There are 100 trillion bacteria in our intestines. They form the intestinal flora that is so important for our immune system. Most of these bacteria live in the intestinal mucosa, where they aid digestion, fight off unwanted germs, help produce vitamins and neutralise toxins. If the equilibrium of these bacteria is disturbed, the natural gut flora is affected.
Colon cleansing helps re-establish the symbiosis and restore the gut flora. By the way, colon cleansing is not only recommended for people who are already ill, it is also an important preventive healthcare measure to strengthen the immune system.
What disturbs the balance of the intestinal flora?
The more diverse the composition of the bacterial species in the intestinal flora, the more the intestinal flora benefits our health. Eating a balanced diet makes a huge difference to maintaining the equilibrium. Excessive amounts of sugar or protein, as well as too many empty carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta and sweets, can have a negative impact on the intestinal flora. As a result, the bacteria cannot produce enough beneficial nutrients. Stress has a similar effect. However, the biggest killers of bacteria are antibiotics. They not only kill the bad bacteria, but also partially destroy the good bacteria, making us more susceptible to disease. That is why it is even more important to eat nutritious food and take care of your gut flora when taking medication.
Signs that indicate an imbalance in the intestinal flora:
- stomach ache
- allergies or food intolerances
- chronic fatigue
- irritable bowel syndrome
Step 1: Flushing out the colon
Colon cleansing starts with the flush. This removes harmful residues from the colon and detoxifies the body. The intestinal mucosa and its beneficial bacteria regenerate, minimise inflammation and find rebalance. The day before the flushing, you should ideally spare your stomach in order to gradually prepare the body for the emptying process. On this day, eat easily digestible, high-fibre foods such as vegetables, rice, potatoes, fruit or natural yoghurt. Sweets, alcohol, nicotine and coffee should be completely avoided.
For flushing the colon, natural laxatives such as Glauber's salt or Epsom salt work well. An enema would also do the trick. The recommended dosage is 20-30 grams of Glauber's salt dissolved in half a litre of lukewarm water. Avoid drinking the solution too quickly: around 20 minutes is recommended.
For most people, the effects are felt after 2-4 hours at the latest. Any physical activity after drinking the liquid will accelerate the intestinal activity. In this case, ensure that you have access to a toilet close by. As the discharge is similar to diarrhoea, a lot of fluid is extracted from the body. It is therefore important to drink at least 3-4 litres of water during the whole process.
Step 2: Restoring the intestinal flora
The day after flushing, the intestinal flora needs to be naturally restored. Probiotics and prebiotics are ideal for this purpose. Probiotics are micro-organisms that are beneficial to health, such as lactic acid bacteria. These are what we could call "good" bacteria. Prebiotics are fibres that help these "good" bacteria multiply. Inulin, a plant substance, is one of them.
The ingredients contained in probiotics and prebiotics can be found in many food supplements sold in pharmacies at high prices in the form of capsules or powder. However, the effects of these products are disputed. According to Gesundheitstipp magazine (in german), the effectiveness of these products has never been clearly proven.
The best way to restore the intestinal flora is to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Initially, more probiotic and prebiotic foods should be consumed. In a normal case, this would be for about 1-2 weeks; however, since a full restoration of the intestinal flora depends on the individual, it’s not possible to indicate a specific period of time. The duration depends strongly on the condition of the intestinal flora. For this reason you should listen to your body and continue the treatment until you feel better.
Probiotics in food
Prebiotics in food
Even when the balance of the intestinal flora is restored, it is still worth eating this type of food on a regular basis. A healthy gut makes you feel fitter and more productive and you are better protected from disease.