The Most Powerful Way to Detoxify Your Body: How & Why Coffee Enemas Work

JULY 15, 2016 BY SHAE

Coffee enemas are the most misunderstood, ridiculed and feared component of natural healing today. Many people find the topic of enemas to be repulsive – which is why I love telling people I do them and seeing their reactions! A little cheeky on my part, but quite fun.

Let’s clear up one of the biggest misconceptions about coffee enemas from the get-go: coffee enemas are NOT for clearing out the colon, they are for restoring the liver and detoxification.

The two main purposes of coffee enemas are to remove toxins accumulated in the liver and to remove free radicals from the bloodstream.

“Patients have to know that the coffee enemas are not given for the function of the intestines but for the stimulation of the liver.” – Max Gerson, MD

Coffee enemas are the single most effective way to detoxify the liver, and are completely unique in the therapeutic effects they have. There is simply nothing like a coffee enema as a therapeutic, detoxification and healing technique.


A coffee enema is made from a boiled coffee concentrate, which is put in a enema bucket with a tube attached, inserted into the rectum and held for 12 -15 minutes, then released into the toilet.
Colonics and enemas are not the same thing. Colonics are designed to clean out the colon, whereas coffee enemas have an entirely different purpose: to detoxify the liver. Cleaning out the colon is just an extra benefit!


Detoxing is not just some trendy fad or a luxury, it’s an absolute necessity in todays world.

Most of us are way more toxic than we even think we are – because toxins are invisible and imperceptible, we don’t tend to think about them or their effects too much.

And by the time you get to chronic illness and realise you’re toxic. PHEW. You’re past toxic. And guess whose paying the biggest price? Yep, you’re unlucky liver.

The liver is the most important organ in the body. All toxins must be processed by your liver. It’s responsibly for every bit of biochemistry in the body. Everything begins and ends with the liver. Therefore, supporting the liver is the most important thing you can do.

You know how people say fixing the gut is essential for healing? Well fixing the liver is essential for healing the gut! If we can help the liver detox, we can help the body to heal and start functioning normally.

“Coffee enemas are a way to remove circulating toxins and partial metabolites by dilating bile ducts and cleansing the liver. Dr. Gerson believed that the liver is our most important organ for maintaining the body’s biochemistry for health as well as overcoming degenerative diseases.” – Healing the Gerson Way


Often, toxicity is at the root cause, or the causative agent in creating disease.

For example, I have celiac disease which in part is caused by leaky gut, which in large part is caused by toxins destroying the gut lining. But it’s also the vicious cycle of illness and toxicity that really creates havoc – once you are sick and toxic, the body can’t detoxify properly and the toxicity continues to build up.
For anyone who has any kind of chronic illness or health issue that goes on unresolved for any length of time, there is a huge toxic build up that comes with that. You’re body can’t deal with the illness, let alone the inner housekeeping work or the continued bombardment of everyday toxins.


Dr. Gerson asserted that there were two main underlying causes for disease – toxicity and deficiency.

Coffee enemas are vital for detoxification.

They are also incredible for cleaning out the colon and cleansing the liver. It can also help clear up constipation, support the gallbladder and relieve brain fog, headaches and pain.

The most common effects people report with enemas is a clear mind, metal clarity, increased energy, headaches and migraines disappearing, skin issues clearing and reduced pain.

“No matter which degenerative disease is causing symptoms, the coffee enema means relief from confusion, general nervous tension, depression, many allergy-related symptoms, and, most importantly, from severe pain.” – The Gerson Therapy, by Charlotte Gerson

Coffee enemas have proven themselves as a means of restoring the liver. The caffeine in coffee taken in an enema detoxifies the liver – the place where most toxins in the body go to be eliminated by the body. If you’re liver becomes overburdened, it’s becomes extremely difficult for the body to get back on track and eliminate toxins properly.


Believe it or not, coffee enemas have actually been extensively studied. Before the 1940’s there were many studies published in medical journals on coffee enemas before the pharmaceutical industry took hold and became what it is today.

They have also been used by some of the most advanced holistic doctors today including Dr. Nicolas Gonzalez, Dr. Kelley, Dr. Wilson, and of course originally pioneered by Dr. Max Gerson, who has been curing cancer patients for over 70 years with the Gerson therapy protocol (of which coffee enemas play a major role).

Although much ridiculed today, coffee enemas were actually used as part of conventional medicine all the way up to the 1960s. They were included in the Merck Manual into the 1980s, which was a handbook for conventional medical treatments that doctors used to figure out what to do with patients, used by physicians all over the world.

“They fell out of favor not because they didn’t work, but because the drug industry took over medicine, so things like coffee enemas were kind of laughed at.” Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez


Most people are vaguely aware of enemas, but not coffee enemas specifically. Coffee has been used as a healing remedy for 100 years, and it has specific properties that make the coffee enema helpful for cleansing the liver.

The caffeine in the enema is absorbed through the haemorrhoidal veins (and this it’s advised that you lie on the right side while taking a coffee enema, it’s better absorbed by the haemorrhoidal veins). The caffeine is then absorbed into the portal system, which carries blood supply to the liver and the gall bladder.

The caffeine ‘irritates’ the liver and the gall bladder, causing the gall bladder to spasm to get rid of the irritant and then flush out bile and the bile ducts to dilate which allows a much greater production of bile to be flushed from the body.


Doctors at the University of Minnesota showed that when taken as an enema the the palmitic acid in coffee stimulates an enzyme system in the liver called glutathione S-transferase (GST) by 600%-700% above normal activity levels.

This GST enzyme mobilizes toxins out of cells and into the liver and gall bladder and transfers free radicals (which cause cell damage) to the blood stream, which are then dissolved into bile and excreted through the intestinal tract.

Glutathione S-tranferase (GST) is a “master detoxifier” – it’s the most potent detoxifying enzyme in the human body. It literally goes through the body cleaning up free radicals and toxins.

Two major compounds in coffee, theophylline and theobromine, dilate blood vessels and bile ducts, increase bile flow and counter inflammation in the gut. Gut inflammation is a big roadblock to effective detoxification.

The GST enzyme system in the liver and the gut is responsible for the conversion and neutralisation of the four most common toxins, all of which cause cell and membrane damage – polyamines, ammonia, toxic-bound nitrogen and electrophiles.

The physiological effects of coffee enemas are explained in more detail below from an excerpt from the book The Gerson Therapy:

“While the coffee enema is being retained in the gut (for an optimum period ranging from twelve to fifteen minutes), all of the body’s bloom passes through the liver every three minutes. The hemorrhoidal blood vessels dilate from exposure to the caffeine; in turn, the liver’s portal veins dilate too. Simultaneously, the bile ducts expand with blood, the bile flow increases, and the smooth muscles of these internal organs relax. The blood serum and its many components are detoxified as this vital fluid passes through the individual’s caffeinated liver. The quart of water being retained in the bowel stimulates the visceral nervous system, promoting peristalsis. The water delivered through the bowel dilutes the bile and causes an even greater increase in bile flow. There is a flushing of toxic bile which is further affected by the body’s enzymatic catalyst known to physiologists as glutathione S-tranferase (GST).

The GST is increased in quantity in the small bowel by 700 percent, which is an excellent physiological effect, because this enzyme quenches free radicals. These quenched radicals leave the liver and gallbladder as bile salts flowing through the duodenum. The bile salts are carried away by peristalsis in the gut, traveling from the small intestine, through the colon, and out of the rectum.”


We need to bring the toxins out of the cells, but we need to make sure they are getting OUT of the body, and not just recirculated and getting reabsorbed, which is where many detox protocols fail and can make people worse if the toxins are just relocating to another place in the body.

When toxins are released from the cells, they’re brought to the liver and bound up in bile (bile is what you’re body uses for digesting fats). Bile is one of the main ways the liver moves toxins out of the body, through the small intestine and out of the feces.
The thing about bile is that it gets reabsorbed up to 10 times by the body before it works it’s way out of the intestines through the feces, as a way for the body to conserve energy and resources.
There’s many different choleretic (a substance that increase the flow of bile from the gall bladder) herbs you can take like dandelion or milk thistle that will increase bile flow, but they don’t keep the bile (and the toxins bound within it) from being reabsorbed in the body.

This is where coffee enemas really shine in their uniqueness. Coffee enemas enhance certain enzymatic reactions that don’t allow reabsorption of toxic bile by the liver across the gut wall – making it totally unique among choleretics.


While drinking coffee will almost guarantee reabsorption of toxic bile, coffee enemas not only stimulate and increase bile production from the liver, they help bile be safely carried out of the body and not get reabsorbed (along with the poisons the bile is carrying).

Editors of the highly scientific journal Physiological Chemistry and Physics reprinted one of Dr. Gersons works and stated “Caffeine enemas cause dilation of bile ducts, which facilitates exertion of toxic cancer breakdown products by the liver and dialysis of toxic products from blood across the colonic wall.”

Coffee enemas increase the bile flow allowing more toxins to be released, as well as aiding in a quick exit of the bile from the body.

“When active minerals and enzymes are restored to the tissues, these nutrients release the excess sodium and toxins that have accumulated during the course of years of faulty nutrition. It becomes imperative then to help the body (the liver in particular) to filter out released toxins and get rid of them. In order to achieve such a release and bring about detoxification, Dr. Gerson discovered that caffeine given rectally definitely assist the liver and its bile ducts to release their accumulated poisons into the intestinal tract for elimination.” – The Gerson Therapy


Coffee enemas lower the quantity of blood serum toxins, literally cleaning the poisons out of fluids nourishing normal cells, where some small quantity of poisons are contained.
This has been demonstrated many times in experiments with lab mice, where detoxification of the liver increases by 600% and the small bowel detoxifies by 700% when coffee beans are added to their diets, with similar results with humans who give themselves coffee enemas.

Lowering blood serum toxins through regular coffee enemas has the following effects:

  • increases cell energy production 
  • enhances tissue health 
  • improves blood circulation 
  • increases immunity and tissue repair 
  • helps cellular regeneration


A coffee enema is held for 12 – 15 minutes, during which time the body’s entire blood supply passes through the liver 4 – 5 times, carrying poisons picked up from the tissues and acting as a form of dialysis of the blood across the gut wall.


According to Dr Gerson’s observations, there is a risk, if coffee enemas are not applied in conjunction with the diet, juices and a few supplements, that patients may succumb, not the disease process itself, but rather as a result of the liver’s inability to detoxify rapidly enough.

When you start a healing program or start to eat better, the body’s cells and tissues start to excrete waste products that have accumulated over the years.

The liver has to filter all of these poisons out of the blood, so we need to find ways to help the liver so it doesn’t get overloaded. Coffee enemas stimulate the liver activity, increases bile flow, and opens bile ducts so that the liver can excrete toxic waste and release the body’s accumulated poisons more easily.

Dr Gerson found that without this waste-removing method, the liver wasn’t able to handle the toxic load escaping from the diseased and dysfunctional cells, and could make the liver worse, and in extreme cases could be poisoned.

But it’s not only sick people that have to worry about giving their liver a helping hand, these days everyone does. We are constantly surrounded with toxins in the environment everywhere we turn.

Even if you’re actively avoiding toxins, theres no escaping them in this world – think about people wearing perfume, the neighbours spraying round-up on their weeds, going to the gas station, going to a public bathroom that’s just been cleaned with nasty chemicals. Sadly, it’s inescapable in today’s world. Hopefully one day that will change.

Enemas are incredibly beneficial to almost everyone, but especially for those trying to heal.

I’ve really come to love doing coffee enemas, and most people that do them feel the same way. At first you’re terrified, embarrassed and repulsed, but after you’re first one you realise how good they make you feel, and you get 15 minutes of quiet time to yourself to read, or watch something. It becomes a really special self-care ritual. And you’ll start to really look forward to that time and will want to keep doing them.

I would love to see the day when doing enemas (and especially coffee enemas) is widely accepted and used as a common natural remedy to so many ailments, as well as a part of everyones healing toolkit.