There are a mixed reviews of salt water cleanse. Some researchers believe that it relieves constipation, cleans the colon, reduces bloating, aids weight loss, improves digestion and relieves fluid retention. Whereas others warn against it as it may pose certain health risks.
What Is Salt Water Cleanse
Salt water cleanse is also known as the ‘master cleanse’ or salt water flush. It is designed to bring forced bowel movement and to clean your digestive system and colon. It involves drinking warm salt water that has laxative effects.
What Research Says?
Those who advocate salt water cleanse believe that salt water flush removes old waste material, toxins and parasites that are lurking inside the colon and thus it not only cleans the colon but also detoxifies the body.
The internet is filled with anecdotal evidences in support of salt water cleanse, but there is no scientific evidence to support it and more research is needed to be conducted to determine the efficacy, safety and effect of salt water flush on the body.
According to a study conducted in 2010 by the ‘Journal Of Alternative and Complementary Medicines’, specific yoga postures along with drinking warm salt water effectively cleansed the bowel. But the fact that will salt water alone be able to give the same result is not clear.
For Whom Salt Water Flush Is Recommended
Those who support salt water flush recommend it for candidates suffering from chronic constipation and for those suffering from irregular bowel movements. Also, some suggest it as a part of juice fast or detox diet.
How Salt Water Cleanse IS Done
Warm a litre of water. Add two teaspoons of non-iodized salt to it. You may also add two tablespoons lemon juice to improve the taste. Mix well and drink the mixture within 5 minutes of preparation.
In a short while after drinking warm salt water, you will have urge to pass bowel.
Salt water flush is performed in the morning after waking up on an empty stomach. You may also perform it in the evening a few hours after the last meal when your stomach is empty.
*After salt water flush do not plan exercising or running errands for a few hours because you may have multiple urgent bowel movements.
For Whom Salt Water Flush Is Not Recommended
Salt water flush can be dangerous for those who have kidney problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, oedema, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers or other gastrointestinal issues.
*Pregnant females and nursing mothers should avoid it. Also, it is not for children.
Why To Avoid Salt Water Cleanse Unless Suggested By Your Doctor
We can’t deny the fact that for some, drinking salt water can prove to be a horrible idea. Salt is sodium chloride. Both sodium and chloride are electrolytes that already exist in our blood and holds on to water. According to Gina Sam, a gastroenterologist in New York City, when we drink salt water then the increased amount of sodium and chloride pulls the water into the colon and stimulates the bowel movement. Salt water acts as laxative and this is the reason why many laxatives prescribed by your doctor to prepare you for colonoscopy are salt based.
If you do not have high blood pressure, you are not pregnant, or you do not have any serious health issue a single salt water flush may not cause you any serious harm but regular salt water cleanse can be a bad idea.
Dr Sam states that no research supports the regular intake of laxatives or colon cleanse because excessive intake of laxatives will pull out so much water from the colon that it will make you dehydrated. This is in turn may lead to electrolyte abnormality and you may experience symptoms such as muscle spasm, confusion, weakness, blood pressure problems, seizures and irregular heartbeat. It may even prove life threatening and lead to death.
One more reason to avoid salt water flush is that there are good bacteria in our gut. Good gut bacteria promotes digestion, fight infection and prevents diseases. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that salt water may flush out good bacteria from your body but the balance may alter.
*To maintain the balance of microbiome take probiotics for a few days after salt water cleanse.
Many people opt for saltwater flush because they believe it aids weight loss. No doubt getting liquid out of the body and passing lots of bowels will make you lose water weight. But it’s not a healthy way to lose weight and not at all sustainable.
Regular salt water cleanse may lead to sodium overload and cause high blood pressure. Hypertension can cause damage to heart and kidney and can be life-threatening.
Salt water intake on an empty stomach may also lead to nausea, vomiting, cramps, bloating and dehydration.
Dear readers do not blindly believe on every health post published on the internet unless posted by a certified health care provider or from a valid source with scientific facts and research.
Cleanses are unpredictable and can be dangerous. Before starting any detoxification program or salt water cleanse better speak to your healthcare provider.
What we suggest is to believe in your body’s detoxifying organs, i.e. liver and kidney and support them by following healthy practices:
- Drink at least 9-10 glasses of water daily.
- Eat foods rich in fibre such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Limit the intake of foods that are exposed to toxic substances such as pesticides and insecticides.
- Limit the use of cleaning products and personal care products.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol,
- Exercise every day,
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Take prescription drugs only when suggested by your doctor.