On any matter relating to your health or well-being, please check with an appropriate health professional. No statement herein is to be construed as a diagnosis, treatment, preventative, or cure for any disease, disorder or abnormal physical state. The statements herein have not been evaluated by the Foods and Drugs Administration or Health Canada. Dr. Marchione and the doctors on the Bel Marra Health Editorial Team are compensated by Bel Marra Health for their work in creating content, consulting along with formulating and endorsing products.
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.
Colon-cleansing enthusiasts believe that periodically cleaning from the inside out removes waste stuck to the colon walls. This waste buildup also supposedly produces toxins that enter the blood and may be slowly poisoning people, contributing to a variety of symptoms — fatigue, bloating, irritated skin and weight gain — and health problems, from depression and allergies to arthritis and cancer.
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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.
Piper also suggests snacking on grapes and watermelon throughout the day: "Grapes are great lymphatic cleansers, free radical eliminators, and aid in the removal of heavy metal toxicity, while watermelon hydrates and cleanses the cells, is abundant in vitamin C, a great antioxidant, and aids with preventing breast, prostate, lung, colon, and endometrial cancers."
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?
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Our bodies, including our digestive system, slow down in the evening hours as they prepare to rest and rejuvenate. When we put food into our stomachs late in the evening, there are fewer digestive enzymes available to facilitate proper digestion. This can result in undigested food sitting in your stomach for long periods of time, which can result in a disturbed sleep.
The colon is an intricate part of the large intestine. Also called the large bowel, your large intestine connects the small intestine to the anus. The four major components of the large intestine are the cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. The colon is tubular shaped and connects the cecum to the rectum. It has several layers of muscle and fat with a mucous membrane as its inner lining. The “U” shaped colon subdivides into four sections—the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon. On average, the colon is around five feet long in adults and takes up the majority of space inside the abdominal cavity.
These fibrous and bright plants are great for sweeping clean the gut. They are also full of minerals and antioxidants that can help our body protect itself from the toxins we get exposed to. Keep in mind that if you have a lot of digestive issues it might be best to eat cooked vegetables, as these are easier to digest. Try simple soups, sautéing your greens or steaming them. Always add some healthy fat (butter, olive oil or avocado) and acid (lemon juice or vinegar) to support proper absorption of the vitamins in the greens.
If you are experiencing “brain fog,” depression, anxiety, or mood swings, it could be all in your gut. Up to 95 percent of your body’s neurotransmitters like serotonin are made – and used – in your gut. When you eat processed foods, your body has to use its own nutrient stores just to break that food down, so it causes a net loss in nutrients, with no gain. This process uses up magnesium and potassium, 2 very important nutrients that help your food move through your digestive system. The end results are constipation and nutrient deficiencies.
Licorice root stimulates the production of digestive fluids and bile, soothes ulcers, helps reduce intestinal inflammation, and supports the healthy function of the kidneys, liver and bladder. Its action in soothing ulcers is unique. Rather than inhibiting the release of acid, licorice stimulates the normal defense mechanisms that prevent ulcer formation in the first place. Specifically, licorice improves both the quality and quantity of the protective substances that line the intestinal tract; increases the life span of intestinal cells; and improves blood supply to the intestinal lining.40
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.
Do not use if safety seal is broken. Do not exceed recommended daily intake. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Not intended for use by persons under 18 years of age. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. This product is not intended to be used without breaks. Cascara sagrada belongs to a family of plants containing compounds with laxative effects. With long-term use without breaks, this ingredient may interfere with diagnostic imaging procedures of the colon. Taking a break of 30 or more days between use cycles will help maintain natural regularity. Not intended for long-term use.,
As for exorcising dietary demons, any ‘evidence’ is likely to be psychosomatic. The head of Flinders University’s department of human physiology, Professor Simon Brookes, doesn’t dispute that some patients do feel lighter, or cleansed after a good ol’ rinse, but he pins it on a placebo effect. “…there is absolutely no medical evidence that it carries any benefits at all,” says Prof Brookes.
The high chlorophyll content of green foods (such as alfalfa, wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina, blue-green algae) makes them ideal for colon cleansing. In addition to cleansing, chlorophyll soothes and heals damaged tissue in the digestive tract. It helps the body to obtain more oxygen and draws out toxins. For this reason, chlorophyll is called “the internal deodorant.”
Processed foods typically contain a long list of additives and chemicals used to prolong shelf life and add texture or flavor. Avoid these whenever possible. Increasingly, additives, like emulsifiers, in processed foods have been linked to colon cancer and can cause constipation. The best way to avoid these additives, and other harmful chemicals, is buying certified organic foods that are raw or minimally processed.
Dr. Jensen also described the problem associated with mucoid plaque (thickened intestinal mucus) as: "The heavy mucus coating in the colon thickens and becomes a host of putrefaction. The blood capillaries to the colon begin to pick up the toxins, poisons and noxious debris as it seeps through the bowel wall. All tissues and organs of the body are now taking on toxic substances. Here is the beginning of true autointoxication on a physiological level."
During a colon cleanse, large amounts of water — sometimes up to 16 gallons (about 60 liters) — and possibly other substances, such as herbs or coffee, are flushed through the colon. This is done using a tube that's inserted into the rectum. In some cases, smaller amounts of water are used and are left to sit in the colon for a short time before being removed.