An internet search of the term, colon cleansing, resulted in pages of site listings for colon cleansing capsules, herbal formulas and even one product which boasts the benefits of using oxygen. The proponents of these products claim health benefits from the detoxification of the colon, such as increased energy, curing asthma and arthritis and overall better health. Scientific and medical evidence refutes these claims.
The digestive system naturally eliminates waste and bacteria from the body. Colon cleansing is only prescribed by a physician as a preparation for a medical procedure such as a colonoscopy. In any other circumstance, colon cleansing is unnecessary, and is never recommended for detoxification and it may even be harmful.
One method of colon cleansing involves irrigating the entire colon by means of water and sometimes with the addition of herbs or enzymes. The risk of damage to the rectum or rarely perforation can result from improper insertion of the enema tubing. Improperly sterilized equipment can cause a serious infection.
Some colon cleansing products contain bentonite clay, psyllium husks, flaxseeds, senna and cascara sagrada. Senna and cascara sagrada are strong laxative agents which are derived from herbs. The promoters of this type of product claim that bentonite clay absorbs toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. Bentonite clay is used to make cement and cat litter. The manufacturers of this type of colon cleansing product add psyllium husks to prevent the clay from adhering to the walls of the intestines. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not regulate herbs and supplements.
One product supposedly introduces mono-atomic oxygen to the large intestines and thus liquefies the waste products. The consumer is directed to take four capsules with an eight ounce glass of water at bedtime. If the consumer does not experience three to five bowel movements the following day, the dose should be increased by two more capsules. This dosage should be repeated until three to five bowel movements are achieved. According to the package label of this product (Oxy-Powder), the user can continue this regime for seven consecutive days.