A high colonic cleansing involves the introduction of large amounts of fluid into the colon to flush out fecal matter. The fluid may simply be water, or it may contain herbs, vitamins, enzymes or other additions. While the procedure can be useful for removing impacted fecal material in preparation for surgery or colonoscopy, high colonics as a regular therapy offer few tangible benefits and may actually be hazardous to gastrointestinal health.
Practitioners of high colonic cleansing argue that the procedure helps remove toxins from the body. However, the gastrointestinal system is already well equipped to deal with toxins, and the function of the colon is to collect and remove toxins that have not already been dealt with by other organs. As long as the digestive tract is functioning properly, colonic irrigation offers little benefit in terms of removing dangerous substances.
In fact, high colonic cleansing may pose a health risk, especially if performed regularly. The intestines contain many varieties of beneficial bacteria that break down food and remove nutrients, and introducing foreign substances can alter the biome in dangerous ways. In addition, the colon also serves to help remove water from digested food, and flushing it out regularly can change the body's electrolyte balance, leading to dehydration. The force of the water may also damage the colon, potentially leading to a dangerous perforation.