How to Take Colon Cleanse Pills & Detox Naturally
Colon cleanse pills are no shortcut to health. If you’re not ready to let go of unhealthy habits, don’t bother supplementing. If you are prepared to make dietary and lifestyle changes, colon cleanse pills may be the catalyst you need. Read this guide to figure out what your cleansing cycles should look like and how to get the most out of them.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. Please consult your doctor before taking supplements to avoid any potential disease and drug interactions.
Natural Colon Cleanse Pills: Ingredients & Benefits
What do our colon cleanse pills contain?
It’s crucial to choose a researched colon cleanse formulation that supports gut and whole-body detoxification. Various supplements are available on the market and their ingredients–as well as health benefits, dosing, and side effects–widely vary.
Microbiome Plus+ Colon Cleanse pills are a natural detox supplement that contains the following 16 active ingredients:
- Fennel Seed Powder - support digestion and reduce bloating
- Cascara Sagrada Bark Powder - stimulant laxative, contracts the bowels
- Aloe Vera Dried Gel Powder - stimulant laxative and source of digestive enzymes
- Buckthorn Bark Powder (from alder buckthorn) - stimulant laxative
- Senna Leaf - stimulant laxative
- Psyllium Husk Powder (hulls) - bulk laxative, attracts water to encourage bowel movements
Herbs for natural detox
- Ginger Root Powder - anti-inflammatory, supports detox and digestion
- Goldenseal Root Powder - antimicrobial, supports detox, may protect the gut lining
Gut-protective, digestive herbs
- Licorice Root Powder - helps protect mucous membranes lining the digestive tract
- Rhubarb Root Powder - anti-inflammatory, helps soothe and protect the gut lining
- Flaxseed Powder - anti-inflammatory, prebiotic, helps encourage bowel movements
- Cayenne Pepper Powder (fruit) - may boost digestive enzymes and reduce bloating
Prebiotics and probiotics
- Citrus Pectin (fruit & peel) - soluble prebiotic fiber
- Oat Fiber Powder (hulls) - prebiotic fiber
- Prune Powder (fruit) - prebiotic fiber
- Lactobacillus acidophilus - probiotic
How to Take Colon Cleanse Pills
Colon cleanse pills are no antidote to modern living. They’re not a shortcut but rather a catalyst: they help speed up your overall detox efforts.
Each person's detox ability is influenced by environment, diet, lifestyle, health status, and genetic factors. We can’t change our genes, but most other factors are modifiable.
Have in mind that many of the tips in this guide are anecdotal or based on clinical experience and aimed at improving overall health and wellness. Nonetheless, more clinical research about colon cleansing is needed (Acosta & Cash, 2009).
If you need additional guidance, we suggest talking to an integrative health practitioner.
1. Eliminate toxins
Taking colon cleanse pills while continuing to lead an unhealthy lifestyle might do more harm than good. Laxative active compounds aimed at detox can worsen oxidative stress and cause damage in combination with an excess of toxins that burden the liver (Liu et al., 2020).
Exposure to toxins from food, water, cosmetics, cigarettes, and air can overwhelm detoxification pathways, potentially injuring the liver and colon. These are the same factors that disrupt the gut microbiome, worsening overall health (Cline, 2015).
The first step to promoting detoxification with supplements is to remove anything that may be contributing to the total body burden of toxicants. This includes (Cline, 2015):
- Sugars and artificial sweeteners
- GMO foods
- Foods treated with pesticides and other chemicals
- Charbroiled meat (contains the toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs)
- Trans fats
- Water contaminated with metals and chemicals
Alcohol and caffeine can also cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, making a colon cleanse dangerous.
Drugs are metabolized and removed from the body using the same detoxification pathways. Certain drugs may stress the liver more than others. Acetaminophen, a popular OTC painkiller, is particularly harsh on the liver’s main detoxification pathway–it robs the body of the “master antioxidant” glutathione. Discuss safer alternatives with your doctor or pharmacist (Nuttal, 2003).
Most detoxification programs also recommend going on an elimination diet and cutting foods that commonly trigger sensitivities like dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, and red meat. An elimination diet is usually done for 4 weeks, after which these foods are slowly re-introduced to observe which ones are causing health issues (Cline, 2015).
2. Do a cleanse for 1-2 weeks, adapt the daily dose to your needs
Colon cleanse pills are typically used in cycles of 7-30 days with breaks of at least 6-8 weeks in between. Most people do 2-4 cleanses per year.
Some cleanses that rely just on dietary changes and anti-inflammatory spices are safe for 30 days or more.
However, colon cleanse supplements that contain herbal laxatives should not be used for over 1 or 2 weeks at a time (Lombardi et al, 2020).
Microbiome Plus+ colon cleanse contains sugar-bound anthraquinones (found in aloe, alder buckthorn, cascara, and rhubarb), which act as stimulant laxatives. Monographs caution that products containing these actives should not be used for longer than 1–2 weeks due to the possible risk of electrolyte imbalances (Bethesda, 2012; McGuffin, 2013; Lombardi et al, 2020).
Using cascara sagrada for more than 1–2 weeks can lead to “lazy bowel syndrome” and electrolyte loss (especially low potassium levels). This can set off a vicious cycle of needing more and more laxatives to have regular bowel movements, causing dependency (Dietz & Bolton, 2007).
With this in mind, you start with one capsule per day in the morning. You may increase your daily dosage to two capsules per day if needed. Increasing the dosage too soon may trigger stomach upset, diarrhea, or even constipation. If you experience discomfort, try reducing your dosage.
If you don’t experience bowel movements after using colon cleanse pills for a couple of days, consult your care provider. You may have a more serious condition or lack hydration.
3. Take with a large glass of water or juice & stay hydrated
Be sure to take your colon cleanse pills with a large glass of purified water (10-12 ounces). You can also take the pills with natural fruit/vegetable juices, herbal teas, or electrolyte liquids instead of water. Taking pills containing herbal laxatives without enough liquids may cause choking and lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
Pay attention to your water and fluid intake throughout the whole day. Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your cleanse to ensure good hydration.
This is an important part of any colon cleanse. Colon cleanse pills, colon hydrotherapy, and colonic irrigation can all cause dehydration.
4. Eat detox-focused foods
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, arugula)
- Dark leafy greens (bok choy, chard, spinach, collard greens, parsley, cilantro)
- Onions, garlic, daikon radish
- Beets, celery, asparagus, artichokes
- Berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
- Grapes, pineapple, papaya, and pomegranate
- Whole grains (buckwheat, millet, quinoa, oats)
Most of these foods are also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and building blocks for glutathione. Maintaining healthy glutathione levels is paramount to effective detox (Hunter & Grimble, 1997).
Aim for 8 to 10 fruit or vegetable servings daily.
In addition, be sure to get enough healthy fats, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and legumes.
Image taken from Cline J. C. (2015). Nutritional aspects of detoxification in clinical practice. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 21(3), 54–62
5. Stay active & consider using a sauna
Exercise helps activate antioxidant pathways and circulation in the whole body (Simioni et al., 2018).
You might also want to occasionally use a sauna. Saunas encourage detoxification and boost blood flow. They’re safe for most people but check with your doctor just in case, especially if you have heart disease (Crinnion, 2007; Crinnion, 2011).
6. Get enough sleep & reduce stress
Sleep deprivation and chronic stress can trigger inflammation and burden detoxification pathways. Reducing stress in your life and getting enough quality sleep should be part of your detoxification lifestyle (Cline, 2015).
7. Don’t ignore potential drug interactions
Colon cleanse pills may contain laxative, fiber-rich, and phytoestrogenic herbs that interact with many drugs, including (Brinker, 1998):
- Corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory drugs) - may worsen potassium loss
- Heart failure medication (digoxin) - may increase drug toxicity
- Diuretics - may trigger electrolyte imbalances
- Blood thinners (warfarin) - may increase the risk of bleeding
- Other laxatives - may worsen electrolyte and fluid loss
- Certain herbs (including black hellebore, Canadian hemp roots, digitalis leaf, hedge mustard, figwort, motherwort, and horsetail) - may worsen side effects and potassium loss
- Chromium-containing supplements (including horsetail) - may increase the risk of chromium toxicity
- Hormones (birth control, HRT, breast cancer chemotherapy) - may interact with fennel
Don’t forget to consult a doctor before supplementing to avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions.
If your doctor gives you the green light, space colon cleanse pills at least 2 hours away from any medication.
8. Look into synergistic supplements
You can combine colon cleanse pills with the following Microbiome Plus+ supplements for synergistic benefits:
- Prebiotics and probiotics to balance your gut microbiome and support heart health
- Digestive enzymes to enhance nutrient absorption and digestion
- How to Take Prebiotics and Probiotics Together for Best Results
- When & How to Take Digestive Enzymes
- How to Maximize L. Reuteri NCIMB 30242 Probiotic Benefits
Ana Aleksic, MSc Pharm
Ana is an integrative pharmacist and scientist with many years of medical writing, clinical research, and health advising experience. She loves communicating science and empowering people to achieve their optimal health. Ana has edited 800+ and written 200+ posts, some of which reached over 1 million people. Her specialties are natural remedies, drug-supplement interactions, women’s health, and mental health. She is also a birth doula and a strong advocate of bridging scientific knowledge with holistic medicine.
Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is the responsibility of you and your healthcare providers to make all decisions regarding your health. Microbiome Plus recommends that you consult with your healthcare providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of any disease or condition. Products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.