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Over the millennia that enemas have been used in cleaning people's rectums and colons.
They have tried many different types of enema solutions.
Some of these solutions are very harsh and cause mild to severe cramping of the intestinal tract.
While others are very soothing and relaxing. Yet any of these solutions will have the desired effect of removing feces and toxins from the large intestine.
Probably the most often used enema solution is soap and water.  The soap solution irritates the lining of the intestine that causes the intestine tract to expel fecal matter.
Solutions used in enemas can be classified according to their ability to either draw water out of the body, be absorbed by the body, or neutral. In that order they are known as hypertonic, hypotonic, and isotonic.

The small volume disposable squeeze bottle enemas are hypertonic, meaning they draw fluids out of the body into the colon in order to provide the volume of water to promote a bowel movement. These hypertonic solutions can also be very irritating to the rectum and colon, and cause considerable cramping during and for a short period of time after expulsion.

Plain water is hypotonic and some water is absorbed into the body during enemas and colonics. During a typical enema or colonic session this doesn't present problems to an individual in good health and physical condition, but retaining a plain water enema to long, especially for young children and the elderly can cause problems.

A standard saline solution (1 tablespoon of salt for each quart of water) is isotonic, meaning that it is neither absorbed by the body nor draws fluid out of it. A saline solution most closely matches the electrolyte balance of the fluids in our bodies.
So when retaining an enema, it is usually best to do so when you are using a saline solution. If you retain a plain water enema, it would be a good idea to replenish electrolytes afterwards.


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Warning: Do not use enemas or laxatives if abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting are present unless directed by your health care provider.
  Rectal bleeding or failure to have a bowel movement after use of a laxative or enema may indicate a serious condition.
  Discontinue use and consult your health care provider.
  Statements contained within these web pages are for informational purposes only,
and have not been evaluated by the FDA.
  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
  If pregnant or have an existing medical condition consult your healthcare provider before using.