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Colon Cleanse: How Much Do You Know?
What you need to know about colon cleanse products and therapies

Q: Colon cleanse herbs and herbal laxatives are harmless alternatives to commercial laxatives.

A: You answered "false". Your answer is correct. 

Many popular colon cleanse herbs contain substances called anthraquinones, such as cascara sagrada, rhubarb, and senna. Anthraquinones are responsible for the laxative effects of these herbs, but they have also been linked with these side effects:

  • Strong cramping and griping pains in the abdomen due to muscle contractions. 
  • Electrolyte imbalance (loss of potassium) and loss of body fluids
  • Nausea, bloody diarrhea, rash
  • Dark pigmentation in the colon, called melanosis coli, with longer term use. 
  • May interact with heart medication.
  • Pregnant or nursing women and children should not laxatives containing anthraquinones
  • Linked to liver toxicity, hepatitis, kidney impairment, increased risk of colorectal growths (adenoma) and cancer

Anthraquinone-containing herbs should not be used by people diverticular disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, severe hemorrhoids, blood vessel disease, congestive heart failure, heart disease, severe anemia, abdominal hernia, gastrointestinal cancer, recent colon surgery, or liver and kidney disease.

Discontinue immediately if you experience these side effects and call your doctor. 

Next Question


Colon Cleanse Resources:

What is a colonic? - What you need to know about getting a colonic, also called colon hydrotherapy.

What is the difference between a colonic and an enema? 

Digestive System Cleanse - Simple digestive cleanse plan

Colon Cleanse Herbs

Colon Cleanse Index - Library of colon cleanse articles

Detox Screening Quiz - Is it time for a detox diet?

Detox and Cleansing Index - Library of articles about detox and cleansing.

Detox Diet Plan - Two-week detox diet plan to cleanse with food and herbs.

Detox Diet Recipes - Three recipes for the detox diet.

Detox Diet Basics - Essential information about detox.

Candida Screening Quiz - Candida is yeast overgrowth that can cause low energy, weight gain, depression, PMS, migraines and headaches, digestive problems, and many other symptoms

Candida Cleanse Plan - Learn more about the candida cleanse diet and how it may help with candida yeast overgrowth.

Juice Fasting Index - Articles about juice fasting.

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