I see a naturopathic doctor for chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. She recommended coffee enemas. Suzy, I'm a faithful reader, do you think this is safe?--V.A., Seattle, Washington
Answer:Yes. Coffee enemas are used by holistic physicians for all sorts of conditions including cancer. Lots of people find help with constipation, fatigue and liver detoxification concerns. I know this sounds bizarre because you prefer to taste your coffee, not insert it rectally! Agreed. You may be hearing about coffee enemas today, but they are nothing new and complications from coffee enemas are highly unusual. Hey, I just thought of a new franchise concept called Starbutts... entrance in the rear.
Seriously, coffee enemas may help relieve constipation, insomnia and cognitive problems; they may eliminate (or control) parasites, candida and other pathogens (without disrupting intestinal flora). Coffee enemas are frequently used in natural cancer protocols such as the Gerson Therapy (www.gerson.org). Coffee enemas were outlined as a treatment in the revered "Merck Manual," a thick book that physicians used as their primary reference for decades, until the mid 1970's.
It's not the enema as much as it is the coffee that helps. You are exposed to a barrage of toxic compounds in your life, you can easily become overloaded. Some of you cannot detoxify properly. Coffee enemas help you make glutathione, an antioxidant and that sends poisons packing. More on that momentarily.
Coffee enemas can be done at home inexpensively. You just need a comfortable spot on the floor of your bathroom, or bathtub. As the coffee is retained in your bowel, the fluid goes through your intestinal wall, through the portal vein to your liver. The stimulating effects and healing compounds of coffee jumpstart your liver and gallbladder. Bile flows. There are compounds in coffee like kahweol and cafestol which spark production of glutathione, and that is a strong cleansing compound in your body, one that consumers pay good money for when they buy glutathione as a dietary supplement, or get IV injections of it. To make more glutathione naturally (by using a coffee enema) is awesome.
These enemas may allow for relaxation, a better mood, more energy, refreshing sleep and greater mental clarity. If you do too many enemas per week, you may experience electrolyte imbalances. Restoring your electrolytes is crucial, as coffee is a potent drug mugger of minerals. While the controversial cancer specialist Dr. Max Gerson suggested up to 6 per day, I think that is way too much for the average person. Doing a coffee enema weekly (even daily for awhile) is probably okay for most, but always follow your doctor's recommendation. The recipe for a coffee enema is different than the beverage. I've written an extended version of this column to teach you more about coffee enemas, the terrific health benefits, as well as the best coffee, enema equipment and safety concerns. To receive the article, go to my website www.DearPharmacist.com and sign up for your free newsletter. Your information is kept private.