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J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Dec;16(12):1269-77. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0166. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

Efficacy of bolus lukewarm saline and yoga postures as colonoscopy preparation: a pilot study.

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Weill Cornell Medical College and Endoscopy Unit, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Middle Village, NY, USA.



Colonoscopy is now the gold standard for colon cancer screening and a vital diagnostic and therapeutic tool in 21st century medical practice. Although advances have been swift since colonoscopy came into wide use a generation ago, its effectiveness can be compromised by patients' ability to adequately prepare for the procedure. Many patients dread this task more than the procedure itself. While no prep regimen can be ideal for all patients, the authors present a novel approach that represents a potential time-saving improvement for younger, healthier patients. It is a modern version of an Indian practice called shankh prakshalana, in which lukewarm saline is used in combination with five yoga postures to cleanse the bowel.


The objective of this study was to examine the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of lukewarm saline and yoga (LWS/yoga) as a colonoscopy preparation in comparison with NuLytely(®) (PEG-3350, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium chloride solution) used according to the manufacturer's instructions.


This was a pilot study comprising 54 healthy adults, ages 18-65, equally divided into two groups: Group A preparing with lukewarm saline and yoga postures (LWS/yoga); and Group B preparing with NuLytely(®) as directed on the label.


Data were collected on the quality of bowel preparation, patient safety, patient tolerability, and side-effects. The setting was a Joint Commission accredited outpatient endoscopy clinic.


Patients performed the series of five yoga postures known as shankh prakshalana, interrupting the exercises at regular intervals to consume 480 mL of lukewarm saline. The solution was prepared by adding 9 g of sodium chloride per liter of lukewarm water (99°F-102°F/37.2°C-38.9°C).


The mean total score was significantly better in Group A versus Group B (20.63 ± 5.09 versus 16.48 ± 5.18, p < 0.0007). In Group A, 24/27 (88.9%) of patients had excellent or optimum total scores, compared with 21/27 (77.8%) in Group B (not significant). In our pilot study, LWS/yoga, used under supervision, produced better colon preparation than Nulytely, used as directed.


A randomized, endoscopist-blinded study is needed to confirm these results.


Shankh prakshalana is effective as a colonoscopy preparation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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