Last update Jan. 26, 2019

Colon cleansing

Low Risk

Moderately safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

A widely-used pratice (Bazzocchi 2017) based on the ancient and totally outdated theory of auto-intoxication (Ernst 1997) to which numerous health benefits are attributed without ever having been proven (Ernst 2010, Acosta 2009, Richards 2006, Ernst 1997).

Its use is not risk-free, and can even have serious health risks such as vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, intestinal perforation and spread of bacteria or toxins (Mishori 2011, Seow 2009,Tan 1999), even if they are not frequent (Richards 2006).

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Given the lack of proven health benefits and the potential risks it carries, it is a completely non-essential practise, even more so during breastfeeding.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

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Colon cleansing belongs to this group or family:


  1. Bazzocchi G, Giuberti R. Irrigation, lavage, colonic hydrotherapy: from beauty center to clinic? Tech Coloproctol. 2017 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Mishori R, Otubu A, Jones AA. The dangers of colon cleansing. J Fam Pract. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Ernst E. Colonic irrigation: therapeutic claims by professional organisations, a review. Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Acosta RD, Cash BD. Clinical effects of colonic cleansing for general health promotion: a systematic review. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Abstract
  5. Seow-Choen F. The physiology of colonic hydrotherapy. Colorectal Dis. 2009 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Richards DG, McMillin DL, Mein EA, Nelson CD. Colonic irrigations: a review of the historical controversy and the potential for adverse effects. J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Abstract
  7. Tan MP, Cheong DM. Life-threatening perineal gangrene from rectal perforation following colonic hydrotherapy: a case report. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 1999 Abstract
  8. Ernst E. Colonic irrigation and the theory of autointoxication: a triumph of ignorance over science. J Clin Gastroenterol. 1997 Abstract

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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana of Spain

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