Coffee Enemas: Crazy Effective, or Just Crazy?
The information in this article is intended for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
I know what you might be thinking: Coffee is meant for only ONE end of my body, and it’s not my south pole.
While the idea might sound strange at first, an all-natural coffee enema offers many health benefits, like pain relief, quick detoxification, and stimulating the bowel and liver.
Let’s explore how coffee enemas work, their numerous health benefits, and how to do a coffee enema at home safely and painlessly.
In this article:
- How Do Coffee Enemas Work?
- Who Needs a Coffee Enema?
- Benefits of Coffee Enemas
- Are Coffee Enemas Safe?
- Choosing the Right Coffee for Your Enema
- Supplies You’ll Need to Do a Coffee Enema at Home
- Steps to Complete a Coffee Enema at Home
- Steps to Complete a Water Flush and Coffee Enema
- Try a Transverse Massage with Your Coffee Enema
- Tips for A Great Experience with Coffee Enemas
- TLDR: Coffee Enemas
How Do Coffee Enemas Work?
Coffee enemas have been used for a very long time by hundreds of health practitioners around the world. Hippocrates, the father of allopathic medicine, both advocated for and used enemas.
Keep in mind that the word “enema” isn’t a particularly accurate term, since the purpose of a coffee enema is detoxification rather than elimination of the bowels (more on this later!). A more accurate description would be a water “flush” of the lower colon, followed by a coffee “implant” that helps dilate the hemorrhoidal vein.
A coffee enema works as caffeine (from the coffee!) enters your hemorrhoidal vein. The caffeine dilates your kidney and liver ducts, which helps these organs rapidly funnel waste to your lower colon.2
Who Needs a Coffee Enema?
According to Dr. Bernard Jensen,3 who has extensively researched colon health, layers of a substance called catarrhal mucoid plaque adhere to the walls of the colon over time.
Lack of fiber in the daily diet is a key culprit. The higher your diet is in low-fiber, highly processed foods, as well as low-fiber animal products (like meat, cheese, and eggs), the worse the plaque. A coffee enema, particularly in combination with a high-fiber, oxygenating, alkalizing, detoxifying diet, can help rapidly remove this plaque.
According to research by Dr. Max Gerson,4 the palmitic acid and theobromine in coffee enemas also have benefits. These compounds stimulate the production of glutathione S-transferase, also known as the “master enzyme,” or “master antioxidant.”
Glutathione S-transferase may just be the most powerful detoxifier in the body, and has the ability to bind with and flush free radicals (highly unstable compounds that result from stress, chemical damage, and UV damage).
Benefits of Coffee Enemas
Coffee enemas are a fantastic habit for preventative health. They’re particularly useful during times your body may be processing a lot of waste or toxins (such as a cleanse or detox, a big change to a healthier diet, or during a fast, when your body kicks into recycling mode).
Coffee enemas are simply healthcare for your colon — one of the parts of our bodies that is too often forgotten or neglected, despite the vital role it plays in our health. Dr. James Wiltsie, M.D. said, “As long as we continue to assume that the colon will take care of itself, just that long will we remain in complete ignorance of perhaps the most important source of ill health in the whole body.”
Benefits of a coffee enema include the following:
Sense of Well-Being and Pain Relief
Coffee enemas can stimulate a sense of well-being, as your body funnels toxins and waste from your body5 that may be contributing to an ongoing feeling of unwellness or fatigue. A coffee enema can also stimulate the production of glutathione (more on that below!) which can lower inflammation and oxidative stress.6
Relieves Herxheimer Detox Symptoms Including Headache and Nausea
Helps relieve detox symptoms like headache, nausea, and fatigue (which can appear temporarily when you switch to a healthier diet, or start a fast).
Cleanses the Blood and Flushes Waste Quickly
The caffeine from the coffee dilates and expands bile ducts in the liver and kidneys, allowing these organs to excrete waste directly into the rectum7 instead of circulating through your blood supply! Your entire blood supply circulates through your liver every 3-4 minutes. In other words, if you are able to retain your coffee enema for even just 3-4 minutes (first timers, this is your goal!), you’ve successfully filtered your entire bloodstream once. (The ultimate goal, however, is to hold the coffee implant for 12 minutes.)
Increases Production of Glutathione
Coffee enemas dramatically increase production of glutathione S-transferase to lower inflammation, improve oxidative stress, and eliminate free radicals that cause aging, tissue damage, and cancer. One study from the University of Minnesota showed a 600% increase of glutathione in the liver4 and a 700% increase in the small intestine of mice who ate green coffee beans.
As with most substances, this effect is even more pronounced with rectal absorption8. By putting the coffee directly in the colon, these compounds directly stimulate the liver via the hemorrhoidal and then portal veins (without traveling through the gastrointestinal tract).
Drinking coffee, while research shows undeniable health benefits, also has an acidifying effect on the entire body. Coffee as a rectal implant, however, eliminates those negative effects, and has a direct and somewhat localized effects that optimize elimination of chemical toxins via the liver, gallbladder, and GI tract.
Decreases Inflammation and Flushes Parasites
Coffee enemas improve markers of inflammation as free-radicals and toxins are flushed from the body. Research by Dr. Max Gerson4 and others shows that coffee enemas break up nests of parasites and Candida,9 while simultaneously stimulating the release of bile to aid with flushing waste.
Detoxifies Without Damaging Gut Bacteria
Unlike other kinds of enemas, coffee does not significantly damage beneficial gut flora10 that populates the colon.
Coffee enemas promote peristalsis, or small muscle contractions that naturally move food through your intestines. Many people nowadays, in an age where most eat far too little natural fiber, have slow, weak peristalsis and suffer from bloating, stomach pain, and gas. Coffee enemas can significantly improve these symptoms.
Are Coffee Enemas Safe?
Coffee enemas are safe, easy, non-addictive, and simple — even if the concept feels unfamiliar at first!
While some who criticize functional medicine insist that dangerous side effects can arise from coffee enemas, including rectal perforation and septicemia (severe bacterial infection), the meager sources for that fear-mongering are limited to one account of a woman with late-stage breast cancer who sought treatment11 (including coffee enemas) in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1984 and subsequently died of a bacterial infection. And a smattering of isolated accounts involving rectal burns and perforations.12 However, larger-scale studies saw no adverse effects from coffee enemas.13
The colon walls, in fact, are very strong, muscular tissues, except in cases of extreme, advanced disease.
These (very) rare complications can be easily avoided with common sense, preparation, and care:
- Allow your coffee time to cool down to room temperature before you use it. (Or, use our new blend of organic, unroasted green coffee, with charcoal, coming Summer 2020. No need to brew the coffee! Just add 2 Tbsp. of the blend to 1 pint of water.)
- Clean your enema equipment thoroughly with warm, soapy water and allow it to air dry on a clean towel after each use.
- Learn proper technique before you try a coffee enema at home (see instructions below).
- Insert the tip of the enema just far enough to allow the coffee to flow in without spilling. Insertion should not be painful.
Choosing the Right Coffee for Your Enema
Coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world. In other words, non-organic coffee contains traces of dangerous pesticides and is often genetically modified. Most of the coffee in the world is grown outside North America, in many nations that have few environmental controls.
Just as your body will absorb the caffeine from coffee through your hemorrhoidal vein, it’ll absorb those traces of pesticides, which is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Choose non-GMO, organic ground coffee. Ideally, you’ll want to use organic green unroasted beans. Unroasted green beans are extremely high in palmitic acid (important for boosting glutathione) and caffeine. Make sure you aren’t using decaf (the caffeine is important!) or instant coffee. It may go without saying, but don’t choose flavored beans! I use Purelife coffee for my enemas.
Supplies You’ll Need to Do a Coffee Enema at Home
You can make coffee enemas a regular part of your healthcare routine with just a few supplies! You’ll need to gather the following to get started:
- An inexpensive enema kit, which includes an enema bag or bucket with tubing and an enema tip (you can find this online or in most health food stores)
- A small amount of coconut oil
- 1 or 2 towels to place beneath you on the floor of your bathroom
- 1 quart of room-temperature coffee, either brewed in your coffee maker at normal strength, or using the following method:
- Boil 1 quart of water
- Add 3 rounded tablespoons of ground (not instant) organic coffee
- Simmer for 15 minutes, then cool to room temperature
- Strain the solution, and discard the coffee grounds (use brown filters; the white ones are filled with chemicals)
- Optional: A colema board, which allows you to lie flat, positioned over the toilet, so you don’t have to get up and down. If you want to make enemas a regular part of your healthcare, I highly recommend it!
Plan on the entire process taking 30-60 minutes total, allowing yourself some time for setup and cleanup afterward.
Steps to Complete a Coffee Enema at Home
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, follow these steps (make sure you read through everything before you begin, so there aren’t any surprises!)
If you’re a visual learner, you can also watch this video tutorial:
For the first step of the process, you’ll be flushing your lower colon with water to eliminate any debris that might make it more difficult for you to retain the coffee solution. After expelling the water, you’ll then repeat the steps of the water flush, using a coffee solution instead of water.
Steps to Complete a Water Flush and Coffee Enema
While this might look like a lot of steps, don’t be deterred. The enema process is quite simple, but if this is your first time, I want to spell out each step thoroughly!
Water Flush Instructions:
- Morning is ideal for your water flush and coffee enema. I recommend 9 or 10 in the morning. Your enema will give you an energy boost and sense of wellbeing, so plan to take advantage of this by planning work or important projects afterward!
- First, fill your enema bag or bucket with water. If you are using a bag, hang it on a towel rack or shelf near the toilet. Don’t hang it on the shower bar, since this will create too much pressure. If you decide to lie on the floor, you may want to use an even lower surface, to avoid too much pressure. (There’s no need to hang a bucket. Follow the instructions on your particular kit).
- Attach the enema tip to the rubber tubing that extends from the bag or bucket. Remember to clean this tip well after each use and discard after about a month!
- Apply coconut oil generously to the enema tip. You can reapply this oil as needed during the process.
- Release a few ounces of water into the toilet to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Lie down on the towel, on your side. Relax!
- Insert the enema tip several inches (4-6 inches, there should be no discomfort) into your rectum.
- Release the valve on the tubing, keeping it in your hand, and allow the water to flow into the rectum.
- Lie back, relax, and take deep breaths while you take in as much fluid as you comfortably can. Ideally you’ll do the whole quart, but don’t worry if you’re unable to your first few times.
- If you feel too much pressure, stop the water flow with the valve. Take some deep breaths and massage your colon (see instructions below).
- While the pressure may feel intense, don’t worry! Your colon is a strong muscle and will NOT explode! The worst that might happen is that you will release a little water onto the towel you are lying on, so don’t panic.
- When you are ready, remove the enema tip and move to a sitting position on the toilet. Spend a few minutes massaging your colon (instructions below!) to release all of the enema water. Don’t worry if it doesn’t rush out all at once, it has a number of bends and folds to navigate in the colon!
- Release the valve to drain water from the tube.
- Clean all equipment with warm, soapy water.
Coffee Enema Instructions
- Reapply coconut oil to the enema tip.
- Repeat steps 1-9. However, instead of water, fill the enema bag with room-temperature coffee solution brewed from ground, organic, unroasted green coffee beans.
If you feel too much pressure, stop the flow with the valve. Take some deep breaths and massage your colon (see instructions below). After a moment, you may be able to allow more coffee solution in.
- Hold the coffee solution in for a few minutes (aim for at least 3-4) before you release it.
- When you are ready, remove the enema tip and move to a sitting position on the toilet. Again, spend a few minutes massaging your colon (instructions below) to release all of the coffee solution.
- Release the valve to drain the coffee solution from the tube.
- Clean all equipment with warm, soapy water, then air dry.
Try a Transverse Massage with Your Coffee Enema
To maximize the effectiveness of your coffee enema, try a transverse colon massage! This unique massage can be done twice per day and can help break up that catarrhal mucoid plaque gunking up your colon.
The massage will also help stimulate peristaltic activity, so you can continue flushing waste from your system rapidly post-enema.
To perform a transverse massage, start on the lower right side of your abdomen, in the soft tissue above your pubic bone. Using a tennis ball or your fingers, massage the tissue deeply using a circular motion. Slowly move up your abdomen, toward your head. When you reach your belly button, move sideways across your stomach, to the left side, then keep massaging all the way down until you reach your left pubic bone.
Tips for A Great Experience with Coffee Enemas
Keep the following tips in mind for a great first experience with coffee enemas:
- The best time to do a coffee enema is first thing in the morning, when you’re ready to start your day. Do NOT do a coffee enema in the evening, as the caffeine may interfere with your ability to fall asleep!
- It’s safe to perform a coffee enema once or even twice per day, particularly during a fast or detox. Some healthcare therapies prescribe multiple coffee enemas per day.
- Give yourself plenty of time, especially your first few times. Don’t rush your experience.
- Drink plenty of water before and after your enema. Hydration is always important, but especially when you’re flushing lots of waste from your body!
- Keep your electrolyte levels balanced by sipping on celery juice or green juice before, during, or after your enema. The coffee enema can flush electrolytes from your system.14
- Listen to your body, and trust your intuition. If you’re not sure about something, ask instead of guessing! Join an enema-friendly online community to ask questions as needed!
- Remember, a water enema followed by a coffee implant will be most effective at clearing out waste when paired with a high-fiber, nutrient-dense, plant-based diet! Eat well before and after your enema.
- Try not to get in your head too much about the “weirdness” of the experience. While it will be new and unfamiliar, remember that you’re in good company with some of the wisest minds in functional healthcare!
TLDR: Coffee Enemas
Colon healthcare is tremendously important and often neglected. Dr. Bernard Jensen taught that good health is impossible with a dirty colon.
A coffee enema is one of the best preventative healthcare practices you can adopt to help clear out waste and buildup from your system, very rapidly. Aside from clearing out waste, coffee enemas also promote a sense of well-being and relieve pain, offer quick relief from detox symptoms like headache and nausea, increase production of glutathione, flush parasites, detoxify without damaging cut bacteria, and promote peristalsis.
While your first experience with an enema might be unfamiliar or a little strange, rest assured that you’re in good company with millions of people who have been doing enemas since ancient times! And after you’ve done it once, you’ll be a pro, and you have a great practice to serve you well for life.
With a little bit of preparation, education, and a few basic supplies, you can easily and safely perform a coffee enema at home and use this practice to optimize a cleanse program, alleviate pain, and assist your immune system when you’re ill.Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.
- Wikipedia, “Polyethylene glycol.” Accessed December 20, 2019.
- Davidson, J., M.D. “Coffee enema: The detox and bile flow superstar.” June 3, 2016.
- Iridology, The Science and Practice in the Healing Arts, Volume II, by Dr. Bernard Jensen, DC, ND, Ph.D.
- Gerson, Charlotte. Healing the Gerson Way. Totality Books. August 2007.
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- Gutsy. “The ultimate liver detox: Coffee enemas.” September 18, 2017.
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- Bakker, E., N.D. “Enema solution for candida: How enema can help get rid of your candida.” 2018, April 23, 2018.
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- Kim S. et. al. “Rectal perforation due to benign stricture caused by rectal burns associated with hot coffee enemas.” Endoscopy. 2012;44 Suppl 2 UCTN:E32-3.
- Kim, E. S., Chun, H. J., Keum, B., Seo, Y. S., Jeen, Y. T., Lee, H. S., . . . Ryu, H. S. “Coffee enema for preparation for small bowel video capsule endoscopy: A pilot study.” July 29, 2014.
- The Gerson Institute. “Coffee enema – 8 things you need to know.” April 10, 2019.