Proponents of colon cleansing claim that using laxatives, enemas, teas or other specialized preparations can help remove toxins from your gastrointestinal tract and improve your health. But there's little evidence to support these claims, and colon cleansing can sometimes be harmful, leading to nausea, vomiting, dehydration and bowel perforations. If you want to try a colon cleanse, speak to your doctor first. If you get the go-ahead, drinking prune and apple juices for a day or two is a relatively safe way of getting things moving.
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Drink 16 ounces of prune juice upon waking. Naturopath and herbalist Dr. John R. Christopher claims prune juice draws toxins from all over the body to the intestines to be eliminated.
Consume 8 ounces of unfiltered apple juice within 30 minutes of drinking the first glass of prune juice. Swish the apple juice around in your mouth thoroughly, which is called "chewing." The average person will consume 1 gallon of apple juice per day on this cleanse, or roughly 1 ounce per pound of body weight, according to Christopher.
Drink 8 ounces of distilled water 30 minutes after the apple juice.
Wait 30 minutes, then drink another 8 ounces of apple juice.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 every 30 minutes throughout the day, alternating 8 ounces of apple juice with 8 ounces of water.
Naturopathic doctor Elizabeth Yarnell recommends juicing your own organic apples for the cleanse. If you don't have a juicer, she advises choosing very cloudy -- unfiltered -- organic apple juice.
Christopher recommends unsweetened prune juice, if possible.
Cleanses are not long-term weight-loss solutions. Registered dietitian Lauren Blake told "U.S. News & World Report" that people are likely to regain any weight they lose during a cleanse and risk experiencing nutritional deficiencies. Dr. Pamela Peeke told CNN that three days is the most anyone should engage in a juice cleanse. If you're pregnant or have diabetes, don't even consider a cleanse, says Peeke.
Juicing can cause severe diarrhea, according to the American Cancer Society.
- Cleveland Clinic: Colon Cleansing: Is It Safe?
- Dr. Christopher's Herbal Legacy: Dr. John R. Christopher's "Three Day Cleansing Program"
- Effortless Eating: Apple Juice Colon Cleanse
- CNN: Fad Diets and Trendy Workouts: What Works?
- U.S. News & World Report: Juice Cleanses: Health Hocus Pocus
- American Cancer Society: Juicing