Category Archives: Colon

Is Psyllium Any Good for Detox?

I first came across Psyllium husks as part of the Robert Grey Colon Cleansing program.

The Robert Grey Colon Cleansing is a superb way of gently helping your body detox and can be the first step in any full body detox.

The Psyllium husks are powdered and must be mixed with an adequate amount of water. Then it swells up and frankly looks pretty unappealing I must say, but since there is little to no taste, is quite easy to take.

Psyllium seeds and husks have been used since ancient times in the Naturopathic medical tradition of India, Ayurveda, as part of overall detox treatments.

More recently Psyllium and more specifically psyllium husks have been incorporated in colon cleansing products and even in high fibre foods

The effect of using Psyllium may be compared to having a gentle sponge going through the intestines. In particular since psyllium is fibre it is not digested by the stomach or small intestine and arrives in the colon or large intestine intact.

it is important to take psyllium husk drinks between meals or the psyllium and water gel will absorb the nutrients of the meals and push them out of the body.

Another practical point is that you will feel very full when using Herbal colon cleansing using psyllium and find that your appetite is reduced. Because psyllium husks absorb a lot of water and swell you will notice the difference in your midriff, but you will quickly lose the bulge when you stop the programme!

The effect of the Psyllium itself may be compared to a poultice. The psyllium is a moist herbal application just like a bandage or cloth soaked in a herbal formula. The gentle healing effect on the lining of the large intestine is anti-inflammatory and cleansing.

And doing this for several weeks, which is typical for what we might call, "Psyllium Therapy" can have a major healing effect on a colon suffering from parasite damage or poor diet.

Psyllium is not a silver bullet, healing is about holistic treatment and not isolated remedies however good they are. But Psyllium used along side detox herbs and supplements designed to support the liver, kidneys and lymph is a powerful part of a thorough full body detoxification.

And if you think that drinking a mix of psyllium and water unappealing then start with a very small amount of powder and slowly get up to the recommended amount. And try mixing it with tomato juice that's my favourite way to take my Psyllium.

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Colon Health, Constipation and Cleansing

There's a lot of attention paid nowadays to colon cleansing and with good reason. The large intestine or colon acts as temporary storage for all our digested food and may have a considerable load of unhealthy bacteria and improperly digested foods.

It is also a vital crossroads for the lymphatic system and an important hub for the parasympathetic nervous system. 

And the colon, and the small intestines, are a major area where the nutrients in food are absorbed. 

So a healthy colon is a vital part of a healthy body!

But if the colon is not clean, it cannot fulfil this important task. 

And that's seriously bad news.

You might wonder what the word "clean" means in this context so let's make that clearer by discussing it's opposite which is constipation.

Don't worry –  I am not going to show you horrible photos of unhealthy stools – but again even in those who have no problem with effortless and of course painless bowel movements fail when it comes to how well formed or otherwise the stool itself is.

That is why constipation is probably the most widespread disorder in the world. You may think I'm exaggerating but think how many people have 2 or more effortless and healthy bowel movements a day?

So if you add up a few lifestyle elements like not drinking enough water, eating fast food with few vegetables and little to no greens together with little exercise and high stress you will have a perfect recipe for constipation and it is no surprise then to see almost everyone with constipation.

A results of that, in turn is that some of the gooey sticky mess in the colon can stick to and coat the inner lining of the colon.

This is delicately called "impacted faecal matter" and leads to a perfect environment for bad bacteria to breed and get access to the bloodstream.

At the least such bacteria in the colon may give you vomiting, diarrhoea and cramps.  They also compete with health giving friendly bacteria a condition called dysbiosis.

Because the colon is so central to our health the symptoms that you can experience when the colon is sick and functioning badly are many and varied.

Clearly the first one is constipation itself and then fatigue, headaches and PMS to list but a few.

How to Cleanse the Colon

There are several ways to clean the colon and the most obvious ones are to use direct washing techniques such as enemas and low pressure colonics.

Then we can help the colon to relax with magnesium supplements and most important of all vitamin C – a shortage of which is a major reason for constipation.

Finally a programme of gentle herbal teas containing mild doses of colon acting herbs such as cascara and Senna will further assist the cleanse.

After that it is important to use bacterial cultures by mouth and by direct implant to help the colon get back to health.

After that a series of daily stretching exercises such as the usual health yoga exercises will boost colon health even further.

You will feel a lot better, clearer and younger after you've done colon cleansing holistically.

One herb cannot achieve anything nor one technique or even one vitamin. It is the combination of these various methods balanced in a logical holistic manner where the power to regenerate your health resides.

And we can use it whenever we like!

Feel free to share this info with your friends

Thanks!

Holistc Alex

Liver Detox or Colon Detox – Which is More Important?

As far as Detox is concerned there are 2 types of experts. There are those who are enthusiastically liver based and there are those who are equally enthusiastically colon based.

The liver is the main organ of detoxification so it seems logical to start there when we wish to detox to get some or all of the many health benefits of a detox.

The colon or large intestine is, well, large. It acts partially as a storage organ and we know what it stores! It also reduces the amount of water lost in a bowel movement and acts as the very final stage of digestion. Holding as it does large colonies of bacteria that interact with harmful bacteria carried in with unhealthy food you could say that it is part of the immune system too.

In my study and practise of Naturopathy I have mostly been a "colon centric" detoxer and it was only after studying the writings of the Master Herbalist Jon Baron that I really understood detox as an integrated whole and that is why my advice now is about understanding Holistic detox as a complete process.

Both points of view are true from their perspective – the liver does need a detox and so does the colon.

But the colon detox or cleanse must be done first!

The reasons why are very obvious.

When you cleanse, heal and detox the colon the waste matter and toxins are funnelled out through the colon itself and into the toilet bowl with little damage or effect on other parts of the body.

Working on the liver is very different. It not only has a massive blood supply but is also connected to the gall bladder and through that to the colon.

Cleansing and detoxing the liver is going to dump extra toxins into the gall bladder and that will funnel its toxins straight down into the colon damaging the wall of the colon and resulting in many of those toxins being reabsorbed into the blood.

Which is clearly a very bad idea!

This why a holistic whole body view is essential – or you end up harming one part of the body while you treat another part.

Not sensible at all and not holistic either.

And is exactly what we in Natural Medicine criticise about Drug based Pharmaceutical Medicine.

Last Words

Detox is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. The type of Detox you do needs to be well considered, gentle and holistic. You can get all the info you need on this blog and in the detox products shown in the sidebar. And you are always welcome to ask questions in the comment section.

And if you found this at all helpful help me to spread the word by Twitter, FaceBook or however you please!

Thanks

Holistic Alex

Review of the Whole Body Cleanse Kit

The Whole Body Cleanse by Enzymatic is a detox program designed for a 10 day detox. There are 3 parts to this kit.

Detox Activation, Acidophilus Pearls and Fiber Fusion all 3 of which are trademarked terms.

Let's look at each in turn…

Detox Activation (tablets)  – this is the guts of the program really because it has the detox herbs that will do the heavy lifting of dealing with the toxins that are the target of the program.

The herbs used are standard detox and digestion herbs and are listed below. There are 2 groups of herbs used. One is a general digestive formula and the second is focussed on detox

Milk Thistle – major liver detox herb

Marshmallow – very effective and flexible herb used to soothe and heal the colon. Also used in cystitis.

Slippery Elm – major soothing herb used to help with many detoxes as it coats and soothe the colon helping the body detox and protecting the lining of the colon while doing so.

Peppermint – used to stimulate the flow of bile and so detox the liver and gall bladder. Major digestive herb.

Fennel – powerful detoxer and diuretic used to help heal arthritis and gout Also helps regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce period pains – perhaps by its ability to reduce fluid retention.

Fenugreek – used to lower fevers, treat gastric ulcers and gastritis. Said to be anti-diabetic and to reduce cholesterol. Very nourishing and calming.

Detox formula

burdock  – traditionally used as a cleanser and blood purifier

boldo – has many uses from gallstone to giddiness, including constipation, cystitis and hepatitis

red clover – the skin is a major organ involved in detox  and many skin conditions are treated with Red Clover

black radish excellent detoxer also used to help weight loss

dandelion major detox herb for liver

turmeric helps a particular detox pathway in the liver. It helps to protect the liver as it does its job of handling the toxins

ginger calms the digestion. Soothes nausea.

artichoke major detox herbs for the liver. Also acts as a diuretic

Looking at the herbs used we can see that they add up to a very credible detox formula.

Next we move on to the Acidophilus Pearls. It is very important when we detox and especially when we do a colon cleanse that we use a live culture of friendly bacteria.

Detox means that many toxins are going to be moved along the colon and this could cause some damage to the bacteria living there and they are essential for our health. The "pearls" which are capsules have 2 bacterial cultures which are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum.

These cultures are in a capsule.

Lastly we get to the fibre component. First of all, fibre is not "just" fibre! Fibre is pretty complicated and does a whole host of things. The blend used is their own and is a mix of psyllium husk, glucomannan, oat bran, guar gum marshmallow and last but not least pectin from citrus fruit.

The instructions for taking the capsules come with the kit and need to be followed carefully. The kit is designed to be used as a 10 day program at present which may be too intense for some people. It may be better for some people to taker fewer capsules over, say, 2 weeks or more and do the detox slower.

My approach would be to advise users to take a week before they detox to clean up their diet. Drop sugar, fried foods and alcohol and get a little exercise and you will be better able to benefit from the cleanse. In particular I'd recommend taking plenty of water with the fibre! It will swell up and it is supposed to and if you take the fibre and not the water you will feel awful!

As a friend of mine says, "It all else fails, read the instructions."

The detox kit may be purchased direct from the manufactures but seems to be cheaper at Amazon and some other retailors.

Is this for you?  The Whole body Cleanse by Enzymatic is a well designed formula which will help you detox but which may be a little too intense for some especially  if their diet was poor.

Choosing a Colon Cleansing Diet

Much attention these days in the Detox world is paid to colon cleansing programs and diets and the vexed question of what is a good colon cleansing diet comes up again and again. With colon cleansing being the natural starting point for detoxification in any health program this is to be expected. While there is no one diet that will work for everyone there are some clear principles in detoxing that we can use to guide us in choosing a colon cleansing diet.

Allergic foods

This is the first principle and is one that I came to by experience of doing detox for years both for myself and for my patients. It does not matter what health benefits there are or what nutrients it has, if a food is disagreeable to us we should avoid it. Whether the symptoms are fatigue or swelling of the lips or just a stomach ache if you are allergic to a food then it must be avoided, Maybe the allergy can be cured at a later stage but while doing a detox or cleanse of any type it is essential to avoid all allergic foods.

Mucus Forming Foods

Many foods are traditionally avoided while detoxing on the grounds that they are "mucous forming". Among these are dairy foods but others get included too according to the views of the Raw food or macrobiotic or other philosophy producing the detox. My own view of this is that foods that are judged to be mucous forming are actually foods we are allergic too anyway and we should avoid them for that reason.

Raw foods

This, you might say, is a hot potato! It is certainly true that many foods are "cooked to death" and by the time they are served much of the nutritional value has been lost.

One point for raw foods then.

But it is also true that cooking allows more of the nutrients of a plant cell in a vegetable to be digested and absorbed by whoever eats it. A lot of the nutrients in raw food go straight through us because we cannot fully digest the cell wall.

One point to the cooked food lobby.

My position on this is that our diet should include some raw food every day but that both the total raw food and the standard cooked food diets are both extremes to be avoided.

Raw food has its vitality and enzymes intact and these are important to our health and cooked food allows more nutrients to be absorbed and has a warming and relaxing power to it that raw food lacks.

Most people will benefit hugely by increasing the amount of raw foods in their detox diet and this can be done easily with juices.

Vegetable juices

Increasingly detox and cleansing includes vegetables and green juices as a mainstay. This is certainly true for me. Green juices are as powerful as many detox formulas and many people can get powerful detox results and weight loss simply by focussing on a good juicing system. While it is true that brown rice diets and apple diets to mention some well known cleansing diets still have relevance, green juices have a power and vitaility that cannot be ignored.

Colon cleansing diets are important and lay the foundation for all other kinds of detox. The diet needs to be hypoallergenic and be a sensible and acceptable blend of raw foods, juices and easily digested and comforting cooked food.

So there is no one answer here to the question, "What is the best colon cleansing diet?", rather provided that you follow these principles you can choose from many thousands of possible diets.

If you have experience of detoxing with colon cleansing diets kindly share it below…

Detoxin – Is This the Detox Formula For You?

Detoxin is a detox formula that I recently noticed online. I have no experience of using it but I thought it may be useful to look at the ingredients and reflect on the claims made for it.

Speaking of which here are some claims from the website…

  • Flatten the midsection & reduce the waistline †
  • Assist in weight loss †
  • Detoxify, cleanse and rejuvenate your body's filtration system-liver, gallbladder & kidneys †
  • Relief from temporary bloating †
  • Improve immune function †
  • Improve natural emery levels & feeling of well being †

 

The cross symbol references a note at the foot of the web page which says, "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE USING THIS PRODUCT."

So let's look at what's in it…

Detoxin calls itself an "Advanced Detoxification Formula" and mostly consists of 4 proprietary blends. Let's look at each one in turn…

Liver Detox and support Blend

In many circles detox is synonymous with cleansing the liver. I don't hold this view but Liver detox is vital nonetheless. This is mostly achieved by using detox herbs so we expect Milk thistle and some others and that's what we get. As well as Milk thistle Detoxin has the herbs Bupleurum, Schizandra, Vitis and ginger, turmeric and nutritionals MSM and NAC.

Bupleurum according to Drugs.com is an anti-pyretic, that is it acts to cure fever and protects the liver and G.I tract

Schizandra is also a standard herb used in Chinese Herbal Medicine and is mentioned in the Wiki as useful in treating viral hepatitis. Traditionally used to strengthen Kidney and Liver energy.

Vitis Vinifera extract – this is a grape vine and we are given no details about the extract whether it is grape seed extract for instance.

MSM is a great sulphur containing mineral and the liver needs sulphur to detox.

NAC antioxidant so it fights free radicals and oxidative damage and I have written about it here

The Gallbladder Detox and Support Blend

This formula is composed of the herbs Artichoke, Barberry and Fennel seed and peppermint – all familiar herbs used to help digestion

Kidney Detox and Support

This blend consists of Dandelion, Parsley and Cranberry and Phyllanthus Niruri.

Dandelion is one of the foundation herbs used to detox the liver and kidney but Phyllanthus is a new one to me. It seems to be an Ayurvedic remedy with recent scientific studies showing powerful healing effects on the liver.

Colon Cleanse and Detox Blend

This formula is composed of Cascara, Senna, prune, Black walnut, FOS, Marshmallow  – with 3 powerful laxative herbs this may be too powerful for some! FOS is a special sugar designed to encourage the healthy and beneficial bacteria to grow in the bowel. This helps exclude dangerous bacteria just like the consumption of real or live yogurt does.

Altogether the Blends add up to a very credible detox formula. There are some extras at the end of the label that make me a little unhappy – such as gelatine and titanium dioxide and 3 additives for colouring.

Although It has some good ingredients the proof as they say is in the pudding! Only some extra feedback would allow me to recommend it but Detoxin certainly makes it onto a shortlist of Detox formulas.

As to the claims that it will flatten the tummy, reduce the waistline etc – I'd be a little surprised although Detox may lead to weight loss so it could happen!

Have you tried Detoxin? Anything you can share? Please leave a comment below