Coffee Enema As Safe As We Once Thought?

Coffee Enema

For years, the coffee enema has been presented as a safe, natural method for detoxification and the elimination of many ailments. The enema, after all, is a simple procedure that can be performed at home. And coffee is a staple in every kitchen. However, the data is beginning to tell a very different tale, particularly for those who are vulnerable to heart strain or liver fatigue, or those who are caffeine-sensitive, or who suffer from chronic illness. 

With the popularity of coffee, the idea of a coffee enema may seem trendy or harmless. But despite being a delicious drink, coffee could also be described as strong, harsh, extremely acidic, dehydrating, highly astringent, and overstimulating. And there is a huge difference between drinking coffee and undergoing a coffee enema. 

When we drink coffee, the stomach plays an important role in protecting our body from toxins and poisons by buffering the effects. The stomach is designed to withhold irritants, dispersing just a small amount into the bloodstream at a time. When coffee is administered direct to the rectum and colon, the stomach cannot buffer the effects. Instead, the caffeine enters the bloodstream through the walls of the colon essentially all at once. 

Physiological Effects

Caffeine prompts the adrenals to produce adrenaline, awakening the fight or flight stress response. As adrenaline is released into blood stream, your heart rate speeds up. This accelerated heart rate strains the heart. Though the adrenaline dump can mimic feelings of euphoria, it is actually dangerous (JAMA, 1980).

Additionally, when coffee triggers too much adrenaline to be released, it may damage the nerves in the lining of the stomach. When these nerves are overwhelmed. We feel nauseous and sensitive. Food may not feel like it is digesting efficiently because the nerves have been irritated and injured.

Coffee Enema

Not everyone reports feeling unwell during a coffee enema.  In some cases, a person starts to feel better, or even euphoric, because they are high on adrenaline.  Over time, this overstimulation of the adrenals may lead to adrenal fatigue, which in turn may cause  thinning hair, dry skin, nutrient deficiency, weight gain, decreased libido (especially in women), reproductive challenges, or weakened liver.

In particular, coffee enemas may affect those with neurological symptoms more intensely. Someone with panic or anxiety issues may have a different experience. They will have adrenaline. But they also may feel as though their nerves are on fire.

Does Coffee Enema Detoxify?

Have you heard rumors that coffee enemas have an antioxidant effect strong enough to treat cancer? These claims have been disproven. In addition to being unproductive, if you are fighting a chronic illness and get a coffee enema, the damage can be serious. Because coffee enemas remove a lot of potassium from your body, they have been known to cause or exacerbate: infections, dehydration, mineral imbalances, heart and lung problems, constipation, colitis, and more (Gerson Therapy, 2019).

Detoxifying the liver does help you heal, but a coffee enema isn't the way. Coffee enemas shock the liver.  In response, the liver temporarily shuts down or goes dormant -- the opposite of what was intended. Rather than cleansing the liver, this can actually make it unable to perform its duties. When the initial shock clears, the liver goes into protection mode. The toxins that were leaving the liver before the enema are gathered back up to protect your essential organs -- the brain, heart, and kidneys.

Further, coffee contains 1.2% caffeine and 4.6% tannic acid. Since 1963, it has been established that enemas containing tannic acid can be linked to fatal liver damage. There is no evidence to suggest that the tannic acid in coffee might not have the same effect. Additionally, caffeine itself is clearly linked to liver damage and heart strain.

Combined, all these characteristics point towards coffee enema significantly taxing to the liver, the heart, and the body in general. And keep in mind, the longer you hold it, the worse effects. You can get very ill and damage your central nervous system, especially if repeated often. You will put more strain on your brain, heart and adrenals. Your liver will stay shut down longer. You may experience tremors or convulsions. And while these effects will wear off, you may become easily triggered by other things, essentially making you highly reactive to stress.

Coffee Enema

A 2020 systemic review of case reports sought to evaluate the safety and effectiveness this type of treatment.  In their conclusion, the researchers do not recommend coffee enema due to unsolved safety issues and insufficient evidence of its effectiveness. The truth is eye opening, revealing many potential dangers of coffee enema. This is an important reminder to periodically review all of the methods we use to maintain good health and ensure they aren't doing more harm than good.

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 What To Remember
Coffee enemas are not as safe as we once thought.
An enema bypasses all of the usual protection measure that your stomach uses to protect you from the harsh effects of coffee.
Coffee enemas can strain your heart and liver and threaten your foundation of health.
Be cautious of the modalities you choose to improve your health, even if they are presented as natural therapies.


Son, Heejung et al.  The safety and effectiveness of self-administered coffee enema: A systematic review of case reports.  Medicine vol. 99,36 (2020):
Margolin KA, Green MR. Polymicrobial enteric septicemia from coffee enemas. West J Med 1984;140:460.:
WebMD. Enema Hypertonic Laxatives - Uses, Side Effects, and More. 


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