The colon cleanse has been used throughout history to improve the body’s natural detoxification processes, restore digestive health and improve someone’s overall quality of life. In fact, the use of water to cleanse tissue throughout the colon, called “colon lavage,” has been practiced since as early as 1500 B.C. in ancient Egypt.
The colon is the longest part of the large intestine, which is attached to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The role of the colon is to eliminate stool from the body that’s made up of a combination of bacteria, water, unused nutrients, unneeded electrolytes and digested food. (2)
There are many different methods for performing a colon cleanse, which sometimes go under the names colonic, colonic irrigation, colon therapy or colonic hydrotherapy. You can also effectively flush the colon doing something like a juice fast, salt water flush or performing an enema. Colon cleanses are split into two main categories: one type requires that a professional perform the cleanse, while the other involves using a solution or supplement at home.
One of the most common reasons someone would have a colonic done by a professional is because he or she is preparing for surgery or a medical procedure (such as colonoscopy) that requires the colon to be completely clear from accumulated waste. On the other hand, cleansing is commonly done at home using an enema, laxatives or herbal supplements (like senna) to relieve constipation, bloating and other digestive symptoms.
Many colon cleanses work by inserting a tube into the rectum followed by large amounts of water, which makes its way through the colon. The water carries out any matter that might be dry and lodged in place. The exact amount of water or other type of liquid that’s used depends on the specific type of colon-cleansing method. Colonics, for example, can use up to 16 gallons (about 60 liters) of water at one time