This might be a sensitive subject for some because we’re going to talk about some personals:
Don’t be nervous. The only weird thing about doing an enema is not knowing how to do one, and by the end of this post, you will. Now I know what you’re thinking, is the enema in the same category of “weird” as steaming up your yoni? Absolutely not. The only people who will tell you that are those who know nothing about enemas and have never done one.
What is an Enema?
Before we get to the coffee, let’s make sure you understand what an enema is. The enema has been around forever (think Dead Sea Scrolls, the Manual of Discipline, and 3rd-century Aramaic manuscripts). It’s basically a solution put into the rectum that promotes peristalsis and causes a bowel movement and is used to relieve constipation and cleanse the colon. There are water enemas, wheatgrass enemas, and enemas with probiotics, essential oils, herbal extracts, and coffee.
Why Would You Use Coffee in an Enema?
Coffee enemas have been around since the late 1800s but became a thing during World War I when coffee was placed into the enema buckets of wounded soldiers and significantly relieved their pain. This prompted two german medical doctors to test caffeine infusions in rats. What they found (and published in the German medical literature) is that caffeine traveled to the liver via the hemorrhoidal vein and portal system, opened up the bile ducts, and released toxins stored in the bile.
Coffee became popular when Dr. Max Gerson incorporated coffee enemas as part of his cancer-healing nutritional protocol (Gerson Therapy) for detoxification and pain relief. He proposed that coffee enemas does the following:
- Reduces blood serum toxins eliminating chronic challenge to damaged normal cells (macromolecules)
- Improves cell potassium
- Reduces cell sodium
- Reduces cell swelling through improved water structuring
- Alleviates constipation
- Cleanses the blood
- Counters gut inflammation (specifically the nutrients theophylline and theobromine),
- Increases cell mitochondria count and activity, and
- Supplies micronutrients for cell energy production and repair.
Dr. Gerson isn’t the only one who used coffee to address the root causes of toxicity and chronic disease: O.A. Meyer, Martin Heubner, William Kelley, Harold Manner, Nicholas Gonzales, W. J. Mayo, and Linda Isaacs, have done the same. Dr. Peter Lechner (an oncologist surgeon) of Austria conducted a trial of the Gerson cancer therapy in the post-surgical treatment of metastasized colorectal cancers and reported in 1984 that, “Coffee enemas have a definite effect on the colon which can be observed with an endoscope.”
Research by Wattenberg, Sparnins, and Lam (Cancer Res. 1982 Apr;42(4):1193-8) at the University of Minnesota, found that coffee stimulates glutathione-S-transferase (GST) in the gut by 700%. We know from the research on GST, that it binds to bilirubin and glucuronides, blocks and detoxifies carcinogens, and forms a covalent bond with free radicals (removing them from the body).
In general, coffee enemas are an important tool for physicians who try to detoxify the body. […] Coffee enemas are serious business: their potential should be explored by good research – not mined for cheap shots at alternative medicine or derisively dismissed as yet another crackpot fad.” – Ralph Moss, PhD.”
Currently, coffee enemas are being tested for the prevention of pancreatic cancer and was even listed in the Merck manual from 1899-1977 (and was removed to make room for new material…not because of ineffectiveness).
Can I Just Drink the Coffee and Get the Same Effect?
No. When you drink coffee, you’re going to absorb more of the caffeine, experience side-effects related to that, and coffee enters you circulation differently. When you do an enema, the nutrients, antioxidants, and a much smaller amount of caffeine are picked up by the hepatic portal circulation system. It’s literally like doing a blood transfusion with coffee (or so they say).
How To Do a Coffee Enema
Whether you have cancer, chronic disease, or simply want to help your body do what it does better (detox), pull out the big guns and use coffee. Now there’s a right and a wrong way to do this, so I’m going to hold your hand and walk you through it step-by-step.
- Pure Life Enema Kit – You need a proper system for doing any type of enema and the plastic enema kit from Walmart is not going to cut it. You also don’t want a rubber system that doubles as a hot water bottle (it gets moldy), and you don’t want something plastic that leaches toxins when hot water touches it. You want a stainless steel bucket with a proper hose and a complete system. (Here’s the one I recommend and have been using for nine years.)
- Gerson Therapy Coffee – Do NOT just go to the store and pick up some Folgers and add it to your cup. You need legit enema coffee that’s pure, fresh, caffeinated, organic, and air roasted. (I prefer the medium roasted Gerson coffee.)
- Essentials: Filtered water, coffee pot, towel, olive oil, and your iTunes playlist.
- Now that you have your kit and coffee, fill a small coffee pot with 1 liter (or 3-4 cups) of filtered water. Add 3 tablespoons of coffee, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Ccover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. (Three tablespoons is standard, but you might want to start with one and work your way up.)
- Once the 15 minutes is up, let the coffee cool to lukewarm or slightly higher than body temperature. This could take a while if you have no idea how to brew coffee, so starting it first thing in the morning while you’re doing other tasks and getting ready might be a good idea.
- Read the instructions that came with your kit. It will tell you how to attach the hose and prepare your enema bucket. (It’s simple … I promise.) Once you have attached the hose and the tip, clamp the hose. Strain and pour in the coffee solution. (You’ll want to hang your enema bucket on a door knob.)
- Next, assume the position. Most instructions will tell you to lay on your right side to insert the tip and your coffee. You can certainly do this, but I think it’s easier if you’re in a downward dog position on your knees. Once you pick your position, you’ll want to hold the hose higher than the bucket, open the valve, and release any remaining air (letting the coffee solution travel all the way to the tip before clamping it again) before you insert the tip. If you don’t, you’ll get air in your gut and it will be uncomfortable and hard to retain the coffee.
- Put a little olive oil on the attachment and gently insert it into your bumper. (Follow the instructions with your kit, but it will be be inserted a few inches.) I know … it’s weird but you’ll get over it.
- Release the clamp and the coffee will begin it’s journey. It might feel warm (but should not feel hot or cold). If you need to slow down the flow, simply clamp the hose.
- Once your solution is gone, clamp the hose, pull out the attachment, and either invert or lay on your right side, knees to chest, and breathe deeply to bring the solution deeper into your colon. If you’re doing Gerson’s method, you’ll retain this for 15 minutes. (What does retention feel like? Like holding in a fart. You can do it. You got this.)
- When your 15 minutes is up you’ll know it. You’ll want to stand up, sit on the loo, and release the solution and whatever comes out with it.
- When you’re done, clean your toilet, take a shower, rinse the bucket and sanitize the attachment.
- You may feel the sudden urge to run a marathon. This is normal.
How often should you do a coffee enema?
The Gerson protocol recommends coffee enemas up to six times a day. Unless you’re under the guidance of a medical practitioner that thinks this is a good idea, I believe it’s excessive, could deplete your body of electrolytes, is time-consuming, and un-necessary. For a detox, once a day is fine and then as needed to help you reach your wellness goals.
Can you become addicted to coffee enemas?
No. Although a person can become addicted to anything (and we’re certainly addicted to drinking coffee), the people from “My Strange Addiction” on TLC are not accurate representations of people who utilize enemas.
Will my colon become dependent upon an enema?
No. Your colon will not forget how to function if you do coffee enemas. It actually may help restore proper bowel function; however, an enema should not be used as a crutch for bad habits. If you can’t go #2, then you need to make some diet and lifestyle changes.
I’m not afraid to admit that I am a huge fan of the coffee enema. I had Crohn’s and now I don’t and a huge reason for that is because I mastered the art of the enema. Enemas literally dissolved the scar tissue in my intestine (I have the colonoscopy pictures to prove it.), restored my bowel function, killed the candida that called my gut home, and saved me from having to have a colostomy bag.
That aside, everything in this post is my personal opinion. If you want a medical opinion you should consult your doctor, who (unless he/she is super cool) will probably freak out because they have no understanding of (or training in) the therapeutic uses of an enema. It does however, make for an entertaining appointment. If you want to know more about coffee enemas and how they work, I would recommend reading more about Gerson Therapy.