Over 70 million Americans experience bowel problems at some point including constipation, diarrhea, polyps, colitis, diverticulitis, Crohn’s Disease, and cancer. Processed foods, poor diet, antibiotics, lack of exercise, and environmental toxins can affect colon health. Cleansing the colon is one of the best preventative steps for some of these diseases and there are some herbs can help with this task. Prior to using one of these, consider your health and any sensitivities or allergies.
You will need (one of these):
• Cascara sagrada
• Slippery Elm
• Senna (plus optional ginger or cinnamon)
Step 1: Native Americans have long used cascara sagrada, one of the most popular herbs used in colon cleansing. It contains anthroquinones, compounds that serve as a laxative and it helps to strengthen muscle tone in the colon walls. Stronger muscle tone eliminates constipation. Cascara sagrada also stimulates the liver to produce bile, speeding toxin removal. It is available as a liquid extract, capsules, or a dried bark that can be made into a tea. It should be taken before bedtime and requires approximately six to 12 hours to work. Children should not take it and adults should not use it for more than seven consecutive days.
Step 2: Chickweed is fast acting, usually causing a bowel movement in a few hours. It strengthens the colon and the stomach muscles and flushes toxins.
Step 3: Slippery elm is considered a multi-purpose herb and it is effective for treating diarrhea and constipation. It coats, soothes, and heals intestinal linings while normalizing the stool. When taking slippery elm, drink a lot of water.
Step 4: Senna works quickly and is often taken as tea. It stimulates peristaltic contractions, cleansing and moving fecal matter from the colon. If you feel nauseous when taking senna, add cinnamon or ginger to the tea.
Step 5: Rhubarb is another herb that contains anthraquinones. It also has tannins, a compound that reduces colon inflammation and relieves diarrhea. Rhubarb is available in capsules, as an extract, or as a dried root. Results can usually be seen within six to 12 hours.
Step 6: Psyllium is one of the most popular herbs for colon cleansing. It strengthens intestinal linings and provides fiber called mucilage that absorbs water, causing stool to be bulkier and resulting in bowel movements. It is usually taken between one and three times daily. Throughout the day, drink a lot of water when taking psyllium or the colon may become obstructed, worsening constipation.