According to Wikipedia, “colon cleansing encompasses a number of alternative medical therapies intended to remove feces and nonspecific toxins from the colon and intestinal tract.” True enough. The site goes on to state that “no scientific evidence supports the alleged benefits of colon cleansing.” Again, there is little to be argued there. Since the 1919 publication of the paper “Origin of the So-Called Auto-Intoxication Symptom” in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the medical community has done little to address this therapy beyond blanket dismissal.
Interestingly, despite the quackery label dispensed by the AMA, the practice of colon cleansing has survived and, in the past 20 years, begun to thrive as both a therapeutic modality employed by health professionals and an over-the-counter preparation for self-management. One would have to surmise that there must be some benefit to this practice or it would not still be around. The medical response to health claims made is usually to label all evidence as anecdotal. There is nothing wrong with that. As one research scientist said, “the plural of anecdote is data.” Despite the disdain of the scientific community, the preponderance of positive response has tipped colon cleansing from fringe therapy into the category of big business.
And it makes sense. The American diet is replete with chemicals, toxins and artificial ingredients that may well create a greater toxic load than the digestive, detoxifying and excretory systems can naturally handle. People are looking for an answer and many have chosen this treatment. In my experience, both personal and with many dozens of patients, periodic colon cleansing has had predictable and demonstrable beneficial effects for general health and well-being. The following are the most common benefits I have seen:
- Weight loss – This is probably the most common reason for people to use a cleanse. Users report losing up to 20 pounds in a month. Theories for this range from the removal of congested waste products and fecal matter to the release of fluids that build up in the tissues and colon to dilute accumulated toxins.
- Improved bowel function and regularity – Restoring normal bowel motility relieves constipation and minimizes the potential for the absorption of un-eliminated toxins back into the bloodstream. By preventing constipation, associated conditions like hemorrhoids can be relieved.
- Increased energy – After a detox program, my patients report a significant increase in energy and perceived well-being. This may be due in part to the improved sleep that is reported as well as the elimination of toxins.
- Better sleep – In my experience, the days and weeks following a colon cleanse are marked by a better quality sleep. This may be due to less abdominal discomfort and gas, and/or reduced sleep interruption for nighttime bathroom visits. My patients often report this very same response.
- Clear skin – Whether due to improved sleep, reduced toxins in the blood, adequate hydration resulting from intestinal balance or a combination of these changes and others, clear skin is a commonly reported benefit of colon cleansing.
Despite the lack of hard scientific research regarding colon cleansing, this therapy has been around long enough now to merit consideration as a regular tool in any health regimen. It is important to use a well-designed, high quality formulation such as Colon Cleanser to achieve the best results. When recommending colon cleansing to my patients I advise the following method:
- Use Colon Cleanser at the end of each season (four times a year for maximum benefit). The environmental, physiological and dietary stressors that come with seasonal changes make this an important time to strengthen the immune system by removing accumulated toxins and waste.
- Use Liver Support & Detox in conjunction with the colon cleanser to maximize the detoxifying effect.
- Upon finishing the detox period, use a high quality probiotic blend such as Super Probiotics to re-populate the colon with beneficial organisms. This is a key step in restoring normal bowel motility, digestion and overall strength of the immune system.
Avoid caffeine, gluten, sugar and alcohol during the cleansing period for optimal results.
Author’s Note: There are two common approaches to colon cleansing – mechanical cleansing using colonic irrigation and nutritional which uses herbal preparations. My experience and expertise are in the use of the nutritional approach and have limited my discussion to that aspect. As with any new dietary or nutritional program, it is best to consult your physician before embarking on a detox/cleansing regimen.