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 1930s. Basing himself on German laboratory work, Gerson believed that caffeine could stimulate the liver and gallbladder 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 palmitate - promote 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, the harmful chemicals now commonly implicated in the initiation of cancer. In mice, for example, these systems are enhanced 600% in the liver and 700% in the bowel when coffee beans are added to the mice's diet.
Note: Glutathione is worth researching. It is one of the best substances to reduce pain and inflammation and is used intravenously in Parkinson's disease as it helps to reduce symptoms within minutes. Absorbing supplemental glutathione is difficult without IV since to date, the only means of getting it is wrapped in fat, which most gallbladders in trouble have difficulty with. Thus, coffee enemas are a great replacement.
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. Physiological Chemistry and 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."
In addition, theophylline and theobromine (two other chemicals in coffee) dilate blood vessels and counter inflammation of the 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."
History Of The Coffee Enema
The following paragraph is from "The Royal Enema" by Dr. Ralph Moss. For the full article please visit the link to the s.a. Wilsons Therapy Blend website for therapeutic coffee.
"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."
What Is An Enema?
An enema is the injecting of a liquid into the rectum via a tube for cleansing purposes or for stimulating the action of the bowels. It can be used for constipation especially when laxatives are not working. It is faster acting than a laxative. They are also used for clearing the bowels before some medical procedures such as a colonoscopy and before childbirth. For the purposes of gallbladder, liver and constipation, coffee is the solution of choice.
How To Make An Enema
Different solutions can be used for enemas, depending on the intention. The green coffee beans from SA Wilsons seem to be best for stimulating bile. In the interim, or if it is just too complicated a procedure for you, gluten-free instant coffee can be used. Cyrex Labs did an independent study of many different instant coffee brands and found only Starbucks instant coffee to be free of gluten. Unfortunately, the gluten is used as a flow agent and is often in minute amounts so that it does not end up listed in the ingredients.
For bowel impaction or stubborn constipation, a salt and baking soda solution is excellent as the salt can help to soften the stool. (Also consider castor oil packs over the abdomen for constipation.) For cleansing the liver and gallbladder, the coffee enema is the solution of choice. For stimulating the vagus nerve to improve a low-functioning gallbladder or for stubborn constipation, use a coffee enema. For relaxing, a chamomile tea enema is a good choice. Whatever liquid you choose to use, be sure to use lukewarm water.
Step-By-Step Guide For How To Use A Coffee Enema
Essential Ingredients Needed
1 quart+ Purified water (not tap water)
2-3 rounded tbsp Organic Whole Coffee Beans (ground finely each time)
Lubricant (for insertion of tube into rectum): a few drops of Organic Olive Oil or Sesame Oil (Avoid petroleum jellies such as KY or Vaseline)
Old towels (to use when kneeling/laying on the floor); do not use good towels (since any coffee drops will permanently stain the towels)
Preparing The Enema
- Grind 2-3 tbsp Wilsons Therapeutic Coffee Beans to a fine powder. Do not do this ahead of time so you will get the freshest, most active phytonutrients from the coffee. Pre-ground coffee beans are partially oxidized & should not be used.
- Add the ground organic coffee to 1 quart of clean water (not tap water). Bring to a boil. Let it continue to boil for 3 minutes, then turn down to a simmer. Cover with a lid. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Allow it to cool down to a very comfortable, tepid temperature. You can add some room temperature water (not tap water) or a couple of ice cubes if you want to cool it faster. Test with your finger. It should be the same temperature as a baby's bottle. Never use it hot or steaming; body temperature is good.
- Strain with a fine metal strainer to remove any large particles that could clog the enema tube. Avoid using a paper or cloth filter because it removes some of the essential elements, such as Cafestol, from the liquid.
- Pour into enema bucket. If you prefer, you can split the quart into two parts - one part to be used right away in enema bucket, while the other part can be stored in a container with a cover to retain some of the warmth.
- Use a lubricant for insertion of the tube into rectum.
While the enema is cooking, get your space ready. Make it a comfortable experience. Keep in mind that coffee does stain, so use towels, blankets, clothes that you don't mind getting stained.
The easiest place to do the enema is in the bathroom. Figure out what is the best space for you to lie down, whether in the shower/bathtub or on the floor. Put down blankets, towels or a mat. You can use a large roll of toilet paper (with a towel over it) as a pillow.
You may want to have something to cover yourself with, and a pair of socks and/or a heater to keep you warm.
Have a clock there to time the 12-15 minutes.
Have a roll of toilet paper or paper towels for quick wipe up. The coffee can also stain floors, so it's best to have something on hand.
You can choose to have soft music playing or read a book, though I have found that it's is a great opportunity to enjoy a quiet, solitary time.
Taking The Enema
- Remove the cover from the tube. Unclasp the clamp and let it run into the sink or toilet until the coffee begins to pour out, thereby removing the air in the tube. Reclasp the clamp.
- The enema bucket needs to be placed above wherever you are lying down, whether it's on top of the toilet, hung on a towel rack or on a countertop. Ideal height is 18 inches. Higher than this can create too strong a flow. Having it elevated is necessary so that the liquid flows downward. Situate it in such a way that you can control the clamp that is on the tube or move the clamp into better reach.
- Apply a small amount of oil to the end of the tube to ease with the insertion.
- The easiest position to insert the enema is on your knees, head down on towel/blanket, so that gravity will help the liquid flow into the colon. Another option is to lie on your right side.
- Insert the tube into the rectum while using the other hand to support you. Insert it about 2-3 inches. Be gentle and do not push it too far. Breathe and relax.
- Often, if some fecal matter is lower in the rectal tract, you may want to take in about 1/8 or 1/4 of the liquid - just enough to expel the fecal matter in the lower tract. In this case, it is not necessary to hold the liquid for any period of time. If you've had a recent bowel movement, this step may not be necessary.
- Divide the remaining liquid approximately in half (mentally). Or you may have already separated the liquid, and have the other half in a container which is helping to retain the warmth.
- If you are new to the enema process, I recommend that you do the enema in two parts.
- Take half of the liquid (about 1/2 quart) into the bowels. Do it gradually. You can use the clamp to control how much and how fast it goes in. Remember to keeping on breathing.
- Remember to close the clamp and then remove the tube (or you will regret it). Lay on your right side or on your back with legs and pelvis elevated. Hold the first portion for 12-15 minutes.
- Open to receive this amazing detoxification of your system. Allow your body to relax. You may want to gently massage your belly.
- If nature calls after taking in the liquid (i.e. you feel a strong urge to expel) - even after a minute or two, do not resist -- go ahead and expel it. At first, it may be hard to hold the liquid for the full 12-15 minutes. Later, after several enemas (and thus a certain amount of toxic elimination), it will be much easier for the bowels to hold the liquid for the recommended time.
- Expel enema.
- Take in the second 1/2 quart and hold for another 12-15 minutes. Then expel.
- Clean your enema bucket by running warm water in it with a squirt of a neutral soap such as Castille (clasp closed). Dip some toilet paper into the water and wipe off the end of the tube (don't double dip). Open the clasp and let the remaining liquid run though the tube into the toilet or sink. Close the clasp and put the cover on the end of tube.
- Give yourself some time to rest after the enema (20 to 30 minutes) - without walking or exercising. This helps ensure that you are at home, and near a toilet, if needed.
Best enema time: during the day before 6 pm. Some find that doing the enemas too late in the day keeps them awake at night. Experiment with what works for you.
Enema buckets are preferred because they can be cleaned.