The History of Colon Hydrotherapy

Colon HydrotherapyColon Hydrotherapy has a long and “colorful” history with the belief that the practice started approximately three thousand years ago. It was first described in the “Ebers papyrus”, written by Egyptians, and detailing the different ways they had to clean the intestines. The age of the “Ebers papyrus” is thought to have been created as early as 14th century B.C.

The main form of colonic irrigation described in the Ebers papyrus is the use of an enema to remove waste from the intestine and cure “intestinal complaints”. Even though this is known as the first written account of irrigating the colon, much later the scholar Herodotus, wrote in the fifth century of the procedure of the Egyptians also cleansing themselves with an enema on a monthly basis.

In his writings Herodotus stated that irrigation was used as a way of “seeking after health”, and that the Egyptians believed that “all disease comes to man from food”. Based on this, they used colonics to cleanse themselves for three consecutive days every month.

Even though the “Ebers papyrus” contains the first known account of colon hydrotherapy, the Egyptians were not the only culture to use colonics and colonic irrigation. The Babylonians in 600 B.C. also wrote about the use of enemas, while the history of India also has the use of enemas and irrigation mentioned in the works of Susruta, the father of Hindu surgery in India.

As to be expected, the Romans along with the Greeks also used colonic irrigation to improve health. Hippocrates, who is known as the father of modern medicine, discovered that an enema could be used to reduce a high fever in patients. At this time, the doctor from Rome, Asclepiades was using enemas to treat intestinal worms, and constipation. In Roman culture, when given the choice, a colonic was preferred to using a laxative to clean the intestines. The use of enemas was also prevalent in Africa, and used often by Nigerians, and other African tribes.