Salt Water Flush for Colon Cleansing

*Disclaimer 1: This Salt Water Flush protocol is by no means affiliated with the Master Cleanse, nor is it a quick fix for weight loss. I’m here to tell you that neither will bring you to lasting permanent weight loss. This flush is designed to cleanse your intestines, and when done in conjunction with a healthy diet, balanced lifestyle and positive outlook, permanent weight loss is achievable. I repeat, this is not a quick fix.

*Disclaimer 2: I don’t necessarily prescribe to the notion that ALL SALT raises blood pressure. Table salt. Yes. Pure, untreated Himalayan Sea Salt (click the picture below for more info), probably not. However, I’m not going to advise those with high blood pressure to do, or not to do a salt flush. The choice will have to be up to you. Do your research and gauge whether or not your body will be able to handle large amounts of pure salt. Be sure to read here for more info about the benefits of pure salt, and read through this entire post carefully. If you feel a salt flush is not for you, there are a variety of methods to cleanse your colon. 

Flushing the Entire GI Tract

A Salt Water Flush is an effective tool to help keep your colon healthy and clean!! What’s even better is that it acts as a mop for your entire GI tract, sopping up everything from your mouth to your derrière! This is why I believe a Salt Water Flush is sometimes superior to enemas or colonics. Not to say that enemas or colonics are not effective methods for colon cleansing, it’s just that a Salt Water Flush can bring much-needed relief that the other two cannot.

Enemas and colonics only remove waste from the colon. A Salt Water Flush, on the other hand, removes waste, including gas, from the small intestine. Also, the high-quality salt used in a Salt Water flush can act as a healing agent as it works to normalize the pH throughout your entire GI tract. A healthy intestinal pH reduces the number of bad bacteria, pathogens, viruses, and fungi that create all kinds of nasty digestive issues.

Salt Water Flushes can provide tremendous relief from digestive irritability, gas, bloating, cramping, etc. This is especially true when you do a Salt Water Flush regularly, or in scheduled sequences. Besides, it’s cheap, quick, and easy which makes it practical and doable for the average person.

How Do You Know You Need to Do Regular Salt Flushes?

  • you’d like to regularly cleanse your colon, but you’re on a budget
  • you have 1 bowel movement or less each day
  • you have a history of constipation
  • you have never cleansed your colon before
  • you bloat after eating
  • you’re gassy, especially after eating
  • you suffer from IBS symptoms and/or digestive issues
  • you have respiratory issues and/or allergies
  • you have skin problems, including acne, psoriasis, etc.
  • you have a history of eating refined foods, meat, and dairy
  • you want to maintain optimal health

**Note: Unfortunately, Salt Water Flushes aren’t for everyone. Please make sure you refer to the bottom section of this post to determine if it’s an appropriate method of colon cleansing for you. 

How Does a Salt Flush Work?

A Salt Water Flush is a salt solution that you drink first thing in the morning. It requires a heaping dose of high-quality, untreated salt in a large volume of water. The salt solution has the same specific gravity as your blood–therefore, it simply makes its way through your GI tract causing a “tidal wave” effect–pushing everything along until it comes out the other end.

Use the Good Salt

Since you’ll be ingesting a large quantity of salt, it’s important to use good quality, natural salt such as sea salt or Himalayan Salt. Highly treated table salt and mass produced “sea salts” should never be used in a Salt Water Flush, unless you’ve concluded that the salt has not been refined, chemically treated, and/or had iodine added to it.

First things first, ALL SALT is SEA SALT in some form or another. However, through the refinement process, valuable minerals are stripped away leaving behind mostly sodium chloride. Your body cannot process sodium chloride efficiently and must use a tremendous amount of intracellular fluid to neutralize and remove it. In fact, for every gram of sodium chloride that your body cannot dispose of, it requires 23 times the amount of water to neutralize it! That’s a lot of water your cells cannot afford to lose.

You know the salt’s been processed when it’s white in color, with the exception of Icelandic salt which is white and flakey in color, as well as a few different sea salts from around the world (I recommend thoroughly researching how the salt is sourced before purchasing). Otherwise, most natural salts are not naturally white in color. Take Celtic sea salt, for example, its brownish/gray color is your first clue that no minerals have been removed from it; the rosy-pink color of Himalayan crystal salt is another good example of unrefined salt. The salt is I personally use and highly recommend is Premier Pink Salt.

Salt Water Flush Instructions (updated)

After receiving hundreds of comments left by my readers, I felt it necessary to update the instructions. I’m grateful for all of the experiences, even the not so pretty ones, that have been shared. I’m also super grateful for the tips and advice my readers are giving. Salt Water Flushing is not a perfect science, thus the more feedback I receive, the more I’m able to understand this process and help you the best I can. If you happen to know someone who’s used my flush protocol in the past, please share this update with them.

  • First thing in the morning before food and drink.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt or Himalayan salt to 1 Quart of room-temperature, filtered or spring water.
  • You can slightly warm the water to increase maximum results.
  • Hold your nose if you like, and take it down.
  • Try to drink the entire salt solution within 15-20 minutes. Champs who can guzzle anything can usually get it down within 5-10 minutes. Others will vomit if they take it too quick. If you’re super sensitive, try to get it down within 30 min, or dilute the solution with more water. Also see below for more tips.
  • Drink another 1/2  – 1 quart of purified water within an hour after taking the salt solution.
  • Do not eat for at least a few hours and avoid coffee, tea, or anything that may be dehydrating. It’s best just to drink water.

Tips to alleviate nausea:

  • If you have a sensitive gag reflex, try using only 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • Some readers have suggested adding lemon to the salt solution.
  • Somewhere in the comments thread, I’ve had a few people tell me they put the salt in capsules. Apparently, it worked for them. Each time I hear this, I’m more and more curious about the process. I don’t necessarily support it, however, I would like to understand more. If you decide to use capsules, please report back with your experience. This may be a lifesaver for sensitive types who cannot tolerate a large amount of salt water. However, if you do use the capsules, continue to drink lots of water after taking them. Water will be necessary to flush the salt through the GI tract.
  • A reader also told me she used specific types of bracelets that alleviate nausea. I’ve lost the links, but maybe a Google search will help you find them.

 *see bottom section for more tips on having a successful flush

What Can I Expect?

Most people experience several bowel eliminations within 1 to 2 hours. You will need to visit the bathroom frequently, so plan accordingly. You are generally safe to leave the house within a few hours. If the last bowel movement was mainly clear fluid, this is an indication that you have completely flushed your GI tract. For some individuals this may not happen at first; they may have several eliminations but not a complete GI flush. This is okay. It may take a few Salt Water Flushes to accomplish this.

You Didn’t Flush- Is the Salt Flush Right for You?

Unfortunately, a small percentage of people will not flush. I’m not exactly sure why, but I speculate it may be a result of sodium deficiency, weakened kidney function, adrenal exhaustion, internal damage to the lining of the GI tract or a combination of all of the above. I have also found that individuals who tend to retain water (especially women close to their menstrual cycle) do not fair well with salt water flushing. They generally do not flush and retain the salt solution instead. This may cause uncomfortable bloating, water retention and mucho disappointment!

If you have a tendency to retain water, I would venture to guess that your Flush won’t be very successful. However, everyone’s different and you never know.  I’ve had many consecutive flushes that went very well, and a few flushes that didn’t go anywhere!! Therefore, it’s worth a shot to give it a try–no major damage will occur if you retain water. For those of you that have tried numerous times to no avail, then a Salt Flush simply isn’t for you. I know this is frustrating, but there are other alternatives.

My recommendation for you is to zero in on your gut flora. What I’ve learned over the past few years is that if your gut flora is severely imbalanced you’re never going to poop well, and you’ll have persistent issues with digestion. The best resource I’ve found for healing all kinds of gut issues is Listen to Your Gut. Jeni is extremely knowledgeable and her books have helped me tremendously!

Salt Water Flush Routine

If you’ve determined that Salt Water Flushes are appropriate, you can take them as a scheduled routine to heal persisting digestive issues, skin issues, etc. A routine can be anywhere from a few times a week, to 7 days in a row, to weekly. The idea is to do it enough that the high-quality salt has time to heal your GI tract.

If you have severe bowel deficiencies, you may want to do a Salt Water Flush once a day for one week. Then reduce the number of Salt Flushes each following week. This will promote rapid clearance of the GI tract, improve digestion, clear persistent skin issues and restore proper bowel function. Below is a recommended sequence:

  • Salt Flush once a day for the first week.
  • The second week, flush 3 times.
  • Third week, flush 2 times.
  • Fourth week, flush one time.
  • Then once a week indefinitely.

Don’t fret over following this exact sequence. There is no real science behind Salt Water Flushing, other than that it has proved beneficial for purging the colon and reducing symptoms of digestive irritability. Do as much as you can, and keep practicing!! You’ll receive benefits no matter what.

Tips for a Successful Salt Water Flush

  • Relax! It is imperative that you relax while doing the salt water flush and not push the process. It makes sense that if you’re rushing to get through it or are experiencing anxiety, your bowels will clench up. My suggestion is to make sure you have enough time to do the flush and avoid trying to “fit it in” to your schedule. If this isn’t possible, do your best to relax. Meditation and deep breathing may be helpful.
  • Move! It’s very common for many to want to immediately lie down after taking the solution. DO NOT DO THIS!! The more you move, the better the solution can move through the GI tract.
  • Sip on hot lemon water. I find this to be very helpful, especially for those with a sluggish GI tract. The hot lemon water stimulates the gastric colic reflex (the poop reflex). If you feel no action within 30 minutes, immediately start sipping on hot lemon water.
  • Abdominal massage. You may also lie on your back and gently massage your colon. Start at the bottom right hip bone, and gently massage in a circular motion moving up towards the ribs, then move horizontally to the left over the belly button until your reach the area just below the left rib cage, then move down towards your left hip bone. Gently massaging for several minutes will help to move the salt solution through your colon.
  • What to eat before. For a few day prior to the flush, avoid or greatly reduce “clogging” foods, such as meat, dairy, flour-based food and all other processed food. Try to eat as many whole foods as possible–think veggies!! This is especially important for those of you who experience constipation or do not have more than 1 bowel movement a day. If your colon is mucked up with these clogging foods, the salt solution will have a very difficult time getting all the way through. The day before the flush, eat very light and opt for a liquid-type dinner such as soup. If you can fast, that would be fantastic!! The less you have in your GI tract at the time of the flush, the better you’ll do.
  • For my constipated peeps. A reader has suggested taking a little bit of senna tea the night before for a laxative effect. I think this would be a good idea, however, please understand I don’t advocate using laxative type stimulants all the time. The idea is to heal your gut so you can evacuate more easily and frequently on your own.
  • After the flush. Stay hydrated. Continue to drink plenty of clean, purified water throughout the day. Try your best to stay away from dehydrating bevies such as coffee, soda, energy drinks, alcohol, etc. If you’re so inclined, taking good probiotics for a few days after is a very good idea. However, please note that not all guts are created equal, and many of them require different strains of probiotics. If you’d like to learn more, please visit Listen to Your Gut.
  • When can you eat? Every person will differ in this area, however as a general rule of thumb, I say it’s best to wait a few hours or until you’ve stopped going to the loo before eating. Again, there are no rules to this game, so use your best judgment.
  • What to eat? Ok, so you just downed a quart of salt water and cleansed your intestines, so show your body and GI tract some love, and eat better than what you did before the flush. Everyone’s different, so some might be upgrading from cookies and sweets to more veggies and whole foods while others might be upgrading from veggies to fermented foods or super foods. Just do better than you did before!!

Here’s to happy flushing and a happy GI tract!