Coffee Enema: Unmatched Detoxification for Health and Recovery

by Sarah Detoxification, Natural RemediesComments: 67

coffee enema bag with silicone tubingPeople tend to cringe and get grossed out by the words coffee enema let alone the suggestion of actually trying one. This despite the fact that enemas are an incredibly simple, powerful and effective healing therapy that have been used for thousands of years and recommended by some of history’s greatest physicians.

The coffee enema represents the ultimate detoxification experience possible such that the most effective holistic cancer treatments in the world, including those offered by the Gerson Institute and holistic oncologist Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez MD, use the coffee enema extensively as part of their healing protocols.

The coffee enema is also widely used for health recovery from autoimmune disease and other degenerative ailments providing nothing short of unparalleled results. Others use it for health maintenance and as a potent prevention tool given the toxic soup our world has unfortunately become.

The Enema in Early Medical Writings

The earliest known mention of the enema comes from Ancient Egypt. Both the Edwin Smith Papyrus (circa 1600 BC) and the Ebers Papyrus (circa 1550 BC), some of the earliest known medical documents, describe enemas in detail.  In 500 BC, Hippocrates, considered the Father of Western Medicine, and his followers in Ancient Greece advocated the maintenance of optimal health using enemas as well.

Another early writing about internal cleansing with water is recommended and described in great detail in The Essene Gospel of Peace (Book 1, p 15-16). This fascinating Dead Sea Scrolls text, probably written somewhere around the second century AD, was found by Hungarian biblical scholar Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, who was also a linguist, philosopher, and natural living advocate. Szekely claims to have found an Aramaic copy of the book in the purportedly cavernous Vatican library full of scrolls, parchments, and paper manuscripts. He translated the small book into English and published it in 1936.

In the New World, Native Americans from both North and South America used enema bags made from animal bladders and other materials for seasonal cleansing and to maintain regularity. Ancestral African tribes fashioned and used enema bags in a similar manner.

Why the Use of Coffee for an Enema?

The coffee enema as we know it today made its debut in modern medical literature in 1917. Some may be surprised to learn that the coffee enema remained in the Merck Manual as recently as 1972. Coincidentally, this is about the same time that plain water enemas were stopped as an important cleansing protocol for pregnant women about to go into labor, an indication that the enema seemed to fall out of favor for a time.

Why focus on cleansing when you can just take antibiotics and other drugs to zap the microbes, neutralize toxins, and cover up symptoms instead?  This narrow-minded thinking seemed the order of the day.

Fortunately, the unmatched effectiveness of this ancient practice is being rediscovered, unfortunately much of it due to the cancer epidemic. People are seeking holistic detoxification alternatives that provide rapid enough results to avoid the cut, poison, burn approach of conventional oncology which brings such intense and long lasting suffering.

How a Coffee Enema Works

coffee enema cartoon_miniHow does a coffee enema work and why coffee and not tea?  It is the caffeine in coffee that is so therapeutic as it has been found to open up the bile ducts in the liver thereby increasing bile production and flow.

Tea does not have the same effect. This is likely because the caffeine in tea binds to the tannins and L-theanine, a water soluble amino acid, at the time it is brewed. These bonds prevent the caffeine from directly opening the bile ducts as they would have to be metabolized digestively to free up the caffeine first. Since an enema bypasses the digestive process, tea is ineffective compared with coffee for therapeutic enema purposes.

Max Gerson MD, founder of the famed Gerson Institute for holistic cancer treatment, found that the root cause of cancer is extreme toxicity and nutritional deficiency. In order to detoxify rapidly (before the cancer kills you), the liver must be stimulated to release toxins in large quantities. He found that this rapid detoxification is best encouraged via coffee enema where the unbound caffeine is absorbed from the descending colon via the hemorrhoidal vein, which carries the caffeine to the portal vein and the liver. The caffeine quickly and very effectively stimulates the liver and biliary ducts to open, which release both metabolic and environmental toxins into the intestinal tract for elimination.

According to the journal Physiological Chemistry and Physics, “Caffeine enemas cause dilation of bile ducts, which facilitates excretion of toxic cancer breakdown products by the liver and dialysis of toxic products from blood across the colonic wall.”

Interestingly, those sensitive to coffee taken orally typically have no problem with a coffee enema. The bypassing of the digestive process and the infusion of coffee rectally only for the purpose of liver stimulation, toxin release and blood cleansing makes all the difference. Absorption of the coffee into the bloodstream is very low when doing a coffee enema.

Coffee Enema is for Detoxification Not Constipation

It is important not to get coffee enema confused with a plain water enema. Plain water enemas are a helpful therapy for elimination of the bowels and issues with constipation.

Coffee enemas, on the other hand, are used for detoxification of the liver and blood especially in holistic cancer treatments. Two helpful substances found in coffee, kahweol and cafestol palmitate, promote the activity of a key enzyme system responsible for neutralizing free radicals, glutathione S-transferase, at much higher than normal levels. This system according to Gar Hildenbrand of the Gerson Institute, “must be regarded as an important mechanism for carcinogen detoxification.”

It is believed that kahweol and cafestol palmitate increase the liver’s production of glutathione, the mother of all antioxidants, by as much as 700%.

In addition, theophylline and theobromine, two other beneficial chemicals in coffee, dilate blood vessels and counter inflammation of the gut. The palmitates are responsible for stimulating the enzyme system responsible for the removal of toxic free radicals from the blood. Finally, the fluid of the enema itself stimulates the visceral nervous system to promote peristalsis and the rapid transit of diluted toxic bile from the duodenum and out the rectum.

Coffee Enema for Pain

Coffee enemas are not only a powerful detoxification protocol easily accessible to anyone, they are extremely helpful for pain management as well.

Dr. Lawrence Wilson MD writes that the following is from an article in Healing Newsletter, NL#13, May-June, 1986. By Gar Hildenbrand:

The coffee enema may have been first used in modern Western nations as a pain reliever.  As the story goes, during World War I nurses kept coffee pots on the stove all day long.  Battle surgeons and others drank it to stay awake while working horrendously long hours.  Enema bags hung around as some patients needed help moving their bowels.

Pain medications were in short supply.  Doctors were forced to save the pain drugs for surgical procedures, with little or none for follow-up after surgery.  When surgical patients woke up from operations without the benefit of further morphine injections, they would scream in pain and agony from the surgery.  They were also constipated from the anesthesia drugs.

As the story goes, one day a nurse was preparing an enema for constipation.  Instead of fetching water for the enema, she accidentally dumped some cool coffee into the patient’s enema bag, undid the release clamp, and into the patient it flowed.  “I’m not in so much pain,” the poor soldier said.  The nurse took notice, and thus began the use of coffee enemas to help control pain.

There is also significant anecdotal evidence of migraine headache relief from coffee enemas. Some conventional doctors even recommend their regular use for pain management for cancer patients.

Bulletproof Coffee Enemas Ineffective

It is important to note that the benefits of coffee enema are in the coffee itself, not anything that might be added to it.

According to Kim Schuette, founder of the clinic Biodynamic Wellness, while the coffee enema is widely used with great success for a variety of digestive and autoimmune ailments, bulletproof coffee which adds coconut oil, MCTs, and/or butter has no benefit and should be avoided.

She says this about the use of bulletproof coffee as an enema, “The therapeutic point of the coffee enema is to increase the production of glutathione, not oil up the liver or the sigmoid colon. I have never seen any literature that supports its use as a benefit.”

On the other hand, Louisa Williams, author of Radical Medicine, writes that a retention enema of pure x-factor butter oil is an effective way to increase butyric acid in the colon. This healthy fat supports beneficial probiotic activity in the colon. However, adding this or any other fat to a coffee enema is a whole different story, and there is no credible support for this practice.

In short, coffee should be black when taken as an enema!

Are Coffee Enemas Ok for Celiacs or the Gluten Sensitive?

The protein in coffee is one of the most common cross-reactors to gluten. Because it is the protein in the coffee that is the trigger, decaf coffee presents the same problem.

Given that many who are sensitive to gluten also avoid coffee because it brings on symptoms, are coffee enemas off limits as well?

According to Kim Schuette of Biodynamic Wellness, not had a single gluten sensitive or Celiac person in her practice over a ten year period has reacted while using coffee enemas.  The fact that the coffee bypasses, for the most part, the small intestine as it goes in from the sigmoid colon to the left hemorrhoidal vein to the portal vein and finally the liver seems to be the key. The exit route of the coffee when it is released also involves minimal exposure to the small intestine.

How Often to Do a Coffee Enema?

For those with cancer who need to detoxify as rapidly as possible, multiple coffee enemas per day are typically recommended by holistic cancer clinics spaced out at least 4 hours apart during the day.

For help with other degenerative problems, it is best to seek the advice of a holistic practitioner who can recommend the proper frequency for your specific condition.

For those simply wishing to detoxify for health maintenance purposes or pain management, an as needed basis is fine.

In this shocking story, a Florida couple claimed to be addicted to coffee enemas, each doing 100 or more per month for over 2 years!  They claimed to experience euphoria from the practice.

Dr. Lawrence Wilson MD, a huge proponent of coffee enemas, claims that “Most everyone can use coffee enemas daily for at least 10 years to detoxify the liver and help heal the entire body.”

This advice seems excessive, at least to me. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. You don’t need to do anywhere near this many coffee enemas to see huge benefits to your health.  Try it on an occasional basis, perhaps once a week, and see how it goes for you. If you see improvement and want to increase the frequency, do so.

Please note that pregnant women should not do coffee enemas or any enemas as it could trigger preterm labor. For breastfeeding women and children, consider this healing protocol only under the advice of a holistic physician. Kim Schuette of Biodynamic Wellness suggests that, in her experience, coffee enemas really aren’t appropriate for children under 5 unless extreme circumstances present.

How to Perform a Coffee Enema

The thorough and detailed instructions below are provided to patients in need of the therapeutic benefits of coffee enema and are courtesy of Kim Schuette and the staff of:

Biodynamic Wellness
107 N. Acacia Avenue Solana Beach, CA 92075

Supplies Needed

  • Enema bag or bucket (quality source)
  • Quart of organic coffee (Biodynamic Wellness recommends therapeutic low roasted coffee available from
  • Olive oil or organic coconut oil
  • Hydrogen peroxide (available at the pharmacy)
  • Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (available at natural food grocers or online here)
  • Selectrolytes (

To prepare one quart (four cups) of coffee, which is used for one enema session:

1. Place 3 tablespoons of organic coffee grounds (this amount may be reduced to 2 tablespoons if one is not dealing with cancer) in one quart (four cups) of purified or spring water. The coffee should be organic and must be caffeinated. Prepare the coffee in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel pot. Aluminum is not recommended as the aluminum can leach into the coffee.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes; then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes more. Strain using a fine mesh strainer. Add additional purified or spring water to bring the coffee mixture to one quart (four cups).

3. The coffee can be made the night before each use. Reheat to body temperature before using.

4. Place a thick towel and a pillow for your head on the floor near the toilet. Waterproof pads are a good idea, as they will protect your floor in the event of a spill or leakage.

5. Hang enema bag from a cabinet knob, which allows bag to hang about 18-21 inches from the floor. If using an enema bucket, place bucket on a stool, chair or tub platform so that it is elevated about 18-21 inches above the floor.

6. Make sure the tubing on your enema bag or bucket is clamped closed before pouring in the coffee. Pour the quart of coffee into the enema bag or bucket.

7. Lubricate the tip of the colon tube using olive oil or coconut oil.

8. Lie on your left side or your back and insert the colon tube slowly 6-18 inches (never more than 18 inches) into the rectum. If the tube kinks pull out and try again, as kinking will block the flow of the coffee.

9. Release the clamp, letting about a pint of coffee (two cups, which is half the amount in the bag or bucket) flow slowly in, and re-clamp. If the coffee does not flow there is most likely a kink in the tube. Withdraw the tube, reinsert, and try again.

10. Turn to your right side. Hold the coffee for 12-15 minutes. At first, it may be difficult to retain the enema. That is okay. Gradually work up to the 12-15 minutes. Holding the enema longer than 15 minutes is counterproductive.

11. After 15 minutes expel the liquid in the toilet. If you don’t expel much liquid, that’s ok, it’s just an indication that you are dehydrated and need to drink more water. Dr. Lawrence Wilson MD suggests reflexology if there is any discomfort during this process. Rub your feet, especially the colon reflex areas and the small intestine area. The tops of the toes of the left foot seems to especially help relieve any discomfort. Know that any discomfort will quickly pass, usually within 5-10 minutes.

12. Wait about 5 minutes to ensure that you are finished eliminating and then repeat the enema as directed in steps 6-11 with the remaining coffee.

13. After each use, clean the enema bag or bucket and tubing with hot water and soap. Rinse with hydrogen peroxide and hang to dry.

Additional Tips for a Successful Coffee Enema

1. A coffee concentrate can be made and stored in the refrigerator for 7 days, for your convenience. Bring 1 cup of organic coffee grounds and 1 quart purified or spring water to a boil for 5 minutes. Then simmer for 15 minutes. Strain. Add additional purified or spring water to bring the coffee mixture to four cups. Use one cup of the concentrate to three cups purified or spring water for each enema session (each enema session consists of two consecutive enemas).

2. Supplementing with additional minerals after the coffee enemas is not necessary but can be beneficial. If you desire additional minerals, we recommend Selectrolytes (1 tablespoon in purified water), Original Quinton Isotonic (1 vial) or Trace Minerals with B12.

3. It is very rare, but some individuals may feel slightly jittery due to the caffeine in the coffee, although, most often, clients find the enemas relaxing and even experience euphoria. Absorption of the coffee is very low when doing a coffee enema. Jitteriness should lessen after the third session. If not, make the coffee weaker.

4. Store open bag of coffee in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator or freezer.

5. Having difficulty holding the coffee enemas for 12-15 minutes? This may be due to feces being compacted in the descending colon. You may try the following to help things along:

  • Do a clear water enema first. Start with one cup of warm purified or spring water. Take in water and hold until urge to release is felt. Release completely and then do your two coffee enemas.
  • Drink two cups of warm water with fresh lemon juice upon rising in the morning, will often initiate a bowel movement.
  • Take additional magnesium prior to bedtime such as three capsules of Magnesium Lactate or Magnesium Malate or 3 tablets of Mg-Zyme. This will increase the likelihood of having a nice bowel movement first thing in the morning.
  • Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism, liver congestion and/or gut dysbiosis. This may need to be addressed by a qualified health care practitioner.


Sources and More Information about Detoxification

Gerson, M. 1979. Physiological Chemistry and Physics 10(5): 449-464, 1979.

Coffee Enema History and Instructions, Biodynamic Wellness

Coffee Enema, Dr. L. Wilson MD

Castor Oil Pack Detoxification

7 Ways to Avoid Detox Symptoms on a Cleanse

Top 4 Cleansing Myths to Watch Out For

Detox Baths: Which are Best and for What Ailments

Natural Deworming Methods that are Safe and Effective

How to Gently Detox in Preparation for Pregnancy

Seaweed Wrap: Minerals In, Heavy Metals Out

Juicing 101: Why Do It, What Juicers are Best, Recipes to Try

Rebounding: A Great Way to Gently Detox

How to Do a Hair Detox and Enjoy Beautiful Locks Naturally

Comments (67)

  • Jamie

    I’ve been doing coffee enemas daily for 6 years now… saved my life. I had severe IBS and was even turning yellow…felt like I had a blockage. I also take probiotics to help replenish good bacteria in the gut, high doses vit D, and cannabis oil for cancer prevention. Both parents died of cancer. Dad died of colon cancer. My Mom started using coffee enemas at Gerson clinic after her breast cancer had spread to more than a dozen tumors in her liver. Cancer cells started dying off. Unfortunately, she started too late and after she had tried chemo and radiation. She regretted not trying Gerson therapy first. (We hadnt known about benefits of cannabis oil either.) My emotions affect my guts severely and knew I had to have help. Doctors just wanted to experiment, so I decided I’d do my own research. I still have to do coffee enemas daily, but they are easy now, however, I only retain 24 oz for 3 to 5 minutes. It took awhile for my body to catch up and clear out. I’m hoping someday I can go on a weekly maintenance, but for now, it’s the only way I live a normal life daily. Sometimes on bad days I have to do 2, but that’s less and less. I’m now having normal bowel movements as well. It helps with my overall pain, asthma, and more. I highly recommend them, as long as you are one that uses common sense… I’ve heard stories… lol

    July 2nd, 2016 6:26 pm Reply
  • Rob

    I was skeptical about coffee enemas until doing them. I started experimenting with them to see if they would help my unexplained fatigue. The very first one, after elimination , I went into a sneezing fit, sneezing like ten times in a row. I’m not sure why, maybe some detox reaction. After doing them, I feel so good, calm, and my mind is clear. Hearing an interview with Dr. Gonzalez inspired me to try them. The first time I did them for a week daily, at the end of the week, my skin and eyes looked amazing. My skin was so soft and glowing and my eyes were clear and bright. Little bumps I have always had on my upper arms were gone leaving smooth, clear skin. I
    I am now a believer that they can help a person detox and heal. Some may argue that putting coffee in the back door is unnatural. I like how Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez responded to this. He said as long as we live in a unnatural world, being exposed to unnatural toxins, we must be willing to do extraordinary things to assist our bodies to detox. I now

    May 28th, 2016 5:17 am Reply
  • Rachxl

    What do you think of coffee enemas in pregnancy? I’ve already done 2 at 34 weeks pregnant. On a side note, I’ve done them pre-pregnancy as well, and when I had bloodwork done during the pregnancy I was told I had an “excellent liver!”

    January 25th, 2016 9:09 am Reply
    • Sarah

      NO enemas while pregnant! It could put you into labor!

      January 25th, 2016 8:27 pm Reply
  • Stacie

    It’s not clear to me how I would know that a coffee enema is effective. If I use a water enema for constipation, a bowel movement (or 2 or 3) would let me know that the water enema has been effective. How would I know that a coffee enema has been effective?

    April 30th, 2015 1:04 pm Reply
  • Maya

    Hi Sarah,

    Glad to see this article and your opinion on this subject. I was doing them consistently a few months back, and they were helping my inflammation a ton- when I told my acupuncturist, she absolutely freaked out and told me to never, never, never do them again because she said it totally disrupts the beneficial bacteria balance and leeches minerals from my body. I was totally bummed (and felt quite ashamed that I’d been doing them, really!) They were helping with so many of my chronic autoimmune-based issues. I don’t really know what to believe at this point, but I do appreciate hearing that you know of so many success stories. Thanks!

    April 28th, 2015 12:12 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Wow. This is inaccurate info .. please consult with the staff at who use it extensively as part of their gut healing protocol. People freak out about a lot of things .. remember when people used to freak when we would tell them we ate butter saying we were going to drop right there of clogged arteries?

      April 28th, 2015 7:06 am Reply
      • Maya

        Thanks for your reply, and you’re right- the butter is a great example. I just looked at the Biodynamic Wellness site and they seem great. All the blog posts I saw are totally in line with everything I find helpful (doTerra, kimchi, almond milk, etc…) so I’m going to assume you and they have much better information about the safety and efficacy of coffee enemas than the folks that freak out about them! Again, very relieved to read your point of view on this- glad to know I can possibly have these in my tool kit again. :)

        April 28th, 2015 10:12 am Reply
      • Wyandotte

        While I enjoyed my first few coffee enemas, and didn’t overdo them (maybe 3-4 times per month) I eventually found I couldn’t do them anymore as they did, indeed, appear o remove minerals from my body. I’d get leg cramps and feel depleted, etc. I waited many months before trying again, but unfortunately I would get those symptoms.

        HOWEVER – most people probably don’t get mineral depletion and do definitely benefit from coffee enemas. Let’s face it, coffee enemas are a purge. Some people should never purge in any way, shape or form. Me – I’ve never had a strong constitution. I’ve started taking sulfur crystals, to see if that might help with the mineral problem, because I did love those coffee enemas. There was a feeling of rightness during and for awhile after, though certainly not what I’d describe as “euphoria”.


        May 28th, 2015 12:50 pm Reply
  • Jan

    Hi Sarah,

    While I’ve enjoyed your blog and newsletters for some time now, I found it somewhat disturbing that you thought the Florida couple was a “funny story.” There is something seriously wrong with those people and as a whole society if we think this is ok or funny. Displaying their illness on TV. I don’t know what has happen to our country, but this was not a funny story. AND, they have children. Good grief. :(

    April 22nd, 2015 9:42 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Point taken. Perhaps “shocking story” would have been a better choice of words there! I must admit, though, that I did do a double face palm when I read it!

      April 22nd, 2015 10:48 am Reply
      • Jan

        Thank you Sarah.

        April 23rd, 2015 8:35 am Reply
  • Jeanne

    I was just reading the Spring 2015 Wise Traditions journal from the Weston A. Price Foundation. John Kozinski’s article “Cleansing Myths and Dangers” discusses many problems associated with cleansing protocols. He has this to say bout coffee enemas: “Flushing water through the colon is promoted as a cure for all kinds of ills. As with most things in health and life, the proof is in the pudding. If someone finds coffee enemas helpful, I think it is best to employ this on a limited basis for a short time.” He goes on to say that weak people should not be given enemas. Sarah, it seems that your view may not entirely jibe with the view of the organization for which you are a chapter leader.

    April 22nd, 2015 8:58 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Jeanne, please note that Kim Schuette of Biodynamic Wellness which is used as a reference for this article, is the San Diego Chapter Leader for the Weston Price Foundation and is also a WAPF Board Member. She uses coffee enemas extensively in her practice, many of these people very weak and autoimmune compromised. So, this snippet from the Journal article cannot be considered the opinion of the Foundation as a whole. He is simply providing an alternative viewpoint from the Ayurvedic tradition. Yes, I’ve read that article too :)

      April 22nd, 2015 9:26 am Reply
  • wendell

    I just read about this in the WAP latest issue and had heard about it before, but never thought too much about it. I might just reconsider now.

    April 21st, 2015 2:24 pm Reply
  • Natalie

    I have a chronic illness in large part to genetic issues effecting my detoxification pathways…I am being treated by an Integrative Physician whose specialty is “Chronic Pain and Chronic Illness”. When I asked him about coffee enemas he gave the “not enough evidence, studies, blah blah” answer. But when I started doing them and the helped like nothing else for my pain AND this horrible toxic buzzing feeling I have in my whole body-he told me to KEEP DOING THEM. Even he doesn’t feel that they are dangerous. So he is now in full support of me. He’s probably not recommending them yet, but I have a feeling he will. And I think these are also helping to get my detox pathways moving again-along with a lot of other treatments with my doc. I cannot recommend these enough for CHRONIC pain and chronic illness of any kind. Coming back from an illness is a long and painful road. Anything that can be done to keep your body detoxing should be done. I think we need to demystify some of these practices for our kids so they won’t be grossed out by something that really is quite pleasant 😉

    April 21st, 2015 9:31 am Reply
  • Annie

    I remember when Steve McQueen (Actor) had cancer and did coffee enemas Which did Not help him
    He died earlier then expected..

    Also my friends father died sooner then expected as it was said from coffee enemas..

    I’m not one that goes by accepting drugs from Drs., but I have yet to heard that coffee enemas has helped anyone that has taken them for cancer, or for there general good health!!!

    At this point I do say Ewwwww….

    April 21st, 2015 3:22 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Actually, Steve McQueen died from a pulmonary embolism, not cancer. If you check out the Truth about Cancer documentary series, there is an interview with Dr. Gonzalez about Steve McQueen … Dr. Gonzalez has his medical files.

      April 21st, 2015 7:14 am Reply
    • sherry

      The Gerson therapy is good for most cancers…but it doesn’t hurt to detox when you’re body is full of toxic cancer.

      April 22nd, 2015 5:34 pm Reply
  • Chris

    Is it safe to do coffee enemas in children and at what age is safe? Probably more like a small enema not a full one.

    April 20th, 2015 10:32 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      You really should reach out to your preferred holistic practitioner first about that.

      April 21st, 2015 7:20 am Reply
    • Jessica

      I am not saying what will work for you, but my 8 year old son was really constipated and I did it with him, and it helped, with no problems.

      April 21st, 2015 10:24 am Reply
  • Sherry

    One Important Correction to the article!
    You should lay on your RIGHT side so the coffee goes into your liver, not your left.

    I put a blanket down, a pillow and prop up the enema bucket about 18 inches (I have a stool I use) and have learned that if I leave the tubing in during the process, it can relieve some of the cramping that may occur. I believe each 4 minutes is a “cleaning cycle” as your blood travels through your liver and all the magic happens.

    April 20th, 2015 8:42 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      It says the right side (#10).

      April 20th, 2015 8:46 pm Reply
      • Sherry

        Yes – I missed that a few steps down…sorry.

        April 22nd, 2015 6:47 pm Reply
    • nic6446

      The whole idea is to keep the solution in the lower colon. You can do this by receiving in the standing position and then have a seat as I mentioned below.

      April 21st, 2015 12:36 am Reply
  • sherry

    Also know that the Gerson site sells an enema bucket, tube and catheter kit for $15! I clean mine each time and soak in alcohol or peroxide and water running through it and then after washing the catheter with soap, I leave it sitting in the alcohol or peroxide mixture inside the bucket.

    I don’t go long without one as my body tells me it’s time as my neck stiffens and a headache begins (can turn into a migraine) – sometimes daily – sometimes several times a day – sometimes once or twice a week. It removes my pain instantly as it cleanses my liver bile. First time I did it I had an AWFUL migraine and the pain was gone 80% after 1 treatment, then I did another one immediately and received even more relief. I learned about it from Gerson…when cancer patients do this – it’s instant pain relief. There are many types of enemas and also know that patients who have no appetite – can receive a green juice or veggie juice via enema for strength and healing.

    There are many types of enemas – including yogurt enemas. It just makes sense to cleanse yourself on the inside and add beneficial bacteria and/or cleansing as you need it.

    April 20th, 2015 8:36 pm Reply
    • Sherry

      What’s really crazy is that I give these buckets and instructions with a package of organic coffee as gifts to those that I know can use it!

      April 20th, 2015 8:43 pm Reply
  • Garrick

    I am copying this from The Paleo Mom, and I would like you to comment on this if you would.

    Whenever I get asked if ‘X’ is a good idea, I go to the scientific literature. In the case of coffee enemas, the scientific research is in stark contrast to how it’s typically advertised in the alternative health community as “Unmatched Detoxification for Health and Recovery”. Not only are coffee enemas scientifically-proven to be ineffective, but they are dangerous and have been known to cause death.
    It’s probably not a surprise that performing the coffee enemas incorrectly can cause rectal burns, which has caused strictures, rectal perforation, infection, sepsis, and death. But, coffee enemas appear to cause serious, life-threatening complications even when performed “correctly”. Scientific studies have shown cases of proctocolitis and polymicrobial enteric septicemia, not associated with burns from too-hot enemas.
    It’s also critical to note that there’s not a single study published in a peer-reviewed medical or scientific journal supporting the therapeutic use of coffee enemas. And in fact, studies have completely disproved the health claims that coffee enemas have (Dr. Teekachunhatean quote below has been instrumental in leading these studies).
    Here’s some choice quotes from scientific studies:
    “Nonetheless, none of these claims regarding the production of substantial health benefits by coffee enema and other colonic cleansing treatments has been supported by scientific research.” –S. Teekachunhatean et al, ISRN Pharmacol. 2013;2013:147238.
    “We suggest that coffee enema carries considerable risk of provoking unwanted complications and should be reconsidered as an alternative treatment.”–B. Keum et al, Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jan;105(1):229-30
    “Today we are witnessing a resurgence of colonic irrigation based on little less than the old bogus claims and the impressive power of vested interests. Even today’s experts on colonic irrigation can only provide theories and anecdotes in its support. It seems, therefore, that ignorance is celebrating a triumph over science.” –E. Ernst, J Clin Gastroenterol. 1997 Jun;24(4):196-8.
    This isn’t a case of mixed results in the scientific literature, or an incomplete understanding of a concept. Studies fall under two categories: reports of severe complications and injury caused by coffee enemas, and reports showing they don’t work as described. The National Institutes of Health funded a variety of clinical trials into complementary and alternative medicine treatments for cancer back in 2000 (some really interesting research has come from this initiative, including many studies showing great therapeutic potential to alternative medicine therapies). Coffee enemas were included in a study comparing the Gonzalez protocol (similar to Gerson) to standard chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer (one of the worst cancers you can get). The study was terminated after results from the first 55 study participants showed that the Gonzalez protocol had three times WORSE survival at 1 year than chemotherapy. This study was clearly a lot more complicated than just coffee enemas, but it’s fairly damning of the entire rationale for their use in the first place (the study for those of you that want to look it up is J Chabot et al, JCO April 20, 2010 vol. 28 no. 12 2058-2063).

    April 20th, 2015 5:44 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Perhaps she should take up her concerns with Nicholas Gonzalez MD or the Gerson Institute both which have been using it successfully for years in holistic cancer clinics? Or perhaps contact Biodynamic Wellness which finds it extremely helpful for clients with autoimmune and digestive related issues. She is certainly welcome to any opinion she chooses on the subject, but as for me, I will stick with those who actually have clinical experience using this therapy rather than engage in an intellectual and rather pointless exercise on which references are more credible. “Just going to the scientific literature” without seeking clinical evidence for actual results within a real life setting is rife with wrong turns and dead ends. And yes, Dr. Gonzalez and Gerson have their enemies within the conventional oncology community. Given how much money is on the line with cut, poison, burn, it’s not surprising. It’s important to be able to recognize science for sale that “debunks” alternative therapies when you come across it.

      April 20th, 2015 8:39 pm Reply
  • Jolene

    To Tracey,

    My husband has been doing coffee enemas for some time and was advised by his holistic practitioner to add salt to the coffee to avoid dehydration. I don’t know the quantity of salt he uses, but I know he performs them daily and does well. He also always drinks water with a little salt and lemon juice (a healthy Gatorade) as he does very physical work. Hope that idea could help you!

    April 20th, 2015 2:58 pm Reply
    • Tracey

      Thank you Jolene. I was just thinking this morning adding salt to my drinking water could help. I had already tried adding it to the enemas but will try both!

      April 21st, 2015 12:09 pm Reply
      • Tracey

        I’d also like to add the benefit I receive from coffee enemas is they can really help to open my lungs when I’m having a flare up of asthma. In spite of being on GAPS for several years I still have pretty consistent mild asthma that nothing seems to relieve other than using a very small amount of medication from an inhaler. Many times when I can get to doing a coffee enema I do not need to use an inhaler that day. I just need to figure out how to stay hydrated and why my system seems to get so much more dehydrated than others when doing these. I have heard that if your kidneys are in a weakened state it is better to use a stronger solution with less water as in the ear syringe method someone else mentioned here. Some say that using the larger amounts of water can be harder on the kidneys. Would love to hear fi anyone knows anything about this as I wonder if that may be why I have such a hard time staying hydrated in spite of plenty of liquids.

        April 21st, 2015 3:49 pm Reply
  • nic6446

    Hi to all,
    A faster and cleaner way is:
    Boil and let simmer for 5 minutes 2 tsp of Greek coffee (It has very fine granules) in 100ml of potable water. Add water from fridge until 30-35c total 300ml. Let it stand for 2 minutes. All granules will precipitate to the bottom. Using an ear syringe (60ml and thick nozzle 4mm) draw from pot and inject. It’s so easy and clean I can do it even at the office without any one notice. Have a seat and wait. If you do the procedure after evacuation you can easily keep for 20 minutes.
    The ear syringe is around €1 and can be reused if the rubber plunger is lubricated with olive oil.

    April 20th, 2015 2:17 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      At the office! LOL. That really tickled my funny bone :) What in the *world* would the boss say to that one?

      I suppose this is a great tip if a migraine or severe headache suddenly came on at work and you wanted to avoid going home or heavy duty meds.

      April 20th, 2015 2:23 pm Reply
  • Tracey

    I tried daily coffee enemas sometime ago for detoxification and I became dehydrated no matter how much I drank or what I drank. I tried juicing, extra water, extra bone broth but in spite of the benefits I felt from the enemas I had to stop because of how dehydrating it became for me. Any ideas why this might happen?

    April 20th, 2015 1:32 pm Reply
    • jessica

      I think adding salt really helps, because for me, the water or coffee really saps electrolytes, but if I add sea salt to the enema, I don’t get that dizzy, dehydrated, weak feeling.

      April 21st, 2015 1:49 pm Reply
    • Alison

      Tracey, how much volume were you doing? Coffee enemas are supposed to only be about 2c. of liquid, enough to fill the sigmoid colon. Its not intended to be cleansing, it just needs to sit in there a decent amount of time to cross into portal circulation/stimulate the gall bladder to eject. 15 minutes and no more of 2 c. of liquid and you shouldn’t get dehydrated at all. Make sure you drink fluids beforehand though, otherwise your body will absorb the liquid through the colon wall.

      April 22nd, 2015 3:35 pm Reply
      • Tracey

        I only do two cups at a time. I tried the recipe above again yesterday and was nauseous all day after.

        April 22nd, 2015 8:33 pm Reply
        • Alexandra

          I did this for the first time this morning and was extremely dehydrated awhile after. Without specific direction, I did the enema late morning on an early stomach. I AM sensitive to coffee but trusted that it wouldn’t greatly affect me (as it’s stated that most aren’t), so perhaps that’s also an issue… but about an hour after completing the enema I became dizzy and very fatigued (I did eat something light after the enema – quinoa with avocado). I began chugging water and creating electrolyte drinks (water with lemon + salt). My heart was pounding and I began to get a bit nervous, but it wore off after another hour. Not sure I’ll do it again, the occasional colonic suits me much better, I think. At least I can say I tried it! (waiting to see the effects tomorrow)

          April 26th, 2015 10:02 pm Reply
  • Elle

    I have arthritis in my hands and for some reason, I see these enemas as maybe being the answer…..we shall see!

    April 20th, 2015 12:42 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I do hope you find relief Elle. Please check back in and let us know how it goes for you!

      April 20th, 2015 1:35 pm Reply
  • Sheila

    My gall bladder was removed 50 years ago. So I only have whatever pouch the doctors back then made to hold bile. Are coffee enemas safe for me? Anything I should be cautious about.

    April 20th, 2015 11:55 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would recommend reaching out to a holistic practitioner with this question.

      April 20th, 2015 1:36 pm Reply
  • cal

    I have been toying with the idea of trying a coffee enema for quite some time, but I just can’t quite bring myself to do it. It just doesn’t seem natural to be squirting things up your butt.

    April 20th, 2015 11:52 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Think of it this way … the rectum is actually just the end of a long tube that starts in the mouth. Like we brush our teeth, floss our gums, an enema is just cleaning out this same tube from the other end. Perfectly natural and been done for a very long time :) Yes, it does take some getting used to the idea in our culture of “ewwww” about pretty much anything that doesn’t come out of a factory in a sterilized package.

      April 20th, 2015 1:38 pm Reply
    • Natalie

      After I did it the first time I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it sooner. It’s not that bad. I promise!!

      April 21st, 2015 9:33 am Reply
    • Jessica

      I agree with Natalie! My friend and I had heard about these forever and were freaking out at the thought. Then when we finally did it, we both separately thought “wow! It’s like nothing!” My son had to do it once too for constipation. He was really panicking at the idea, and then when doing it said “wow, it doesn’t feel like anything.” And I even think the eliminating afterward seems so great and thoroughly emptying, that I really appreciate that factor.

      April 21st, 2015 1:52 pm Reply
  • Brenda

    Does the coffee enema keep the body from having regular natural bowel movements? Does the body become dependent on the enemas? I know it is not good to rely on laxatives for a long period as the colon becomes relaxed and does not work as it should. Do enemas cause the same thing?

    April 19th, 2015 7:59 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Please remember that coffee enemas are not for constipation issues. As for clear water enemas for that purpose, no … it doesn’t have a negative long term effect like laxatives do.

      April 19th, 2015 9:59 pm Reply
  • terry

    Sarah, I have fecal impaction, I’m thinking about using a lemon juice enema. What’s your opinion on this ?

    April 19th, 2015 5:17 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I don’t have an opinion as I am not a healthcare practitioner … I would reach out to your practitioner to get input before attempting anything like that.

      April 19th, 2015 10:01 pm Reply
  • Patrick

    How come you just can’t drink the coffee? Is it because the body absorbs more from the other end?

    April 19th, 2015 1:01 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      The digestion metabolizes it and it doesn’t affect the liver in a manner that promotes detoxification.

      April 19th, 2015 9:07 am Reply
  • Laura

    Hi Sarah,

    Found your post from Tim Steele’s wonderful site. Perhaps you can answer these enema questions for me:

    Does doing enemas – and in particular coffee enemas – disrupt or kill off your probiotic communities in the colon? Do coffee enemas serve to grow and support good bacteria in your colon …or totally annihilate your community each time you do an enema, coffee or otherwise?

    I have been doing coffee enemas for more than a year as part of the GAPS diet. This last month I am adding in, as per Tim Steele, Cooling Inflammation’s Dr. Ayers, Dr. Heisenbug, and Dr. BG starting a targeted, food-based protocol of pre and probiotics.

    It is my opinion that the GAPS diet was not giving me enough Fermentable fiber and that the coffee enemas may have, in fact, not helped my colon bacteria. (Dr. Art Ayers at Cooling Inflammation does not agree with the use of enemas for this reason; he does pose, though, that an enema may serve to disrupt Biofilms in the colon).

    I have read all the literature on enemas I can find (most websites use data from, usually, four sources: Dr. Wilson, Gerson Therapy, Drs. Gonzales or Kelly or Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride of GAPS.) The standard answer as to what a coffee enema does to your colon’s “good bacteria” is …it doesn’t harm them. This statement is never backed up with fact; it is given as an opinion. Is there any literature or are there any studies to show that a coffee enema protocol will – in fact – serve to support and grow the colonies of good bacteria one is trying to encourage with pre & probiotics?

    I really hope you can help because at this point, until I have more facts, coffee enemas are off the healing protocol and pre & probiotics are on, through the use of whole foods, more home ferments and targeted commercial probiotics.

    April 17th, 2015 1:50 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Laura, coffee enemas do not in any way harm the beneficial microbes in your gut. If anything, they help it as this protocol helps peel off any impacted gunk that has accumulated in the large intestine and is likely preventing adequate probiotic colonization. I would encourage you to contact Biodynamic Wellness on this (see link above in the article) as they use coffee enemas extensively in their practice and many of these people are on GAPS to heal the gut and area also taking probiotics, making broth and using home ferments to heal. Sounds like your situation really would benefit from a professional opinion from this or another clinic that specializes in gut healing and the GAPS Diet in particular.

      April 17th, 2015 2:06 pm Reply
      • Laura

        Thank you Sarah, I appreciate your quick response.

        I derived great benefit from coffee enemas and there is no doubt that they instantly got rid of headaches. I just wasn’t sure if I should switch to other detox methods like dry brushing, Epsom salt baths and so on.

        Can’t wait to explore your site!

        April 18th, 2015 8:25 am Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Great to hear Laura. I don’t think it’s a matter of one or the other. Epsom salt baths are wonderful too! Dry skin brushing is another story. I have a post coming on that and why perhaps it’s not such a great idea after all (I stopped doing it a couple of years ago). I think a combination of detox methods is always best … rotating them around.

          April 18th, 2015 1:05 pm Reply
      • Jo

        As a retired RN that worked for several years in a hospital colonoscopy clinic, I have never seen “years of impacted gunk that has accumulated in the large intestine”. The intestine lining looks like the lining of the mouth. Diseased large intestines may show inflammation, polyps, tumors or small pouches. Digestive waste does not accumulate in the intestine, just as it does not accumulate on the lining of the mouth.

        April 18th, 2015 11:52 am Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Not according to Elvis’ doctor.

          Please note also that before a colonoscopy, patients are required to perform a thorough clean out including possibly a liquid diet for days and strong laxatives so of course you wouldn’t see anything! The bowel prep before a colonoscopy is typically considered to be brutal!

          April 18th, 2015 1:01 pm Reply
          • Jo

            Hi Sarah,
            Yes, the colon is cleaned with laxatives before a colonoscoy to remove any fecal matter. However, I don’t believe that fecal matter accumulates on the mucosal lining of the colon for years. Fecal impaction is hard stool that is usually the result of chronic constipation.

            April 20th, 2015 1:08 pm
        • terry

          Jo, my recent xray shows fecal impaction in my colon. My doctor prescribed laxatives, but I won’t be using them. I’m going to try enemas.

          April 19th, 2015 5:14 pm Reply
          • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            Please be sure to reach out to a holistic practitioner if you have a diagnosed colon condition before attempting any self help remedies in this area.

            April 19th, 2015 10:00 pm
  • jennie

    Any caveats for those nursing our pregnant? Do the items detoxed enter the bloodstream and then are eliminated our enter the digestive system and then are eliminated? Thank you.

    April 17th, 2015 11:48 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      This should NOT be done while pregnant as any enema or colonic, coffee or plain water, could trigger preterm labor. While nursing perhaps … but check with your holistic practitioner first.

      April 17th, 2015 1:26 pm Reply
  • Alicia

    For those of us who are new to enemas, can you elaborate on step 11? How do you expel the liquid into the toilet? Do you get up and sit on the toilet?

    April 17th, 2015 11:08 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, just sit on the can like you normally would :) Nature will take care of the rest!

      April 17th, 2015 11:13 am Reply

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