Although this paragraph may be brief, the history of colonics certainly is not. The use of colon hydrotherapy has been accurately recorded since 1500 years B.C. A swelling amount of written evidence suggests that some of the earliest Neolithic civilizations have utilized colon hydrotherapy in its most basic of forms: the enema.
These ancient civilizations include, but are not limited to the Babylonians and Assyrians. The presence of bowl cleansing within these cultures has been proven by the discovery of cuneiform inscriptions on tablets that date back to 600 B.C. We have also found Colon Hydrotherapy’s roots within Hindu cultures.
Clear references to the benefits of colon hydrotherapy can be found in Hindu medical texts such as the Susruta Smhita written by Susruta who is known as the father of Hindu surgery. During the golden age of Greece (4th and 5th Centuries) the infamous medical mastermind known as Hippocrates recorded his use of colon hydrotherapy as a form of fever therapy. Hippocrates noticed that the removal of festering and impacted matter was a successful method for lowering a dangerously high body temperature.
Furthermore, a Roman doctor named Asclepiades also utilized enemas for intestinal worms and fevers. The use of enemas dates back to the early days of civilization along the Ivory Coast in Africa as well. Nigerians and other African ethnicities used enemas in order to heal the body.
Evidence within an Egyptian papyrus dating back to the 14th century B.C has shown us that Egyptians used colon hydrotherapy, in combination with fasting in order to heal the body of physical and emotional ailments. This document was discovered in 1873 by Georg Ebers and is currently being housed within the Royal Museum of Berlin.
As we move through known civilization’s time line and glance upon the Middle Ages we continue to see the use of Colon Hydrotherapy for medicinal purposes. Writings such as the “Rectification of Health” by Albucassis of Cordova (1013-1106) and the writings of Avicenna suggest the use of an enema syringe. From this time the use of bowel cleansing became increasingly popular with the upper most tires of society, including the
aristocracy, nuvoriech, and royalty. In fact, Angelo Catho, Louis XI’s physician recorded the use of enemas on the king when he suffered an attack of apoplexy in 1480. According to Catho, the king became such an advocate of colon hydrotherapy that he even had his pet dogs given enemas when he thought that they needed it!
During the 17th CE the popularity of bowel cleansing exploded! Bowel cleansing instruments left the hands of the medical world and became readily available to the public. In this time it became fashionable to cleanse one’s self up to four times a day. Furthermore, it was even popular to collect a variety of speculums that were artfully made of sumptuous materials. During the Reign of Louis the XIV enemas became particularly popular, especially
with the king! Allegedly, the king would even receive visitors during his procedure.
When we arrive upon the 19th and 20th centuries, the use of colon cleansing simultaneously begins to lose popularity with the medical field (in favor of laxatives) and becomes revolutionized by visionaries of the medical field. Most famously, Dr. Kellogg (the founder of the Kellogg cereal company) began publicly noting the successes he acquired by using colonics within his medical practice in the 1910’s and onward.
By 1932 Dr. W. Kerr Russell wrote the book Colonic Irrigation. Russell began developing machines that were designed to give people colonics. Furthermore, other doctors began producing colon hydrotherapy machines. These machines were the predecessors of the current colonic machines currently popular with the medical field today such as the Donatello and the Libbe systems. In all, these machines are pressurized, meaning that they force water to enter the rectum. It is similar to the pressure that causes water to rush out of your garden hose.
Although popular, these colonics can be dangerous to people today. By forcing the water through the colon, the waste has a tendency of being washed further back into the system. This is exactly the opposite of what we want to happen! Not to mention that a pressurized system can cause damage to the walls of the colon. Therefore, although therapists using this method of colon hydrotherapy may have good intentions, the results of the procedure are not in stride with their practitioners’ intentions. Noting the inferiority of pressurized colonic systems.