Saturday, August 20, 2011


There are two types of people: those who view coffee as a drink and those who go to great lengths to put it up their butts. Once, I was in the first group. Now I am in the second.

So how did I cross over to the dark side? My naturopath Nesreen Laham Medina first suggested I try an enema. I was so desperate for sleep at that point, I was willing. She didn’t say coffee—I’m sure I would have balked if she had.

“A water enema,” she said. “We’ll give you the equipment, and you can do it yourself in the bathtub. You can hang the bucket from the shower head so that gravity helps the water into your colon. It’s very easy.” So I went home with a special little bucket with a small spout at the bottom, and a bunch of flexible tubing that connected to the spout.

It turns out that hanging the enema bucket from the shower head is not a good idea—at least not with my type of shower head. I got everything set up and was lying the bathtub with the tube up my butt when the bucket came crashing down on my head. All right then. As my stepson says, “do-over.”

I de-tubed myself and washed everything out and looked around for another solution. In my bathroom there is a slowly dying spider plant on a four-foot high plant stand next to the toilet. In no time I had said spider plant on the floor and the stand next to the bathtub, with the enema bucket on top of it. It was sufficiently high off the ground to get the gravitational effect I needed.

The water enema was a success! I slept really well for the next couple nights. But the second time I tried it, it didn’t have the same effect. (This was in fact, a pattern over the past six months—anything I tried to get to sleep worked well once or twice, but then, as the toxins kept building up in my system, the insomnia overrode any minor detox effects I’d achieved with these baby steps.) But I had a powerful intuitive hunch that the water enema had me headed in the right direction.

So what to do? I had this vague notion about a coffee enema. I’d heard about it somewhere. That wasn’t quite recommendation enough—a hazy idea that people somewhere for some reason put coffee up their butts. But someone—a doctor, a friend into health stuff, must have mentioned it to me, because it was floating around in my head, and surely I didn’t put it there. I may write stories about people who keep pet vampires, but I couldn’t have come up with that, even in my wildest imagination. Looking over the instructions that came with my enema kit, I saw they were in fact for a coffee enema, not a water enema! My next appointment with Nesreen wasn’t for another week, and once again I was desperate for sleep, so I thought, why not?

That first coffee enema was transformative. I did it about 11 am, and for the rest of the day I felt wonderfully relaxed, also desperately thirsty, and I could feel a tingly, pin-prickly buzz in my arms and legs as I felt the effects of the enema pulling stuff out of my body. I can’t tell you why, but it was a distinct sensation of things coming out of my cells. Usually when I feel a healing buzz, for example when I take Vitamin C or B12, it feels as if things are going in to my muscles and cells. It feels nurturing. But this was inarguably a sensation of extraction—an extraction that needed to happen. It was sweet relief.

I slept well for the rest of the week. In fact, I was so relaxed I spent a great deal of time on the couch, watching TV or just spacing out. I couldn’t really move, I was so relaxed. The way you might feel after months of tension have been washed away. And it’s been true love-hate ever since.

So here’s the short of it on detoxing: you can take all the cholestyramine and charcoal and chlorella and liver flush herbs you want, but nothing beats the coffee enema. I wish it weren’t so, because this is surely the most time consuming solution I’ve found so far for my Lyme-and-liver woes, but I’ve also come to be quite fond of the process, simply because it works.


1. Don’t hang the enema bucket from the shower head. Use a plant stand, night stand or tall kitchen stool next to the bath tub.
2. Take your time—and do what you have to get it. Tell your family you will need privacy in the bathroom, lock the bathroom door, ask your spouse/partner to take the kids for a bike ride, or let the kids play video games. Whatever it takes so you know you won’t be disturbed.
3. The first few times, give yourself a full hour. This will include set up and breakdown, and plenty of washing of the enema equipment. I run hydrogen peroxide through the bucket and tubing before the enema, and wash with lots of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap afterwards, and use hydrogen peroxide again on the red tube (the one that’s just been up my butt). As you get more practiced at the enema, you can get the total time down to closer to forty minutes.
4. Buy the biggest container of hydrogen peroxide you can find. It’s cheap and is the safest, most non-toxic way to sanitize.
5. Plan ahead. Make the coffee three or four hours beforehand so it can cool to room temperature, or put it in the freezer for an hour to cool it down. Perhaps this is obvious, but: do not use hot coffee!
6. I use a full coffee grinder’s worth of coffee and brew it in a 28-oz French press. This makes about 24 oz of coffee and I use most of it for the enema.
7. Do the enema after you’ve had a bowel movement, so it’s easier to get the tube up there and don’t feel cramping, but also do it as early in the day as possible. If you do it after 12 noon, it can keep you up at night.
8. Use a chemical-free lotion to lubricate the tip of the enema tube, such as one of the Alaffia Shea-butter based products. Put a folded towel in the bathtub and lie on your back while you give yourself the enema.
9. Once the coffee is in, hold it in for up to fifteen minutes. (Ten is fine at the start if that’s all you can manage.) Set a timer, lie on your back or on your right side and read a book or listen to something that relaxes you. Since your organic lotion is handy, use it to gently massage your stomach in a counter-clockwise direction, starting at the lower left pelvis and going along up under the ribs and back down again on the right side. This helps keep the coffee in, pushing it up towards your liver. The instructions that came with my enema kit advise against keeping the coffee in for more than fifteen minutes, and from my own experience, I do too.

It’s not dangerous if you keep the enema going for a minute or two more, but the times I’ve done it for closer to twenty minutes the detox effect has been over the top--almost like I'm on a drug. (I feel fabulously relaxed, yet my brain is going 90 miles an hour and I can't keep a thougt in my head for more than five seconds. My senses are intense, and on high alert, but also quick to flip into edginess.) This usually leads to trouble sleeping that same night, and if you do it repeatedly it will put a strain on your system and wear you out! I'm not saying never do the enema for more than fifteen minutes--for example, if you've got a terrible detox headache and think doing a longer enema will help, go ahead. But don't do it regularly.
10. After fifteen minutes (or less), the coffee has done its work on your liver and you’re ready to expel. Again, take your time. It might take a few minutes for everything to come out.
11. Plan to get a good dose of exercise later in the day, even if you’re just doing the ten minute version. This will help move the coffee out of your system and help you sleep.
12. Drink plenty of water, and add electrolytes, because the enema pulls them out of you. If you don’t have electrolytes (and I don’t mean Gatorade!), call 877-CRAYHON and ask for Peltier Electrolyte Concentrate.


Chris Concannon said...

Great post! thank you so much! I'm gonna ask Santa Clause for a kit this year!

Unknown said...

I have never laughed so hard reading this feeling so horrible. I'm starting my first one tomorrow morning. Thank you for the smile.

Noelle Catharine Allen said...

I'm glad at least you're laughing! I hope it helps. I wrote this post so long ago, and I'm not doing coffee enemas anymore. But they did help when I needed them. Good luck!

Enema Bag Kits Suppliers said...

Oh my god. This post literally made me LOL several times. Ack!

I love your blog.