Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

The theory behind a colon cleanse is that it gives your digestive tract a break from its normal functions of breaking down the food you eat so that trapped toxins can be flushed from your system. One of the most popular colon cleanses is based on lemons and is known as the master cleanse.

Your Colon

As part of your digestive tract, your colon plays a vital part in absorbing water and providing essential nutrients for your body. Your colon -- which forms the upper four to six feet of your large intestine - -absorbs the salt, water and other minerals from food as it passes to your rectum. From there, all waste is expelled through bowel movements.

About Colon Cleansing

There are a range of ways you can cleanse your colon, including colonic hydrotherapy and irrigation, oral supplements, and methods such as the lemon master cleanse. Regardless of the method you choose, the intention behind the cleanse is to give your digestive organs a break, flush the colon of toxic build-up, and potentially help you lose weight, improve bowel function and re-energize your system. Before starting a cleanse, it is recommended you avoid alcohol, saturated fats and refined sugars, and smoking. The process is not advisable if you are nursing a child, or have a chronic illness. Check with your doctor to make sure colon cleansing is safe for you.

Lemon Properties

The lemon is a citrus fruit that has antioxidant properties due to its high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is water soluble so it can travel easily through your body and destroys free radicals, or toxins, which can cause cell damage and lead to serious health conditions, such as cancer.

How To Take It

One of the most well known lemon colon cleanse programs is the master cleanse. It requires you to drink up to 12 glasses of a special lemon mixture every day for seven to 10 days. The drink is made with organic lemon juice, pure water, cayenne pepper, grade B or C maple syrup, plus some laxative, which is optional and should only be used if you have no adverse side effects.


Because of the laxatives used and the potential for extra bowel movements and diarrhea, colon cleansing can cause dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids while doing a cleanse of this type and check with your doctor before using laxatives, particularly if you have kidney or heart disease.