Colon Cleansing--Quackery or No?

I’ve seen the Google ads for this “miraculous” herbal colon cleansing program, and after seeing the pictures of the supposed “stuff” :eek: that came out of the person giving the testimonial, I’m wondering more than ever if the whole thing is a bucketload of…well, poop.

IMO, if all the material that you’re seeing in these pictures (and no, I’m not linking because I don’t want to cause anyone here to be sick for a week) came out of someone, why aren’t they dead? If that mess was inside their intestines and was blocking adsorption of vitamins and minerals, plus wreaking hell with their GI tract in general, wouldn’t that person be severely undernourished?

Inquiring minds kinda-sorta want to know.


Anybody who’s been through a colonoscopy knows that ordinary over-the-counter laxatives will completely clean you out. It has to be complete or else the scope can’t detect what it’s looking for.

The notion that pounds of waste are sitting deep inside your intestines is ridiculous. Although some conditions can create tiny pockets in which waste sits and causes problems, that is not what colon cleansing is after and is also certainly not the norm, but a comparatively rare condition. And a true intestinal blockage will put you into the hospital with serious pain.

Crap. Crap. Crap.

And if you search you’ll find a zillion threads on the subject telling you the same thing.

Cecil on Colon Cleansing.

Of course it is a massively effective cleansing method! It will empty your wallet of the infectious, filthy, dirty money that is contaminating it.

See also this (Potentially not safe for work) web page deveoted to Butt Candling, a wholistic method of removing toxins from your butt that works in the same magical way as ear candling. -

In all seriousness, a high colonic is an invasive and drastic medical practice. Auto-intoxication rears its ugly and pointless but pointed head every 20 yrs ago in the quack medicine files… If you are reasonably healthy, controlling your diet will prove far more effective. Fibre, healthy fresh foods, and lots of water are the way to go.

By the way, I am not a Doctor, but I once played one with Mandy, who played she was a nurse… but that’s a different story…



Nope. Not going there. Nopenopenope.

I figured it was all a massive quackery. I’ve had more lower GI series than I care to think of thanks to having IBS and I know those cleaning out kits you have to take the night before leaves everything squeaky clean. At least that’s how I feel afterwards.

Enemas have been touted as a cure all for centuries. John Harvey Kellog is famous for his advocacy of this as well as his cereal company. They made a popular film about his life about a decade back called “The Road to Wellville”. Its worth watching.

BWAAA!!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


Just don’t fart.

As a general rule, anything that promises to “rid your body of toxins” without clarifying exactly what kind of “toxins” (bacteria, virii, fungus, heavy metals, etc.) and which conditions it cures is a good candidate for the quackery list. Photos of gross-looking stuff that came out of someone’s body are not evidence that the body they came from is now working better, and reliance on photographic evidence for semi-medical claims is another good thing to watch out for. Real medical evidence is usually backed up with extremely boring charts containing rigorously researched data from control-group studies.

I have always thought that these products appeal largely to “clean freaks”. My mother, for instance, worries about the dirt under the refrigerator. She can’t see it, but she knows its there, just being dirty.

I’ve seen a few examples of “butt candling” of the pyrotechnic variety on YouTube and other such places. It never ends well.

[sub]Bad pun. I’m sorry. I won’t to it again. (Today)[/sub]

You do realize that that site is a hoax? Any genuine product would have a link to order it online, or at least contact information to order over the phone or by mail.

Many Colon Cleanse products are just bulk-forming laxatives (the fiber kind) with some added Probiotics. You can get the same by drinking a large glass of that orange powder stuff a couple times a day and eating some live-culture yogurt. (The new Activa stuff is good for Probiotics, as are several other products in the yogurt aisle.)

That being said, doing both these things: adding more fiber and probiotics to your diet- is likely a very good thing for most Americans. Some of the Colon products have both soluable and non-soluable fiber, which is good.

To be honest, I hate the taste of that fiber stuff, but don’t mind scarfing pills. So I take “Doctors Trust Colon Care” nearly daily, to help add both kinds of fiber and probiotics.

Cecil’s article debunks colonics, that is to say- enemas. Rightly so, as generally you don’t need them. Sometimes your Doc will have to get one, by someone there in the office, if you are impacted.

So, Colon Cleansing is bunkum with a core of truth- adding more fiber (and probiotics) is something most americans need. BUT you do NOT need expensive weird products to “get rid of the toxins and parasites”. You can get what you need by eating prunes and yogurt, or lots of salads, or beans, or oatmeal (non-soluable fiber) or take a few *cheap * pills a couple times a day.

You know, the word “open” appears twice in that last word. Heh.

My wife continues to be drawn to this bizarre procedure. At least, she is drawn to the notion that we need cleaning out, that we have toxins in us that we need to eliminate - via this method. As of yet, she hasn’t done it, and I doubt that she would, but I can see that the quasi-scientific sounding claims, particularly of “cleaning the body of toxins” is very appealing to her. Yes, she is a clean freak and that could be part of it. And, if she sees the Cecil article, she’ll still do a more or less, “My mind’s made up - don’t confuse me with the facts” number. Go figure. But I love her dearly. Go figure. xo, C.

Uh, Chronos… do you know what sound a Butt Candle makes when you light it?



And here is the snopes page about the supposed 40lbs of crap in John Wayne’s colon.

This is GQ, dude, not MPSIMS. And, we like Chronos, he’s smart and does a generally unthanked job here. So I got somewhere you can put your “whoosh”. :rolleyes:

Isn’t that where it came from in the first place?

A second general rule is that even if the promoters specify what “toxins” their “cleanse” is supposed to remove from the colon, it is quackery.

The lower G.I. obsessives who go for this stuff share detailed online descriptions of their dung and the objets they find in it. They convince themselves they are ridding their bodies of “mucoid plaque”, parasites, erasers they ate in second grade etc. - but the gunk they produce (and photograph :eek: ) typically comes from the very product they “cleanse” with (i.e. bentonite-containing laxatives produce a sort of cast of the intestine and this looks impressive if you are stupid.

As an aside, this very morning I spent a long time on line at the traffic light behind the Rent-A-John pumper truck (now there’s a job). Of course, they have a website (don’t miss the Buckeye model).

For entertaining stories about colon cleanses, don’t miss this wonderful site, replete with forums for colon cleanses, liver cleanses, and many other therapies that are favorites among the deluded.

As Sparky Anderson has said, “With all the craziness going on, it’s lunacy.”