What is an Intestinal Cleanse?

Erin Oxendine

An intestinal cleanse one way to remove toxins from the body. Many people believe we get toxins from our lifestyle, environment and from foods that we eat. Certain things such as alcohol, tobacco, and medication are also thought to put harmful toxins in our system.

Stomach discomfort may indicate the need for an intestinal cleanse.
Stomach discomfort may indicate the need for an intestinal cleanse.

Many people worry about of leftover waste and plaque in the intestinal system. When this waste is not passed from the body, some nutritionists think that this leftover waste can cause weight gain and health issues. An intestinal cleanse may be used to get rid of this excess material.

An intestinal cleanse flushes out the colon.
An intestinal cleanse flushes out the colon.

Signs that you may need an intestinal cleanse to get rid of toxins include stomach discomfort, acid reflux, and headaches. Some people might have diarrhea, parasites, and yeast infections. Getting the extra waste and chemicals out of the body may help with these conditions and many others.

When you cleanse the body, it helps to detoxify the organs and internal systems. This is thought by many to purify the body of impurities and toxic substances. People often claim to feel healthier and rejuvenated after having an intestinal cleanse and better diet.

The cleansing diet consists of mostly raw foods such as fruits and vegetables. When following this diet, a person needs to cut out all sugars, white flour, and refined foods. It is also recommended that the dieter eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.

Followers of intestinal cleanses may use different supplements and products to clean out the intestines and colon. These types of cleaning typically produce several bowel movements a day and aide in removing the waste. Natural products such as psyllium husks, flax seeds, and digestive enzymes are often used in this regimen.

The cleansing therapy sometimes uses high amounts of fiber and laxatives in the detoxification program. It is important that the person doing the program is able to use products that are not upsetting to their digestive system. Keep in mind than an intestinal cleanse that works for one person may not work for others.

When properly used, the intestinal cleanses are believed to not only help the intestines but also the liver, kidneys, and lymph systems. Some proponents believe it may help with preventing certain diseases.

Individuals that have had these cleanses have indicated that they lost weight, felt better and had more energy. Homeopathic doctors and nutritionists sometime recommend cleanses every few months. Someone interested in getting an intestinal cleanse should research the intestinal cleanses available.

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Discussion Comments


@David09 - That’s good advice. The fact is not everyone gets results from these detoxification programs. My friend went on one program and said he felt no different afterwards.

I don’t know if that meant the program he was on was low quality, or perhaps he was already in good shape to begin with. Remember that one of the points of the program is to correct the acid and alkaline balance in your body.

If you’re already in good form, the program may not help that much.


@NathanG - I think if you want to wade into the detoxification, forget supplements of any kind and just alter your diet. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and cut out carbohydrates for two weeks. Eliminate caffeine and load up on water. Then see how you feel.

I guarantee you that this simple change alone will drastically improve your body’s metabolism. If you like the results, then invest in a complete detoxification program.

Some of the products they sell include not only herbal cleanses but protein shakes to make sure that your muscles don’t waste away during the intestine cleanse period.


@SkyWhisperer - It sounds like you went through a complete regimen. I am glad it worked out. However there seems to be a lot of different approaches to these kinds of routines.

Some programs simply push intestinal cleansing products while limiting the change to your daily routine. This is meant simply to promote increased bowel movements.

Other routines are complete detoxification programs or diets. I am inclined to think that the latter approach is better because it’s more thorough. But perhaps for people getting started it’s best to start with a few herbal cleanse supplements to see how well they work before going through a whole routine.


I went on an intestine cleanse regimen a few years ago. I did it under the supervision of my chiropractor who also had specialized training in nutrition.

It was a complete detoxification and it involved a modified diet for two weeks, using herbal cleanse products and also some stuff I had to make at home, like vegetable based alkaline broth.

It was rough going for the middle of the cleansing period, where I had to eat like a squirrel, being reduced to nothing more than nuts and seeds. Towards the end of the regimen I was able to begin putting protein back into the diet.

What were the results? Simply, I have never had the kind of mental clarity and alertness that I had after that cleanse. It was amazing; I was able to wake up at 4 am with no problem and my mind was sharp throughout the day. Only a good detoxification program can give you that.


I am amazed at the people who can stick out a cleanse, and then do another one a few months later!

Even though I realize there are some good benefits to be had, I just couldn't do it. Maybe I tried the wrong type of cleanse, but I don't have any desire to try another one.

I was completely famished and got the worst headache I have ever had. My sister told me I should have stuck it out longer, but I gave in and couldn't do it.

I really do try to eat a healthy diet and don't fill myself up with a lot of junk food. Some of my friends call me a health food nut, but a natural intestinal cleanse is just not for me.


@golf07 - I was really worried about being in the bathroom all the time when I did my first cleanse. I took a couple extra days off work just to be sure and planned this over a long weekend.

Not the most entertaining way to spend a long weekend, but I accomplished what I wanted to. I did an intestinal colon cleanse and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.

I was in the bathroom more than usual, but it was not like I had to live in there all weekend and didn't have control over everything.

I also thought I would be starving and wouldn't be able to handle it. I was hungry the first day, but after that I felt OK. I could have some vegetable broth or apple juice any time I felt like I needed some extra nourishment.

Since then I have done a second cleanse and knew more about what to expect the second time around. This is something I would like to do a couple times a year to get rid of some of the chemicals and toxins that build up in my body.


@golf07 - There are a lot of different cleanses out there, and everyone reacts differently. I have done more than one herbal intestinal cleanse. While I don't really look forward to them, I feel so much better after I have done one.

When I think about the amount of junk and toxins I am removing from my body, that is one of the biggest factors that keeps motivating me to do a cleanse.

I also have so much more energy and just feel so much lighter afterwards. I usually lose a few pounds in the process, but that is not the main reason I have a cleanse.

I want to keep my body functioning in the best way it can. It also makes me more conscious of the foods I choose to eat on a regular basis. I feel much better when I eliminate the junk from my diet.


I have never done an intestinal detox cleanse, but have thought about it several times. I have many of the symptoms that might indicate I need a cleanse such as abdominal pains and acid reflux.

I have two big concerns though. One is I wonder if this is something that you can do and work full time at the same time. It sounds like you might have to be running back and forth to the bathroom all the time.

My second concern is I get headaches if I go very long without eating. I wonder how I would feel if I went on a cleanse and if my headaches would get better or maybe even be worse.

The benefits of a cleanse sound good, but it also sounds like it would not be easy and would take a lot of discipline.

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