Detox Diet and Cleanse with Lemon: Does it Work?

Before making any changes to your diet for health reasons, the first step is to talk to your doctor to prevent any potential health complications.
Detox Diet and Cleanse with Lemon: Does it Work?
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Detoxification diets, usually known today as “detox diets” have become very popular in recent years. They claim to eliminate toxins from the body that have accumulated because of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.

One popular detox diet is lemon-based because people believe it rids the body of toxins and waste and can also help you lose weight quickly. However, there is a significant amount of evidence that points to the danger of these kinds of diets.

Your body already has built-in mechanisms to get rid of toxins naturally. If you’re more concerned about weight loss, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor or nutritionist about the best diet plan for you.

Your healthcare professional will most likely recommend a healthy and balanced diet along with regular exercise. Lemon “detox” diets can’t substitute a varied diet with elements from all of the food groups, which is what your body really needs to function properly.

About the detox diet with lemon

This lemon detox diet started to become popular after its creator, Stanley Burroughs, recommended it for curing stomach ulcers. In his book, The Master CleanseBurroughs shared his experiences with one patient who tried this diet after suffering from stomach ulcers for three years.

After 11 days on the detox diet with lemon, the patient made a complete recovery, much to the surprise of doctors. Since then, many similar cases have been reported. People also believe that this diet can help you lose weight.

In spite of the popularity of the diet, there are very few studies available about its effectiveness. In a few, researchers have seen the lemon detox diet give effective results in terms of weight loss, fat reduction, insulin resistance, and blood pressure.

Nevertheless, there isn’t enough evidence to support the use of detox diets for weight control or for eliminating toxins in the body. Consequently, it’s very important to be careful.

Note: Before making any changes to your diet for health reasons, the first step is to talk to your doctor to prevent any potential health complications.

What is the detox diet with lemon?

A cup of lemon tea

All that being said, the detox diet with lemon has become very popular as a way to support overall health eliminate stored toxins. As many of you already know, the body stores toxins as a result of poor nutrition, pollution, etc.

As we said before, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of this diet. Consequently, it should only be used as a complement to a healthy diet and regular exercise. In addition to this, you should try to reduce your stress levels.

How do you prepare the detox diet with lemon?

If you still want to try this detox diet and cleanse, we recommend that you do it along with a healthy and balanced diet. You should include foods from all the food groups.

Living a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol are the best ways to ensure that your body is detoxing properly. While these recommendations can’t guarantee that you’ll never get sick, it’s a very good way to reduce your risks.

Precautions to keep in mind

Before making abrupt changes to your diet, you should always talk to your doctor. This is especially important for people with organ transplants and those on immunosuppressants. Neither should those who have recently undergone surgery. In those cases, do not follow these kinds of diets.

Detox lemonade

A glass of detox lemonade

One way to do the detox diet is with this special homemade lemonade. The ingredients are:

  • Lemons
  • Pure organic maple syrup
  • Pure cayenne pepper
  • Mineral water


  • Mix equal parts water, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Store in a dark glass container in the refrigerator.
  • Then, add four tablespoons of this mixture to a glass of water, stir in the cayenne pepper and mix well until everything is dissolved.
  • The maple syrup preserves the lemon juice and prevents its vitamin C and enzyme content from oxidizing.


Doing these kinds of diets incorrectly can have negative repercussions for your health. They can potentially have the opposite effect of what you are hoping for. That’s why it’s essential to do these diets only under the supervision of a certified nutritionist.

Again, remember that you should accompany any kind of diet with healthy eating. It should serve to support the goal of weight loss or “cleansing” the body.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Assini J, Mulvihill E, et al. Citrus flavonoids and lipid metabolism. Current Opinion in Lipidology. Febrero 2013. 24 (1): 34-40.
  • Corio Andújar, R., & Arbonés Fincias, L. (2009). Nutrición y salud. Nutrition and Health, 35, 9, 423–479.
  • Harvard Health Publishing. The dubious practice of detox. Mayo 2008. Harvard Medical School.
  • Kim M. J, Hwang J. H, et al. Lemon detox diet reduced body fat, insulin resistance, and serum hs-CRP level without hematological changes in overweight Korean women. Nutrition Research. Mayo 2015. 35 (5): 409-20.
  • Mansilla, C. L. Q. (2017). Análisis de dietas exprés sin respaldo científico.
  • Muniz, F. J. S. (2015). Dietas Milagro. Ventajas e inconvenientes. Monografías de la Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia.
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “Detoxes” and “Cleanses”: wat you need to know. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Septiembre 2019.
  • National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin C. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Marzo 2021.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.