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word of caution re MC

I know many of you on this forum are doing a Master Cleanse, I myself have done 3 cleanses…
However, I wont be doing anymore after the last one (Oct 2007) because my metabolism slowwwwwwwwwed after the fact and I gained like 15 pounds (double of what I lost)

So while it can be great to fast, it may take the body a long time to recoup, it has been 4.5 months since my last cleanse and my metabolism is just starting to get back to what it was (with loads of exercise and weight lifting)


  • Yeah I have sort of felt th effects of this myself. I am doing some part-time juice feasting and I have noticed that my metabolism seems to be slower then usual. I was blaming it on turning 30, but after reading this post I believe it has to do a lot with these different cleaning regiments. Thanks for the heads up.

  • heathermarsbombheathermarsbomb Raw Newbie

    Yes I am 29 so maybe we are just getting old…? sigh

  • Heather- I just finished a cleanse and I actually consulted a nutritionalist about this very topic. She encouraged me to finished the cleanse, she says it’s on the the best things we can do for our bodies. She also said that we must listen to our bodies after the cleanse. It may very well be that our bodies have recalibrated themselves and need less calories to function after a cleanse. If you find yourseld gaining then you need to either up the exercise or cut back the calories or a combination of both. If you give your body more fuel than it needs you will certainly gain weight. I am going to eat very light for a few days and see if the scale fluctuates. If it starts to creep up then i will cut my calories or hit the gym more often. The bottom line is you have to expend more calories than you consume to lose or find a balance to maintain. HTH

  • bananaboybananaboy Raw Superstar

    Sorry to rain on anyones parade here, but the Master Cleanse is a waste of time. There is no food that will cleanse and purify the body. Only the body itself and nature can do that. Cayenne pepper is an irritant. Maple syrup is a processed sugar inferior to fruit sugar from raw fruit. Lemon juice has no cleansing action on the body. If you truly want to cleanse and detox, then a distilled water fast with plenty of rest is far superior to the MC. Any benefits that occur during the MC is due to abstaining from solid food. Don’t get caught up in the MC hype.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    jfergus, where did you get your information? I’m not promoting the MC, but I have always heard that lemons are very cleansing, and cayenne pepper is good for the heart and circulation, among other things.

  • deborahanndeborahann Raw Newbie

    Exercise, especially weightlifting and sprinting should help up the metabolism after a fast. It probably does decrease the metabolism, but taking in less food should increase longevity by decreasing free radical formation from digestion. The nutritional content is why I like juice feasting so much. You are actually consuming a good number of calories that are pure nutrition. You are feeding your body what it needs to repair without all the energy of digestion. It is a much slower cleanse than water fasting, but certainly more comfortable.

  • I’ve also heard very good things about cayenne. I haven’t read it but I guess there is about a 20 page write up on the juice feast website all about the health benefits of cayenne

  • bananaboybananaboy Raw Superstar

    Learn to do what is natural. Follow the laws of nature. Swallowing a mix of cayenne pepper, maple syrup and lemon juice is not natural, it is rediculous. Again, any benefits that result during the MC, are not due to the cayenne/maple syrup/lemon juice. They are the result of your body healing itself due to the reduced burden of having to digest solid food.
    I know there are many that disagree with me. My beliefs come from over 20 years of study in Natural Hygiene and Holistic Nutrition.

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    I agree that any positive effect gained through MC is entirely the body’s healing itself, as jgfergus. The lemonade makes fasting easier and more attainable for more people. I’m on Day 3 of MC now and I feel great and haven’t cut down on any activity – it’s definitely cuz of the lemonade. Maybe the lemonade also gives your body enough energy to potentiate the healing, which might be slowed on water alone – I’m just hypothesising.

  • jenergyjenergy Raw Newbie

    heathermarsbomb and ardesmond… 29 and 30, respectively, is not old! At least, I refuse to believe so… being 37 myself… ;o)

    Our metabolisms do slow down as we age, though, sad fact. Excercise helps a lot.

  • I too agree with jgfergus to some extent on MC. Especially the Cayenne pepper part, it is an irritant to both your stomach lining and intestine walls, doubly so when taken without any solid food. It is good and it has its own benefits when taken in appropriate quantities (vey little) along with solid food.

    I recommend doing lime juice fast instead (lime and sea salt/himalayan salt) if you need to cleanse.

    This is completely my own thought/opinion. You may or may not agree with me.

  • That is really just not true. Cayenne can be taken along with many such herbs to actually save a persons life. Like, if you were having a heart attach or a stroke, take A LOT of cayenne, like 2-5 or 6 TBSP. A liquid extract (tincture) which can be made at home with organic peppers and grain alcohol is preferred for emergency issues. It also does not irritate the intestines, it helps them heal. Cayenne can be taken as a laxative, with water. It is actually one of the ingredients in Dr. Schulze’s (herbdoc.com) intestinal formula #1. He uses Cayenne in jsut about all his formulas because it was the herb that saved his life and was proven to save his patients.

  • Also, for some they need to slow their metabolism. People that are used to eating bulky foods have a very high metabolism and find that they are hungry half an hour after eating a salad. So, they eat a huge burrito or something to fill them up or whatever. A juice fast will slow your metabolism down and if you are underweight you will lose more weight while fasting and gain it back when yous tart eating foods.

  • FreesiaFreesia Raw Newbie

    There is only one true fast and that is water or dry fasting. Any other so called fast, whether juice or master cleanse is merely a reduction of calorie intake. On these types of fasts the body doesn’t cleanse in the way that abstinence from all food does. If you really think about it, ..as fergus states.. maple syrup is a highly processed item.. what cleansing can possibly come from it? We are trying not to have highly processed items in our diets yet feel ok about consuming bottles of maple syrup on a cleanse!.

    The action of a fast cleans out the cells from all the accumulated toxins making the body a more tuned and efficient “machine”
    This is why what you do after the fast in more important than the fast itself.Because the body is now able to function with less hinderance..self discipline and moderation of food intake after fasting is imperative if you want to maintain weight loss and other benefits.

    By the way, I have done master cleanse, juice “fasting” and water fasts and have found water fasting to be far superior.

  • The fact that cayenne is medicinal (with the effects you state, which is all true) would precisely indicate to me that it should not be taken regularly. It is mildly toxic (though not to the point that it would kill you in normal doses), and that’s why it stimulates the body—to clean it out. That’s why it works as a medicine for heart attack patients or to encourage the body to flush out the intestines. But something with such strong effects is not beneficial on a consistent basis—only when needed. Same as any other medicine or medicinal procedure—good for certain acute cases, but not chronically.

    What is the mechanism by which cayenne helps the intestines heal? Substances don’t heal the body, they allow the body to heal itself. That’s why a water-only fast is so powerful, it allows the body to be free of the toxins that keep the body from doing its normal healing work.

    I agree that a slow metabolism can be beneficial—essentially it means you are aging more slowly. But it is frustrating for the many people trying to lose weight.

  • Freesia- How long is it safe to water fast? Also is it okay to have lemon and or lime on the fast? Thanks. I just came off the MC 2 days ago and I just feel that I need more of SOMETHING.

  • FreesiaFreesia Raw Newbie

    Hi sgmom2,
    Many people have fasted for 30 days on water only, some even longer… but everybody is different… some people have underlying medical problems that should be supervised by a credited FASTING doctor.. (most doctors don’t know about fasting..)
    There are many ways to start fasting… 3 days or more gets the body into ketosis which is where fat burning starts if that is your aim. I prefer 10 days or more for inner cleansing.. although 21 days would be my aim .
    I have successfully fasted for 62 days since August last year.. (not all in one go..17 days, four lots of 10 days and recently 5 days.)
    Best to have nothing at all on a water fast… no lemons, limes, tea, ...anything… just leave the body alone to do what it knows ..without “assistance” from lemons, etc.
    There are many many websites that discuss water fasting, a quick google search will give you some reliable information.. this site link is very good.


  • Thank you so much. I was wondering if I did a 7 day water fast if I could take my vitamins while on it and follow up witha 7 day green juice(no fruit) fast. I had such a horrible reaction to something on the MC and water only would tell me if it was detox or an allergic reaction. If it was detox then I definitely needed to go longer than the 11 days that I did. I have been glued to this computer today in search of answers. My dr. is clueless! She looked at me like I was crazy when I told her I had been without food for 10 days, lol.

  • coconuttycoconutty Raw Newbie

    Hmmmmm I’d be very interested in finding a fasting doc. I’d feel a little more safe doing a water fast then.

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    Sgmom2: I know you had great success with weight loss on your recent MC. I’d be curious to see if you keep if off. I have some friends who do the MC twice yearly and they told me the only time they managed to keep wieght lost off was if they did more than 20 days of MC.

  • We all have our different opinions. Dr. Schulze had his “incurable” patients live off of cayenne and many others. He put them on a strict program and “juice fast”and usually in 30 days, their cancer or whatever they had that was incurable (such as aids) was GONE. If it was not gone, the program was intensifieed and repeated another month.

    Also, no. See, water fasts have shown in many cases to help the body detoxify rapidly. HOWEVER, because of the time we are living in and how so many people are nutritionally depleted, a water fast would not be a good idea. When you do a juice fast, you get the nutrients that you need. While on a water fast, you do not get any nutrients. So, while you are detoxifying, you are also starving your body and you will be hungry too. On a juice fast, you build back energy because of the nutrients you take in.

  • greeniegreenie Raw Newbie

    Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a natural hygenist (they like water fasts and think the MC is awful). He’s also an MD. http://www.drfuhrman.com

    I’ve done many many fasts, juices of various kinds, MCs and also water fasts, including a 21-day water fast. I agree that the water fast is the best, but IMHO unless you do a short one or are young and healthy, better to be supervised by someone competent. I know two people in my town who recently fasted, not on water, who ended up in hospital – one in a diabetic coma and another with a mysterious heart ailment. They are in their late 50s or early 60s and probably did not have good nutrition before hand. IMHO my friend’s heart problems may have come because his fast didn’t include potassium and he damaged his heart.

    The benefit of fasting is the rest it gives the body. In rest, the body heals itself. In my experience, you can get good rest from a juice fast and even the MC, just not as complete as the water fast. But the other fasts have their benefits.

    A juice feast has the added benefit of flooding the body with nutrients. Dr. Schulze’s Incurables program includes his Superfood Formula and a whole lot of his Potassium broth each day, which I think is extraordinarily wise. It’s a smart program because it combines some rest with a wide array of nutrition, very good for just about everyone, and probably crucial for those with life-threatening conditions. And the MC has its value because it’s easily do-able during a regular routine of work for most people. All of the fasts have their value.

    The Natural Hygenists are good but they tend to think their way is the only way, like many of us :-)).

  • Luna bluLuna blu Raw Newbie

    Heathermarsbomb, Don’t say that you are getting old! You are only 29!!

    You are right in a way, metabolism slows down because as we age we lose muscle mass. You have to fight this by weight training. Don’t be afraid to challenge your muscles as well.

    Muscle mass at rest burns 50 calories, as opposed to fat, it burns 2!

    I agree, juece feasts/fasts are wonderful.

  • Hi Carmentina- I don’t expect to keep the whole 20 pounds off, but i hope to keep at least half of it off. There is no way I could do a 21 day MC. I hate the senna tea and the lemonade. It would be easier for me to just do water. I am starting a 3 day water fast tomorrow to get back into ketosis as Freesia suggests and then I will follow up with a 7 day green juice fast. I think it would be beneficial for me to incluse short 3 day water fasts throughout the yaer to cleanse and to keep my weight under control.As you can see from my picture I am a bit over-weight and I would like to get it under control and maintain without having to constantly monitor everything single thing I consume. Good luck with your MC. How long are you doing it?

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    sgmom2, so far so good, so who knows, maybe I’ll take it further than 10 days. I guess I’m lucky cuz I loooove the lemonade and even the senna tea (although not its effects!). I’d also love to hear about how your water fast/juice feast work out. Good luck!

  • Freesia- Is there a way I could write to you about water fasting? Can I send u my email addy?

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