The practice of cleansing the intestines goes back to the era of ancient Greece. In modern times, this procedure became popular in the early 1990s. Then the theory was very popular that cleansing the intestines helps to treat almost all diseases, prevents the emergence of new ailments, and also slows down the aging of the body. Years have passed, scientists have found evidence to refute this theory, but nevertheless many people around the world still believe that cleaning the colon helps improve health. So who and in what cases may need bowel cleansing, what methods of the procedure exist, and what is more of it - potential benefit or harm?
Bowel cleansing: benefit or harm
Intestinal cleansing is a set of measures aimed at removing accumulated waste from the colon and intestinal tract.
The bowel cleansing is first and foremost due to its theory of autointoxication of the human body. This theory states that undigested meat and other foods lead to the formation of an excessive amount of mucus in the intestine. And she, in turn, contributes to the accumulation of toxins that penetrate the bloodstream, poisoning the entire body. Some people consider the symptoms of toxins in the body to be such symptoms as fatigue, headache, weight gain, lack of energy. But nevertheless, the theory of autointoxication did not find support in modern traditional medicine. On the contrary, experts remind that the liver is involved in neutralizing toxins in the body, and the specific intestinal microflora detoxifies food waste without external help.
In addition, it is widely believed that regular bowel cleansing can improve the immune system, lose weight, and even prevent colon cancer. Meanwhile, the doctors are very skeptical about this theory.
But there are times when colon cleansing is actually necessary. As a rule, cleaning may be necessary before some medical procedures, such as colonoscopy.
Intestinal cleaning methods
Intestinal cleansing can be done in two ways:
- using certain foods, medicines and dietary supplements;
- using special hydraulic procedures.
The first method is based on the use of certain foods, herbal teas, dietary supplements or medicines with a laxative effect. For example, in preparation for a colonoscopy, the doctor may prescribe laxatives to the patient (bisacodyl, polyethylene glycol, magnesium citrate), which increase intestinal motility, thereby contributing to its rapid cleansing. In addition, magnesia, bentonite clay and other means are used to clean the colon.
In addition to medications, natural remedies are often used to achieve a laxative effect. Since ancient times, it is known that some plants and extracts from them force the intestines to work faster. The efficacy and safety of some herbal remedies has been proven scientifically. For example, in traditional medicine, ginger, ginseng, maltose syrup, extract of Szechuan pepper may advise patients to achieve a laxative effect. In Chinese medicine, cannabis seeds are used to speed up the bowels, and in our region they often use mint or senna for cleansing.
If bowel cleansing does not have medical indications, but is solely an initiative of a person and is carried out "for prevention", then it is better to rely on a diet rich in fiber. This is the safest way to clean the colon at home.
The second method of cleansing involves the use of enemas. For hydrotherapy, you can use both ordinary water and add vitamins, probiotics, enzymes, herbal decoctions, citric acid. In medicine, this method of bowel cleansing is usually resorted to in cases where the intake of laxatives is impossible or does not give the desired result. The procedure can be prescribed to people taking such drugs as morphine or oxycodone, as they worsen intestinal motility, because of which patients suffer from constipation.
Estimated advantages of intestinal cleansing
It is believed that a bowel cleansing procedure can be beneficial for people with:
- irritable bowel syndrome;
- skin diseases;
- chronic fatigue.
Possible risks and disadvantages of cleaning
Despite the fact that many people perceive the cleaning of the intestine as a panacea for many health problems, most gastroenterologists are in no hurry to advise patients of this procedure. And there are at least three reasons for this.
First, there is no scientific evidence that washing the colon improves patient health or is an effective treatment for chronic diseases.
Secondly, after cleaning the intestines, not only potentially harmful substances are washed out, but also healthy microflora. But without it, the human body actually becomes vulnerable and prone to the development of various diseases. By the way, the work of the immune system directly depends on the state of the intestinal microflora.
Thirdly, if cleaning with water procedures is performed incorrectly, it can cause serious health problems, including colonic perforation.
Intestinal cleansing can not be carried out in the presence of the following diseases:
- ulcerative colitis;
- Crohn's disease;
- severe hemorrhoids;
- tumors in the sigmoid or rectum;
- severe heart or kidney disease.
What better to do for your intestines
Experts say that for the intestine where it is more important that a person eats, and not what he does with the large intestine. A healthy diet can improve overall health, promote weight loss and prevent many diseases, including cancer.
People with various gastrointestinal problems, including constipation and diverticulitis, it is important to focus on foods rich in fiber. According to experts, the daily diet should contain 25-30 g of fiber (for comparison, most people use only about 15 g of fiber per day). To increase the amount of this substance in the diet can be due to vegetables, fruits, bran and whole grains. In addition, the intestines will be very grateful if there is a lot of fluid in the diet and a minimum of alcohol.
Intestinal cleansing products
Green leafy vegetables
Spinach, cabbage (white cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Savoy), asparagus, leeks, lettuce and other vegetables from this group are rich in chlorophyll, which helps cleanse the intestinal tract and soothe irritated bowels. In addition, these vegetables are good for the liver and as a natural defense against toxins. Products from this group can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, added to soups and stews, but it is useful to combine them with vegetable oil, for example, olive oil.
Ginger has antiseptic properties, and also stimulates digestion. It can be added to any juice or consumed without additives. Ginger tea is very useful for the intestines (take 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and natural honey for a glass of hot water). Also, to improve the functioning of the intestine, a smoothie of 1 tablespoon of chopped ginger, 1 apple, a bunch of spinach, 1 carrot and 1 cup of water is suitable. For a gentle bowel cleansing, such a drink should be drunk daily.
Apple Lemon Juice
Apples and lemons are rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, C, antioxidants and fiber. They, among other things, improve intestinal peristalsis. Therefore, to stimulate the colon is helpful to drink lemon-apple juice. For example, you can make a drink from half a glass of apple juice, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of grated ginger. All ingredients are mixed and diluted with half a glass of warm water. It is enough to drink such a cocktail once a day to improve the condition of the intestines.
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar helps cleanse the body of toxins and toxins, while not violating healthy microflora. People wishing to clean the intestines, it is useful to take a tool from apple cider vinegar and honey, taken in equal amounts (2 tablespoons) and 1 cup of water. By the way, such a drink is useful not only for the colon, but also for the whole body, as it strengthens the immune system and reduces cholesterol.
Raw Vegetable Juices
Juice from raw spinach, beets, carrots, tomatoes or cucumbers is best suited for cleaning the intestines. They can be used both individually and mixing. But it is important that the juices are freshly prepared, do not contain preservatives or other food additives. To achieve a laxative effect, you should drink several glasses of vitamin drink per day.
Sea salt and water
Water plays an important role in detoxifying the body. If the body is dehydrated, toxins more easily penetrate inside, including the intestinal wall. To ensure optimal functioning of the tract, it is necessary to drink approximately 2 liters of water daily. If you add sea salt to water (1 teaspoon per 500 ml of water) and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach, it gives a laxative effect. The fact is that the absorption of salt water enhances the contraction of the intestine, thereby accelerating the elimination of accumulated toxins and feces.
Flax and Chia Seeds
Both of these products contain omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation in the colon and remove accumulated toxins. In addition, seeds are an excellent source of fiber. Getting into the intestinal tract, it causes a laxative effect.
The easiest way to eat seeds is to add them to salads, pastries and other dishes. Even more useful for the intestines is a mixture of seeds and natural yogurt. To do this, 1 tablespoon of seeds should be poured with a glass of water and left for 5-10 minutes (so that the fibers swell). Then mix the seeds with a glass of yogurt. To achieve an effective, but gentle cleansing, this mixture must be consumed 4 times a day for a month.
Fiber is the best that can be given to the intestines. Cellulose, getting into the intestines, works as a natural brush, cleansing its walls from all that is superfluous.
Aloe vera juice increases the frequency of bowel movements, thereby creating the effect of natural cleansing of the intestinal tract. Aloe juice contains vitamins, minerals, various enzymes and antioxidants, which are useful for detoxifying the body, and also create a light laxative effect. A detox drink is made from 1 cup of water, 200 mg of aloe-gel and 2 teaspoons of honey. The tool must be drunk in several doses for 3-4 hours.
Coconut oil is known for its powerful antioxidant properties and the ability to neutralize toxins present in the body. Interestingly, coconut oil is useful not only to cleanse the intestinal tract, but also to improve the work of the entire digestive system.
As a means to clean the intestines, you can use a mixture of coconut oil, lemon juice and yogurt. You can also use only pure coconut oil - 2 tbsp. l per day (this number can be divided into several receptions). The course of cleaning the intestines with coconut oil - from 3 to 7 days.
1-2 tbsp. spoons of castor oil mixed with the same amount of lemon or orange juice and drunk on an empty stomach give a good laxative effect. On the day of cleaning every 15-30 minutes should drink a glass of warm water, and so continue until there is a chair at least 2-3 times. After cleaning, you should drink a glass of kefir or natural yogurt without additives. The fermented product will restore normal intestinal motility and restore microflora.
Caution: intestinal cleansing with castor oil is prohibited for pregnant women. The ricinoleic acid in the product may cause a miscarriage.
Garcinia cambogia is a tropical evergreen tree. Dietary supplements containing an extract of its fruits have recently been very popular as a means for losing weight and cleaning the intestines. Garcinia suppresses appetite, speeds up metabolism, and also contains fat-burning substances in its composition. In addition, the extract of exot is able to accelerate intestinal peristalsis, thereby creating the effect of natural cleansing.
These small bright red pepper pods are well known to lovers of spicy dishes. But cayenne spice can also be useful for cleaning the intestines. For example, if you mix a quarter of a teaspoon of dry chopped pepper with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the same amount of honey and a glass of warm water and drink it all, the remedy works as a laxative. For more effective cleansing of the intestinal tract, you should drink 4-6 glasses of such a drink per day, and extend the course of purification by 7-10 days. Cayenne pepper contains the antioxidant substance capsaicin, which quickly removes toxins from the body and increases the amount of feces.
Half a teaspoon of ordinary soda diluted in a glass of warm water is also a very effective laxative. When the soda solution reaches the intestines, it softens the feces and thus facilitates colon cleansing.
But resorting to this method of cleaning, it must be borne in mind that you should drink soda no later than an hour before meals. Sodium bicarbonate (soda) neutralizes gastric acid. That is, if you eat food immediately after taking soda, the stomach will not be able to digest it (due to the lack of an acidic environment). In addition, it is necessary to strictly adhere to the dosage of soda: half a teaspoon and no more. Overuse of bicarbonate cleansing can disrupt the natural pH of the stomach, which has very serious health consequences.
The intestine performs many functions in the human body, and if its work is disturbed, it can lead to undesirable side effects. Many believe that from time to time it is necessary to clean the intestines from toxins and toxins accumulated in it. However, doctors do not recommend cleaning the intestines at home without medical indications (especially by hydrotherapy). But if you decide to try cleaning, then first you need to make sure that there is nothing in the history of the disease that could cause complications during or after the procedure.
Specialty: infectious diseases specialist, gastroenterologist, pulmonologist.
Total experience: 35 years.
Education: 1975-1982, 1MMI, San gig, high qualification, infectious diseases doctor.
Science degree: doctor of the highest category, PhD.
- Infectious diseases.
- Parasitic diseases.
- Emergency conditions.