By Donna Gregory Burch.
Disclaimer: The following information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only. This post contains affiliate links.
When one of my fibro friends tried coffee enemas last year, I thought she was crazy. I don’t even drink coffee, and I had no intention of sticking it up my butt.
But after living with unresolved pain and fatigue for years, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll try most anything to feel better. When my new Lyme/fibromyalgia doctor recommended coffee enemas as part of my treatment plan, I gulped hard, went home and ordered an enema kit and a bag of organic coffee from Amazon.
Coffee enemas date back to World War I when soldiers used them for pain relief. They are one of the core treatments of the Gerson Therapy cancer protocol. Until the 1970s, coffee enemas were included in the Merck Manual treatment guide for physicians.
The benefits of coffee enemas include detoxification, improved energy levels, better cognitive function, pain relief, clearer skin, elimination of parasites/candida and much more.
So, how do coffee enemas work? According to pharmacist Suzy Cohen, “As the coffee is retained in your bowel, the fluid goes through your intestinal wall, through the portal vein to your liver. The stimulating effects and healing compounds of coffee jumpstart your liver and gallbladder. Bile flows. There are compounds in coffee like kahweol and cafestol which spark production of glutathione, and that is a strong cleansing compound in your body, one that consumers pay good money for when they buy glutathione as a dietary supplement or get IV injections of it. To make more glutathione naturally by using a coffee enema is awesome.”
From what I’ve read, it takes a lot of energy for the liver to produce bile, so often it will be recirculated and reused by the body. Coffee enemas cause the liver to dump bile (and the toxins it contains) into the intestinal tract so it can be excreted from the body. Fewer toxins means less inflammation, which leads to less pain and fatigue.
I’ve been doing coffee enemas about every other day for the past two months. On enema days, I notice much more energy and mental clarity, which is a big deal since fatigue and brain fog are notoriously difficult to treat. It helps me somewhat with pain.
I’ve had people ask if the caffeine causes me to feel anxiety or nervousness. The short answer is no. I don’t understand the mechanics behind it, but I don’t get the caffeine jitters when I use the coffee rectally versus drinking it. (I’m super sensitive to caffeine and usually get heart palpitations when I drink coffee so I was concerned about this initially but it hasn’t been an issue.)
I know I have a lot of scientifically-minded readers, and unfortunately, to my knowledge, there are no studies that confirm the benefits of coffee enemas. I expect part of this is because there’s no money to be made in natural treatments like coffee enemas.
There are research papers that discuss the dangers of coffee enemas. People have reported burns after inserting coffee that was too hot into their rectum. (That kind of reminds me of the woman who sued McDonald’s because she spilled hot coffee on herself.) Rectum tears have happened during insertion. Infections have occurred from using unfiltered water.
I feel like all of these dangers can be avoided with common sense. I only use room-temperature coffee during my enemas. I lubricate the tip of the enema tube with castor oil or coconut oil to avoid any tears or abrasions. I always use distilled water in my enemas, and I sanitize my enema bag after use to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
Another concern is flushing away valuable minerals so I make sure to replenish my body with an electrolyte drink.
If you’re interested in learning more about coffee enemas, including instructions on how to do them, these links will help:
Liveto110.com: Everything you never wanted to know about coffee enemas (YouTube, 58 minutes)
Liveto110.com: Coffee enemas (article)
Dr. Jay Davidson: Coffee enema – the missing links (YouTube, 30 minutes)
The Truth About Cancer: How to use coffee enemas to detoxify and heal from cancer (article)
So now it’s your turn: Have you tried coffee enemas? Did they help?
Donna Gregory Burch was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014 after several years of unexplained pain, fatigue and other symptoms. She was later diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. Donna covers news, treatments, research and practical tips for living better with fibromyalgia and Lyme on her blog, FedUpwithFatigue.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Donna is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared online and in newspapers and magazines throughout Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She lives in Delaware with her husband and their many fur babies.