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Colon cleansing, known by some people as colon therapy, or colon hydrotherapy, covers a number of alternative therapies intended to remove faeces and toxins from the colon and intestinal tract. Colon cleansing may take the form of colon hydrotherapy, professionally called colonic irrigation, or oral cleansing treatments such as dietary supplements. More recently, the marketing of colon cleansing oral supplements has been widespread, but this is outside the scope of this book. Sufficient to say that their use is not widely accepted as being best practice. Some forms of colon hydrotherapy use enemas to inject water into the bowel, these can be mixed with herbs or other liquids, using equipment designed for that purpose. Practitioners believe that accumulations of putrefied faeces line the walls of the large intestine and that these accumulations harbour parasites or pathogenic gut flora, causing nonspecific symptoms and general ill-health. This “auto-intoxication” hypothesis is based on medical beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks.
It is interesting to note that this hypothesis was to some extent discredited in the early 20th century. However, despite the fact that little scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the benefits of colon cleansing, it is increasingly popular and in widespread use, not least amongst many celebrities for whom optimal health and appearance is vital for their profession. If the so-called ‘beautiful’ people who do use this therapy feel their health is better, their appearance is much improved, they have more energy and they lose excess weight and look slimmer, who is to argue with them?