Coffee Enema 101

the ins and outs of coffee enema

First off, WHY would anyone want to run coffee up their keister?

Enemas have been recorded in history for thousands of years. Especially now with the high levels of toxins in our processed foods and environment, we are simply toxic. It’s a huge contributor as to why we, as a society/nation, are the fattest and/or sickest beings ever.

The Gerson Method (an effective method for curing cancer and a LONG list of other debilitating or life threatening diseases) uses coffee enemas as a “must do” with their protocol.

The reason? If you are anything but the epitome of health, then you have toxins to release. If you’ve got them stored up it’s because your body hasn’t been able to release them and that burden is now a leading cause or complication of your health problem/issues.

Enemas have been well known to relieve fever, headaches and migraines within 20-30 minutes, and apparently they’re mentioned in the ancient dead sea scrolls (said to be written during Jesus’ day). These writings are said to go into detail about how regular enemas promoted good health. And I understand that you can find evidence of the health benefits enemas recorded in ancient Egyptian, Hindu, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Sumerian, and Native American literature. So this isn’t a New Age or trendy new thing. It’s been around a while and for good reason!

Photo credit: cleaningservicesneworleans .com

Photo credit: cleaningservicesneworleans .com


Can you imagine each of your cells as cluttered rooms with trash and boxes and debris everywhere? You can’t move around in them and neither can the important components of each cell.

Imagine being fed up with the status quo and you decide to embark on a health quest to shiny up your cells, lose some of the pains or stuff that’s “tripping you up”, gain more energy from a more efficiently running system, get a “new look”.

You probably want to either lose a bunch of fat (which stores toxins), or cure yourself of cancer or diabetes or anything really. So you choose to do something like a juice fast (nothing but green juices) and begin some gentle exercise, much like the popular Joe Cross did in his 60 day juice adventure (see the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”) His results (among 1000’s of others) were nothing short of amazing and incredibly motivating!

Back to our “story”, BRAVO to you for embarking on a health quest! However, just as you get into it the action might feel hard, you feel tired, maybe even sick and it’s possible you feel yuckier now than when you started. It’s called the “Herxheimer Reaction”.

It’s a normal but uncomfortable reaction that your body has to having all that debris stirred up and circulating. The list of symptoms of a Herxheimer Reaction can be long. Going from a toxic or even semi-toxic lifestyle to a really clean one (just veggies and some fruit), your body is finally able to cleanse and release the junk but that release will make you feel horrible at first. You’ve GOT to clean out the yuck before you can redecorate your cells.

HOWEVER, the coffee enema can save you from a lot of this toxic reaction!

When you start a detox, it’s a bit like cleaning a fish tank. You’re stirring up the yuck and it’s got to go somewhere. Sadly it can’t just all flush right out instantly (and actually that would be a bad thing because it would really make you feel horrible because it would have to circulate through you). So feeling horrible is from not only a stirring up of things, it’s also the dying off of things AND the releases of the toxins from the fat cells, etc.

Our liver is our biggest filtration system besides our skin. It’s job (along with about 499 other jobs) is to filter all the blood, every three minutes, and everything that goes in and out of the body.

In fact, if you’ve got “liver spots” or skin issues, that is a strong indication that your liver is likely overloaded by a lot of toxins. Our skin is the last place for toxicity to show up. And it’s the last place to show balance.

The benefits of a coffee enema…

It assists with the cleansing in a huge way by working with the liver to dump out LOTS of “trash” in a speedy and much less toxic way than if you let the body try to deal with it alone.

Back to the analogy of redecorating your “room”…

In order for there to be room for the new, clean, fresh stuff, you HAVE to clear out the junk. So the enemas act a bit like a big o’ shop vac (industrial sized vacuum), working in conjunction with the liver (think of it as your housekeeper) and as a team they’ll get the room cleaned out much faster, with less toxic *bleh* feeling and create space for all the nice new, fresh stuff (the nutrients your cells actually needs to thrive).

I’ll explain how it works in more detail in a bit.

MargieHi. Margie Stenson here… aka
The Healthy Belly Warrior!


I’ve been asked many times how I do my coffee enemas, so…

Here’s how I do it:

THE FIRST thing I do in the morning is make myself a quart of lemon water (1 qt water, juice of 1/2-1 lemon). I often add 1-2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). I mention this first because it’s one of the most effective ways to stimulate bowel function in the morning. Drinking at least half of it can be stimulating enough to get things moving. But having the whole quart is super beneficial in helping to rehydrate the body. If I don’t finish it before, I will be sipping on this while I’m doing the enema process listed below.

Start with an ORGANIC, regular (NOT decaf) light/medium roast. I don’t bother with the super expensive ones, I just try to get the cleanest, light roast possible. I use one from Trader Joe’s @$7/lb.

Grind to a drip texture. I use my nutribullet and it works great. In just a few seconds: perfect! I like the whole beans because it will hold the quality longer and I avoid the public coffee grinder at the store so I know what I’m getting isn’t contaminated by other blends or whatever. You can keep them in the fridge or the freezer but I just keep mine in the pantry since it’s cool, dark and dry. I tend to run through it fast enough not to be an issue.

Add 3 rounded Tablespoons to about 1/2-3/4 quart of filtered clean water. I use a pyrex saucepan. Be wary of metals and toxins that emit from different materials like non-stick surfaces. Stainless steel is good.

Bring to a boil, then down to a low simmer for about 15-20 minutes.


Strain through a filter (resting in a funnel) into a container. I do this in the sink using a quart jar. This produces about 1/2 quart of hot coffee. (I toss the grounds out in the yard to help control the clover!)

coffee filter

I add enough cool filtered water to bring it to a full quart. Doing it this way prevents me from having to wait for it to cool.

I use a stainless steel enema bucket because the heat of the coffee could release BPA from cheaper plastic enema containers. And it’s easy to clean and dry since it’s completely open to access.

Temperature: The coffee should be warm enough to prevent cramping but not too hot so as not to SS enema bucketburn the delicate tissue of the rectum/colon.


I hang the bucket from my low towel rod using one of those velcro wrap things. It works really good. I applied a small section of some attractive contact paper to the wall (the kind to line your kitchen drawers with) because the stainless steel began to discolor the wall as it rubbed up against it.

You don’t want the bucket more than 18″ above you otherwise the flow will be too strong. If you’re unable to get down on the floor very easily and have space in your bathroom then you could set up a cot.

I bring a small thermos of hot water in the bathroom with me in case the coffee gets too cool. Just a little warms it up nicely. I ALWAYS test it with a finger or an instant read thermometer. Our body temp is normal at about 98.6º so close to that is good.



qt coffeeI pour HALF the quart (or one pint) of coffee in the enema bucket (I do two rounds). I use a drip cloth under the jar as I pour so I don’t dribble on the towel or blanket beneath it. And I’ve learnt to BE SURE to clamp the hose shut before pouring the coffee in the bucket! 😉 haha…

I make a comfortable space on the floor with (don’t laugh) a mat that is made for a dog to lay on. It’s got one of those thin air mattresses that campers use under their sleeping bags. dog mat imageI got it at Costco years ago and it fits perfectly in my bathroom. I spread out a clean towel over it (a bath sheet).


Then I get comfortable. I have a soft blanket (because I wear just a top so I don’t have anything to lift, shift or move in case I need to move quickly!), a radiator style heater at my feet with warm wool socks (pre-warmed on the heater!), and a pillow. Sometimes I use this time to meditate, or listen to some audio recordings, inspirational stuff or catch up on the morning emails or FB on my iPhone.

I lay down, and with a dab of coconut oil, insert the enema tip (be sure it’s the enema tip, not the douche) while laying on my back. I roll to my right side, adjust the hose and then release the valve, slowly letting the coffee enter.

Because of the angle of hose placement on my bucket, I have to tip the bucket so that it won’t start sucking air into the hose as it nears the bottom.


After the enema bucket has emptied, I clamp the hose shut, lay a clean washcloth under my bum to catch any dribbles and gently pull out the tip. With an elastic hair band and a tiny clamp/clip on the bucket rim, I’ve rigged a nice way to suspend the end of the tube pointing upward. This way it won’t lay on the floor or get the chance to leak. Then I rest (remaining on my right side). I set the timer on my iPhone for 10 minutes.

Most of the time I can easily hold it till the whole 10 minutes. Sometimes only 3-5 minutes. The first round is more about clearing the poo that was just about ready to go anyway and some that might’ve been hanging around in there longer than it should have. The real benefit has more to do with the second run.


So when it’s time, I get up to sit on the potty and release.  When I first started doing these, I felt SUCH a sense of relief and a feeling of clean, I couldn’t believe it. It was a VERY CLEAR indicator of how much those toxins were negatively affecting me. I felt lighter and just cleaner. More energy and like I could take a deep breath whereas before I felt slogged down and heavy.


I have a hand-held shower massager that I can reach my bum with while sitting on the potty. After I’ve released all the coffee, I use this to cleanse my bottom, pat dry with some TP and then do the second half of the quart.

This one I hold for 15 minutes or longer, and this is where I feel most of the magic happens. And because most of the poo got released in the first round, this one can be held much longer more comfortably and this is where the liver/gallbladder gets signaled to release more toxins.

Half a quart isn’t much, but for me I’ve found that this is perfect. When I first started doing this, I cramped and had an awful time when I tried to let the whole quart enter in one go. I could barely hold it more than a minute or two because I was so full (and holding it is important, which I’ll explain). And then I felt like I needed another to fully cleanse but all my coffee was gone.

So I started using smaller amounts. At first I did 3 rounds (1/3rd of a quart each time) trying to hold each about 5-10 minutes, or as long as I could. Then my body acclimated and I think that the less toxic it was, the better it could hold and then more fully release the debris.


Why lay on the right side?

sigmoid colon

(LI, showing sigmoid colon in blue)

The small intestine (SI) is about 20-23 feet long. The large intestine (LI) is approximately 5-6 feet long. At the very end of the LI there is a segment called the sigmoid colon just before the rectum (the poop shute, exit area).

woman liver

(woman’s body; liver in red)

In my studies I’ve discovered that the sigmoid colon has a direct communication line with the liver, which resides just under your ribcage at the right side and center of your body. Because one of the livers chief jobs is filtration of toxins in the body, it will do it’s job and collect this debris.

When the sigmoid colon gets some poo moving through it toward the rectum, it triggers the communication to the liver and basically says, “Hey, we’re about to make a dump, go ahead and release more toxins!”

The liver responds by releasing a load of toxins it’s been hanging onto, into the SI (sometimes you can actually hear and/or feel the “squirts” from the liver/gallbladder!) and then it goes through the system and makes for the exit door, along with the fibrous stuff you eat that will help carry it out.

The coffee (the caffeine of coffee, in particular), when kept in the sigmoid colon (hence staying on your right side, not shifting to your back letting the coffee seep up into the rest of the LI) is able to communicate to the liver effectively. PLUS there is a beneficial chemical reaction (the creation of glutathione S-transferase) that the regular caffeinated coffee (NOT tea or other caffeine sources) creates that basically allows the liver to effectively and safely dump WAY MORE debris/toxins. From the sources I’ve read, this equates to a release of 600 times the amount that would normally happen without the assistance of the coffee enema.

Before having a regular BM, some people might feel nauseated for a few moments. My son experienced this as a kid. It’s normal and a yet dramatic demonstration of communication between the colon and the liver. It may also be a sign that the liver is a bit overloaded.

The Gerson protocol (to treat cancers) often lasts as long as 2 years. And they recommend to continue doing the enemas during this time because they infuse the body with MASSIVE amounts of nutrients (via 13 8 ounce juices/day plus other plant-based foods) and healing transition is amazing. Because of the massive influx of nutrients and the need to release the toxins so the cells can receive the nutrients, they will have their patients doing as many as 5 coffee enemas a day.

So as long as you are getting proper amounts of nutrients, doing a daily coffee enema should be fine (according to The Gerson Institute).


A Snippet of My Story…

healthy belly warrior memeIt was 13 years ago that I first learned about Candida. Over the years since it’s been a chronic, recurring toxic issue. Why? Sometimes I would overindulge with sugars. Mostly healthy sugars, like dates, honey, maple syrup, molasses and fruits but there were definitely some processed sugar binges, especially during the holidays or during times of stress. Then Candida would bloom out of control. But oftentimes the standard protocol wouldn’t always work really well, which confused me. I’ve discovered since that SIBO (Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth) was in there, too. Ugh.

SIBO and Candida can produce either or both diarrhea (D) or constipation (C), and a lot of toxic debris. In an attempt to alleviate the C, I began to learn about coffee enemas. I hated them at first because it felt messy, hard to do and I was cramping up. But apparently I was doing it wrong. So after playing around with it I developed my own system that works very well and quite comfortable. I really look forward to the mornings that I do an enema.

I started doing them a little over a year ago. I haven’t done them every day but when I started doing them I felt such a relief from the toxins it seems absolutely necessary to continue. Along the way, I recognized that I wasn’t getting enough nutrients (I really slacked on the juicing) and I could feel the depletion of minerals from my body.

But it’s not just juicing per se that is the key. It’s the absorption ability of the gut. So even tho I was eating really healthy foods, I couldn’t absorb its because my gut has been totally wrecked with chronic candida, SIBO and leaky gut.

My Daily Soup, as a portion of the SIBO protocol I’ve created, has made me feel much better and have more energy. I highly recommend juicing in addition! While using the list of acceptable veggies, you’ll be adding lots of nutrients that require the tiniest amount of digestion.



Common Questions:

“Can I just drink the coffee and get the same benefits?”

Short answer: “No.” Sorry. In fact, the effect that coffee has on the system when it’s drunk is not beneficial by any comparison. Apparently it constricts the blood vessels, creates an acidic and dehydrating response, which puts a strain on the liver and the entire system, particularly when it’s already suffering from toxicity, stress or any of the common things we deal with these days.

So drinking it is really no comparison and it’s not a viable option in this regard. If you want to drink a cup, do so AFTER your enema.

AND it’s best to do this on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning seems to be most agreeable for me.

“What about the caffeine? Will I get a rush from this?”

I’m pretty sensitive to coffee/caffeine and when I drink coffee, I can’t drink more than a cup or I’m feeling wired and uncomfortable. But I don’t feel this at all with the coffee enema in the mornings.

I’ve noticed that if I was feeling particularly toxic and did a second coffee enema at night, I would feel a slight (I mean “tiny”) amount of caffeine from it. But it wasn’t enough to disrupt my sleep.

I’ve researched and read about this. I’ve found that if you’re able to keep the coffee within the sigmoid colon, not letting it seep up into the LI, then you should be okay.

How do you prevent it from seeping up there? Only put a half quart or less in at a time and don’t roll around, lay on your back or raise your buttocks above your belly. And stay on your right side.

“What about water enemas?”

I’ve found a HUGE difference with water enemas and coffee enemas.

Water, even warm, makes me cramp and spasm. It feels like I can’t get a clean expulsion and it’s uncomfortable.

Coffee enemas, on the other hand, are relaxing. I’ve learned that this is because the caffeine, when absorbed via the colon (rather than drinking it) triggers the relaxation mechanism of the parasympathetic nervous system (PSN).

It doesn’t necessarily make you sleepy, it just is relaxing and how this translates to the bowel is very comfortable and thorough and complete cleansing.


I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions please make a post below!

If you want to have a personal conversation with me to discuss your health issues and/or goals and what steps you might feel comfortable about taking, 

Click on the link to schedule a Free 20 minute Consultation with me today!

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