Salt water has become popular as a natural remedy to treat constipation and detoxify the body.

Salt water has become popular as a remedy for constipation. It is a method known as “salt water rinsing” or “main cleansing,” and its proponents claim that it is effective in detoxifying the colon. Does it really work?

Does drinking salt water help with constipation?
Opinions on drinking salt water for constipation and detoxification are mixed. While some suggest that it is effective in cleansing the colon, removing toxins and relieving constipation, others warn that its potential risks are greater.
This treatment involves drinking a mixture of warm water with sea salt or non-iodized salt. The combination produces a laxative drink that promotes bowel movements. Its effects usually occur within 30 minutes to 1 hour, but sometimes it takes a little longer.

However, it is important to mention that its supposed benefits are based on anecdotal evidence and internet testimonials. To date, there is no scientific evidence to prove its safety and effectiveness.

Only one study reported in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that drinking warm salt water and doing specific yoga poses could help cleanse the bowel in preparation for colonoscopy. It is unclear whether these same effects occurred by simply drinking salt water.
Warning: That said, salt water detoxes and similar plans must be medically supervised. The professional will be the one to determine whether or not the person is fit for this type of remedy.
What are the risks of drinking salt water for constipation?
Drinking salt water for constipation or to detoxify the body can have side effects ranging from mild to severe. First of all, drinking this drink on an empty stomach often leads to nausea and even vomiting.

In addition, following this treatment for several days causes an electrolyte imbalance that usually manifests itself in the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Numbness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Heart rhythm problems

Among other things, consider that salt water discharge increases the risk of sodium overload. Consequently, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases.

This detox method is contraindicated in the following cases:

  • Children
  • Diabetics
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Patients with heart disease
  • People suffering from edema (water retention)
  • Patients with kidney or liver disease
  • People with gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease


  • 2 teaspoons non-iodized sea salt or pink Himalayan salt (6 grams)
  • Lemon juice (optional, to taste)
  • 4 cups of warm water (1 liter)


  • To begin, dissolve the sea salt in a liter of warm water.
  • Then add lemon juice to enhance the flavor, if desired.
  • Drink the drink as soon as possible. Make sure your stomach is empty.
  • It should take 30 minutes to 1 hour to take effect.

The following tips should be implemented:

  • Eat a high-fiber diet, with foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
  • Include probiotics in the diet.
  • Take a fiber supplement for chronic constipation.
  • Drink about two liters of water a day.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid bad habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.