Dear Kat:
If I have bacteria problem, should I cleanse my colon first before I start replenishing good bacteria like (you advised it in June magazine)?
Thank you,
T. from CA

T, let me turn this over to one of the country's most respected detox experts and colon therapists, Brenda Watson, author of Renew Your Life. I've asked her to explain the proper way to detox and she'll be taking us all through the proper detox over the next seven weeks! Follow along!

Detoxification is not a new concept. Many ancient cultures practiced detoxification in the form of fasting and colon cleansing with herbs. Toxins that are stored in the body can eventually overwhelm the liver. The result of toxic overload is inflammation, which leads to chronic autoimmune disease. Inflammation can occur anywhere in the body where toxins are present. Even with diet improvements and a decrease in the impact of environmental toxins, the toxins that are stored in the body will remain there until removed. This is accomplished with detoxification and cleansing. Detoxification must be viewed as a total body process for all of the body's organ systems, which must all be addressed if total body detoxification is to be effective.

There are a total of seven channels of elimination. The five primary are: colon (large intestine), kidneys, skin, lungs and liver, while the remaining channels are blood and the lymphatic system. Colon cleansing is the first channel in the detoxification process. By cleansing the colon first with herbs and colon hydrotherapy, a pathway is cleared for the rest of the organs to begin to detoxify. Most people are unaware of having a colon that is clogged and backed up with toxic waste. Unfortunately, even if people have one elimination a day, they can still have considerable waste sitting in the colon creating toxins that can eventually lead to a chronic condition. A clogged colon must be cleared first before embarking on any deeper cleansing programs specifically designed to treat Candida or parasites. (Please look for upcoming articles on these specific cleansing programs to appear on

There are a number of approaches that can be used to facilitate cleansing and detoxification. Some of the most effective methods are: dietary changes, herbal cleansing programs, colon hydrotherapy, saunas/steam baths/skin brushing, nutrient supplementation and exercise. Before one can embark on a thorough cleansing, dietary changes are the best way to start a general detox program. Here is a list of helpful tips to change your dietary regimen and in doing so the body becomes ready to begin detoxification. Remember to change your diet slowly by drinking plenty of water and adding more fruits and vegetables, especially organic ones. In addition, supplement with a good daily fiber and lower the amount of refined starches, sugar and processed foods in your diet.

General Cleanse

Step 1: Dietary Changes

Maintain a "clean," healthy diet that includes the following:
• Plenty of fresh organic fruits and vegetables
• Organic meat, used as a condiment (2 ounces per meal for women, 3 1/2 - 4 ounces per meal for men)
• Ezekiel bread or other sprouted whole grain bread
• Herbal teas
• Purified water, 7 to 10 glasses daily (with minerals added back) available at local health food stores
• Fresh vegetable juices (optional)
• Cold-pressed (unrefined) olive oil
• Real butter

It is important to eliminate refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, preservatives, artificial colors, refined carbohydrates, refined oils and processed meats.

Drink plenty of water because the kidneys cannot perform adequately without sufficient water intake. The suggested amount is 1/2 ounce of water for every pound of body weight (60 oz. for a 120 lb. person). It is important to drink the water in small amounts (about four ounces at a time) throughout the day, rather than guzzling a large amount in one sitting, to avoid straining the kidneys. Water, means water, and only water--not beverages containing water (especially not coffee, tea and soda, as they often contain caffeine, which have a dehydrating effect on the body).

Complete dietary changes also include adding in fiber and supplements to ones daily regimen. Since the colon requires bulk in order for it to move 2 to 3 times per day, a person often needs to add fiber to their diet. Fiber is the key, but the right kind of fiber is critical to adding the proper bulk. Preferably, the source of fiber should be split evenly between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Flax based fiber is the best, for it has nearly a 50/50 percent split. Optimal intake for most people would be 30 to 40 grams per day. Along with fiber, lubrication of the colon is critical to achieve 2 to 3 bowel movements per day. There are many good oils including flax, borage and fish, which are very effective in providing necessary lubrication for smooth gentle elimination.

Once these dietary changes occur, it is wise for a person to begin a general cleanse using herbal support. A general cleanse is designed to support all of the seven channels; colon (large intestine), kidneys, skin, lungs, liver, blood and the lymphatic system simultaneously, with special emphasis on the liver. The next article in our series will guide a person through starting a general cleanse kit.

Please continue to visit to learn more about detoxification:

  • Part 1: Beginning a Detox Program
  • Part 2: An Herbal Cleansing Program
  • Part 3: The Steps to Digestive Health

  • For more information about detoxification or cleansing please visit or check out Brenda Watson's book, Renew Your Life on

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