Coffee enemas are based on the antediluvian concept of autointoxication.
Autointoxication is the belief that one is being poisoned by toxins because one is not digesting food properly and is not eliminating waste as one should. As I have discussed before, the chances of this are not likely. The human body is quite fabulous at elimination; if one is eating a balanced diet, the chances are that everything is operating jolly well.
What is a coffee enema?
This is a procedure in which one pumps coffee into one’s bottom via a tube. Its like drinking coffee, except backward.
Why do people do coffee enemas?!
People participate in coffee enemas because they have been told that it is good for them. Usually by a “health guru,” a celebrity, or worse, a celebrity who fancies themselves as a health guru. Not often are coffee enemas recommended by a doctor or scientist, in fact, if a scientist ever tells you to do a coffee enema please contact your lawyer because you can probably make some money.
Can coffee enemas harm me?
Yes; If done repeatedly. This is because the user can create problems with the muscles in the intestines. Plus this can cause an imbalance in electrolytes or hyponatremia. Doing a lot of enemas can do the same kind of damage as taking laxatives can as far as the bowels are concerned unless those enzymes are fully replenished. Some people that have done enemas for years report not being able to have a bowel movement without them, this is most likely due to muscle damage.
Why can coffee enemas harm me?
According to Tim Crowe, professor of nutrition at Deakin University, there is a lot that can do wrong it you boil up some coffee, pour it into a bag and squeeze it into your bottom on the bathroom floor. Gosh really? What could possibly go wrong?
“It does come with a real risk of perforating your bowel,” he warns.
Think about what happens when you do an enema; all that fluid means that your colon is filled with water during an enema, the walls of one’s colon are stretched to a larger degree than they are when normal amounts of food and liquids are consumed. If one has enemas done regularly, then over time, the stretch receptors in one’s intestinal walls may recalibrate to this greater degree of stretching and even become numb to the stretching that occurs with regular amounts of food and liquids that one ingests!
Repeated, unnatural stretching of one’s bowel walls with regular enemas can lead to weakening of the muscles in these walls, making it difficult for to have bowel movements without an extraordinary amount of stimulation to the enteric nervous system. As mentioned above, for some people, this lack of natural tone and contractile ability in the bowel walls can reach a point where they can’t have a single bowel movement without using an enema or laxatives.
Any other science to support that coffee enemas are bad for me?
A JAMA article from 1980 noted at least two deaths associated with coffee enemas. Several articles have been published regarding the risk of acute colitis and proctocolitis (inflammation of the colon and rectum) associated with coffee enemas. These cases may be associated with chemicals in the coffee beans, the temperature of the coffee used, and other factors.
None, nadda, nought, zip, zippo, zero. NO
My God! I did an enema, is it going to kill me?
No. A one time enema is not going to hurt you, so don’t worry if you have done them in the past. I just do not recommend doing them very often!
Where did the coffee enema tradition came from?
Purification rituals are common features of different cultures worldwide. In modern society, and with today’s alternative medicine providers, detoxification is wrapped with a scientific banner and marketed in an attempt to give the treatments some sort of credibility.
“Humoral medicine” emerged from ancient Egyptian and Roman ideas that the body was composed of four liquids: black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood. “Balance” in the humors was the goal, and an accumulation of waste in the colon was though to lead to humoral imbalances. The remedy was flushing colon through enemas and purgatives. This philosophy, now discarded from science-based medicine, is still embedded in naturopathy practice.
Western medicine has its flaws. Pills and band aids are not the way to treat chronic illnesses. But I do like science which simply shows how the body works. When a proper understanding of how ones organs work and what those organs actually use to do their jobs is attained, one can work out what foods to eat in order to get those nutrients. And I love the simplicity of healing with food, not cleanses, or enemas or pills.
There is no credible evidence that coffee enemas work. I have friends who swear by them, but personally I think this could be a placebo effect, or it could be that they changed something else in their diet, or removed some form of stressor from their lives which has contributed to their reduction of symptoms which they have attributed to doing an enema.
It is a theory that is again totally based on the concept that ones body needs any kind of assistance in order to do its job. Read the posts on the liver and the colon if you are under the impression that these organs are faulty by design and for some reason need your help.
MYTH: Coffee enemas stimulate the liver. To release toxins.
As you will understand from the liver post, the liver is not a storage house where toxins are just hanging out waiting to be released! You will also understand that if you do have toxins in your body they are being stored in fat, and that in order to release these you need P450 enzymes and not a shot of coffee up your bottom.
MYTH: Coffee enemas increase levels of antioxidants.
A study published in Human & Experimental Toxicology showed that there were no differences in levels of antioxidants in participants who did a coffee enema and those that drank coffee.
How is putting a tube up your bottom and shoving coffee into it natural? If your body wanted stuff to enter via your bottom it would have designed you to eat your food from there. However, it designed you a mouth. Eating and drinking with your mouth is natural. Apologies if that sounds rather old fashioned of me. Mouth is good for food and drink intake. Bottom is not.
MYTH: Coffee enemas increase levels of glutathione
There is one argument that coffee enemas increase levels of glutathione, this is good. This might even be true seeing as you are piping coffee into your colon via your anus. However, If you want to use coffee as a source of glutathione, you can just drink it.
One published scientific article on coffee enema benefits appeared in Human & Experimental Toxicology in July 2012. The crossover study involved 11 healthy individuals who were randomly assigned to receive either a coffee enema three times a week for six visits or to drink coffee twice daily for 11 days.
After both groups completed their assigned interventions, there was a washout period before the two groups switched to try the other intervention. Blood samples were collected throughout the study and tested for antioxidant factors.
The scientists did not observe any advantages associated with either drinking coffee or having a coffee enema in regards to antioxidant levels (glutathione) or antioxidant capacity.
What about Gerson Therapy?
The Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.
Now, I can see that organic food will help a person heal, however attributing this to enemas has received a large amount of criticism. Gerson should have left it at the organic approach, It is highly likely that anyone who has got better on Gerson Therapy has got better because they are eating organic food, not because they are doing enemas. Despite proponents’ claims of recovery rates as high as 70% to 90%, case reviews by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the New York County Medical Society found no evidence of usefulness for the Gerson diet.
Dr Steve Hambleton, president of the Australian Medical Association states that any person who claims that they can cure cancer without scientific evidence is breaking the law. Just saying. Gerson Theory is not proven. To add to that this is from the UK Cancer Research site:
Coffee enemas have been linked to serious infections, dehydration, constipation, colitis (inflammation of the colon), and electrolyte imbalances. In some people, particular aspects of the diet such as coffee enemas have been thought to be responsible for their death
CLAIM: Coffee enemas make me feel energetic, light and buzzy
People say that they fell buzzy and ‘light’ after doing a coffee enema. This is usually attributed to all that rubbish that has just been removed from the system.
Or is it just because you directly absorbed a load of caffeine into your colon?
Have a think about that one… You just shot coffee up your butt, maybe thats why you feel energetic.
Bottom Line Enemas can be used to address specific health problems in some individuals, but the chances are that if you are simply doing one because you believe it will somehow detoxify your liver and colon you are not doing yourself any favors. Instead of putting coffee up your bottom, eat. Healthy? No Harmful? Potentially Worth it? No Use a mug for best results. Take orally.
I am not a doctor and I have no medical qualifications, I just read a HECK of a lot of research articles.
This post is not to be read and taken as a substitute for medical treatment
This post was designed to be be read by adults, it may or may not contain swear words.
M. Gerson, “The cure of advanced cancer by diet therapy: a summary of 30 years of clinical experimentation,” Physiological Chemistry and Physics,
D. G. Richards, D. L. McMillin, E. A. Mein, and C. D. Nelson, “Colonic irrigations: a review of the historical controversy and the potential for adverse effects,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,
Coffee enema induced acute coliti CJ, Song SK, Jeon JH, Sung MK, Cheung DY, Kim JI, Kim JK,