The intestinal bath, a bowel cleansing treatment – is it beneficial?

The intestinal bath is an intestinal cleansing treatment and an alternative medicine in which accumulated toxins in the digestive tract are flushed out. So it is a hydrotherapy, which is popular in some alternative circles, especially in Germany. This form of colon hydrotherapy is prescribed, for example, for colds, constipation and poisoning as a result of an incorrect diet, stress and a sedentary lifestyle. However, there are all kinds of diseases for which it is better not to opt for an intestinal bath. It can even be dangerous.


  • Purging – an ancient healing method
  • What is an intestinal bath (colon hydrotherapy)?
  • Medicinal intestinal bath
  • High colonic
  • Stressful for the blood circulation
  • Go to the doctor first…


Purging – an ancient healing method

Cleaning the intestines has always been around and is called colon hydrotherapy. The goal was and is to detoxify the digestive tract, usually in combination with dieting or fasting. Nowadays Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) is also often used. This therapy should be combined with a healthy lifestyle, including good nutritional habits, less stress and more exercise.

Gastrointestinal tract / Source: OpenClipartVectors, Pixabay

What is an intestinal bath (colon hydrotherapy)?

During an intestinal bath, toxins that have accumulated in the intestine are removed. This healing method is mainly prescribed for:

  • Persistent cold.
  • Chronic constipation.
  • Infections.
  • Poisons (e.g. bromine).



There are various methods in circulation. Every alternative healer has his own preference. Usually ½ to 1 liter (children up to ½ liter) of lukewarm water is introduced into the rectum using an enema syringe. Instead of water, chamomile tea or extracts are often used. The more often and earlier this treatment takes place in the initial stages of the condition, the faster the toxins are removed and recovery occurs.

Medicinal intestinal bath

During an intestinal bath, the patient sits in a warm bath, sometimes in a side-lying position, while several enemas are administered one after the other. The liquid is fed into the rectum via an irrigation vessel filled with 30 liters of water in which salt and chamomile extracts have been dissolved. The patient then sits on a kind of inflatable saddle. During the rinse, the feces and irrigation fluids are collected in a container.

Healthy peristalsis

The warm bath in which the patient is during the treatment has an antispasmodic effect on the intestines. Furthermore, this treatment induces healthy peristalsis and absorption of the fluid that is guided into the large intestine. Due to its diuretic effect, the patient will have to urinate frequently.

High colonic

This form of colon hydrotherapy, or colon cleansing treatment, is also called colon bath. Modern colonic irrigation is a closed system in which the introduced water and intestinal contents are removed odorlessly and in a clean manner. The high intestinal irrigation covers a much larger part of the intestine, also using 20 to 30 liters of irrigation fluid. The irrigator hose is then pushed approximately 15 centimeters into the intestine. About three liters of fluid enter the intestine each time. The patient tries to hold the flushing fluid for fifteen minutes, sometimes combined with an abdominal massage.


In addition to its detoxifying effect, this alternative healing method has a beneficial effect on chronic constipation. Intestinal baths are also prescribed for bromine poisoning, a substance found in sleeping pills, for example. An intestinal bath can also provide relief for ureteral stones.

Large intestine (colon) / Source: Bodymybody, Pixabay

Stressful for the blood circulation

Intestinal baths have disadvantages. The burdensome effect on blood circulation in particular has meant that intestinal baths should not be administered for a number of conditions, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure.
  • Fever.
  • Contageous diseases.
  • High bloodpressure.
  • Prostate problems.
  • Damage to the intestinal wall and other anomalies of the intestine.
  • Kidney disorders.


Go to the doctor first…

If you are considering an intestinal bath, it is important to first go to the doctor with your complaints. Especially if you suffer from the above-mentioned diseases. Otherwise, the cure could be worse than the disease.

read more

  • Digestion under the microscope – the large intestine
  • First aid for poisoning
  • Anatomy & physiology in 10 steps – the gastrointestinal tract
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