Wednesday, 12th August 2020

This Month's Magazine
Colonic Irrigation? What Quackery!

Colonic Irrigation? What Quackery!

Having seen an article on a daily paper about a woman who became terribly ill as a direct result of colonic irritation, I decided this needs exploring further.

by Edwin Gladstone

We had assumed that this type of treatment was beneficial, however it would seem that doctors have long argued that colon cleansing is money down the proverbial toilet and utterly useless as far as good health is concerned. It would seem that colon cleansing not only in unnecessary, but over time, it is also detrimental.

Ranit Mishori, a physician at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., was seeing too many patients sickened by colon cleansing. So she set out to see if any medical literature offered evidence to support the notion that flushing one’s colon with a mixture of herbs and water had any beneficial effect.

The answer? “There are no scientifically robust studies in support of this practice” Dr. Mishori and her colleagues wrote in the August 2011 issue of The Journal of Family Practice. Given no apparent benefit yet clear dangers from the procedure, Mishori and her co-authors recommend that doctors adamantly discourage their patients from trying colon cleansing, either from a home kit or at a spa.

The human body naturally removes waste material, and colon cleansing is not necessary except preparatory to a colonoscopy. Colon cleansing may disrupt the balance between bacteria and natural chemicals in the bowel, and may interfere with the colon’s ability to shed dead cells.


It seems that there are other complications that can arise from Colonic irrigation for example gastrointestinal perforation due to improper insertion, infection from poorly sterilised equipment, disruption of fluid and electrolyte balance leading to dehydration and salt depletion.

Repeated or excessive cleansing programs can lead to anaemia. Excessive use of enemas has also been associated with cardiac problems. The other danger is that the frequent use of enemas or other colon cleansing tools may lead to dependence and an inability to defecate without assistance.

There various other danger aspects to consider but perhaps we can conclude by what digestion expert Andrew L. Rubman, ND. Said “The truth is that colonic irrigation can be harmful, and the unscrupulous hucksters who regularly tout its virtues on the Internet are, by and large, out to make a fast buck.”

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