A colon cleanse is often used before a procedure (e.g. colonoscopy) or as part of detoxification and/or cleansing process which rids the colon of excess waste.
This can either be achieved through forms of colon irrigation or from a supplemental cleanse which consists of herbs, fibers, laxatives, probiotics, etc.
And, many undergo this process in an effort to lose weight, gain energy, cure constipation, and even stave off chronic ailments like colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc (although, the evidence is very limited).
But, there are many supplements available that can help you achieve a colon cleanse, so we’ve put together a review of 10 quality products on the market currently…
Note: Always consult with a physician before doing a colon cleanse if you have any health conditions or are taking any medications; to ensure your absolute safety.
How Does An Herbal/Supplement Colon Cleanse Work?
A colon cleanse flushes the system with the purpose of cleaning out the toxins and excess waste which sits in the digestive tract.
This excess waste is thought to be troublesome not only for the digestive tract but for health in general, although evidence is lacking in this regard (we’ll discuss shortly).
But laxatives, fiber, herbs, and probiotics are the main ingredients in most of the popular and effective colon cleanse products. Although, you’ll also see several other added ingredients to help the process along whether during or after the cleansing process (e.g. aloe vera for its soothing properties).
So, a colon cleanse pretty much stimulates the bowels to induce excretion of the waste contents in the colon.
But an herbal cleanse is preferred over a mechanical cleanse which can result in infections, rectum tearing (perforation), plus the other side effects common with a cleanse.
Main Ingredients Used
Laxatives are generally considered safe and effective for improving constipation, the regularity of bowel movements, and possibly other digestive system related issues.
The two common laxatives used in most of the colon cleanse products on the list are senna leaf and cascara sagrada.
Senna is a very popular and effective FDA-approved, over-the-counter laxative with active components referred to as sennosides.
It’s also preferred over other laxatives and one study showed that senna has a more favorable profile over other options for elderly patients suffering from constipation.
But Senna should only be used for a short duration due to its association with liver injuries from more long-term and higher dose supplementation. (1)
And the typical daily dose is 15 to 30 mg of sennosides twice a day.
Cascara sagrada is also an herbal laxative that is generally safe for short term use to treat constipation, and the active components are referred to as cascarosides. (2)
Long term and high dose usage have been associated with liver injury.
The typical dose for cascara sagrada is 300mg once daily.
Fiber is a must for a healthy digestive system and soluble fiber is the type that dissolves in water, therefore more beneficial for a colon cleanse. These types of fibers include psyllium husk, acacia fiber, etc. (3)
Psyllium husk, for example, is also a prebiotic fiber that actually feeds probiotics. It’s also a bulk-forming laxative.
And inulin is a prebiotic fiber that is beneficial for maintaining healthy gut bacteria.
But fiber, in general, bulks up and softens the stool, prevents hemorrhoids and colon cancer, lowers bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, plus it can lower high blood sugar. (4)
Plus, it keeps you full for longer which is ideal for weight loss, and research shows that it reduces the risk of developing heart diseases and cancers.
Herbs are a beneficial component for any health regime due to the proven therapeutic effects of many of these ancient substances.
Ginger is a common ingredient due to its anti-inflammatory, and potentially anti-cancer properties with a sufficient amount of evidence to back up its efficacy. (5)
Flaxseed is another superfood that supplies plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (α-linolenic acid) which is essential for heart health. And according to research, flaxseed is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. (6)
But the additional herbs used in the provided colon cleanse products are beneficial for health and/or safe for use although short term supplementation is advised due to the laxatives used.
Probiotics contain live microorganisms that supply the gut with healthy bacteria, and bacillus acidophilus is the main probiotic used because it’s also the most common. (7)
The full spectrum of benefits has not been concluded for many health claims. But, there’s promising evidence for antibiotic-associated diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, sepsis, and necrotizing enterocolitis.
Another main ingredient is aloe vera which is a soothing plant that is also considered a laxative. But the evidence is very limited to support the therapeutic effects which most people use it for. (8)
Nutririse 15-Day Quick Colon Cleanse
This 15-day colon cleanse supplement is all-natural, USA made, and third-party tested (purity); which contains 1179 mg of the main ingredients.
A serving contains 285mg senna leaf, 300mg cascara sagrada, 300mg psyllium husk (prebiotic fiber), 100mg flaxseed powder, and 80mg aloe vera. Plus, you get 50 bacillus acidophilus, 50mg licorice root, and 14mg medium-chain triglycerides which is a partially man-made and more easily digestible fat.
Eternal Zen 15-Day Cleanse
This advanced detox formula is manufactured in an FDA-registered facility that is conducive to optimal quality control.
Plus, you get a decent dose of effective colon cleanse supporting ingredients.
The ingredients include 285mg senna leaf, 300mg cascara sagrada, 300mg psyllium husk, 100mg flaxseed powder, and 80mg aloe vera. Plus, 50 bacillus acidophilus, 50mg licorice root, and 14mg medium-chain triglycerides.
NUTRATECH Ultra Tech
The Nutratech Ultra Cleanse (14-day) contains an 1,800mg proprietary blend consisting of fennel seed, cascara sagrada, ginger, goldenseal, pumpkin seed, buckthorn root, licorice root, rhubarb (fiber source), citrus pectin, acidophilus, acai, cape aloe, bentonite clay, aloe vera, cayenne pepper, senna, oat bran, prune juice, and flaxseed oil.
There are some beneficial herbs for health support in addition to the potent cleansing substances.
USA-made in an FDA-registered facility.
Nutra Champs 14-Day Colon Cleanse
Another quality colon cleanse supplement with natural ingredients, a serving of this 14-day cleanse contains 300mg senna leaf, 300mg cascara sagrada, 300mg psyllium husk, 100mg flaxseed powder, 100mg aloe vera gel.
Then you have an herbal blend which includes licorice root extract, ginger root, rhubarb root, black walnut hull, slippery elm bark, and MCT oil powder.
There’s also a digestive enzyme and probiotic blend which includes lactobacillus acidophilus, protease, amylase, lipase cellulase, and lactase.
There are plenty of quality ingredients to support a healthy cleanse in this Nutra Champs colon cleanse formula.
Body Gold Colon Clenz
Body Gold Colon Clenz is a gentle, yet effective colon cleanse product which contains a proprietary blend of cascara sagrada, senna leaf, Chinese rhubarb, black walnut hull, aloe vera, Oregon grape, yellow dock, valerian root, and slippery elm.
No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are contained in this product.
Nature’s Secret Multi-Fiber Colon Cleanse
Nature’s Secret Multi-Fiber colon cleanse contains a 557mg proprietary blend of ingredients you’d typically find in a product designed to promote similar results.
The main ingredients include cascara sagrada, psyllium husk, ginger root, chlorella powder, and lactobacillus acidophilus.
Glory Feel 15-Day Colon Detox
Glory Feel is a 15-day colon cleanse which contains all-natural ingredients and the product is third-party tested for purity.
The ingredients include 285mg senna leaf, 300mg cascara sagrada, 300mg psyllium husk, 100mg flaxseed powder, 80mg aloe vera, 50 bacillus acidophilus, 50mg licorice root, and 14mg medium-chain triglycerides.
Natural Balance Colon Clenz
Natural Balance Colon Clenz contains 425mg of a proprietary blend which includes cascara sagrada, senna, Chinese rhubarb, black walnut hull, aloe vera, Oregon grape, yellow dock root, valerian root, and slippery elm bark.
It’s a potent herbal blend, yet gentle as a cleansing formula.
Nutriana Keto Detox
Keto Detox is a colon cleanse formula that supports the ketogenic lifestyle. Keto is a very low carb, high fat, and moderate to high protein nutritional regime which aims to utilize fat for energy (ketosis) rather than carbohydrates.
This allows the body to burn fat and maximize protein for building muscle.
A serving contains 1,080mg psyllium husk, 50mg slippery elm bark, 50mg aloe ferox powder, 50mg chlorella powder, 50mg ginger root powder, plus a 252mg proprietary blend of black walnut powder, hyssop herb powder, papaya fruit powder, inulin, acai berry extract, and lycopene (antioxidant) 5%.
The product is USA-made in an FDA-registered facility.
Hyleys Colon Cleanse Blackberry Tea
Who wouldn’t like a great tasting tea with cleansing benefits…
Hyleys blackberry tea is an all-natural product that contains quality ingredients that are known to have positive effects on the digestive system.
Ingredients include senna, licorice root, cinnamon bark, fennel seed, ginger root, coriander seed, bael fruit, and natural blackberry flavor.
How Effective Is A Colon Cleanse?
The honest truth is that there’s very little evidence to conclude that a colon cleanse will provide all of the health benefits many believe there to be. (9)
Some people have found there to be positive effects on blood pressure, insulin resistance, and weight/fat loss. But, quality studies are scarce. And since the body is designed to detoxify itself, many experts are against the use of these supplements.
But when it comes to the supporting side of the argument, Jamey Wallace, ND, and clinic medical director for Bastyr Center for Natural Health of Bastyr University in Seattle explained, “I don’t agree there are no benefits”.
“If someone is constipated and they have no other medical diagnosis, it can be very helpful.”
One 2016 study concluded that colon irrigation can improve symptoms associated with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which include diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. (10)
Patients in the study were also more satisfied with their bowel movements.
So, while many will be opposed to a colon cleanse, there’s a rational argument for why it can be beneficial for some people, even if just for the reason previously mentioned.
Constipation is an unpleasant issue that plagues many, but a good colon cleanse can effectively get things moving. This is important for the health of the digestive system and is a good way to reintroduce better nutritional habits in an effort to maintain regular bowel activity.
Now, when flushing out your gastrointestinal digestive tract, you ideally want to ensure that you’re feeding your gut with good bacteria for optimal health.
And many products contain probiotics for this purpose.
But flooding your digestive system with fiber is also a big plus since it is an essential component of healthy and regular bowel activity.
Colon Cleanse Product Selection Criteria
We chose the colon cleanse products on the list due to several factors which include ingredients, user feedback, and product quality.
Now, it’s important to remember that since the evidence is extremely limited for the health and body composition benefits of a colon cleanse, there’s no guarantee that these products will work for everyone.
However, since these are some of the top options where quality and ingredients are concerned, it will be hard to find anything significantly better.
So, we made sure there was a combination of ingredients that are generally safe and effective for most people doing a cleanse, rather than just choosing single-ingredient formulas.
Cleansing isn’t just about flushing the system but also replenishing your digestive tract to maintain healthy function. And probiotics can help to accomplish this.
But then, as far as laxatives go, senna is the most popular and it’s also an FDA-approved, over-the-counter laxative. So, this is the main ingredient, (along with cascara sagrada) in most of our picks.
It works and is safe so you can’t really go wrong here. Although, some supplements choose to omit this ingredient.
And, of course, fiber is another ingredient that is commonly included in most colon cleanse formulas which helps further improve the digestive and cleansing process.
But every product is not the same and there’s an option for everyone.
Side Effects Of Supplemental Colon Cleanse
While studies for the effectiveness of a colon cleanse are very limited, there have been side effects reported which is pretty typical when it comes to supplementation.
And you should never do a cleanse longer than what is typically advised which is seen on the label of any of these products.
Common side effects include:
- Electrolyte imbalance
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance are the most important side effects you want to keep an eye on because your health is more at stake. But that’s why you should not do a colon cleanse often.
And make sure to replenish your electrolytes (low sugar/sodium electrolyte drinks are great) and stay hydrated after a colon cleanse to avoid intense side effects.
To cleanse or not to cleanse… this is the question for anyone considering implementing a colon cleanse in their health regime in an effort to achieve some form of health benefit.
But not everyone will need one and since the evidence is extremely limited, a colon cleanse should be done very infrequently if one decides to go this route.
And if you’re a generally healthy individual who’s digestive system is normal and you’re not suffering from constipation, then you might want to skip out.
Remember, the body naturally rids the colon from waste and detoxifies so you don’t want to overdo it. And always seek the advice of a medical professional if you take medication and/or suffer from any form of health issue/s.