Looking for a natural colon cleanse? A good question to ask is are natural colon cleanses safe. These days many more people are preferring natural & organic products over synthetic or prescription with good reason, but does being "natural" automatically mean that it is safe to take?
Let's take a close look at three popular ingredients in many herbal natural colon cleanse products
- Psyllium Husks - One of the most regularly used ingredients in herbal colon cleansers a more so in over the counter laxatives. Psyllium has been cited in many reports for causing allergic reactions in users. Common reactions include skin irritations (hives), laboured breathing and more seriously anaphylaxis (Throat constriction). Obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract (constipation) has been included in many studies on regular users of psyllium husk, which is rather ironic as it is usually taken to clear the bowels. Vitamin and mineral absorption can also be affected with long term use.
- Cascara Sagrada - Also known as Buckthorn bark and disguised in some natural colon cleanse products as part of a "propriety blend". This herb and its derivatives were banned by the FDA in 2002 due to lack of supporting evidence that it was either safe or effective. This ban however failed to include dietary supplements under which banner colon cleansers fall. Today this herb is a main component of many herbal cleansers.
- Senna - Which comes from a flowering tropical plant, another popular ingredient in many diet and cleansing products, has been the subject of many consumer complaints from as far back as 1987. Both Cascara and Senna are Anthraquinones (natural compounds found in plants & some insects). Anthraquinones are also used as dyes in the clothing industry. In laxative products they work by irritating the intestinal bacteria causing contractions. The most common side effects include severe abdominal cramping, vomiting, diarrhoea and brownish urine. They also tend to strip away good intestinal bacteria leading to other possible health issues.
To answer the original question, are all natural colon cleanses safe? Herbs are about as natural as you can get, but the majority consumers are unaware of potential risks and are blinded by high budget advertising campaigns pushing the "Natural" or "Herbal" angle. In truth many herbs and herbal colon cleansers can be potentially dangerous. It is advisable to thoroughly research any colon cleansing product before trying, whether to relieve constipation symptoms or to improve your general health.
A preferred alternative would be a non-herbal cleansing product which does not force bowel movements as do chemical laxatives, herbal colon cleansers and drug based enemas. An oxygen-based cleanser is much gentler on the whole digestive tract. It converts solid compacted waste in the bowels (that may have been there for years slowly poisoning your body) into a liquid or gas thoroughly cleaning the bowels and making it impossible for a blockage to occur.