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Are Colon Cleanses Safe?

A colon cleanse is a temporary measure for promoting the cleaning of a vital organ in the body—the colon. A colon cleanse can be used to promote detoxification, regular bowel movements, and overall health. Whenever a person makes a choice to take a supplement to aid the body in some way, it’s important to be informed as to the safety of the supplements.

Methods for Colon Cleansing

There are a variety of methods for carrying out a colon cleanse, and the majority of these are safe. Some methods, however, use harsh, stimulant chemicals and herbs that are harmful to the body. Regardless of the supplement or method, it is wise to remember no colon cleanse should be taken indefinitely, as the goal is to support the body’s natural healing ability and to allow regular bowel movements to form and move out of the body naturally. The point is to enable to body to heal itself and run on its own. Colon cleanses are not meant to be taken for years at a time, but should be used periodically (ideally one to two times per year) as a means of cleansing and healing.

Most colon cleanses are safe to use, but a small amount of risk exists. Whenever a foreign substance is consumed, it is good to remember there may be side effects. However, there are colon cleanses safe to use in comparison to others. In contrast, there are colon cleanses that are not safe at all and are actually dangerous to take even once.

Ingredients of a Colon Cleanse

Are colon cleanses safe all the time? The ingredients of a colon cleanse and the actions these substances carry out are the determining factors in how safe or unsafe a colon cleanse will be. If a colon cleanse contains herbs, that may sound “natural” but doesn’t necessarily make it a safe cleanser. Some herbs are extremely powerful and dangerous. Habitually using certain cleansing methods is also a dangerous idea, as it may be safe for a few days, but becomes dangerous after prolonged use.

Most colon cleansers containing natural fiber nutrients like oat brain, ground flax seeds, or prune juice are generally safe as these are naturally occurring ingredients found in foods. These fiber nutrients work by bulking up a person’s stool (by absorbing water in the intestines) and serving as roughage to push the stool out more easily and efficiently.

The biggest risk with these cleanses lies in using them all the time. It is a good idea to use them periodically or when occasional constipation occurs, to help remain regular, but as with most cleanses, it is a good idea to not become dependent on them. Oxy-Powder® is another example of a safe and natural colon cleanser using naturally occurring Magnesium allows the body to eliminate waste. The body will not become dependent on these, and it does not use harsh chemicals or stimulants, making it a safe alternative to laxatives.

Dangerous Colon Cleansers

Some colon cleansers are dangerous and should never be used because they are dangerous to a person’s long-term health and ability to function independently of laxatives. Cleanses containing empty, synthetic fillers or harsh chemical laxatives should not be used because they can permanently damage the nerves and muscles in the intestines. When this happens, the body becomes unable to pass a bowel movement without the help of an enema or other extreme measure. This is not natural and it can impair a person’s overall health and ability to operate independently.

Such stimulating laxatives irritate the lining of the colon to force it to initiate movement of the muscles. This peristaltic action removes the irritating substance and expels any waste present in the colon. Over time, this artificial stimulation can degrade the muscle’s natural strength and ability to operate. Herbs like senna can actually create a situation in a person’s body where the intestines can no longer absorb water, thereby dehydrating the body and risking electrolyte imbalance. Either of these conditions alone can be dangerous, but together they can create serious health consequences. Other substances to avoid include kava kava or any synthetic ingredients with unrecognizable names.

Repeated enemas are another type of colon cleanse that can be dangerous unless performed infrequently and under the supervision of a professional healthcare practitioner. If an enema is relied upon to initiate a daily bowel movement, an unsafe habit is already being formed. An enema’s fluids may also contain unhealthful preservatives and the repeated force of the enema can harm the rectal and colon tissues and nerve endings.

The long-term effects of colon cleanses should be positive when natural, safe methods are used and they are carried out only periodically while accompanied by an organic diet and active lifestyle. It would appear the answer to the question “are colon cleanses safe?” is relative to the person and type of supplement used. Use your best judgment and avoid any product that seems to do more harm than good. Find the product that’s right for you to help maintain your colon’s normal functioning.

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