Counseling Sheet

Regarding Colonics

Calvin Thrash, M.D.
Preventive Medicine

The idea of colonics has never appealed to me particularly. We do use the home colonics on rare occasions, but it is seldom that they accomplish more than a good enema.

The notion that the colon is a cesspool of iniquity, toxins, etc, is an interesting one. Unfortunately, it is one that is mired in 19th (or earlier) century ideas of physiology. Kellogg, after he went into apostasy, became very enamored with the idea that the colon was the source of much of man's ills and even wrote a book on the subject. Unfortunately, it was full of misconceptions and only served to make him the laughingstock of much of the medical world—a sad fate for a man who had once been the leader of his day in physiological treatments. Many of his ideas, with some from physician colleagues of his day from England, have survived in some of the "alternative medicine" literature. Modern physiology has not confirmed them.

The colon is the natural repository of waste products from the bowel. It is loaded with bacteria whose job is to break down the undigestible fibers, etc, that make their way through the intestinal tract, so that they can be eliminated better. It serves a noble purpose in this line.

My wife has done over 2500 autopsies in which the colon was opened and examined. In NOT ONE CASE has she ever seen fecal material that gave evidence of being present for more than a few days, at best. In NOT ONE CASE was there ever fecal or other material that was adherent to the bowel mucosa. It could always be removed without difficulty.

Although Kellogg's ideas of "autointoxication," that is, absorption of toxins through the colon mucosa with resultant deleterious effects on the human physiology, have supposedly been refuted long ago, there is some evidence that certain breakdown substances MAY be absorbed to a limited degree through the colon mucosa and may cause some problems. But this can be easily controlled by natural elimination; if this is not possible, then a laxative (not advised to be used too often, as it will promote the "laxative habit") or a simple enema or two will always get rid of fecal material and "cleanse" the colon. Rather than go through a rigorous and sometimes hazardous "bowel cleansing" routine, we advise a good program to promote natural and regular elimination. This involves drinking plenty of water; eating a natural, vegetarian diet, which provides lots of natural fiber; regular exercise; and if necessary, the use of additional fiber products and lubricants, such as ground flaxseed taken with the meal.

We advise saving one's money, rather than investing in expensive apparatuses and supplements for "colon cleansing."

[Especially noteworthy is the section below, published April 2023, at]

Who Should Avoid Colonics?

Colonic hydrotherapy is discouraged in people with certain health conditions. Chief among these are conditions that cause intestinal bleeding or inflammation.

Avoid colonics if you have:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diverticular disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Severe hemorrhoids
  • Rectal fissure
  • Vascular disease
  • Heart diseases, including heart failure and atrial fibrillation
  • Severe anemia
  • Abdominal hernia
  • Gastrointestinal cancers
  • Recent colon surgery

People who are pregnant should not have a colonic as it may stimulate uterine contractions.

Contact Us For More Information

Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center
30 Uchee Pines Road #75
Seale, Alabama 36875