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Coffee & Health

What Is a Coffee Enema?

Ever heard of the term coffee enema and wondered what it means? Well, this article discusses what coffee enemas are in detail.

coffee enema

Essentially, a coffee enema refers to a kind of colon cleanser that’s popularly used in the world of alternative medicine. When doing a colon cleanse procedure with coffee enema, a blend of water and caffeinated coffee is inserted through the rectum until it reaches the colon.

Coffee enemas are believed to have been innovated by German physicians as they searched for effective cancer treatment. However, the popular Gerson therapy assisted significantly in popularizing the coffee enema procedure.

Max Gerson, who was a popular German-American physician, believed that it’s possible to do a full body detox and give the body the much-needed nutrients for self-healing by using coffee enemas, raw juices, and an organic-based plant diet. His rigorous treatment program is now referred to as the Gerson therapy.

The working principle behind this therapy is that coffee enemas may stimulate the body to produce glutathione and promote bile flow. Glutathione is an antioxidant that works as a detoxifier. While this therapy sounds very promising, you shouldn’t rush to your local drugstore to get a supply of coffee enema just yet. There’re some important details you should take note of before attempting this therapy.

Benefits of Coffee Enema

Coffee enema promises to deliver several benefits. For many individuals, the first benefit they enjoy from this therapy is stimulating bowel movements to assist in purging the colon. Thus, coffee enema might be helpful to someone experiencing constipation.

Supporters of coffee enema claim that it:

  • Increases energy
  • Treats autoimmune conditions
  • Boosts immunity
  • Stops yeast growth
  • Treats cancer
  • Treats depression
  • Removes intestinal parasites
  • Eliminates heavy metals

Research on Coffee Enema

Currently, there’s no evidence proving or disproving the benefits claimed by supporters of coffee enemas. Much of the evidence that either supports or disapproves coffee enemas for treating certain medical conditions is anecdotal. Mainstream medicine considers colon cleansing as unnecessary since the digestive system has its own mechanism of removing toxins, bacteria, and waste from the body.

There exists a theory referred to as autointoxication, which supposes that the waste in the colon is toxic. However, there’s no evidence to prove this theory.

Who Should Try Coffee Enemas?

There’re no official guidelines regarding who should use coffee enemas. Some alternative medicine physicians argue that people are constantly exposed to pollutants and toxic chemicals in water, air, and food. Consequently, they argue that anyone can benefit from this procedure to trigger the liver in getting rid of these pollutants and waste materials from the body.

Coffee enemas are believed to be great alternatives to stimulating laxatives by cleansing the bowel through a capsule endoscopy. Some published reports claim that using coffee enemas can stimulate bowel movements without side effects. Nonetheless, more research is needed on the effectiveness of enemas before recommending them for stimulating bowel movements.

Risks of Coffee Enemas

Some scientific findings suggest that using coffee enemas can have serious side effects. It’s reported that enemas are linked to three past deaths, with one of them being a result of bacterial infection while two were a result of electrolyte imbalance.

Another report indicates that coffee enema may have caused proctocolitis, which is inflammation of the rectum and colon, in a woman. Conclusions from these reports suggest that it’s risky to use coffee enemas. As such, their use as alternative treatment requires reconsideration.

Coffee enemas might be problematic for individuals who are sensitive to caffeine. Also, they may not be ideal for anyone taking medications that shouldn’t be taken with caffeine.

It’s believed that colon cleansing can cause issues such as:

  • Bloating
  • Rectal burns
  • Bowel perforation
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Cramping
  • Infections as a result of poorly sterilized insertion equipment

How to Administer Coffee Enema

Coffee enema can be administered at home. It’s also administered in some health clinics at a fee. However, there’re no standard guidelines on its administration.

Anyone who wants to try this therapy should expect fullness, pressure, and cramping during its administration. Some possible side effects may include experiencing heart palpitations or feeling shaky as a result of caffeine. It’s advisable to drink a lot of water after the procedure to prevent dehydration.


Mainstream physicians don’t recommend coffee enemas. However, several people claim that coffee enemas offer them health benefits without experiencing side effects. Since there’re no significant statistics on coffee enemas, it’s hard to tell whether most people get negative or positive results.

Current findings show that using coffee enemas may be dangerous. Deciding whether to try them or not should be left to your doctor rather than making it your personal choice.

In case you proceed to get coffee enemas and experience major side effects, seek immediate medical assistance. Side effects such as severe pain, vomiting, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and persistent nausea should be taken seriously.