A sea salt cleanse, also known as a salt water flush, is a part of a program called The Master Cleanse 1. A sea salt and water mixture, combined in a ratio of 1 to 2 tbsp non-iodized organic sea salt with 1 liter of warm water, is consumed on a daily basis, according to The Master Cleanse website 1. The website claims that this cleanse has several health benefits, including detoxification and weight loss. Check with your doctor before attempting to use this cleanse, particularly because it requires the consumption of a large amount of sodium that can exacerbate health conditions like hypertension.
The sea salt cleanse is part of the larger comprehensive Master Cleanse which, as a whole, is intended to help you lose excess weight and detoxify 1. According to The Master Cleanse website, the sea salt cleanse has a laxative effect that can cause as many as seven bowel movements or more after drinking the salt water mixture 1. Initially, the bowel movements, the website explains, consist of the mixture itself, and then is replaced by the expulsion of solid wastes. According to dietician Susan Moores of MSNBC, although cleansing diets such as The Master Cleanse purport to help you get rid of excess weight, the risks of disruption of the body's natural balance is hardly worth the attempt 1. In reality, she adds, these diets and cleanses are naturally extremely low in calories, which can be the actual cause of the weight loss.
The main goal of the sea salt cleanse is to detoxify your body, removing supposed "toxic" waste products that can cause health problems. The Master Cleanse site explains that after the fairly immediate expulsion of the salt water mixture, you will experience a number of solid or semi-solid bowel movements, along with some diarrhea 1. Theoretically, these solid wastes have been trapped in your body for months or years, causing a slow-drip of toxins into your system. This, the website explains, leads to symptoms such as allergies and chronic fatigue. However, your body doesn't need to be cleansed to get rid of toxins, explains the NYU Langone Medical Center 3. These are taken care of by your body's own natural detoxification via digestion.
Improved Bowel Function
Detoxification via a sea salt cleanse is also suggested to create a feeling of "lightness" due to the excretion of months or years of waste build-up. As a result, The Master Cleanse explains that your bowel function improves and promotes the production of healthy bacteria that improve your immunity 1. Repopulating the digestive system with healthy bacteria also, the website explains, helps improve the motility of the digestive tract. Using a Master Cleanse on a regular basis, according to the site, prevents waste from building in the digestive tract 1. However, cleansing the colon is only necessary for medical procedures such as a colonoscopy, and should be performed using cleansing product recommended by your doctor 3. He adds that colon cleansing routines such as The Master Cleanse can actually increase the risk of damage to the bowels 1.
Considerations and Cautions
A cleanse should only be undertaken with the supervision of your physician. A sea salt cleanse in particular can increase the risk of becoming dehydrated, although The Master Cleanse site claims that the salt is not absorbed by your body 1. The Master Cleanse site also adds that to be successful, a sea salt cleanse should always be performed on an empty stomach and should only use salt that contains no iodine 1. Stay well hydrated during any cleanse and be sure to jot down a list of all the medications, including natural ones, that you are taking. Check with your doctor for any interactions with the cleanse's ingredients before moving forward.
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