Omega’s Guide to Cleanses
Embarking on a cleanse can be intimidating, especially with so many theories on how to best detox your body. To make a choice that feels good for you, check out this guide to more than 20 cleansing styles.
You’ve stocked up on lemons, and you’ve hidden your coffeemaker from sight. Whether it’s your first time around or you’re a seasoned pro, you know that a cleanse takes determination, action, and the ability to stick with it.
The rules of each cleanse vary in strictness but generally eliminate or reduce processed foods, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, and tend to add lots of fresh water, vegetables and fiber-rich foods. Some are geared to boost your liver health, while others require supplements or allow you to indulge in an all-you-can drink juice-a-thon. Ultimately, the goal is to detoxify the body and flush out any unwanted impurities so you can have more energy and vitality.
From the master cleanse to panchakarma, this guide can help you increase your cleansing vocabulary and redefine your version of health. You will also find that cleanses aren’t always about elimination. You can add something healthy to your life, like yoga or getting to bed early, as part of a 30-day challenge to boost your lifestyle.
Mostly, you’ll find a lot of variety in Omega’s guide to more than 20 cleanses, ranked from appropriate for beginners to intermediate and advanced practitioners. Once you find the cleanse for you, please check with your doctor before beginning.
For tips on having a more successful cleanse, read our best tips in Cleansing 101.
FOR BEGINNING CLEANSERS
These cleanses have done-for-you instructions and make it easy to see results.
Intention To help you feel better than you ever have before, especially designed for busy people who need to take their cleansing on the go.
How It Works Drink three shakes a day, in the early morning, mid-morning and mid-afternoon; eat a light lunch and dinner, and take two supplement packets a day, one with each meal.
Equipment Needed BlenderBottle, and a Be Well kit ranging from a 14-day total cleanse to cleanses for specific purposes, like recharging, sustaining or fighting fatigue
Founder Dr. Frank Lipman
Keywords Easy, Recharge, Doctor-Designed
Learn More bewellbydrfranklipman.com
The Clean Program
Intention To rid your body of toxins and inspire long-term health
How It Works Have a Clean shake for breakfast, eat a lunch consisting of food from the list of approved cleanse foods, have another Clean shake for dinner, and take plant-based Clean supplements throughout the day
Equipment Needed Blender and a Clean kit program
Founder Dr. Alejandro Junger
Keywords Reset, Doctor-Designed, Supplements
Learn More cleanprogram.com
The Fruit Flush
Intention To spend three days eating fruit, salad, and protein, to cleanse your system, kick food addictions, and lose weight
How It Works The first day consists of drinking protein shakes every two hours between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., followed by 8-12 ounces of water. Dinner is a raw salad (no starchy vegetables) with olive or flaxseed oil, or half an avocado, along with 3-6 ounces of lean protein. The next 2 days consist of fruit from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.: one 100-calorie serving of fruit every 2 hours. Dinner is either salad or half an avocado, plus one protein shake.
Equipment Needed Purchase protein shake mix
Founder Jay Robb, a clinical nutritionist
Keywords Fruit, Weight Loss
Learn More jayrobb.com
Green Smoothie Challenge
Intention To add more leafy greens to your life through smoothies and whole foods so you can lose weight and gain energy
How It Works Drink at least one green smoothie a day
Equipment Needed Blender, cutting board, and knife
Founders Jadah Sellner & Jen Hansard
Keywords Greens, Smoothies, Weight Loss, Energy
Learn More simplegreensmoothies.com
Quantum Wellness Cleanse
Intention To choose foods that don’t tax the body for a 3-week period and to feel nourished, energetic, and clean
How it Works Refrain from consuming “The Big Five:” caffeine, alcohol, gluten, animal products, and refined sugar and enjoy plant-based, health-supportive foods
Equipment Needed Vegan-friendly food, cutting board, and knife
Founder Kathy Freston
Keywords Vegan, Simple, Clean
Learn More kathyfreston.com
Intention Power up your system using plant-based energy and kick-start healthy habits that recharge your body and get your diet back in alignment for optimal wellness
How It Works Commit to a period of time (from 3 to 30 days or more) where you drink and eat only fruit and vegetables, herbal teas, and water
Equipment Needed Juicer, cutting board, and knife
Founder Joe Cross
Keywords Juice, Reboot, Plant-Based
Learn More rebootwithjoe.com
The Soup Cleanse
Intention To offer a warm take on juice cleanses by eating only nourishing, plant-based soups
How It Works Eat six nutrition-packed soups for a gentle one-to-three day cleanse. Soups include a kale and wakame; pumpkin and apple; beet, snap peas and asparagus; and a dessert soup with pears and hemps seeds. All soups are gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free. For long term results, the soup cleanse is recommended once a week.
Equipment Needed Order soups or make your own
Founder Lucinda Duncalfe
Keywords Soup, Easy, Plant-Based
Learn More soup-cleanse.com
FOR INTERMEDIATE CLEANSERS
These cleanses are great to try once you’ve successfully completed a detox or two and want to deepen your experience by cleansing for a longer period or with less food options.
21-Day Consciousness Cleanse
Intention To build a profound and intimate relationship with your soul to live your highest potential
How It Works This detox for the soul is a 21-day journey of spiritual revitalization that includes exercises, meditation, goal setting, and mantras to bring about significant and inspiring changes
Equipment Needed Book and media player
Founder Debbie Ford
Keywords Spiritual, Renewal, Soul
Learn More debbieford.com
21-Day Paleo Cleanse
Intention To reduce inflammation, reverse symptoms of health issues related to autoimmune disease, food allergies, and gut health, and lose weight
How It Works This cleanse offers three weeks of detailed menus that plan out what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner following a paleo-based diet while also eliminating eggs, nightshade vegetables, and nuts
Equipment Needed Cooking supplies and whole foods
Founder Neely Quinn
Keywords Paleo, No Grains
Learn More paleoplan.com
21-Day Vegan KickStart
Intention To explore and experience the health benefits of a vegan diet
How It Works Download tips, motivation, and recipes from Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine to eat a vegan diet for 21 days
Equipment Needed Vegan-friendly food, cutting board, and knife
Founder Neal Barnard, M.D
Keywords Vegan, Doctor-Designed, Plant-Based
Learn More pcrm.org/kickstartHome
Intention To try something new and add a new habit to your life
How It Works Add something you’ve always wanted into your life for 30 days like yoga, biking to work, taking photos, or eating vegetables
Equipment Needed Dependent on your challenge
Founder Matt Cutts
Keywords Try, Habit
Learn More my30dc.com/site
Intention To detox, build immunity, and create more harmony in the body
How It Works This ancient Ayurvedic cleansing practice works to detoxify the body and activate the body’s natural healing abilities. It can involve eating kitchari—basamati rice and split yellow mung beans with spices and ghee, along with using massage, oils, nasal therapy, steams, yoga poses, and natural laxatives to cleanse.
Equipment Needed Neti pot, access to sauna, and Ayurvedic spices
Keywords Ayurveda, Balance, Rejuvenate
Learn More lifespa.com/panchakarma
Intention To identify potential food allergies or sensitivities
How It Works Remove trigger foods from the diet and then slowly reintroduce them to see if you get an immune reaction. The standard elimination diet lasts 28 days and starts with 10 days of eliminating reactive foods and then reintroduces the foods to note any changes. The eight foods that cause about 90 percent of all food allergies/sensitivities are: wheat/gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.), shellfish, fish, and eggs.
Equipment Needed Nutritious, allergy-free foods
Founder First proposed by Dr. Albert Rowe in 1926 and discussed in his book, Elimination Diets and the Patient's Allergies, published in 1941.
Keywords Allergies, Elimination, Sensitivities
Learn More whfoods.com
Intention To reset your system and boost your immunity as you transition into new seasons
How It Works Eat more seasonal, local produce to enjoy the nutrients provided by nature. Try this cleanse at least once a year and for at least a few days. Autumn is a great time to cleanse to boost your immune system for cold and flu season. Spring is another very natural time to cleanse and shed heavier foods with the lighter greens and sprouts of the season.
Equipment Needed Cutting board and knife
Keywords Seasons, Immunity, Local
Learn More vitalitymagazine.com
Intention To eat real food and avoid certain food groups like sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes to improve quality of life, gain a healthier relationship with food and lose weight
How It Works For 30 days, eat whole, unprocessed foods with very few ingredients including meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, some fruit, and good fats from fruits, oils, nuts, and seeds. Avoid all sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, white potatoes, and even healthier versions of junk food. Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements during the 30 days.
Equipment Needed Cooking supplies and whole foods
Founders Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
Keywords Paleo, Unprocessed, Weight Loss
Learn More whole30.com
FOR ADVANCED CLEANSERS
These cleanses are for people who have cleansing experience and determination to try a longer or very restricted program.
Brown Rice Cleanse
Intention To balance the yin and yang aspects of your being with an emphasis on the yang, according to macrobiotic philosophy
How It Works For 10 days eat only brown rice, wheat, buckwheat, millet, oats, barley, bulgar or spelt, drink herbal teas, and use spices like miso, tamari, tahini, and sesame oil
Equipment Needed Rice cooker (optional)
Founder George Oshawa
Keywords Yang, Rice, Macrobiotic
Learn More ohsawamacrobiotics.com
Intention To relieve the body of candida overgrowth and feel good
How It Works Candida Albicans is a helpful yeast that lives in the human gut assisting in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, but for some people it can overgrow and create toxic build-up causing symptoms like exhaustion, poor immune function, skin rashes, digestive disorders, brain fog, and more. This diet focuses on consumption of only raw salads and steamed vegetables for a period, along with lots of fresh water and specific detox drinks to help rid the body of yeast overgrowth.
Equipment Needed Supplements for detox drinks
Founder Lisa Richards
Keywords Candida, Plant-Based
Learn More thecandidadiet.com
Intention To rid the body of toxins that accumulate in the colon and can trigger illness
How It Works A variety of methods exist including dietary fiber, herbal teas, supplements, enemas, and colon hydrotherapy
Equipment Needed Depends on your method
Keywords Intestinal, Colon, Herbal
Learn More optimalhealthnetwork.com
Intention To remove gallstones or any symptoms that chronic gallbladder issues create
How It Works Gallstones are formed from a deficiency of organic sodium in the body usually caused by a high protein diet and experiencing too much stress. This cleanse involves eating or drinking a combination of olive oil, herbs, and apple cider vinegar or fresh apple juice for several hours to several days to remove gallstones.
Equipment Needed Juicer or access to fresh juice
Keywords Apple cider vinegar, flush
Learn More cleanse.net/gallbladderflush
Intention To heal and prevent many major health challenges by drinking all the fresh, nutrient-dense juice you want
How It Works Juice about 12-to-15 pounds of produce per day to make 4 quarts or more of juice, to nourish and cleanse the body for up to 92 days
Equipment Needed Juicer, storage containers for juice (mason jars), cutting board, and knife
Founders David and Katrina Rainoshek
Keywords Juice, Greens, Nutrients
Learn More juicefeasting.com
Fast Track Liver Detox
Intention To look and feel better, eliminate bloat, and achieve your ideal weight. Cleansing the liver helps your body flush toxins and break down fat more effectively, and boosts energy levels.
How It Works Spend a full week on a seven-day prequel diet, eating liver- and colon-supportive foods, followed by a one-day juice fast, then a three-day sequel that includes additional liver and colon support along with natural-food sources of probiotics (fermented foods that support the friendly bacteria needed to synthesize vitamins and promote immune function)
Equipment Needed The Fast Track Detox Diet, juicer
Founder Ann Louise Gittleman
Keywords Liver, Flush, Bloat
Learn More experiencelife.com
Intention Release excess pounds and cleanse your body of toxins to achieve greater health
How It Works This cleanse requires only one recipe: juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons of grade B organic maple syrup, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 8 ounces water. Master cleansers drink this mixture 6-to-12 times a day for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 40 days. Laxative herbal teas and saltwater flushing are also recommended.
Equipment Needed Glasses and spoons
Founder Stanley Burroughs
Keywords Lemons, Water, Determination
Learn More themastercleanse.org
Raw Food Cleanse
Intention To boost nutrients in your diet by eating raw or living foods
How It Works For a set period, eat only food that is raw or that hasn’t been heated above 118 degrees, includes juices, smoothies, and any raw food preparation
Equipment Needed Food processor, dehydrator, blender, and juicer
Founder Ann Wigmore, considered “the mother of living, raw foods”
Keywords Raw, Living Foods, Wheatgrass
Learn More hippocratesinst.org, treeoflife.nu
Intention To refrain from eating or drinking anything except pure water to promote the restoration of health and allow the body to heal
How It Works Fasting can last anywhere from 5-to-40 days, depending on your desired goals, and must be done in an environment of complete rest with a source of pure water
Equipment Needed Purified water or access to water filter
Keywords Fasting, Water, Rest, Determination
Learn More healthpromoting.com