You may have heard of a type of enema that uses caffeine and have wondered, "What is a coffee enema?" In short, it's a type of enema that isn't as taboo as you might think, and it's a routine you might consider adding to your wellness regimen.
A coffee enema can be an effective way to cleanse your colon and support the liver and detoxification process. Let's explore these benefits, along with why they are used and how they are carried out.
A coffee enema is when brewed organic caffeinated coffee is inserted into a person's colon through the rectum with a tube in an attempt to clean out the colon and support liver detoxification. People have used coffee enemas for at least 150 years, and some find them to be helpful.
Some people perform coffee enemas at home with the appropriate equipment, while holistic health clinics also often offer coffee enemas as a service. Coffee enemas prompt a bowel movement and can help empty out the contents of the colon. Caffeine moves directly to the liver, our bodies' detoxification organ -- stimulates increased bile production of the gallbladder and more efficient elimination of toxins.
Coffee enemas gained traction on the heels of a therapy promoted by German-American doctor Max Gerson. He thought the body could be detoxed and heal itself if people ate an organic, plant-based diet, drank raw juices, and gave themselves coffee enemas. His therapy was deemed the Gerson regimen.
Enemas can help clear out the colon and support detoxification and bowel regularity, bringing people relief from gut imbalances. Slower bowel transit time isn't just uncomfortable. It's also been connected to more serious underlying health imbalances, so if your bowels are not working regularly - at least one elimination each day - you should look to identify the underlying root cause of this and how best to support it moving forward.
It is understood that coffee enemas help increase the production of the powerful anti-oxidant and enzyme glutathione S-transferase, which binds to toxins that are then eliminated through the colon. Other potential benefits of a coffee enema include boosting both energy and immunity.
In today's world where we're constantly exposed to toxins in our everyday life, anyone looking to clean out the colon and decrease the accumulated toxic load in the body could consider doing a coffee enema. A study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition Research also found that coffee enemas might be another way to prepare the bowelfor certain procedures.
As with a basic enema, a coffee enema involves inserting a thin tube into the rectum that allows the liquid to flow into the bowels. Those who do coffee enemas start by brewing 2-3 tablespoons of coffee in around one liter of organic caffeinated coffee, which can be made in a French press. The coffee is steeped for about 10 minutes, pressed and then cooled to room temperature.
Many people who do coffee enemas prefer to use a stainless steel enema kit with PVC tubing as opposed to plastic, as this helps avoid any potential toxins seeping into the coffee from other plastic materials. Stainless steel is also sterile.
The best position to self-administer an enema is lying on your right side on your bathroom floor on a towel or blanket. After the coffee cools, it's poured into the bucket. Then, the bucket is elevated around 3 feet to allow for a smooth flow.
Once the bowels fill up, you should aim to hold the liquid in for 12-15+ minutes before sitting on the toilet and allowing the bowels to fully empty. This can be repeated a second time for increased effectiveness.
While many people have found great benefits in using coffee enemas, data on their effectiveness is fairly limited. Coffee enemas could also be a problem for those who are typically sensitive to caffeine or for people who are currently taking certain medications that may have contra-indications with caffeine.
Some research also notes that coffee enemas should be performed by trained, skilled personnel using the right equipment and on people who do not have any major gut or colon issues or other serious health conditions. Before considering administering a coffee enema on yourself, always check first with your medical doctor who can advise you on your specific situation and whether a coffee enema would be right for you.
As you consider ways to support regular bowel movements, detoxification and overall health and well-being, simple at-home functional medicine lab tests can help identify any digestive imbalance, nutrient deficiency or accumulated toxicity that will explain your underlying imbalance and why you might not be feeling your best. You can then work alongside a certified health coach to understand your results and get a personalized wellness plan to restore your health at a deeper level and bring you back to balance.