COLONIC IRRIGATIONS: A REVIEW OF THE HISTORICAL CONTROVERSY AND THE POTENTIAL FOR ADVERSE EFFECTS
by Douglas G. Richards, Ph.D.
from the Meridian Institute I-ACT Quarterly Fall 2005

Abstract

Colonic irrigations enjoy widespread popularity in the alternative medicine community, while being viewed with considerable skepticism by the conventional medical community and doctors. While proponents make claims of substantial health benefits, skeptics cite the lack of evidence for health benefits, and emphasize the potential for adverse effects. Historically, there are clinical reports of effectiveness, and virtually no research refuting these reports. Instead there was a campaign against exaggerated claims by non-medical practitioners that resulted in a movement away from this form of therapy without any scientific study of efficacy. Given the current popularity of colonic irrigations, it is important that such research be performed, but it is first necessary that a quantitative estimate of the potential for adverse effects be made for the purposes of informed consent. Although there is little specific literature on colonic irrigations, a review of the literature on related procedures such as enemas and sigmoidoscopies suggests that the risk of serious adverse effects is very low when the irrigations are performed by trained personnel using appropriate equipment.

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VALUE OF COLON HYDROTHERAPY VERIFIED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS PRESCRIBING IT
by Morton Walker, DPM
Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Morton Walker

Printed in the Townsend Letter for Doctors
August / September 2000 (#205/206)
MEDICAL JOURNALIST REPORT OF INNOVATIVE BIOLOGICS

From the signal stage of history surrounding ancient Egypt, practices of colon hydrotherapy in their most basic form – enemas or clysters – have provided people with internal cleansings adjunctive to their personal external hygiene. The Ebers Papyrus, from the 14th century BC prescribes internal cleansing for no less than twenty stomach and intestinal complaints.

But in the modern era it fell to J. H. Kellogg, MD, of Battle Creek, Michigan, famous for his invention of corn flakes and various techniques of good hygiene, to popularize colon hydrotherapy. This happened from Dr. Kellogg’s publication of his article in the Journal of the American Medical Association praising the procedure’s efficacy for saving a dysfunctional large bowel.

That descriptive article was the impetus for advancement of a highly beneficial therapeutic method which has since flourished and found recognition among enlightened health professionals in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and North America. Enthusiastic expressions of approval for colon hydrotherapy are undeniable medical endorsements for this significant complementary treatment which removes metabolic waste from a person’s large bowel without applying toxic agents of any kind.

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FACT, FICTION & FRAUD IN MODERN MEDICINE – COLONICS
byThomas Dorman, M.D.
Contemporary Health Care
August 2000 – Vol. 5, Issue 8

Ancient Origins

Colonic irrigation is an ancient method of healing and it would never have survived until the present scientific age if it were without value. It is a curious fact that medical practitioners seem to be either in favor of this treatment (and usually quiet about it) or vehemently opposed to its use. The objectors never have any experience of it. Every grown creature probably has an instinctive dislike of its own waste products, and this may explain why the physician is generally so remiss in examining the feces of his patients. There are indications from ancient documents that the Egyptians and the Greeks practiced colon irrigation therapeutically, although their ideas and the benefit to their patients are unknown to us. Hollow reeds and gourds were used to introduce water through the rectum.

The Reputation of Colonics

I first heard the term colonics as a young doctor practicing in California. Immediately, I knew that it was a form of quackery. 1 It is self-evident that the bowel excretes the waste products of digestion regularly, naturally and automatically. There is no need to interfere with nature. This pre-formed opinion (and I am uncertain how it came to be so firmly formed in my mind) was reinforced when I read comments from an official source, that I can no longer identify, condemning the use of colonics by lay practitioners in the state of California and, in due course, the medical association lobbied for its banning through the legislature. This surprised me a little. If something is useless and harmful, why is it necessary to make laws about it? We don’t have laws against swimming in sewage nor do we lobby our legislators to make such laws. The only sensible thing any person would do with sewage is dispose of it as hygienically as practical. This dilemma hung in my mind for a number of years. Since then, I have assiduously prescribed diuretics to my patients who retain water, laxative to those who were constipated and, personally, I brush my teeth every day. Think about it for a moment. Which is the cleaner part of your alimentary canal (The alimentary canal is the pipe through which the food passes in your body from mouth to anus)? The mouth is cleaner than the rectum, and yet it is the mouth that I clean with a toothbrush, with paste, and even flossing. Why clean the clean end? I think, in final analysis, the answer is that it is esthetic. The dirty end should be beneath our dignity; or should it?

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COLON HYDROTHERAPY PREPARATION

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