Note that the average western diet includes just 11g of fiber whereas the average diet of an indigenous African includes 30g.  Dr. Bernard Jensen notes that “in primitive societies there is virtually no incidence of diverticulitis or colon cancer, unless the natives adopt a modern ‘civilized’ diet.


  • Easy to do
  • Cleanses and strengthens the colon
  • Requires no major dietary changes – just the addition of high fiber foods
  • Has been shown to have many positive residual health effects (i.e. lowering cholesterol and blood pressure)


Leaves mucoid plaque untouched

B. Raw Vegetarian Diet

Definition: A raw vegetarian diet is a diet based entirely on raw, uncooked vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and seeds.

What it does: Raw food takes less time and energy to digest, which leaves the body with more energy to cleanse and heal itself.  It is also full of life giving enzymes that help the body to break down toxins.

When to use: Many people, including us,  follow a raw vegetarian diet 95-100% of the time.  It is a powerful healing and cleansing diet that has many, many benefits.  It is particularly helpful to eat 80% to 100% raw foods during an herbal cleanse.


  • Stimulates cellular cleansing
  • Leaves the body extra energy for healing
  • Prepares the bowel for deeper cleansing with herbs


  • Requires learning new food preparation techniques
  • Can cause the body to detoxify to rapidly
  • Leaves mucoid plaque untouched

Colon Hydrotherapy

Enemas, colemas and colonics are the three kinds of colon hydrotherapy available. As the name suggests, these procedures only serve to cleanse the colon. They do nothing for the other organs of elimination. There are some dangers associated with this type of cleansing including possible bacterial contamination from unclean instruments and water.   Also all forms of colon hydrotherapy leave deeper layers of muciod plaque, which is a rubber like substance that adheres to the lining of the intestines, untouched.

Herbal Detox

An Herbal detox is the most comprehensive of all types of detox and cleansing. The herbs in a quality cleanse help the body to soften and release mucoid plaque, which is a dark rubbery substance that can develop in our intestines over time due to poor diet.  For radiant health, it’s important to eliminate this plaque since it interferes with the proper absorption of nutrients and proper elimination.    Another quality of herbal detox is that also help to detoxify and rebuild other vital organs such as the liver and kidneys.  Most herbal cleanses involve taking a combination of herbs and a fiber supplement plus supplementation with a probiotic (positive bacteria) – and of course following the cleansing diet.

Definition: An herbal cleanse is a process in which specific combinations of herbs are ingested for a length of time.  It may also involve some dietary changes, fasting, fiber supplementation and the use special detoxifiers such as bentonite clay or chlorella.

What it does: Specific herbs, taken in combination can soften mucoid plaque, support bowel movement, increase immunity, purify and strengthen internal organs and revitalize tissues.

When to use: Herbal cleansing is usually best done after some preparation with dietary changes.  Most herbal cleanse programs recommend a period of 1-5 days of dietary changes before beginning to take herbs.   Herbal cleansing programs last from 3-30 days.


  • The most comprehensive of cleansing types.
  • Gets mucoid plaque out of the colon.
  • Regenerates cells and vital organs.
  • Works to cleanse the small and large intestine.


  • Requires commitment and time (7 days minimum) to get results.
  • Some herbs can be dangerous if not used carefully.

Oxygen Based Cleanses –  A relatively new detox method, these types of cleanses involve swallowing a mixture of magnesium and oxygen that helps to cleanse the small and large intestines. These kinds of cleanses leave the other organs of elimination – the kidneys, skin and liver untouched. Also they don’t require much of a dietary change on your part. Like herbal cleanses pretty much anyone can complete them.

Juice Cleanse Diet

A juice cleanse is simply a program in which, for a given amount of time, you drink only fresh fruit and vegetable juices.   Depending on your health goals, practitioners usually suggest juicing only for somewhere between 3 days and one month.

How it works: The idea behind juice cleansing is that you get most of your nutrients through ultra low calorie juices.  This leaves the body with extra resources to heal itself since it is not required to digest heavy foods.   For best results, most people recommend drinking juices made out of vegetables and fruits that are not sweet, such as cucumber.   There are many recipes available on the internet.

What are the benefits?: Juice cleansing or juice fasting can have many benefits including:

  • Quick and easy weight loss
  • Relief of constipation and restoration of regularity
  • Disappearing acne, rashes, dry skin, and  eczema
  • Relief of headaches – including migraines
  • Reduced incidence of heartburn
  • Relief of arthritis and joint pain
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Elimination of food cravings
  • Relief of asthma symptoms
  • Easier nutrient absorption
  • Smoother digestion
  • Clearer thinking and sharper mental focus
  • More balanced emotions
  • Greater motivation

What are the risks of juice cleansing?: After years of practice we’ve seen just a few risks involved with juice cleansing.  First is the possibility of experiencing unpleasant detox symptoms such as headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, loose bowels and upset stomach. This happens for pretty much anyone, but is usually worse in people who have had a diet that has included lots of meat products, sugar and processed food.

It is very rare that these symptoms become severe enough to warrant a visit to the hospital, but it can happen on occasion.  The second risk we’ve seen is that people lose muscle mass on a long juice cleanse. This can be dangerous not only but especially for the elderly who need to maintain as much muscle as possible.

The third risk we’ve seen is that juice cleansing can promote the “yo-yo” effect in which you end up binging on food after the cleanse and undoing all of the great work you did during the cleanse.

An easier way to cleanse?: In our experience, an easier and, in the long term, more successful way to detox for the majority of people is to use a cleansing diet over a period of at least one month. This type of diet is much easier on the body than juice cleansing and because of that more people are able to stick with it. Yet, the benefits tend to be long lasting.

Want more information on fruit and foods that can help you detox and burn fat? Check out our fat burning foods list and our recommended fruits that burn fat.

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