The History of Colon Hydrotherapy

In Ancient Times

As early at 1500 B.C., the Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical document, described the many benefits of colon cleansing.  In ancient times, the practice of cleansing the colon was administered in a river using a hollow reed to induce water flow into the rectum.

For more than three thousand years, internal cleansing through colon lavage (irrigation or washing out of an organ) has been practiced.  Colon irrigation became commonly used among European populations to assist with maintenance and promotion of overall health.  Enemas were frequently used for abatement of fever, anxiety and illness.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Colon Hydrotherpay | Massage | Body Detoxification | Organic Facials & Skincare | Brain Tap

In the Early 1900’s

In the early 1900s, improvements in colon hydrotherapy devices allowed for a more complete cleansing of the large intestine that lead to colonic popularity.  While the implementation of these technological advancements brought on times of colonic popularity, it also brought times of rejection.  Unfortunately, advanced colon irrigation was at times administered by unskilled and poorly trained individuals; this proved to be detrimental for the support of the general population and medical profession.

Despite these difficulties in the early 1900s, the value of colon hydrotherapy continued to be recognized by several medical doctors, the most noteworthy being James A. Wiltsie, M.D.; Joseph Waddington, M.D.; and John H. Kellogg, M.D.

Dr. Kellogg used forms of colon therapy on several thousand of his patients.  In a 1917 edition of the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Kellogg reported that “in over forty thousand gastrointestinal disease cases, he had used surgery in only twenty cases.  The rest were helped as a result of cleansing the bowels, diet and exercise.”

In Scientific Intestinal Irrigation and Adjuvant Therapy , Dr. Waddington stated, “Abnormal functioning of the intestinal canal is the precursor of much ill-health, especially of chronic disease.  Restoration of physiological intestinal elimination is often the important preliminary to eventual restoration of health in general.”

Dr. Wiltsie offers, “Our knowledge of the normal and abnormal physiology of the colon and its pathology and management has not kept pace with that of many organ systems of the body.  As long as we continue to assume the colon will take care of itself, it’s just that long that we will remain in complete ignorance of perhaps the most important source of ill health in the whole body.”


 Since then, colon hydrotherapy equipment and methods of practice have improved tremendously.  Therapist training is now standardized through accrediting associations, the longest standing, premier organization being the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy (I-ACT).  The National Board for Colon Hydrotherapy (NBCHT) is another nationally recognized body which sets standards to evaluate competency of colon hydrotherapy practitioners.  Additionally, colonic equipment boasts greater effectiveness along with the added security of regulation from the Food and Drug Administration.  Such advances in the profession help to ensure those providing services are certified and professional to ensure public safety.

Today, people are rediscovering the importance of colon cleansing.  Colon hydrotherapy is a natural, safe and convenient method to do just that.