Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Home Remedies for Cleansing the Colon

We all know that our bodies are constantly exposed to toxins that accumulate in our organs, preventing nutrients from being properly absorbed and contributing to symptoms of physical distress. Keeping the colon free and clear of waste material is one of the key ways to eliminating bacteria, parasites, additives, and environmental toxins, which can be the cause of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and other internal complications. The British Royal Society of Medicine says that 90 percent of all chronic diseases are due to infection of the gastrointestinal tract, with more than 65 different health problems related to a toxic colon. Many conventional doctors prescribe colon cleansing as a preparation for medical procedures such as colonoscopy.

There are many pre-mixed formulas for colon cleansing, easily found at your local health food store. If you want to make your own, there are many natural ingredients that can be effectively used as home remedies. Here are a few:

Psyllium seeds are an excellent source of soluble fiber. The husks contain mucilage that pulls toxins out of the colon when mixed with water. As they absorb moisture, the husks become sticky and expand. Fecal matter then adheres to the muscilage and is pulled out of the system as the material softens and is expelled.  Because expanded psyllium seeds can pull more than 10 times their weight, they really help to move toxins out.

Like psyllium husks, flaxseeds contain mucilage that helps to cleanse toxins from the system without irritating the organs. Because flaxseeds expand when they are mixed with water, they are able to adhere to metabolic waste and dried mucus containing bacteria and other contaminated elements in order to carry them out of the system. Flaxseeds are very high in fiber and also contain essential fatty acids, and protein. The fiber is responsible for helping to cleanse the colon, while the fatty acids and protein provide food for friendly bacteria in the intestines.

The way to get the most out of flaxseeds is to grind them in a seed grinder immediately before consuming them, as pre-ground flaxseeds lose their properties in a very short time. If you are using flaxseed oil, keep it refrigerated to avoid rancidity.

Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay is a unique type of clay made of aged volcanic ash. Originally found in Fort Benton, Wyoming, it also contains a medicinal mineral called 'Montmorillonite,' which forms microscopic crystals that swell when they meet water, creating a viscous solution that sticks to the mucus lining the walls of the bowels. Toxins adhere to this material and are then washed out of the system with water. The clay can be taken in liquid, gel, capsule, or powder form, passing through the system without being digested.

It is best to take bentonite on an empty stomach one hour before or after eating. As with any home remedy, consult with your healthcare provider before using bentonite clay, especially if you are taking medication. Elderly people as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised by medical experts not to use the clay.

Magnesium Oxide
Magnesium oxide is a naturally occurring mineral, which is sometimes used as a supplement to maintain adequate levels of magnesium in the body. When mixed with water, magnesium oxide helps to oxygenate and hydrate the system. By mixing magnesium oxide with water, the oxygen content is separated from the magnesium. Reacting with the hydrogen in the water, it softens fecal matter as it passes through the intestinal tract. Additionally, because toxic organisms cannot live in an oxygenated environment, elements such as bacteria and fungi are killed through exposure to the substance. As the waste products become liquefied, magnesium oxide gently sweeps away toxins as the bowels do their work. Magnesium oxide is a safe way to cleanse the colon and is best taken one hour before or after meals.

Before taking magnesium oxide, consult with your doctor especially if you have any other medical conditions or if you take other medicines or other herbal/health supplements. Magnesium oxide may not be recommended in some situations, such as if you have kidney disease or are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Important Note:  Make sure you drink at least 2 liters of water a day while cleansing the colon.  This will sweep away more toxins and help ward off the occasional symptoms that come with colon cleansing, such as headache and fatigue.

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