One scary colon fact: Colon cancer is the second most deadly cancer. Another scary fact: The colon can be the source of many medical maladies—among them—a sluggish metabolism, defective digestive system that can give you stomachaches and constipation, poor immune system that make you susceptible to colds and flu. But that’s not all—bad breath, poor skin, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids are all possibilities. Astounding but true—the colon can be a blessing or a bane. You can determine that—a clean colon can restore metabolism, increase nutrient absorption, prevent digestive problems, and give you good skin and fresh breath.
So the solution to a healthier, more vitalized you is a clean colon. A healthy colon plays host to some 400 varieties of bacteria. In the good versus bad bacteria equation, the colon should have at least 85% good bacteria, otherwise called probiotics. Two common good ones are acidophilus and lactobacillus. However, chemicals and preservatives from food, environmental pollutants, unhealthy lifestyles (smoking and drinking) and certain medications can tip the scale the other way round. Bad bacteria proliferate and wreck medical havoc in your body. To restore colon health, you can clean it either by visiting a medical professional to clean your colon—usually colonic hydrotherapy, also called colon irrigation but if you prefer a safer, less intrusive method—opt for natural alternatives.
According to scientists at the University College Cork, Ireland; probiotics can prevent or even treat human diseases. The role of probiotics is especially important in colon health—probiotics can restore the ratio of good bacteria and boost the immune system. Certain foods offer probiotics and you can easily incorporate them into your diet. Look for yogurt, Kefir, Yakult Probiotic Drink, fermented soy (tempeh—commonly used in Asian dishes), Miso, fermented vegetables as in Kimchi and sauerkraut, onions, garlic and bananas. Include these foods in your diet.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices have a long history of use for medicinal purposes due to their anti-bacterial, antimicrobial properties. These bacteria-fighting properties lend themselves to good use when consumed—they fight bad bacteria and cleanse out toxins. If you’re looking for herbs and spices to help you keep your colon clean, it is easy to use them in your food preparation. Common examples include ginger, cayenne pepper, fennel, garlic, onion and the aloe leaf. A star performer is Psyllium, a plant high in a fiber called mucilage, which can absorb water and trigger contractions of the colon, making it easier to eliminate waste. Psyllium is a common ingredient in high fiber cereal and it can be used as tea or supplements. Another worthwhile herb is Cascara Sagrada, an ancient Native American remedy. Cascara Sagrada contains anthraquinones, a natural laxative and it also works to tone the muscle tone of colon.
If you want to spring clean your colon, what better way than to include fiber in your diet. Fiber acts like brooms, sweeping the colon clean of toxins and pathogens. According to Mayo Clinic, a high fiber diet can also lower risks of hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and the development of small pouches in your colon, otherwise called diverticular disease.
Include high-fiber foods like whole grains, legumes, vegetables such as celery, chard, broccoli, carrots, spinach and arugula. Vegetable soup is a great way to include a variety of vegetables, even legumes.
Why fast, since it is not exactly a fun thing to do? Holistic experts believe that fasting gives your body a chance to rest from performing heavy digestive duties, giving the body a chance to eliminate toxins and generate new cells. There are various ways to go about this: full fast (only water), liquid fast (juice and soup or only just juice) or abstinence from stimulants or certain groups of foods. Gabriel Cousens, M.D., the author of Conscious Eating advocates fasting, “Today’s world is unbelievably toxic, and fasting is the most profound way to detoxify the body.”
Juice fast is often recommended over a total fast (just water). Cousens further adds, “Juice fasting has the advantage of adding vital minerals and nutrients, which lend added energy for complementary activities such as yoga, meditation and walking.”
Juice a variety of organic fruits and vegetables and drink it during the duration of the fast. Fruits are high in antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber. Certain vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, carrots, spinach and arugula are high in fiber and make good juice partners with fruits.
Not a lovely word if you love the couch, like I do. But exercise is another crucial factor in this whole colon cleansing thing. Why? During exercise, the lymphatic system is being flushed and the cells are flooded with health-giving oxygen. Consider walking, aerobics, stretching or any kind of light exercise during this cleansing period.
So, if you’re ready to have a clean colon and a clean slate of health, consider the above options. As always, consult your physician before going on a fast.
anglnwu (author) on November 08, 2011:
sweetie, I think the Indians are smart to work in fasting into their lifestyles--the digestive system needs a rest. My very good Indian friend does it too--sometimes, she just do a juice fast. Thanks for dropping by to comment.
sweetie1 from India on November 07, 2011:
Hi anginwu, i really liked your hub. About fasting well many of Indians ( Hindus) fast atleast one day a week just for this purpose only as to give rest to digestive system though every fast is given some religious colour so they do it regularly.
anglnwu (author) on April 09, 2011:
Thanks, Katie, for dropping by to comment. Appreciate that very much.
Katie McMurray from Ohio on April 08, 2011:
Awesome and practical tips on colon cleansing the natural way. All natural is always the best and most effective option. Thanks for the great guidance! :) Katie
anglnwu (author) on April 01, 2011:
I agree with you, Digest It.
Digest IT on March 31, 2011:
Cleansing colon is very important and it should be treated as a high priority, we know that colon is hidden inside to our body which is a vital organ, cleaning it in a natural way is one way of loving it.
anglnwu (author) on March 21, 2011:
Thanks, Born Again. Have a good day.
Elisabeth Van Valkenburgh from Honesdale on March 21, 2011:
Thank you for this very useful information!
anglnwu (author) on June 17, 2010:
Hi Gillian, I'm not an expert in that area. Sorry...but this I know, some active ingredients in food can interfere with medication. It is always good to eat food in moderation. Even good foods when taken in excess can backfire. Thanks for dropping by with your thoughts.
Gillian from Singapore on June 15, 2010:
anglnwu, can you please enlighten me on eating white and green radishes. I love them but can I eat them few times a week? I eat them cooked. According to our people, they said it's not advisable because white radish is cooling and it strips you of all your medicine in your body. I am not taking any medicine but vitamin supplements. So, is it safe to enjoy radishes, both white and green almost daily?
anglnwu (author) on June 05, 2010:
Thanks, fucsia! I know fasting is really hard for me too. Liquid fast is easier.
fucsia on June 05, 2010:
good hub! I also think that the fast is good to our body, unfortunately in many case this is not easy, but very useful!
anglnwu (author) on January 04, 2010:
Green gurn, appreciate your comments. Juice fasting can last anytime from 3 to 10 days or even more. However, I personally know of one lady who does a liquid fast occasionally for 1 day and she's in optimal health (she's almost 70 but looks like she could pass for a 45 year-old and she has none of the age-related diseases). As always, it is best to consult your primary physician before going on long stretches of fast.
The Green Guru on January 04, 2010:
A juice fast of drinking organic fruits and vegetables sounds interesting. What is a good duration of time to fast?
anglnwu (author) on January 01, 2010:
Agree with you--flaxseed is good too. Thanks, RTalloni, for dropping by.
RTalloni on January 01, 2010:
Good info! Flax seed has tremendous benefits too.
Colon Cleansing on December 05, 2009:
Very informative information!