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How to Do a Colon Cleanse: The Step-by-Step Detox Process

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People who want to know how to do a colon cleanse are obviously looking for some pathway to better health. Is there a specific process involved? Look around the web, and you’ll find endless DIY detox remedies.

The ones we will present here are based on ingredients proven to work. We’re not saying these are the only legitimate methods, but they’re the ones that have scientific validation. Definitely give one or more of these approaches a try if you’re all too familiar with constipation and indigestion.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar with Raw Honey

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a proven digestive system cleanse ingredient. It does wonders for your gut health. We don’t need to go through every single one of its benefits, which we have discussed at length in prior posts. See our article on apple cider vinegar for stomach relief to learn about the benefits and what the studies show.

As for organic raw honey, the natural sweetener contains eugenol. Studies show this compound is rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and may protect against cardiovascular disease.


  • 8 ounces water
  • 2 tablespoons unfiltered ACV
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Mix all three ingredients together. Be sure to shake the ACV before pouring into the mix. (Unfiltered ACV contains beneficial probiotics that tend to settle at the bottom.)
  2. Drink the mix first thing in the morning, though later in the day is fine as well.
  3. Repeat the process for seven days.

READ MORE: Best Colon Cleanse for a Full and Natural Body Detox

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2. Cayenne Pepper and Lemon Juice Cleanse

Cayenne peppers are yet another ingredient that people tend to consume without realizing its full range of benefits. Our post on cayenne peppers explains why this ancient spice is beneficial for far more than its flaming hot taste. Cayenne peppers contain a compound known as capsicum, which promotes gastrointestinal health.


  • 1/10th teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • 8 ounces purified water

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Mix the ingredients together and consume right away.
  2. Drink six to 12 glasses a day.
  3. Do not consume foods other than whole fruits for the duration of the day.
  4. Optional: Drink a laxative herbal tea before going to bed.
  5. Rinse and repeat for 10 days.

This digestive system cleanse is also known as the master system cleanse and was popularized in the 1940s. If the process is too rigorous for you, start on a more gradual basis. Instead of six to 12 glasses, start with at least three. Instead of a whole day of fasting, do an intermittent fast for 14-18 hours.

READ MORE: Detox Weight Loss: Can You Cleanse and Shed the Pounds at the Same Time?

3. Bentonite Clay Cleanse

When you consume bentonite clay, it goes through the digestive tracts undigested. Once in the intestinal tracts, it acts as an absorbent that pulls toxins away from the stomach lining before being discarded through your stools. Multiple studies show that bentonite clay also draws out toxins and mold from certain foods, such as nuts and grains.

This digestive system cleanse also contains psyllium husk, which is a natural laxative and adds bulk to your stools. It’s also a prebiotic, making it an excellent companion in a probiotic-rich diet.


  • 1 teaspoon bentonite clay powder
  • 1 teaspoon psyllium husk
  • 8 ounces water or your choice of freshly squeezed juice

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Combine all three ingredients and stir immediately before the mixture hardens.
  2. Consume the mixture immediately.
  3. Follow up with another 8 ounces of plain water.
  4. Drink two to three glasses per day and in between meals. Start the first day with just one glass to allow your body to adjust.
  5. Do this every day for two weeks. Do not go past 14 days as prolonged consumption may interfere with nutrient absorption.
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[Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons]

4. Saltwater Cleanse

People are surprised when they learn that you can get a full detox using nothing more than salt and water. It’s simple and just as effective as other remedies requiring multiple ingredients.

Even though sodium gets an unfairly bad rep, sea salt is rich in minerals. More importantly, as a digestive system cleanse, it alkalizes your body. This promotes a healthy and balanced stomach pH level. High internal acidity fosters bad bacterial growth. Studies also show saltwater is effective as part of a colonoscopy treatment.

READ MORE: Bone Broth Cleanse: Feel Magnificent with a Total Body Detox


  • 2 teaspoons non-iodized sea salt
  • 4 cups warm water
  • Optional: Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Drink immediately upon mixing the solution. Do this first thing in the morning or at least two hours after a meal.
  2. Optional: Lie on your side for 30 minutes. This allows the solution to more quickly enter your small intestines.
  3. Wait at least one hour before eating.
  4. Be prepared to have a bowel movement in the next half hour. It’s not wise to do this cleanse right before that business meeting or driving to work.

Other DIY Recipes

There are far more other recipes than what we’ve outlined here. See our post on colon cleanse recipe ideas for additional DIY drinks. While you may try different recipes, we recommend sticking to just one per detox cycle.

Colon Cleanse the Easy Way

We realize some of the methods above can be a bit of a hassle, especially if they require multiple servings per day. If making your own remedy and drinking tons of water is too cumbersome, then we recommend Digestive Refresh. This is the express lane of colon cleansing. With proven ingredients like cayenne pepper, slippery elm, and bentonite clay, a serving of Digestive Refresh is just as potent as any of the aforementioned remedies.

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Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker is a co-founder of UMZU and creator of the Thermo Diet. He is the first person to get a Duke Neuroscience degree in 3 years. After naturally solving his own health complications with a brain tumor as a teenager, he has devoted his life to creating all-natural products and education to help men, women, children and pets to improve their own health naturally using science-backed research.
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