How Do I Know If I Need A Colon Cleanse?

Think it's time you did a colon cleanse? Nobody likes the word colon, much less thinking about what might be going down in their own. But the truth is that it’s home to a whole bunch of good bacteria that do everything from aiding digestion to training the immune system. We blast the poor guys with alcohol, sugars, and medications. Then, if that wasn’t enough, there’s that lingering batch of bad bacteria that stuck around after the unfortunate Bali belly incident. You’re left with one completely confused colon. It becomes inflamed, sluggish, and we see IBS and leaky gut appear.

Is My Colon Congested And Do I Need To Cleanse It?

So what is a colon cleanse? It’s a low-reactive diet complemented by a selection of herbs that may help kill the bad bacteria, decrease the inflammation, increase digestive enzyme release, support gut repair, and help move along anything that might be a bit…stuck.

There are hundreds of colon cleanse products available on the market, most of which rely heavily on one of my most disliked herbs: senna. Senna is a herb that flushes out the colon, but with repeated use your system becomes reliant on it, and it usually leaves you in a worse place than when you started. It’s a lazy approach, and is essentially just another form of laxative abuse. I’m not down with that.

The same can be said for colonic irrigation and coffee enemas. They strip everything – good and bad – from the colon, leaving empty living space for anything to come and set up camp. If that ‘anything’ is a parasite or bad bacteria, then you’ll be in more trouble afterwards than you were before (“oh, you need to come in for regular enemas to maintain the effects,” they’ll say).

So what the sensible way to do a colon cleanse? Eliminate sugars and starches for three weeks, reduce animal protein, double your hydration, eat fermented foods daily, and get herbal. My favourites? Yellow dock as a gentler alternative to senna, dandelion root to stimulate bile flow and enzyme release, turmeric as the kind of anti-inflammatories, licorice to soothe the gut lining, peppermint and fennel to keep things moving, and garlic and wormwood to balance the bacteria situation.

About Reece

A self-confessed gym junkie, it was Reece's love of exercise and good nutrition that led him to his studies in natural medicine. Herbal medicine was...

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