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Detoxification therapy (cleansing)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Ayurveda, bowel cleansing, chelation therapy, colon, colon cleanse, colon hydrotherapy, colon therapy, colonic irrigation, colonics, constipation, detox baths, EDTA therapy, enema, fasting, food allergies, gastrointestinal tract detoxification, heavy metal cleanse, herbal detoxification, herbs, high colonics, hormonal and skin care programs, hydrotherapy, intestinal cleanse, intestinal therapy, juice fasting, juice therapy, juicing, liver cleanse, lymph drainage, macrobiotic diet, nutrition, parasite cleanse, probiotics, rotation diet, skin care, skin cleanse, specific carbohydrate diet, supplements, toxic minerals, toxins, vitamins, water fasting, weight loss, wellness.
  • Not included in this review: Alcoholism and drug abuse detoxification.
  • Note: See individual Natural Standard monographs on Ayurveda, chelation therapy, colon therapy, dandelion, fasting, hydrotherapy, juicing, macrobiotic diet, milk thistle, parsley, pectin, probiotics and psyllium for reviews pertaining to specific modalities and substances used in detoxification.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Detoxification is a broad concept that encompasses many different modalities and substances used in cleansing the body's systems and organs. It is one of the oldest known practices of health promotion and has roots in some form or another in all ancient cultures.
  • Detoxification is not commonly used in conventional Western medicine but is a mainstay of naturopathic medicine and other traditions such as Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and Western herbal medicine.
  • Detoxification regimes primarily target heavy metals, chemical toxins, microbial compounds, and by-products of protein metabolism.
  • At this time laboratory research documents some natural detoxification processes in the body and strategies for stimulating those processes, but there has been little clinical research on clinical outcomes of most detoxification regimes.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.