I’ve covered the topic of drinking coffee, and if it’s healthy or not, in this post, but there’s actually another way to benefit from coffee. Coffee enemas may sound scary and unsanitary, but they’re incredibly beneficial for many health issues. Here I cover what’s up with coffee enemas, potential risks, and how we can benefit from consuming coffee… from the other end!
The History of Coffee Enemas
Enemas have been around for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians detailed the protocol on ancient sheets of papyrus. (Imagine your job description being “nery phuyt”… or anus shepherd!) Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, also strongly encouraged them. There are even mentions of enemas on the Dead Sea scrolls as a way to purify the body and soul.
More recently, coffee enemas became a popular practice starting in World War I. They were reportedly used for pain reduction during the war when meds were scarce. Coffee enemas were also included in the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy as standard health care treatment until 1972.
Most recently, proponents of alternative medicine (from Goop to holistic psychologists) are turning their attention back to coffee enemas as a means of detoxification.
What Is a Coffee Enema?
Yes, it really is what it sounds like!
Coffee flows into the colon via the rectum and is then expelled in a bowel movement a few minutes later. The caffeine and antioxidants in the coffee have a highly effective, yet very safe, detoxing effect on the body that is hard to replicate with other methods.
Coffee Enema Benefits
Sounds crazy, but coffee can do all this:
The number one reason people use coffee enemas is for detoxifying the liver. Herbs like milk thistle are helpful at clearing toxins from the liver. However, these released toxins can be reabsorbed in the colon if the gut microbiome is impaired in any way.
When a coffee enema is used, a special pathway of veins carries toxins straight from the colon to the liver to be processed. The liver is then triggered to release bile to flush the toxins out and back into the colon. The water from the enema softens the stool, and provides a clear pathway for the toxins to exit. This process lessens the toxic load the liver deals with and frees it to cleanse the blood and eliminate toxins in other body systems. Since toxicity plays a huge role in so many issues with the body, this process makes coffee enemas a powerful healing tool.
Improve Gallbladder Function
As mentioned above, liver function is closely tied to the gallbladder. When bile isn’t flowing properly, biliary ducts can become inflamed and blocked, leading to gallbladder attacks and, eventually, removal of the tiny organ. Toxins also recirculate through the body as they continue to build up in the bile, instead of being eliminated. Coffee enemas stimulate the liver to release more bile. Not only does this flush toxins from the body, but it releases gallstones and keeps the bile from stagnating.
Most of us have little hitchhikers stowed away in our gut and don’t even realize it. Little pockets in the colon, called diverticuli, are the perfect hiding places for these parasites.
Coffee enemas help to flush out years of impacted fecal matter and debris, rooting out parasites from their hiding spots. Coffee, not just flushing with liquid in general, may weaken and harm the parasites.
Candida occurs naturally in the body. However stress, diets high in sugar, or antibiotics can cause it to grow out of control. Coffee enemas work to restore balance to the digestive tract by eliminating harmful organisms, like excess candida. This clears the way for healthy probiotics in the gut to do their job. A coffee enema won’t be enough to restore gut balance if a problematic diet and lifestyle are unchanged.
Mold toxicity is a rampant issue. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that if building materials or furnishings are damp or wet, within 24-48 hours mold growth begins.
Mold spores in the air, and the microscopic mycotoxins they produce, can devastate the body’s health. Mycotoxins, from toxic mold, have been linked to certain cancers, organ failure, and other serious issues. To heal a body from mold illness requires time, effort, and dedication. Coffee enemas can play a big role.
A major issue with mold toxicity is that the mycotoxins continue to accumulate in the bile. The toxins are constantly reabsorbed into the body, instead of eliminated. Coffee enemas stimulate bile flow, get it through the colon and out of the body to help flush these toxins. It’s helpful for those with debilitating illness due to mold, or anyone who’s had minimal exposure, and exhibits few or no mold toxicity symptoms.
Cancer occurs when the body is under too much oxidative stress and toxic load. Coffee enemas are a requirement in the Gerson cancer therapy. This therapy began in the 1920s with Dr. Max Gerson seeking a cure for his migraines. Over the years, followers of Gerson have adapted his therapy to a three-pronged approach to help with cancer: a vegetarian diet, ingestion of supplements, and the use of coffee enemas. The antioxidants in coffee enemas support healthy cellular function, and eliminate toxins which put stress on the body.
Cancer is a complex thing and must be addressed at multiple levels though, not just with coffee enemas. Cancer Research UK warns that more research is needed before substantiating claims that Gerson cancer therapy is effective.
Better Gut Health
Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride also recommends coffee enemas as part of the gut-healing GAPS protocol. The process flushes out bacteria, parasites, and fungus that impede gut healing. It also speeds up the detox and healing process needed for whole body wellness.
Lessen Die-Off Reactions
When the body releases toxins, it can overwhelm the system and we experience unpleasant die-off reactions. These can range from emotional issues (like irritability) to physical ones (like headaches and nausea). A coffee enema helps to quickly eliminate the released toxins from the body, to reduce or erase the die-off reactions, as part of a comprehensive cleansing protocol.
Our livers process hormones and waste in the body. When the liver becomes overburdened from all of the toxins in our diet and environment, the body tries to eliminate through a different route.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and it picks up the slack for an overtaxed liver. Hives, psoriasis, eczema, rashes and itchy skin can all be caused by toxin excretion through the skin. A coffee enema clears the way for the liver to function properly, eliminating many skin issues.
Coffee Enema Concerns
Having looked at the incredible benefits of coffee enemas, we should also weigh the risks. According to a 2013 pharmacokinetic study, there are potentially negative side effects to consider when administering a coffee enema.
Forewarned is forearmed…the primary factors to consider before your coffee enema are rectal burn, proctocolitis, and electrolyte imbalance.
To prevent rectal burn, you should allow the coffee to achieve room temperature before you administer it. Test the coffee like you would formula to see if it’s too hot.
The Mayo Clinic defines proctocolitis as the inflammation of the rectum’s lining. There was one case, in Korea, in which a coffee enema resulted in proctocolitis. The patient recovered through the use of antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and bowel rest.
Sadly, there have been two documented deaths associated with daily coffee enemas. These were the result of severe electrolyte imbalance. Because coffee enemas help remove toxic metals, they can also strip some nutrient minerals from your body. To stay safe, consult with a health practitioner before you begin the regimen. You may also want to check out this recipe for a natural electrolyte sports drink.
Who Should Not Use Coffee Enemas?
Even though coffee enemas are gentle and beneficial, there are a few groups who advised against them. Pregnant moms and children younger than five can use other enemas, like salt water, but are advised against coffee enemas. Breastfeeding moms may want to exercise caution here, too.
Those with severe bowel dysfunction, like Crohn’s disease, should take special precautions with coffee enemas. Similarly, those with hypertension, ulcerative colitis, renal/heart/respiratory failure, and those who are currently undergoing chemotherapy should exercise caution and consult with a health practitioner before beginning a regime of coffee enemas. As always, consult with your doctor to determine if coffee enemas should be an option for you.
When to Do a Coffee Enema
It depends on the issue being addressed; however, almost everyone can benefit from a coffee enema. For those with acute toxicity, like cancer patients, or those experiencing gallbladder attacks, coffee enemas can be done four times a day. This helps to quickly eliminate the toxins that may be causing the issue.
For those on a detox protocol, once a day is usually sufficient. Many people continue coffee enemas long term, transitioning to once a week or as needed for maintenance. It’s best to do an enema after a bowel movement and not right after eating. A full stomach and colon aren’t just uncomfortable, but impede the process.
How to Do a Coffee Enema
I can’t speak to this part personally, but here are some resources with details on exactly how to do a coffee enema, and what supplies are necessary. If I ever work up the courage to try it, I will be sure to share my honest review (while hopefully sparing you too many gory details!)
Could you benefit from a coffee enema? Is it something you’re willing to try or have already done? Let me know about your experience!
- Bakker, E., N.D. (2018, April 23). Enema solution for candida: How enema can help get rid of your candida. Retrieved from https://www.yeastinfection.org/enema-solution-for-candida-how-enema-can-help-get-rid-of-your-candida/
- Ben Greenfield Fitness. (2019, March 12). Kion coffee enema. Retrieved from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/digestion-articles/kion-coffee-enema/
- Bora, K., M.D., Yoon, J., M.D., Park, S., M.D., Seo, Y., M.D., Kim, Y., M.D., Chun, H., M.D., . . . Ryu, H., M.D. (2010, January). Proctocolitis caused by coffee enemas : American journal of gastroenterology. Retrieved from https://journals.lww.com/ajg/Citation/2010/01000/Proctocolitis_Caused_by_Coffee_Enemas.48.aspx
- Cancer Research UK. (2019, April 05). Gerson therapy. Retrieved from https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/gerson
- Davidson, J., M.D. (2016, June 3). Coffee enema: The detox and bile flow superstar. Retrieved from https://drjaydavidson.com/coffee-enema-missing-links/
- Environmental Protection Agency. (2018, October 24). Ten things you should know about mold. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/mold/ten-things-you-should-know-about-mold
- Gut and Psychology Syndrome. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from http://www.gaps.me/faqs.php
- Gutsy. (2017, September 18). The ultimate liver detox: Coffee enemas. Retrieved from http://www.mygutsy.com/the-ultimate-liver-detox-coffee-enemas/
- Issacs, L. L., M.D. (2013, May 13). Coffee enemas: Helping the body detoxify. Retrieved from https://beatcancer.org/blog-posts/coffee-enemas-helping-the-body-detoxify
- Kim, E. S., Chun, H. J., Keum, B., Seo, Y. S., Jeen, Y. T., Lee, H. S., . . . Ryu, H. S. (2014, July 29). Coffee enema for preparation for small bowel video capsule endoscopy: A pilot study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4135241/
- Pope, S. (2019, May 15). Do coffee enemas harm gut flora? Retrieved from https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/coffee-enemas-and-gut-flora/
- PureLife. (n.d.). Acne? Try a coffee enema! Retrieved from https://www.purelifeenema.com/acne-try-a-coffee-enema/
- Teekachunhatean, S., Tosri, N., Rojanasthien, N., Srichairatanakool, S., & Sangdee, C. (2013, March 4). Pharmacokinetics of caffeine following a single administration of coffee enema versus oral coffee consumption in healthy male subjects. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3603218/
- The Gerson Institute. (2019, April 10). Coffee enema – 8 things you need to know. Retrieved from https://gerson.org/gerpress/coffee-enema-8-things-you-need-to-know/
- UBiome. (2016, February 22). The 800-pound enema syringe, curious Ancient Egyptian job titles, and a pretty strange place to put your pipe. Retrieved from https://ubiome.com/blog/post/the-800-pound-enema-syringe-curious-ancient-egyptian-job-titles-and-a-pretty-strange-place-to-put-your-pipe/