Let's Talk About Coffee Enemas!
Why the heck would I put coffee up my bum?
A couple of years ago, I had a client ask me during a massage what my thoughts were on coffee enemas. I had heard a bit about them, but I had never done one or talked with anyone who had (I once tried to approach the subject with a woman who worked in the supplements section of my local organic market but it made her really uncomfortable so I quickly ended the conversation and walked away).
So at that time I didn’t have much to say on the subject, but I was intrigued.
My client proceeded to tell me how she had been doing regular coffee enemas for the past month or so, and that they had been helping with her rheumatoid arthritis immensely. Well, now I was even more intrigued!
She said that her pain had diminished and her liver function (which she had tested regularly), was improving rapidly, shocking her doctor. Listening to her rave about how good she felt, I knew I must try this for myself and find out what all the fuss was about.
So out I went, in search of an enema bag and the perfect coffee. I was nervous and apprehensive, but I found what I needed, brought my loot home, and trepidatiously prepared my first coffee enema.
And it really wasn’t that bad! In fact, I felt so good afterwards that I became an instant coffee-enema-advocate.. telling all my friends and family about it and encouraging clients to try it.
People thought I had lost it, that I was taking this whole “healthy-living” thing a little too far, and there was more than one exclamation of “I’d rather drink my coffee, thank you!”
I also found a lot of people were squeamish when you brought up the subject of poop – it turns out it may not be appropriate dinner conversation. But it’s something we really should talk about more, your poop can tell you so much about your state of health!
Having said that, coffee enemas are certainly not for everyone, but if you are adventurous and looking for a way to enhance detoxification, this may be for you!
The coffee enema was invented nearly 100 years ago. Towards the end of the first world war in Germany, pain killers were in short supply. Surgeons needed something to help their patients with pain after surgery, but the only thing they had an abundance of was coffee. They would routinely administer water enemas to soldiers to help with constipation, and it turns out, someone thought it would be a good idea to put coffee in an enema (who thought that up?). It sounds strange but, miraculously, it worked!
How it Works
When you drink a cup of coffee, it passes through your digestive system and gets absorbed through the small intestine into circulation. This can cause some issues with the nervous system, the body pH level, and the endocrine system, as well as being harsh on the stomach and intestines.
When you take it as an enema, however, the coffee doesn’t get absorbed or metabolized in the digestive system. Instead, it goes directly into the liver via the portal hepatic circulation that runs straight from the end of the large intestine to the liver and back.
Once in the liver, the caffeine and certain acids in the coffee stimulate the release of bile and the elimination of toxins from the liver. The gallbladder is also affected by the caffeine and acids, dilating the ducts and flushing bile from there as well.
The coffee directly stimulates peristalsis of the large intestine (the contraction and pushing out of waste), which helps to ensure the toxins and bile being released, are eliminated from the body.
As you may have gathered, coffee enemas are a great way to encourage detoxification – not only of the liver, but of the whole body (the entire volume of blood in the body is passed through the liver every 3 minutes, so when you hold a coffee enema for 15 minutes, the blood gets filtered 5 times!).
Coffee enemas are also known to reduce pain, anxiety, nausea and depression. I can personally vouch for this – I once had a headache that had been lingering for 3 days. I did a coffee enema and it immediately relieved my headache. I also know that I feel light, energetic and happy afterwards!
*Note: Please read through all the instructions thoroughly, including the Precautions section at the end, before attempting a coffee enema.
The best time to perform a coffee enema is in the morning after breakfast. It is best to eat something prior in order to help balance blood sugar and stimulate peristalsis.
You will need:
- 1 enema bag or bucket
- 3 tbsp ground organic coffee (it is important to have organic coffee as any pesticides or fertilizers used on the coffee will get easily absorbed right into the body – easier than ingesting orally)
- 3 cups distilled water
- old towels
- a pillow
- a sheet of plastic or a plastic garbage bag
- paper towels
- a book to read or something else to distract you while you hold the enema in for 15 minutes
Put the coffee grounds and the water in a pot (NOT aluminum!). Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the coffee through a fine mesh strainer or some cheesecloth.
Allow the coffee to cool to room temperature (I usually make the coffee the night before and let it cool overnight so it is ready for the morning).
Set up your area: you will want to do this in the bathroom (being close to the toilet and on a hard floor is essential). Lay down a few layers of towels and a pillow so that you have something comfortable to lay on (you will be laying on your right side for the 15 minutes). Put a sheet of plastic or a plastic garbage bag over the towels under your hips.
When the coffee is cooled you are ready to go. If you haven’t had a bowel movement yet that day, you may want to start with a plain water enema to flush things out.
- Put about 2 cups of plain distilled water into your enema bag or bucket (with the clamp closed)
- Open the clamp a bit to let the air out of the tube and drain a little of the water into the sink
- Lubricate the end of the enema tube with a bit of coconut oil, lay down on your right side, and position the enema bag or bucket approximately 16-20 inches off the floor (hang the bag from something or set the bucket on a chair).
- Bring your knees up, take a deep breath, and insert the enema tube about 2-3 inches into your bum (no further than 6 inches)
- Slowly open the clamp and allow the water to fill your large intestine.
- Once the bag has emptied, close the clamp and either remove the tube or just leave it in while you wait.
- After about 5 minutes has passed, or you get the sudden urge to use the toilet, remove the tube (slowly!), and move to the toilet to let out the water.
Now you are ready for the coffee!
Repeat the same procedure, using the 3 cups of coffee, and hold it in for 12-15 minutes if you can (don’t stress about this though, it will become easier with time). It may feel quite unusual, perhaps uncomfortable, and you may experience some cramping. If this does happen:
- be sure the enema tube is not inserted too far (just a couple of inches)
- check the temperature of the fluid (it should be at body temperature)
- be sure the bag or bucket is not too high – try lowering it a bit until the spasms pass
- try slowing down the flow of fluid out of the bag by pinching the hose with your fingers or slightly closing the clamp
- focus on breathing slowly and calming down your body (this is what helps the most for me if I experience a cramp)
- if you didn’t do the water enema before the coffee, do that next time
Read a book, do a puzzle, watch a show, or practice meditation while you are holding in your enema – anything to distract you and take your mind off it will help in the beginning.
Frequency and Precautions
For a period of cleansing, you can do a coffee enema twice a a week for 6 weeks. After that, take a break for a month or two before doing another one. If you perform them too often, you may develop an electrolyte imbalance (have a banana, some dried apricots, yogurt or an avocado before your enema to help rebalance potassium levels). Be sure to include unrefined sea salt in your diet as well to help replenish minerals.
If you have hemorrhoids, use a red catheter tube instead of the normal enema tube.
If you have ulcerative colitis or diarrhea – DO NOT do a coffee enema!