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Coffee and caffeine have always been hot topics in the natural health world, but recently, coffee enemas have become the talk of the town among researchers and biohackers. While many individuals use a cup of coffee in the morning to get their bowels moving, coffee enemas are coming in at a close second. But how do coffee enemas work? What’s all the hype about exactly?

In this article, we’re going to dive right in. Let’s find out if coffee enemas are right for you, your health, and your life. Should you give them a try? Why do people use them in the first place? And are they actually safe?

What Are Coffee Enemas?

A coffee enema is technically a colon cleanse. It’s an alternative medicinal procedure where brewed coffee is inserted into the colon. The ideal outcome is that it relieves constipation or cleanses the bowel area in preparation for another procedure. 

All in all, most of us know how uncomfortable constipation can be. On a whole other level, it can also become quite hazardous to your bowel health and overall health. Constipation can even lead to holes in the bowels. Additionally, the body may actually end up reabsorbing these waste products and toxins as the colon and small intestines become backed up. 

Inevitably, this can lead to inflammation within the body and various diseases or conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and hypothyroidism. Basically, a bunch of things can go haywire when the body isn’t properly eliminating waste. 

Coffee enemas offer a quick way to relieve constipation. They work by cleansing the colon via liquid, stimulating bile flow and producing detoxifying antioxidants, such as glutathione, within the body.

Who Invented Coffee Enemas?

Coffee enemas are new to most of us. Yet, they date back to the early 1900s. Coffee enemas were first used by a German-American doctor as a way to detoxify the body. This process was called “Gerson Therapy,” which is still used to treat cancer patients today.

But before you rush off to try a coffee enema to relieve your constipation, there are a few other things you should know.

The Benefits & Risks

Coffee enemas are tied to various advantages. People who swear by them claim that coffee enemas:

  • Improve immune function
  • Increase energy
  • Prevent yeast overgrowth
  • Treat depression, cancer, and autoimmune diseases
  • Remove and treat parasites in the digestive tract
  • Detoxify heavy metals from the body

Yet, how true are these claims? Generally, experts tend to agree that coffee enemas may help relieve constipation, improve immune function, and enhance energy. 

At the same time, when it comes to health and treatment options, it’s always important to keep in mind that what works and what doesn’t is often dependent upon the individual. Everyone is different, and obtaining optimal health is often about finding the right combination of treatments and care methods that work for you and your body.

In one study, researchers used a coffee enema for one group and a regular polyethylene glycol enema for the other group. All members were preparing for a bowel examination. While no significant difference was noted by researchers, there was slightly more visibility of the middle and lower parts of the small intestines in those that had the coffee enema.

Unfortunately, for the most part, coffee enema evidence is anecdotal. This means that there isn’t a ton of scientific evidence to back it up. 

Are Coffee Enemas Safe?

By and large, coffee enemas are generally considered safe.

There is some evidence indicating that coffee enemas may cause colitis, a digestive disease where the inner lining of the colon becomes inflamed. 

There have also been three deaths related to coffee enemas in published literature. Additionally, those who are sensitive to caffeine should likely avoid coffee enemas. There is also some indication that coffee enemas may lead to:

  • Rectal burns
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Dehydration
  • Holes in the bowel
  • Infection
  • Nausea

Researchers have also expressed their concern regarding using coffee enemas as a self-care practice. Frequent coffee enema users can develop further complications and increased risk of the above adverse effects. 

Coffee enemas may also impact the pH balance within the body, particularly within the colon and small intestines. The acidity of coffee enemas is what may cause rectal burns, infection, inflammation, and even death. Thus, it’s important to perform this type of enema under the supervision of a medical practitioner and to ensure you discuss the risks and benefits with your GP beforehand. 

Step-By-Step: How Do Coffee Enemas Work?

Step 1: Preparation

Preparing a coffee enema involves brewing coffee and ensuring there aren’t any grounds left, which means you will want to filter it a couple of times. It’s also a good idea to select a coffee that isn’t super-processed since this can actually increase your risk of infection (our recommendations can be found below). Once brewed and filtered, allow the coffee to reach room temperature. 

Step 2: The Enema

Lay towels on a bed or table, preferably near a washroom. Using an enema system, insert the room-temperature coffee into the rectum. Pour as much as possible into the rectum.

Step 3: Waiting…

This mixture should be kept in the rectum for about 10-15 minutes. 

Step 4: Afterwards

Once 10-15 minutes have passed, the person should try using the toilet. If no results are experienced, the enema may be repeated a few hours later. However, again, ensure you check with your doctor as to the exact step-by-step procedure you should follow or have a specialist perform this process for you.

Where to Buy Coffee Enemas: The Best Coffees to Use

Generally, organic coffees are best. However, you can, technically, use any type of coffee, as long as it is caffeinated. 

A few of Innovative Medicine recommendations include:

Tips for Coffee Enemas

Now that we’ve answered the question “how do coffee enemas work” and offered up a few recommendations for the best coffee enema brands, here are a few other tips for beginners:

  • Always ensure that the coffee is neither too hot nor too cold before beginning the enema.
  • Lay on your right side when inserting the enema.
  • If cramping occurs, massage your belly.
  • Aim to perform the enema about an hour or so after your last meal.
  • Make sure you drink plenty of water afterward and a light snack.
  • Discuss your options with your family doctor or health team before performing a coffee enema. A coffee enema may not be suitable for individuals taking certain medications or individuals with specific health conditions.

Should You or Shouldn’t You?

This final answer is really up to you. Again, talk with your health team beforehand to ensure it is the right choice for you. Coffee enemas do come with some risks so it does pay to be cautious. At the same time, if you’ve tried everything else to relieve constipation and nothing has worked, this might be the thing that does it for you. 

At Innovative Medicine, we always encourage individuals to seek out alternative solutions to their health problems. Health is very specific and unique to each person. Thus, you need to find what works for you, and this might just include the latest trend of coffee enemas.

Coffee enema

Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products or treatments mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a licensed medical practitioner for medical advice.

At Innovative Medicine, we believe in transparency. We want you to know that we may participate in affiliate advertising programs pertaining to products mentioned herein.

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Meet the Author

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden is a Professional Freelance Writer, with an Honors Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. She worked as a Kinesiologist at a health clinic in Ottawa, Canada for many years before pursuing a full-time writing career. She uses her extensive knowledge in health and science to educate others through well-researched and informative articles. Her passions include helping others, traveling, and inspiring each person she meets to get the most out of their life.
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