Benefits and Risks of a Colon Cleanse
Digestive health is integral to feeling healthy and happy. The colon, also known as the large intestine, plays a big role in digestive health, so you might be considering a colon cleanse for many of the benefits it can offer.
A colon cleanse is the act of flushing out and cleansing the colon. The aim is to rid the walls of the large intestine of any stagnant, potentially toxic, waste. Potential benefits include improved digestion, greater mental clarity, improved immunity, and reduced risk of colon cancer.
Ways You Can Cleanse the Colon at Home
You may be surprised to learn there are many ways you can reap the benefits of cleansing the colon at home in a safe manner. While there are over-the-counter treatments that you can use, there are some more simple methods you can try first.
Up Your Water Intake
Drinking plenty of water is the simplest way to maintain good bowel health. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water a day is the minimum advised for doing a water flush. Remember that fruit and vegetables also have a high water content, so including these in your diet will increase your daily fluid consumption as well.
Salt Water Flush
Before your first meal of the day, mix two teaspoons of salt (ideally pink Himalayan sea salt) with lukewarm water and drink it quickly. Shortly after, you will likely feel the urge to go to the bathroom. This method is especially useful for those suffering from constipation.
Another slightly more palatable option is to consume a glass of warm water with lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt, and honey (optional) on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.
Consume Plenty of Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber is a vital micronutrient for maintaining a healthy digestive system. It is found in whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, nuts, and seeds. Fiber helps to collect excess matter in the colon and regulate bowel movements, including overactive bowels. It can also be useful in fostering the formation of helpful bacteria in the form of prebiotics and other beneficial gut bacteria.
Abstaining from eating can give your digestive system a rest and allow the liver and kidneys to more effectively remove harmful toxins from the body. This, in turn, can help clean the colon. Drinking plenty of water and fresh fruit and vegetable juice during this time can also help in the process.
Probiotics help in cleansing the colon by promoting the proliferation of good bacteria in the gut. Good probiotics include naturally fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, apple cider vinegar and lacto-fermented pickles, along with kombucha, a slightly effervescent tea. Visit Wellness Nova for more tips on using apple cider vinegar and more.
Natural ingredients such as aloe vera and psyllium husk can greatly improve digestive health via lubrication of the colon. Ginger is another powerhouse in maintaining optimum digestive health and can be included in teas, juices, sauces, or even just eaten raw.
Garlic and cayenne pepper also contain numerous antimicrobial phytochemicals that are believed to suppress bad bacteria.
Colon cleanses gently done at home rarely pose significant risks, but cleansing your colon too frequently can lead to a change in the natural balance of bacteria. This can lead to infection, abdominal pain, electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, giddiness, nausea, and vomiting, amongst other problems. It could even cause chronic constipation or bowel injury.
These issues can be especially dangerous for anyone with any other underlying health conditions, including those related to the heart and the kidneys.
Colon cleanses are safe to do at home if they are not overdone. They can certainly improve digestive health and, consequently, your mood and mental well-being. Whether they actually “cleanse” the colon remains to be seen, but at the very least, you may experience reduced bloat and increased energy, which will help you feel better overall.