Some people believe that toxins in the gastrointestinal tract can cause colds, allergies, arthritis, poor circulation and fatigue, says Michael Picco, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic. They see the lemon water cleanse as a way to remove toxins from the body and boost the immune system. While critics say the digestive system and bowel are designed to do the job naturally, proponents of colon cleansing counter that there is little scientific evidence disproving the benefits.
Consult with your doctor first. A master cleanse involves several days of consuming nothing more than the lemon water recipe and drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration. The cleanse is not recommended for diabetics or individuals who have other chronic health problems. If you do not stay well-hydrated, an imbalance of electrolytes could cause serious complications, particularly if you have kidney or heart disease.
Eliminate processed foods, meats and dairy products from your diet before you begin the actual cleanse process. If you prefer not to do a full cleanse but still want to benefit from some of the cleansing properties of lemon water, cut down on consumption of fatty, sugary and processed foods. Drink a couple of glasses of lemon water each day so that your colon, liver and kidneys can benefit from any restorative properties that lemon water may have.
Flush out your digestive tract and colon on the morning of the first day of the cleanse. To do this, add two teaspoons of uniodized sea salt to one quart of lukewarm water. Shake well to mix, then drink the entire quart on an empty stomach. Wait until after your first bowel movement to begin drinking the lemon water mix.
Drink the lemon water mix and regular water for 10 days. Consume 8 oz. glasses of the lemon water mix every one to two hours throughout the day. Whenever you feel hungry, drink water. If you begin to feel weak, drink another glass of the lemon water mix.
Drink an herbal laxative tea each night before you go to bed. This will help stimulate daily bowel movements, an essential part of the cleanse process.
Wean yourself off the cleanse gradually. It will be four or five days before you can eat normally again. Start by introducing freshly squeezed orange juice diluted with water into your diet. On the evening of the second day coming off the cleanse, drink some vegetable broth. Continue drinking orange juice each day. On the third and fourth days, add vegetables to your soup and eat some fruit. Do not eat fish, meat, dairy or wheat products for a few days until your system is back to normal.
Make a recipe for six servings by adding 12 tbsp. each of organic lemon juice and organic grade B maple syrup and 2 tsp. of paprika to 60 oz. of filtered water. Lemons are full of vitamin C and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Lemon juice also makes the body more alkaline by neutralizing acid and restoring the body’s pH balance. The maple syrup supplies the body with additional vitamins and minerals.
Mix all ingredients together by stirring or shaking well.
Drink the lemon cleanse at room temperature or as a hot drink, but do not drink it cold.
Always use fresh lemons or limes in your recipe. Keep lemons on the kitchen counter to ripen.
Most lemon water cleanse recipes call for cayenne pepper instead of paprika. Cayenne pepper helps improve circulation by making it easier for major organs to filter toxins from the body. Some people substitute with paprika if they are unable to find cayenne pepper. Paprika is milder, however, and therefore doesn't have the same effect as cayenne pepper when it comes to increasing metabolism and circulation.
While following the regimen of the cleanse for a few days may be safe for the average healthy person, there are some health concerns. Depending on the number of glasses of the lemonade you drink each day, you may be severely restricting the number of calories you consume each day. In addition, you will not be consuming any protein or fats throughout the cleanse process. Daily use of laxatives is also required as part of the routine to help induce bowel movements.