Colon Cleanser Guide
Colon Cleansing is a popular way to rid your body of toxins. While the effectiveness of colon cleansing is debated, thousands of people cleanse their colons regularly to enjoy purported health benefits. With that in mind, here’s our colon cleansing guide.
What is Colon Cleansing?
We’ve heard stories about how celebrities like John Wayne had 40 pounds of impacted fecal matter in his colon when he died, while Elvis allegedly had over 70 pounds.
Neither of these rumors is likely to be true.
Nevertheless, after the deaths of each celebrity, colon cleansing became a hot topic across America.
Colon Cleansing is the act of cleansing the lower portion of your intestinal tract. Typically, this is done by inserting distilled water into your rectum.
Today, this treatment is typically performed by a registered doctor in a clinical setting – like a naturopathic clinic. These doctors use high-tech machines to gently pass water into and out of your system. This service is often advertised as “colon hydrotherapy”.
Older colon cleansing methods involve taking colon cleansing products orally – like herbal colon cleansers or oxygen colon cleansers.
Before we discuss these methods, we’ll talk about the interesting history of colon cleansing.
History of Colon Cleansing
Colon cleansing has been practiced since ancient times. But one of the most fascinating stories in the history of colon cleansing comes from “Old Tom Parr”, a man who is said to have lived to the ripe old age of 152 years by practicing methods like herbal colon cleansing.
Did Tom Parr Really Live to 152 Years with the Help of Regular Colon Cleansing?
There’s a portrait of Tom Parr hanging in the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in the UK. That portrait has an inscription reading “Thomas Parr died at the age of 152 years 9 months.”
He was reportedly born in 1483 and lived to November 14, 1635.
Some of the entertaining stories that have come out of Parr’s life include having an affair when he was over 100 years old and having a child born out of wedlock. After his first wife’s death at the age of 122, he re-married the mother of his son.
Over the years, Parr’s old-age story spread and he became a national celebrity.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because advocates of colon cleansing like to point to Tom Parr as the reason why colon cleansing is good for your health. Although there’s little evidence that Parr practiced colon cleansing, advocates repeatedly point to Parr as an example of the supposed health benefits of natural medicines and treatments like herbal colon cleansing.
In any case, Parr’s story is widely believed to be a hoax. On an autopsy after his death, it was found that Parr was likely 70 years of age and that his records were probably confused with his grandfather’s records. He also had no knowledge of specific events from the 15th century, which is weird when you spend the first 17 years of your life in that century.
As one colon cleansing website, TheColonCleansingGuide.com puts it, “Who knows, maybe you can live to be 152 too” just like Old Tom Parr.
Don’t get your hopes up. Still, there are some health benefits associated with colon cleansing. Let’s find out what those benefits are.
Benefits of Colon Cleansing
Advocates of colon cleansing have linked the practice to a wide variety of health benefits. Here are some of the most important benefits:
— Loosen Old Impacted Waste: The primary goal of colon cleansing is to loosen old impacted fecal matter that has become lodged in your intestinal tract. Many of the health benefits of colon cleansing are related to this.
— Detoxify the Body: By dislodging old fecal matter, you stimulate the release of toxins from the body. The reason your body produces fecal matter is to pass toxins through the body. When these toxins aren’t released, some believe it can lead to toxic buildup in your system.
— Remove Irritating Acids and Other Problems: Toxic substances like acid wastes might be released from the body
— Boost your Immune System: 90% of your immune system is found in your digestive tract. By clearing old toxins from your digestive tract, you can boost the effectiveness of your immune system and reduce your risk of disease.
— Increase your Ability to Digest and Process Foods: Your digestive tract extracts nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the foods you eat, and then passes those compounds through the walls of your intestines and into your bloodstream. When your digestive tract is impacted with toxins and waste, these nutrients can’t get through. Cleansing your body can increase your ability to process the foods you eat.
Some people also practice colon cleansing for more general symptoms, including:
— Weight Gain
— Low Energy
Now that you know the purported health benefits of colon cleansing, let’s talk about the three most popular methods of colon cleansing.
Methods of Colon Cleansing
In general, there are three main methods of colon cleansing you’ll encounter today, including:
1) Colon Hydrotherapy
2) Herbal Colon Cleansing
3) Oxygen Colon Cleansing
Colon Hydrotherapy and Colon Cleansing
Colon hydrotherapy is the clinical term for colon cleansing. Typically, colon hydrotherapy will be advertised by naturopathic clinics in your area.
During this procedure, you lie on a table (typically, you lie on your side) while a doctor inserts a small hose into your anus. That hose is attached to a machine. The machine passes warm, distilled water into your body to dislodge any impacted fecal matter.
Colonic irrigation machines – also known as high colonics – have been around for over 100 years. Today’s machines are advanced pieces of medical equipment where the doctor can control the flow speed and temperature of the water to ensure the patient stays comfortable throughout the procedure.
During a typical procedure, several gallons of water will be passed through your body. During the process, the doctor or therapist may massage your abdomen.
Then, that water is passed back out through your body along with any toxins that were within that fecal matter.
This process is arguably the most effective way at cleansing the colon. However, some may also find it to be uncomfortable and embarrassing.
Instead of paying a doctor for colon hydrotherapy, some people choose instead to undergo herbal or oxygen-based colon cleansing methods.
Herbal Colon Cleansing
Herbal colon cleansing is the “old fashioned method” that was purportedly advocated and practiced by Old Tom Parr.
Herbal colon cleansing involves taking an herbal colon cleanser. These cleansers contain concoctions of herbs that are purportedly used to cleanse the colon. The herbs and fibers in these cleansers “bulk up” inside the colon, forcing any impacted material to be pushed out the next time you have a bowel movement.
It’s slower than the colon hydrotherapy method. Typically, it’s recommended that you take herbal colon cleansers for about three months to maximize their efficiency.
Some of the most popular herbal colon cleansing methods include:
— Laxatives (both stimulants and non-stimulant laxatives)
— Herbal Teas
Oxygen Colon Cleansing
One final method of colon cleansing is called oxygen colon cleansing. With this method, you don’t rely on herbs, fibers, or water to push toxins out of the body.
Instead, oxygen colon cleansers are designed to melt the fecal matter accumulated inside your body, forcing it to be released the next time you have a bowel movement.
Typically, an oxygen colon cleanse only lasts 7 to 10 days. You don’t need to make laxative teas or fiber shakes. And you are not required to fast.
With oxygen colon cleansing, you use substances like Oxy-Powder to dislodge toxins in your digestive tract.
Scientific Evidence for Colon Cleansing – Do You Actually Need It?
Up above, I mentioned that colon cleansing was a controversial practice. There’s considerable debate over whether or not you actually need to cleanse your colon – or if you’re just passing water through your anus for no good reason.
What’s the truth?
WebMD.com did a good writeup on colon cleansing. They claimed that colon cleansing has been studied for its potential use in the following health treatments:
— Fecal Incontinence Or Bowel Leakage
— Spasm During Colonoscopy
— Drug Withdrawal
— Before And During Bowel Surgeries
— Ostomy Care (ostomy is the surgical connection between an intestine and the outside of the body)
Despite the fact that colon cleansing has been studied for all of the above potential uses, WebMD cautioned that “In most of these cases, no quality research has been done to tell whether or not a colon cleansing is helpful”
WebMD.com also cautions that the body does some pretty phenomenal stuff on its own, including:
— Natural bacteria living in the colon will detoxify food wastes
— The liver also neutralizes toxins (it’s not just up to your digestive tract to neutralize toxins, as the liver neutralizes many of these toxins before they arrive)
— Mucus membranes lining the colon will keep unwanted substances from reentering the blood and tissues
— The colon actually recreates new cells every 3 days, which can prevent the buildup of harmful material
— The normal number of bowel movements varies between individuals. However, increasing the number of bowel movements you perform in a day does not appear to improve weight loss. As WebMD.com explains, “that’s because the body absorbs most calories before they reach the large intestine.”
Is Colon Cleansing Safe?
Over 5,600 colon irrigation procedures are performed every month in the UK and there have been no serious side effects reported.
Nevertheless, there are some potential side effects associated with colon cleansing, including:
— Vomiting, nausea, or cramping
— Dizziness or dehydration
— Mineral or nutritional imbalances
— Bowel perforation
If your therapist adds a substance to the water used during the colonic irrigation procedure, then there may be an increased chance of an allergic reaction.
How to Improve the Health of your Colon without Colon Cleansing
Colon cleansing may be one way to improve the health of your colon – but it’s not the only way. In fact, the health of your colon is most closely related with the foods you eat.
Some of the recommended ways to improve the health of your colon and reduce your risk of colon cancer include:
— Eating more soluble and insoluble fiber (this can also reduce constipation and your risk of colorectal cancer). Typically, an average American consumes 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day, although the recommended amount is between 20 and 35 grams.
— Drink plenty of fluids (with the exception of alcohol). Water naturally passes toxins out of your body and cleans your colon. Staying hydrated also reduces your risk of impacted fecal matter building up on your intestines.
— Limit your tobacco and red meat consumption, both of which have been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer.
— Get screened for colon cancer regularly starting at age 50.
Ultimately, colon cleansing appears to lead to some minor health benefits – although the most effective way to cleanse your colon is to maintain a healthy diet with plenty of foods and a balanced range of nutrients.