Natural colon CLEANSING

All Woman

Dear Donovan,

What are some natural ways to do a colon cleanse or wash-out?

The practice of natural colon cleansing dates back to ancient Greece. The main goal of colon cleansing is to rid the colon of large amounts of stagnant, toxic waste which is usually encrusted on the walls of the colon. This is done to enhance the health and vitality of the body. Other goals of colon cleansing include strengthening the immune system, losing weight and reducing the risk of colon cancer.

There are two ways of cleaning the colon by natural means. One method involves the ingestion of products through the mouth and the other involves seeing a practitioner to have a colonic irrigation. Colon cleansing is done either through the mouth or the rectum.

An unhealthy diet leads to a build-up of mucus and the remains of food substances in the large intestine. This causes toxins to accumulate in the colon. If these toxins re-enter the bloodstream they will make you sick. There are some symptoms which normally suggest that your colon needs cleansing. These include poor skin tone, foul breath, fatigue, headaches, weight gain, etc. However, I must point out that not all practitioners in the medical field think colon cleansing is necessary, as they say the liver and the natural bacteria in the colon can neutralise food waste and toxins in the body. In addition, it is also suggested that the mucous membrane in the colon can prevent the build-up of toxins.

There may also be some risk involved in colon cleansing. It may cause vomiting, nausea, cramps, dizziness — which may be a sign of dehydration — mineral imbalance, and also the depletion of healthy bowel microorganisms.

My personal view is that an occasional colon cleansing may be helpful, especially if your diet and lifestyle are unhealthy. What you eat, the time you eat, the amount you eat, and your food combinations might have the greatest impact on the health of the colon and the body. However, that aside, most Jamaicans, especially those from rural areas, can remember the colon cleansing wash-out herbs given to them as children before going back to school after the holidays. Herbs for cleansing the colon have been used for centuries, and colon-cleansing herbs are the most popular and effective method to cleanse the colon. Herbs are usually readily available and easy to use. They are used in their natural forms or sometimes as premixed formulas. These herbal colon cleansers can work in several ways; for example, cascara sagrada normally works like a laxative, while some herbs like peppermint and ginger stimulate digestion and bowel movement.

In addition, some herbs are able to scrub and eliminate foecal matter from the colon. Some herbs kill bacteria and parasites, while others can soften the faeces and improve the action of the colon. It is very important to choose the right herbs, so it's a good idea to speak with a professional before doing a colon cleansing.

Knowing the right amount of each herb or herbal product is very important. Doing a colon cleansing without proper knowledge can lead to poor nutrition and health. Some popular herbs used in Jamaica for colon cleansing include cerasee, aloe vera, bitter wood, rice bitters, moringa seeds, castor oil, senna pods, cork screw plants, and verveine, to name a few. Good luck.

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight, or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.

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