While there are many products of various effectiveness claiming to clean your colon, there are actually 7 safe natural ways to “cleanse” or boost your colon health at home.
A quick reminder: You don’t need to do colon cleanses every day, and too many colons cleanses can have health risks if done too often.
Juices and smoothies
A very popular colon cleanser, these fruit and vegetable juice fasts have been all the rage in the digestive health community. But the research is inconclusive on how effective these cleanses are and has actually documented far more risks than rewards from these extreme juice cleanses.
Even so, supplementing your diet with juices high in vitamins and fiber can be good for you, and aid your digestion. Just don’t go too crazy with them!
The Water flush
A great way to boost your colon is to stay hydrated. Practitioners of water flushes usually drink six to eight glasses of room temperature water per day. They also supplement their water intake by eating foods high in water content such as watermelons, tomatoes, and celery.
The Saltwater flush
In 2010, a study was released showing that saltwater, when paired with certain yoga poses, offers some colon constipation relief. To try this out, simply mix 2 teaspoons of salt (Very Important!) with the first glass of water you drink before eating. Himalayan or Sea Salt is preferred.
When you drink this water on an empty stomach, in a few minutes you’ll probably feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom! Just make sure you stay at home while trying this and be ready for multiple trips to the bathroom.
There are numerous studies showing how important fiber is for a healthy diet and still people neglect it. If you find yourself constipated or having loose bowel movements, supplementing your diet with fruits, nuts, whole grains, and seeds can make your bowel movements softer, and more satisfying.
Fiber has been also proven to boost good bacteria in your body and is crucial to your gut microbiome.
More resistant starches
Resistant starches are similar to fiber and are found in foods like potatoes, rice, legumes, green bananas, and grains. These starches are crucial in maintaining healthy gut bacteria levels, and a 2013 review on resistant starches also found they reduce the risk of colon cancer.
However Resistant Starches are often high in carbohydrates, so if you need to avoid carbs, try whole grain rice, and waxy potatoes. By keeping your diet rich in these starches, your colon will thank you.
Adding probiotics to your diet is another way to cleanse the colon. A 2014 study reported that probiotic supplements helped with constipation. The great news is that you don’t need expensive supplements to get probiotics. There are plenty of delicious foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kimchi, pickles, and other fermented foods.
These foods and supplements, when paired with high fiber and resistant starch diet, can increase bowel regularity and decrease inflammation.
**Just a word on apple cider vinegar, while apple cider vinegar has proven to contain probiotics, the digestive health claims associated with apple cider vinegar have no documented evidence to back them up.
Herbal and Laxative teas
Some herbal teas may help digestive health and your colon. Laxative herbs such as psyllium, aloe vera, marshmallow root, and slippery elm may help with constipation but use sparingly to avoid negative side effects. Only drink a laxative tea once per day at most.
Herbal teas with ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper contain phytochemicals which are said to suppress bad bacteria growths, though more research is needed on these claims. Try a cup of these teas up to three times a day.
What should you know before trying a natural colon cleanse?
While most gentle natural colon cleanses are considered safe, if you are fasting or doing intense cleanses, there are risks you need to consider. For individuals with high blood pressure or dietary restrictions on salt, we recommend avoiding salt water flushes entirely.
If done to excess natural colon cleanses can cause:
- Electrolyte imbalances
If any of these symptoms occur, stop your cleanse immediately and see your doctor. These symptoms have the risk of leading to heart failure and digestive damage if the cleanse is continued.
Also talk to your doctor before making major changes to your diet for colon health. This includes eating significantly more fiber, resistant starches, juices, and smoothies. Some teas can interfere with your medication as well.
If you have any chronic illnesses, speak with your doctor before attempting any major diet change or colon cleanse.
In conclusion, colon cleanses can be helpful and safe when done with a gentle approach. Make sure you talk to your doctor in order to maximize your results and your health!