I couldn’t believe my ears the other day while I was watching a video about detox when the presenter recommended using senna for colon cleansing. This was the recommendation of a well known health professional/nutritionist too!
Want to know what’s wrong with senna?
It’s a bowel IRRITANT, that’s what’s wrong with it. It’s a herb that contains plant chemicals that irritate the lining of the bowel, causing a laxative effect. It’s not a colon cleanser at all.
It is sometimes used in colon cleansing supplements in combination with other herbs but I would never recommend those to anyone. Many people get cramps from taking senna on its own or in combination with other herbs.
Why do we need to do colon cleansing?
Many health experts claim that the intestinal system is the true centre of health in the body. They also claim that toxic build up in the colon or bowel, as it is also known, is the precursor to various types of degenerative disease.
Many Naturopthic doctors and nutritionists attributed their successful treatment of patients to the healing powers of colon cleansing.
The famous late American naturopath, Bernard Jensen, stated that when the bowel is dirty the the blood is dirty and so are the organs and tissues. It is the bowel that must be cared for first before any effective healing can take place.
More recently Dr Alejandro Junger, author of Clean Gut, stated “All of today’s most-diagnosed ailments can be traced back to an injured and irritated gut. The gut is an intricate and powerful system, naturally designed to protect and heal the body every moment of every day. And yet for far too many of us, this remarkable system is in disrepair, which leads to all kinds of health problems—from extra pounds, aches and pains, allergies, mood swings, and lack of libido, to heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, insomnia, and depression.”
How does the bowel become dirty?
When you eat food it goes on a journey through the digestive system where it gets digested (broken down), releasing nutrients that are absorbed across the wall of the small intestine into the body.
Anything that is left passes into the colon where water and any remaining water and minerals are absorbed. What’s left is the indigestible food matter such as cellulose, dead bacteria, dead white blood cells, cell debris, cholesterol, toxins and unwanted hormones that have been detoxed by the liver and incorporated into bile.
Proper bowel function means pooping 2 or 3 times a day. Many people are not aware of this and go through their lives having only one bowel movement a day, one every other day or once a week.
I had a client once who only ever went once a month. She did not feel at all well as you can imagine. After a few colonics and a change of diet she felt like a diffferent person.
The longer this waste, known as the stool, stays in the bowel the harder and more toxic it becomes. As these toxins accumulate they will affect every part of the body: slow your metabolism, rob you of energy, reduce your immunity and even lead to serious chronic illness. The result? A body in need of colon cleansing.
Do I need a Colon Cleanse?
You could benefit from one if you have any of these symptoms:
• Abdominal gas
• Bad breath
• Body odor
• Sciatic pain
• Skin problems
A range of methods are available to help you cleanse your colon, including:
• Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
• Herbal Remedies
• Colon Cleansing Kits
• Colonic Irrigation
• Therapeutic Fasting
• Laxatives (not recommended)
Dietary & Lifestyle Changes
Dietary and lifestyle changes are the first things that need to be done to help maintain a clean and unblocked colon.
The changes needed to maintain a healthy digestive tract are simply a matter of following a diet that high in fiber and raw fermented foods.
My article Start Your Detox With A Bowel Cleansing Diet gives more detail about the best diet to follow and you can find out more about using raw fermented foods in my review of The Body Ecology Diet.
You need to keep well hydrated with pure water, detox waters, herbal or green tea, fresh vegetable juices and soups, and green smoothies. Regular exercise can work wonders for a sluggish bowel too.
In many cases dietary and lifestyle changes may be all that is needed but in others herbal remedies can be a natural and gentle way to perform mild colon cleansing.
Herbs and herbal remedies can be a natural and gentle way to help cleanse the colon. Dr Floras Colon Cleanse has been voted the No 1 colon cleanse. I like it because it does not contain any irritant laxative herbs like senna or cascara. It is gentle yet very effective. You can find out more about it here.
Colon Irrigation or Colonic Hydrotherapy is an ancient method of healing that involves flushing out toxins, gas, accumulated waste deposits and excess mucus from the colon with purified water introduced through a special sterilized tube.
In the early 1900’s it was standard hospital practice to to administer warm water enemas to sick patients. Flushing and cleaning the bowel nearly always provided relief and overall improvement in the patient’s health.
You can find out more about Colonic Irrigation in my article Is Colonic Irrigation For Detox Dangerous?
Colemas are a do it yourself Colonic Irrigation that many people do with amazing results. Bernard Jensen demonstrated how many health problems could be improved with do it your self colemas in his book Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management .
Fasting is the complete cessation of eating for a period of time, usually for one or more days. People continue to drink water or juices to avoid becoming dangerously dehydrated. Various herbs and clays are often used for colon cleansing during a fast as the bowel slows down without the stimulus of food.
Colon Cleanse Recipes
Psyllium & Bentonite:
You can make up your own colon cleanse with psyllium and Bentonite by thoroughly blending 1 – 2 teaspoons Bentonite powder and 1 tablespoon (15ml) Psyllium husk powder with 10 oz water and 3 oz fresh fruit or vegetable juice. This mixture will start to swell to a gel like consistency fairly quickly so it’s best to drink it immediately. You can take this every morning and evening on an empty stomach.
Flax Seed Cleanse
2 tbsp Flaxseeds or powdered Flaxseed
1/2 pear or papaya
1 scoop your favorite greens powder
Water or fresh fruit or vegetable juice
Put all ingredients into a high powered blender and add enough water or juice to allow the blades to turn easily. Blend until very smooth. Drink first thing in the morning.
Mainstream doctors do not usually agree with the notion of Colon Cleansing and will prescribe laxatives for constipation. They also see nothing wrong with having a bowel movement every three days saying it is normal for that person. It may be normal for that person but is it right?
Most of eat at least 3 meals a day so 2 or 3 bowel movements a day are expected if the digestive system is working efficiently and the diet is good.
Laxatives are a short term cure and can be useful in cases of severe constipation but they can become habit forming so you should not rely on them.
In the words of Dr Lindsay Duncan we must keep our pipes cleaned out and in good shape to experience good health!
In a nutshell Poor Elimination = Toxic Build Up = Dis-Ease!
Try some colon cleansing and feel the difference.
Have you ever done any colon cleansing? If so why not leave me a comment and share your experience with my readers.
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Infographic by Eco-Savvy