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Your Bowel - the Human digestive system & colon

The bowel is an amazing organ and in order to keep on working correctly, it requires the correct food along with cleansing and detoxification.

We consume tons of food over our lifetime, both good and bad, all of which has to be processed, absorbed and the waste eliminated - this is a very complicated and energy consuming process for your body.

In terms of bowel movements, you should be eliminating most of the food eaten over a 10 - 18 hour period. You can conduct a home experiment to see just how long it takes for your body to eliminate a meal.
Eat a 3 to 4 heaped tablespoons of sunflower seeds, without chewing them properly and take note of how long it takes from them to emerge in your stool. They will show up clearly as white and grey seeds in your faeces.

Many people do not have a bowel movement for days at a time and this is not normal. It is unhealthy and indicates poor bowel tone and organ function - constipation.

A sluggish colon is just as dangerous as an impacted colon. The transit time of faeces isn't solely reliant on peristalsis (the wave-like motions of the alimentary canal which forces food towards the anus).
As the whole body relies on food and it's nutrients, the adrenal glands, pancreas, thyroid gland and nervous system are all responsible for the transit time of waste matter in the colon.

A slow colon and prolonged retention of faeces in the body cause autointoxication over time and it can be one of the sources of low energy, heart disease, skin problems, tumours etc.

Bowel movements

What you see in the toilet after a bowel movement should be the processed food you ate a couple of meals ago. However, the highly processed and unhealthy 20th century modern diet ensures that a lot gets left behind in the colon until much later and some doesn't come out at all.

Sticky refined fast foods, refined starches and altered oils and fats that have not been digested properly by enzymes, drugs and artificial flavours and food additives (chemicals) as well as mucous / catarrh-forming foods like dairy products, pasta, eggs and sugar get stuck onto the sides of the colon wall, forming unhealthy encrusted mucus. This encrustation hinders proper peristalsis, digestion and absorption as well as causing small pockets on the colon wall called diverticula.

This decaying food is a breeding ground for internal parasites such as worms.

Click this link to read more about Worms.

Ideal bowel movements

  • Most Naturopaths agree that you should have 2 to 3 bowel movements per day
  • The faeces should be buoyant when passed. If they sink, they are too heavy with mucous (change you diet)
  • The faeces should begin to break up soon after floating
  • A bowel movement should be easy, with the faeces emerging without much straining in one piece. If it takes you longer that 5 minutes to have a bowel movement, you are more than likely constipated
  • The faeces should be light brown in colour with no visible bits that resemble the food you have eaten
    It you can identify foods, they have not digested properly either due to not chewing properly or your digestive system is not working to it's best capacity.
  • The stool will have an odour but should not smell foul. If the smell is very offensive, review your diet
  • The faeces should emerge without excessive straining, gurgling, flatulence, foaming and general chaos


Most laxatives are poisonous and irritate the bowel. Their use does not help to remove encrusted mucous and other impurities from the colon wall and prolonged or frequent use of laxatives cause the colon to become 'addicted' to them. This makes the colon muscles weaker from irritation and over-stimulation, requiring ever increasing doses of laxatives to produce the same effect. Changing diet and following a herbal Colon Cleanse programme is a safe and effective alternative.

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