My husband begged me not to describe how to do a coffee enema. “But… but…,” I sputtered, “How can I not write about something so faaaantastic, so rejuvenating, so good for your liver, so simple to do?” One of the few times I’ve left him speechless.
I’m fairly confident he will NEVER do one, short of developing a dread disease. Even though one of our personal heroes, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, did them often for preventative and overall health measures.
In fact, every cancer healer I’ve ever heard or read — including everyone on the 2012 and 2015 cancer summits — DO coffee enemas and recommend them during treatment, at least one daily. Gerson recommends FOUR-FIVE a day.
Click a link to jump to that section:
- Why would you do a coffee enema?
- How a coffee enema works
- Ingredients for a coffee enema
- Equipment for a coffee enema
- Prepare the coffee
- Prepare the bucket
- How to do a Coffee Enema
- Finishing Up
WHY would you do a coffee enema?
Coffee enemas are used to detox the liver. Liver health is critical to overall health. You can live without an arm, a gallbladder, a kidney, a lung, part of your brain, a voice, your eyes, your hearing, but not a liver. The liver goes, you go.
Here’s Dr. Gonzalez with Ty Bollinger on coffee enemas. (You can speed up a YouTube video by clicking the gear icon lower right.)
Listen to Charlotte Gerson on the topic.
If 95% of disease is caused by lifestyle, you want a clean lifestyle and working organs. AFAIK, a coffee enema is the #1 detox protocol for your hard-working liver. Along with drinking beet kvass, of course!
- The purpose of a coffee enema is NOT to clean your colon (although it does that). The purpose is to stimulate the liver to a) help clear out toxins and b) to stimulate glutathione production (you’ll learn more in Dr. Vickers’ video below!)
- Your blood moves through your entire body every 7 minutes: through every organ, capillary, cell.
- The caffeinated coffee enters your rectum and colon.
- As your blood makes its way around your body, it picks up the coffee and washes it through the liver. “The veins from the rectum and anus drain mostly into the portal vein, which leads to the liver, and then into the general circulation.” — Merck Manual
- The goal is to hold the enema for 15 minutes so you get at least two complete cycles through the liver.
- The caffeine stimulates the liver to push out bile which carries the toxins from your liver to your colon and out of the body with your feces.
- Boom, detox.
Remember, your liver is collecting all the toxins. And, if you are sick, it’s believed to be because your detox pathways are not at full operating capacity… or perhaps you wouldn’t be sick, right?
INGREDIENTS for a coffee enema
- 1 qt of filtered water (distilled is best because it’s cleanest)
- 3 Tbsp organic ground caffeinated coffee — if you have caffeine jitters afterwards, you can start with 1 Tbsp and work your way up to 3. Decaf won’t work — the caffeine is what stimulates the liver.
- Hydrogen Peroxide (h2o2) (to clean equipment)
- Lube — coconut oil works great, it’s antibacterial and slippery 🙂 I make my own lube with 1/2 C. organic coconut oil, 1/2 C. aloe vera gel*, 2 full droppers of CBD oil. This is great for anytime you need lube.
EQUIPMENT for a coffee enema
- Qt Mason jar
- Gold coffee filter basket — not paper or cloth because you want the “sludge” in the enema liquid (NOTE: you are not going to have any grounds in your enema! The “sludge” is explained in Dr. Vickers’ video below.)
- Enema equipment — I got this bucket from Gerson. Here are instruction for assembly. Cheaper on Amazon but I like supporting the Gerson Institute. I like a bucket because I can set it down without it spilling! Clear so I can watch the progress. I marked the qt, 2 cup and 1 cup lines with red marker so I know when it’s halfway. The MUCH slimmer tube and catheter is MUCH more comfortable and STAYS IN. (I used to use a bag with a big fat catheter that will NOT stay in, I had to hold it during the enema. Yeah, that’s like so not relaxing…)
- Music, book on tape or podcast — Music is great because every song is 3-4 minutes so after 3-4 songs, I’ve done my 15 minutes. Now I prefer books because it engages my mind and I just hold till I can’t any more or the bath water gets cold, whichever comes first.
- Soccer Ball (size 5) — use as a pillow in the tub. You can also use a noodle although it won’t keep your head out of the water. I cut a noodle in half and it wedges nicely in the tub. Handy to keep one ear out of the water so I can hear my podcast and I still get to have half my head in the warm water.
PREPARE the Coffee
Pour 1/2 of the water into the saucepan, add the coffee and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling (watch because it will have a tendency to boil over as you can see it almost did here), turn off the stove and leave there for 15 minutes so it kind of simmers.
Pour the coffee AND ALL THE GROUNDS through the filter into the quart jar, mixing it with the other 1/2 quart of water. (The grounds are filtered out but you will get the sludge from the brew.) Now your mix is probably still warm but usually not too hot to use right away. (If it’s too cold or too warm, play with the formula till it’s just right for you.)
When I first started, I used to boil the entire quart, then filter, then wait till it cooled down which takes at least 45 minutes. By the time it was cool, I was usually involved in something else and didn’t get to doing the deed until afternoon. Or the next day. This 1/2 and 1/2 method ensures I do it right then! MUCH better system!!!
PREPARE the Bucket
Take coffee to bathroom. Rinse your bucket and tubing with h2o2 and water. I do this standing in the tub (I keep my h2o2 in the shower holder, out of reach of little inquiring hands.) The exact formula is 3 parts water to 1 part h2o2… but I usually just squirt in a long squirt of h2o2, then fill with water, swish and let it run out the tubing. Then I rinse well with plain water.
Before pouring the coffee into the bucket, CLOSE THE CLIP on the tubing (you will only forget to do this once, trust me). Then — I do this in the tub as well — pour the coffee into the bucket.
The Sludge Detail
In the video below, Dr. Vickers explains why the sludge is important — the sludge being that stuff at the bottom of your coffee. Watch the video and decide if you are good with the sludge. If so, then pour MOST of the coffee into the bucket. Swirl the leftover coffee in the jar so that the sludge is mixed into the liquid, then pour that into the bucket.
Hang your bucket at a level that works best for you. I like the bucket about 6″ over the bathtub. Since I’m doing a coffee enema every day right now for a special detox (although LOTS of alternative health care practitioners do one every day regardless), I installed a hook on the back wall of my tub in the middle at the very top and use a 3′ bungee cord so the bucket hangs where I want.
Note that the higher the bucket, the faster the flow. At first, a fast flow was too much, made me cramp. So I’d hold the bucket in my right hand (laying on my right side with the soccer ball as a pillow) and raise/lower the bucket as needed to prevent cramping. That worked great.
** Speaking of which, if you cramp and have to go, GO. Don’t sweat it. At first, I couldn’t get more than maybe a 1/2 cup in me then I had to go after 2 seconds. I was a coffee enema failure, haha. After a year of sporadic attempts, I relaxed about the whole thing and became a champ. Sometimes still, I can only get 1/2 the bucket in me, then I go, then I can hold the other half for the 15 minutes. Some coffee enema sites actually recommend that: do 2 cups, empty, then do the last 2 cups and hold. **
HOW to do the Coffee Enema
FYI, this does not have to be done perfectly by any stretch! Like anything else, it takes practice to feel comfortable. You want to keep the stress as low as possible and this can be stressful the first few times. If you are not used to sticking something up your bum, the idea is totally freaky. Once you get comfortable with the process, this becomes a relaxing bath with a healthy detox added!
First, turn on your music or book. You have done the top part of preparing the coffee and filling/hanging the enema bucket.
I lay in the bathtub — you can do this “dry” by laying on a towel or you can take a nice warm Epsom salt bath. I take a bath. Remember, you don’t leak! I have filled the tub and done the enema with my bum under water. Most of the time, though, the tub is half full. (Because we live on a well and I don’t want to run out of water!)
If you are taking a bath, go head and fill the tub to where you want. Have your lube handy.
To start, kneel in the tub with the tube in between your legs, coming from the front. Lube the tip of the catheter and your anus and gently insert the tube. If you are nervous, you are likely squeezing your anal sphincter shut. Try and relax it. Use as much lube as you like. You want it to go in at least 3″ (the Gerson method puts it in WAY farther). Do what’s most comfortable and least confrontational to you.
Most instructions say to lay on your side, then insert… are you kidding me? A) I can hardly reach my bum that way — I’m not a contortionist. B) your body is crooked by the time you are inserting the tube — SO not comfortable. And c) you are laying on one arm. I need 2 hands. Sheesh.
Once the tube is in, lay on your right side facing the bucket (for me, that means facing the back wall of the tub and my head is at the non-faucet end.) Meh. It really doesn’t matter… when I want to add more warm water, I can do that with my feet or sit up for a second.
Open the clip so the coffee starts to flow. I don’t use the clip to control the flow — it’s very difficult to operate with one hand and you might need to slow the flow quickly. I hold the tube in my right hand, with it loosely “folded” so the coffee still flows but I can squeeze it off when I need to. When I feel cramping and/or a slight urge to go, I’ll slow or stop the flow and breathe till it passes. If it doesn’t pass, I clip the tube, hop out of the tub (ok, I don’t actually hop) and evacuate. Then back in the tub to finish up… or not depending on time and how I’m feeling.
Once the bucket is empty and you’ve held as long as possible, the goal being 15 minutes, remove the tube — I just let it lay in the bathwater or you can fold it up and put it in the bucket — and head to the toilet. It takes a while to fully empty the coffee. You might feel like you’ve emptied, then you stand and realize there’s more to go. In fact, when I think I’m done, I stand there for a minute just to make sure. I always follow with a quick shower to give myself more time, too.
I do rinse the bucket and tubing with h2o2 in the shower and hang to dry. Before my next use, I rinse with H2o2 and water again.
That’s it! Please ask questions so I’ll know what I need to add and/or clarify. I remember how nervous I was to start doing this and I appreciate very clear instructions when I’m doing something the rest of the world (or my husband) might think freaky!!!
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- Gerson Institute on how coffee enemas work
- Gerson FAQs on coffee enemas
- Dr. Vickers explains coffee enemas with Chris Wark
- Dr. Vickers explains the “sludge”
- Dr. Wilson’s excellent resource
- What to do when you can’t hold the coffee enema
- Dr. Linda Isaacs on coffee enemas
- Dr. Kelly Brogan