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Colon Cleansing Through the Centuries

history of colon cleansing

A few weeks ago, we posted A Brief History of Colon Cleansing. In our continuing effort to educate you on all things cleanse, here is a supplement to the previous post that further breaks it down for you history buffs.

Ancient Egypt

As we mentioned in our previous post, the earliest documented use of colon cleansing occurred in Ancient Egypt around 1500 BC. Egyptians believed the technique was passed down by the gods. It is likely such historical luminaries as Cleopatra and King Tut regularly used some form of an herbal colon cleanse.

Ancient Greece

Not to be left in the dust by Egypt, Ancient Greece expanded the use of enemas. Famed writer Herodotus noted the customary practice of colon cleansing in his writings. Hippocrates - the namesake of the Hippocratic Oath all doctors take - believed enemas could fight fever and other maladies.

Colon cleansing hit its stride in France with Louis XIV. It is said the “The Sun King” underwent over 2,000 enemas while king, making the practice very popular in Parisian society.

19th Century

Noted Russian biologist and Nobel Prize winner Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov - most famous for his work concerning the human immune system - was a strong advocate of colon cleansing, believing that a dirty bowel could significantly shorten a human’s lifespan.

20th Century

Dr. John H. Kellogg further popularized colon cleansing in the 20th Century at his Battle Creek, Mich. Sanatorium. Kellogg, the inventor of the corn flake with his younger brother Will, documented using colonic irrigation on over 40,000 of his patients.

Much preferring the internal cleanse, the doctor said he was forced to resort to surgery in only 20 cases. Enthusiasm for colon irrigation continued to grow through the century; in fact, hydrotherapy became so popular by the 1950s that Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles (the location of many colon cleanse practitioners) was referred to as ''Colonic Row.''

Passed down through the ages, colon cleansing has been responsible for keeping human bowels clean and detoxified for over 3500 years.

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