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As food travels down to the end of the small intestine it meets a roadblock.  This is a valve or switch that makes sure that the food travels in only one direction because as the food leaves the small intestine it enters what is called the colon (or the large intestine).

This is your sewerage system and it is very important in keeping you as healthy as possible.

The large intestine is the home for countless billions of bacteria. Their function is to further the breakdown of food and they also make special vitamins that we need such as vitamins K, B1, B2 and B12. Vitamin K is needed for helping your blood to clot, and most of us do not get enough Vitamin K from our food.

Of course, the main function of the large intestine is to absorb water.  The material that comes in from the small intestine is very liquid indeed and over a period of 12 to 16 hours, this water is absorbed through the wall of the large intestine.  The end result of this should be a soft and easy to pass stool.  You should have at least two bowel movements each day which should pass easily and without strain.

Constipation, a very common problem these days, creates huge health challenges.  Let me explain why.  Water is an excellent solvent. This means that many things are able to dissolve in it easily.  Once they are dissolved they can be carried to the cell wall of the colon and absorbed into the bloodstream.  But here is the problem.  The hundreds of billions of bacteria in your colon (large intestine) don’t just produce things that are good for you. As they munch their way through the material that arrives from the small intestine they produce a lot of toxins in the process.  Many of these toxins are water-soluble. So they dissolve in the water and travel into the bloodstream where they poison your body.  So it is very important that they are moved on quickly. Hence the need for frequent bowel movements. If you don’t have a bowel movement for two or three or more days, then all this decaying rubbish is lying in your digestive system and the toxins are being constantly reabsorbed into your system.

But it gets worse than this. Because highly processed foods tend to be sticky, layers and layers of decaying material build up inside your colon.  Imagine a water pipe that has been carrying water for many years in a lime rich area.  If you were to cut this pipe, you will see a buildup of rings and rings of limescale over many years. So much so, that there is less room for the water to travel and the pipe has actually got much narrower.

The same is true for your large intestine. Over many years of eating the wrong foods you build up layers and layers of decaying material.  But here’s the challenge: in order for the water to be absorbed from your bowel, it has to travel through this decaying material to reach the living cells.  On its journey the water picks up huge amount of toxic material and dumps it in the blood.  So cleaning out your colon has massive health benefits and it isn’t that difficult to do, using herbs, as you will see in my next post. This is just another example of the extraordinary provision for our health that is found in nature.

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