This article is by Cristin Smith of Saffron & Sage. Photos by Kyle Miyamoto.

You may not think about your colon very much. I certainly did not. But our colons deal with a lot more than we realize - they get rid of all the waste from our diet, processed foods, medications, and toxins. On top of that, our GI tracts are particularly sensitive to emotional turmoil; stress can adversely affect the colon’s overall function.

There are certain basic lifestyle practices that can boost the health of the colon, including managing stresses, getting regular exercise, and body work (such as chiropractic or massage). These were all very supportive to my colon and to my overall well-being. However, my MD recommended I go a step further. She encouraged me to introduce colon hydrotherapy into my routine. As it turns out, detoxing goes beyond deep cleaning and actually helps the body to absorb every nutrient it possibly can.

If your colon has been through years of poor diet and heavy medication, thoroughly cleansing your GI tract is an essential part of restoring health. In my case, I grew up eating fast food and GMO foods, not knowing the damage that would emerge years later. Now my diet is rich in local, seasonal organic foods. Living in Baja just ten minutes from the beach, I have access to fresh seafood, coconut water and delicious produce.

Seasonal Cleanse

Our bodies respond naturally to the seasons, and different cleanses work best during different times of year. Cleansing doesn’t have to be about fasting – it’s about selecting produce and superfoods that target the specific organ or issue you are supporting. This Autumn, try a 7-10 day cleanse that consists of:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables - juiced, raw, and cooked.

  • Spirulina, algae, or chlorophyll powder added to juices.

  • Whole grains with squashes and other vegetables.

  • Garlic as a prime detoxifier.

  • Colon detox using enemas or colonics.

When it comes to cleansing, food is always our base, but water can play a significant role as well. Not only do we need to increase our water intake (herbal teas are a must), but water used in the form of colonics and enemas is especially effective. In fact, using water to cleanse the colon is an ancient wellness ritual that dates back to early Egyptians and is recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Here are two ways to utilize water to enhance detoxification this Autumn.

Herbal Assistance

There are several herbs that will boost the cleansing of your colon. These herbal laxatives can be taken orally during fasting, in capsule form or for making tea. These herbs include: Cascara Sagrada, Senna Leaves, Licorice Root, Buckthorn, Rhubarb Root, and Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera, Licorice Root, and Marshmallow Root have especially positive healing effects on the linings of our GI tracts.

Coffee Enemas

While this may not sound like a particularly pleasant wellness practice, coffee enemas have an important function to our overall health, especially if you are detoxing with a juice regimen. Detoxifying carries the risk of releasing toxins into the blood. This can actually block and poison the liver, causing pain and cramps throughout the body. What enemas do is stimulate the liver and open the bile ducts, allowing toxins to flow out of the liver and encouraging the dialysis of toxins from the blood.

Directions: Boil 3 tablespoons of ground coffee in one quart distilled water for 5 minutes, then simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and cool to body temperature. Take the enema lying on the right side, with the knees drawn up. The fluid should be retained for no longer than 15 minutes.