The Bowtrol Cleanse

Colon Cleanse Supplement

Slippery elm in a dish

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Bowtrol™ is a dietary supplement marketed as an herbal colon cleanser. It contains the following ingredients:

Claims for Bowtrol's Benefits

In alternative medicine, Bowtrol is purported to promote optimal colon health by cleansing your system of toxins. According to the product's website, the supposed benefits of this detox process include increased absorption of nutrients, improved concentration, weight loss, clearer skin, and better energy.

Bowtrol's manufacturer also claims that the supplement can help treat gastrointestinal problems like constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating.

Bowtrol as a Colon Cleanse

Although Bowtrol has not been scientifically studied for its health effects, a number of its ingredients have shown certain benefits in clinical research. However, since Bowtrol does not disclose the dosage of any individual ingredients, it's impossible to determine each ingredient's efficacy (or safety) as it's used in the supplement.

Here's a look at several of the herb ingredients found in Bowtrol:

1) Cascara Sagrada

With a long history of traditional use by Native Americans, cascara sagrada may act as an herbal laxative. The herb contains anthraquinones, which are compounds that trigger contractions in the colon and, in turn, may help stimulate the bowels.

2) Senna

Also rich in anthraquinones, senna offers laxative effects and is often included herbal detox remedies.

3) Flax Seeds

High in soluble fiber, flax seeds have been shown to serve as a natural laxative.

4) Peppermint

Emerging research on humans suggests that consuming peppermint oil may stimulate the flow of bile. Research has shown that bile acids, which are secreted by the liver into the digestive system, are natural laxatives that stimulate bowel movements.

5) Garlic

Garlic has a number of health benefits and is said to help boost the immune system. Indeed, a 2014 review indicates that the herb helps support the body's immunity.

Caveats

There are a number of safety concerns associated with Bowtrol's ingredients. Some precautions to consider:

  • Consult with your doctor before you take herbs containing anthraquinone, especially if you have conditions such as diverticular disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, severe hemorrhoids, blood vessel disease, congestive heart failure, heart disease, severe anemia, abdominal hernia, gastrointestinal cancer, recent colon surgery, liver disease, or kidney disease.
  • A number of the herbs found in Bowtrol may interact with (or interfere with the absorption of) certain medications.
  • Neither senna nor cascara sagrada should be taken for more than six days (except under the supervision of a health professional).
  • Keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as heavy metals. While consumers face such risks when purchasing any dietary supplement, these risks may be of greater magnitude in the purchase of products containing a variety of herbs in varying doses.
  • Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get further tips on using supplements.

Keeping Your Colon Healthy

Due to the lack of supporting evidence, it's too soon to recommend Bowtrol as a treatment for any health condition. If you're considering trying it, make sure to talk with your health care provider first. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.

You can also take these steps to keep your colon healthy in the everyday:

  • Eat less meat, particularly red meat
  • Follow a fiber-rich diet (including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds)
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Exercise regularly
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Article Sources
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