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Colon Cleanse: Is Your Colon Killing You?

From Well Being Journal Vol. 7, No. 5 ~ September/October 1998

by Richard Schulze, N.D. 

Americans have the highest incidence of colon-rectal cancer of any nation in the world. It is now killing more Americans than ever before in history. Many people think it's a dirty subject and some think it's embarrassing, but cancer and death are worse, so let's talk about preventing such disease.

I studied and then taught for years with the late, great herbalist John Christopher. I interned with Bernard Jensen, Ph.D.; apprenticed with Paavo Airola; and studied with many more of the great, old, wise “nature cure” doctors. They all had one thing in common. They all believed that the cause of most disease was a dirty bowel, constipation, bad elimination—whatever you want to call it. They all believed that by our retaining pounds of old, infected material in bowel pockets (diverticulosis), this material would be reabsorbed into the body and infect nearby organs, make the blood toxic, and cause disease.

Now, for the first time in history, conventional medical doctors are starting to agree. But, ironically, today, with most alternative healers, the message has fallen silent. I don't hear much about it from the new so-called natural doctors. I don't see bowel cleansing routines or formulas mentioned in most of the new super-cleaning books. You would think that our intestinal health is in better shape than ever before, but it's worse now than ever in American history.

Medical texts state that the #1 cancer among men and women in America is colon-rectal. The Merck Manual, the medical industry's standard text for the diagnosis and treatment of disease, tells us that colon degeneration is on the rise. The incidence of diverticulosis (herniated bowel pockets) has increased dramatically over the last 40 years. The text states that in 1950, only 10% of adults over the age of 45 had this disease; in 1955, 15%; in 1972, 30%; and in 1987, almost half. The latest edition states that the incidence increases rapidly in people over age 40 and that every person will have diverticulosis if they live long enough.

So, the medical doctors say that bowel disease is more prevalent than ever, but the natural healers have politely swept it under the carpet. And, in the meantime, millions of Americans are rotting from the inside out.

It was the first couple of years I spent in my clinic that really changed my attitude on the importance of bowel cleansing. I had a lovely but very depressed woman patient in her mid-fifties. She was depressed because of her daughter's bowel problem. Her daughter had been having trouble going to the bathroom since puberty began, at about age 12. Then, at age 15, after very long bouts of constipation, she developed an irritated bowel with rectal bleeding. The doctors suggested a colostomy. They convinced the family that it was a fairly simple procedure and that many people live a normal, comfortable life after having a colostomy. Well, when the daughter woke up in the hospital room with no bowel, and with a hole the size of a silver dollar in her belly with a plastic bag glued on it, she was quite freaked out, as you can imagine. The doctors said she would get used to it in no time. After she had suffered months of depression and not wanting to go to school, her mom threw her a sweet sixteen party to lift her spirits. They invited all of her friends, including a new boyfriend. Mom even sprang for a new party dress. The night of the party, the daughter was slow dancing with her new boyfriend. They kissed. It was perfect. Then, all of a sudden, he shrieked and pushed her away in terror. He was covered with hot, wet, stinking fecal sludge, and so was she. Her bag had become unglued and fallen off, spurting its contents everywhere. Needless to say, the party was over, and the daughter ran to her room in a hysterical crying fit. Mom tried to console her but finally decided to let her sleep it off, thinking that tomorrow would be a new day. When mom went up to her daughter's room in the morning, she found that her daughter had hung herself in her closet. So much for a fairly simple surgery.

The very next day, I got a call from a frantic mom. It was Tuesday, and the mom told me that her 11-year-old son was scheduled for a colostomy on Friday. He had been constipated for years and had not gone in months. She begged me to help, but I only had two days in which to work a miracle. I put together a very strong herbal bowel cleanser. I gave it to the boy, and the very next day he had a bowel movement. Mom called me and told me it was two feet long and three to four inches wide. After numerous failed attempts at flushing it down the toilet, her husband went out to the garage and got a shovel; he had to chop it up to get it to go down. This kid is now 26 years old and married, with two kids of his own. How much do you think his life would have been changed had he undergone that surgery?

After that, I vowed to never let another kid suffer from constipation or surgery when a few cents worth of herbs is all that is needed. See, there are certain plant chemicals, phytochemicals, in a few herbs; these chemicals are called anthraquinone. And there is a particular one called Emodin that is in certain varieties of aloe that grow near the equator, as well as in senna leaf and pod, and in cascara sagrada bark. Emodin doesn't have to be digested or assimilated. It doesn't have to get into your nervous system. It has a direct chemical reaction with the smooth muscles in the intestine and makes them contract, as do other stimulating herbs in the formula, such as cayenne pepper. I have never met a bowel to date that had the audacity to disobey this herbal order. Herbs can not only clean and scrub out the bowel, they can draw out old fecal matter and poisons; stop bleeding; disinfect; kill and expel parasites; destroy and remove toxic metals like lead, mercury, and radioactive heavy metals; and, most importantly, strengthen the muscles of the colon to promote normal bowel movements.

What is a Normal Bowel Movement?

I have traveled the world in search of the perfect bowel movement. I have traveled to the jungles of Central America and to China, India, Africa, and Asia. I wanted to see primitive, rural people living simple, natural lives, and I wanted to find out what their bowel habits were like—because I wasn't going to find normal and natural anywhere in America. Simple and natural people, who gather wood, eat natural food, and have relaxed, unstressed lives have between two and three bowel movements a day. They eat, and within 15 to 30 minutes after their meals, they wander off to their spots, squat, and have bowel movements. These are usually light in color, soft, and unformed, and they come out easily, with no straining, grunting, pushing, or meditation. If you are straining, grunting, pushing, or meditating just to have a poop, or if you need a library in your bathroom—you know, like a stack of magazines on the hamper—then you are constipated.

The normal, average American frequency of bowel movements is one movement every two to five days. We should be having 14 to 21 bowel movements a week; instead we are having between two and four. I figure that puts the average American 50,000 poops short in his or her lifetime, maybe more.

When any patient came to see me, my eventual goal was to get him or her to do some sort of detoxification routine, a cleanse. The purpose of a cleanse is to remove the toxins from the fat, muscle, blood, and internal organs, that have accumulated naturally over a period of years. This is how you prevent disease. When you do a cleanse, you loosen up and flush out this accumulated waste and poison, and it has to flow out of the elimination channels, especially the colon and kidneys. If these elimination organs are not clean and operating properly, you will not get the benefit out of your cleanse, and you might even get very ill. So, the first step in any good health program should be the cleaning out and strengthening of the elimination organs, and the bowel is the best place to begin.

Part II of this article, in the November/December 1998 issue, cites examples of healing various diseases, including cancer, through bowel cleansing and delineates a plan to get your bowel working properly again.

Richard Schulze, N.D., is a medical herbalist and naturopathic doctor with 20 years of clinical experience helping thousands heal themselves from serious diseases. He is a dynamic teacher and communicator lecturing all across the country. For more information, contact the American Botanical Pharmacy at 1-800-HERB-DOC.


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