Coffee Enemas and the Effects on Gut FloraDetoxification
So powerful are coffee enemas for rapidly and effectively removing toxins from the body that the most successful alternative cancer therapies in the world rely on them extensively with several per day recommended for extreme cases. Regular administration increases levels of the potent antioxidant glutathione produced by the liver up to 700%!
Protocols offered by the Gerson Institute and holistic oncologist Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez MD (tragically deceased under suspicious circumstances) heavily rely upon this modality.
When a person first contemplates the use of coffee enemas to cleanse body systems from accumulated toxins, a very common question initially comes to mind, “Will a coffee enema help or hurt beneficial gut flora?”
The answer to this question is two-fold. First, there is no scientific literature on the subject that I have come across that definitely studied the subject. However, there is plenty of clinical data from a couple of sources I consider trustworthy.
The first is Dr. Lawrence Wilson MD, who has clinical experience with over 40,000 patients or students through the years who have done enemas. To date, Dr. Wilson reports no indication of flora disruption. Here is what he has to say on the subject:
I have a lot of experience with coffee enemas, as we recommend them to everyone – at least 40,000 people so far. Coffee enemas do not interfere with the intestinal flora, and they can significantly speed up the healing of the intestinal tract by helping to remove parasites in the colon and stimulating bile flow from the liver.
They also help remove toxic metals and toxic chemicals from the body and normalize liver and pancreas secretions that are very beneficial for digestion. Coffee enemas, of course, can also assist with constipation and removing debris from the colon to assist the colon and the entire body to heal. I do not recommend colon hydrotherapy more than a few times per year. Otherwise, it is too yin because it involves a lot of water. Coffee enemas are better in this regard, as they involve much less water.
In my experience, if a food allergy test indicates you are sensitive to coffee or caffeine, it does not mean you cannot do coffee enemas. Just start with a small amount of coffee. Many times you will be fine, and the coffee enemas will help to slowly reduce all of your food sensitivities (1).
In addition to Dr. Wilson’s observations over many years and with thousands of patients, the staff at Biodynamic Wellness, a clinic in San Diego, also reports no adverse effect on beneficial gut microbes when a program of detoxifying coffee enemas is commenced. This from Biodynamic Wellness founder Kim Schuette:
I haven’t seen any proof of gut flora damage. The coffee is not making its way up the whole colon; just halfway up the descending colon and then through the left hemorrhoidal veins to the portal vein. Upon release the coffee most likely follows the same route, from what I understand. When people are concerned, I have them do retention (rectal) implants of bifidobacterium. I also suggest these for those with neurological disorder and autoimmune conditions, especially Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and IBS.
I can say that I’ve run comprehensive stool analyses (which examine probiotic levels, along with parasite and dysbiotic bacteria levels in the gut) of people doing coffee enemas and their beneficial levels didn’t seem to be affected.
Thus, the evidence at the present time in a clinical setting is that coffee enemas do not harm beneficial microbial colonies in the gut. This has been verified by comprehensive stool analyses of those using coffee enemas for cleansing purposes.
Be Careful of the Container Used for Coffee Enemas
While there is good clinical evidence that coffee enemas (not bulletproof coffee enemas) present no problem for beneficial gut flora, one thing you should be concerned about is the container used to hold the coffee.
The cheap enema bags at the drugstore should be avoided because they are difficult if not impossible to clean which can, over time, lead to an introduction of pathogens into the gut along with the coffee enema. In addition, the materials used to make these cheap enema bags might be a source of toxins which leech into the concentrated, highly acidic coffee that is brewed for enema purposes.
In my opinion, the best and safest container to use is a glass enema bucket made of shatter resistant, medical grade glass. If glass is too expensive an option or not something you wish to use, the next best choice would be a stainless steel bucket (these are used by the Gerson Institute) or a medical grade silicone bag.
So, the next time you see on social media that coffee enemas are dangerous because they disrupt gut flora, rest easy if someone you love who has cancer is using them to detoxify as part of the healing process because the clinical data shows absolutely no evidence of this.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.