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Coffee enema: What is it? Coffee enema benefits and risks

Coffee enemas were first introduced as a treatment for migraines in the 1930s by Dr. Max Gerson. Since then, it they have been used to treat a number of different conditions.

Coffee Enema: What Is It?

A coffee enema is used in alternative medicine as a form of colonic cleanse. It is believed that coffee may having powerful healing properties.1

It has long been believed that toxins and foods that are not completely digested are stored in the colon, leading to a variety of diseases and health conditions. The theory behind coffee enemas is that when the colon is infused with coffee, the caffeine found in coffee initiates the removal of toxins. These toxins are flushed from the walls of the colon, which then begins the process of eliminating toxins from the liver.1

In the 1930s Dr. Max Gerson introduced the coffee enema as a way to detoxify the body. His program of coffee enemas is known as Gerson therapy and is widely used in North America to treat cancer and other health conditions.2

In this article, we’ll take a close look at the background and benefits of coffee enemas. We’ll also cover how to do a coffee enema along with any involved risks.

How Do Coffee Enemas Work?

The science behind coffee enemas is that caffeine may increase the action of an enzyme called glutathione s-transferase. This is an enzyme that may use an antioxidant called glutathione to stimulate the excretion of more bile through the walls of the colon. It is believed that as this enzyme moves through the digestive tract it can help to remove and neutralize free radicals and other harmful toxins.3

Coffee Enema Benefits

Are coffee enemas good for you? When it comes to the coffee enema, science does support some of the benefits. There are many coffee enema testimonials that support the procedure, providing anecdotal evidence of the health benefits of coffee enemas.

The most common reported benefits of coffee enema are:

1. Detox Properties
2. Cancer Treatment Support
3. Reduce Candida
4. Weight Loss
5. Parasite Relief
6. Improve Migraine Symptoms
7. Relieve Depression

Coffee Enema to Detox

One of the main benefits of a coffee enema is to get rid of the toxins that have accumulated in the liver. The accumulation of these toxins can lead to a variety of health concerns.1,4 Coffee enema detox treatments are rooted in the idea that the caffeine increases enzyme activity in the intestine, helping to remove toxins.

Support Cancer Treatment with a Coffee Enema

Using a coffee enema for cancer is an integral part of Gerson therapy. The main reason a cancer coffee enema is done is help support the liver to detoxify, especially after the addition of chemotherapy. Coffee has also been linked to a reduction in colorectal cancer. It should be noted that if you are currently going through chemotherapy, you should not use Gerson therapy without a certified practitioner.2,5

Coffee Enema to Reduce Candida

Candida is a yeast infection that can grow in the intestine. Some believe coffee enemas may help to create an acidic environment, which is thought to inhibit the growth of candida. Coffee enemas for candida may also wash out and cleanse the bowel.6

Coffee Enemas for Weight Loss

Coffee enemas for weight loss may be effective, however, the results are generally temporary. After completing a coffee enema, weight loss may be a result of the removal of fluids and other waste from the body.7 While long term results may be the goal, the immediate removal of excess waste is positive, and may benefit other weight loss efforts.

Eliminates Parasites with a Coffee Enema

By using a of a coffee enema, parasites are believed to be eliminated from the body. It is also believed that enemas may inhibit bacteria from entering into the blood stream.8 However, research in this area is still ongoing and a parasite cleanse may be an alternative.

Coffee Enema to Relieve Migraines

Dr. Gerson initially used coffee enemas to treat his own migraine symptoms.11

Coffee enemas are commonly used in Thailand to treat migraine headaches.1 In fact, when Gerson first introduced the coffee enema, migraine was the principal condition it was used to treat.11

Treat Depression with a Coffee Enema

When treating chronic degenerative diseases with a coffee enema, depression symptoms may be alleviated. While research is still ongoing, according to the Gerson Institute, coffee enemas can also relieve pain, and general nervous tension when suffering from chronic disease or acute illness.4

What is in a Coffee Enema Kit?

With the current popularity of coffee enemas, it’s now possible to buy a kit that contains everything you need. Most kits will contain the following:

  • Enema bucket or bag
  • Silicone tubing
  • Enema tube clamp
  • Colon tube
  • Enema nozzle tip
  • Organic coffee

Each kit will come with complete instructions to guide you through the enema procedure.

How to Do a Coffee Enema

Below is one set of coffee enema instructions. If you’ve never done one, coffee enema blog articles can provide helpful tips and tricks, but you should always follow the directions provided with your individual kit.

Coffee Enema Recipe:

  1. Add 2 to 3 Tbsp. of ground coffee to 1 cup of spring or filtered water in a pan.
  2. Bring the coffee to a boil and simmer for 12 minutes. Strain immediately after 12 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup of boiled coffee to the enema bucket, along with 1 cup of water. Make sure the coffee mixture is at body temperature before continuing.

Coffee Enema Method

With the clamp closed, place the enema bag or bucket in the sink. Pour coffee into the enema bag/bucket. Loosen the clamp so that the coffee moves into the tip of the catheter. When all the air has been removed from the enema tubing, re-clamp the bag.

If using a bag, hook the enema bag on a coat hanger and hang two feet above the floor, such as on a towel rack or on the door knob. If using a bucket, place it on a chair or low shelf so that the coffee will flow slowly. Placed higher up, the coffee will flow too quickly.

Lie on the floor (best position for coffee enema is laying on ride side), and gently insert the catheter tip into the rectum, using olive oil or vitamin E as a lubricant if needed. The catheter tube should be inserted a few inches into the rectum. Slowly release the catheter clamp and allow 1 cup of coffee liquid to flow in. Re-clamp the catheter and remove the tip.

Hold the coffee enema for about 12 minutes. You may feel the need to get rid of the liquid. This is normal and you shouldn’t force the liquid to be retained. At the end of the 12 minutes, or however long you can retain it, release the bowel.

After emptying the bowel, repeat the process with the remaining coffee. The goal is to have two enemas back to back, with each being held for 12 minutes. When finished, thoroughly clean the enema equipment with boiling water and soap, or any antimicrobial cleaner, to avoid the growth of mold.

After the enema is complete, you may feel refreshed and relaxed. Some people may experience headaches or feel tired.

How to do a coffee enema

Coffee enema kits are easily found in stores and online. When doing an enema at home, always make sure the coffee is at or below body temperature to avoid damage to the colon.

Best Coffee for Enema

According to many articles and coffee enema reviews, the best type of coffee to use is organic. An organic coffee enema will ensure that extra toxins are not put into the body, as non-organic coffee can contain pesticides. As well, the coffee used must contain caffeine, as caffeine is necessary to stimulate the cleansing process of the liver. For the best coffee enema results, choose coffee that is high in caffeine, such as a light roast coffee. Medium and dark roast coffee will contain less caffeine.

Coffee Enema Risks

Counter-intuitively, light roast coffee has more caffeine than medium and dark roast coffee. The strong flavor of darker roasts has nothing to do with its caffeine content.

Are coffee enemas safe? Coffee enemas are considered to be safe, however there are some coffee enema side effects to be aware of. This includes cramping, nausea, and diarrhea. In some cases, coffee enemas can cause colitis, which is the inflammation of the inner lining of the colon.

It may be possible to have too many coffee enemas, however Gerson therapy and numerous other sources indicate that enemas can be given multiple times each day without harm.2

There is some evidence that some serious coffee enema problems can occur, such as an imbalance in electrolytes. This can lead to dehydration.1

Another risk is punctures in the rectum if the coffee liquid is inserted too quickly. As well, internal burning may occur if the coffee liquid is too hot.9 The coffee used for an enema should always body temperature or lower.

Has There Ever Been a Coffee Enema Death?

Although rare, coffee enema dangers include the possibility of death. Two cases have been reported where the cause of death was a severe electrolyte imbalance that was likely the result of too frequent enemas.10

Scientific Research Referenced in this Article

  1. Teekachunhatean, S. & Tosri, N. (2014) Pharmacokinetics of Caffeine following a Single Administration of Coffee Enema versus Oral Coffee Consumption in Healthy Male Subjects. ISRN Pharmacol. 2013: 1417238. doi: 1155/2013/147238
  2. The Gerson Institute. (2011) FAQs – Detoxification and Enemas. Gerson Institute. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from http://gerson.org/gerpress/faqs-detox/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIw8O2iI-K2AIVAhFpCh3FHQ6_EAAYAiAAEgJQ_vD_BwE
  3. Kim, ES. & Chun, HJ. (2014) Coffee Enema for Preparation for Small Bowel Video Capsule Endoscopy: A Pilot Study. Clin Nutr Res. 3(2): 134-141. doi: 7762/cnr.2014.3.2.134
  4. Gerson, M. (2011) Scientific Basis of Coffee Enemas. Gerson Institute. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from – View Reference
  5. Huber, WW. & Teitel, CH. (2004) FAQs – Potential chemoprotective effects of the coffee components kahweol and cafestol palmitates via modification of hepatic N-acetyltransferase and glutathione S-transferase activities. Envrion Mol Mutagen. 44(4): 265-76. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15468054?dopt=Abstract
  6. Bakker, E. (2015) Enema Solution for Candida: How Enema Can Help Get Rid of Your Candida. Medicine Net. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from – View Reference
  7. Kulkarni, K. (2014) Colon Cleansing: Medical Breakthrough or Myth. Journal of Lancaster General Hospital, Volume 9, No. 2. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from – View Reference
  8. Ernst, E. (1997) Colonic Irrigation and the Theory of Autointoxication: A Triumph of Ignorance over Science. Volume 24, Issue 4: pp 196-198. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from – View Reference
  9. Tazawa, A. & Fu, KI. (2008) Rectal burn caused by hot-water coffee enema. GIE Journal. Volume 68, Issue 5: pp 1008-1009. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from http://www.giejournal.org/article/S0016-5107(08)01699-4/abstract
  10. Keum, B. & Jeen, YT. (2010) Proctocolitis Caused by Coffee Enemas. AM J Gastroenterol. 105(1): 229-30. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from – View Reference
  11. The Gerson Institute. (2011) The Gerson Therapy. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from https://gerson.org/gerpress/the-gerson-therapy/
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