Coffee enema


Why in the world would someone want to take coffee in the form of an enema?


This question is often asked when the subject of ‘coffee enema’ is brought up – often with feelings of disgust and resistance. 



Believe it or not coffee enemas are actually good for your health.  Enemas have been documented for disease treatment all the way back to the time of ancient Indian, Chinese and Egyptian.  Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine prescribed enemas some 2,600 years ago. 

Understanding what is an enema

An ‘enema’ is a solution that is injected into the rectum, to induce peristalsis and bowel movement.  In general it is used to relieve constipation and/or cleanse the colon by removing stagnant fecal matter in the colon.  There are various types of enema.  Plain water enema is one of the simplest.  Water can also be mixed with other substances such as Epsom salt, coffee, oil, vitamin E, castor oil, wheatgrass, herbal extracts, etc.  The concoction used depends on the intended purpose of the enema. 

The enema can also mean the introduction of non-liquid substance sin the form of suppositories into the bloodstream via the anus.  Babies or children with high fevers are often given suppositories containing acetaminophen that can quickly bring down a fever because it reaches the blood stream more quickly.

Why coffee? 

This is simply because the natural compounds found in coffee has been noted to stimulate the detoxifying enzyme in the liver as well as inducing the toxic bile to be expelled.   From the research work of Wattenberg, Sparnins, and Lam (Cancer Res. 1982 Apr;42(4):1193-8) at the University of Minnesota, they noted that the Palmitic acids; Kahweol and cafestol palmitates found in green coffee enhances the production of glutathione S-transferase – a major detoxification enzyme system that is responsible for the removal of many toxic radicals from the blood.   This is an important mechanism in the detoxification of carcinogens (cancer forming substance). 

In a the study involving mice, it is noted that under the influence of coffee the glutathione-S-transferase enzyme system is enhanced 600% in the liver and 700% in the small intestine.  No other materials are known to stimulate it as much.   In addition,

* Theophylline and theobromine, other constituents of coffee, dilate blood vessels and counter inflammation of the gut. 

* The water in the enema stimulates the peristalsis; the force that moves materials through the intestines, resulting in the flushing of toxic bile. 

* it blocks re-absorption of bile across the gut wall.  Under normal body function,  bile is   reabsorbed up to 10 times before working its way out the body via the feces. 

For cancer patients, the coffee enema is used to help with the excretion of dead cancer cells and other toxic products from blood across the colonic wall.  The coffee enema is also useful in reducing pain.  In fact, coffee is chosen for enema because of its amazing ability to enhance the function of the liver in achieving the benefits as listed above.

Where is this procedure being used?

This procedure is being used in many leading integrated cancer care centers as part of cancer treatment strategies.  It is also employed for wellness as well as the treatment of other degenerative diseases.  Dr. Max Gerson, who pioneered the use of the coffee enema for cancer patients, prescribed coffee enema up to 6 times daily in 1930s’ and the practice is still in use today at the Gerson Institute. 

Why don’t we just drink the coffee?

It is definitely easier and tastier to drink the coffee,  but unfortunately the effects are not the same.

When you drink coffee, the caffeine gets into your stomach from your mouth and absorbed into the general circulation.  It increases your heart rate and soon you begin to feel the effects of the caffeine – eg. nervousness, jittery – (subject to the quantity, potency of your coffee and your tolerance level).

The coffee in the enema on the other hand is absorbed by the skin at the rectum (the rectum, is anatomically part of the skin) and is therefore efficiently picked up by the systemic circulation.

This process avoids the hepato-enteric circulation that delivers all nutrients and ingredients for breakdown in the liver.  During the 10 – 15 minutes that it is in the colon, the caffeine, the antioxidants, the palmitic acids and other compounds from the enema solution are absorbed by the hemorrhoidal vein (the veins covering the rectum area) and subsequently absorbed by the hepatic portal circulation system which consists of all veins transporting blood from the gut and the associated organs such as the spleen, pancreas and carries them to the liver where various chemical reactions take place. 

How often to carry out the coffee enema?

This can be very subjective.  However, based on our experience in treating cancer patient, we recommend not more than once a day if you are to administer it yourself.  Once you have achieved improvements in clinical status of the cancer or remission this can be reduced to once a week.

For disease, pain management and stage IV cancers it is recommended that the patient does more than one coffee enema a day for a duration as specified by the oncologist.   Again, the number of times administered depends on the condition of the patient and the internal organs affected.

Note: Coffee enemas can also be used by those who are not cancer patient to detoxify the liver and to help maintain general health. 


You can do a coffee enema at any time of the day.   It is best done after your bowel movement – the reason being you can hold the enema longer.

Contraindication of coffee enema

None.  However discontinue enemas if you experience any adverse reactions and consult your physician or therapist before continuing.

How to do the coffee enema?

Coffee enemas are surprisingly easy to do.

The following is a basic coffee enema recipe.  If you are following a certain program please be sure to follow the directions and recipe that have been given by your Doctor.

We do not recommend using large volume of water for it makes retention of the enema difficult – our aim here is to retain the enema in the colon for at least 12 minutes.

What you need?

* 1500ml Enema bucket

* Soft vinyl tube with a non-traumatic tip and close clamp

* Lubricating oil (eg. Organic coconut, olive )

* Ground coffee – fine ground, lightly roasted organic green coffee

* Filtered water

* Non aluminum sauce pan for boiling

Note:  Do not use instant or decaffeinated coffee.

Prepare the solution

  • Measure out 400 ml of filtered water and pour the water into the saucepan.  Add 3 tablespoons of finely ground organic coffee and stir the coffee to make sure all is mixed in the water, then bring to a boil.
  • Boil for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat and cover pot with lid and let  it simmer for 10 minutes.  
  • Leave it to cool till it feels ‘lukewarm’.   If the water is too cold – it can cause cramps, and retaining the enema will be difficult.  
  • Remove the residue by straining it through the normal fine coffee strainer.  Avoid using a paper or cloth filter to strain your coffee as it removes much more than the grounds.
  • The total amount of the solution should be about 350ml. as some of it will be evaporate.  The measurement need not be exact.

Ready to use coffee solution

Administering the enema

  • Head to the bathroom with your strained coffee and set up a space and something comfortable for you to lie down on. Be near the toilet and use an old towel as you sometimes may get coffee leakages.
  • Be sure that the plastic tube is fastened onto the enema bucket and that the enema tip (with two holes in it) is at the other end.  New buckets should be pre-washed before use).
  • Close the clamp.  Fill the bucket with the strained enema solution.
  • Remove any air from the enema tube.  To do this, place the enema tip in the sink.  Hold up the enema bucket slightly above the tip until the solution begins to flow out.  As soon as the flow reaches the farthest end of the tube, quickly close the clamp.  This process expels any air in the tube.
  • Hang the bucket at not more than 2 feet from the floor where you will be performing the enema.   Open the clamp and let the solution just drip out of the tube and clamp it. 
  • Note:  The higher the bucket is from the floor, the faster will be the flow – find the flow rate that you are comfortable with.
  • Lubricate the enema tube’s tip and your rectum with a small amount of oil such as olive or coconut oil or KY gel.  
  • Spread a towel, or a yoga mat on the bathroom floor – this is for you to lie on.  Use a small pillow for your head to make it more comfortable. 

The enema position

  • It’s best that you lie on the right side while administering the enema.  The solution flows into the colon smoother.
  • Insert the tip gently and slowly, make sure that it has entered sufficiently into the anus./rectum
  • Now you can open the clamp and let the coffee enema flow.  The coffee may take a few seconds to begin flowing.  If it does not flow, check that there is no blockage at the mouth of the tube due to the coffee residue.  If there is, slightly swirl the bucket. 
  • If you feel a cramp, close the clamp and massage the stomach.  The cramp will usually pass.  Release the clamp again for the rest of the solution to flow. 
  • When all the liquid has been drained from the bucket, close the clamp.  Remove the tube slowly.  Continue to lie down and hold the enema in the body for a minimum of 12 minutes.  This will enhance the healing effect of the enemas.  If you can’t, it is fine.  The process will become easier after a few sessions.
  • Go to the toilet and empty out the coffee solution when you can no longer tolerate the urge to let go.   As has been mentioned earlier, holding the enema is easier if you perform the enema after your bowel movement.

Finishing up

Finally, wash the enema bucket.  Run half a bucket of water through the tube with the clamp open.  Then wash the tube and the bucket thoroughly with soap and water, and hang them up to dry. 

After a few uses you may notice that the tube becomes darken.  When this happens, take a long thin hard wire (you can get it from a hardware shop) and wrap some cotton around the tip.  Dip the tip in disinfectant and push it through the tube, repeat this process until the tube is clear then run water through it a few times.

Suggestions on using the enema

  • When you first start doing coffee enemas, use much less coffee. For example, begin with just a tablespoon of coffee and increase the amount when you are sure you can tolerate it well.  Then work up to 3 tablespoons per session of coffee enema.  During this time take note of any adverse reaction to the enema.
  • If possible, have  bowel movement (pass motion) before doing your enema.  This will make it easier to retain the enema. 
  • Warm solution is easier to tolerate.  Cold enema solution can cause 'cramp' feeling.

Why lightly roasted coffee?

Researches have shown that high temperature roasting generates carcinogenic compounds called acrylamides.   In order to eliminate possible carcinogens, only lightly roasted coffee is recommended. 

“Roasted coffee and instant coffee were also found to have a weaker inducing activity than did the green coffee beans studied, i.e., slightly less than 50% as much.”

Lam, Sparnins and Wattenberg LW. Isolation and identification of kahweol palmitate and cafestol palmitate as active constituents of green coffee beans that enhance glutathione S-transferase activity in the mouse. Cancer Res. 1982;42:1193-1198.



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