[Allopaths find non-Allopathic therapy doesn't work. Yeah right! Cleansing would sink Allopathy]
Last updated at 1:11 AM on 2nd August 2011
Its health benefits have long been endorsed by the likes of Madonna, Princess Diana and, of course, Gillian McKeith.
But now doctors claim that far from being good for you, colonic irrigation might actually be dangerous.
They warn it can cause cramps, dizziness, dehydration, diarrhoea and even kidney problems.
Promoted: Jennifer Aniston (left) and Princess Diana (right) both championed the treatment of colonic irrigation, but scientists say it has now major benefits
The treatment involves flushing out the contents of the intestines via tubes pumped with water.
Medics in the U.S. concluded that colonic irrigation has no benefits (picture posed by model)
This is supposed to remove harmful toxins from the body, encourage the growth of healthy bacteria, boost the immune system and even help weight loss.
But U.S. scientists say there is no scientific evidence to back up any of these benefits.
The team from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, looked at 20 published studies on the effects of colonic irrigation.
They found patients often suffered side-effects including cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, kidney failure and a loss of key chemicals from the body.
The scientists also point out that many professionals who carry out colonic irrigation have no medical training.
The treatment normally lasts between half an hour to an hour and usually costs between £50 to £100.
It can be done at a range of privately run clinics and health spas, and some people even carry it out themselves at home using DIY kits that can be bought online or in shops.
But Ranit Mishori, lead author of the study, said: ‘There can be serious consequences for those who engage in colon-cleansing whether they have the procedure done at a spa or perform it at home.’
She said that instead there were far simpler ways to stay healthy. ‘Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get six to eight hours of sleep and see a doctor regularly,’ she advised.
‘There is an abundance of studies noting side-effects following the use of cleansing products, including cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance and renal failure.’
Around 6,000 Britons undergo colonic irrigations every month and the procedure has become steadily more popular over the past 20 years.
Current NHS advice states that the procedure is normally safe but there is no scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness.
Actress Jennifer Aniston and singers Madonna, Britney Spears and Courtney Love are among the many celebrities who have endorsed its benefits.
Princess Diana used to have weekly treatments which she claimed took ‘all the aggro out of me’.
And programs such as You Are What You Eat starring Gillian McKeith have also been credited for its rising popularity in Britain.