Zeal Cleanse: Don’t forget to bring the TP

The “Cleanse.” Also known as the poo-poo pill, trouser trouble, the purge pill, or the porcelain painter. Why is that you may ask? It is loaded with diuretics and laxatives. While most medical professionals would consider diuretic/laxative abuse an eating disorder, Zeal considers it

An optimally performing digestive system is critical to good health. Zeal Cleanse is an herbal and probiotic cleanse that will help detoxify your body and restore your digestive system to a healthy state.”

When I investigated this one, I had that scene from “The Nutty Professor” looping through my head where they were at the dinner table, and were “cleansing their colons” through flatulence. I have read reviews that Zeal makes you have to visit the facilities frequently, and to be honest, I am not surprised in the least bit.

On to the purpose of a cleanse, to rid your body of toxins and such, right? Wait, let us see how Zeal puts it:

The human body contains its own unique detoxification system that eliminates waste. This amazing filtration system helps flush toxins out of your body to keep you healthy. Zeal Cleanse contains natural herbs proven to help cleanse and detoxify your body.

Let us cut to the core here. If your liver, kidneys, and spleen are working correctly, there is no need for a cleanse. Your body does that on its own. This supplement is basically going to cause you to urinate and defecate far more frequently.  One thing I will give them credit for is n-acetyl cysteine which is functional at helping cleanse your body if you are having kidney issues. So, let us get to the nutritive analysis.

Cellulose- Softwood pulp. Basically insoluble fiber. Good for adding fecal mass and combating constipation.


Juniper berry fruit- It is likely safe when used in foods (it has GRAS status), or orally in medicinal amounts short term or topically. Long term, even in healthy individuals it can lead to convulsions or kidney damage. Furthermore, it should not be used by pregnant mothers as it can increase uterine tone and interfere with fertility and implantation therefore acting as an abortifacient. This has not been backed by enough positive evidence for supplemental use in humans, so the verdict is out. In ancient times, it was used topically for joint pain, and orally for a cure for indigestion, flatulence, loss of appetite, UTIs,  GI infections, cancer, diabetes, and an abortifacient. Like I said with some other fruits, it was probably the only medicine the tribe had at the time. Isn’t it interesting how you can take something fairly safe and make it unsafe my concentrating it?


Couchgrass – Wheatgrass. Remember when that nasty green goo was popular? It is best for its concentrated vitamins and minerals. It has also been evaluated for ulcerative colitis. Yet again there is a myriad of things the old timers used it for, all of which hasn’t been evaluated. It seems that diuretic was on the list. It also seems to be most effective when it is fresh pressed, and loses its effectiveness in supplement form.


n-acetyl cysteine – This stuff works on: Acetaminophen and CO poisoning, atelectasis caused by mucus obstruction, bronchopulmonary studies and disorders, cystic fibrosis angina, bronchitis, COPD, end stage renal disease, angina, contrast agent induced nephropathy (renal insufficiency),  epilepsy, and reducing the symptoms of the flu. It is also an FDA approved prescription drug. Wow, something in this that actually works… and if you are healthy you don’t need it. It is kind of like taking Tylenol when you don’t have a headache. (See what I did there).


Milk Thistle- Previously covered so I’ll just copy and paste. Milk thistle seems to be effective for some diabetes treatements and Allergic rhinitis. Milk thistle seems to be tolerated well in adults up to 41 months in clinical studies. Pretty cut and dried, and not a cleanser. I don’t have a problem with this stuff.

Buchu leaf- Has GRAS status for food use and is possibly safe for normal subjects when the leaf is used in proper medicinal amounts. It can lead to hepatoxicity when large amounts are ingested caused by the chemical pulegone, which is a known hepatoxin. Also, the pregnant should not use this because yet again, it can act as an abortifacient. It should also not be taken with NSAIDS as it can cause excess bleeding. Gosh, Zeal must hate babies. How many abortifacients are we up to in the whole zeal challenge now? Terrible.


Uva ursi leaf- That is fun to say, and it sounds like it should be the name of some ancient sea creature, and speaking of the ancients, they used this for UTIs and a laxative. Preliminary research indicates that it is safe short term, but possible unsafe long termdue to its carcinogenic and mutagenic effects. However, use may prevent UTIs in women, but the long term safety is not there. Yet again, it is not safe in those who are pregnant due to oxtocic effects (that means causes uterine contractions and abortion aka abortifacient). We are up to 3 of those so far, maybe cleanse means baby cleanser. Why would you put this stuff in a supplement you sold and told everyone it was safe?


Hydrangea root- Yet again, possibly safe short term, likely unsafe long term. The old timers used it for UTIs and it has not been evaluated for any uses. It can cause hypotension which I guess is fine if you have hypertension, breathing problems, and contains hydrangin, which can convert into cyanide in your body.


cornsilk stylus- GRAS status achieved. Possibly safe in medicinal amounts. Possibly safe as consumed in food by pregnant women, however large amounts can act as a uterine stimulant. Wait, where did we hear of this before? It was used for UTIs kidney stones, and a diuretic for CHF.


Senna leaf extract- Senna is the FDA approved non-prescription drug for constipation! (Remember Senekot?) It can also be used in bowel preparation prior to a colonoscopy. It is likely safe short term, when used for treating constipation. Guess what long term use of laxatives leads to? Malnutrition, laxative dependence, and hepatoxicity. That sounds fantastic.


Cascara – A formerly FDA approved treatment for constipation. It losts its approval due to safety concerns. Aloe was included in that ruling as well. Of course, for short term constipation it is fine, and long term it could lead to electrolyte loss and malnutrition. Not evaluated for the pregnant, but lactating moms may notice some loose stool in their babies as it is passed through the breast milk. If you breast feed don’t use this.




Sagrada bark extract  = Cascara. What is the deal with it being listed twice? Did they double up on this stuff?



Aloe Vera barbadensis- Aloe, I am not writing about this again.



Rhubarb 4:1 extract- GRAS status when the root is used for food. Seems to be effective for cold sores and constipation.



Oat Fiber- Oats are safe when used topically and orally and have GRAS status in the US. The soluble and insoluble fiber in oat bran is great for combatting high cholesterol. Ever see a cheerios commercial? They don’t tend to lie about their products.


Bamboo fiber- I couldn’t find any information about the effectiveness or safety of bamboo. All I can guess is that it is insoluble fiber. See cellulose.



Prune fruit- Used in folk medicine to treat diabetes, however, it is possibly ineffective. Plums are safe to eat.



Carob- AKA locust bean. Has GRAS status when consumed as food. It is still likely safe when used in medicinal amounts. It has been shown in one study to improve the lipid profile in the obese, and aid with fecal fat excretion. Further evaluation is needed. This is also packed with tannins, which inhibit iron absorption. I would be worried about adequate iron intake for females on this challenge anyways, especially if they are very active.


Apple fruit- An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Guess what, apples are safe and delicious. The seeds could be toxic. Why would you rather get your apple from a pill than a real apple? There is one study showing they are good for weight loss. You know what? I kind of want an apple right now.


Tamarind- Guess what the old time healers used this for? Constipation. It can also improve the symptoms of dry eyes. That is kind of cool. It has GRAS status when consumed as a food.

Date fruit- As it says, date fruit. People usually took this orally for cough and respiratory symptoms. They also ate them as food. I have had them in bread as well, and it was quite good. It has not been evaluated for medicinal use or effectiveness.

 Fig fruit- Presumably not off the tree that Jesus cursed or out of the middle of a newton. The fruit is likely safe and the leaves are possibly safe. There is a study for type 1 diabetes on it, but is inconclusive.



Juniper berry fruit:


Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998


Wichtl MW. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Ed. N.M. Bisset. Stuttgart: Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers, 1994.










n-acetyl cysteine:


Ellenhorn MJ, et al. Ellenhorn’s Medical Toxicology: Diagnoses and Treatment of Human Poisoning. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, 1997.


McKevoy GK, ed. AHFS Drug Information. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 1998.





Milk Thistle











Buchu leaf


Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.




Uva ursi leaf




Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998.


Schulz V, Hansel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physician’s Guide to Herbal Medicine. Terry C. Telger, transl. 3rd ed. Berlin, GER: Springer, 1998.



Hydrangea root


McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.


Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.


Cornsilk stylus


Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.


Senna leaf extract-














Rhubarb 4:1 extract


McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.


Ellenhorn MJ, et al. Ellenhorn’s Medical Toxicology: Diagnoses and Treatment of Human Poisoning. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, 1997.




Prune fruit








Apple fruit




Tamarind whole plant







7 thoughts on “Zeal Cleanse: Don’t forget to bring the TP

  1. I don’t want to judge, but the flavor of your article would seem to indicate that based on your already formed opinion, you are not in favor of a product that promotes cleansing in the body? In light of personal opinion, I have to disagree that our body’s cleanse without any added help. If this were so, what would explain the cancer statistics alone? I have worked in the natural health field for a number of years and have come to know through personal experience that cleansing at least once or twice a year (preferably at the change of the seasons) optimizes your health and ensures that the organs and elimination systems are working well. No cleanse is meant to be used long term, that is not the purpose of it. It is just my concern that products get a bad rap for no reason when they could be very beneficial in promoting well being in any individual.

    • I’m listening. I am against taking laxatives everyday as a cleanse. I believe it does cleanse itself, but I gets so far behind with all of the toxins that people knowingly or unknowningly put in their bodies on a daily basis! That is why a diet rich in nutrient dense, anti oxidant packed fruits and veggies is so important. Taking a little time so your body can play catch up could be beneficial and I have read studies that say that. What kind of cleanse are you talking? I’m all ears!

      • I agree totally with what you are saying, but I do believe cleansing is very important. A Lot of people are not eating the way they should, so in those cases, cleansing is very important. I alternate the different cleanses I have used, from herbal to homeopathic.

      • I have used various cleansing products over the years. I learned early on in my health journey the importance of keeping the colon clean and easing the burden on the organs and digestive tract being imperative to good health.

        As I mentioned, I have used various products. I have been dealing with auto immune problems for some years and as a result the impaired immune function and chronic stress has left me with a chronic candida problem. When cleansing from candida, one dying yeast cell can give off 72 different toxins! I have used Renew Life products which offer a variety of cleanses from whole body to the individual organ cleanses, parasites, candida, ect…. I like the homeopathic cleanse from Heel. It consists of three individual components in liquid form. A number of drops from each component are placed in a litre and a half of water, and sipped throughout the day. This cleanse is used over a six week period including a break in the middle of that time frame. I like this cleanse because it cleanses at the cellular level and is quite effective. ( I used to work in a health food store, so have heard what works for various people as well) Wild Rose makes a cleanse that I have heard rave reviews about as well. It is herbal in origin, and I believe is used over a two week period. I like a cleansing product called Wholly Tea, by Innotec. It is brewed and consumed cold twice a day, and is quite palatable. One box is used over a month, or can be used one week out of the month for a determined period of time. Essiac and Floraessence provides gentle cleansing and support for the immune system. I could go on and on….Because of my health journey I have seen the need for regular cleansing, from the exo and endo toxic burden of the body. I, too believe that the overuse of laxatives can be habit forming, but many customers would come into the store with situations where they were on long term prescription meds which caused chronic constipation. In those cases I told them it is better to take something to go to the washroom than not go at all. Feel free to ask me any more questions if I have not answered to your satisfaction.

      • Wow, awesome. I have patients ask me about it from time to time, and I really didn’t know where to start. They usually just ask me about the off the shelf stuff which is usually heavy with laxatives. I will investigate as I think they need to know, and there is no “government approved” option other than a trip to the doctors office. LOL.

      • Not a problem! The most non-evasive method of cleansing would be the castor oil packs. Place a flannel cloth saturated in castor oil over the abdomen area, covered by a layer of plastic. Apply heat to the area with heating pad or hot water bottle for around 30 minutes. A very gentle way to cleanse! (women avoid doing so during cycle). Lots of options! Lol!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s