Coffee Enemas: Is This Surprising Health Tool Worth Trying?

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When I say the words “coffee enemas” there’s a good chance that you feel immediately thrown outside your comfort zone. But from my years working in functional medicine — and researching therapies like stool transplants and helminthic therapy — I’ve found that sometimes these more “extreme” tools can actually help people with chronic autoimmune issues or other health problems.

From what I’ve found, coffee enemas are no exception. Keep reading for everything you need to know about this surprising healing tool.

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What Is A Coffee Enema? 

A coffee enema is just like a regular enema — but with coffee instead of water. A coffee enema acts as a natural detoxification tool that’s been used since the late 1800s to support digestive health, speed up detoxification, support recovery from poisonings, and help speed up healing after surgery. These days, functional medicine experts like myself sometimes recommend coffee enema use as part of a larger treatment plan for issues like:

  • Parasites
  • Overdoses
  • Constipation
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Viruses
  • IBS and other digestive disorders

Coffee Enema Benefits

The main benefit of coffee enemas is to encourage regular bowel movements, which are important because that’s how you carry most waste and toxins out of the body. So while more research needs to be done on coffee enemas specifically, anecdotally and many small-scale studies have shown the health benefits of this therapeutic tool:

  • Helps flush out bacteria, heavy metals, fungus and yeast
  • Relieves constipation 
  • Improves function of digestive tract, liver, and colon
  • Supports healthy inflammation levels
  • Help restore bowel function
  • Restores digestive tissue
  • Cleanses the liver
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Strengthens immunity
  • Improves cellular regeneration
  • Relieves digestive distress

The Healing Powers of Coffee Enema

So, now onto the most important question: Why coffee enema? Is it really better than a regular enema? You’ve probably noticed that the compounds within coffee — whether you’re drinking it or inserting coffee into the colon via a coffee enema — can help the colon muscles contract and stimulate a bowel movement. This helps move stool through the digestive tract, resolving cases of constipation and making it easier to go to the bathroom. 

Coffee itself is particularly beneficial because it contains caffeine and other compounds that are able to travel through the hemorrhoidal vein to the liver. Once there, these compounds can open up blood vessels, relax smooth muscles that help with bowel movements, and improve circulation. It’s also suspected that coffee is able to assist bile ducts and increase products of bile, which is necessary for digestion and elimination. With all these elements in mind, we can summarize that a coffee enema simply adds an extra boost of digestive benefits compared to regular enemas. 

How To Use A Coffee Enema 

Like many of the alternative practices I suggest, using a coffee enema can easily be performed at home in your own bathroom. All you will need is fresh organic coffee beans, towels, and an enema kit purchased from your local drugstore. All you have to do is follow the instructions on the enema kit but substitute coffee for water - and make sure it isn't hot! Simple as that!

Keep in mind that any enema – inducing coffee enema – is an invasive tool and can be unsafe if it's not performed correctly. Potential side effects from a coffee enema can include:

  • Cramping or stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Bowel irritation
  • Infections
  • Burns in the bowel if that water is too hot
  • Electrolyte deficiency and dehydration is performed too often

If you have health conditions — such as bowel surgery, hemorrhoids, or heart, kidney, or liver disease — you are also at higher risk for a coffee enemas negative side effects. Because of these factors, it's important to consult with your practitioner and follow their recommendations based on your health case and symptoms before proceeding with your coffee enema treatment.

More research needs to be done to confirm the benefits long attributed to coffee enema treatment. That said, it can be helpful if done properly and with the supervision of a medical expert. At the end of the day, coffee enema treatment is a lot less “alternative” than you might think!

Getting to the root of your digestive issues - Is a coffee enema enough?

Trying out a coffee enema may be just the thing you needed for some temporary relief from your digestive concerns. However, the reasons that brought you to learning about and possibly using a coffee enema may be indicating a deeper rooted problem within your body systems, and even a chronic health condition that needs a closer look. You may end up wanting to trade in your coffee enema treatment for a more effective plan that promotes long term wellness. 

In my telehealth functional medicine clinic we take your whole health into consideration, taking a deeper look into professional lab testing, as well as lifestyle and dietary factors that may be impacting your digestive and overall health. Then we can determine the best course of action and treatment for what is really causing you trouble, so you can live your life at its fullest. 

As one of the first functional medicine telehealth clinics in the world, we provide webcam health consultations for people around the globe. 

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References:

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  3. Crippa JA, Derenusson GN, Ferrari TB, et al. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J Psychopharmacol. 2011;25(1):121‐130. doi:10.1177/0269881110379283
  4. Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219‐1226. doi:10.1038/npp.2011.6
  5. Hill MN, Patel S. Translational evidence for the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in stress-related psychiatric illnesses. Biol Mood Anxiety Disord. 2013;3(1):19. Published 2013 Oct 22. doi:10.1186/2045-5380-3-19

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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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BY DR. WILL COLE

Evidence-based reviewed article

Dr. Will Cole, DNM, IFMCP, DC is a leading functional medicine expert who consults people around the globe, starting one of the first functional medicine telehealth centers in the world. Named one of the top 50 functional and integrative doctors in the nation, Dr. Will Cole provides a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. He is the host of the popular The Art Of Being Well podcast and the New York Times bestselling author of Intuitive Fasting, Ketotarian, The Inflammation Spectrum, and Gut Feelings: Healing the Shame-Fueled Relationship Between What You Eat and How You Feel.

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Gut Feelings

Healing The Shame-Fueled Relationship
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