10 Natural Remedies for Colon Cleansing

Medically Reviewed on 12/15/2022
There are several ways to do colon cleansing at home.
There are several ways to do colon cleansing at home, such as the following 10 home remedies.
  1. Water flush: Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is the simplest way to regulate digestion. Drinking six to eight glasses of lukewarm water per day is recommended for colon cleansing. Additionally, eating fresh fruits and vegetables high in water content like watermelon and tomatoes would be helpful.
  2. Saltwater flush: Mixing two teaspoons of sea salt or pink salt with lukewarm water and drinking it on an empty stomach is helpful. It stimulates colon movements within a few minutes. This may be done twice a day.
  3. High-fiber dietFiber is an essential nutrient present in whole, healthy plant foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and more. Fibers help bulk up excess matter in the colon. They can regulate constipation and overactive bowels. They also boost helpful bacteria.
  4. Lemon water and honey: Mix fresh lemon juice, one teaspoon of honey, and a pinch of salt with warm water and drink on an empty stomach in the morning.   
  5. Juices and smoothies: These include fruit and vegetable juice fasts and cleanses. Juices made of apples, lemons, and aloe vera help in colon cleansing. They also contain nutrients that are beneficial to the body.
  6. ProbioticsProbiotics help to cleanse the colon and boost good bacteria in the gut. Foods like yogurt, pickles, apple cider vinegar, and other fermented foods are considered to be good probiotics.
  7. Herbal teas: Trying some herbal teas may assist digestive health via the colon. Laxative herbs like psyllium, aloe vera, and marshmallow root may help with constipation
  8. Ginger: Ginger stimulates digestion. It can be added to other juices, tea, or eaten directly. One teaspoon of ginger juice and honey can be mixed with one cup of warm water. This can be consumed once or twice a day. 
  9. Fish oil: Fish oils may be taken as supplements as well. They contain omega-3 fatty acids which are effective for colon cleansing.
  10. Fasting: Not eating anything is a method of colon cleansing. It helps the kidneys and liver eliminate harmful toxins from the body. Drinking water, fresh vegetable juices, or fresh fruit juices while fasting can help.

Why do a colon cleanse? 4 Possible health benefits

A colon cleanse is the act of flushing out or cleaning the large intestine. They may be performed by professionals called colonic hygienists. 

Despite insufficient research to support its benefits,  the goal of colon cleansing is to clear the colon of any stagnant, supposedly toxic waste encrusted on the walls of the large intestine.

4 Possible benefits of a colon cleanse

It may also be performed at home by taking certain oral substances.

What is colon cleansing?

Colon cleansing dates back to ancient times. It's recently become popular. But is it safe for you?

Your colon is also known as your large intestine or large bowel. Part of your digestive system breaks down food and moves waste to your rectum.

Colon cleansing is usually done to prepare for medical procedures such as a colonoscopy. But some alternative medicine practitioners say that colon cleansing can detoxify your body.

  • Colon cleansing can be done using colon-cleansing products or colonic irrigation (colonic hydrotherapy).
  • In colonic irrigation, up to 60 liters of fluid is pumped through your rectum via a tube. This is repeated several times. This is not like an enema, which runs a much smaller amount of fluid one time into your colon.
  • A colon cleanse is also not the same as a colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, your doctor examines your colon to check for abnormalities, and screens for colon cancer. A long, flexible tube called a colonoscope is inserted into your rectum. This contains a tiny camera so your doctor can see the inside of your colon.


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Are colon cleansers safe?

Experts say there's little scientific research to show that colon cleansers actually work or are safe.
Experts say there's little scientific research to show that colon cleansers work or are safe.

Colon cleansing products are less invasive than colonic irrigation. But even these colon cleansers are not safe.

They may have side effects such as:

The FDA and Federal Trade Commission say that some colon cleansers are not safe for you. They have taken action against some companies selling cleansing and detox products. Some products have potentially harmful or illegal ingredients. Other products were marketed with false claims to cure serious diseases.

Colonic irrigation involves even more risks. If equipment isn’t sterilized properly, infections can pass from patient to patient.

Other risks and side effects include:

Some herbs used in colon cleanses have also been linked to liver toxicity and aplastic anemia.

There have also been case reports of serious complications such as:

  • Air bubbles in artery or vein (air emboli)
  • Inflammation of the colon's inner lining ( colitis)
  • Pus-filled mass in your pelvis
  • Tears in the rectum
  • Deaths due to amebiasis, an infection of the intestines caused by a parasite

The FDA hasn’t approved any devices for non-medical colon cleansing. It also doesn’t regulate additives used for colon cleansing.

Colon cleansing is riskier in people with a history of:

How your body naturally detoxifies itself

Toxins can get into your body when you breathe, eat, drink, or through your skin. Toxins are also made in your body during metabolism.

These toxins are transformed and removed from your body when you:

  • Sweat
  • Urinate
  • Defecate (pass stools)
  • Breathe

Also, not all bacteria are bad. Your gastrointestinal system needs beneficial bacteria for digestion. Colon cleansing can disturb the balance of good bacteria and cause more problems down the road.

Precautions to take during colon cleansing

If you’re still interested in doing a colon cleanse, talk to your doctor about it. This is important if you have any health conditions or take medications.

Here are other precautions to take before a colon cleanse:

  • Know what herbs and additives are used.
  • Drink water before and after.
  • If you’re doing colonic hydrotherapy, make sure your practitioner uses disposable equipment.
  • Consider improving your colon health naturally instead

How to improve your colon health

Try these ways to improve your colon health instead:

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Eat five to nine servings of vegetables and fruit every day
  3. Eat a high-fiber diet to keep your bowels regular
  4. Eat berries, garlic, onions, leeks, green tea, and cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
  5. Avoid red meat.
  6. Eat naturally fermented foods to boost your gut health. These include kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.
  7. Exercise regularly
  8. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Tobacco and alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer.
  9. Get regular colonoscopies to identify and remove any precancerous polyps if you are at risk for colon cancer or are over 50 years old.


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Medically Reviewed on 12/15/2022
Medscape Medical Reference

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; "What's the Deal with Detox Diets?"

American College of Gastroenterology: "Colonoscopy."

American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons: "The Colon: What it is, What it Does and Why it is Important."

The Journal of Family Practice: "The dangers of colon cleansing."

The Journal of Lancaster General Hospital: "Colon Cleansing: Medical Breakthrough or Myth?"

Keck Medicine of USC: "Is Colon Cleansing Dangerous?"

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Detoxes and Cleanses: What You Need To Know."