Apple pectin can be used to remove unwanted metals and toxins, lower cholesterol30 and to help reduce the side effects of radiation therapy. In fact, it was used after Chernobyl to pull radioactive waste from victims.31 Apple pectin also helps to break down the build-up of mucus and binds to various toxic metals such as mercury,32 lead, etc. And apple pectin is also another good source of soluble fiber. It has the ability to form a gel that can bind water and toxins together, thus also bulking the stool and carrying the toxins out of the body.

Each of these is unique, and each requires a different protocol. And they have nothing in common with "detox shampoos" and "detox water," which are, in fact, nonsensical. Then again, can't this same criticism be leveled at the medical community? Consider the term "evidence based medicine," which the medical community loves to claim as its defining principle. Hasn't it too been rendered largely meaningless considering that, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, only 11% of physicians actually rely on evidenced based medicine for all their treatments?1 It would seem that the medical critics of detoxing are not familiar with John 8:7, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Your intestinal tract is the source of all nutrient access to your body. If it isn't working properly, you have two major problems. First, you have a hard time digesting food--breaking it down sufficiently so that your body can use it. And then, even if you can digest it properly, if the intestinal wall is covered with hardened mucous and/or colonies of hostile bacteria, you'll end up absorbing only a fraction of the nutritional value of the food you eat. Natural Colon Cleansing: Is It Necessary?
A typical colon cleanse involves dietary modification and the use of an herbal supplement. Most cleanse plans last 10 or more days. During the cleanse, a dieter eats small amounts of fruits and vegetables and avoids all processed foods. Taking psyllium husk or bentonite clay helps you move waste through your colon, increasing the frequency of your bowel movements.
The real solution to this lies in your microbiome – the colonies of healthy bacteria that protect your health. These good bacteria in your intestines produce neurotransmitters you can use to optimize your digestion and your moods. There are trillions of bacterial cells in your microbiome, but only billions of cells that make up your body. You are outnumbered by the bacteria and other microorganisms that live inside you.

If you’re giving us a dirty look and recalling how your jeans magically did up when you had gastro, consider this: even producing four to six litres of diarrhoea soon after eating only reduced calories absorbed by around 12 per cent in a study of young women published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Within hours the energy from your Campari and gyros has been distributed to temporary storage points and the only way to delete it is to use it up. Days after the fact you’ve got no hope – even with a blinged up bidet.
The colon performs many essential functions; it doesn’t only aid in the elimination of stool but also extracts salt and water from waste before excreting it, maintains pH and fights against harmful bacteria. The malfunctioning of the colon can cause serious health implications such as skin allergies, gallbladder stones, heart diseases, etc. Many have found that performing a colon cleanse is an easy preventative to avoid colon problems in the future.
If you don’t have the time to follow the steps of colon cleansers that we have laid out for you, there are other options available on the market today. Colon cleansers come in a variety of different forms, including laxatives, high colonics, enemas, and pills. The way that they work is by helping your body to eliminate the harmful toxins that may have begun to build within your digestive tract. The idea behind regularly cleansing your colon is that it will assist your body in getting rid of all the unnecessary accumulated waste that has begun to build up over time. When slow foods stay within your digestive tract for a certain amount of time, your colon will begin to secrete mucous that literally keeps the toxins trapped within your system, along with clumps of undigested matter that can physically weigh you down.
If you want to get more scientific, broccoli and similar vegetables contain a compound known as indole glucosinolates. The stomach digests the compound and converts it into indolocarbazole (ICZ). In turn, ICZ activates the stomach’s hydrocarbon receptors (AHR). The AHR resides in your intestines and regulates gut barrier function and removes environmental contaminants.
Colonics do work to flush loose waste and sediment from rectum and large intestine, but they have several drawbacks. They can actually weaken bowel muscles over time. Colonics don't draw toxins from bowel pockets or from tissue. They do, however, flush all bacteria out--the good as well as the bad. Colonics can also disrupt natural pH (acid/alkaline) balance) in the large intestine. Finally, depending on the skill of your therapist, you run the risk (low) that some water retained in the equipment from another patient's previous use may be injected into your colon. Yech! Should You Clean Out Your Colon?
There are lots of herbal supplements on the market that can be used to support a gut cleanse, but there are also great 'everyday' herbs you can add to your food that will help support cleansing of the gut. Try fennel seeds, which aid in elimination of mucus buildup and relieves gas. Peppermint is soothing for any digestive upset and helps alleviate bloating. Oregano has both anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. If you suspect you may have an overgrowth of yeast or fungus (a common issue!) it's important to address it by including some herbs to your gut-cleansing plan.
Note: herbal laxatives can cause temporary staining of the lining of the large intestine, a condition doctors have labeled melanosis coli -- which produces no other symptoms or problems and goes away in time. At one time, doctors used to freak out when they saw it during a colonoscopy. Now, since so many people use herbal laxatives, they don't even mention it when they see it.
Psyllium seeds and husks are rich in soluble fiber and have long been used to ease constipation and digestive system upset. As the University of Maryland Medical Center says, "Many well designed studies have shown that psyllium relieves constipation. When combined with water, it swells and produces more bulk, which stimulates the intestines to contract and helps speed the passage of stool through the digestive tract. Psyllium is widely used as a laxative in Asia, Europe, and North America."26 Studies show that in addition to increasing stool weight, supplementing with psyllium seed husk produces stools that are slick and gelatinous. Psyllium is unique in contrast with other viscous fibers. It is resistant to fermentation, whereas other soluble fibers tend to ferment in the colon. That's a significant advantage. Researchers also observed that psyllium seed gel provides lubrication that facilitates the propulsion of colon contents and produces a stool that is bulkier and moister than are stools produced when using comparable amounts of other bowel-regulating fiber sources. The bottom line is that studies have shown that an unfermented gel component of psyllium seed husk promotes laxation as a lubricant in humans.27 
If you are struggling to lose weight I’d also recommend a cleanse. The latest research suggests that an unbalanced and unhealthy gut microbiome, caused by a poor diet and overuse of antibiotics, produces toxins called lipopolysaccharides (LPS), triggering inflammation and insulin resistance, which then promotes weight gain. We often we focus on kilojoules for weight loss, but the truth is, without a healthy gut, weight loss can be a battle.
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Montmorillonite clay is medicinal powdered clay derived from deposits of weathered volcanic ash. It is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents known, capable of absorbing up to 40 times its weight in fecal matter. It is also capable of absorbing a wide variety of toxins in the intestinal tract. Technically, the clay first adsorbs toxins (heavy metals, free radicals, and pesticides), attracting them to its extensive surface area where they adhere like flies to sticky paper. Then it absorbs the toxins, taking them in the way a sponge mops up a kitchen counter mess. According to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, montmorillonite can absorb pathogenic viruses, aflatoxin (a mold), and pesticides and herbicides including Paraquat and Roundup.33 The clay is eventually eliminated from the body through the colon with the toxins bound to its multiple surfaces.
The colon plays a vital role in how your body processes food. As your digestive system breaks down the food you eat, it enters into the colon in a mostly liquid state. The colon performs two significant roles at this stage of the digestive process. First, bacteria in your colon break down the food further. Second, it absorbs additional nutrients and liquid. Leftover food waste is then turned into feces and stored in the descending colon until it is ready to be expelled from the body.[2]
Fruits and berries provide water, fiber, and antioxidants. Apples, bananas, and strawberries are a great place to start, and you may already have them at home. Each of these can provide a significant portion of your daily fiber needs. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are also a great digestive aid and give you a vitamin C boost. Dried fruits like prunes and cranberries can also be beneficial for your colon and act as natural laxatives.
Apple cider vinegar has antioxidant and antibiotic properties that are quite beneficial for a healthy gut and colon (11). The antibiotic property of apple cider vinegar is due to the presence of a bacterium called acetobacter in it, which aids digestion and proper functioning of your gut. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar increases the acid level in your stomach, eliminates toxins, and helps you lose weight (12).
The information provided on this website is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed practitioner or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Alive Publishing Group Inc., its affiliates, or parent company. Different views may appear in future articles or publications. Information on alive.com is copyrighted and must not be reprinted, duplicated, or transmitted without permission.

It should be noted that the medical community probably has more trouble with the concept of detoxing than with any other aspect of alternative health and is frequently attacking it. Back in 2009, for example, a report by Voice of Young Science blasted detoxing and found it to be largely nonsense. But in fact, as I explained at the time, the report, was itself largely nonsense. The researchers chose the widest definition possible for detoxing including detox shampoos and spa therapies in their analysis, and they used very little science to back their claims--mostly personal opinion. The one valid point they did make is that the word "detox" has become so widely used that it has lost much of its meaning. That is true, and that's why I always clarify what kind of detoxing I'm referring to such as: Comparison of colon-cleansing methods in preparation for colonoscopy
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