By Dr. Edward F. Group, III, DC, PhD, ND, DACBN
Health-conscious consumers are more than willing to spend valuable time and money on natural means of maintaining their health; and many of these consumers subscribe to the philosophy that good health begins in the bowels.
As a result, the natural health supplement industry has recently been flooded with numerous infomercials on natural health, herbal colon cleansers, and detoxifiers. These products may be natural, but are they really effective? More importantly, does buying “natural” necessarily mean buying safe?
According to the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and similar organizations, many herbal colon cleansers could be more than just ineffective. They could be putting consumer health at serious risk.
While there are a handful of safe herbal colon cleansers on the market, most manufacturers choose to include cheap and potentially dangerous ingredients in their formulations. Popular herbal ingredients to be especially wary of include Psyllium, Cascara Sagrada, and Senna.
A host of other potentially dangerous herbal combination’s make their way into these cleansers as well, so be sure to research each individual ingredient in any product before eating or drinking it.
A better option would be to choose a non-herbal cleansing product with a well-documented safety record. In addition to being more effective than herbal cleansers, an oxygen-based cleanser like Oxy-Powder® is much gentler on the digestive tract and offers virtually no risk whatsoever to your health.
There’s a special reason for such a safety record. Oxy-Powder® doesn’t force you to have a bowel movement like chemical laxatives, drug-based enemas, and herbal colon cleansers. These products either irritate the intestinal tract to induce a bowel movement or they basically create a condition similar to incontinence so everything just comes out whether you’re ready or not. Oxy-Powder® on the other hand just helps your colon perform its normal functions of food assimilation and waste disposal.
You see, your colon can become quite clogged from years of eating bad foods (fatty meats, sweets, starchy side dishes, etc.) and the only way you can effectively cleanse the accumulated waste matter from your bowels is with the aid of a quality colon cleansing product. We’ll reveal how an oxygen-based colon cleanser can help you later. For now, let’s learn more about the harmful herbal colon cleansers’ ingredients.
Psyllium is one of the most common ingredients in herbal colon cleansers and especially in over-the-counter “fiber” laxatives. Numerous reports exist concerning serious allergic reactions following the ingestion of Psyllium products. These reactions include labored breathing, skin irritations or hives, and potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis (constriction of the esophagus leading to choking). Long-term use of products containing Psyllium may also negatively affect absorption of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron.
Perhaps most ironically, obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract has also been regularly cited in studies of patients taking Psyllium products. These studies seem to suggest this side effect is especially common in individuals prone to suffering constipation.
An oxygen producing cleanser like Oxy-Powder®, on the other hand, actually converts solid waste into a gas or liquid which makes it impossible for an intestinal blockage to occur. In addition to natural Citric Acid, Oxy-Powder® also contains a specially ozonated compound of Magnesium oxides. This key ingredient is like a bonus because it permits you to restore a small amount of the mineral lost from taking a Psyllium or Senna-based herbal colon cleansers.
Oxy-Powder® helps to remove these types of obstructions by liquefying accumulated waste and other organic debris. This effect should not be confused with diarrhea which is caused by viral infection of the bowels. The best part–once your intestines become unrestricted of that awful constipation, they can begin to function as they should with the end result being improvement to your processes of digestion and elimination.
It’s difficult to comprehend why any intelligent person would purchase any herbal colon cleansers with a tendency to actually cause bowel obstruction (otherwise known as constipation) rather than a safe, proven formula like Oxy-Powder® that works to clear away hardened and putrefying fecal matter.
The name Cascara sagrada is used generically to describe the aged bark of several species of Buckthorn shrub. It’s used as the principal component of many herbal colon cleansers.
Some supplement marketers attempt to sneak Cascara under the smart consumer’s radar by disguising it as part of a “proprietary blend” or by listing it by its lesser-known name “buckthorn bark.” These same companies will sometimes slap on fine-print disclaimers about their products containing this dangerous ingredient, presumably to protect themselves against potential lawsuits. It’s unfortunate they’re not so willing to protect the health of the people taking their shoddy product.
In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned Cascara and its derivatives from use in non-prescription laxatives due to lack of supportive evidence they were either safe or effective. The FDA however failed to protect consumers from manufacturers who include Cascara in “dietary supplements” under which heading herbal colon cleansers invariably fall.
Oxygen cleansers like Oxy-Powder® are made from minerals instead of plant byproducts so it offers a significantly diminished risk for contamination. You see, plants absorb nutrients from the surrounding environment so if pollution or chemicals are present the herbs can become tainted as well. However, due to modern processing methods and technology, minerals can be easily isolated so you obtain only the pure extract. Furthermore, Oxy-Powder® provides a more predictable effect on the body than herbal colon cleansers made with Cascara or other herbs because, with Oxy-Powder®, you engage in no risk of allergic reaction.
Each person’s internal chemistry can react quite differently to various substances and therein lays one of chief dangers of herbal colon cleansers. For example, some people are lactose intolerant and don’t even realize it, so every time they think they’re enjoying a tall glass of cold milk they are actually irritating their digestive system and possibly contributing to their constipation.
Oxy-Powder® helps the body detoxify by cleansing out toxin-laden waste plus the intestinal mucous that develops as a defensive measure against harmful foods and other material. So, if you err in trying herbal colon cleansers and you’re experiencing harsh side effects, Oxy-Powder® can help you restore intestinal balance by eliminating waste and trace herbal residue.
Senna is produced from a tropical flowering plant and is a popular ingredient in “diet” or “cleansing” teas as well as many body cleansing supplements. Senna has also been the subject of numerous consumer complaints stretching as far back as 1987.
Between 1992 and 1994, there were at least four recorded deaths of otherwise healthy young females who reportedly used senna-containing teas for extended periods. However, further investigation in these cases was unable to yield sufficient evidence to ban the substance altogether. Regrettably, at least for the time being, this dangerous herbal substance is still readily available in many herbal teas, laxatives, herbal colon cleansers, and a variety of dietary supplements.
By the way, both Cascara and Senna are forms of Anthraquinones-naturally occurring compounds found primarily in plants and certain insects. In addition to their use in low-quality colon cleansers, Anthraquinones have historically been used in the commercial manufacturing of dyes and pigments for the garment industry.
Anthraquinones basically irritate intestinal bacteria to cause bowel contractions. According to the National Institutes of Health, common side effects of Anthraquinone-based stimulant laxatives include brownish urine, severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting. This class of laxatives also has a tendency to strip away good intestinal bacteria which normally assist the body’s digestive process.
By contrast, Oxy-Powder® will not impair beneficial bacteria but, at the same time, it helps create an environment unwelcoming to harmful flora so they cannot overpopulate and cause sickness. If the balance of flora in the digestive system is optimal, you can enjoy efficient digestion, increased absorption of vital nutrients, and less chance for a variety of intestinal diseases to develop in the future.
If abused, Anthraquinones can also cause electrolyte imbalances and potassium loss, and because electrolytes play an essential role in creating nerve impulses to facilitate proper muscle function, unbalanced potassium levels can trigger irregular heartbeat and other potentially life-threatening conditions. Oxy-Powder® provides no such side effects–it performs exactly as it should, no more and no less. Oxy-Powder® does not actually induce a bowel movement but merely breaks down old fecal matter so your body can clear it out and begin the healing process. Thereafter, improved biological functions can occur as a matter of course.
Warning Signs for Herbal Colon Cleansers
The majority of herbs used in these products are sourced from foreign sources such as companies in China or India. To generate a profit, these companies are typically using very low-grade herbal powders or solvent extracted herbal derivatives which may be contaminated with a host of heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides, and other toxins.
Furthermore, many of these manufactures utilize the entire plant under the false assumption they can increase profit by not wasting anything. For many herbs however, only specific parts of the plants contain the desired substance in the correct chemical structure or potency. In most cases, herbs also receive radiation before being shipped internationally to reduce the presence of germs, but this practice also tends to greatly reduce their effectiveness. With many of these herbal colon cleansers, you’re basically paying a lot of money for a canister of mostly inert or “dead” mixtures.
Make sure you ask any company from which you purchase herbal colon cleansers if they can provide documentation regarding the source of their herbs and a certificate asserting their product is free of herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, heavy metals, and fumigants and also contains non-irradiated ingredients. Also, try to make sure the product is packaged in pure vegetable capsules instead of capsules manufactured with toxic glues and binders or gelatin capsules comprised of animal-processing byproducts and artificial preservatives.
To compare, Oxy-Powder® is encapsulated in vegetable capsules that are gelatin-free, safe, and all natural. Vegetable capsules offer no side effects, are free of preservatives and other chemicals, and promote the organic lifestyle because no animal nor is the environment harmed in their manufacture. Oxy-Powder®’s capsules are vegetarian safe so you can take them knowing they are made with a variety of cultural and religious beliefs in mind. Plus, the cellulosic material utilized in their construction ensures your body can quickly digest the ingredients (namely the Oxy-Powder®) so they can get to work quickly.
Finally, it’s a good idea to avoid herbal colon cleansers containing questionable or hard-to-digest non-nutritive substances such as:
- Magnesium stearate
- Silicon dioxide (common sand)
- Food glaze
- Carnauba wax
- Apple pectin
- Binders or fillers
Ideally, all of the ingredients utilized in a natural colon cleanser should be organically certified, wildcrafted, or at the very least, free of all harmful contaminates.
Summary – A Better, Safer Option
While the facts surrounding herbal colon cleansers may seem disheartening to consumers seeking natural options for maintaining their health, safe alternatives do exist. Unlike herbal or other over-the-counter laxatives, oxygen-based cleansers thoroughly cleanse the walls of the colon and intestines without bringing dangerous or unpleasant side effects.
Several reputable options for oxygen cleansing are available, but Oxy-Powder® is widely considered to be the best. Oxy-Powder® works by releasing nascent oxygen into the bowel using a Magnesium oxide carrier. Simply put, specialized oxygen molecules are locked in place by being bonded to specific forms of magnesium. The Citric Acid, in conjunction with gastric juices, breaks apart these bonds and thus allows the oxygen to escape into the intestines where it gently dissolves impacted waste.
Oxy-Powder® has several other notable advantages over herbal colon cleansers. Besides fully utilizing modern technology in its manufacturing and development, the makers of Oxy-Powder® also provide you with a stronger formula as measured in our Analysis of Oxy-Powder® vs. Competitors’ Products. And remember those convenient vegetarian capsules we just described? Many herbal colon cleansers are sold as a loose powder that must be mixed with water, or worse, with some other ingredient you have to purchase.
Oxy-Powder® provides an array of positive health benefits. Oxy-Powder® helps to gently cleanse, flush, and detoxify your colon without the dangerous of embarrassing side effects of laxatives and herbal colon cleansers!
To summarize, Oxy-Powder® . . .
- Helps restore bowel regularity
- Cleanses, refreshes, and detoxifies
- Eliminates fecal buildup clogging your colon
- Promotes renewed vitality and general health
- Supports a healthy immune and digestive systems
- Assists in maximum absorption of vital nutrients
- Aids in efficient, easy bowel movements
Compared to the harsh side effects and potential for danger inherent to using the herbal colon cleansers described above, wouldn’t you rather use a product offering safe, effective results? It must be noted–this information is not intended to dissuade consumers from using natural herbal-based health products. In most cases, natural supplements are still a great and preferred alternative to synthetic drugs.
Let’s face it–herbs are about as natural as you can get. But many herbs and herbal colon cleansers can be just as potent (and potentially dangerous) as pharmaceuticals. So please, do yourself and your body a favor and thoroughly research any colon cleansing product before trying it to relieve constipation symptoms or to improve overall health. Then find an organic colon cleansing product that works and won’t bring more harm than good. Do what’s best for your body so you can enjoy the benefits of restoring or achieving optimal health!
California Morbity (1998) “Adverse Reactions Cause the Department of Health Services to Require a Label Notice on Foods and Dietary Supplements Containing Ingredients with Stimulant Laxative Effects”
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR part 310,
[Docket No. 78-036L]
Centre National De La Recherche scientifique – [Psyllium-associated anaphylaxis and death: A case report and review of the literature]
MedlinePlus – Laxatives (Oral)
MedlinePlus – Herbs and Supplements: Psyllium (Plantago ovata, Plantago isphagula)
MedlinePlus – Stimulant laxatives