Inside the Urge to Purge
Colonics, designed to flush waste and toxins from the large intestine using up to 25 gallons of water, are recommended by juice brands like BluePrintCleanse and Organic Avenue. The practice has been around for centuries—Hippocrates (pictured here) prescribed them, and Lewis and Clark tried them to combat fevers. The American Medical Association, however, maintains that the practice has no health benefits, and a study published recently in the Journal of Family Practice warned that colonics may increase the risks of bloating, electrolyte imbalance, and kidney failure. No matter—avid followers believe they're the key to good health and a slim physique. Alec Steury, 29, who owns Chakra 17 West, a colonic center in Portland, Oregon, has one monthly. "It's like getting a massage," he says. "It leaves you with this general sense of lightness that's phenomenal."