A colon cleanse may help with constipation. You can do a natural colon cleanse at home using water, diet, and some over-the-counter products.

Digestive health is integral to feeling happy, healthy, and well.

One important organ in the digestive system is the colon, also called the large intestine. Colon health is a significant part of digestive health.

Some people claim the colon should be cleansed for optimal digestive wellness. However, research proving the effectiveness of cleanses is scant and low in quality.

Certain aspects of colon cleansing may be beneficial. That said, according to an older pilot study, there isn’t any research evidence to support its use unless you are doing it for constipation or before a medical procedure like a colonoscopy.

In these instances, the available evidence focuses on colon hydrotherapy, which is a procedure done with a medical device as opposed to a natural cleanse.

More research is needed to understand whether cleansing your colon has any health benefits. Other colon cleanse claims about the effectiveness of colon cleansing, such as the removal of toxins and parasites, are questionable.

There are a few ways to colon cleanse. You can purchase a colon-cleansing product, or you can get a colonic irrigation or enema.

Otherwise, you can do simple things to boost or “cleanse” colon health naturally at home.

The following natural colon cleanses can be done cheaply, and they’re also quite safe if done correctly.

1. Hydration

Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is a great way to regulate digestion. Drinking lukewarm water has been shown to be good for digestion as well, according to an older study from 2016. However, more research is necessary.

Also, try eating plenty of foods high in water content. This includes fruits and vegetables like watermelons, tomatoes, lettuce, and celery.

In fact, there are lots of foods that help cleanse the colon naturally through diet.

2. Saltwater flush

You can also try a salt water flush. This could be an option for people experiencing constipation and irregularity.

However, keep in mind that there’s limited scientific evidence that a salt water flush for colon cleansing works:

  • One older 2010 study found that drinking lukewarm saline solution at regular intervals while doing yoga poses was more effective at pre-colonoscopy bowel cleansing than a specialized cleansing solution.
  • Another 2018 study found that using a sodium phosphate solution worked well in cleansing the colon. That said, this study was also evaluating the saline cleanse in the context of prepping for a colonoscopy.

In addition, there are anecdotal claims stories on the internet from people who believe saltwater flushes worked for them.

If you would like to try saltwater cleansing for yourself, it’s best to speak with your doctor beforehand. Once you’re ready to give this a try, here are a few tips for how to do it.

Before eating in the morning, mix 2 teaspoons salt with lukewarm water. People often use sea salt or Himalayan salt.

Drink water quickly on an empty stomach, and in a few minutes, you may feel the urge to go to the bathroom.

Do this in the morning and in the evening, and make sure to stay home near the bathroom for a while after the cleanse. You may need to go to the bathroom multiple times.

3. High fiber diet

Fiber is an essential macronutrient to have in the diet. It’s found in whole, healthy plant foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and more.

Plants contain cellulose and fibers that help “bulk” up the excess matter in the colon. They also regulate constipation and overactive bowels while boosting helpful bacteria as a prebiotic.

Make sure to eat plenty of high fiber foods, which help a healthy colon. They can also be great for gut bacteria too.

4. Juices and smoothies

Juices are popular colon cleansers. These include fruit and vegetable juice fasts and cleanses like master cleanses.

There isn’t enough research on these for the colon, however. In fact, some research points out risks.

Even so, a moderate intake of juices and juicing can be good for you. Juice blends contain some fiber and nutrients that benefit digestion. They also hold water to help hydrate and keep up regularity.

What’s more, eating fruit can help improve the gut microbiome and the movement of food through the bowel. It can also help reduce constipation.

5. Juice fast

Popular juices in juice fasts and cleanses include apple juice, lemon juice, and vegetable juices. However, smoothies over juices could be more beneficial for the colon and overall health.

Since pulp and skins are removed when juicing, juices contain less fiber. Fiber is great for the colon, and smoothies hold a lot more fiber.

A 2017 study found that going on a fruit or vegetable diet for three days was associated with weight loss, but more research is needed to confirm these findings.

You don’t need to fast and drink only juices and smoothies to get any benefit. Just try including more in your diet, such as with a daily juice or smoothie.

6. More resistant starches

Resistant starches are similar to fiber. They’re also found in plant foods like potatoes, rice, legumes, green bananas, and grains.

These promote a healthy colon by boosting gut microflora.

There is a downside, though. Resistant starches are found in carbohydrates. Still, if following a low carb diet, you can choose options that cause fewer blood sugar spikes. These include whole wheat, green bananas, or lentils.

Including these in the diet, like fiber, can be great for cleansing the colon.

7. Probiotics

Adding probiotics to your diet is another way to cleanse the colon. This also boosts overall health in many other ways.

You can get more probiotics by taking probiotic supplements. Also, eat lots of probiotic-rich foods, like yogurt, kimchi, pickles, and other fermented foods.

Probiotics introduce good bacteria to the gut with the help of fiber and resistant starches. These curb inflammation and promote regularity — two elements of digestive health related to the colon.

Apple cider vinegar is also considered a probiotic and is included in colon cleanses. The enzymes and acids that apple cider vinegar contains supposedly suppress bad bacteria. Currently, there are very few animal-based studies on this.

8. Herbal teas

Herbal teas may assist digestive health via the colon.

Laxative herbs like psyllium, aloe vera, marshmallow root, and slippery elm may help constipation. Make sure to talk with your doctor and follow directions closely before using these herbs. And use them sparingly — otherwise, they can be harmful.

Other herbs like ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper contain antimicrobial phytochemicals. These are thought to suppress bad bacteria. For this reason, they’re included in lots of cleanses, though studies are needed.

Interested in one of the above natural colon cleanses? Doing one in a gentle fashion at home is usually safe.

Combining these with fasting or increasing the frequency of their use can have risks. If you have high blood pressure and must keep your sodium intake low, avoid salt water flushes.

Colon cleanse side effects

Side effects or complications of colon cleanse may include:

If any of these symptoms occur, stop your cleanse immediately and talk with your doctor. These symptoms have the risk of leading to heart failure and digestive damage if the cleanse is continued. This includes bowel perforation, which can lead to sepsis.

An enema or colon cleanse occasionally poses little risk for a healthy individual. However, overuse can quickly lead to chronic constipation or even bowel injury.

Also, talk with your doctor before making major changes to your diet for colon health. This includes eating significantly more fiber, resistant starches, juices, and smoothies.

Make sure to also be careful when using herbal teas for a colon cleanse. Some herbs can impede or affect certain medications. Laxative herbs can also be harmful if overdone. Overuse of laxatives reduces the body’s ability to move stool and can result in chronic constipation.

If you have a chronic illness, speak with your doctor before doing a natural colon cleanse at home. Colon cleanses aren’t right for everyone.

How can I cleanse my colon overnight?

It’s not good for your health to flush your colon quickly. Colon cleansing does not have research to support its use unless you have been diagnosed with constipation.

How can I cleanse my colon naturally?

The healthiest way to flush your colon is to drink more water, increase your fiber intake, and make regular time for physical exercise.

Try to have three or more bowel movements a week. Talk with a doctor about other ways to prevent constipation and avoid the overuse of laxatives.

What drink is good for colon cleansing?

You can include drinks like Keifer and foods like yogurt in your diet to improve the gut microbiome.

How can I completely clean out my colon?

Natural remedies may help flush your colon, but if you want a complete cleanout, you may need to use over-the-counter medication like Miralax. This is something you should only do under the supervision of a doctor if there is a medical need for it, such as preparing for a colonoscopy, for example.

How do I detox my gut?

Your body systems typically work together to remove toxins from your body. You can support these natural body systems by staying hydrated, eating nutritious meals, and getting regular physical activity.

If you’re dealing with constipation, you may be able to find relief with over-the-counter fiber supplements or laxatives.

Natural colon cleanses may help improve digestive health. Whether they truly “cleanse” the colon is up for debate.

They’re also safe when not overdone. Regardless, talk with your doctor to ensure that you have the greatest experiences possible using them.