Belfast Telegraph

Colonic irrigation 'doesn't work'

By Paul Cahalan

It had been a steady passage from alternative to mainstream for colonic irrigation - but that looks set to change after researchers rubbished the treatment's benefIts, and cautioned about Its possible side-effects, including cramps, nausea, vomIting and renal failure.

The process, rebranded from the agricultural-sounding colonic irrigation to the less-intrusive "colonic hydrotherapy", has become less taboo over the past two decades, having become popular with celebrities desperate to lose weight.

Princess Diana was said to be a fan, and the procedure is offered among detox treatments at most spas. Courtney Love, the wild woman of rock, had regular colonic treatments to help her detoxify and lose weight. But she stopped in 2007 following a fraught car journey home to use the lavatory after one treatment went "horribly wrong".

During a normal 45-minute session, which costs between £60 and £90, about 60 litres of filtered water is used to flush the colon, after which users supposedly benefit from increased wellbeing, better skin, smoother bowel movements, and feeling lighter.

But medics at Georgetown University School of Medicine in the US, who examined 20 studies published during the past decade, concluded that while there was little evidence of the vaunted benefits from the treatment, there was "an abundance of studies noting side-effects of using cleansing products".

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