The Ultimate Liver Detox: Coffee Enemas


A note from Caroline: “The #1 recommended coffee I use is S.A. Wilsons gold roast (this one). I explain why in the post but I want to clarify it upfront because I get a lot of questions about it! Ok start reading!”

“You stick what where?” Yep I do.  My blog is named “gutsy” for a reason. I am not afraid to do what it takes to heal my body no matter what, no excuses. If you are ready to take full control of your health,then this is the post you have been waiting for!

If you are squeamish of talking about “colons” and “enemas” then I strongly advise you to get over it if you want to be toxic free and healthy. Not only “sick” people need to boost their liver’s detoxifying properties, but everyone should, because we are surrounded by toxins on a daily basis.

You knew this post was coming, so gear up and get ready to learn.


How did I get into doing coffee enemas? It started when I ventured into the GAPS diet over a year ago. Enemas are strongly recommended on the GAPS diet to make sure all the toxins are being expelled. I was not thrilled about this and actually had no idea what an enema was. I was horrified after reading about the enema process and though “you stick what up your butt?”. I buried the thought way in the back of my brain.

It was not long until I was getting severe die off  from all the detoxing I was doing. I remembered what I read about enemas- specifically coffee enemas and how it can “boost” you liver. I knew that is just what I needed.

I was doing the GAPS diet on my own. You should have seen my family’s faces when I came home with a bag of bones or when I started eating beef tallow. Complete shock. Lets just say they have all come along way and actually have joined me in my strange ways. How was I ever going to get away with doing an enema if they cant even handle bone broth? I set my fears aside and just went ahead, bought the enema bag, and boiled the coffee.

I started with a water one first and let me tell you I was terrified I was going to tear my colon wall or my stomach was going to rip open from too much water. Neither of those have happened, and I was over exaggerating the process in my head. Words of wisdom to all the newbies- don’t think and just do it.

The worst that happened was I could not hold it more then 1 second (actually I could barely get 1/4 of the bag of water in me). I had stomach cramps and was nauseous for a few minutes (Im sure from 18 years of old junk stuck in that space), but it was over after I expelled the water. This does not happen to me anymore now that my colon is fairly clean.

The coffee enema immediately made the pain in my liver, and all over my body and head, slip away. I felt alive and like all my toxins were flushed down the drain (really!). Why did I not think of coffee enemas before? Ever since then, they are my go-to detox method for toxic symptoms.

I have not had a headache or bad stomach ache in over a year because coffee enemas are the first thing I do, even before I start the herbal teas. My digestion is better, my skin heals faster, and my total toxic load is lower. Coffee enemas are powerful and even reduce my allergic reactions! I cannot travel (yet) but when I do, I know that my coffee enema will be coming along with me.


In the world we live in, we all could use a little liver detox. There is no getting away from the toxins that people use (even if you don’t) on a daily basis.

  • constipation/bloating/digestive problems
  • bad breath
  • skin problems: Since the liver is overwhelmed with toxins, the skin (detox organ) helps to take over.  Eczema, acne, blemishes, rashes
  • weight loss or unable to gain weight
  • irritable/anger/rage: all connected emotions in TCM
  • brain fog/ poor concentration/ poor memory
  • depression/mood disorders/bi-polar
  • estrogen dominance/hormone problems/PMS
  • slow metabolism
  • allergies/ sensitive to everything (chemicals/pollens/foods)—hmm..sounds familiar!
  • hypo-glycemia
  • excess gas
  • coated tongue
  • poor protein absorption
  • galbladder problems/gallstones
  • chronic fatigue
  • high cholesterol and blood pressure
  • frequent colds/ excess mucus/ low immune system
  • fatty liver
  • worsening eye site
  • Itching–I can relate to this one.


First, lets address if you can use a little liver detox- shall we?

  • The liver performs 500+ functions known in the body!
  • Carbohydrate metabolism: converts carbs to glucose to be used as energy throughout the body and brain.
  • Create (synthesize) amino acids to build proteins with as well as protein metabolism.
  • Secretes bile and bile salts needed to for fat digestion and proper enzyme secretion to break down all foods in the stomach.
  • Metabolize and change toxins so they can be excreted by the body (makes toxins into something less toxic in the body)- DETOX mechanism.
  • Contains special blood cells (Kupffer’s Cells) to kill bacteria and antigens.
  • Keeps blood glucose in balance.
  • Liver cells (hepatocytes) break down fatty acids which then generates ATP
  • Synthesizes cholesterol and triglycerides within cells
  • Converts ammonia (left over from too many amino acids) into urea– which can then excreted by the urine. (Ammonia is much more toxic then urea)
  • Ability to change and process hormones (thyroid convert T4 into active T3, estrogen, and aldosterone).
  • Detoxes drugs, medications, pesticides, dangerous vaccine components, and environmental toxins (we breath, bath, and put on our skin).
  • Stores and releases (when needed) these vitamins: glycogen, vitamin A, D, E, K (fat soluble), vitamin b-12, copper and iron.
  • Along with the skin and kidneys, the liver forms active vitamin D for the body to use.
  • Detoxes and filters everything that comes in the intestines and all your blood (only organ that can do this).

After the liver “deals” with the toxins where do they go?

The liver is able to metabolize or change many toxins so they can be eliminated from the body. Some of them are shunted into the blood stream and then removed by the kidneys.  Others move to the bile, which is the secretion of the liver.  Bile flows to the gall bladder for storage and perhaps more transformation, and then the bile flows into the small intestine and hopefully the toxins are eliminated in the feces.  While this is very brief, it is the basic structure and functional set up of the liver.- Dr. Wilson

To learn how to keep your liver healthy with nutrition read here.


“GAPS patients (child or adult) should NEVER be left constipated. Constipation is extremely harmful to the body. It is the grounds for all sorts of digestive disorders.” – Dr. Natasha McBride

Second, we have to cover the fact that having normal bowel moments each day is healthy and you NEED to do this. Having regularity allows the body to get rid of all the toxins you eat and are exposed to. Without expelling your waste, the toxins can get stuck in the colon and reabsorbed back into the blood stream. This only will make you more toxic, putting a heavy burden on your liver to filter more.

Our goal is to help the liver detox so the body can start functioning better. There are many things that can stop a body from going regularly to the bathroom. You know if its a problem with your body. Here are my suggestions:

Dr. Wilson writes a good article about constipation here. <–love his articles

  • Diet: Look into what you eat? Is your food too yin (constricting)? Do you eat enough bulk- cooked veggies are more yang.
  • Exercise: Getting the lymph moving is important for moving digestion along as well as detoxing the body.
  • Minerals/water: Make sure the water you drink is hydrating your cells (RO does not do this) and has correct mineral balances. Too much or too little water can be harmful too. I use celtic sea salt each day.
  • Magnesium baths/supplements: Magnesium is helpful in rebuilding the bodies stores as well as hydrating the colon. Be careful with magnesium supplements as they can dehydrate the body and cause loose stools. A good supplement/drink is this one (I use this occasionally). I would favor magnesium baths (I use these bath flakes) and oil over supplements.
  • Toxicity: When the body is toxic in heavy metals or the mineral ratios are off, constipation can follow.
  • Probitoics/fermented foods: The poo is full of bacteria. Probioitcs help keep the colon full of friendly bacteria. A healthier gut means you digest food easier and eliminate better. I use this probiotic.
  • Herbs: (rhubarb root, senna leaf, or Cascara sagrada bark). These herbs are mild laxatives but it is not good to rely on these long term.
  • Water enema: This can be done to help relive constipation but also to clean the colon before you do a coffee enema. A pinch of sea salt can be added fore extra minerals
  • Bile: It is important to have sufficient bile flow for a clean colon. If you liver is sluggish/toxic, your diet is too low fat, or you are constipated then I would suggest looking into ox bile supplements. I find that this brand is free of additives and does its job.

**Keep this in mind: Dr. Gerson says : “Patients have to know that the coffee enemas are not given for the function of the intestines but for the stimulation of the liver.


Before I get into the nitty gritty details let me explain what a coffee enema really is. A coffee enema is special because it does not just detox the colon, but the liver too! The colon and the liver are connected (I explain how below in “how does it (exactly) work to detox?”). To get the big picture of where you are “putting” the coffee, look at this Anatomy picture of the colon.

Technically, the coffee enema is a coffee implant and a retention enema.  This means that one implants or applies the coffee herb into the colon, and the procedure is to retain the coffee mixture for 15-20 minutes. A coffee enema is an ancient herbal hydrotherapy procedure.  It consists of filling an enema bag or bucket with a mixture of about 2 to 4 cups of filtered or distilled water, and ¼ to 2 tablespoons of coffee that has been boiled or percolated for up to 12 minutes or so.  One filters the coffee grounds before putting the liquid in the enema bag.  One then places this mixture in the colon and retains it for about 15 minutes.  At this time, the liquid is expelled into the toilet. -Dr Wilson

Yeah so you basically are sticking coffee up your colon. This may seem harsh and gross, but actually it has been used for many years and has been proven to be one of the most therapeutic liver detoxifiers. The Gerson Institute heals cancer patients and you are actually required to do coffee enemas as part of your treatment. Its that powerful.

The worst part if getting over your “enema fears”. I will help you through those in a section below (“yikes…enema fears”). Water enemas have been used for hundreds and thousands of years and was once well known and accepted as a way to rid the body of illness and toxins. Don’t let society rumors stop you from this amazing therapy–I sure don’t.


You are probably wondering how the coffee gets into your liver!? I wondered this too at first and decided to find out why. Here is what I found.

The very last part of the colon, before reaching the rectum, is in an “S” shape and called the sigmoid colon. By the time stool gets to this part of the colon, most nutrients have been absorbed back into the bloodstream. Because the stool contains products of putrefaction at this point, there exists a special circulatory system between the sigmoid colon and the liver. There is a direct communication of veins called the enterohepatic circulation. This circulatory system enables toxin to be sent directly to the liver for detoxification, rather than circulating them through the rest of the body and all of its vital organs including the brain. This system of veins carries rectal / sigmoid toxins directly to the liver for detoxification. When a coffee enema is used, the caffeine from the coffee is preferentially absorbed into this system and goes directly to the liver where it becomes a very strong detoxicant. It causes the liver to produce more bile (which contains processed toxins) and moves bile out toward the small intestine for elimination. This seems to free up the liver to process more incoming toxic materials that have accumulated in the organs, tissues and bloodstream. The coffee contains some alkaloids that also stimulate the production of glutathione-S-transferase, an enzyme used by the liver to make the detox pathways run. It is pivotal in the formation of more glutathione, one of the main conjugation chemicals, enabling toxins to be eliminated via bile into the small intestine. So in other words, a coffee enema speeds up the detoxification process and minimizes the backlog of yet to be detoxified substances.


Here is what this handy article has to say about our bile:

  • Coffee enemas prevents the resorption of bile and the toxins contained in expelled bile.
  • The body recycles bile up to 10 times, reabsorbing bile and bile salts through the intestinal walls. It is one of the ways the body conserves its resources.
  • Bile carries toxins out of the liver through the gallbladder. Because bile is reused, a large portion of the toxins tends to be reabsorbed along with the bile.
  • Choloretic (bile flow stimulating) herbs like dandelion, milk thistle and oregon grape can help increase bile flow and benefit fat digestion. HOWEVER, they do NOT keep bile, bile salts, and toxins carried in the bile from re-toxifying your body.
  • Just stimulating bile flow with herbs will not quickly detoxify the body. But coffee enema WILL!
  • Coffee enema activates and intensifies certain enzyme systems that ensure that around 98% of toxins in released bile will be safely carried out of your body!
  • It does not allow the liver to reabsorb toxic bile through the permeable walls of the gut. Therefore, it is the most effective means of utilizing natural enzyme systems of the liver and small intestine to detoxify the blood stream.


If you have the right amount of coffee you will hear your gallbladder “squirt” (or gurgle). Sometimes people don’t hear it squirt- but if you do, that is a good indication you have put enough coffee in. You can always try and add more coffee (1/2 tbsp at a time) to make it release the bile, but monitor other symptoms so you don’t get over stimulated.

If you do end up using too much coffee, I suggest doing a water enema to flush the excess coffee. If the gallbladder is weak or clogged give it a week or 2 to get the “squirt” im talking about. Though mine was more like a rumble feeling.


The intestine has two circulatory systems attached to it.  One system supplies the intestines with blood for maintenance of the intestinal tissues.  The other system is called the portal system.  It is a critical body system that draws all of the absorbed nutrients from the intestines and sends them directly to the liver. In other words, when you eat food, it does not go into the bloodstream, as everyone thinks. Only a tiny part of it does, which is the nutrients that are absorbed in the mouth, esophagus and stomach.  All the rest of the nutrients go into the portal system and go to the liver, not the general bloodstream.  Here, the nutrients are further processed by the liver before entering the main blood stream. So when coffee is introduced into the colon, it is absorbed directly into the liver through the colon wall.  Coffee has a special affinity for the liver, and moving it there from the colon is very different than sending it to the liver by drinking it.  When coffee is ingested by mouth, it is digested by the stomach acids, mainly, and most of its herbal medicine properties are destroyed. Coffee taken by mouth is okay as a stimulant, laxative, and perhaps a smooth muscle relaxant. One cup of regular coffee daily is okay for most people, but not highly recommended, and more is harmful.- Dr Wilson


The benefits of coffee enemas may surprise you. It has not only a powerful effect on the liver and colon but the whole body. You will only know how healthy your body can feel after if you try it.

  • Cleans out the colon and helps improve function in colon muscles.
  • Eliminates parasites: it flushes out old debris and bugs from the colon as well as flushing out the ones you may be killing off with herbs.
  • Detoxes the liver and helps repair it.
  • Increases glutathione S-transferase (GST) in the liver (aka master detoxifier) by 700%. This enzyme binds with toxins and then the toxins are flushed out through the colon.
  • Boosts energy: Allowing the coffee to absorb into the bloodstream directly stimulates the gallbladder to flush out toxins. Toxins are known to decrease oxygen transfer and “clog” up the blood with harmful substances. Allowing the blood and oxygen to flow free and clean in the body gives a person a bit more energy. -don’t let the coffee “sit-inside-of-you too long or the caffeine may give you a buzz (not the kind of energy you want).
  • Improves digestion: Giving the liver a boost by detoxing it can help gas, bloating, and digestion issues because it is addressing the liver and gallbladder (produces bile to help digestion) which are both crucial to the digestive process.
  • “Squirts” the gallbladder: The coffee may stimulate bile flow, which is needed to digest fats and kill harmful bacterias. After a few coffee enemas you may hear a squirt near the middle-right ribcage.
  • Mental clarity and mood: A coffee enema increases detoxification which speeds up the duplication of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen so there ends up being an increase (healthy amount) in the body- and brain! When there is enough oxygen in the brain you will think better. Good bye brain-fog!
  • Eases “die off”: When you are detoxing with herbs/sauna/ baths then your body and liver can easily get full of toxins. A coffee enema will not only help your liver function better but it will also keep the toxins from reabsorbing or recirculation and doing more damage. This helps speed up a healing reaction. I also find it works to speed up a cold /flu.
  • Reduces toxic load in the body: edema, headache, joint pain, disease, illness  are all common symptoms of a “toxic body”.
  • Migraines/headache: Usually a sign of blood vessels constricting. My headache cures are magnesium baths and coffee enemas. The coffee helps to dilate blood vessels while removing harmful toxins that can be the cause of the inflammation or headache in the first place.
  • Purifies blood: Kahweol and cafestol pulminate (found in coffee) stimulate glutiothione-S-transferase (GST). GST is a enzyme system in the liver that captures toxins in the bloodstream. The bound toxins are then flushed out with the enema. Every 3 minutes, all the blood in the body passes through the liver. This process leaves the blood clean and less toxic.
  • Prevents and heals chronic illness: Many times illness arises when the body has too many toxins and tried to cope. Regularly detoxing the liver helps the body function better so it can prevent or help the body heal from an illness.
  • Makes the body more yang: Dr Wilson explains that your body becomes yin when you are sick and plagued with toxins. Your should strive to make your body more yang with cooked veggies, saunas, and coffee enemas.
  • Clears complexion: Because a coffee enema purifies the blood, more nutrients are available to nourish your skin. In TCM the liver and skin are closely connected so when your liver is overburdened with toxins the skin will show it.
  • Tones colon wall: The theophylline in coffee absorbs through the colon wall which dilates the blood vessels & increases blood supply to the colon. Increased blood improves colon muscle tone and health. Toxins that were stuck to the colon wall are now being flushed out so the colon has a chance to work free of toxic “sludge”.


I am SO excited I found this. During my first colonic I remember staring at a chart like this and was mesmerized. I was asking way to many questions to the colon hyro-therapist (what a way to break the awkwardness-right?) as to what happens when that point gets “hit” by water. She explained that once the toxic materials attached to that part of the colon are released (which can take many enemas or colonics) that corresponding organ can work better, much like acupuncture opens up meridians. Cool right?


Anyone with a toxic liver can benefit from coffee enemas. We are all exposed to too many toxins daily so it is a good practice for most people to look into. Dr. Nicholas Gonzales tells us, “Regular use of coffee enemas help you eliminate a lifetime of toxins in only a year or two”. Plastics and heavy metals have a long life in our bodies (much longer then 2 years) and are stubborn, so coffee enemas are a hopeful and effective treatment for people who are plagued with illness, caused by toxins .

If you are detoxing your body with your diet such as juicing, GAPS, elimination diet, supplements, etc. then this is especially a good time to pull out the coffee pot. The reason is because you are nourishing your cells, and as you do this, they start to dump out the junk. This dumping out of toxins is also called “die-off”.

Coffee enemas not only clean the colon but they help the liver to function better so you don’t get “detox symptoms” from whatever changes you are making. It is a requirement for people doing the Gerson Therapy. It is highly recommended if you are on the GAPS diet. For anyone who suffers allergies or chronic health conditions, coffee enemas will be a big relief!

Caution: (if you are questioning doing a coffee enema because of a serious health conditions- ask your doctor)

Before you start something it is always best to find a few sources. Each condition is different and you need to make the best decision for your body. Here are some precautions I would say don’t do an enema or at least work with a practitioner to monitor you.

  • Extreme toxicity (heavy metal exposure)-detoxing can be dangerous for some people.
  • Inflamed colon/bowel-(colitis & IBS)
  • Allergic to coffee
  • Young children- wait until the child can handle the effects of the caffeine in the coffee. (water ones are ok though)
  • Pregnant: not normally recommended because there are risks involved, but Dr. Wilson says they are fine. A water one would be safer.


**stainless steal and other metal pots leach metals into the coffee liquid as you boil it, because it is acidic. If you have the budget it may be worth checking out these glass stock pots, I love mine! You don’t want heavy metals in your enema coffee. Because the coffee is not going to be boiling in the enema bucket, I find that stainless steel is still much safer then latex or plastic buckets (it is a quick flow from the bucket into your colon and you are not boiling the coffee). Stainless steel degrades slower then plastic and latex.

What kind of enema bucket?

Just like everything else you are using, it is important to get a non-toxic enema bucket and tubing. Now I am guilty of buying the latex red enema bag you see in the picture. I was new at it and I did not want to go make a big deal about it and buy a fancy enema bucket! ha. I wish I would have known to just buy a good one in the first place. Regular enema bags or even some plastic buckets are filled with toxic latex, vinyl, PVC or plastic. Yuck, hopefully I did not do too much extra harm to my body. These materials have cancer causing elements that leach out from acid.

Coffee is very acidic and can pull these toxins out…and you dont want that in your body. I know you may think the coffee is just flowing through, but after you do it over and over agin the materials wear away and are more likely to leach more. I would suggest buying a stainless steel one (I like this company), which is going to be stronger/durable then plastic or latex.

If you budget is tight then buy a BPA free plastic one. The buckets are far easier to clean and are made for frequent enema use. You get to choose your bucket size. You can get a harness to hang the bucket too. Personalizing your enema routine sounds silly but can help reduce your toxic load even more.


  1. Measure out your coffee ( I buy pre-ground coffee) and water and pour into your tea pot. 
  2. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes (The 15 minute cooking is suppose to help the coffee become more yang and leach all the important detoxifying nutrients out. Sick people/illness tends to be yin and doing a coffee enema with yang coffee helps to balance things out in the body)
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. (don’t put hot glass on col surface or under cold water- it will shatter).
  5. Pour coffee carefully (so the granules don’t  fall in with the liquid) or use a fine mesh strainer into a ball jar. (I personally don’t use a strainer- but it is helpful because the grains can “clog” up the hose). *dont use a paper cloth to filter because then you loose a lot of the prime elements (cafestol) in the coffee.
  6. Fill up the rest of the ball jar with 1 1/2- 3 1/2 cups of water (im guessing the coffee liquid reduced some). You can use as little as 2 cups of liquid or as much as a quart (4 cups).
  7. Now you can use in your enema bucket.

* it may be easier to make the coffee recipe doubled or tripled so you have it already made for the next ones. I store extra coffee in the refrigerator.

What type of water?

Water quality is important-as always. I would suggest using filtered water. I use this Berkley filter.

City water is filled with chlorine and fluoride which is linked to hardening of arteries, cancer and thyroid disease. Do not use bottled water stored in plastic (it leaches BPA). Even well water can pick up toxic heavy metals from plumbing.

Just because you are not drinking the  tap water does not mean it is ok to use in other ways. The water form the coffee enema gets absorbed into the colon and is filtered though the kidneys. Using clean water eliminates stress on the kidneys.

What kind of coffee?

I personally use this Certified organic enema coffee. It is un roasted and specifically designed (7 types of beans blended) for enema use. I like this kind because when they created the blend they had enemas in mind. It contains 48% higher caffeine and  87% higher palmitic acid the regular coffee. It is the choice enema coffee for the Gerson protocol, Dr. William D. Kelley’s Protocol, certain hospitals and many holistic practitioners.

I buy the pre ground enema coffee because they say it is very very hard to grind un roasted coffee beans on your own (they are much harder). They did testing and found that the pre ground does not loose any of its elements. Store the coffee in a dry, cool, and dark place to retain freshness.

It is always important to buy organic coffee. Normal organic coffee that you can buy at the store is ok to use too. A light roast is recommended because it has higher caffeine levels (which are needed to dilate veins to liver). Non-organic coffee defets the purpose of doing a coffee enema. You are trying to help your body get rid of toxins and non organic coffee is full of pesticides then I don’t see the point.

S.A. Wilsons has the best price if you order in bulk directly from the website, but if you are in need of a bag asap you can also find it on Amazon here.

How much coffee?

You can use 1/2 tsp or 4 Tbsp or somewhere in between (per enema or quart of water-typical coffee enema size). I know this is a very wide range.

Children and caffeine sensitve people will need to start low. You will evenually build tolerance up. Too little coffee is not beneficial but too much will give you the coffee buzz. You know when you have the right amount when you can hold it for 15 and feel good, alert, and your mental clarity increases.

You will notice your sensitivity to the amount of coffee may decrease after time. The coffee enema may not give you the same results from using 1/2 tsp like it did the first time. Then it is time to move up the dosage! Increase by 1 tsp or 1/2 tbsp at a time (I increased by 1/2 tbsp  every 4-8 days). Stop at 4 Tbsp per enema–this amount is quite strong, especially if you are using the special enema coffee.


Here is a good tutorial video on “how to do a coffee enema”— don’t worry it is G rated 

1. Make coffee: Use the “coffee recipe” above.

2. Set up: Pick a place to do the enema (preferably close to the toilet)–the bathroom. Set up a comfy spot. Lay down a few towels and find a spot to hang or set the enema bucket 18 inches or lower from the floor.

3. Lubrication: Use a small bit of coconut or olive oil on the end of the enema tip. You can also apply some on your bottom to help the tip slide in better.

4. Fill the bucket: Fill your enema bucket with the coffee liquid. Make sure the hose is securely connected. Double check to make sure it is a good temperature.

5. Clear the air bubbles: Release the clamp so the coffee flows to the end of the tip, then close the clamp. This releases all the trapped air in the tubbing. I suggest doing this over the toilet or bath tub incase it drips.

6. Get in position: 

  • The easiest way is to lie on your back (with your knees bent)- I prefer this “pose”.
  • Another way is to lie on your left side (while the enema flows in) and roll to your right side after it is in, while you retain for 15 min. This roll from left to right helps the liquid get higher up into the colon as well as helping you release it easier.
  • You can also take the enema bent over on your knees. This is a easy method if you are giving one to a child.

*Wearing a bathrobe it helpful for easy access.

7. Insert the nozzle: Gently inset the plastic enema tip into your rectum. Do not push too hard but enough that when you release the liquid it does not squirt out.

Because of the shapes and formations of some people’s colons or of course if a child is being given the enema, it will be possible to insert the tube only a few inches. Occasionally, this is a permanent situation. Often, however, as the colon is cleaned and healed, the tube can eventually be inserted further.

8. Release clamp: Snap the clamp open and let the coffee liquid flow in. You can stop the clamp as often as you would like and is recommended so the colon slowly gets used to liquid coming in. You may have a feeling of warm liquid gurgling into your lower abdomen area (colon). The goal is to get the whole amount in, so there is no rush, the slower you go the easier it is for you to hold it.

** What if I cant fit all that liquid in before I have to go?.

If you can only get like 1/4 of the enema bag in until you get the urge to go, don’t hold it. It is sometimes easier to get the whole amount of coffee liquid if you

  1.  Have a natural bowel moment before hand 
  2. Do a water enema before.

I prefer to use the methods I just listed instead of using up the coffee to make a bowel movement the first time around- then you have to make more coffee. I find it much easier to hold the coffee enema after I have emptied my bowel. Remember a coffee enema is not about releasing lots of “bulk” but instead releasing toxins.

9. Remove nozzle: Once all the liquid is in, slowly remove the nozzle. If you feel an urge to release after you remove the nozzle, maybe you should try keeping the nozzle it in next time around.

10. Hold the enema: The goal is to hold the enema for 15-20 minutes. Look at “what if I can’t hold it” in the section below for tips.

11. Wait 15 min: While you retain the enema for 15 minutes stay laying or sitting down. Many people say stay lying on your right side so gravity help the coffee go to your liver. I find that laying on your back is more comfortable and just as effective. I have also stayed sitting too. Do what ever you need to do to keep the enema in.

It is advised not to go stand up and walk around with the enema in you. (if the doorbell rings- don’t answer it!). Meditate/pray, read a book or bring along your ipad to keep yourself occupied. Make sure you keep tack of the time or set an alarm.  If you think you can do 20 minutes- go for it. It is not necessary to go beyond 30 minutes and actually it can absorb too much and will make you jittery (form the caffeine) or you will have a harder time expelling it. Listen to your natural urge to go.

*its usually within this 15-20 min that the gallbladder with “squirt”.

12. Expel enema: After the 15-20 is up, quickly make your way to the toilet (without leaking) and expel the liquid. It may smell bad and that is because the toxins are being released.

  • Use a stool or squatty potty to get the right form to help your body expel to its potential.
  • Use acupressure points to help your body release and relax. These points can also help relieve any cramping or nausea that may some with this step. Pressing below the belly button can also help relax the muscles.
  • Give your body time! Do not rush this process because it an result in a major urge later on when you are not prepared (trust me I know!). Sometimes it can take over 10 minutes to fully expel the liquid and “stuff”, especially if you reached higher up into the colon.
  • Stay home for 1 hour: You may get an urge to release more “stuff” even up to an hour after the enema. This is because after being up and walking around the intestines get a little “exercise” and the matter that packed to the colon wall gets hydrated and released. After you get used to enemas you will know your time frame and it may decrease as your muscles get more tone.
  • Don’t forget to breath!

13. Clean the bucket: Don’t forget to clean your enema bucket! Rinse with food grade hydrogen peroxide (I use this one) and water a few times. Let this liquid flow through the tubbing too. You may have to scrub the bucket form time to time to prevent any “coffee scum” from forming.

14. 2-in-a-row: Taking 2 coffee enemas in a row is even more powerful then one. Im not sure exactly what the “science” is behind it but I can just guess it speeds the detoxification process. It also helps the matter that get hydrated and “loosened” form the colon wall to be expelled.

Sometimes after 1 coffee enema I feel worse and that is because accumulated waste that was stuck to the colon wall for months, maybe years is now being released. Most likely, that accumulated waste contains toxins and when toxins are released it is natural to get detox symptoms. Also, after a reaction I have learned that taking 2 in a row makes a big difference to relieve the “drunk” feeling  or “brain fog”.

15. After the enema: I you feel weak after the enema, replenish electrolytes by drinking bone broth, fresh vegetable juice, or sea salt on food. If you feel sick form detox- do another enema (up to 3).

You are free to do what ever your day bring- exercise,going to the park, baking, school, work, etc. Don’t forget to leave up to 1 hour after the enema just incase you body decided to release more. I found that after a few weeks of doing enemas regularly I did not have to wait the full hour because my colon got better at expelling all in one sweep.


I find it quite fascinating that my body naturally like enemas after I eat and before bed. I find I wake up easier and with more energy. I do not get stimulated by caffeine as easily as some people, but I still have to be careful to use less at night. I have better focus and am more relaxed after a coffee enema. Toxins can disrupt all systems on the body including the brain.

The most desired time to take the enema is after a meal. The stimulation of bile will aid in the digestive process. Taking an enema before a meal may cause discomfort. After dinner is a good time for those with poor digestion and constipation. The enema will empty the bowels before bed and improve liver detoxification throughout the night. The caffeine in the coffee enema does not get absorbed into the bloodstream and will not keep you awake at night. However, if you have a sensitive body type (easily stimulated) you may need to do the enemas early in the day, and use less coffee. It is possible to be stimulated if you do not release all of the coffee enema (which is typically normal).


You hold the coffee in your colon for 15 minutes (you can go up to 30). WHAT!? ….im guessing if you are a “newbie” that is what your reaction is. Don’t let the time frame scare you out of your pants! Practice makes for an easier time. When you practice holding then enema for “1 more minute” then eventually you will reach the 15 minute goal.

Clearing your colon first with a water enema can dramatically make a difference and can help you hold it the full way. This is important for many reasons. This amount of time is needed for 3 rounds of blood travels to portal vein. You want to maximize the amount of nutrients, antioxidants, alkaloids, and flavanoids found in the coffee. These nutrients activate the glutathione, so the 15 minutes is important to get the GST levels to high levels.

Scientific research shows that two forms of palmitic acid contained in coffee (cafestol palmitate and kahweol palmitate) activate glutathione s-transferase (GST). This enzyme is one of THE most powerful body detoxifiers. GST binds these destructive poisons with reduced glutathione (an amino acid that is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier), so they can’t escape, and escorts them safely out of the body. The coffee itself is also eliminated.

If you are a beginner then you can probably hold it for maybe a minute or two until you get the urge to “go!” Don’t hold it. You have more toxins and less practice then someone who does one everyday. I say try again (right away if you want) to see if you released enough to make it easier to hold it longer. The body is very good at adjusting, just give it some time.


I suggest doing enemas in the bathroom. This is most common place for anything to do with #2 don’t you think? Lay down a yoga mat covered with towels or just layer some towels on the floor for cushion. I like to dedicate a big or beach towel (mainly because they are bigger) for enemas. Think about making a little “bed” for you to rest on while you hold the enema.

Make sure you have a place to hang or set the enema bucket on that is 18 inches or less from the floor. A towel rack works great. Bring in a book or iPad/iphone to distract yourself while you hold the enema. Make sure you set up your “enema station” before you get the enema in you. You don’t want to be up and walking around before its time to come out.

Its pretty simple- just make yourself comfortable. You also want to make sure you are close to the toilet. Oh and lock the door :).


Here are some tips and tricks to help you hold the enema for 15 minutes:

  • Increase retention time slowly: start with 5 minutes- work your way up to the desired 15 minutes (you can go up to 30). Its not a competition.
  • Try emptying your bowels before the coffee enema or do a water enema before hand.
  • Water temp: The water may be too hot or too cold, make sure it is room temp so you don’t shock your colon.
  • Do deep breathing (belly breathing). Relax and meditate.
  • Make sure bucket is 18 inches or less above the body– if it is too high the coffee will flow too fast.
  • Change positions: (back or right side) or pull your knees close to your stomach.
  • Pressure points: Press your thumb against the first knuckle on your ring finger: pressure point that helps cramping and gas.
  • Try abdominal massage : learn how to here (also good at helping release coffee)
  • Use less coffee liquid: It is recommended you use 2-4 cups of total liquid (adult size body). If you still cannot hold this try decreasing it just a little bit to see if it helps.
  • Elevate your pelvis: Roll up a towel to place under neath your pelvis so gravity helps keep the enema retained. This can also help the coffee flow in better.
  • While inserting the coffee, clamp the hose frequently.
  • Be patient, it will get easier.


Coffee enemas are not recommended for young kids. I would wait until they are old enough to retain the coffee. In the meantime you can do water enemas, salt water enemas, herbal tea enemas (camomile is recommended), and probiotic enemas. Many of these recipes are found in the GAPS book as well as online.

Benefits for kids: Water/herb/probitoic enemas are great at relieving constipation for little ones (they should have 1+ bowel movements a day). They are good at flushing out toxins from the colon wall as well as toxins circulating from allergic reactions or die off. Enemas can help reduce build up in the colon wall from a young age. They also help tone the muscles in the colon wall and can help future bowel movements.

Make enema’s “normal”: If you make enemas seem “normal” and do not surround the idea of taking one with social norms (gross, unsanitary, etc) then your kids will grow up thinking it is normal and healthy. I have heard stories of children actually telling their parents they “need an enema”. Kids are very intuitive and will only use enemas as needed.

Calm the kid: If you see your kids getting die off, bad behavior, rashes, allergic reactions it may be a good time for an enema. The bowel has a direct connection to the brain so cleaning out the toxins can have an immediate effect on behaviors and a sympathetic (fight or flight) state.

Smaller colons: Remember though, that kids have smaller colons so they require less liquid. Of course use your judgements if you kid is smaller, use less. If you kid is bigger, use more.

  • 0-2 years old: 1-3 Tbsp (use a baby enema bulk syringe)–directions here.
  • 2-6 years old: 1/4 -1/2 cup.
  • 6-12 years old: 1 cup – 1 1/2 cups
  • 13 + use regular instructions listed above (adult size).

Dr Natasha Campbell McBride has the best tips for giving enemas to kids. She uses them in the GAPS protocol for healing the gut and eliminating toxins in both young children and adults. Here are some of her tips (taken from  the GAPS book):

  • Make sure a child has an adult helper.
  • Make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
  • Try and distract the child with pleasant games, songs, iPad, stickers (anything that keeps them focused and allows them to connect the experience with happy memories).
  • Make a soft bed with towels under the enema bucket and close to the potty/toilet.
  • Your child may not get the full amount of water in- but you want to work up to it because that is when the best “internal cleaning” will be done.
  • The longer the water remain inside your child- the better the cleansing.
  • After a few enemas the child may be able to retain the full amount.
  • Never push anything on a child- let them tell you what is enough for their body.
  • “GAPS patients (child or adult) should NEVER be left constipated. Constipation is extremely harmful to the body. It is the grounds for all sorts of digestive disorders.” – Dr. Natasha McBride
  • Always try to find out what is the root cause your child’s constipation. Diet, lack of water, lack of probitoics, etc.

With babies I recommend to use enemas only for constipation and use only water. In children from around 2.5 – 3 years of age we can start adding kefir, whey, salt and bicarbonate of soda. The first enema with the child is crucial to make the child comfortable with the procedure. If the first enema went well, the child will be happy to have enemas regularly for years to come. I know hundreds of families who are doing enemas with their children. Children have no pre-conceived ideas about enemas, so there is no ‘psychological aspect’ for them. Pre-conceived ideas come from adults, and they should be careful not to pass their prejudices to the child.- Dr. Natasha McBride

Child enema positions:

  • laying on his/her stomach with his knees pulled under him/her
  • laying across your lap (butt up)
  • With legs up (like you are going to change a diaper)
  • On their right with knees bent towards chest: staying on the right is easier then explaining they have to roll from left-to-right.

Child enema instructions: (ages 2-12 ) or until they don’t want their “mommy” doing it for them

  1. Give your child some liquid and nourishing food (just a snack to keep blood pressure stable).
  2. Have your child get in position (see child enema positions above).
  3. Fill enema bucket with liquid. Make sure the liquid is a good temperature.
  4. Keep the bucket 2 feet away from the child’s bottom.
  5. Insert the nozzle about 1-2 cm deep. Do not push the nozzle- just deep enough for the liquid to flow in.
  6. Release the clamp and go SLOW so your child does not cramp. Clamp frequently.
  7. When the liquid is gone, remove the nozzle.
  8. Have your child lay on their right side or on their back for as long as they can.
  9. Let your child tell you when he/she has the urge to go to the bathroom (from 1-10 minutes). encourage them to hold it for 5 minutes. Holding the enema will get easier after a few.
  10. Let them release the enema on the toilet. This may be uncomfortable as they release toxins, so bring a book for them to read. Allow as much time as they need to release the liquid.
  11. Disinfect the enema bucket with food grade hydrogen peroxide.


I learn something new each day. Did you know that caffeine sensitivity actually indicates your phase 1 liver detox pathway is not functioning like it should?

If you are quite sensitive to caffeine, then your liver is not working properly. By sensitive I mean, if you take a few sips of coffee, you get a pretty significant buzz. You know if you’re sensitive or not because it does not make you feel good.

If you are caffeine sensitive, you have a sluggish phase 1 liver detoxification pathway.

Also, it is important to reduce eating things which reduce your phase 1 liver detoxification system. These are foods like:
sugar, grapefruit, quercetin, onions, curcumin.

Candida also reduces phase 1 liver detoxification due to the sheer overwhelming production of toxic acetylaldehyde being produced all the time. It is important to eradicate the yeast using probiotics and natural anti fungals.

There are medications which reduce phase 1 detoxification. Some of these phase 1 inhibiting medications are stomach acid blockers, antihistamines, antifungals, and some antidepressants. Of course, you cannot stop these medications without your doctor allowing you to do so.

Tips to improve your detox 1 pathway:

  • eat foods rich in b vitamins or take a b vitamin supplement (don’t take supplement close to bed time)
  • Take a whole food vitamin C supplement (camu camu powder)
  • Drink enough water (not too much) that has minerals in it for your cells to use.
  • Eat organic foods to nourish your body and lessen the toxic  burden.
  • Exercise and move your lymph.
  • Take coffee enemas!: Start with small amount of coffee and gradually build as pathway 1 gets un-clogged and you are able to tolerate more.

To read more about your detox 1 and detox 2 pathways and how coffee enemas help in each step read here. To get a quick summary of detox phase 1 and phase 2 and their functions click here.


If you are anything like me, you will want to know how long enemas have been around for. When I first questioned “are they really safe” back when I was a scardy-cat, I turned to google to see if it was a procedure worth passing down in history.

To my surprise I was astonished to see enemas may have started as early as 1500 B.C!!  I then knew that if enemas were used way back then and are still used today (despite what people say and think), there has got to be something behind this “ancient practice”. Dont you think? That is all it took to get me started in my enema research and soon I was taking them myself to relieve symptoms and heal my body.

My second thought was, what did they use? It not like they had rubber bags or stainless steel buckets to hose the liquid into them. I found out they used animal bladders and hollow bones…umm I think I prefer using my enema bucket! ha. Read up on some more history here. (enema timeline)

It looks like the Egyptians knew what they were doing!

In earlier days, as early as 1500 B.C, an Egyptian, Ebers Papyrus has mentioned it. Some time around this period an Egyptian king also had a doctor, who was responsible for all enema related medical treatments. Even Greeks have written about the Egyptians cleanliness with use of enemas.

Facts have shown that in ancient times, enema was very much in the routine for some serious problems too. The Egyptians believed that all diseases were caused by superfluities of the food, which now most people believe to be true.

Did you know there was a time in history when enemas were actually popular…almost little too popular!

The 17th Century became known as the “age of the enema”, or the “age of clysters”. It was an acceptable practice in Parisian society to enjoy as many as three or four enemas a day, the belief being that an internal washing or “lavement” was essential to well-being. It is recorded that King Louis XIII had more than 200 enemas in one year.

The history of COFEEE enemas is actually fairly newer, and was not intentionally discovered.

The interesting thing that goes all the way back to World War I, at that time Germany was surrounded by the Allies and it was very difficult to get some of the tropical materials. Some of the things that we needed and yet all the time there were soldier being shot and having wounds and having to be attended by doctors and they needed painkillers and it was very difficult to get even a little bit so that during surgeries, the doctor had something to give the soldiers but when they got past the surgery and woke up in pain, there was nothing left. It had to go for the next patients and sometimes, the doctors even ordered water enemas but the nurses who were taking care of these young boys who were injured and had to have surgery and were in pain, they didn’t know what to do for them but there was always coffee available for the doctors because they often had to work 18 hours, 24 hours, 28 and 30 or more hours and they were kept awake by coffee but occasionally there was coffee leftover and the nurses thought “Well, the coffee is doing the doctors good, maybe it will help the patients.” So they poured some coffee into the enema buckets and the patients reported that it helped relieve their pain. -Dr. Gerson

After that “accident” the word got around and doctors/researchers at the university in Germany did some research and studies. They were amazed to find the caffeine was absorbed though the portal system to the bile, which caused the liver ducts to open and then release accumulated toxins in the liver. Wow!


  1. Busting the colon wall: The colon was is a muscle. Does your stomach burst if you drink too much water? No. It’s same idea. Your lower abdomen may feel very tight and “full” but it is not going to “bust open”. Actually by doing coffee enemas you are stregthening and toning your colon wall muscles. When accumulated toxic material is stuck to the colon walls, the muscles start to weaken. After you flush out this toxic material, the muscles “wake up” and start to tone themselves up. This can promote easier bowel movements in the long run. I would take precautions with IBS and like illnesses though- im not saying your colon will bust but it could be uncomfortable.
  2. Will I “leak”?: “leaking” a little of the coffee water back out is natural. That is why you put towels down on the floor. Its not like you are going to leak all the liquid out but maybe a few drips.
  3. Electrolyte imbalance: It is natural to loose salts when you do a colon flush. It is nothing to worry about or stop you from doing coffee enemas. There is an easy fix. Eat your sea salt or add 1/4 tsp to your drinking water after the enema (which ever you prefer). If you do a water one you can add in 1 tsp. of  Celtic sea salt to each quart of enema water. Actually being constipated can disrupt the natural electrolyte balance in your colon more then enemas can. So I say, eat your salt and do your enemas.
  4. I wont be able to hold it: Honestly, this takes practice. If you REALLY have to go- then go and try again. Don’t beat yourself up about this part. Increase by 1 minute or 1/2 a minute at a time if you have to.
  5. Detox Symptoms? The “stuff” you are going to excrete is most likely toxic. It is not uncommon to notice little things happening like a short headache, cramping, bad smelling poo, and or a wave of nausea. Once it is all out and in the toilet, your symptoms should go away. The detox symptoms come from the toxins being moved around. If symptoms linger, eating and drinking something will help. You can aways chug a little spoonful of charcoal to absorb any toxins still floating around.
  6. Can’t get the nozzle in!: The most simple way to overcome this is lubrication. Use coconut oil or olive oil to help slide the nozzle in. Also make sure you are not too tense- this can contact the muscles in that area. You don’t have to put the nozzle in all the way- just enough that the liquid goes inside of you and not on the floor. You will not hurt yourself if you put the whole nozzle in though (adult body).
  7. Burning my butt: This one is simple. Don’t use hot coffee! My suggestion is to only boil about 1 cup of water with the coffee granules and then add cold/room temp water for the rest. This makes the water a safe temperature every time. Tip: make sure you can keep your finger in the coffee water for at least 5 seconds.
  8. Can physical damage be done?: Not if you use common sense. Use only enema equipment- small nozzle that comes with it. Use lubrication on the nozzle for easy access. Do not use more then minimal force- never force anything.
  9. Its messy!: If you follow all instructions then the process is fairly clean. Yes mess-ups happen and you may forget to close the clamp or the bucket may tip over- but these are mistakes. The toilet may get some splatter marks in it from the extra water force, but use a toilet brush to clean after you take an enema.
  10. Yuck-im not sticking that up my butt!: okay, this one is a normal fear at first, but I bet you that you will easily forget about how “gross” the process may seem after a few enemas and after experiencing what good it can do to your liver.
  11. Will I disrupt the “good” colon flora?: Dr wilson has seen thousands of patients benefit from retention coffee enemas and has never seen a problem with unbalanced colon flora. Here is a good excerpt explaining the mechanisms on why enemas actually promote GOOD bacteria.

Some people say that enemas wash out intestinal flora and valuable nutrients. Is this so?

The truth is that the washing out of putrefied material in the large intestine, increases the good intestinal flora. Good bacteria can only breed in a clean environment, which has been washed free of putrefaction and it’s accompanying harmful bacteria. This is why the intestines of a newborn baby immediately begin to grow good intestinal flora. Each time you clean out the putrefying rubbish and make a better environment for the good flora, they start to multiply immediately in their natural media. It also stands to reason that valuable nutrients can better be absorbed in a clean environment than in a putrefied one


Need some help?

  • Low blood sugar: Eat before the enema
  • Gas: Try a water enema before. Do stretching-yoga-deep breathing. Leave the tip inside of you so the air can escape back into the bag. You can also try abdominal massage going in a clockwise motion.
  • Trouble holding for 15 min: read “what if I cant hold it!” above
  • Caffeine jitters: Decrease the amount of coffee.
  • Bucket too high or too low. You want it high enough (recommended 18 in or less) to be able to flow into you without going too fast but you dont want it so low the liquid does not flow.
  • Coffee too cold or too hot: Please don’t burn yourself and don’t shock your colon with cold water. Room temperature is best.
  • The enema parts: Make sure the tubbing is securely attached so it does not spray all over. Also make sure the nozzle is far enough in (or else it will leak all over).
  • Lock the door: do I need to say more?


Dr Gerson recommends his patients (who are chronically and severely ill) do several (up to 6) a day)–though this is not really recommended because it can cause some imbalances. According to Dr. wilson 1-3 a day is an ok amount. Many people say not to do more then 1 every few days to let the bowel normalize. I can see their concern so one does not rely on them, but many people do enemas for years (Gerson’s cancer patients and Dr. Wilson) and can still have a normally functioning bowel. Remeber anything good can be overdone and become bad. Listen to your body, once you do one, your body remembers. So if you “feel” like a coffee enema, listen to that instinct.

It can be very useful to keep up with daily enemas for a few weeks or months if you have any symptoms related to detoxing or toxicity. It works both ways. Knowing how to do a water and coffee enema is a timeless practice that any member of your family can benefit from. Not only did I learn how to cope with detox symptoms but I have the knowledge and power to heal my body.

Junk and toxins in the intestines and blood only make us sicker. We should not wait around until we get very sick to take control of our health. Doctors can help us fix problems and figure things out that we cannot do ourselves. I always like to find ways that I can help my body on a daily basis. Coffee enemas are just something that keep the body functioning to its potential. I use them when I notice my mental clarity decrease, a toxic headache, a stomach ache, or after a major reaction.

My take on it is this: If you are toxic you need to get it out. The body has an amazing ability to adapt. After a few weeks of enemas you colon muscles should be healthier and stronger. If after you stop coffee enemas your bowel moments do not come back in a day or two, the colon is still sluggish. Years of accumulated toxins will weaken the colon muscles.

I found that after I stop coffee enemas for a few days, my bowel movement will come back the next day, which is an indication my colon is still working and actually quite healthy. I continue coffee enemas because I am releasing toxins on a daily basis from saunas, detox baths,supplements, juicing, and simply a healthy lifestyle (which naturally allows the cells to eliminate toxins). I feel loss toxic and healthier when I do my coffee enemas so I will continue to do them as I heal my body.

I would not worry about taking too many coffee enemas. Use common sense and listen to your body. Make sure to replenish electrolytes by eating sea salt and eating nourishing foods. Take a probitoic to help normal intestinal flora and promote healthy elimination. If you do some hard digging research im sure you can find people being overzealous with coffee enemas and caused problems. Think of how many people who are very sick and even have cancer who do coffee enemas not only 1x but many times a day for years.

Only by detoxing the body of harmful toxins can we heal. Coffee enemas are a powerful tool to do just that.


  •–very good resource!