- Find out why it’s important for your overall health to cleanse your colon
- Learn what makes a gentle and healthy colon cleanse
- Understand the different, natural ways to cleanse your colon
- Discover what ingredients to look for in your colon cleansing products
Your colon, otherwise known as the large intestine, is where waste from the food you eat ends up before it leaves your body via a bowel motion. This waste sits in your colon while water is absorbed. Bacteria that live in your intestines break down what is left. Then, your colon moves the stool into your rectum, where it stays until you use the bathroom.
Unfortunately, sometimes the process breaks down. And sometimes “going” doesn’t clear all the waste. In this article, we’ll look at natural ways you can cleanse your colon.
Why it's important to cleanse your colon
When your colon or large intestine is in good health, it effectively passes all waste material out of your body. But if you have a sluggish colon, you might experience pain, gas, and bloating as your stools begin to harden and your digestive system slows down.
If your colon isn’t functioning properly for some time, it can lead to problems passing bowel movements and chronic constipation. If you’re susceptible to Crohn’s disease, you might aggravate the condition. Poor bowel function may even lead to colon cancer.
And that’s not to mention the immune system problems that can occur when your gut isn’t working right. Scientific evidence suggests that a healthy colon is an essential part of a strong immune system.
Common colon cleansing methods
Some of the most common colon cleansing methods include colonic irrigation, chemical laxatives, and enemas. Each of these procedures has its place when it comes to looking after your colon health. But it’s important to see your doctor before trying to cleanse the colon using these techniques.
Colonic irrigation is often used for cleansing the colon before medical procedures and surgeries. It involves flushing large quantities of water into the colon. It can be very effective, but colon cleansing in this way can be dangerous without proper oversight by a medical professional.
Laxatives work very quickly to empty the colon. But because they are fast-acting, you may feel the need to run to the bathroom regularly while taking them. Furthermore, laxatives can be addictive, potentially leading to long-term complications, especially when used to aid weight loss.
An enema is a medical procedure, similar to colonic irrigation, except that it only clears the lower portion of your large intestine. It is possible to do your own enema at home, but you should speak to your doctor first to determine whether this will be good for your digestive health.
The problem with these colon cleanses
While each of these methods will effectively clean out your colon, they are not natural. And what’s more, they may have some side effects, including:
- Gas and bloating
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Rectal inflammation or tears
- Kidney problems
What makes a gentle and effective colon cleanse?
The best colon cleanses for your overall health are natural lifestyle modifications that help your bowel do its job. Natural cleansing behaviors can aid weight loss and will keep you feeling healthy as your gut bacteria are balanced and bloating eases.
Even if you suffer regular constipation, the chances are you don’t need to have an invasive procedure to positively impact your digestive health. But if your problem is chronic, you should seek advice from your doctor before making any big changes. It’s important to rule out Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, and other serious gut problems.
Let’s take a look at natural ways to encourage emptying of the bowels.
It might sound simple, but drinking plenty of water is one of the best natural colon cleanses around. It’s simple and, compared to others, practically free. Make sure you drink around 6 to 8 glasses of water a day to flush out any harmful toxins in your colon. But if you find drinking water difficult, warm water with lemon juice or herbal teas may take its place. The best thing about making sure you get enough to drink is that there are absolutely no side effects.
Black tea and coffee contain caffeine, which could help you stay regular. But caffeinated drinks can also be harsh on the system. Herbal teas, on the other hand, have many health benefits and can ease obstructions more gently. Some of the best herbal teas for constipation include:
- Peppermint tea
Choose whole grains
Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber. This is important because fiber cleanses your colon, “scraping” waste and toxins from your gut walls as it passes. Go for brown pasta, whole grain bread, oatmeal, buckwheat, and popcorn. But if you like the taste of refined grains, there’s no need to avoid them entirely. Try to ensure that at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains, which should be sufficient.
While scientific evidence is limited, a saltwater flush may be another natural way of cleansing your bowel. Simply add 1 or 2 teaspoons of good quality salt to a liter of water and drink it slowly on an empty stomach. Be careful, though – salt can act as a laxative, and you may find yourself frequently rushing to the bathroom.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar might have many benefits when it comes to your colon health. Drinking a tablespoon of apple cider with warm water may help kill harmful bacteria in your digestive system. It may also soothe gas and bloating and help eliminate toxins from your colon.
If you’re one of those who struggle to eat enough fiber, adding juices to your diet can help. While juicing is no better for your bowel than eating fiber-rich foods, it can be a good way of cramming more fruit and vegetables into your day. Try to blend your products rather than juicing them, as this will mean you won’t lose the fiber. And make sure you drink your blended beverages straight away – harmful bacteria can quickly build up in fresh juice.
Studies show that citrus juices may be a natural colon cleanser. And taking vitamin C supplements may also be a good way of boosting your gut health. Drink orange, grapefruit, mango, kiwi, or pineapple juice for the best effects. Or make sure you consume plenty of vegetables such as broccoli, capsicums, and tomatoes. If you plan to take a supplement, choose a good quality product with 500mg of vitamin C.
Often confused with vitamin C, citric acid is not something you actually need in your diet. But, if you suffer from a sluggish digestive system, you could feel benefits from taking citric acid as part of a colon cleansing supplement. That’s because it’s a natural laxative that can help your body remove toxins by getting your digestive tract moving.
Colon cleansing products that contain oxygenated magnesium can be useful when it comes to maintaining your colon health. Oxygenated magnesium carries a lot of oxygen directly to your stomach, where it softens the stool. The magnesium — a natural and gentle laxative — also goes to work, drawing water into the colon, further softening your stool, and gently encouraging bowel movements.
If you are suffering from digestive problems, it may be because you are deficient in potassium. This vital mineral helps your gut remain healthy, aiding digestion and stimulating bowel movements. The best way to stay balanced is to eat potassium-rich foods such as beans, potatoes, bananas, and avocado. Steer clear of potassium supplements unless your doctor tells you to take them, as they can have dangerous side effects on your heart.
No natural colon cleanse is complete without considering enzymes. Enzymes allow chemical reactions to occur, helping your body break down toxins and release them in your stools. Enzymes’ benefits are so high that you should not overlook them when planning your colon cleanse. They may even be useful as a cancer therapy. Look for protease, cellulase, and chitinase in your colon cleansing products.
Regular exercise is an essential part of a colon cleansing lifestyle because it increases blood flow to your digestive system, promoting regular bowel movements. But if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or any serious gut complaint, proceed with caution. Excessive amounts of exercise may exacerbate your problems, triggering heartburn and nausea.
Bentonite clay sticks to toxins, which makes it a valuable ingredient in colon cleanses. It also binds to water in your digestive tract, encouraging healthy movements and easing bloating and gut pain. Look for bentonite clay in your colon cleansing products for maximum colon health.
Dandelion root is high in potassium and is thought to aid weight loss and support healthy digestion. On top of that, dandelion root has been shown to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-depressant effects.
Blue-green algae have many health benefits, including boosting the immune system and improving energy. They also have prebiotic actions on your gut and help keep your body in good condition by aiding digestion. Other types of beneficial algae to look out for include chlorella and spirulina, both of which help remove heavy metals from your system.
Probiotics could help ease constipation and lower the colon’s pH level, allowing stools to move more quickly through your system. If you decide to take probiotics as part of your colon cleanse, choose a well-researched strain such as B. bifidus or L. acidophilus.
A natural and safe colon cleanse
Colon cleanse supplements like Cleanse Infused Plus typically offer the best combination of natural ingredients. If you avoid those with harsh botanicals and instead choose those with gentle yet effective ingredients like oxygenated magnesium and enzymes, you’ll have a natural and safe cleanse.
In addition to supplements, you should also make sure to drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and add more fiber to your diet. The most effective colon cleanses work because they are part of wider lifestyle changes.