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Colon Cleansing

In the past, colon cleansing may have been the “butt” of many jokes, but this process offers real and important benefits for your health and well-being. Read on to find out more about this hot topic.

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Colon Cleansing

Although you may not consciously be aware of it, your colon is actually “hard wired” to your brain and there is a highly complex pathway of intercommunication between the bowel and the mind. This is part of the “gutmind” or “mindgut.” When one thinks about the colon, one most often thinks about its contents. The contents of the colon come and go, but the overall time (duration) that these contents reside in the colon may be an important factor in general health and well-being. “Friendly” bacterial inhabitants of the colon are also responsible for general health and well-being. For many years, the colon and its contents were viewed as a source of potential toxins to which the body was exposed, especially in the presence of constipation. These days, conventional medicine often rejects these ideas. (Holt S, Natural Ways to Digestive Health, M. Evans and Co. Inc, 2000)

Colon Cleansing & Colon Toxins

There is no doubt that these thoughts of “colon toxins” led to the common belief that everyone should open their bowel, at least on a daily basis. However, it is recognized that a healthy bowel habit generally involves opening one’s bowel less than three times daily, but more than once in three days. That said, many people suffer from uncomfortable changes in their bowel habit, most often in the form of temporary constipation due to lifestyle or environmental changes. Constipation makes many people feel lousy.

Conventional medicine has been rather unwilling to acknowledge any benefit of intermittent colon cleansing and colon hydrotherapy. While there is surprisingly little research on the benefits of colon cleansing, there are thousands of people who claim they derive an improved sense of well-being by restoring the regularity of their bowel habit. Achieving a regular bowel habit involves a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise, adequate fluid intake and good nutrition (especially adequate dietary fiber intake).

An important aspect of regular bowel habit depends on the amount of unabsorbed fiber that is taken in the diet. There have been many studies that show the benefits of insoluble types of dietary fiber (and combined soluble fiber intake) on the promotion of healthy bowel function. Dieters should consider ways of supplementing fiber in their diet because fiber provides a feeling of fullness that may benefit weight loss. Dietary fiber is not absorbed, but it is subject to fermentation by the healthy bacterial inhabitants of the colon (prebiotic effects). Furthermore, dietary fiber may provide added benefits, due to its ability to cleanse the colon and assist in detoxification of the body. Fiber can help to mop up “toxic” forms of bile acids and other toxicants that are present in colonic contents.

Colon Cleansing & OTC Laxitives

While regularity of bowel habit must involve positive lifestyle principles, a large proportion of the population requires temporary help in overcoming constipation. There are many over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives available, but some laxatives can be quite dangerous for some people. Laxatives that cause excessive purgation can actually damage the function of the bowel. There is a disease entity that is well described among people who use powerful, stimulant laxatives on a regular basis. This is called “cathartic colon,” which means forced exit of stool from the bowel.

Strong laxatives are unpleasant to take because they can cause griping abdominal pain and they may stimulate imbalances of body fluids or chemistry and cause excessive discharge of sticky mucus in the colon. Continuing to purge the bowel causes a “lazy bowel” that will only respond to the continuous use of strong laxatives. Over a period of time, strong laxatives can damage the nerve supply to the colon and the bowel cannot engage in normal movements that cause easy evacuation of stool. There is a common type of constipation that seems to be related to lack of coordination of muscles around the back passage (anus and rectum). This lack of coordination can be overcome to some degree by increasing the dietary intake of insoluble dietary fiber. Fiber helps to treat hemorrhoids and it lowers pressure inside the colon.


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Many people have experienced an unpleasant initial reaction to increasing fiber in their diet. Delivering large amounts of fiber to the “untrained” colon often results in increased frequency of bowel habit and gas. This situation is fortunately short-lived. Some experimentation is always required when extra fiber is increased in the diet; and I advise people not to “give up” on fiber supplements prematurely. I advise individuals to keep adjusting the amount of fiber that they take in supplement form until their colon becomes agreeable and accepting of its new healthy contents.

As a gastroenterologist with a major interest in alternative medicine, I believe in the need for simple, natural and gentle ways to engage in the healthy habit of colon cleansing. There are complicated but effective ways of intermittent colon cleansing with colon hydrotherapy. Colon hydrotherapists can improve the outcome of their treatments by the correct use of well-formulated dietary supplements for digestive health. However, I stress that the supplements they use should have a clear evidence-base for an effect on digestive function.

Certain nutrients can effectively support regular bowel function in a simple, gentle and natural way. A complex nutrient-botanical formula is shown in Table 1. This formulation is quite versatile and it has detoxification implications.

Artichoke Leaf Ashwagandha Root
Beet Leaf Burdock Root
Chlorella Corn Silk
Dandelion Root Arabinogalactans
Milk Thistle 80% Mullein Leaf
Red Clover Flowers Turmeric Root
Aloe Vera 200: 1 Concentrate Rhubarb Root
Slippery Elm Bark Marshmallow Root
Fennel Seed Ginger Root
Triphala Magnesium (Hydroxide)
L-Glutamine Fish Oil 50% Powder
Table 1: Ingredients of an effective colon cleansing formula.

This complex formulation is designed to support the principal function of the colon in the act of evacuation of stool. The formula draws upon several traditional medical systems that have focused their attention on the colon as a source of health and well-being. The formula uses an Ayurvedic herbal system for body cleansing (Triphala) and utilizes recommendations from master herbalists on a variety of different botanicals that can support or modify colon function. Some ingredients do provide gentle purgative actions (Fennel seed, Rhubarb root), but other ingredients are designed to support the lining of the colon or provide a mild astringent effect (Aloe Vera, Slippery Elm Bark). Fish oil and L-glutamine offer nutritive support for the colon’s lining, while Mullein leaf and Ginger root provide a “soothing” effect. One principal mechanism of action of this formula is to hold water in the bowel to make the stool softer and easier to pass (known as the osmotic laxative effect).

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Colon cleansing was once called “the royal pathway to health” because of its popularity among kings, queens and the aristocracy of the Victorian era. Members of the French aristocracy were the strongest proponents of stool evacuation for health. For a while, this activity was considered to be an “embarrassing joke.” These days, individuals are more willing to talk about normal body functions in an open and constructive manner.

Medical practitioners continue to argue about the benefits of colon cleansing. Once relegated to the world of quackery, the act of Colon Cleansing as a part of detoxification of the body is emerging as an increasingly valuable process in the promotion of well-being.

Healthier Comments
16 Responses to “Colon Cleansing”
  1. angie says:

    Some over the counter laxatives also can damage your renal system if you have renal disease. The best is look for formulas that use natural herbs.

    • John says:

      To add to that, I would suggest a once in a month colon cleansing for everyone. This is because a lot of unwanted stuff gathers inside one’s colon harboring toxins and bacteria which result to ailments or infections. It is needless to say that these ‘stuff’ may take refuge in the colon for up to years. Undergoing colon cleansing regularly guarantees that all toxins are flushed out leaving a rejuvenated body.

  2. Terry Mendoza says:

    Every time I do a cleanse, I feel like I have to run to the bathroom, but I’m glad I do them. Sometimes, the stuff that comes out (sorry if this is gross) looks and smells “old.” The bathroom trips the first day are tough but I’m more than happy to get that stuff out!

  3. Gomada says:

    What type of cleanse works best? I see 3 day, 7 day or a one time cleanse. Which would work the best?

    • Judy says:

      The 3 days cleanses work well but just keep in mind, the shorter the cleanse the higher the dose so you might be running to the bathroom more often. I personally like the longer cleanse because the lower dose is more gentle on your body than let’s say a 1 day dose where you might be in the bathroom all day! Try the 7 day cleanse and I think you will be fine and love it!

  4. Martha E. says:

    In my opinion, everyone should do a cleanse on a monthly basis. So much “stuff” builds up in your colon and most of it just sits there for years. It harbors bacteria and toxins that stay in your system for years thus making you tired, sick and can even cause certain infections. By doing a cleanse AT LEAST every month, you can make sure you flush out all of the toxins and you will feel a lot better. Try any cleanse and you will feel the difference immediately!

  5. brenna says:

    I have been in Colone clareance till today nothing have happen….i hv very bad stool now cant go toilet ofen after taking this colone’s already on my 8day nothing happening.

  6. rhonda says:

    I have crohns disease I wonder can I take colon cleanse tablets?

  7. Jeff says:

    I fully agree with the content of the posts. I have, in fact, realised how much important colon cleansing is with respect to ones health. I believe that, in one way or the other, out eating habits are not perfect and so we should try colon cleansing even if it is not on a regular basis or planned intervals. The best part is the personality benefits. It is very true that if your stomach is not in order then you can not be yourself. I have experienced this kind of discomfort and lowering of esteem in occasions that ones stomach just rumbles in front of a crowd I was addressing. Thumbs up for the post.

  8. Shelly says:

    Colon is one part of human system that is so important yet accorded such a very little attention when compared with the rest. It is more treated like the garbage or waste management systems, they make sure that we live in a healthy and conducive environment but minimal applause is given to them. So is the colon. If you think otherwise then you possible have not encountered the extremes or it is because you are very healthy. We ought to take this advice seriously and ensure that our colon are cleansed at a convenient interval so that we guarantee to ourselves a better and a healthier living. What do you guys think?

  9. Merlin says:

    I was once told that eating white and fine processed foods occasionally deposited some thin layers in the colon walls that cannot be remove. These sediments accumulate and colon walls stiffen and thereby leading to a number of colon disorders. I have no idea whether this is a fact or what but what I learnt is that eating brown foods full of fibre is beneficial. So, if you are fond of these white foods you better think of colon cleansing regularly to be safe.

  10. Juli says:

    Colon cleansing is very important, however not so many people ever think of colon as being an organ that need to be taken care of. This is true. People think about kidney, stomach, appendix and many others but it is very rare to hear someone talk about colon cleansing. This goes even to the worst scenario of colon cancer. Of all cancers, there are very minimal awareness created on colon cancer. Guys, we have to think about colon as a crucial component of our bodies and do cleansing regularly.

  11. Keri B says:

    Very big thumbs up for this article. Precaution is better than cure people. I have seen quite a number of individuals who suffer from colon related problem and the truth is that it is a very serious issue. I too have been thinking of colon cleansing as an awkward act but when putting it on scales of pros versus cons, the pros have it. Thanks again for such an educative post and keep up the good work.

  12. Jose' says:

    I have a question; is there only one type or method for colon cleansing? If there is I will appreciate to know. This one and explained way in this article somehow scares me. How does someone go to the doctor just to be flashed with a horse pipe with hot water? I do not say that it is bad but to me it is kind of hard to do. If there are any other methods like taking cleansing pills I will do. Thanks

  13. Benta says:

    Hi, may a doctor explain to me how this cleansing takes place. Is it all about hydrating the bowel or there is some actions that takes place to ensure that the colon is clean. I would really like to be checked up but I do not know where I can get these services plus their costs and the advised intervals between the first cleansing and the subsequent. I was told that I was cleansed when I was young when I was constipating but I cannot remember. If there is anyone who has tried it please talk to me please.

  14. Benta says:

    My stomach rumbles like each and every five minute a day. It started like a normal hunger rumble or gas but has with time become persistent such that I even fear sitting among people I am not farmiliar with since they are going to wonder the hell in me. I have tried de-worming and taking anti-acids but nothing stops. It has become part of my life that annoys me. I do not know whether colon cleansing is going to help me. Please advise.

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