Coffee is not just a drink. It can also be used to cleanse the colon due to its supposedly detoxifying properties – in the form of an enema. However, you don’t use the roasted coffee for this, but the still green, unroasted coffee. Learn more about the pros and cons of coffee enemas.
Coffee enemas for colon cleansing and detoxification
Discussions about coffee are usually about the coffee you drink – the stimulant coffee, the digestive aid coffee, the stimulant coffee, the drug coffee, etc. Coffee enemas are rarely used.
For a coffee enema, you make coffee as usual (but mostly from green coffee!), but do not drink it, but fill it with the typical enema tube into the intestine. And it is precisely these coffee enemas that are considered very healthy in naturopathy, even extremely healing.
They were originally introduced as part of Gerson therapy, developed in the 1930s by the German physician Dr. Max Gerson (1881–1959) to treat degenerative diseases such as skin tuberculosis, diabetes and, most importantly, cancer. Gerson lived and practised in the United States from the 1930s. He says coffee enemas have even brought seriously ill people back to life. Similar reports can also be found on the Internet and in some books.
However, there is still a lack of comprehensive scientific studies on the effect or safety of coffee enemas.
The liver filters the caffeine.
In a coffee enema, the coffee is fed into the intestine via a tube inserted into the anus with the help of a tube. In the rectum, the active ingredients of coffee are absorbed into the blood via the intestinal mucosa and then reach the liver. This is done via the so-called portal vein system.
The portal vein collects the blood from the digestive organs and delivers it to the liver. This portal vein blood also contains these organs’ degradation products and toxins. These harmful substances, including caffeine, are broken down again in the liver – our No. 1 detoxification organ.
Coffee enema works in the liver.
Unlike most other enemas, the primary purpose of a coffee enema is not to target the intestines but to cleanse the liver. The liver plays a crucial role as a detoxification organ in the human body. It is responsible for eliminating toxins from the body through the bile ducts, which eventually reach the intestine. However, if this elimination process becomes compromised, waste products can accumulate in the liver’s bile ducts, leading to a decline in its performance.
As a result, the liver can no longer filter as effectively, and many more toxins and metabolic waste products remain in the blood. This can result in enormous damage to health, such as allergies, depression, immunodeficiency, stomach problems, intestinal cramps or tumours.
Coffee enemas allow the liver to resume or improve its detoxification function. You can now find out exactly how this works.
How do coffee enemas detoxify the liver?
- The bitter substances contained in coffee dilate the bile ducts in the liver. Increased bile is produced, which removes the harmful deposits and cleanses the bile ducts.
- The acids in coffee have a choleretic effect. This means that bile production in the liver is stimulated, and the excretion of bile is promoted.
- Theophylline is found in small amounts in coffee beans and is a breakdown product of caffeine. It is also used as an ingredient in anti-inflammatory and vasodilator drugs. During the enema, the theophylline dilates the vessels of the intestine and counteracts inflammation there ( 2 ).
- Another ingredient in coffee is palmitic acid. Palmitates (salts of palmitic acid) boost certain enzymes in the body – glutathione S-transferases (GST). These enzymes play an important role in detoxifying the human organism. They combine with the dissolved toxins and are flushed out during the enema. In a 1982 study, the consumption of green coffee beans in mice led to an astonishing increase in GST production in the liver – by a whopping 600%. This successful experiment is, therefore, still used today as an explanatory model for the positive effect of coffee enemas in humans ( 3 ).
The practical guide to coffee enema
If possible, filtered or distilled water is used for the enema. It should not contain additives such as chlorine, fluorine or plasticizers from plastic containers. The purer the water, the more toxins it can absorb and remove.
The coffee must come from organic production; otherwise, it may contain too many harmful substances. Ideally, use green coffee that is unroasted and, therefore, contains less irritating roasting substances. Pay attention to organic quality!
Production of the coffee enema liquid
Coffee enema is carried out using an irrigator set. You can find more information about this in the article The intestinal enema with the irrigator. There are various ways to prepare the enema liquid. We want to introduce you to three of them:
- The simplest method is to use green coffee extract in instant powder form. Take 3 heaping tablespoons and stir them into a litre of lukewarm water.
- If you want to use conventional coffee, which we would not recommend due to the irritating roasting substances, take 1/2 litre of water with two heaping teaspoons of coffee powder (approx. 28 g) and make coffee from it as usual. The result is a strong, caffeinated coffee. The coffee is then topped up with 2 litres of warm water, i.e. diluted. Please only use filter bags made of unbleached paper.
- Another preparation recommendation is to bring 1/2 litre of water to a boil in a saucepan and add 3 tablespoons of organic coffee. Boil the coffee with the lid open for 3 minutes and then simmer for 15 minutes on low heat with a lid. Pass the coffee through a fine sieve or a standard household (unbleached) coffee filter. Let the coffee cool down, and add another half litre of water.
- The original Max Gerson suggested procedure for a coffee enema: add 3 heaping tablespoons of lightly roasted ground coffee to about 1L of boiling distilled or filtered water and boil for 3 minutes, then simmer for 15 minutes. After cooling and filtering, add as much water (to compensate for evaporation) until it reaches 900 ml. When the liquid is at body temperature, the enema is carried out with it, which takes 12 to 15 minutes until the liquid has completely run into the intestine. As part of Gerson therapy, it is recommended to use a coffee enema twice a day (5).
For use, the liquid should always have a comfortable temperature of about 37 degrees. Also, the room in which you plan to carry out the enema should be at a comfortable temperature.
How long and how often should coffee enemas be done?
The duration and frequency of coffee enemas depend on the severity of the disease. In the case of cancer patients or other serious ailments – as is recommended by some naturopathic circles – coffee enemas should be taken once or twice a day over a longer period of time.
However, this is done under therapeutic supervision and with other accompanying measures. It is said that to benefit from coffee enemas, it is generally necessary to take 3 to 6 months. Daily use is often recommended.
In any case, this should depend on individual tolerance and the practitioner’s advice. If you “only” want to subject the body to a general cleansing, carrying out the coffee enema once or twice a week is sufficient.
However, one breaks off immediately if a deterioration of the condition occurs. Quite a few people have used coffee enemas at least once a day for many years. Others only do a coffee enema when they feel physically or mentally unwell. To be safe, you should consult a therapist if you want to get started with coffee enemas, as it can also lead to complications for some people, as listed below.
The procedure of a coffee enema is explained from point 3 in the above-mentioned intestinal enema info text – except for the number of runs. You can learn more about this and important information in the next section.
Special recommendations for coffee enemas
In contrast to the conventional intestinal enema, there is only one passage with coffee. Ideally, the liquid should be kept in the intestine for 15 minutes (no longer!) before going to the toilet to empty. If this doesn’t work right away at the beginning, use the following tip:
- If the enema liquid cannot be held for a quarter of an hour, try two or three enemas with a shorter holding time first.
- There are recommendations to rinse the colon with two water or herbal tea enemas before a coffee enema. As a result, the coffee enema can be held better.
- If you don’t notice an urge to defecate despite a coffee enema in your intestines, walking around a little can help – but please always stay close to the toilet.
- After a coffee enema, the smell of sweat or urine may change. This has to do with the improved liver performance.
- If the enema causes nervousness or excessive alertness, reducing the amount of coffee is necessary. If irritation occurs in the area, add one or two tablespoons of aloe vera juice (food grade) to the enema liquid, for example.
- In addition, accompanying measures are usually recommended, such as eating foods containing bitter substances or taking dietary supplements rich in bitter substances. Green smoothies or freshly squeezed juices are also wonderful companions for a healing inner cleansing. At the same time, harmful foods should, of course, be avoided, including sugar and coffee 🙂
Better safe than sorry: probiotics for the intestinal flora
Although the coffee enema proponents do not see any danger to the intestinal flora, others warn against exactly this. So, to be safe, combine the coffee enemas with a colon cleansing program. This could consist, for example, of bentonite, psyllium husk powder and a high-quality probiotic.
On the one hand, the bentonite and psyllium husk powder cleanse the intestines, absorb toxins and regenerate the intestinal mucosa. On the other hand, the probiotic ensures that those intestinal bacteria that ensure a healthy and balanced intestinal flora and support our immune system can settle again.
Feel better with coffee enemas.
Since we have known for a long time that our health depends on the condition of our intestines and, of course, our liver, it is not too surprising that therapists (who practice with coffee enemas) and coffee enema practitioners enthusiastically rave about the many positive effects on well-being and health.
It is reported that coffee enemas restored liver functions, made the pain disappear, activated intestines and digestion, gave new energy, provided a better mood, eliminated fungi and parasites, and expelled cancer. Many users also swear by the preventive effect of coffee enemas and use them for health prophylaxis ( 4 ).
Negative effects of coffee enemas.
However, coffee enemas can also have side effects despite all the praise. However, these only seem to occur under certain conditions: in people with weakened health, for example, who suffer from mineral deficiencies, or if the enemas are carried out too frequently.
People who are particularly sensitive or allergic to caffeine or have used too much coffee powder to prepare the enema liquid also experience unpleasant side effects that indicate a caffeine overdose. Strong detoxification reactions can also occur in people who are particularly heavily burdened with toxins internally.
Other side effects include intestinal inflammation (5), infections, blood poisoning, electrolyte imbalances or heart failure. A few deaths are also reported. None of this sounds very informative. What is true now? Are coffee enemas healthy or dangerous? What does the scientific literature say about this?
Sabotage of a study?
There are studies on the positive effect of coffee enemas or on successful therapies that work with them. However, these investigations are not “officially” recognized or can no longer be found today. For example, the journal Integrative Oncology states that proponents of Gerson therapy speak of 70% to 90% recovery rates.
Still, at the same time, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has found no evidence of the benefits of this treatment method. Coffee enemas are an important part of Gerson therapy – in addition to drinking up to 12 glasses of freshly squeezed juice a day and other accompanying measures.
The New York physician, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, also works with a special therapy, which includes coffee enemas. Due to a successful pilot study in curing pancreatic cancer, a large-scale study was initiated – which, however, ended in disaster.
After the start of the study, there was a sudden change on the part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which had funded the study with 1.4 million dollars. According to Dr. Gonzalez, the NCI began to sabotage the study and only sent such severe cases to him that he could not cure these people. Although a successful appeal was lodged against the study results, it was never made public.
Dr. Gonzalez believes that conventional medicine does not disregard coffee enemas because they are ineffective. Rather, he believes that the pharmaceutical industry has no benefit whatsoever and that coffee enemas are often denigrated for this reason alone.
This possibility is quite obvious. It would not be the first time that cures have been suppressed that cost little and are successful while simultaneously bringing no sales to the pharmaceutical companies.
Coffee enema: Yes or no?
Whether coffee enemas generally have a health benefit has yet to be scientifically proven. In many people, they have cured diseases and helped them to feel better, apparently even saved their lives (although the corresponding reports cannot be verified).
However, exact figures on coffee enemas’ dangers and benefits are unavailable. Anyone who attaches importance to scientific verifiability and meaningful studies may not opt for a coffee enema. You do not qualify for coffee enemas if you also can’t tolerate coffee and caffeine.
If, on the other hand, you don’t have a problem with coffee/caffeine and feel addressed by the positive and practical experiences of other people, you should give it a try.
Tip: Read about green coffee as a colon cleanser. If you already have chronic and/or serious illnesses, you should discuss the use of the coffee enema with your doctor or alternative practitioner.
This article was written based on (at the time of publication) current studies and reviewed by medical professionals. However, it may not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, so it does not replace visiting your doctor. Therefore, always discuss any measure (whether from this or any other of our articles) with your doctor first.