by Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND
I came across a colon cleanse product today that typifies why I don’t really recommend these particular things. They are mostly just laxative herbs and fiber supplements. The product I saw today contained 18 different things in 2 – 250 mg capsules, if the amount of everything was equal, about 28 mg of each – not really enough of any one thing to do anything.
Besides which, I don’t recommend laxative herbs. Why not? Because you can get the same effect by taking ExLax, and no one considers taking ExLax healthy. Laxatives irritate the digestive tract (this is how some of them work) and they can become habit forming. Most of my patients don’t need fiber supplements anyway because they are eating 8-10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day providing plenty of healthy soluble fibre, plus the nutritional punch of vitamins and minerals found in fruit and vegetables.
These products also often make exaggerated claims (untruths) about cleaning out the caked-on residue in your colon. Having seen lots of pictures of colonoscopies (and let’s face it, the people having a colonoscopy are probably not the healthiest specimens), I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no caked-on residue in anyone’s colon. There’s only pink tissue. What I do recommend people do once or twice per year, is clean out harmful bacteria, yeast and/or parasites from the colon and replenish the beneficial bacteria.
Talk to one of our naturopathic doctors about what really constitutes a healthy digestive tract cleanse.