The popular practice of colon cleansing dates back to the time of Ancient Egyptians and Greeks. It was revived during the early years of the twentieth century, but failed to appeal the masses. However, it has staged a strong comeback in the recent years. Though there is no conclusive scientific evidence that proves the health benefits of colon cleansing, it is very popular, and is claimed to be beneficial for removing toxins accumulated in the colon.
What is Colon Cleansing?
The practice of colon cleansing is based on the theory of autointoxication, which was discarded by health experts during the 1920s. This theory has been adopted by the proponents of alternative medical systems, and they are mainly responsible for the revival of this practice. The theory of autointoxication is based on the fact that the colon is responsible for removing accumulated waste materials (from foods and beverages), which are stored in it as fecal matter. This fecal matter, which contains toxins and wastes, are removed from the colon through bowel movements.
Over a period of time, these toxins can build up on the walls of the colon and hinder normal bowel movements. The accumulated toxins become the breeding ground for harmful bacteria and intestinal parasites. There is also a possibility of the toxins being absorbed into the body, causing symptoms like fatigue, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, and irritability. These symptoms can be severe for those with irregular bowel movements or constipation. Such absorption of toxins from the colon to the blood stream is termed autointoxication.
Colon cleansing aims at reducing the effects of autointoxication by removing the accumulated toxins in the colon through various methods. Those methods can be broadly classified into two types. The first category comprises oral cleansing methods that involve consumption of dietary fiber, herbs, laxatives, and other supplements. The second category includes colon hydrotherapy, which is otherwise known as colonics or colonic irrigation. This method involves the use of enema to pump water into the colon, through the rectum. Sometimes, the water may be mixed with herbs, or other liquids.
Though the market is flooded with different types of colon cleansing products, natural methods are often preferred. Given below is a list of some of the common home remedies used for cleansing the colon.
- When it comes to natural colon cleansing remedies, water is considered the best. It helps in removing toxins from the body. It loosens the stools and promotes regular bowel movements. So, drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water every day.
- Dietary fiber is very important in alleviating intestinal problems. Switch to a high-fiber diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, and breakfast cereals. Such a diet promotes smooth functioning of the bowels, so that the toxins are removed from the colon on a regular basis.
- You can also enhance the detoxification process using herbs like aloe vera, ginger, and cinnamon. Homemade aloe juice can be consumed several times a day. You may replace aloe juice with fresh ginger juice (a teaspoon mixed with some water and honey). Cinnamon can be added to the foods you consume.
- Other popular colon cleansing home remedies are psyllium, flaxseeds, garlic, barberry, and fennel. While barberry stimulates the colon, fennel helps in eliminating mucus. Psyllium is a laxative, which helps in removal of wastes from the colon. Flaxseeds are believed to be beneficial for enhancing bowel movements.
- Fasting is also said to be useful for cleansing the colon. Fasting helps the body systems to recuperate and eliminate toxins. You may take fruit or vegetable juice during fasting. However, make sure to consult your physician, before you plan fasting.
- Regular exercise is also beneficial for smooth functioning of the bowel. Consumption of vegetable soups (sans oil or butter), is good for regular bowel movements. Probiotics are also considered effective for colon cleansing. Avoid greasy, spicy, and high calorie foods for maintaining the health of the colon as well as the entire body.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.