Salt Water Flush Recipe

Salt water flush recipe

Are you like 20 percent of the public that suffers from constipation? It’s nothing to be ashamed about, so even if high-fiber foods don’t always do the trick, consider a salt water flush. Sometimes called a “salt water cleanse” or a “master cleanse,” it’s designed to help you cleanse your colon and digestive system by bringing on a forced bowel movement.

The key part of a salt water flush recipe is salt itself, as it’s needed for many biochemical processes. The official salt water flush has become more popular over the past decade as a “hack” to facilitate digestion and cleansing as part of a kick-start when doing a “master cleanse” program. Drinking a salt mixture ignites the body’s own mechanism of natural detoxification and waste elimination, helping to get your digestive system back on track and in the process making you feel lighter, less sluggish and less weighed-down.

The salt water flush is most effective if you perform it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If you do it later in the day, just make sure you haven’t eaten anything in the past one to two hours.

To perform a simple sea salt flush at home, start with 2 teaspoons of sea salt, which can be colored salt, such as pink Himalayan salt or “gray salt.” (Make sure it’s pure salt, for you don’t want to use iodinated salt — so always make sure there is no iodine added at all.)

Heat up 1 liter of filtered water. You want the water to be warmer than room temperature, but not boiling or very hot. It should be cooler than the temp you would use to brew tea or coffee.

Grab a glass jar with a lid and add the salt, hot water, and some fresh lemon juice or lemon water (which helps cut the taste of the salt). Shake it vigorously to fully dissolve the salt. Make sure no granules are visible, which will settle at the bottom of your jar/lid if they’re still undissolved.

Drink the mixture quickly, within a few minutes if possible (under 5 minutes is the goal). Since it doesn’t taste great (it’s very salty!), you will probably want to drink it down as fast as you can.

Lay down on your side and massage your belly on one side, then repeat on the other side. If you can manage to hold in the solution for about 30 minutes, this will help your body fully absorb the salt.

Within a short time after finishing the mixture, you should start to feel the urge to go to the bathroom. Once you feel you can no longer hold out, go to the bathroom. You might have to go more than one time, sometimes needing to use the bathroom for several hours before you’re fully “cleansed” and your colon is emptied.

After doing a cleanse of any kind, it’s a good idea to take a probiotic supplement and load up on healthy foods, which helps establish healthy bacteria in your internal gut flora (microbiome) and provide you essential nutrients/electrolytes.


From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can affect more. Because Leaky Gut is so common, and such an enigma, I’m offering a free webinar on all things leaky gut. Click here to learn more about the webinar.

Salt Water Flush Recipe

Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1


  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • glass jar with a lid
  • 1 liter of hot filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or one cup of lemon water


  1. Heat up your water but not to boiling.
  2. Add your ingredients into the jar and put the lid on. Shake it vigorously to fully dissolve the salt. Make sure no granules are visible.
  3. Drink the mixture quickly, within a few minutes if possible (under 5 minutes is the goal).
  4. Lay down on your side and massage your belly on one side, then repeat on the other side. If you can manage to hold in the solution for about 30 minutes this will help your body fully absorb the salt.
  5. Within a short time after finishing the mixture you should start to feel the urge to go to the bathroom.
  6. Once you feel you can no longer hold out, go to the bathroom. You might have to go more than one time, sometimes needing to use the bathroom for several hours before you’re fully “cleansed” and your colon is emptied.

Josh Axe

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  1. Christie on

    I could definitely use this flush. Is it ok to do this if you have a autoimmune condition? I am pretty sure I have leaky gut. Thank you,

    • Dara on

      It took me 15 minutes to drink it because I hardly drink 33oz of water that quick ever plus with it being warm salt and lemon water. . Then followed directions on laying on each side while rubbing stomach. Took effect in 30 minutes.

      • Deb on

        I I tried this sea salt flush. Within 10 minutes I vomited all the liquid back up! Does anybody know why?

  2. Edd on

    I’m no doctor but I have done this cleanse many times. You say in the directions that “If you can manage to hold in the solution for about 30 minutes this will help your body fully absorb the salt.” !!!

    I thought the whole point was that the salt solution was the same as, or thicker than blood so that it would not be absorbed into the body ( 2 teaspoons is not that much to cause any healthy person any problems but some people have conditions)

    Christie. A leaky gut is a mucus clogged gut and the cleanse will help with that immensely.

    jack. It is salty so I try and drink it as fast as possible. I do quarter of a Litre (or as much as you can at a time) over about a 15 min period this is easily done and works. ( I did 2 Litres last time over 20-30 mins and the only result was that the effects happened sooner (more water weight to force it pot))

    Jen. This should not affect your electrolyte balance for long, if at all!!! ( I’m not sure that it even does! Why it has been mentioned is beyond me as it’s not true? Please read my comment about salt/blood thickness above and look it up. I know that it makes sense but I’m no doctor and there are no answers on here so I thought i would try and explain.
    Also I see no need to do this more than once every 4-5 weeks unless you think something has happened to make you want too. You know your body.
    Hope this helps.

    Kind regards


    • PhysioAlex on

      It’s not that it becomes as thick as blood. That’s impossible. It does however have the same zero gravity as blood so yes… It is not absorbed by the kidneys.

      I also have leaky gut and I do this at times when my system is inflamed and I’m uncomfortable. After I take a good probiotic I suggest the HMF Replete. Also load up on L-Glutamine at night and first thing in the am. It helps to heal the digestive tract and all muscles in your body while you rest at night.

      • Barbara on

        The salt water solution has the same SPECIFIC GRAVITY as blood, not “zero gravity.” It’s having the same specific gravity — that is the same density — that makes it not get absorbed into the blood stream.

    • Gail on

      I have diverticulitis right now and I’m in very bad pain and I haven’t been to the bathroom and three days I feel like the bottom of my stomach is going to fall out is taking the salt water with diverticulitis okay?

    • Julieta on

      So I’m sure I have IBS, leaky gut or something. Haven’t been diagnosed but definitely have issues. I have never done a cleanse before. Should I do this for like a week straight to get all the gunk that’s stuck on my intestinal wall, all the stuff that’s been stuck for 30+ years? I’m thinking there’s no way I’ll completely be cleansed with just one round of saltwater will I?

  3. Lisa Anderson on

    I’ve done this twice now…again I’m at 45 min. Since I’ve drank this awful stuff and again. …. nothing! Why???

    • Andrea on

      It took me an hour my first time which makes me feel like I needed it pretty bad :-/. How long in between each time did you do them? If the first time didn’t work I personally would try again the next day… And continue until something happens. Just my 2 cents :-)

    • Sammy on

      I’ve done this a few times, I found for me it doesn’t work if I don’t have a natural laxative the night before. I have a glass of herb laxative tea the night before to soften everything up and then do the salt water thing. I put the 2 teaspoons of salt into one 350ml glass with warm water, not the liter. Then I have a glass of fresh water after the salt water. I am empty after I have finished it.

    • Carmen on

      Remember to take it first thing upon awaking! The lemon juice really makes for a refreshing taste!! Measure it in two cups interval and drink up quickly.. 30 minutes in you are in the loo!!

    • Alvena on

      Drink clean water and detox teas. Eat lots of green leafy veggies in smoothies. Use a detoxifying herbal colon cleanser such as Mag 07 for about a week (at bedtime) then do the salt water flush. Mag can be strong so don’t start with full dosage.

  4. Vic on

    Who has drunk this stuff AND has had a colonoscopy at some point in their life. I’m not 50 yet but want to know what tastes worse, this stuff or colonoscopy prep??! or are they about the same? Thanks!

      • Berna on

        Ugh. I’m a 25 year old female and I have had a colonoscopy… I’ve done the prep as well as this salt water flush. I can definitely say the salt water is much better. Also, I didn’t use lemon which might make it even better!!

    • Sonja on

      Ive had the colonoscopy prep and that was BAD. Ive not tried this flush. I cant imagine it to be worse. Im keen to try it.

    • Donna on

      They taste similar but the salt water is easier to get down (my opinion) however the prep is more and over a longer period of time. Follow your dr order for a colonoscopy

  5. Bethany on

    Hi there, I work at quarter to 9 in the morning and share a toilet with an office full of ladies so it is difficult to reach the toilet in that situation, so I was wondering what would be the best time to do this task and how long would the flushing last?

  6. Sam Kommentare on

    It’s no different than using Epsom salt with warn water and if desired, add lemon. Duh alot cheaper

  7. MOswald on

    I tried this last night and, OH BOY DID IT WORK!!!! Now, I didn’t realize it had to be first thing in the morning.

  8. Natalie on

    Why cant u use salt with iodine? Just curious coz I use iodised salt in my baths, is that ok or should I switch?

    • Dara on

      Sea salt has many other nutrients in it to balance it out. Straight white salt with iodine is poor quality and may give other side effects. For baths just use epsom salt.

  9. Flushed on

    I just drank the solution exactly as instructed above. It’s been 15 minutes and I’m feeling slight cramping in my stomach. Hopefully this works as good as a colonic. I’ve had a colonic before and it worked very well. But this is less expensive than a colonic and easier to do. I’ll be back to share my results along with photos. JUST kidding about the photos :)

  10. Flushed on

    The flush kicked in about an hour and 1/2 after drinking the mixture. I used the bathroom about 3 times but it wasn’t as effortless as I’d hoped. I didn’t have a strong urge to go so I sat there for a couple minutes and just as I was going to get up and try again later it started. It’s been 6 hours since I drank the mix and I feel like I have another run left in me. So I won’t leave the house just yet. My mistake might have been eating to late at night then waking up at 5am – my stomach wasn’t exactly empty as it could have been. But I do feel a little lighter and my stomach is noticeably flatter in my opinion. I’ll see how the rest of the day goes.

  11. Grace on

    I did this saltwater flush this morning, with excellent results! I used some lime juice as I didn’t have any lemons, and that really helped with the taste. I did this in conjunction with the JJ Smith 10 day green smoothie cleanse. I’ll definitely do this again!

  12. Tony on

    I did this morning and made me throw up. drank all the water and made me throw up almost all pint of water. Do you have any idea why my body react it like it did

  13. John Driscoll on

    Hi just a quick ,, how long do I have to keep massaging my belly for ? I switched the full litre off in one go about 15minutes ago and I’m now lying on my side still massaging but my arms are aching

  14. Fatou Diop on

    I’ve been trying the salt water flush for the past two days but have been unable to keep it down. I vomit shortly after drinking it. I’ve suffered constipation and gas for years, tried everything, from prescriptions to over the counter.

    • Andreia on

      Have you tried the vitamin C flush? It worked very well for me. Take about 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (to buffer the acid) in a cup of water, first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach). Don’t eat anything for another 30 minutes. If it doesn’t work, double the dose.

      • Tanya on

        Personally I’ve tried the Vitamin C flush and estimated I took about 20-25 grams of it in the course of one day (this happened several times) and nada. I used up 1/2 to 2/3 of the jar of ascorbic acid powder. Was just too expensive not to mention totally ineffective.

        I will try this flush tomorrow. Certainly is cheaper than Vitamin C powder!!

  15. nadine on

    For a week I was having trouble going to the bathroom so I tried the sea salt cleanse at 7:50am. By 9:00am it started working. All I could say is OMG!!!!!

  16. Ellen on

    After doing the sea salt flush I gained 4 pounds! I weighed myself right before doing it & rigjt after my last trip to the bathroom. I don’t understand how I gained 4 pounds & the flush worked!! Please anyone know anything??

  17. Ellen B. on

    After doing the sea salt flush I gained 4 pounds! I weighed myself right before doing it & rigjt after my last trip to the bathroom. I don’t understand how I gained 4 pounds & the flush worked!! Please anyone know anything??

  18. Debs on

    Has anybody had the same problem as I have had, after drinking the sea salt flush ( Himalayan sea salt). I vomited it back up within 10 minutes. It didn’t even have the chance to go through my system. Does anybody know why? Also, should I try it again?

    • Levi Brook M.D. on

      Some have had this problem. I would advise you to add more lemon to the mixture and to spread it out over 7 minutes.

    • Barbara on

      If your stomach is not completely empty, drinking the salt solution could cause nausea and vomiting. Don’t eat too close to bedtime, or your stomach might not have emptied.

  19. jack on

    Ive tried this twice now and nothing happened except getting a little nausea and feeling sickly full from all that water. I did not heart the water but it was room temperature. Could that make a difference?

  20. Tim on

    I have had a kidney transplant five years ago and most recently a full radical nephrectomy of my left native kidney due to renal cell carcinoma. As a result, I am wondering if trying this will create any further issues with my help. I am wanting or feeling the need to do a cleanse due to the number of prescriptions that i am currently taking. I have frequent bouts with constipation. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

  21. Adam on

    I did it this morning, did not eat anything, drank a liter with warm water and 2 teaspoons on Himilayan Pink Salt. Within 25 min i got my first strong movement, it was fast and liquid for the most part. After that nothing, waiting 2 hours, no cramps, no urge, and of course no movement. i eventually got really hungry and decided to eat and go about my day.

    What does this mean? i guess it kind of worked….should i try again and again the next few days to try to get the desired results?

  22. Donna on

    I tried it an easier way. I did 2 tbsp in 8oz water first. Then I followed with 16oz of plain water to get the salty taste out of my mouth. About 30 mins later I was in the bathroom.

    • Andrew Cottingham on

      Perhaps try two table spoons of Epsom Salt in 8oz of water, followed by another glass for taste reduction. It helped me.

  23. Burcu on

    Thank you for the recipe!

    For a week, I had been constipated and decided to try this flush.
    Just on the day I decided to give it a try, I used the bathroom before the flush itself. Despite the bowel movement, I tried the flush on empty stomach.

    I am sure that I used the correct salt. I bought pure sea salt which was slightly greyish. However, it did not work.

    I was wondering whether it is because I already had the bowel movement before the flush or because of the amount of salt. After googling it a little, I noticed that from country to country, teaspoon size might be different. What would be the equivalent in grams?


  24. Berry on

    Can you eat ignore you’re still going to the bathroom for over an hour? I started the flush pretty late in the day and I’ve been fasting for almost 20 hours.

  25. Julia bryer on

    I just tried the flush… Followed the exact directions…. Finally, all I could do was throw up. Has any one else had this happen? I really wanted this to work for me.

  26. Julia bryer on

    I followed this to the exact protocol… Made me very sick. I had to vomit after about 40 minutes out…. After another hour I had to vomit again, but literally have nothing to vomit from empty stomach. Has anyone else had this response?

  27. Tammy Nix on

    It’s been 2 hours since I did exactly as instructions say. Did NOT work. Haven’t ate since 6pm last night. Is it ok that I eat now or should I wait longer?

  28. Tammy on

    It’s been 2 hours since I did exactly as instructions say. Did NOT work. Haven’t ate since 6pm last night. Is it ok that I eat now or should I wait longer?

  29. Liz Byrne on

    Do you have any information regarding this or similar therapies that can be of benefit for someone who has colon cancer or recommendations for someone who does?


  30. Liz Byrne on

    I have been drinking “Sole Water” for several months which is similar but a bit more diluted but have seen improved results with hydration, skin, regularity, etc. but seeking info on behalf of another who has colon cancer. Also, can this be a therapeutic support to someone who can Chron’s disease or IBS?

    Thanks again!

  31. James on

    Definitely did what it was supposed to do.
    Drank it, 30 min later, had the urge. Mostly fluid

    I’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow to really see if it’s worked in making me feel better.

    ating sensation is not completely gone

  32. Ben on

    I have watched a lot of your YouTube videos and you were the first one I thought of when I was having this “problem”. It worked great thanks Dr Axe

  33. Hailey on

    Super duper Salt Flush Anyone?? I got introduced to a white crystal powder called Nevalite or Montmorillionite Crystal. And I had done 2 salt flushes two days in a row. So I thought why don’t I add some to my Salt Flush? I added a couple of small crystals probably equal to a teaspoon or so if you get the powder. The first benefit its the taste! it neutralizes the salt enough to be more palatable. Making a Salt Flush mush more enjoyable. But most importantly it made my Salt Flushes much more productive big time!! I was over joyed by the the results. I also highly recommend you using Premier Research Labs Pink Salt. The quality is Superb! After you flush I recommend you rebuild your very important Microbiome with raw honey, Chickory, and Coconut water kefir or fermented veggies or juice. One is called Farm House Culture Gut Shot from Wholefoods. ofcourse on the cheap you can make it yourself. Happy Flushing

  34. Andy v on

    I have just had 80 adhesion last week and was hospitalized is it safe for me to do A salt water flush just a week after The adhesion please advise I would like to flush myself out thank you

  35. Wanda on

    I plan on doing this salt water flush in the morning. I want to know, after the flush do i drink or eat anything ( and if so what) the rest of the day

  36. Chalotte on

    merci beaucoup docteur pour ce passage de rinçage au sel je n’ai pas encore fait mais j’aimerais bien essayer c’est traitement

  37. MARY on

    Dr Axe: PLEASE READ THIS!!!!!!
    People are RESPONDING to QUESTIONS?????????
    in the comment section.

  38. Lish on

    I followed all the directions and drank it in 5 minutes this morning around 9am and did the massage. I even waited to eat until 12 and drank water throughout the day. Nothing and it’s now 4:06 pm
    Suggestions? Why didn’t it work for me?

  39. Janine on

    I want to try this I have really bad constipation and now I have severe back pain the last 2 days thinking its from my constipation. But I’m scared to do this flush, maybe I will ask my doctor first.

    • Brian Harris on

      I actually used a tablespoon of Himalayan salt and 2 cups hot water. Took about 20 minutes before it started working. Gotta say I haven’t felt this good in a long time.

  40. Erika on

    I shake and shake and shake and the salt just doesn’t seem to dissolve all the way. There is always a small pile at the bottom. Is it possible that the Himalyan salt I’m using has particles that won’t ever dissolve?

  41. Anonymous on

    Of hundreds of websites about salt water flushes, your website is selling criminal medical advice. There is iodized salt on the market, not, as your website says, iodinated salt. The salt is NEVER supposed to be absorbed by the body for the sake of nutrition, that your website uses as a “selling” (pun) point, it is supposed to create an irritated response in the body order to be pooped out. I clicked through half a dozen pages to get a recipe that isn’t useable. Total ripoff using a Doctor persona, my genuine beliefs.

    • Jazmine on

      Which salt should be used? I have two sea salts at home. One is iodized salt and the other does not supply iodide.

      Please help.

  42. Lita on

    I tried the salt cleanse today and within 30 mins I was on the stool. I want to know will I be going to the bathroom all day, should I stay close to the house all day?

  43. jacquelyn Burkett on

    Braggs is not the only apple cider vinegar you can use! As long as it is organic apple cider vinegar with “Mother” It is appropriate. I prefer the Eden brand over Braggs, for detoxing and consuming in general. I order it online.

  44. Paulette on

    I did this in the middle of the day and had probably eaten in the previous 1-2 hours and it still worked, it just took several hours before it kicked in. I can only imagine how effective it would be if done according to directions!

  45. Daisy on

    I did try it with Himalayan salt and without lemon. After drinking about 2/3 of it within about 4 minutes I did womit about half of it out. I guess my body is not fit for this kind of cleanse.

  46. Built and Defined Personal Training on

    There are a few rules to note for this like if you aren’t properly hydrated it won’t work. If you are right before a period or during it won’t work. It is imperative that you use the exact right type of sea salt. The ingredients should say: Sea Salt. It must be UNREFINED sea salt. If the ingredients have any other added words to “sea” and “salt”, it’s not the right kind. If there is not enough time since you’ve eaten or consumed anything it won’t work, I wouldn’t just wait one or 2 hours, if it doesn’t work you will drink all of that salt water and just feel bloated as it will just sit in your body. People have reposted this flush everywhere, but they don’t share some of the most important things like what NOT to do and why it wouldn’t work.

    • RA on

      Thank you for the info! I drank 32 ounces of water with 2 teaspoons of pure pink Himalayan salt on an empty stomach over 2 hours ago this morning and nothing has happened, only a small BM. Should I drink another solution to ensure it works?

  47. Barbara Martin on

    It is amazing how your body reacts to this cleanse..I did it without lemon then with lemon..I have Hashimoto’s and brain injuries, so I have delays that are evident in other ways..but without the lemon, my reaction was quicker and response was not as full..I used pink Himalayan salt..but with the lemon, fresh squeezed, the delay was 45 minutes to an hour, then everything happened, but I have always felt my brain progress, so Zi could feel my intestines as they moved down the road and my body go into sync..we are all a beautiful synchronized machine and when something is out of sync, it throws off the motor..That is why I like to read your site and see what can work..My Hashimoto’s has gotten to the point to have go down to a kinda GAPS/PALEO AUTOIMMUNE where I only eat meat, veggies and fruit right now because my body has been reacting..Now it is calming..Reintroducing needs to wait a little…We all need to listen to our body more….And finally, I do not react to essential oils, instead they work as they should…So Thank You My Road started with your site…Brain Injuries, theyare Black And white to me and being a Social Workerin Nursing Homes, I encouraged people to Rehab..heck I got to the state level before I got hit in 2001, But coming back after being in a 6 day Coma..That 7th day, waking up as a 4 year old mentally, Sure, my ex could not handle it, but you grow, GOD never makes any junk…So I am better for this and the second accident took away the horrible migraines and yeah it threw me back, but I brought myself back up to where I was from the first…My kids never knew me before my accident..they do not remember the divorce..They see me only as what my ex views me as…But I show them me…I just ask them to see me and ask GOD to show them me and to continue to use me to guide them…That is why I keep going…One of my twins is in gifted classes, the other is behind, though has no diagnosis, both were born early, but I believe she has gut issues and diet is a factor…So I continue to be a voice, use my oils to clear my apartment, run a support group for people for hope, and just continue to try to strive…,We are all here together, why not help in a positive way instead of a negative way..

  48. RA on

    I drank 32 ounces of water with 2 teaspoons of pure pink Himalayan salt on an empty stomach over 2 hours ago and nothing has happened, only a small BM. Should I drink another solution to ensure it works?

  49. Gauhar Ansari on

    we need to drink 1 liter of salt water at once ???
    i mean can’t we drink it with breaks like a quarter of liter first then a hour of break, then quarter and then hour of break, if we can do it four times???
    please doctor kindly tell me abut it ???

    and i dont know about where i would be getting sea salt, because in our house we use refined iodized salt ???

  50. D on

    Tried this and threw up all the water immediately. I couldn’t even get half a glass down!! I opted for Smootg Move Tea. I’m on the master cleanse so I think I’ll try again tomorrow with the lemon and see if that makes a difference

  51. Diana on

    Can you use spring water like Evian or Fidji if you don’t have filter water to do the sea salt flush? and how often can you or should you do this?I would like to try this.


  52. Jazmine on

    I have to forms of sea salt at home. One which is iodized and one that isn’t. Which one would be best to use for this cleanse?

  53. Liz on

    I used 3 -4 tspns Epsom salt in 3 cops of water and nothing??? NB its been 10 hours since taken. Last time had to take two lots to work and was painful. I do have diverticulosis and dairy intolerance.


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