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Flushing Out Toxins Naturally: The Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD
Colon Hydrotherapy During Holistic Detoxification

The human body is subject to a realm of toxins that enter into bodily systems via the environment around us, whether it be from the air we breathe, the food we eat, or the medications we take. The human body’s digestive system is designed to remove those toxins, but when the toxins build up faster than our bodies can excrete them, there are ways to help the digestive and excretory systems cleanse the body. One way is through colon hydrotherapy.

There is a direct correlation between the gut and other bodily functions, which can be interrupted or distressed when toxins build up in the gut. Problems can arise throughout the body and wreak havoc on various systems of the body, but these toxins can potentially be cleared by holistic detoxification methods like colon hydrotherapy.2

Has your body’s neurotoxicity
been entirely overlooked?
A well-functioning gut microbiome is directly associated with improvements in mental health. This is a primary benefit of properly done, safe and gentle colon hydrotherapy, followed by the restoration of good gut bacteria.1,4,12,13

colon cleansing
For close to 2 decades now, Alternative to Meds Center has been a leader in holistic strategies for mental health. Please take a moment to review our published evidence either before or after reading the information on this page. Many of our clients come to us with a history of imperfect diagnoses, which led to ineffective treatments, including medications that did not alleviate their symptoms. Cleansing the body at the cellular level is one of the most fundamental principles of health, both physical and mental. Continue reading to find out about how and why it’s so effective for mental wellness.
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The Correlation Between the Gut and Holistic Detoxification

As a common essential component of holistic detoxification in patients tapering off medications or illicit drug use, colon hydrotherapy not only cleans out the toxins from the body that can make an individual sick both physically and mentally, but it allows for better absorption of the good nutrients the human body needs to thrive. When toxins build up, they prevent essential nutrients from absorbing properly. This, in turn, prevents other bodily systems from functioning correctly because they are not getting adequate nutrition to perform at their potential optimal level.3

One of the first bodily functions to be affected by poor nutrient absorption is the neurological system. When the body’s neurochemistry balance is out of equilibrium, several negative outcomes can occur, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia, as well as other physically debilitating diseases. Because the body can’t get rid of these toxins, it attempts to redeposit them in other places in the body, such as brain tissue, cells, and organ linings.4

Thus, the use of colonics, or colon hydrotherapy like the Basti herbal enemas used by Alternative to Meds Center, clears the colon and elimination tracts, eliminating the mucus that prevents the absorption of nutrients. When toxin overload is treated with colon hydrotherapy, nutrients including probiotics to restore good bacteria can once again be properly absorbed, to support mental wellness and recovery.

Gut and Holistic Detoxification

The Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy

There are a wide range of benefits that colon hydrotherapy can provide. The examples in the list below are followed by a more detailed description for each.

Benefits of colon hydrotherapy include:
  • Improves digestion
  • Supports colon health in recovery from medication/drug use
  • Improves nutrient absorption
  • Can kickstart weight loss & reduce bloating
  • Enhances mental clarity
  • Improves skin
  • Strengthens immune function

Using colon hydrotherapy to clean out toxins from the body is just the beginning. The benefits that ensue are life-changing for patients who receive these treatments. Because the gut is so often found to be the culprit in many patients’ ailments, colon hydrotherapy becomes an essential component in treatment. Some of the most common positive outcomes of colonics are described below.

Improves Digestion

When food particles do not get fully digested, they can get situated in the folds of the bowel lining and facilitate the growth of bad bacteria. This bad bacteria is believed to be the culprit of such gastrointestinal ailments as gas, abdominal cramping, and bloating, as well as quick-onset urges to go or the inability to go for a delayed time (constipation).

By gently infusing water into the colon, accumulated waste is softened and, thus, eliminated. This clears the way for regular bowel movements to take place, which in turn alleviates bloating, gas, and constipation and reduces general discomfort in the gastrointestinal system. 5

Supports Colon Health in Recovery from Medication/Drug Use

Drug use is associated with colon dysfunction. Much study has been done on opioids, that show a direct impairment on gastrointestinal function. Part of the healing process after opioids and other types of drugs that impair intestinal function is to restore gut function. This is accomplished with a blend of colon cleansing, diet and supplement regimens, exercise, and many other therapies which support gut function and improve motility.6-8

Improves Nutrition Absorption

Gut Health

When the colon is clean and a healthy gut barrier has been restored with adequate nutrition including fermented foods and supplements, it becomes easier for the body to absorb the nutrition it so desperately needs from foods and supplements. A blocked colon or a leaky gut hinders the absorption of essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals other systems in the body need to function properly, including the neurological system, which is a prime factor in regulating mood and mental health. When the absorption of nutrients is at an efficient capacity, it can potentially increase energy levels, improve mental health, and make individuals feel better in general, thus inciting other healthy activities. All of these have positive outcomes within the body and can have a positive impact on mental health.8

Can Kickstart Weight Loss & Reduce Bloating

Colon hydrotherapy alone is not primarily a means for losing weight; however, when coupled with other efforts, as part of a weight loss plan, colon hydrotherapy can help eliminate toxins and water weight that may result in a temporary weight reduction. While this is typically only water and waste weight, it can improve physical ailments that oftentimes impede exercise or other weight loss efforts. When the bloating and discomfort begin to ease, many individuals are inspired to start an exercise regime and stick to it.

In addition, removing excess waste and mucus in the colon, which physically weighs down the body and bloats bellies, can result in a flatter stomach. Colon hydrotherapy can also clear the pathway for waste to exit properly. This helps maintain healthier conditions for losing weight, according to a study out of India, which found positive weight loss effects after a course of colon hydrotherapy in a clinical setting.5

Enhances Mental Clarity

Studies on schizophrenic persons show better mental states, citing sedative and other therapeutic positive effects after the procedure is used. By removing from the body toxins, accumulated waste, and heavy metals that hinder not only bodily functions but brain functions as well, the brain can work at an efficiency more in line with its potential capacity. Improved concentration is another potential benefit of treatment.9,13

Improves Skin

As mentioned above, when the body builds up toxins that don’t get excreted, the body looks for other places to store them or even get rid of them. When the toxins build up in the skin and attempt to exit the pores, it can cause skin irritation, such as eczema and acne. When the burden of natural detoxification is alleviated from other bodily systems, the liver and kidneys can function optimally and do their job properly. This can help clear toxins and blemishes from other areas, like the skin.10

Strengthens Immune Function

The proliferation of healthy bacteria in the gut as a part of the gut microbiome is a key factor in the proper functioning of the body’s immune system. That’s why disruption of the gut microbiome with an overload of toxins, undesirable bacteria, and more can wreak havoc on the metabolism and contribute to a weakened immune system susceptible to a number of diseases. Fortunately, colon hydrotherapy and restoration of healthy bacteria can not only stabilize the gut microbiome but also exert a positive influence on the immune system. A well-functioning immune system can help prevent disease, enable the body to fight invading pathogens, and may even help to reduce allergy symptoms.11,12

About Colon Hydrotherapy

While there are many wonderful benefits associated with colon hydrotherapy, it is not uncommon for patients to enter Alternative to Meds Center without a firm grasp of what the process entails. In fact, some people are even intimidated by the concept of hydrotherapy applied to the colon – otherwise known as a colonic or colon lavage. However, there’s nothing to be apprehensive about when it comes to this gentle procedure.

You will be met by your therapist, who will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have before beginning. Clients report the process as relaxing, pleasant, and comfortable.

Learn More About Colon Hydrotherapy From Alternative to Meds Center

Colon hydrotherapy is a vital component of holistic detoxification here at Alternative to Meds Center, but it is only one of many strategies we use to help the body eliminate toxins and restore balance. Whether you are considering our inpatient treatment center as a way to eliminate harmful drugs and alcohol from your body and your life or to improve your mental health, holistic detoxification will be a foundation of your treatment. Consult with Alternative to Meds Center to learn more about our beautiful Sedona, Arizona, treatment center and our personalized approach to holistic detoxification, colon hydrotherapy, and lasting recovery.


1. Appleton J. (2018). The Gut-Brain Axis: Influence of Microbiota on Mood and Mental Health. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 17(4), 28–32. Retrieved December 21, 2023, from

2. Cardenas-Iniguez C, Burnor E, Herting MM. Neurotoxicants, the Developing Brain, and Mental Health. Biol Psychiatry Glob Open Sci. 2022 Jul;2(3):223-232. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsgos.2022.05.002. Epub 2022 May 23. PMID: 35911498; PMCID: PMC9337627. [cited 2024 Feb 12]

3. Firth J, Gangwisch JE, Borisini A, Wootton RE, Mayer EA. Food and mood: how do diet and nutrition affect mental wellbeing? BMJ. 2020 Jun 29;369:m2382. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m2382. Erratum in: BMJ. 2020 Nov 9;371:m4269. PMID: 32601102; PMCID: PMC7322666. [cited 2024 Feb 12]

4. Shoubridge AP, Choo JM, Martin AM, Keating DJ, Wong ML, Licinio J, Rogers GB. The gut microbiome and mental health: advances in research and emerging priorities. Mol Psychiatry. 2022 Apr;27(4):1908-1919. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01479-w. Epub 2022 Mar 2. PMID: 35236957. [cited 2024 Feb 12]

5. Thatte U, Chiplunkar S, Bhalerao S, Kulkarni A, Ghungralkar R, Panchal F, Vetale S, Teli P, Kumbhar D, Munshi R. Immunological & metabolic responses to a therapeutic course of Basti in obesity. Indian J Med Res. 2015 Jul;142(1):53-62. doi: 10.4103/0971-5916.162099. PMID: 26261167; PMCID: PMC4557251. [cited 2024 Feb 12]

6. Ren M, Lotfipour S. The role of the gut microbiome in opioid use. Behav Pharmacol. 2020 Apr;31(2&3):113-121. doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000538. PMID: 31895059; PMCID: PMC7908675.[cited 2024 Feb 12]

7. Ueki T, Nakashima M. Relationship Between Constipation and Medication. J UOEH. 2019;41(2):145-151. doi: 10.7888/juoeh.41.145. PMID: 31292358. [cited 2024 April 12]

8. Aleman RS, Moncada M, Aryana KJ. Leaky Gut and the Ingredients That Help Treat It: A Review. Molecules. 2023 Jan 7;28(2):619. doi: 10.3390/molecules28020619. PMID: 36677677; PMCID: PMC9862683.[cited 2024 Feb 12]

9. Pascal M, Perez-Gordo M, Caballero T, Escribese MM, Lopez Longo MN, Luengo O, Manso L, Matheu V, Seoane E, Zamorano M, Labrador M, Mayorga C. Microbiome and Allergic Diseases. Front Immunol. 2018 Jul 17;9:1584. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01584. PMID: 30065721; PMCID: PMC6056614. [cited 2024 Feb 12]

10. De Pessemier B, Grine L, Debaere M, Maes A, Paetzold B, Callewaert C. Gut-Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions. Microorganisms. 2021 Feb 11;9(2):353. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9020353. PMID: 33670115; PMCID: PMC7916842. [cited 2024 Feb 12]

11. Mooventhan, A., & Nivethitha, L. (2014). Scientific evidence-based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body. North American journal of medical sciences, 6(5), 199–209. [cited 2024 Feb 12]

12. Clapp M, Aurora N, Herrera L, Bhatia M, Wilen E, Wakefield S. Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis. Clin Pract. 2017 Sep 15;7(4):987. doi: 10.4081/cp.2017.987. PMID: 29071061; PMCID: PMC5641835. [cited 2024 Feb 12]

13. Shevchuk NA. Hydrotherapy as a possible neuroleptic and sedative treatment. Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(2):230-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2007.05.028. Epub 2007 Jul 20. PMID: 17640827. [cited 2024 Feb 12]

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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