By Lawrence Wilson, MD, Contributor

One Radio Network

© February 2013, The Center For Development

Click here to go directly to the coffee enema procedure.

To read a short version of this article in Greek, click here.

From Lynn: I just had my first coffee enema. UNBELIEVABLE. Just after the first session, I felt a sense of fresh air all over and my breathing was deeper. A constant pressure that I felt on my back at the location of the liver got immediately better. The racing thoughts were replaced with a quiet mind. I felt relaxed and a sense of peacefulness. I hadn’t sung in months; but I suddenly found myself singing. Doc, I felt so good that I wanted to have a second session immediately and had to restrain myself. I hope it is not addictive because now you couldn’t pay me to stop. It is quite effective!! The only thing is I am obviously very seriously dehydrated because a lot of it didn’t come out.”

(If you are dehydrated, the coffee won’t come out after an enema, and instead the liquid will be completely absorbed in the colon. This is alright, although having a bowel movement after the enema cleans the colon even more.)


Why in the world would someone want to take coffee in an enema? I asked this question over 30 years ago when Dr. William Kelley, DDS, suggested as part of his cancer regimen that I do daily coffee enemas. In spite of skepticism, I went ahead with them, and when I got over the initial disgust, messiness and other resistance, I quickly saw the benefits of coffee enemas: They can:


  • Ø Clean and heal the colon
  • Ø Detoxify the liver and colon and help rebuild the liver.
  • Ø Reduce many types of pain.
  • Ø Help eliminate many parasites.
  • Ø Reduce and get rid of many symptoms of general toxicity. Since toxicity is the cause of dozens of common symptoms from arthritis to cancer, coffee enemas help with many, if not most diseases and conditions.
  • Ø Help with depression, confusion, and general nervous tension.
  • Ø Increase mental clarity, improve energy levels, increase joy and happiness, improve digestion, reduce anger, and more.
  • Ø Enabled clients to get through difficult healing and purification reactions.
  • Ø At least three dozen clients have confided to me that “coffee enemas saved my life”.

I have recommended coffee retention enemas to more than thirty thousand people. I have yet to hear about horrible side effects of any kind, although the procedure is somewhat inconvenient, especially at first. Most people get used to it quickly. The coffee retention enema is really quite simple, very safe when done properly, highly effective, able to be done in the privacy of your home, and inexpensive. The use of a bidet toilet attachment can make cleanup easier and better, as well.

Daily coffee enemas are now a central part of all nutritional balancing programs. Dr. Eck did not include them in his original programs, although he was well aware of the value of coffee enemas for healing.




A retention enema and implant. 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.


Colon tubes. Most practitioners just recommend inserting the standard enema tip into the rectum lubricated with a little petroleum jelly, and then implanting the coffee, usually while lying on one’s back. Some, however, suggest using a 30-inch flexible rubber colon tube connected to the enema tip. One first inserts the colon tube all the way into the rectum, and then attaches the enema tip to the protruding end of the colon tube.

The reasoning here is that this forces the water and coffee mixture to go all around the colon. Most doctors do not require this step, which is much more troublesome in some cases in which the colon is twisted or otherwise deformed. I do not believe using a colon tube is necessary in most cases, though it will move the coffee mixture around the colon better.


If you have trouble holding the enema, try keeping the tip inside you for the entire 15-20 minutes with the clamp open. This will allow gas and air to escape easily back into the enema bag, and often makes the enema much easier to retain. The enema bag must be at a level higher than your body for this to work correctly.

Does it affect the flora in the colon? In my experience of over 32 years, daily coffee enemas, even several per day, does not affect the flora in the colon in any significant way. It does not wash out the flora because the enema does not involve that much water.


How often? For therapeutic purposes, the procedure is repeated at least daily, and up to about three times each day for at least several years to clean up the colon, detoxify the liver and help heal the entire body. Dr. Max Gerson, MD, who pioneered the use of the coffee enema for cancer patients, insisted upon the coffee enema 6 times daily or every four hours, for at least two years. He also used three tablespoons of coffee in each enema. However, this much seems a little drastic, and does not appear to be necessary when the procedure is combined with a properly designed nutritional balancing program and infrared lamp sauna therapy.




Ancient history. The coffee bean and plant have been part of herbal medicine, folk medicine and shamanic healing for thousands of years. It is particularly well understood by the native tribes of South America, where coffee began to be cultivated many thousands of years ago.

It was known as a potent liver remedy, and given particularly to the elderly and to those who were infirm or ill in the liver. This is important because today almost everyone has a toxic liver. The reason is the proliferation of toxic metals and toxic chemicals throughout the planet due mainly to industrialization and burning of fossil fuels.


Enemas in the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essene Gospel Of Peace, Book 1 is a small book that was rediscovered by the eminent biblical scholar, Edmond Bordeaux Szekely. He found it in the Vatican library and translated it into English in 1937. The text is from the famed Dead Sea Scrolls, manuscripts that describe the healing miracles of Jesus, but were only discovered in the twentieth century near the Dead Sea. This text discusses how Jesus healed people using simple methods such as food, water, air and sunshine. The following is a quote from pages 15 and 16:


“Think not that it is sufficient that the angel of water embrace you outwards only. I tell you truly, the uncleanness within is greater by much than the uncleanness without. And he who cleanses himself without, but within remains unclean, is like to tombs that outwards are painted fair, but are within full of all manner of horrible unclean things and abominations.

“So I tell you truly, suffer the angel of water to baptize you also within, that you may become free from all your past sins, and that within likewise you may become as pure as the river’s foam sporting in the sunlight.

“Seek, therefore, a large trailing gourd, having a stalk the length of a man; take out its inwards and fill it with water from the river which the sun has warmed. Hang it upon the branch of a tree, and kneel upon the ground before the angel of water, and suffer the end of the stalk of the trailing gourd to enter your hinder parts, that the water may flow through all your bowels.

“Afterwards, rest kneeling on the ground before the angel of water and pray to the living God that he will forgive you all of your past sins, and pray to the angel of water that he will free your body from every uncleanness and disease.

“Then let the water run out from your body, that it may carry away from within it all the unclean and evil-smelling things of Satan. And you shall see with your eyes and smell with your nose all the abominations and unclean things which defiled the temple of your body; even all the sins which abode in your body, tormenting you with all manner of pains. I tell you truly, baptism with water frees you from all of these.”


(To learn more about this interesting book, read The Essene Gospel Of Peace – Book 1 on this website. Beware – it recommends a raw vegetarian diet, which I find is very harmful today. Also, as far as I know, Jesus did not recommend adding coffee to the water. Coffee was not used in the Middle East at that time to any great extent.)


Modern history of coffee enemas. Some of the following was extracted from an article in Healing Newsletter, NL#13, May-June, 1986. By Gar Hildenbrand:


“The coffee enema may have been first used in modern Western nations as a pain reliever. As the story goes, during World War I nurses kept coffee pots on the stove all day long. Battle surgeons and others drank it to stay awake while working horrendously long hours. Enema bags hung around as some patients needed help moving their bowels.

Pain medications were in short supply. Doctors were forced to save the pain drugs for surgical procedures, with little or none for follow-up after surgery. When surgical patients woke up from operations without the benefit of further morphine injections, they would scream in pain and agony from the surgery. They were also constipated from the anesthesia drugs.

As the story goes, one day a nurse was preparing an enema for constipation. Instead of fetching water for the enema, she accidentally dumped some cool coffee into the patient’s enema bag, undid the release clamp, and into the patient it flowed. “I’m not in so much pain,” the poor soldier said. The nurse took notice, and thus began the use of coffee enemas to help control pain.”

Indeed, until about 1965, the coffee enema procedure was listed in the famous Merck Manual, which is used as a handbook by physicians the world over.


Drs. Gerson and Kelley. The man who popularized coffee enemas more than any other in modern times was Max Gerson, MD, author of A Cancer Therapy – Results of 50 Cases (1958). Dr. Gerson pioneered nutritional therapy for cancer and other diseases with amazing results. His therapy combined coffee enemas with a special diet, juices and a few other nutritional supplements. The enemas were an integral part of the therapy. He found that to heal his patients of cancer, he had to stop their pain medication, as it damaged their already weak livers. Coffee enemas, up to 6 per day, would stop the pain without a need for drugs. They also enabled the body to absorb and digest tumor tissue and eliminate it safely, an important stumbling block in natural cancer treatments.

More recently, William Donald Kelley, DDS recommended them extensively in his metabolic cancer therapy. He wrote about their benefits and importance in a small book entitled One Answer To Cancer (1969, 1999). Others, too, have written of their benefits for a wide variety of ailments.


I find that just doing coffee enemas does not work all that well. Many people who try this run into problems of various kinds from headaches and abdominal upset to anxiety and other things. When doing coffee enemas, the following are most helpful to do at the same time:

1. Diet for use with enemas. The coffee retention enema, to be done properly in my view, must be combined with a nutritional balancing type of diet. This diet contains plenty of cooked vegetables three times daily, no fruit whatsoever, no wheat, no fruit juices, and few or no sweets of any kind. Food quality should be excellent. Also, avoid vegetarian and raw food diets. More on this diet is found in the article entitled The Healing Lifestyle on this website.


2. Supplements for use with enemas. A few supplementary nutrients must also be given to rebuild the body. Among the most important ones for most people are fish oil, about 900-1000 mg daily for adults, vitamin D 5000 iu daily for most people, kelp, about 3600 mg daily, and a digestive aid with each meal. Supplementary calcium, magnesium and zinc are also needed by most people. For more details about these and other vital supplements most people need, read The Healing Lifestyle on this website.


3. Drinking water and lifestyle. Also, one must drink between 2 and 3 quarts of spring or carbon-only filtered water each day. Also, a healthful lifestyle and plenty of rest and sleep help the enemas to be the most effective.


4. Massage of the colon. This is less important, but can be quite helpful, both during the enema, and afterwards while sitting on the toilet to eliminate the water.

During the procedure, one may massage the colon for an enhanced mechanical cleansing effect of the enema. This is particularly excellent when first beginning to do coffee enemas, as it helps break up colonies of parasites and impacted fecal matter, and helps empty and clean out what are called ‘pockets’ in the colon.

While attempting to eliminate the coffee and water from the colon after retaining the enema, quite vigorous massage of the colon areas of the abdomen can help move the fluid out of the colon.


5. Foot reflexology. This can help after a coffee enema, especially if there is any abdominal discomfort, which some people report. For some reason, rubbing the tops of the toes of the left foot, in particular, and both sets of toes as well, can be very helpful. This probably has to do with an effect of the enema on the liver and kidney meridian systems.






Coffee applied rectally has the following properties. There is some overlap among these effects:


1. An astringent. This is an herbal property that means it peels the top layer of skin or mucous membrane. This is helpful for some healing, as the top layer of skin or mucous membrane is often ready to come off anyway, and is loaded with toxins. So it is like cleaning the surface layer of the mucous membrane of the colon and perhaps the liver, as well.


2. A choleretic, when used rectally. A choleretic is a substance that increases bile flow. This is one effect of coffee used rectally.

While other agents classed as choleretics increase bile flow from the liver, they do little to enhance detoxifying enzyme systems, and they do not ensure the passage of bile from the intestines out the rectum. Bile is normally reabsorbed up to 9 or 10 times before working its way out the intestines in feces.

The enzyme enhancing ability of the coffee enema is unique among choleretics. Because it does not allow as much reabsorption of toxic bile by the liver across the gut wall, it is a powerful means of detoxifying the blood stream through existing enzyme systems in the liver and small bowel. Because clinical practice has shown coffee enemas to be well tolerated by patients when used as frequently as every four hours, the coffee enema may be classed as one of the only repeatable, non-reabsorbed, and effective choleretics in the medical literature.


3. Enhancement of liver detoxification systems and glutathione production. These are other general effects of coffee enemas that are explained in more detail below.

4. Anti-oxidant effects. Coffee contains powerful anti-oxidants. These are particularly helpful for the liver, which is highly subject to oxidant damage. Unlike common antioxidants such as vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, selenium, zinc, vitamins A and E, the antioxidants in coffee are far more yang in Chinese medical terminology. This is a great advantage today because the bodies are already too yin and adding more yin antioxidants makes the problem much worse. Some day, doctors who recommend antioxidants will realize this problem with all anti-oxidant nutrients and will stop recommending so many of them, perhaps recommending the coffee enema instead.

Nutritional balancing and coffee retention enemas also reduce the need for antioxidants because they can remove the oxidant sources. This is far better than giving antioxidants. The oxidant sources are oxidized minerals including iron, copper, manganese and aluminum, among others. These are described in detail in the article entitled Iron, Manganese and Aluminum – The Amigos.


5. Palmitic acids. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, researchers in the lab of Lee Wattenberg identified salts of palmitic acids (kahweol and cafestol palmitate) in coffee as potent enhancers of glutathione S-transferase, a major detoxification system that catalyzes the binding of a vast variety of electrophiles from the blood stream to the sulfhydryl group of glutathione. Because the reactive ultimate carcinogenic forms of chemicals are electrophiles, the glutathione S-transferase system must be regarded as an important mechanism for carcinogen detoxification.

“In mice, this system is enhanced 600% in the liver and 700% in the small bowel when coffee beans are added to their diet. Because this system in lab models is close, if not directly analogous to that of humans, a parallel stimulation by coffee of glutathione S-transferase in humans is probable.”

Dr. Max Gerson, MD, the major proponent of the coffee enema in the Western world, wrote that:

“Heubner and Meyer of Goettingen University, Germany had shown in animal models that rectal administration of caffeine would dilate bile ducts and promote bile flow. The introduction of a quart of coffee solution into the colon will dilute portal blood and subsequently, the bile.

Theophylline and theobromine, major constituents of coffee, dilate blood vessels and counter inflammation of the gut. The palmitates of coffee enhance glutathione S-transferase which is responsible for the removal of many toxic radicals from serum. Finally, the fluid of the enema itself stimulates the visceral nervous system, promoting peristalsis and the transit of diluted toxic bile from the duodenum out through the rectum.”

6. Caffeine effects. These are complex. Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant, but a mild one, relatively speaking, and not as toxic as most stimulants. This stimulating action upon the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system helps “wake up” the body in some way that appears to be quite beneficial, when coffee is used in this manner.

Dilation of the bile ducts. The editors of Physiological Chemistry and Physics stated, “caffeine enemas cause dilation of bile ducts, which facilitates excretion of toxic cancer breakdown products by the liver and dialysis of toxic products from blood across the colonic wall.” (reference incomplete).


The colon is one of the most diseased organs of the body in many people today. Everyone needs to pay attention to this. The reasons are quite simple. They include:

1. Eating sweets, including all sugars, fruits and juices. These can feed yeasts and other pathological organisms.

2. Eating poor quality food, low in fiber and foods containing additives, preservatives, pesticides, and other chemicals that damage the intestines.

3. Improper eating habits and low levels of digestive enzymes in the upper intestines. These cause partially digested proteins and starches to end up in the colon, where they either rot or ferment. This causes the production of extremely toxic chemicals such as skatol, indol, cadaverine and others. Most people know about these from their foul odors, gas and bloating, all of which is harmful.

4. Extreme overuse of antibiotics. These damage and often destroy the normal flora in the colon.

5. Use of many other medical drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Most of them are toxic to the intestinal tract to some degree.

6. Ignoring the call of nature to empty the bowels.

7. Hurried lifestyles, with fear and nervous tension. These negative emotions often affect the functioning of the colon.

8. The presence of infection in the colon. Common ones include yeasts, parasites such as round worms, and others.

9. Fruit-eating, sadly, is one of the biggest causes of colon problems today, in part because it allows the growth of yeasts in the intestines, and because it is yin, which expands the colon and impairs its activity.


Mechanical effects of enemas and colonic irrigation. The enema mechanically washes out the colon, removing many toxic chemicals, and often nests of parasites, bacteria, etc.

Enemas also stimulate the colon slightly by dilating it a little, and often by altering its temperature somewhat – either making it a little hotter or a little colder.

Another result is to increase peristalsis and cause the colon to become active, emptying its contents more completely.

Repeated enemas, especially accompanied by colon massage, helps remove impacted feces, which is common. Certain food items, especially white, refined flour, can turn hard in the colon and stick to its walls.

Repeat enemas also help clean out so-called ‘pockets’ or diverticuli in the colon. These are slight expansions or dilations in the wall of the colon of most adults that trap food particles, bacteria and often harbor parasitic organisms such as worms, yeasts and others.

Many clients report that upon beginning coffee enemas, they notice either crawling or dead creatures that show up in the toilet when they release their coffee enemas. Some send them to me in plastic bags for my inspection!

Removing toxins from the wall of the colon and surrounding tissues. The effect of introducing some water and coffee into the colon on a regular basis also seems to help remove toxins from the walls of the colon, and prevent the buildup of toxins in these tissues.

Dr. Peter Lechner, who conducted a trial of the Gerson cancer therapy in the post-surgical treatment of metastasized colorectal cancers under the aegis of the Landeskrankenhaus of Graz, Austria, reported in 1984, “Coffee enemas have a definite effect on the colon which can be observed with an endoscope.”

Our clients also report that their colonoscopies, after using daily coffee enemas for a few years, revealed amazingly clean and healthy-looking colons.

Coffee enemas versus colonic irrigation. These are very different procedures, and both can be useful at times. The main difference is the amount of water used.

Colonic irrigation involves placing up to several gallons of filtered water in the colon and massaging the colon to loosen impacted fecal material. Then one empties the water and repeats the procedure a number of times, usually for about an hour. It is usually done by a trained colon hydrotherapist and costs $50-100.00. A special machines is usually used, with a special enema tip that remains inserted the entire time.

Some colon therapists add ozone, probiotics, or even coffee to the colonic irrigation water, but most use just plain water, which works well for the purpose intended. The therapist usually massages the colon when the water is inside to help it reach all the pockets and areas of the colon.

In contrast, a typical coffee enema involves two to four cups of water, is done at home, daily, and does not require a skilled practitioner.

Advantages of colonic irrigation is that it may clean out an impacted colon and parasitic infestation much faster, since much more water is used. Results can be dramatic! This is extremely helpful when the colon is very diseased or constipation is longstanding, but only for a series of 5 to 10 of them – no more.

A major disadvantages of colonic irrigation is that repeated sessions can make the body too yin in Chinese medical terms, by introducing too much water into the colon. For this reason, one must limit colonic irrigation to a series of 10 or so per year, ideally, although more are not that harmful.

Other problems are its cost, time required, and perhaps some slight removal of intestinal flora and perhaps electrolyte imbalances due to the large volume of water used. SO DO NOT DO DAILY OR EVEN WEEKLY COLONIC IRRIGATIONS.

Coffee enemas do not pose these problems, in my experience, and can be repeated several times daily for years without any adverse effects.


Different from drinking coffee. 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.




Caffeine is not that toxic, and it is easily removed from the body after the coffee retention enema is completed. Roasting the coffee bean and boiling the coffee for 10-12 minutes reduces its caffeine content slightly. Decaffeinated coffee does not work well in coffee enemas.

Taking a coffee enema causes a slight buzz in most people, but not an extreme reaction.

Caffeine intolerance. Occasionally, a person cannot tolerate the caffeine in even a small amount of coffee used in an enema. In these people, it interferes with sleep and causes nervousness and irritability. These people can usually begin with just a pinch of coffee and work up slowly as their tolerance builds. Rarely, a person cannot tolerate any caffeine at all, and cannot do coffee enemas for this reason. I do not recommend doing coffee enemas with a decaffeinated coffee, as most are toxic with chemicals, and not effective in any case.

Avoid strong coffees. Too much caffeine is not helpful for the body at all, and just acts as a CNS stimulant. For this reason, the recent habit in the West of drinking very strong coffees such as cappuccinos, expressos and lattes is harmful in the extreme. The habit derives from the old Turkish style of making coffee so strong it is almost like drinking mud. Those who do this are not healthy, and the caffeine and other toxins in the coffee build up in the liver and elsewhere, damaging health. The nervous system eventually is ruined by this habit.

Coffee as a beverage. It should be obvious in light of the above that taking coffee orally cannot have the same effect. To the contrary, drinking coffee virtually insures that one will reabsorb toxic bile because the dialysis or flushing effect does not occur. Drinking it mixes it with foods, which dilutes the effect, and as stated earlier, drinking coffee causes most of its medicinal properties to be destroyed in the stomach. A little of the medicinal properties are absorbed directly from the mouth, but otherwise it is wasted.




The benefits of the coffee retention implant or enema are many. Some have been mentioned above. However, there are many others. Some are rather remarkable and interesting to ponder, and include:


  • Coffee antidotes or negates many harmful vibrations or frequencies of illness in the body. This unusual trait of coffee, not shared by any other herbs or remedies, is very well known in the science of homeopathy. Patients are often told by homeopathic practitioners never to drink coffee, as it can negate the effects of many vibrational remedies, of which homeopathic ones are an example.
    This is a very important reason for using coffee enemas, although it is somewhat esoteric. The coffee seems able to clear a wide range of harmful subtle energies in the human system in a way that no other plant or animal substance can do. Repeated use of the coffee implant clears these vibrational frequencies at deeper and deeper levels each time the procedure is used. These energies definitely affect our health, although they are quite subtle. For more information about some problems of vibrational frequencies on the body, read Psychotronics on this website.
  • Increased alkalinity of the intestinal tract. This is due to enhanced bile flow, most likely. It is important because bile has many antiseptic, anti-parasitic, anti-infective, digestive and other functions. Increasing the alkalinity of the small intestine makes it much less hospitable for parasites, in particular, but also help destroy many other types of infections in the small intestines. For more on this important topic, read The Steps of Digestion.
  • Reduced toxicity in the body through the elimination of retained fecal matter that usually putrefies, rots or ferments.
  • Coffee has a strong affinity for and astringent action upon the colon and colonic mucosa. This property has been discussed above.
  • Improved digestion. This is due to enhanced bile flow, and by killing harmful micro-organisms and parasites in the intestines, and perhaps other mechanisms such as alkalinizing the small bowel.
  • Enemas, in general, and the coffee enema in particular, can help stimulate, balance and clear many reflex points that run from the colon segments to every organ and tissue of the body. This is not well known, but is true. An excellent description with diagrams and other fascinating information about these reflexes is found in the textbook, The Science And Practice of Iridology by Dr. Bernard Jensen. Below is a diagram from that textbook:




  • In acupuncture terms, coffee enemas enhance liver meridian activity and balance the large intestine meridian. Technically, introducing water and coffee into the colon weakens or inhibits the large intestine meridian somewhat. This tends to enhance the liver meridian, according to acupuncture theory. Commonly, the liver is weak and the large intestine meridian is overstimulated or overactive due to the presence of toxins in the large bowel. Even if it is not overactive, the effect of the coffee enema, in terms of acupuncture meridians, is to enhance the energy of the liver/gall bladder meridian to some degree.
  • Nutritional effects – selenium. Coffee contains a needed form of selenium, a vital mineral needed by almost everyone today. Few foods contain this particularly necessary compound, which is not well-absorbed by mouth, but is better absorbed through the rectum. This is a primary reason for the enzymatic activity of coffee upon liver detoxification pathways. This needs to be researched further, as I do not have more confirmation of this fact other than our observations.
  • Nutritional effects – zinc. Coffee also contains a small amount of an important zinc compound. Once again, it is very needed today, and is not well absorbed by mouth, but is better absorbed rectally. This needs to be researched further, as I do not have more confirmation of this fact other than our observations.
  • Protection against toxins in coffee. Coffee contains some toxic metals such as lead and cadmium, and some toxic alkaloids. Also, ground coffee is often somewhat rancid, as it contains polyunsaturated oils that become rancid quickly. However, it appears from our experience that when taken by rectum, these are not absorbed nearly as much as they are when coffee is taken through the mouth.
    This occurs because the colon is designed to absorb nutrients, while filtering out and leaving behind toxic substances in the colon. In fact, a healthy colon is quite amazing in its ability to absorb nutrients while protecting the body from a wide variety of toxic substances that are present and perhaps are produced in the small and large intestine. This is the reason why drinking coffee is somewhat toxic, but coffee used in an enema is much less so. In fact, we have seen no toxicity from repeated coffee retention enemas, while those who drink coffee regularly always exhibit some toxicity from the beverage.
  • Downward motion. Retaining this enema for 15 minutes or so forces one’s attention downward. Two reasons for this are 1) the presence of a significant amount of water in the colon, and 2) to keep the anal sphincter shut tightly. Focusing downward and moving energy downward toward the pelvic floor and feet is extremely therapeutic. It assists with grounding and centering, but it does much more than this. It is a powerful healing method all by itself. This is a complex topic described in a separate article on this website entitled Downward Energy And Healing.
  • Yang effect. Most people’s bodies today are too yin, in Chinese medical terms, especially those who are old or infirm. Yin means cold, expanded and usually it means ill. A problem with many drugs, natural remedies, vitamins, herbs and procedures such as surgery is that they make the body even more yin.
    In contrast, coffee is a more yang substance, even though it grows in tropical climates. It becomes much more yang when roasted thoroughly and boiled for 10-12 minutes only. This also gets rid of some of the caffeine, a yin substance (although some caffeine appears necessary for the desired effects). This is a great advantage of this procedure over other herbal, natural and medical methods for cleansing the liver and colon.
    The cumulative effect of daily coffee enemas is definitely a yang or warming effect on most everyone, and this is extremely important today to regain and maintain health. The yang effect is due to a combination of the nutritional benefits of coffee, the removal of yin toxins such as toxic metals and toxic chemicals from the body, and other mechanisms with which I am less familiar. To read more about this vital subject, read Yin and Yang Healing and Yin Disease on this website.
  • Sympathetic relaxation. Coffee enemas can cause relaxation of the sympathetic nervous system. Many people report this. This may seem odd, since coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Possible reasons for relaxation of the sympathetic nervous system include: 1) stimulation of two important parasympathetic organs, the liver and the large intestine, 2) nutrients in the coffee, 3) removal of irritating toxins from the body rapidly and thoroughly, 4) more subtle mechanisms that affect the nerve feedback in a way that inhibits the sympathetic nerves, and 5) downward motion of energy. To learn more about the sympathetic nervous system and its importance, read Autonomic Nervous System Balancing on this website.
  • Increased glutathione activity. The compounds kahweol and cafestol found in coffee enhance glutathione S-transferase activity in the liver. This enzyme assists liver detoxification that neutralizes and helps remove a large variety of toxic compounds. This topic is discussed in more detail in the section above entitled How Coffee Enemas Work.
  • Improved hydration. While it may seem minor, this can be a major benefit of coffee retention enemas. Many people are quite dehydrated today. Reasons for this are 1) not drinking enough water, 2) drinking incorrect types of water such as reverse osmosis water, which does not appear to hydrate the body well, and 3) ingesting substances that tend to dehydrate the body, including all sugars, fruit, caffeine and alcohol. The addition of several cups of water in the enema improves this serious, but sometimes difficult to identify situation. Improved dehydration also greatly improves overall detoxification of the body and overall health. For more on this subject, read Hydration on this site.
  • Improved root energy center activity. When one does a coffee enema, one must lock the root chakra, also called the first energy center. This is done by tightening the anal sphincter, which is necessary to retain the coffee solution. It is known in yoga and other ancient texts that locking the root chakra helps greatly to circulate etheric or subtle chi or energy in the body. While this is subtle, some people can feel the benefit of this practice.
  • Yeast elimination from the colon, but this requires repeated enemas and perhaps more water. This is a wonderful benefit for some people whose colons are full of yeast. For this to occur, one must do several coffee enemas back to back, putting in a total of about 2 quarts of water into the colon. It helps to rub the colon area of the abdomen vigorously to get the water to penetrate into the pockets of the colon to dislodge the yeast organisms. Adding some crushed garlic to the enema water may help this a little by a chemical mechanism.
  • A form of quiet discipline and a concentration exercise. This may seem odd, but just lying down and holding the anal sphincter closed for 15 or so minutes is a form of concentration exercise that teaches discipline, relaxation, coordination and other mental traits that are helpful for most people.
  • A time to reflect and do the Roy Masters meditation exercise. I strongly suggest doing the coffee enema lying on one’s back, except perhaps for a few minutes of lying on one’s right side to move the coffee mixture around the colon. Lying on one’s back for 15 to 30 minutes is the perfect time to practice the meditation we recommend to everyone on a nutritional balancing practice. Holding the coffee helps one remain quiet enough for the meditation, and actually enhances the meditation, as well. This is a wise use of time and a wonderful combination of therapies.




How often? Dr. Max Gerson, MD recommended the coffee enema up to 6 times daily, or every four hours, for severely ill patients with cancer and other conditions. His patients continued them for up to several years with apparently no ill effects. This appears to be much more than most people need, however. I usually suggest one, two or even three coffee enemas per day to assist detoxification and to enhance liver activity.

Three enemas daily may be taken safely, especially if one is going through a healing reaction during which the body is attempting to remove large amounts of a toxin or a very toxic substance such as cadmium. At these times, an extra coffee enema or two can control symptoms such as headaches, intestinal upset, rashes and other symptoms. It can also calm one down and makes the healing reaction move along faster and more safely, as well.


For how long? For best results, a program of coffee enemas should be carried on for at least a year, and preferably for much longer. Many people, including myself, have continued to take them for 10 years or more daily, without any problem whatsoever. A good friend has used them continuously for 30 years as he suffers from a very chronic arthritic condition and continues to benefit from them. Not only has he had no ill effects from them that I can determine, but his health continues to improve to this day.

Thus, while some health authorities warn against coffee enemas as causing dependency, damaging the intestinal flora, or for other reasons, when they are done properly I have seen literally NO negative effects from them. The key is to do them as I suggest, and not deviate at all.
When? You can do a coffee enema at any time of the day or night. If done soon before bedtime, it might interfere with sleep, due to the effect of caffeine. However, if one feels ill during the night with a headache, for example, I have suggested doing a coffee enema, after which some clients report being able to sleep through the night.

Also important in some cases, but not all, is to have a bowel movement, even a small one, before your coffee enema. This is just to make it easier to retain the coffee for 15 minutes or so. To have a bowel movement first, in the morning, you may need to drink some warm water or eat a few nuts, seeds or other food. Otherwise, you may need to do a quick plain water enema to wash out the large intestine before you do your coffee retention enema. Some people do not find it necessary at all to have a bowel movement before doing their coffee enema.


Where and how? Make yourself comfortable. Some people spread a towel or two on the bathroom floor. Especially at first, you may have a slight accident with coffee spurting out, so have a towel handy and preferably lie on a folded towel.

A more comfortable arrangement is to use a thick mat or yoga mat of some kind so you can relax during the coffee enema. Use a pillow for your head if you are more comfortable. Make sure the area is warm. Bring in a small heater, if needed. Some people put the coffee in while laying on the bathroom floor on a thick towel, and then they transfer to their bed, lying on a towel, as it is warmer and cozier. I trained myself to do the whole thing lying on a towel on the bed.

Some people like to do their enema lying comfortably in a large bathtub, as then they don’t worry about leakage or accidents. This can work well.

To help keep the coffee in, you may place a washrag or small towel over the anal area. Most people find this unnecessary, but it will help if you have a weak anal sphincter.


To give an enema to a child, the easiest way is often to place the child on his stomach on the bed, with a few towels or a bed pan underneath to catch any leaks. Use plenty of Vaseline or shaving cream on the enema tip to make it slide in easily. Twist the enema tip as you insert it, as this can make it slide in much easier. After implanting the coffee in the rectum, place a rag or small towel tightly against the rectum to hold the coffee inside.


How to relax with a coffee enema. To retain the coffee for 15 minutes or so requires that you relax. Make sure the room is warm, and that you are comfortable. wear a tee shirt, sweat shirt or bathrobe to keep warm or cover yourself up with a blanket. Perhaps put on some quiet music or an audio book, meditate, breathe deeply, or even watch television or listen to the radio while you are doing your retention enema. I do not suggest getting up and walking around.



Doing coffee enemas requires the following decisions regarding the coffee you use:

1. Which blend of coffee beans to use. Coffee is grown around the world, so there is plenty to choose from. I suggest a South American coffee, although you can use any coffee you wish.

2. A light, medium or dark roast. I suggest a medium or dark roast coffee. Some authorities suggest a light roast coffee, or golden coffee. This is higher in caffeine, but it is more yin, which is not desirable. It is very good for those with hemorrhoids, but not necessarily best for everyone. Light roast coffee also contains a mild toxin that I prefer not to have in the coffee. Roasting the coffee more gets rid of the yin toxin.

3. Which method of cooking the coffee is best. The possible methods are 1) percolating, 2) the drip method used in coffee makers, 3) boiling the coffee in a saucepan, 4) the steam method used in many coffee shops, 5) the non-boil method of soaking the coffee overnight. One could also use instant coffee, but I do not recommend that.

At this time, I feel the best method is to boil the coffee in a saucepan for 12-13 minutes using distilled water or Ice Age Glacial Spring water only. The other methods will work, however, so it is not a critical decision as far as I know.

As mentioned earlier, this is a subject of research. Research in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research found that dark roast coffee restored blood levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and glutathione more effectively than light roast coffee. The dark roast also led to a significant body weight reduction in pre-obese volunteers, whereas the light roast did not.

Separate research also showed that dark roast coffee produces more of a chemical called N-methylpyridinium. This chemical is produced during the roasting process, and the darker the roast, the more N-methylpyridinium it contains. Interestingly, this chemical also appears to prevent your stomach cells from producing excess acid, which means dark roast coffee may be easier on your stomach, whereas lighter roasts might give you the acid-like stomach irritation that coffee drinkers sometimes experience.

Caffeine levels vary depending on the degree of roasting of the coffee. Darker roasts often contain less caffeine than lighter roasts.



While enemas may seem messy or uncomfortable, many clients report that the procedure is so helpful to calm them, remove pain, release toxins, clear the head, and other things that they soon forget the inconvenience and don’t mind them at all.


General notes: This procedure recommends using up to about 2 cups of water in the enema. You may use more, but in my experience, it is not necessary. If you cannot retain the enema well, try using even less water.

Distilled water is generally best for coffee enemas, as it absorbs more of the coffee essence. However, one can use spring water or carbon-only-filtered tap water if distilled water is not available.

Doing two coffee enemas, back to back, is extremely powerful. This is brand new research (2012).

You may retain the enema more than 15 minutes, although I think that 30 minutes is plenty.

Step 1. Materials

* Buy a standard 2-quart enema bag, or an enema bucket. It should come with a hook or handle to hang up the bag, a hose, an enema tip, and a clamp on the hose. If you use an enema bag, the enema/douche bag combination is a little easier to use. If you cannot find an enema bag at a local drug store, here is a link to buy one inexpensively online:

* Buy preferably some organic, dark roast, and perhaps Columbian regular coffee. This is best, although technically any coffee will work. It can be regular grind or flaked. Do not buy instant coffee and do not buy decaffeinated coffee. For maximum freshness, buy coffee beans and grind your own coffee, but this is not necessary. Store your coffee in the freezer for maximum freshness.

The lighter roast coffee, which is a lighter color, is more yin and not quite as good, although it is easier to hold in the colon, which is a benefit some people like. It may also be less irritating if you have hemorrhoids, for some reason.


Step 2. Preparation of coffee

There are three methods. The 1) boil for 12 minutes and the 2) coffeemaker methods are best. You can make coffee in a perolator, but these are not used much anymore. Coffee can also be made using the newer steam flash method. The 3) soak or non-boil method is more yin, so it is not quite as good. However, it is fast and perhaps better if you are traveling, for instance, as you do not need to boil the coffee.

When beginning coffee enemas, use much less coffee, to make sure you tolerate it well. For example, begin with a half teaspoon of coffee and increase the amount when you are sure you tolerate it well.

1. The Boil For 12-13 Minutes Method.

Place about 1/3 of a cup of water in a saucepan. Preferably use distilled water or Ice Age glacial spring water. although any decent water will do. If possible, use a non-metallic saucepan such as ceramic, glass or enamel surface. This is not too important, however.

Add about ½ to two tablespoons of coffee, and bring it to a boil.

When the water and coffee boils, turn down the burner and allow it to simmer for 12 to 13 minutes. Then turn off the burner, move the pan to a cool burner, and add about one full cup of water or a little more. You may make a larger quantity and use it for several enemas, although fresh is best.

To test the temperature of the water, place a finger in it. It should be a comfortably warm temperature. If the water is too hot or very cold, retaining the enema will be more difficult.

2. Coffeemaker or Percolator method.

Place about 1/2 cup or so of water in a coffee maker, along with 1 teaspoon to 3 tablespoons of coffee and turn the machine on. When you begin to use coffee enemas, start with a smaller amount of coffee, in case you are sensitive to it.
When the coffee is ready, add at least one cup more water to cool the mixture to body temperature.

NOTE: The coffee made with a coffeemaker will not be quite as strong as with the boil method, so you will need a little more coffee using a coffee maker than if you use the boil method.

3. The Soak Or Non-Boil Method.

Place one cup or more of ground coffee in a glass container. Add twice as much water as coffee to the container. Soak this overnight. Then store the liquid in the refrigerator.

When you want to do an enema, place about 2-4 tablespoons of this soaked liquid in your enema bag and add one and a half to two cups of warm water.

This method is not quite as good, as it is more yin and the coffee is weaker. However, if you do not have time to boil the coffee, or are traveling, for example, it is fast and does not require a coffeemaker.

Step 3. Preparing to take the enema


* Pour the coffee liquid slowly into your enema bag or enema bucket, and the grounds should stay behind. Alternatively, you could strain the coffee liquid through a fine strainer or coffee filter paper into the clean enema bag. However, keeping the coffee out of contact with the metal screen may be a little better.

* Screw on the top of the enema bag. The enema is now ready.

* Be sure the plastic hose is fastened tightly onto the enema bag and the thin enema tip is attached to the other end.

* Remove any air from the enema tube by doing the following: Grasp, but do not close the clamp on the hose. Place the enema tip in the sink. Hold up the enema bag slightly above the tip until the water begins to flow out. As soon as it starts flowing, quickly close the clamp. This expels any air in the tube.

* Lubricate the enema tip with a small amount of petroleum jelly, Vaseline, soap, olive oil, shaving cream or even Chapstick. Vaseline or petroleum jelly works very well but are a little greasy. (Note: Too much lubrication might cause the tip to fall out of the rectum, creating a mess. Experiment to see how much and what kind of lubrication is best for you).

* If possible, have a bowel movement before doing your enema. This can make it easier to retain the enema. To have a bowel movement, try eating 4 or 5 almonds, or perhaps some other food. I do not recommend fruit or fruit juice, or sweets, however. You may do a quick plain water enema if needed to clean the colon before your coffee enema, if you wish.

Step 4. Taking the enema

* The enema position. The position I recommend is lying on one’s back on a towel or mat, on the bathroom floor, in the bath tub or perhaps in bed with a few towels under you to catch any drip. The reasons for using this position are: 1) it is very relaxing, and 2) you can do the Roy Masters meditation exercise while doing your coffee enema. This is not possible if you are on your side or in the “doggie” position on all fours.

* With the clamp closed, place the enema bag on the floor next to you, or hang the bag about one foot above your abdomen.

* Insert the tip gently and slowly. Aim it straight upwards from the legs, not at any angle. Twist or turn the enema tip gently as you insert it, as this can make it slide in much easier. Do this until it goes all the way in. Never leave it half way in – it will not work this way. There are two anal sphincters it must pass through, so the tip must be all the way in.

* Open the clamp and hold or hang the enema bag about one foot above the abdomen. The water may take a few seconds to begin flowing. If the water does not flow, you may gently squeeze the bag or the hose to clear an air bubble, in most cases. If you develop a cramp, close the hose clamp, turn from side to side and take a few deep breaths. The cramp will usually pass quickly.

* When all the liquid is inside, the bag will become flat. Close the clamp. You can leave the tube inserted, or remove it slowly.

* RETAIN THE ENEMA FOR 15 MINUTES, if possible, or even up to 30 minutes. Retaining it more than 15 minutes is not necessary, but has an enhanced effect. See below if you have difficulties retaining the enema.

What to do while retaining the enema. You may remain lying on the floor, or get up and lie in bed with a towel under your mid-section to protect against leaks. Do not walk around. Use the time preferably to do the Roy Masters meditation exercise with my modifications. It works excellently at this time. You could also just relax, meditate, listen to a CD, or other quiet activity.

Step 5. Finishing up

* After 15 to 30 minutes, go to the toilet and empty out the water. It is okay if some water remains inside. If most of the water remains inside, you are likely somewhat dehydrated. In this case, you need to drink more water, or a different kind of water. Avoid all reverse osmosis water and see the article entitled Water For Drinking on this site for more information.

Rubbing your abdomen and your right leg, calf area, while sitting on the toilet may help eliminate the water.

* Wash the enema bag and tube thoroughly with soap and water.

* For cleanliness, a bidet toilet attachment can be wonderful. This is a simple, inexpensive device that provides a spray of your bottom while sitting on the toilet. It can either be a fixed spray or a handheld sprayer. It uses the water supply for the toilet. A heated bidet attachment one is not necessary, in my experience.


Hints regarding enemas:

* If possible, do the enema after a bowel movement to make it easier to retain the coffee. If you cannot have a bowel movement, this does not affect some people’s ability to hold the coffee, while other like to take a plain water enema first, to clean out the colon.

* If intestinal gas is a problem, some stretching or bending exercises before the enema may eliminate the gas. You can also leave the enema tip inside you the entire 15-20 minutes. This allows gas and air to escape back into the enema bag. The bag must be at a higher level than your body and you will need to use a small strap around your thigh to keep the enema tube inside you so it does not fall out.

* It is not essential, but is helpful if the water fills the entire colon. You can make this happen by lying on your back when you first insert the coffee. However, after a few minutes, turn and lie on your right side for about 5 minutes.

* If water will not flow around the entire colon, you may gently massage your abdomen. Some people attach a 30-inch colon tube to the tip of the enema tube, and insert the tube so the water will reach the right side of the colon. I don’t usually recommend this, as it is not usually needed.

* If the enema makes you jittery, reduce the amount of coffee.

* if the enema causes irritation of the anal area, add one or two tablespoons of aloe vera juice to the coffee liquid.

* The enema may lower your blood sugar. If so, eat something just before or after taking the enema.

* If you have trouble holding the enema, here are suggestions.

1) Be patient. Practice makes perfect.
2) The water may be too hot or too cold. Be sure the water temperature is comfortable.
3) It may help to place a small pillow or rolled up towel under your buttocks so the water flows down hill into your colon.
4) If trouble continues, try reducing the amount of coffee or add 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses to the water.

5) Try leaving the enema tip inside you with the clamp open the entire time. This allows air and gas to escape back into the bag or bucket. The bag or bucket must be at a higher level than your body for this to work.




Coffee enemas, used in the Gerson, Kelley, and Gonzalez cancer therapies, produce physiological effects that aid liver function and detoxification. The coffee enema, a common medical treatment during the early 20th century, was included in The Merck Manual, a standard medical reference book, from 1899 to 1977. Like other enemas, this one induces peristalsis and promotes evacuation of the intestine; but compounds in coffee have additional effects.

Caffeine stimulates bile production in the liver and dilates the bile ducts. (Bile breaks down dietary fat and is a means by which the liver removes toxins.) The compounds kahweol and cafestol enhance glutathione S-transferase action. This detoxification system neutralizes a large variety of toxic compounds.

When mice eat green coffee beans as part of their diet, their glutathione S-transferase activity increases 600% in the liver and 700% in the small intestine, according to the National Research Council (Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer. National Academy Press; 1982:15-7,15-8). Roasted coffee has about 50% less glutathione-S-transferase-stimulating effect than green coffee, according to research by Lam, Sparnins and Wattenberg (Cancer Res. 1982;42:1193-1198).

So why not just drink lots of coffee? Drinking coffee is, after all, associated with reduced hepatic injury and cirrhosis in humans. Coffee enemas appear to be a more efficient way to get the benefits without getting a caffeine buzz. Most people, even those who tend to get jittery from drinking coffee, report relaxation after a coffee enema.

Chemical compounds in the gut enter the blood, which then goes directly to the liver via the portal vein. Gar Hildenbrand, of Gerson Research Organization (San Diego, CAl, says: “Because the stimulating enema is retained for 15 minutes, and because all the blood in the body passes through the liver nearly every three minutes, these enemas represent a form of dialysis of blood across the gut wall.”

Dr. Max Gerson viewed the coffee enema’s detoxification activity as the reason that this treatment eases pain in many cancer patients. A clinical study performed by Dr. Peter Lechner and colleagues showed that coffee enemas, performed twice a day, “reduced the need for pain medications by 71.3%, 59%, and 22%- respectively in cancer patients with WHO cancer pain level 1 (n = 91, P < 0.001), level 2 (n = 68, P < 0.05) and level 3 (n= 19 not significant due to small sample).”

Anecdotal cases also suggest that coffee enemas can relieve migraine headaches. Doctors who recommend coffee enemas to their cancer patients view the enemas as an important part of their protocols. None of them, however, claim that coffee enemas cure cancer.

People who choose to use coffee enemas to enhance liver detoxification and/or reduce pain should take the same precautions as in any enema: use an enema bag with appropriate lubricated nozzle to avoid damaging the rectum or bowel; thoroughly clean the equipment after each enema to avoid reintroducing pathogens to the colon; and do not perform too many enemas within a short time. (Wait at least 4 hours between enemas.)

Dangers. Ralph Moss reports that the US Office of Technology Assessment or OTA “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.'”

As Moss says: “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 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.”



Enemas. The Merck Manual. 10th ed.

Hildenbrand G. A coffee enema? Healing Newsletter, May-June 1986.

Lechner P, Hildenbrand G. A reply to Saul Green’s critique of the rationale for cancer treatment with coffee enemas and diet: Cafestol derived from beverage coffee increases bile production in rats; and coffee enemas and diet ameliorate human cancer pain in Stages I and II. Townsend Letter, May 1994.

Moss RW. Coffee: The royal flush. The Cancer Chronicles. Autumn 1990. Available at: www. Accessed. November 11, 2009.

Muriel P, Arauz J. Coffee and liver diseases. Fitoterapia. Epub October 13, 2009.



Dr. Wilson has a medical degree, and works as a nutrition consultant only. For over 30 years, he has specialized in nutritional balancing science, a particular method of improving health that he originally learned from Dr. Paul C. Eck, a brilliant biochemist and founder of Analytical Research Laboratories.


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    'Liver and full body detox with coffee enemas, a step by step guide' has 1 comment

    1. July 7, 2013 @ 9:49 pm Dr. Curtis R. Kuhn

      Great stuff, Have been running metabolic programs now on clients since 1986 and the coffee enema is a big part of Dr. Kelley’s therapy. I had liver cancer, diabetes, polycythemia and related metabolic disorders when I began Dr. Kelley’s protocol in 1985 and have dedicated my life to this science. Keep up the good work.

      Dr. Kuhn


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