Coffee Enemas: Everything You Need To Know
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.
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Coffee Enemas: What They Are + How They Work
Coffee enemas are just like regular enemas — but with coffee instead of water. They are 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 enemas as part of a larger treatment plan for issues like:
- Liver dysfunction
- Candida overgrowth
- IBS and other digestive disorders
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
So, now onto the most important question: Why coffee? 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 to 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.
Coffee Enema: Instructions
Like many of the alternative practices I suggest, coffee enemas 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 an enema is an invasive tool and can be unsafe if it's not performed correctly. Side effects from coffee enemas can include:
- Cramping or stomach pain
- Bowel irritation
- 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 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.
More research needs to be done to confirm the benefits long attributed to coffee enemas. That said, they can be helpful if done properly and with the supervision of a medical expert. At the end of the day, coffee enemas are a lot less “alternative” than you might think!
If you want to learn more about your own health case please check out our free health evaluation. We offer in person as well as phone and webcam consultations for people across the country and around the world.
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BY DR. WILL COLE
Dr. Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC, leading functional medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh. He received his doctorate from Southern California University of Health Sciences and post doctorate education and training in functional medicine and clinical nutrition. He specializes in clinically researching underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is the best selling author of Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum.
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