Coffee Enema- Uses and Side Effects

A coffee enema is an alternative treatment used to cleanse the colon. It involves introducing a mixture of coffee and water in the colon via the rectum either using a stainless steel enema kit or rubber enema bags. Coffee enema followers suggest that coffee enemas can help in the detoxification and clear out any of the potentially harmful substances from the body.

Colonics involve multiple infusions of water while enema involves a single infusion of water. The water infused in the colon sits there for a short period of time and is then released.

A lot of times coffee enemas are performed by alternative medicine practitioner. On the other hand, a lot of people like to perform it on their own at their home.

Uses for coffee enemas

Coffee enemas are normally considered as a natural treatment for curing various health conditions:

  • Chronic pain
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Intestinal parasites

Along with that, coffee enemas are also commonly used for boosting mood, increase energy levels, reduce stress, improve sleep quality and improve digestion. Coffee enemas are also used in the prevention and treatment of cancer. It is commonly used as a part of the Gerson Therapy.

Despite being very popular, coffee enemas and their health benefits have not yet been explored much scientifically. In fact, the available research suggests that coffee enemas may not be able to offer significant health benefits.

For instance, a small study suggests contrary to the claim that coffee enema helps in increasing the production of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is a compound with antioxidant properties known to stimulate the secretion of bile, which is critical for digestion. This increased level of the glutathione is considered as the key factor in the detoxifying effects of coffee enema.

Side effects of coffee enema

Coffee enemas may result into a number of serious complications such as dehydration, infections, pleural or pericardial effusions, salmonella, sepsis, rectal or internal burns, colitis, perforation of intestinal walls, brain abscess, electrolyte imbalance, heart failure and even death.

A coffee enema might be harmful to people with certain health conditions such as blood vessel diseases, abdominal hernia, Crohn’s disease, congestive heart failure, gastrointestinal cancer, diverticulitis, heart diseases, severe anemia, tumors, ulcerative colitis and hemorrhoids.

The chances of side effects increase further when combined with fasting. Also, pregnant or nursing women, children and people who have undergone colon surgery should not administer coffee enema.


There isn’t much research about the health effects and potential risks of a coffee enema and thus it cannot be recommended to anyone. If you still want to try it, then it is suggested to consult your primary care provider before performing the procedure.

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