By Ann Marina
Natural medicine practitioner Stanley Burroughs created a 10-day lemon and maple syrup detox regimen and published a booklet, “The Master Cleanser” in 1941. Natural health clinics and spas offer detox programs they base on Burroughs’s plan; writer Peter Glickman began promoting the detox plan in the 1990s.
The Detox Regimen
For at least 10 days, followers of this plan consume only specially prepared lemonade, unsweetened herbal tea and plenty of water. Each serving of lemonade consists of 2 tbsp. organic grade B maple syrup, 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/10 tsp. ground cayenne pepper, and 8 oz. of spring, distilled or purified water. Grade B maple syrup contains more minerals than the lighter Grade A syrup.
Celebrity Weight Loss
Appearing on “Oprah” in 2006, Beyonce Knowles said she lost 20 lbs. on the detox to slenderize for her role in the movie “Dreamgirls.” Beyonce also said she quickly regained all 20 lbs. once she finished the detox plan. Regaining the weight is a normal result of using a quick-fix weight loss program, says Joy Bauer, nutritionist and author of “The 90/10 Weight Loss Plan.” The low-calorie intake of a detox regimen makes it easy to lose weight, but there’s a tendency to binge afterward, Bauer she says.
Proponents of the lemon juice and syrup detox claim it provides overall cleansing, resulting in improved digestion, rejuvenation, and weight loss, writes Peter Glickman, in “Lose Weight, Have More Energy, and Be Happier in 10 Days.” However, little scientific evidence exists to support claims that this regiment removes toxins from the body, according to Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky. The liver and kidneys function to remove toxins naturally, Zeratsky says.
Possible side effects of the lemon juice and syrup detox regimen include headaches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea, according to Zeratsky. The lack of fiber may cause constipation, and the low-calorie intake of the plan may cause the body to begin feeding off its muscle as well as fat, according to a recent MSNBC report.
In the long run, starving yourself like a celebrity may do more harm than good, says registered dietician Susan Moores, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. To lose weight and maintain good health, Moores recommends eating smaller portions, cutting back on high-fat foods and eating plenty of vegetables and fruits. Check with your doctor before changing your nutritional habits.