Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser

Last Updated December 20th, 2021


Enema is performed to get relief from constipation or to prepare the large intestine for an examination. An enema involves injecting a liquid or gas into the rectum to cleanse the lower part of the large intestine. Constipation for long periods is not only uncomfortable but also harmful to the body. Enema is given using water, mineral oil, or water containing a small amount of soap in it.

What is a Coffee Enema?

Coffee enema as the name itself suggests involves using caffeinated coffee and water through the rectum. A coffee enema is used as a method of detoxification. It stimulates bile flow and increases the production of a detoxifying antioxidant called glutathione. Coffee enema can be performed at home by the individuals themselves.

Origin of Coffee Enema

It is understood to have originated in the early 1900s as part of the cure for cancer by German physicians. Alternative medical practitioners have suggested the use of coffee enema as a way to detox and cleanse the body from harmful substances.

Coffee enema was first used during World War I. When water was not available for the nurse to prepare the patient for colon surgery, she used the coffee meant for the surgeon as an enema for the patient. When the soldier’s pain reduced with coffee, it marked the birth of coffee enemas.

Gerson therapy

A program started by Max Gerson, a German-American doctor involved in healing the body using natural plant-based diet, raw juices,and coffee enema. This therapy recommends coffee enema alongside a diet that is rich in potassium and low in sodium.

The Gerson Institute published a paper mentioning the benefits of coffee enema. Dr. Max Gerson suggesteddosage of up to six coffee enemas per day, which is way too much for an average person. He was considered a controversial cancer specialist. Though many patients diagnosed with cancer are undergoing the Gerson Therapy, with few reporting the benefits of this anticancer metabolic diet, there is no scientific evidence to prove they have been cured of cancer.

Coffee enemas have also been suggested as a treatment for detoxification in the “Merck Manual,” the source of reference for physicians until the mid-1970s.

Who must use a coffee enema?

Alternative medical practitioners suggest coffee enema for:

  • People that are constantly exposed to toxic elements in food, water or air
  • Patients of chronic constipation

Contraindications for coffee enema

Coffee enema must not be used under the following conditions.

  •  Pregnant women
  • Nursing mothers
  • Patients of lower intestinal surgeries in the recent past
  • Children below 12 years
  • Those with health conditions like hemorrhoids, cardiovascular diseases, abdominal hernia, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, severe anemia, ulcerative colitis,andappendicitis
  • Low immunity
  • Victims of caffeine allergy

What kind of coffee is appropriate for effective coffee enema?

The efficacy of the coffee enema depends on the variety of coffee used. Kahweol and cafestol are the antioxidants found in coffee and are the palmitate compounds that enhance the body’s natural detoxifying abilities.

Organic coffee that is lightly air-roasted is the best variety to use. It has the most palmitate, a substance that helps increase the production of antioxidants like glutathione. Heavily roasted coffee beans contain less of this palmitate.

How to perform a coffee enema?

Coffee enema can be performed only after approval from a certified medical practitioner.

  • Brew 2 tablespoons of coffee in 1-liter measure of distilled water
  • Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature
  • Never use hot or warm water for enema as it can burn the rectum and lead to serious complications
  • Ensure patient is in close proximity to the restroom
  • Keep towels and enema kit ready
  • Introduce the coffee enema mixture into the rectum by using an enema bag which can be purchased from any drug store
  • Typically it must be allowed to stay for 10 to 15 minutes for better results
  • After this, the person is advised to use the restroom
  • If there is no significant difference, the procedure may have to be repeated

Precautions for coffee enema

  • Be completely aware of the pros and cons of coffee enema
  • Use the right kind of coffee for a betteroutcome
  • Ensure the coffee mixture is in room temperature
  • Keep all the necessary items required to perform enema handy
  • People with serious health conditions must not try coffee enema
  • Check if you are allergic to caffeine
  • Regular use of coffee enema can be addictive
  • It is always better to get the advice of a medical practitioner before trying coffee enema

Coffee enema for constipation

Enema is used as a treatment for constipation. Constipated patients have difficulty in passing stool. Coffee enema can stimulate bowel movement and help in detoxification. Though there is no proven scientific evidence, advocates of alternative medicine have supported the use of enema.

Gerson therapy published a paper regarding the benefits associated with coffee enema for those suffering from constipation.

Coffee enema for cancer

Cancer has become one of the major killers in the world. Though allopathic treatment forms the mainstay for management of the disease, patients also seek various alternative therapiesin search of a cure.

Gerson Institute has used coffee enema as an important part of cancer treatment. It is widely believed that coffee enema detoxifies metabolic products of tumors. This has an anti-cancer effect, though there is no scientific evidence to prove this theory of either cancer cure or cancer prevention. Replacing conventional cancer therapy with coffee enema is therefore not recommended.

Coffee enema for detoxification

Detoxification is the removal of toxic materials from the body. Enemahas been in use for a long time and are considered the best method to cleanse the bowel and therefore help in detoxification.

When Coffee enema stimulates bowel movement, it enhances the production of an enzyme called glutathione.  This enzyme is particularly a boon during endoscopy. Surprisingly, despite its perceived benefits, scientific research has not supported this claim. Therefore,it stillremains a subject of much debate.

Coffee enema and weight loss

It is widely believed among coffee enema proponents that it helps in weight loss too.  The reason touted is, when the body detoxifies, a lot of built-up waste amounting to as much as 10 or 15 pounds is thrown out of the body. This temporary quick weight loss with coffee enema gives a heightened sense of relief as the toxins are released from the body. This explains why most people aiming to lose weight consider coffee enema an option.

Coffee enema and gallstones

Gallstones are formed in the gall bladder; they cause severe pain, nausea, and vomiting. Gallbladder cleanse is performed to treat the existing gallstones or to prevent them from forming.

Surgery is an option prescribed by doctors where the stones are big and not possible to flush out. Coffee Enema is used along with other juice supplements to flush out the stones. Coffee enema stimulates the release of bile present in the gallbladder thereby releasing all the toxic waste.

Publicized benefits of coffee enema

While proponents of coffee enema mention the advantages,Gerson Institute also published a paper mentioning its benefits. It works by stimulating the liver, gallbladder, and the intestines.

The liver-gallbladder-intestinal pathway is one of the most critical detoxification pathways in the body. Coffee enema enhances detoxification systems. Best time for an enema is during the day before 6 pm. If the enema is given at night, the high energy level post enema interferes with sleep. One can always experiment with whatever time suits them. Give 20 to 30 minutes resting time after an enema without indulging in any kind of exercise.

  • Relieves constipation
  • Increases energy
  • Boosts immune system
  • Potential anticancer process
  • Removes parasites from the lower intestines
  • Treats depression
  • Curtails the overgrowth of yeast
  • Removes heavy metals from the body
  • Treats autoimmune diseases
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Promotes clearer skin
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Gives relief from chronic pain
  • Reduces the severity of PMS, especially cramps and bloating
  • Regulates hormones, thereby reduces mood swings

Risks of coffee enema

Enema isperformed either before surgery or to get relief from severe constipation. Best way to deal with this problem is to eat a healthy balanced diet that is rich in fiber. The enema should not be the first resort to relieve constipation, rather be used only when other natural methods or medication has not helped.

  • If coffee enema is excessively used, it will be difficult for the person to have a natural bowel movement.
  • Constant use of coffee enema affects the lining of the rectum leading to major complications
  • There is no scientific research to prove the efficiency of coffee enemas,most doctors will not recommend it
  • It could result in diarrhea and possible dehydration. Immediate medical help is required in such cases.
  • An allergic reaction, electrolyte losses, irritation or injury to the intestines can lead to other serious health issues
  • Rectal burns, nausea, vomiting, and bloating are some of the risks associated with coffee enema use
  • Combined with fasting, coffee enema can be lethal
  • Risk of infection and even sepsis cannot be dismissed
  • Insomnia patients must avoid as caffeine is absorbed by the colon and can increase sleeplessness
  • Coffee enema is addictive and may lead to caffeine dependence
  • Not suited for diabetic patients as it tends to lower the sugar level in the body

What does the research say about coffee enema?

  • There has been no scientific research to prove for or against coffee enema. In general, doctors do not recommend it. They believe that the body is capable of detoxifying without the use of any external practices.
  • Alternative medicines do not have any scientific backing for their practices. The concept of autointoxication has long been discarded with the discovery of the scientific basis for diseases. Unfortunately, coffee enema is based on unscientific concepts.
  • A study published in Human and Experimental Toxicology in 2012 claims that the body’s production of glutathione does not increase with coffee

Coffee enema and celebrities

  • According to ‘’, Gwyneth Paltrow is the only verified celebrity advocate of the coffee
  • Princess Diana, Britney Spears, and Leonardo Di Caprio believe in cleansing the colon by injecting liquid into it. Janet Jackson has also admitted to using coffee enema for detoxification.

Facts on coffee enema

  • American Journal of Gastroenterology published a detailed article about a Korean woman who suffered inflammation of the colon and rectum due to coffee enema.
  • Reports of deaths due to coffee enema, mainly due to septicemia and electrolyte imbalance are available. US Food and Drug Administration has warned people against using coffee Warnings include possible complications and even death.
  • Caffeine absorbed from a coffee enema is 3.5 times lesser than coffee consumed orally. This further undermines the effect of coffee enema as a method for detoxification.


Mainly alternative therapists propagate the use of coffee enema.  Certified medical practitioners may not recommend the use of coffee enema. While it does help in detoxification, there is no direct evidence to prove that it can treat or prevent cancer or any other major diseases. Coffee enema does not help in functioning but only in stimulating the organs like liver, gallbladder, and intestines. It is better to exercise caution before resorting to coffee enema.

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