Let’s just start by saying, we’re about to have a #realchat about a slightly squeamish topic: coffee enemas. I’m gonna give it to you straight, and share my experience. I hope after reading this the subject won’t feel so taboo, or yucky. The benefits of a coffee enema might surprise you, and even entice you!
The truth is, the very thought of anything coming near my backside other than a cute pair of Hanky Pankies always made me cringe. Even for legit medical reasons! Like, I told my doctor to take a hike during my appendix surgery. But, after hearing about all the health benefits, some of my hesitation subsided. I’m very in tune with my body, and I hadn’t been feeling great for a few months. After an extremely hectic year that included writing and promoting a book, my body felt off. I was tired. I had a few health symptoms that weren’t feeling normal for me. Stress wreaks havoc on hormones and gut health. And I, my friends, was stressed. So, how does one go from feeling a little “off,” to laying sideways on a table staring down the eye of tube filled with room temp coffee? Let me tell you…
The entire premise of my program, the 131 Method, is to become acutely aware of how your body feels and functions, so that when life, stress, hormones, family, food, etc. changes, you adjust accordingly. My body had been working well for a while. I knew which foods agreed with me, and which to avoid. I slept better and longer than in year’s past. Intentional fasting healed many of my gut issues. My supplements and healing treatments like HBOT and glutathione were on point. And then…I got busy, and stressed, and I stopped doing all the things I knew worked well for me. Feeling “off,” I got blood tests run. Sure enough, my thyroid results were off. It explained my symptoms, and it got me thinking of ways in which to heal my body. Healing myself naturally is kinda what I do:)
At an event, I happened to get seated next to Hal Elrod, author of the #1 Best-Seller, The Miracle Morning. He’s a beloved author, speaker and podcaster, who famously battled an aggressive form of cancer. His type of cancer prevented him from treating it 100% holistically. So in conjunction with traditional treatments, he explored alternative healing protocols. When I asked him what he credited most to his recovery, he replied, “My nutrition and coffee enemas.” After selling me on the “game-changing benefits,” I left and went into research mode. The benefits, including detox and gut support, left me saying, “Okay. I’m down. I’m going to give this a try!”
Not the Norm, But That’s Ok!
Before getting into the nitty gritty details, I want to share some of the benefits I discovered in my research. Like I mentioned before, NOTHING was coming at me from that direction unless some evidence existed. While many of these benefits are purely anecdotal, the list is long and impressive. And, I really couldn’t find many risks or disadvantages. To be clear: mainstream medicine believes colon cleansing is unnecessary because the body rids waste and bacteria on its own. But modern medicine screws a lot of things up, too!
Benefits of coffee enemas include:
- Stimulating liver enzymes that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (1)
- Repairing digestive tissue
- Liver cleansing
- Improved blood circulation
- Gut healing
- Strengthened immunity
- Cellular regeneration
- Aids digestive issues like constipation, bloating and cramping
- Energy and mood elevating
- Treats cancer
- Removes heavy metals
- Flushes out bacteria, yeast, fungus and parasites
It stands to reason that the same powerful antioxidant effects we receive from drinking coffee, translate to ingesting it rectally (2). Studies state that the caffeine effects are not problematic. Due to the relatively short time the coffee is held in the system before defecation, absorption is low (3). But, the antioxidants have time to work internally, fighting inflammation and aiding digestion. And, coffee enemas help you make glutathione, an antioxidant that combats poisons (4)!
Why are People Such Fans?
Those who receive coffee enemas religiously simply love them. Holistic types believe our current environment assaults us with pollutants from food, water, pesticides and the air we breathe. Even though the liver detoxifies us naturally, the sheer amount of chemicals we encounter warrants a little help for some. Coffee enemas help rid the body of these toxic materials. Aside from feeling lighter, cleaner and with elevated mood and energy, habitual users say their skin looks better, brain fog decreases, and certain pains dissipate (5).
Enemas have appeared in medical writings since ancient Egypt to relieve constipation and improve general health (6). Today’s environment differs greatly from that of our ancestors. Over the last 200 years, untested chemicals unleashed on our food, air, and water have disrupted our endocrine systems, and contributed to countless chronic diseases. Numerous chemicals, banned in year’s past, still persist in the environment and our food chains. That means the effects still pervade our lives.
How a Coffee Enema Works
Performed at home, or by a holistic health clinician, they work by stimulating the liver and gallbladder to increase the flow of bile, aiding the liver in its detoxification efforts (7). The primary purpose is removing accumulated toxins in the liver and eliminating free radicals from the bloodstream (8). Whether doing it with a kit at home or under the guidance of a professional, organic coffee beans (not decaf!) are heated with water and then cooled. The coffee goes into a bag or bucket that’s elevated, connected by a thin tube. A lubricant, like coconut oil, is applied to the tip of the nozzle and inserted into the rectum about 1-inch. You lie on your left side in a fetal position as the valve releases the coffee. “Squeezing” in order to keep it in, you aim to hold the liquid for about 12 minutes.
So, is it Uncomfortable?
I opted for a professional coffee enema. I was not about to “try this at home.” For me, it wasn’t uncomfortable, nor did I feel an urgent “gotta go” sensation. It was no big deal; I just read a book on my phone. After 10 minutes, my therapist removed the tube. Over to the bathroom I went…and ended up with toilet bowl full of coffee water. It was actually pretty funny! Two questions from my husband:
- “Can you feel the water squirting up there?” – Answer: NO. It’s slow and gentle, and more of a sensation than a rush or squirt.
- “Is the poop water smelly?” – Also a NO. (That’s all I need to say about that).
Now, on the day I went, I actually had two procedures. First, a colonic, followed by the coffee enema. The colonic was very uncomfortable for me. I felt crampy and miserable. I’m not inclined to try that again. However, I do think more coffee enemas are in my future.
What’s a Colonic?
Colonics cleanse the bowel. Coffee enemas intend to increase the liver’s detoxification capacity. Certain substances in the coffee stimulate an important detoxification enzyme in the liver and dilate the bile ducts and increase the flow of bile. They serve different purposes, according to the Gerson Institute (9). Dr. Gerson developed a therapy in the 1920s to, “treat the underlying causes of disease: toxicity and nutritional deficiency,” using raw juicing, a plant-based diet and coffee enemas. My colonic definitely “cleared me out” first. So, my experience may differ from someone just doing the coffee enema for the first time.
Before You Try One
Do your research first. Just because Gwyneth Paltrow loves em’ and sells a kit on her Goop website, doesn’t mean it’s right for you, or that your first time should be self-conducted. A few reports caution against electrolyte imbalance, and even injecting bacteria through the rectum, leading to infections (10). However, negative side effects are few, and the potential for healing, quite great. The fact that they’ve been used for thousands of years to treat IBS, constipation, poor digestion, cancer and candida, in addition to detoxing the body, makes me think the pros outweigh any cons.
The 131 Method teaches you what you need to know about your body so that when circumstances change (which they will), you’ll know what to do. Environments, stress, your body, your age and hormones all change. And that’s how I feel right now. It’s so great, because I know how to tackle changing times. Because of the situation I’m in right now with my thyroid and hormones, I can’t do what I just did six months ago. I must be willing to change, try new things and investigate what works for ME. I’ll keep you posted!
Let me know about your coffee enema or colonic experiences! I’m dying to know!