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4 Historical Examples of Colon Cleansing

Published on , Last Updated on June 5, 2013

egyptian pyramids

Colon cleansing has become a hot topic of conversation as of late. However, the method of internal cleaning goes back very far into our world’s history.

1. Ancient Egyptian Colon Cleansing

As far back as the 3000 B.C., ancient Egyptians viewed feces as having a deep connection with decay. They believed that foods consumed can decay and produce toxins that then move to the circulatory system and cause the development of pus and fever.

Therefore, they saw colon cleansing as an important part of their lifestyle. They employed enemas and various laxative herbs liberally to keep their digestive tracts efficient and healthy. In what’s referred to as the oldest medical book in the world, the Papyrus Ebers, ancient Egyptians discuss these beliefs and others associated with the digestive system.

2. Ancient Greek Colon Cleansing

Colon Cleansing in Greece

Between 1100 B.C. and 146 B.C., ancient Greeks employed colon cleansing methods. Ancient Greeks also shared the idea that foods consumed can decompose and produce toxins. However, this group of ancient people took it one step further and developed the humoral theory of health. This theory states that the four humors (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood) themselves can decompose, creating toxic substances.

The Greeks also believed that incomplete and insufficient digestion can result in toxic residue rising to the head, causing disease.

3. Russia in the 19th Century

Ilya Ilyick Mechnikov was a Russian biologist, protozoologist, and zoologist that was most famous for his work regarding the immune system. Mechnikov was a proponent of colon cleansing, as he believed that toxins in the human body could actually shorten one’s lifespan.

Mechnikov conducted a variety of studies in the 1880s and 1890s that showed that toxins in the bloodstream could journey to the colon and case a wide array of health problems. This belief resulted in a rise in the use of colon cleansing methods.

4. Scotland in the 20th Century

Sir William Arbuthnot Lane

Sir William Arbuthnot Lane was a Scottish surgeon who was best known for three surgical procedures regarding cleft palate, internal splints, and chronic intestinal stasis. Lane began performing colectomies to, in his words, “correct intestinal autointoxication.” Autointoxication referred to the ancient Egyptian and Greek belief that food decomposed within the body and created toxins.

In his book, The Prevention of the Diseases Peculiar to Civilization, published in 1929, Lane went on to discuss his beliefs and findings regarding colon health and colon cleansing.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

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Posted In: Colon Health,Colon Health Blog
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