As the last part of the digestive system, the colon sometimes gets a bad reputation because its primary job is to transport waste. As undigested food particles exit the small intestine, they enter this organ, also called the large intestine, where most of the extra water is absorbed from food particles as they are transported to the rectum and out of the body. The gut flora, or bacteria, begin the process of breaking down this waste in order to most effectively eliminate it.
The colon has four main sections, each running a different direction, ascending, transverse, and descending which then connects with the sigmoid colon and the rectum which is the end of the digestive tract. Since its entire length is about 5 feet, it is important to pay attention and treat any warning signs of an unhealthy colon.
Maintaining Colon Health
While most people have occasional trouble with bowel movements or swelling after certain meals, when these problems occur more frequently, it can signify an underlying colon dysfunction. Symptoms like frequent diarrhea, straining with bowel movements, bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and any distinct and prolonged changes in stool appearance or formation are warnings of possible problems. There could be an imbalance in the natural bacteria or a buildup of old stool that prevents easy passage.
Proper diet is a big factor in colon health. This includes eating plenty of high-fiber foods, especially fruits and vegetables as well as drinking adequate amounts of water. General healthy habits like exercise and limiting intake of caffeine and alcohol also benefit the large intestine.
The Colon Cleanse
While the body has a natural system in place to regulate and clean the colon, sometimes it needs a little help which is where colon cleanses are useful. Most cleanses involve passing a large amount of fluid to rinse the intestinal walls. While this process has been used throughout history, it is usually considered an alternative medicine option unless in preparation for surgery, but many patients have found benefits from a cleanse.
Sometimes this is done by shooting water up from the rectum, sending fluid backwards through the digestive tract. Otherwise, the process is done with oral hydration and supplementation which is the mot popular method. Oral cleanses involve ingesting a specific regimen of herbs, vitamins, and minerals in order to clean the colon, balance bacteria, and contribute to weight loss. Ten effective cleansing products are described below.
Ten Best Colon Cleanses
Consisting of all natural ingredients, this product is geared toward people looking to clean out their colons in order to increase energy levels and boost weight loss. This supplement is useful for both men and women and results in improved regularity of bowel movements and decreased bloating.
Cascara Sagrada Bark
Usage Information: Each bottle of the Dr. Tobias cleanse includes 28 capsules which is enough for the recommended 14-day cleanse, taking 1 or 2 tablets per day along with extra water. The process can be repeated only about every 2 months.
This product is geared toward a total-body cleanse in order to increase the effectiveness of all bodily functions. Along with balancing colonic bacteria, benefits include healthier-looking skin and detoxification of the liver. Plus, there are a number of vitamins and minerals included to supplement the diet.
Roots including Dandelion and Yellow Dock
Seeds including Fennel and Anise
Usage Information: This Herbalist’s Best product is not a reboot program but is meant to be part of a daily regimen. A daily dose of 1 or 2 capsules is recommended but not appropriate for children, teens, or pregnant women.
Boasting noticeable weight loss and greater bowel regularity, an additional benefit to this cleanse is a freshened breath. These are called veggie capsules to emphasize their all-natural plant-based ingredients and are designed to improve kidney and liver functions as well.
Leaves of alfalfa and aloe vera
Roots of rhubarb and gentian plants
Usage Information: The Skinny Bean cleanse lasts 15 days taking 2 capsules with each the first and last meal of the day along with extra water throughout the day. Some people cannot handle 2 pills and should stick with a single pill twice a day.
Taking a two-pronged approach, this oral cleanse is geared toward optimizing the colon and digestive tract before a weight loss program. First, it works to push out all extra waste and clean the colon lining. Then, it includes specific ingredients that grow health gut flora and reduce overgrowth of unwanted bacteria.
Roots including licorice, buckthorn, and rhubarb
Usage Information: This is a 14-day cleanse that often takes a few days to start working but then provides quite intense results. The recommended dosage is 1 or 2 pills at the same time every day with plenty of water.
While a powerful formulation, this product aims to make the cleansing process as comfortable as possible. The bentonite clay works to leach toxins out of the colon and the pass them out of the body. The product then provides a comforting and rejuvenating treatment to the intestines.
Pro and prebiotics
Usage Information: The Potent Organics process is a bit longer at 30 days total with a daily dose of 1 or 2 tablets with breakfast and dinner along with at least 64 ounces of water daily. Cleanses should not be done back to back.
Temple Cleanse takes a different approach to cleaning the colon and improving digestive health by using simply magnesium instead of herbal supplements. This element both naturally causes a bowel movement and unlocks oxygen which softens stool leading to a gentler detox.
Usage Information: Temple Cleanse can be used on a daily basis or whenever needed. There are no dangerous effects from taking it regularly at a recommended starting dosage of 3 capsules with a glass of water on an empty stomach. This can be adjusted up or down based on individual need.
This product comes in a different form than most other oral colon cleaners consisting of different types of teas and herbs to both fight inflammation in the digestive tract, aid in the growth of healthy gut flora, and remove toxins from the body. This results in weight loss, increased metabolism, and even hunger suppression.
Usage Information: The formulation of Total Tea is designed not only for optimal health benefits but also for taste. One cup of tea a day for 7 to 10 days provides best results. This can be repeated as needed with a few-week break every 10 days but should not be used at all in pregnancy.
This product is another tea treatment geared toward women. It provides a gentle method of easing digestive problems and treating constipation. Plus, the tea helps suppress appetite and even improves conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
Usage Information: One 50 g package of Hey Girl Cleanse is recommended for a total cleanse, drinking one cup of tea nightly at bedtime for about 4 days and then switching to every-other-day dosing until gone. It can also be used periodically for a bad case of bloating or constipation as well as to relieve period symptoms.
The goal of Scientific Clean is to prime the colon for increased absorption of nutrients. The idea is that, by removing old stool, exposing the complete walls of the intestine, and boosting the healthy gut bacteria, more nutrients can enter the bloodstream. This leads to increased energy and a clearer head.
Usage Information: Prime Point works best when taken with a full glass of water at bedtime and at least 2 liters throughout the day. This is a 15-day cleanse and should not be immediately repeated.
This cleanse places more focus on detoxing the intestines as well as kidneys and liver but also includes ingredients that help promote bowel movements to remove waste buildup. The high levels of antioxidants in the acai berry, the main ingredient, also boost the immune response and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Usage Information: The Vital Acai Cleanse can be used by adults on a daily basis, taking no more than 4 per day. The usual recommended dose is just 2 capsules at night. As with other colon cleasers, staying well-hydrated is important, especially when taking this product long term.