As there are many types of toppings for pizza, so are there many, many preferences for a colon cleanse. Some people like plain Jane, run-of-the-mill cheese-only pizza. Some like fishy, briny anchovy pizzas. Some like a farm’s worth of vegetables on their pizza. And some like pineapple on their pizza, but we don’t talk to them. But there are also many types of detox/cleansing methods that we can do to help us live healthier lives. We have to be careful, though, because some of the methods are better than others. You’re catching my drift with the pineapple thing…
Let’s talk about some colon cleansing methods to see which one you should or shouldn’t do. Even if it’s touted on a television show or featured on a website with an aptly-worded title, practice healthy skepticism.
Before you pursue any one method of detoxing, check here first because, well… You don’t want to be mid-enema and change your mind.
Types of Colon Cleansing
This list does not include home remedies that our moms would force us to do, like using castor oil. Those days are over. THANKFULLY.
Also known an “irrigation cleanse” or “high colonics,” hydrotherapy is a method that will require you to leave your house but take your wallet with you. A colon therapist will use a plastic hose in the rectum to softly flush out waste and determine the health of your colon mostly by assessing the color of the excreted feces. This procedure, while lasting only an hour, runs the risk of potential perforation in rectal tissue. Not only can the process be damaging, but the fix is not long-term: You would need to punctuate your schedule with frequent visits to the colon therapist, and that rectal ritual gets costly. There are better colon cleanse alternatives to hydrotherapy.
This category hosts the widest array of options: there’s plain ol’ fasting, fruit detoxing, various drink detoxing, fiber-filled diets and more. Diet-based colon cleansing is the most natural of methods, with the caveat that it’s going to be, for most people, one of the most demanding methods. Getting the right diet in this day and age is difficult. (Then again, there are more vegetarian restaurants in Portland, Oregon than anywhere else in the U.S. You might have an easier time up there.)
The easiest method here is seeking out a something that’s already in your food, albeit in lesser amounts: fiber. Commonly called a “bulking agent”, Fiber is often one of the first suggestions by a doctor for a colon cleanse. Fiber is a natural laxative, and it acts as a peristaltic agent that helps move contents in your colon to their porcelain demise.
The best sources of fiber as a whole will be grain foods, fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts. You can pack your lunches with oats, beans, and fruits for soluble fiber; and by adding wheat and earthier vegetables like carrots or cucumbers you’ll get insoluble fiber. Regardless of the digestive method, it is a healthy way to help you cleanse your colon.
An herbal cleanse, may it be under the alias herbal detox cleanse, herbal colon cleanse, colon cleanse supplement, etc., is the act of using naturally formulated pills packed with natural colon cleansing agents to achieve your detox. Some of the popular ingredients you’ll find in these supplements are Cascara Sagrada, Senna, Dandelion, Artichoke, Fennel, and Milk Thistle; and, for gentler formulas, alleviating agents such as Aloe Vera.
The biggest perk about this colon cleansing method is that it’s safe, natural, effective, and can be adjusted to the doses that work best for both your body and your wallet. Vis-a-vis detox methods that must be performed on a schedule, herbal detox supplements allow your colon to be under the auspices of your will: you control your colon health, and your body doesn’t have to be invaded by a tool.
Laxatives, also known as purgatives or aperients, both induce bowel movements and soften the stool, but they are notably artificial and may evoke the imagery of a fire hose. As a colon cleanser, laxatives are less a solution to colon health and more an ad hoc fix. Because laxatives generally use chemicals to flush out the colon, they are often associated with unforeseen and deleterious effects when used without proper caution. This has caused the FDA to publicly warn consumers of taking over-the-counter laxatives because of the number of people who aren’t reading the Drug Facts labels, which can result in some pretty dangerous consequences.
Enemas do deserve a mention, but they are not in the same category as methods above. Because they are not performed on a frequent basis and are rather invasive, we don’t consider them a substitute for a detox supplement, for example. Enemas, for some reason not called outemas, involve the placement of water deep within your colon that it may take gravity’s ride back out and flush out the build-up in your colon. Since the tool used for an enema colon cleanse is cheap and accessible, many people use this method as an at-home remedy. The price may be compelling, but I guarantee you the experience isn’t.
Our recommended method
We recommend a mix of two methods for a colon cleanse: a healthy and varied diet consisting of fiber from different food sources, and herbal supplements.
It is always vital to make healthy decisions when it comes to your health, but sometimes it gets difficult and we miss the dietary mark. Using herbal supplements help you “supplement” your efforts and cleanse your colon from both sides… figuratively.
If you’re scared of the invasive methods, don’t worry: You can try a gentler solution today.