Are you interested in a way to jump-start a raw diet or cleanse the body and eliminate fat and toxins? These are the things supporters of the Cayenne Pepper Diet say that it has been designed to do. While this detox is not for everyone, there are many people who swear by its results. Before you decide whether this plan is for you, it’s important to understand the associated health concerns and side effects.
The Cayenne Pepper Diet Cleanse
The Cayenne Pepper Diet is a short-term, cleansing diet that is similar to a juice fast in many ways. The goal of the diet is to rest the digestive tract, cleanse the system of impurities, mobilize and eliminate toxins stored in various areas of the body, and burn excess fat stores. Weight loss is a natural by-product.
What to Eat On The Cayenne Pepper Diet
While you are following the diet (10 to 40 days), your sole source of energy and nutrients is a lemonade made with specific ingredients:
- Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Purified (non-fluoridated) water
- Grade B maple syrup
- Cayenne pepper
In addition, each morning, drink a salt-water flush. Each evening, you’ll have a laxative tea. The only other beverages allowed on this diet are pure (non-fluoridated) water and peppermint tea.
Ending the Cayenne Pepper Diet
There is a strict regimen for ending the diet. This begins with fresh-squeezed citrus juices for approximately 36 hours, then gradually moves on to raw vegetables and fruits or to cooked vegetable soups over the course of three to five days after ending the regime.
Side Effects and Health Concerns of the Cayenne Pepper Fast
The first few days of the program can be tough. Like any other fast-type diet, learning to get along without your normal amount of food is difficult. And, like any juice fast, learning to get along without solid food can be a tremendous challenge.
The concern with the Cayenne Pepper Diet is its lack of nutrition. The sole source of energy and nutrients of this diet is obtained from lemon juice, water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. The laxative tea replaces dietary fiber, but is not the form the body prefers. Most importantly, any eating plan that does not supply an average of 1200 calories a day is not safe or supportive of optimal health.
Because this diet is a cleansing fast or detox diet, there are “detox” symptoms that may occur, including the following:
Most of these symptoms are short-lived. On rare occasions, they may be severe enough that the dieter has to end the diet early.
The impact of this diet on the intestinal system is intense. This is not kept a secret. However, there are other ways of cleansing the body without suffering from the enormity of stomach pain and diarrhea reported on this program. Dehydration is a definite side effect and one that requires constant monitoring. Watch out for the symptoms of dehydration:
- Blurred Vision
Other Medical Considerations
Because the cayenne pepper diet represents a tremendous change in eating habits, discuss it with your physician first. In particular, if you take long-term medication that cannot be safely discontinued for the duration of the diet consult with your physician before beginning. Your doctor may wish to monitor you to ensure that the change in dietary habits does not alter the effects of the medication. Persons who have followed the diet have reported changes in blood-pressure, blood-sugar/insulin levels, and depression, all of which required alteration of their normal dose of medication for these conditions.
Follow this diet exactly as written under the supervision of your personal physician. Be attuned to your body’s signals that it is time to transition back to eating. The recommended 10 days is sufficient for most people; proponents of the diet do not recommend higher numbers of days unless you are under a physician’s care and have become accustomed to shorter-term fasts. In addition, ensure that you take precautions against dehydration or against consuming too few calories.
Drink at least the minimum amount of the cayenne pepper drink each day; Burroughs and Glickman both state that one should drink six to 12 glasses of the lemonade per day. With 100 calories per two tablespoons of Grade B maple syrup, eight calories per two tablespoons of lemon juice, and one calorie per 1/6 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, each drink provides approximately 109 calories. Drink 11 to 12 glasses per day to ensure that at least 1200 calories are consumed.
To guard against dehydration, drink water throughout the cleanse. Many cleansers drink a glass of water between glasses of cayenne pepper drink.
Wait three to six months between stints if you wish to follow this program more than once a year; the longer the time on the diet, the longer you should wait to repeat it. Three months between 10-day stints is the minimum recommended interval.
Resources for the Cayenne Pepper Diet
Stanley Burroughs first introduced the diet in The Master Cleanser, first published in 1976.
Peter Glickman’s book Lose Weight, Have More Energy, and Be Happier in 10 Days, first published in 2004 and revised and expanded for a second edition in 2005, gives further details and new information on the diet.
An extensive website and bulletin board support group has popularized the diet, and there is a large group of people who do the 10-day diet each January. The bulletin board can be found on The Master Cleanse/Raw Food site. Raw food diet adherents often use the Cayenne Pepper Diet to start or augment their raw lifestyle.
For those wishing to explore this diet, Glickman’s book is recommended as the one that is easier to read and more user-friendly. Burroughs’s book, while thorough, is not laid out with the modern reader in mind, and can be confusing and overly technical. Glickman’s book is well-organized, informal in style, and less technical in nature. It is also replete with anecdotes from those who have followed this diet, along with suggestions and observations for those who are new to the concept.
Although it is not necessary to buy a kit to make the Cayenne Pepper Diet Recipe, many first-timers find that the kits simplify the preparation process. While the local health food supermarket or organic foods store may have all of the ingredients, it is often more convenient to simply order a ready-made kit.
Several companies have Cayenne Pepper Diet or Master Cleanse kits available for those who wish to follow this detoxing plan. These kits generally include everything except the water and lemons. Consider one of the following:
- The Master Cleanse / Raw Food Site (Peter Glickman’s site)
- Humble Bee Health
- The Lemonade Diet
The Master Cleanse
It’s important to note that the Cayenne Pepper Diet should be called by its original title: The Master Cleanse. Any program with “diet” in its title promotes the idea of weight loss. This diet is no exception, as perennial dieters seek the latest ways to shed unwanted pounds. The fact is lemons are not magical fat-burners. The only reason for weight loss with the lemonade plan is the unfavorable breakdown of muscle and fat stores, as well as the dehydration, in order to sustain your highly active bodily systems.
If you decide to try the cleanse, make sure you proceed carefully. Read the diet instructions in total, and speak to your physician before you begin. While there are many people who feel the cleanse is well worth the effort, stay safe and go slowly when beginning to ensure you guard against any potential health risks.