I came across a very interesting product for digestive health and cleansing. It’s called CleanseSmart by Renew Life. The product contains quite a long list of natural ingredients, all of which make sense. Some of the ingredients are demulcents —agents that coat surfaces (in this case the inner surface of the GI tract) with a slippery mucous coating to relieve irritation, inflammation and pain. They also aid in digestion, absorption of nutrients and they prevent constipation. Some examples of demulcents in CleanseSmart are slippery elm bark, corn silk, and mullein leaf, and marshmallow root.
Other ingredients in this product are strictly anti-inflammatory for decreasing inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract due to constipation, excessive acidity, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen or aspirin) or any other inflammatory condition like inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and others. These compounds are not just effective for inflammation in the GI tract, but after absorption act as anti-inflammatory agents all over the body (including joints, where they may be very helpful for arthritic conditions). The anti-inflammatory agents in CleanseSmart are turmeric root, ginger root and red clover flower.
Another group of helpful compounds in this product are digestive aids. These are hawthorn berry, artichoke leaf and bupleurum root. Artichoke has one of the highest levels of antioxidants found in vegetables. It also has been shown to decrease the symptoms of upset stomach and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It inhibits the key enzyme responsible for cholesterol production (this enzyme goes by the famous name of HMG-CoA reductase). This is the same enzyme that is inhibited by the prescription Statins (which can cause dangerous muscle breakdown and kidney damage). Artichokes have the capability to reduce cholesterol and the bad LDL cholesterol, which causes arterial plaques (which are responsible for heart attacks and strokes). Bupleurum, on the other hand, in addition to acting as a digestive aid also protects the liver (also part of the GI tract) and helps prevent hemorrhoids.
The list goes on
Another important ingredient in CleanseSmart is milk thistle for liver protection. In Europe, this is used in hospitals for patients with liver failure (most commonly for alcohol induced liver damage). Dandelion root is also a liver protectant as well as an agent that helps with bile production. Liver protection is helpful in neutralizing toxins and bile is crucial to the proper digestion and absorption of fats. Finally, fennel seed is used as a compound that aids in the expulsion of gases.
It’s easy to see where the manufacturers of this product are going: They formulated a product that aids digestion, lines the intestines with a nice mucous coating, protects and aids the liver, increases the production of bile and aids in the expulsion of gases. These all contribute to the greater good: better digestion, a healthy GI tract and the expulsion of toxins from the body.