SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

August 12, 2014

The Royal Flush – Coffee Enemas

Few really “understand” the Coffee Enemas

Wasn’t actually going to post this as my perception is that most people think of this as some kind of joke.  It isn’t. The veracity and the science of it goes back through time AND recorded history to what appears to be the beginnings of investigation.  It has always been a valid endeavor reducing pain and cleaning up the liver and restoring healthy function so that the body can take care of itself.   It’s a good thing.   It is a valid tool.   

It is endorsed and used by many; especially Dr Nicholas Gonzalez of New York who has tremendous success  with cancer, not only uses it on himself daily as a preventive measure (check out the dialogue in the Mercola-Gonzalez interview – go to FIND IT), as well as for his patients.  And of course, the Gerson Therapy of which I am a strong advocate.  Of course, I have several GERSON books by both Dr Max and daughter Charlotte.   But don’t overlook the great many benefits this can avail to our systems. . .don’t just think ‘cancer.’  It would systemically benefit our entire system as all of it is interconnected. . .and that’s the way we should always think of our health and our selves — as a complete, robust, healthy “whole.”    So, use this as you will.    Jan

Coffee Enemas for Detoxification

© Copyright Bee Wilder Revised July 21, 2011 to clarify the kind of coffee.

How Coffee Enemas Detoxifies

The large colon is the last part of the intestines, before reaching the rectum. The large colon is in a “S” shape. By the time stool gets to this part of the colon, most nutrients have been absorbed back into the bloodstream. The large colon has important functions, including:

  • Balances the body’s water and electrolytes.
  • Manufactures some B vitamins and vitamin K.

It is important not to do too many enemas since the large bowel needs to function and normalize in between enemas. It is recommended you do not do any more than one every 4 to 5 days, and that you do not continue them over a long period of time.

The effects of a coffee enema are different than a saline (salt) enema. The most important difference between a saline enema and a coffee enema is the presence of caffeine in the coffee. Caffeine, theophylline and theobromine, combine to stimulate the relaxation of smooth muscles causing dilation (opening up) of blood vessels and bile ducts. The effects of having a coffee enema are not the same as drinking coffee. The veins of the anus are very close to the surface of the tissue. The caffeine is therefore absorbed more quickly (and in a higher concentration) than it is in when coffee is drunk. Additionally, coffee has a chemical makeup that is stimulative.

The enzymes in coffee, known as palmitates, help the liver carry away the toxins in bile acid. The coffee is absorbed into the hemorrhoidal vein (in the anus), and then it is taken up to the liver by the portal vein. With the bile ducts dilated, bile carries toxins away to the gastro-intestinal tract. Simultaneously, peristaltic activity (movement of the bowel) is encouraged. The caffeine from the coffee is absorbed into this circulatory system and goes directly to the liver where it acts as a very strong detoxifier. It decongests the liver, and causes it to dump its toxins.

It also causes the liver to produce more bile (which contains processed toxins from the liver) and stimulates the gall bladder to dump its contents which flows directly into the small intestine for elimination. This frees up the liver, enabling it to process toxins more efficiently, particularly candida toxins and those caused by killing off candida. The coffee only goes to the liver, and does not circulate throughout the body so it does not act like drinking caffeine would.

Caffeine also stimulates an enzyme used by the liver to make its detoxification pathways. This enzyme is used to form glutathione (an amino acid), which is one of the main components that enable toxins to be eliminated via the bile into the small intestine. Therefore a coffee enema speeds up detoxification and minimizes the backlog of detoxified substances.

Also do Dry Skin Brushing

Do “dry skin brushing” immediately before each enema, making up to four passes over each body surface. If you are not accustomed to skin brushing regularly, only make one pass over the body. This stimulates the Lymphatic System, so that lymphatic mucoid (mucus) will pass into the colon. Here’s how to do Dry Skin Brushing. (I didn’t know about the passes, but in my ignorance of this, I continue to use dry brushing before each shower because I learned of this years ago,  it feels good and and of course one does this for the extra stimulation to that blessed lymph system. So between this and the mini-trampoline, my lymph-circulation remains fairly good.  Jan)

Frequency of Enemas

  • Only do enemas every 4 to 5 days, which allows enough time for the bowel to normalize between enemas. (There is no need to worry about interfering with the colon’s daily normal activity; as coffee enemas do not alter it, but only makes the organ healthier, thereby enabling it to more fully function. 
  •  The large bowel needs to perform very important functions between enemas so your body does not lose water and electrolytes (minerals). Do them every 4 to 5 days for 1 month.  (Have no quarrel with this advice, but the cancer doctors do use an increased activity level of multiple enemas daily since the very lives are in jeopardy and the whole body needs to be detoxified which is always the major thrust!  The body must be cleansed of all toxic substances and foreign matter, or else the wholesome nutrient which is imperative, can’t get the job done.  The minerals and electrolytes matter deeply, but are offset with all the juicing.   Jan)
  • After 1 month, cut back to doing enemas once a week for 2 months.
  • After the 2 months, do enemas every 2 weeks for 3 months.
  • After 3 months, do enemas once a month 3 times, stopping altogether after that, unless you slip on the diet and find you need to do one or two. It is a good idea to do a coffee enema at least once a year throughout life.


Always do an enema after a bowel movement so the bowel is empty. Also clean out the bowel with a clear water-only enema, which is immediately allowed to empty prior to administering the coffee enema, and do dry skin brushing as explained above. Your goal is to do two coffee enemas, not exceeding 2 cups each, that you are able to hold for 12 to 15 minutes. But do not be concerned if you cannot hold the enema, since it is still helping your body detoxify.

You will need the following materials.

  • 2 tablespoons of fully caffeinated drip grind coffee; it does not have to be organic. Some people need to dilute the coffee more when they first start. If you are unsure, use 1 1/2 tablespoons of coffee in the same amount of water, and increase the strength later on.  (Don’t like to take issue with this excellent article which I feel is helpful and well-done.  But I must express that “ORGANIC COFFEE” is a prerequisite here because regular store-bought coffee from reputable manufacturers is more than 90% likely to be infused with mold toxins and other so-called protective sprays, none of which should be given access to our colons. Mold is not good! Jan)
  • 1 quart of non-chlorinated water. Remove chlorine with a charcoal filter, like Britta or PUR, OR boil tap water for 30 minutes in an uncovered pot, OR leave an open jug of water for 24 hours to get rid of the chlorine.
  • Use either an enema bag, which has a long hose, clamp and nozzle or tip on it, or a bulb-type 8 ounces syringe. For an enema bag there must be a place to hang it up at door knob level or about 2 feet above the floor because it works on gravity. Do not hang the enema bag too high, as on a shower head, because it will be too forceful as the coffee rushes in. It should flow very gently into the rectum. A syringe or enema bag are available at the drug store. Many people find it very difficult to use an enema bag by themselves, so using a bulb-type syringe is easier.  (In Healing the GERSON Way,  Charlotte speaks of the  clear plastic enema  bucket as being a favorite with the Gerson patients and easy to use and read how much is consumed.  Pretty cheap online – Amazon has ’em.  Jan)
  • If using a bulb-type syringe you will need a container to hold the coffee that will not be used for any other purpose, i.e. a small plastic bucket that can be accessed easily by a syringe.
  • Unrefined coconut oil as a lubricant.
  • Stainless steel cooking pot.
  • Ice cubes made of non-chlorinated water to cool down the coffee.
  • An old towel, used only for doing enemas. They can get stained with coffee.
  • A large plastic bag to protect the floor.
  • Cotton cloth of some kind, i.e. cheese cloth or cotton muslin for straining out the coffee grounds. Do not use paper filters because the fibers will transfer into the coffee.
  • Funnel or pitcher for pouring the liquid into the enema bag.

How to make the coffee.

  1. Put slightly less than 1 quart of non-chlorinated water in a pan (allowing for extra liquid from the ice cubes) and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add 2 level tablespoons of coffee, or less if you are doing them for the first time. Let it boil for five minutes.
  3. Remove the pan of coffee from the burner.
  4. Add about 3 ice cubes to settle the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot, and it also cools the liquid.
  5. Strain the liquid by pouring it through a cotton cloth, cheese cloth or cotton muslin.
  6. Continue to cool the liquid, adding ice cubes one at a time until it is as close to body temperature as possible. Test it with your finger. If you cool it off too much you can re-heat it to the correct temperature. It should not be too warm nor too cold because it will cause the body to expel it too quickly so you are less able to retain it.
  • If you are using a bulb-type syringe pour the coffee into the small plastic container or bucket you will only use for that purpose. The reason is because some fecal matter can be transferred into the container while refilling the syringe.
  • If you are using an enema bag take it to the sink, and clamp the tubing so it is closed. Use a funnel or pitcher to fill it. Loosen the clamp slightly so the coffee will run out to the end of the tip and re-clamp the bag when all of the air has been removed from the enema tubing.

How to administer the enema.

Lie down on towel on the floor on your back, or on your right side, whichever is more comfortable. (Unless there is a pain problem, lie on right side, pulling legs up into fetal position, relaxed and breathing deeply. This more easily allows the fluid to reach its desired path opening the bile ducts; the liver to release it’s toxins.  Jan) 

If you are using a bulb-type syringe:

  1. Squeeze the bulb of the syringe until it is flattened as much as possible and without releasing it put the tip into the coffee liquid.
  2. Release the bulb allowing it to fill completely (it holds about 1 cup).
  3. Before inserting it into the anus, hold the syringe upright and slightly squeeze the bulb to get rid of the air. You will know when the liquid comes out the end.
  4. Lubricate the tip of the syringe with coconut oil, and also the opening of the anus.
  5. Gently insert the tip of the syringe into the anus pushing it in about 4 inches, but do not force it. Apply more lubricant if needed.
  6. Gently squeeze the bulb allowing the liquid to release.
  7. Do not put it in too fast because it will trigger the bowel to empty too quickly.
  8. Refill the syringe again and repeat the procedure.
  9. Do not change positions or use an incline board to cause the enema to enter further into the colon; this defeats the purpose of this type of enema.
  10. Try to retain the enema for at least 12 minutes, or more, however, do not force yourself to retain it if you feel that you can’t, since it will still be helping you. Let it go when you have to.
  11. Repeat No. 5 – 10 above using up the remainder of the coffee.
  12. When you have finished your session, rinse out the inside of the syringe, by filling it with hot water and emptying it several times. Also thoroughly wash the outside of the bulb and nozzle with hot soapy water. Periodically rinse it out using mixing 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 water.

If you are using an enema bag:

  1. Lubricate the tip or nozzle with coconut oil, and also lubicate the opening to the anus.
  2. Gently insert the tip or nozzle of the enema bag into the anus about 4 inches.
  3. Release the clamp and let the first 1/2 quart (2 cups maximum) of coffee flow in. Clamp off the tubing as soon as there is the slightest amount of discomfort or fullness. Clamp off the tubing when 1/2 of the liquid has flowed in.
  4. Do not change positions or use an incline board to cause the enema to enter further into the colon; this defeats the purpose of this type of enema.
  5. Try to retain the enema for at least 12 minutes or more, however, do not force yourself to retain it if you feel that you can’t. When you have clamped the tubing, remove the tip and void when you have to.
  6. Repeat No. 2 – 5 above.
  7. When you have finished your session, rinse out the bag and hang it up to dry. Periodically run boiling water or a mixture of 1/2 water and ½ 3% hydrogen peroxide through the empty bag and tube to discourage mold growth when not in use.
  • Note: Try to retain the enema for a minimum of 12 or more minutes. However do not force yourself to retain it if you feel that you can’t. When you have clamped the tubing, remove the tip and void when you have to. It is best to hold it for at least 12 minutes each time. After you have emptied the bowel, proceed with the remaining 1/2 quart and likewise hold that for at least 12 minutes, if able, and then let it go.

If you feel worse it is because you are experiencing more detoxifying symptoms, i.e. a racing heart, aching all over, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, etc. it may mean your body is not as able to get rid of the toxins like it should at this point in time. If that happens you should reduce the amount of coffee added in the same amount of water, usually by half, and increase it gradually. As your detoxifying symptoms decrease you can increase the amount of coffee. Be sure that the water used is non-chlorinated.

Your gallbladder “may” empty

After doing a coffee enema some people may hear, or feel, a squirting out and emptying of the gallbladder, which may feel like a slight cramp or pinch. This happens just under the right rib cage, or sometimes more closely to the midline. But do not be concerned if you don’t feel the gallbladder emptying, since some people’s gallbladders are healthier than others. For more information about coffee enemas and their history read “Coffee: The Royal Flush”.


From The Cancer Chronicles #6 and #7 © Autumn 1990 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

This is a two-part story on the history of the coffee enema.It has been reprinted often around the world. –Ed.

The most controversial alternative procedures has to be the coffee enema. Along with other detoxification routines, the coffee enema is a central part of both the Gerson and the Kelley programs. It is always good for a laugh: “with milk or sugar?” This bizarre-sounding treatment can also be used to scare people away from alternatives in general.

No quackbusting article these days is complete without a reference to “enemas made from roasted coffee beans.” So what’s the story? Is the coffee enema crackpot faddism or is there some rationale behind this procedure? An enema is “a fluid injected into the rectum for the purpose of clearing out the bowel, or of administering drugs or food.” The word itself comes from the Greek en-hienai, meaning to “send or inject into.”

The enema has been called “one of the oldest medical procedures still in use today.” Tribal women in Africa, and elsewhere, routinely use it on their children. The earliest medical text in existence, the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, (1,500 B.C.) mentions it. Millennia before, the Pharaoh had a “guardian of the anus,” a special doctor one of whose purposes was to administer the royal enema.

The Greeks wrote of the fabled cleanliness of the Egyptians, which included the internal cleansing of their systems through emetics and enemas. They employed these on three consecutive days every month said Herodotus (II.77) or at intervals of three or four days, according to the later historian Diodorus. The Egyptians explained to their visitors that they did this because they “believed that diseases were engendered by superfluities of the food”, a modern-sounding theory!

Enemas were known in ancient Sumeria, Babylonia, India, Greece and China. American Indians independently invented it, using a syringe made of an animal bladder and a hollow leg bone. Pre-Colombian South Americans fashioned latex into the first rubber enema bags and tubes. In fact, there is hardly a region of the world where people did not discover or adapt the enema. It is more ubiquitous than the wheel. Enemas are found in world literature from Aristophanes to Shakespeare, Gulliver Travels to Peyton Place.

In pre-revolutionary France a daily enema after dinner was de rigueur. It was not only considered indispensable for health but practiced for good complexion as well. Louis XIV is said to have taken over 2,000 in his lifetime.Could this have been the source of the Sun King’s sunny disposition? For centuries, enemas were a routine home remedy. Then, within living memory, the routine use of enemas died out.

The main times that doctors employ them nowadays is before or after surgery and childbirth. Difficult and potentially dangerous barium enemas before colonic X rays are of course still a favorite of allopathic doctors.

But why coffee? This bean has an interesting history. It was imported in Arabia in the early 1500’s by the Sufi religious mystics, who used it to fight drowsiness while praying. It was especially prized for its medicinal qualities, in both the Near East and Europe.

No one knows when the first daring soul filled the enema bag with a quart of java. What is known is that the coffee enema appeared at least as early as 1917 and was found in the prestigious Merck Manual until 1972. In the 1920’s German scientists found that a caffeine solution could open the bile ducts and stimulate the production of bile in the liver of experimental animals.

Dr. Max Gerson used this clinically as part of a general detoxification regimen, first for tuberculosis, then cancer. Caffeine, he postulated, will travel up the hemorrhoidal to the portal vein and thence to the liver itself. Gerson noted some remarkable effects of this procedure. For instance, patients could dispense with all pain-killers once on the enemas. Many people have noted the paradoxical calming effect of coffee enemas. And while coffee enemas can relieve constipation, Gerson cautioned: “Patients have to know that the coffee enemas are not given for the function of the intestines but for the stimulation of the liver.”

  • Coffee enemas were an established part of medical practice when Dr. Max Gerson introduced them into cancer therapy in the 1930’s. Basing himself on German laboratory work, Gerson believed that caffeine could stimulate the liver and gall bladder to discharge bile. He felt this process could contribute to the health of the cancer patient.

Although the coffee enema has been heaped with scorn, there has been some independent scientific work that gives credence to this concept. In 1981, for instance, Dr. Lee Wattenberg and his colleagues were able to show that substances found in coffee—kahweol and cafestol palmitatepromote the activity of a key enzyme system, glutathione S-transferase, above the norm. This system detoxifies a vast array of electrophiles from the bloodstream and, according to Gar Hildenbrand of the Gerson Institute, “must be regarded as an important mechanism for carcinogen detoxification.” This enzyme group is responsible for neutralizing free radicals, harmful chemicals now commonly implicated in the initiation of cancer. In mice, for example, these systems are enhanced 600 percent in the liver and 700 percent in the bowel when coffee beans are added to the mice’s diet.

  • Dr. Peter Lechner, who is investigating the Gerson method at the Landeskrankenhaus of Graz, Austria, has reported that “coffee enemas have a definite effect on the colon which can be observed with an endoscope.” F.W. Cope (1977) has postulated the existence of a “tissue damage syndrome.” When cells are challenged by poison, oxygen deprivation, malnutrition or a physical trauma they lose potassium, take on sodium and chloride, and swell up with excess water.

Another scientist (Ling) has suggested that water in a normal cell is contained in an “ice-like” structure. Being alive requires not just the right chemicals but the right chemical structure. Cells normally have a preference for potassium over sodium but when a cell is damaged it begins to prefer sodium. This craving results in a damaged ability of cells to repair themselves and to utilize energy. Further, damaged cells produce toxins; around tumors are zones of “wounded” but still non-malignant tissue, swollen with salt and water. Gerson believed it axiomatic that cancer could not exist in normal metabolism. He pointed to the fact that scientists often had to damage an animal’s thyroid and adrenals just to get a transplanted tumor to “take.” He directed his efforts toward creating normal metabolism in the tissue surrounding a tumor. It is the liver and small bowel which neutralize the most common tissue toxins: polyamines, ammonia, toxic-bound nitrogen, and electrophiles.

These detoxification systems are probably enhanced by the coffee enema,  and in addition, theophylline and theobromine (two other chemicals in coffee) dilate blood vessels and counter inflammation of these organs. Physics has stated that “caffeine enemas cause dilation of bile ducts, which facilitates excretion of toxic cancer breakdown products by the liver and dialysis of toxic products across the colonic wall” gut; the palmitates enhance the enzyme system responsible for the removal of toxic free radicals from the serum; and the fluid of the enema then stimulates the visceral nervous system to promote peristalsis and the transit of diluted toxic bile from the duodenum and out the rectum.

Since the enema is generally held for 15 minutes, and all the blood in the body passes through the liver every three minutes, “these enemas represent a form of dialysis of blood across the gut wall” (Healing Newsletter, #13, May-June, 1986).

Prejudice against coffee enemas continues, however. Although this data was made available to Office of Technology Assessment it was largely ignored in their box on the procedure. They dismissively state “there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that coffee enemas detoxify the blood or liver.”

No medical procedure is without risk and OTA is quick to point out alleged dangers of the coffee enemas. For instance, they cite one doctor’s opinion that coffee “taken by this route is a strong stimulant and can be at least as addictive as coffee taken regularly by mouth.” This may indeed be true. Yet one wonders where the data is on this, and whether OTA would issue a similar warning about the perils of coffee drinking.

Another potential danger, they say, is physical damage to the rectum—”fatal bowel perforation and necrosis” which have been associated with “various other types of enema.” The risk of perforation comes from the insertion device used. At the Gerson clinic, for instance, they use a short nozzle which couldn’t inflict much harm; Gonzalez uses a soft rubber colon tube. In neither case would this caveat seem to apply.

On thin evidence, OTA also suggests enemas can cause colitis. The agency also cites the case of the two Seattle women who died following excessive enema use. Their deaths were attributed to fluid and electrolyte abnormalities. One took 10 to 12 coffee enemas in a single night and then continued at a rate of one per hour. The other took four daily. As OTA points out, “in both cases, the enemas were taken much more frequently than is recommended in the Gerson treatment.” In general, coffee enemas are an important tool for physicians who try to detoxify the body. This is not to say they are a panacea. They certainly require much more research. But coffee enemas are serious business: their potential should be explored by good research—not mined for cheap shots at alternative medicine or derisively dismissed as yet another crackpot fad.

(For the most part, these last few objections seem to be pure drivel or simple fabrications.  The allopathic community is so totally against the alternative or non-traditional therapies feeling it is heresy even to look at them [which most traditional doctors will not do].  

There is something to be said for going off half cocked in a direction on which one has not done due diligence.  It is always wise to research a new path objectively and thoroughly.  As with Gerson Therapy, while they are using many enemas daily, for each one – at least 3 glasses of mineral-laden juices are consumed to insure the body is not stripped of much needed electrolytes and mineral content. A healthy balance must be maintained for healing to take place.    Guess that should about cover the Royal Flush.  . . stay well,  Jan)


Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is the author of eight books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, Columbia University, and the University of Texas. He researches and writes individualized Healing Choices reportsfor people with cancer. For information on Healing Choices, you can contact coordinator Anne Beattie in the following ways: Address: 144 St. John’s Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Phone 718-636-4433 Fax 718-636-0186 E-mail Web site


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