Q: What is your view on colon hydrotherapy /colon cleansing/colon irrigation for detoxing the body? Is it safe and effective? Or is it dangerous, with side effects?

During a colon cleanse, large amounts of water and other substances, such as herbs or coffee, are flushed through the colon. This is done using a tube that’s inserted into the rectum. In some cases, smaller amounts of water are used and are left to sit in the colon for a short time before being removed.

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Supporters of colon cleansing believe that toxins from the gastrointestinal tract can cause a variety of health problems, such as arthritis and high blood pressure. They believe that colon cleansing improves health by removing toxins, boosting your energy and enhancing your immune system. I have not come across any scientific evidence that proves the health benefits of colon cleansing.

Colon cleansing can cause side effects such as cramping, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea and vomiting, dehydration, anal fissure, electrolyte imbalance etc. Make sure your colon-cleansing practitioner is a licensed one, the facility is licensed to perform colon hydrotherapy and ensure the usage of disposable equipment. Also find out all about the list of specific herbal ingredients and amounts in any colon-cleansing products you use.

Ayurveda uses oils and medicines that are specific to the individual and is called Vastikarma. This is wrongly considered as enema therapy. Actually it is fundamentally different than enema or colon irrigation. This mode of medicine administration is a very effective treatment for Vata imbalances, neurological and musculoskeletal diseases.

There are very specific indications, contra-indications and combinations for Vastikarma and this modality is not used in Ayurveda for healthy individuals.

Its effects are not limited to rectum, but produces specific systemic effects. Improved bio-availability of medicines and bypassing the digestion are the purpose of giving medicines in this mode of therapy in Ayurveda.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.