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Colonotherapy gained significant popularity in recent years as a method of detoxifying the body. The benefits of this alternative medical technique are, however, not scientifically proven.

Despite remarkable progress of modern medicine, many serious conditions still cannot be treated on a satisfactory level. This is probably the reason behind the growing popularity of alternative medicine.

Alternative medicine is a very general term.

Usually this is simply a reference to treatments that are not officially approved.

They can vary from some very exotic and questionable approaches to rather traditional methods whose effectiveness is still not very well studied. One of the latter methods recently gaining public recognition is colonotherapy.

What is colonotherapy?

Colonotherapy is also known as colon cleansing or colon irrigation.

Colon receives the undigested food residues from the small intestine and pushes them to the rectum. In the course of this process, colon reabsorbs water, minerals and other important materials. It also provides a platform for bacterial fermentation of the unabsorbed food. It is assumed that not all waste matters are cleared from the large intestine, and they get attached to the colon wall, putrefy and cause various health problems. Colonotherapy aims to help in getting rid of these health-damaging wastes.

Colonotherapy is the procedure which removes fecal matters and nonspecific toxins from the colon, as well as from the intestinal tract.

Colon cleansing takes the advantage of technique called colon hydrotherapy where large amount of water (4-6 liter) is injected inside the colon by tubes through the rectum to clean out the tract.

Water used for such cleansing is sometimes mixed with fruit juices, herbs, enzymes, laxatives or other dietary supplements that help in better removal of the fecal remains from the gut. The alternative method for colon cleansing is the use of oral supplements like foods rich in alkaline contents. Administration of these oral supplements either in solid or liquid form forces the colon to expel its residual wastes.

Many health practitioners consider colonotherapy beneficial

Usefulness of colonotherapy is based on the theory of auto-intoxication.

The concept arose in ancient Egypt and Greece where the physicians thought that not all food residues entering the colon would come out from the body as feces. Modern fast busy life style forces many people to adopt unhealthy food habits and consume lots of junk food. These junk foods are considered to be rich in acids that cause various health problems as well as poor colon function in terms of waste clearance.  As a result, colon gets burdened day by day with the toxin producing matters which cause health problems like headache, fatigue, malaise, energy loss, weight gain or loss, irritable bowel syndrome, bowel bloating etc.

Based on this concept, some clinicians suggest that colon cleansing can help to eliminate the wastes accumulated in the gut thus giving the body a relief and improving the function of digestive tract. Claimed benefits of colonotherapy also include the strengthening of immune system and reducing the probability of developing the colon cancer.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • Sharara AI and Abou Mrad RR. (Sep 2013) The modern bowel preparation in colonoscopy. Gastroenterol. Clin. North Am. 42: 577-598
  • Landreneau SW and Di Palma JA. (Aug 2013) Colon cleansing for colonoscopy 2013: current status. Curr. Gastroenterol. Rep. 15: 341
  • Occhipinti KE and Di Palma JA. (2009) How to choose the best preparation for colonoscopy. Nat. Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 6: 279-286
  • Mishori R, Otubu A and Jones AA. (2011) The dangers of colon cleansing. J. Fam. Pract. 60: 454-457
  • Horne S. (2006) Colon cleansing: a popular, but misunderstood natural therapy. J. Herb. Pharmacother. 6: 93-100.
  • Photo courtesy of Josh Wedin by Flickr :
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  • nrgastro/journal /v6/n5/full/nrgastro.2009.42.html
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  • /10.1007 % 2Fs 11894-013-0341-5

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