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What is a Bowel Detox?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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A bowel detox is a term that is applied to a number of different strategies used to remove toxins from the intestines by means of promoting more efficient elimination of waste. Sometimes referred to as a colon cleanse or an intestinal purification, this form of detox normally involves the use of several different types of herbal supplements that are designed to flush out the bowels, preventing the accumulation of residue that could eventually cause damage to the intestinal tract. There are many proponents of this approach to maintaining health, as well as a number of detractors who see these various processes as ineffectual at best and dangerous at worst.

A basic bowel detox will make use of natural elements that are said to promote healthy function of the colon and the intestines in general. Many of the detox products make use of ingredients such as psyllium and bentonite. As these substances pass through the system, they soak up water in the tract. This causes the material to expand and purportedly scrape residue off the intestinal walls. The end result is thought to be that the body is cleared of toxins, and the natural pH balance of the intestines is restored. This in turn is supposed to help to increase the overall efficiency and strength of the system, which in turn has a positive effect on the rest of the body.

Many bowel detox plans and kits are found in nutrition shops and vitamin stores. The process of detoxification may involve the use of juices such as cranberry juice in conjunction with the bulk-building materials. Some kits include detox teas that are said to soothe the system while simultaneously promoting the elimination of waste. In most cases, the recommendations that come with these products encourage consumption of certain foods to help aid in the body cleansing.

There is some difference of opinion on the effectiveness of undergoing a bowel detox. Proponents report feeling much more energized and optimistic after having a detox. They sometimes report better health in general, noting that colds and other common ailments seem to occur with less frequency. Detractors of various bowel detox products believe that maintaining an equitable amount of fiber in the daily diet will effectively accomplish the same purpose, with no need for special products. There are some who believe that it is possible to become reliant on the detox products to manage normal bowel elimination, although even people who think the detox treatments are unnecessary usually dismiss this particular claim.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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