What are they and why is there controversy about their real impact on health?

An enema involves the introduction of liquid into the rectum. Although often done as a flush for certain procedures or examinations, some people do enemas at home using room temperature coffee.

This practice is not new as, according to the Canadian Society for Intestinal Research (CSIR), a scientist suggested in the 1920s that coffee enemas are more effective for stimulating the liver and detoxifying the body.

Those who do also claim that it helps relieve constipation and reactivate the immune system, among other purported benefits.

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However, according to various sources, there is no high-quality scientific evidence to support these claims, and there are several risks associated with it.

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However, according to the US National Cancer Institute, coffee enemas are being tested as a treatment for pancreatic cancer.

This may interest you: (The body doesn’t need a “detox” to cleanse itself)

Risks of coffee enemas

The body in most cases has the ability to cleanse itself, therefore regular cleansing of the colon by external methods is not recommended.

For this reason, gastroenterologist Samita Garg, MD, shares in an article from the Cleveland Clinic her vision of this trend, which has become popular hand in hand with other practices such as fasting and “detox”, which are widely disseminated information and tutorials on such platforms like TikTok.

Read on: (Detox diets: what are they for and what are their risks?)

“This is not a recommended therapy and there are some potential risks associated with it,” warns Dr. Garg. “I recommend coffee to some people because there is evidence that it stimulates a wave of contractions in the intestines called peristalsis and helps food move through the intestines.”

And it highlights that traditional coffee ingestion can provide a diuretic effect.

In the above article, they point out that studies show that coffee enema can cause several side effects, including colitis (inflammation of the lining of the large intestine) and proctitis (inflammation of the rectum).

“Colitis can cause pain or bleeding, and if the enema fluid is hot, it can also cause rectal burns,” adds Dr. Garg.

In addition, they may cause tenesmus, a condition in which nerves in the lower intestine begin to overreact, causing muscle spasms therefore, the patient may experience frequent urination even if he is unable to do so.

“If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should refrain from taking enemas because they can cause further irritation and damage,” advises Dr. Garg.

Read More: (All You Need to Know About Colon Cleansing)

Gerson Therapy

This practice is known as part of the Gerson Therapy created by Max Gerson, a German-American physician who developed an alternative therapy to treat cancer and other diseases.

Cancer Research UK notes that the therapy consists of three parts:

– Do 3-4 coffee or castor oil enemas per day

– Take vitamin and mineral supplements such as potassium, vitamin B12, pancreatic enzymes, and thyroid supplements.

– Drink 20 pounds of chopped fruits and vegetables a day, equivalent to a glass every hour, 13 times a day.

Gerson advocated the use of coffee enemas in combination with a vegetarian diet as a way to heal and detoxify the body. This is reported by the specialized portal Healthline.

But there are no clinical trials showing that coffee enemas can improve health.

Be aware that some treatments may worsen an existing health condition or interact with certain medications or supplements if not done on the advice of a healthcare professional.

If you decide to take a coffee enema and experience side effects such as severe pain, persistent nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, rectal bleedingYou should go to the emergency room.

Laura Alejandra Albarracin Restrepo



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