How do you take your coffee? North or South?

coffee enema

I go through phases of drinking coffee, quitting drinking coffee, drinking coffee on weekends only, and more. I can’t tell you exactly why I keep cycling through these phases, it seems to change over time and it is a definite trend for me.

Why am I talking about this?

There is so much conversation about coffee and whether it’s good or bad for you. In fact, I always use coffee as an example of why we really need to be careful about where we get our health information. One day, Good Morning America will tell you that the latest research says you can safely intake up to 400mg of caffeine (avg. 4 cups of coffee) a day, and the next they’ll tell you it’s best not to have more than one (or none).

My solution to this involves two things:

1. Ask what the recommendation is based on. Example: If up to four cups of coffee has been shown to have a protective effect against Alzheimer’s Disease in more than one credible research study, and you believe that is a valuable benefit to you, then examine it in your personal context. Does Alzheimer’s run in your family? Does the benefit sound valuable to you?

2. Apply the information to your personal needs and health. If you are sensitive to caffeine (it gives you the shakes, racing heart rate, etc), then you probably don’t want to drink coffee even in light of the potential benefit. Additionally, if you have any issues with acidity (a low pH), or you’ve taxed your liver and kidneys (intentionally or unintentionally) by being exposed to high amounts of substances (OTC or prescription, legal or illegal…alcohol, anything that has to be filtered out) or environmental toxins, you may not want to tax your organs more with caffeine. If you have chronic health conditions related to your immune system or endocrine system (and most of them are), you probably don’t want to add caffeine to the mix. If you have symptoms that seem unrelated to your kidneys or liver, but that have an unidentified source (ex: skin problems, brittle nails, premature gray, headaches, etc…these are all symptoms of something deeper that are usually related to endocrine, digestive, and/or immune dysfunction).

Also keep in mind that if something is determined as “not harmful,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s “beneficial.”

Coffee has been promoted as a way to boost mental function, boost athletic performance, prevent some diseases, boost metabolism slightly, and provide us with a lot of comfort in the mornings!  Many health experts will say no one should drink it, and others say there’s no issue.

I say: There are many reasons working for and against it, and how it may affect each individual cannot be determined in a generic recommendation.

There is also one universal way to use coffee as a cleansing and detoxifying agent in the body.

Coffee Enemas.

Yes, you read that correctly. I’m not talking about the enemas you buy at the drugstore. I’m talking about 32-40 oz of brewed coffee (in a specific way), brought to 100 degrees, and then administered into the colon and held there for 12-15 minutes. I’ll provide a link here (there is a link to a step-by-step guide at the bottom of the linked page) for more detailed info on how to do a coffee enema, even though I know most people are still wondering if I’m serious about this.

The theory: Coffee, when taken into the colon, acts as dialysis across the gut wall for all the blood flowing through the liver.

The caffeine works to:

  • dilate blood vessels
  • reduce inflammation in the gut
  • flush the gall bladder (which causes bile to be released and help mobilize toxins)
  • stimulate peristalsis (which helps remove the toxic materials from the body).

You can read more about it here and here, and you can purchase the medical grade enema kit here. In 12-15 minutes that you hold the coffee inside your colon, the blood has circulated through the body, and been essentially filtered, 4-5 times. This technique is used to promote general health and function, as well as in more aggressive approaches to cancer therapies and detoxification programs. The Gerson Therapy is known for promoting this practice along with drinking fresh vegetable juices.

Americans (and maybe Canadians too?) generally shy away from any bathroom or enema/hydrotherapy related discussion. (note: coffee enemas and colon hydrotherapy have two different purposes) There’s evidence that people have been using enemas as a health promotion technique for hundreds (if not thousands) of years.

The health of our bodies is not only highly regulated by the health of your intestines (did you know your brain matter and your digestive matter are made of the same materials and are electrically connected via the Vagus nerve?), but also by how well our liver and kidneys can handle the physical and emotional stress we place upon them.

Doing coffee enemas is a way to hit the reset button in your body in terms of digestion (and healing the digestive system itself), flushing out toxins, helping with bowel regularity, and refreshing the circulatory system. I won’t make health claims about how it will cure diseases, but I will say that the functions it promotes in the body are all things that lead to healthy bodily functioning in practically every body system.

Besides, it’s pretty easy once you get over the idea of inserting the tiny tube, and you can use the 12-15 minute period of holding the coffee in your colon as relaxation time. You just lie comfortably on your side, do some deep breathing, listen to music, or even read a book.

coffee enema 1

Would you ever consider doing a coffee (or other type of) enema or colon hydrotherapy?  If you’re too shy to answer that…why do you think Americans (and, help me out Canadian friends…are you shy about it too?) are so skeeved out by colon discussion?

31 thoughts on “How do you take your coffee? North or South?”

  1. No, I wouldn’t do an enema or a colonic, unless there were something wrong with my insides.  I guess I just feel like my body is self-cleaning.  I’m not grossed out by the idea, but it isn’t for me.  Of course, I’m also quite open about the fact that I had pinworms at one point, so take that for what it’s worth.  I don’t drink coffee, so I’m not really following the is-it-or-isn’t-it health debate.  But I do think it’s beyond important to buy fair trade coffee.  Coffee, like chocolate, is almost slave-labour in a lot of parts of the world.

  2. I think it’s the people you interact with… many of my friends and others I know talk about their “movements” and openly discuss colonics… so I’m not sure it’s an American thing, Canadian thing… I know there are people who don’t even KNOW about that type of “hydrotherapy” (or any kind!), and then there are people who feel it is not something to be discussed, like… religion. 😉  (I’ll gladly talk about enemas if I can avoid the religion arguments!) 😀 

    I have never used coffee, but I heard about it many years ago with my first real cleanse – using bentonite clay and herbs. and again very recently while researching Gerson for a friend. 

    as always, great post, Lisa B !

  3. Happy 4th! I always brew my own coffee. It’s much cheaper, but both flavors that you mentioned and bought sound so cool, especially Jamaican Me Crazy! Haha. Love that name! Have a wonderful 4th of July!

  4. I love that right after you talk about colons you post a picture of baked beans. It made me laugh. 🙂 

    I love coffee… in my mouth. The very idea of enemas definitely creeps me out, though I’ll admit it seems to make more sense now that I’ve read your reasoning.

  5. That’s a great point—I suppose Americans as a whole aren’t colon-phobic in
    conversation. I get that vibe mostly when I’m working in a corporate setting
    (which seems less likely to have a health-centric vibe—or less likely to
    talk about colon topics in that setting!).
    I’m with you—enema chat over religion anyday 🙂

  6. I haven’t…but I wouldn’t rule it out if I felt that I understood the
    results/outcome to be specifically and directly related. In other words…if
    it seemed effective to reach a result I wanted! …Or if I had a condition
    that has been shown to be benefitted by it. Many people do it for general
    cleansing though—I think I wouldn’t go out of my way to just achieve a
    general result (that I could probably do in another way). Hopefully someone
    will comment who has done it!

  7. Thanks for bringing that up—I should have mentioned organic/fair trade as
    bottom line requirements for any coffee (and chocolate) I consume. That’s
    also another reason for not ordering coffee out where sometimes it is not
    specifically clear!

  8. My solution to ALL of the world’s problems: moderation 😉

    OUR NEIGHBORS IN VIRGINIA MADE VEGAN HONEY BAKED BEANS!!! They didn’t have molasses so they used honey haha omg it was so good. They used black eyed peas instead of beans and it was AMAZING. I am remaking it as soon as I get home!!!

  9. oooo, a whole post about coffee! i’m in seventh heaven!
    so will you stick with coffee, do you think? as you know, i love my coffee, now. i so agree that you can find studies to support or trash caffeine/coffee to prove your own point. i am caffeine sensitive in that i can’t drink it later than noon or else i won’t fall asleep or sleep well. hello, decaf!!
    canadian point of view: PERSONALLY, i have no issue discussing enemas, colons…even bowels and such are fine with me; but as WHOLE, canadians DO shy away from this talk, among friends and family, and there’s this sense of embarrassment about going to the doctor for these issues, too, IMO.
    love that you went out at 6 a.m. for coffee. awesome. 🙂
    hope you had a great time at the bbq – bet it was sunny!

  10. Lisa, your “to drink or not to drink” battle totally mirrors my own. I love black coffee. Not sugar, no fuss. Just organic, fair trade, black coffee. For the past three years or so I have had a love/hate relationship with the liquid, drinking it nearly every day for a month, then throwing up my hands saying ENOUGH! and cutting it out of my diet for 4-5 months. Every time I see my acupuncturist, she reminds me that coffee and my system aren’t really the best of friends. So lately, when I have the urge, I try to channel my inner Chinese naturopath and resist. I’ve never done an enema, but I’ve always been curious about them. The coffee bean variation of colon therapy sounds incredibly interesting, I’ll have to look into it in my area. Are you considering doing it yourself? 

  11. I’m a fan of coffee drinking as long as its in moderation. I sure have seen enough people drink waaaay too much coffee (including me, back in college haha) but now I feel like a cup a day (or every few days) feels good to me. I’m never sure what to think about all of the “research” though

  12. I definitely thought about you when I was writing this post! For the coffee
    aspect, not the colon part 🙂
    I don’t know if I’ll stick to coffee…I really really love it. I think if I
    feel pretty good about my health and other habits, I won’t force the issue
    too much with quitting coffee. I really could use a better coffee maker
    Hope you enjoy the weather today—I’m guessing you’re sharing our beautiful

  13. I am definitely one who dabbles in a lot of health promoting activities just
    for the sake of trying them out—with the enema, I think I’ll be more
    likely to consider it if I feel that a health outcome I want to achieve is
    most easily achieved in that way. I’ve read Gerson’s books and a lot about
    coffee enemas online, and I also know a couple people who have done the
    coffee enema (one with cancer, one without). They say it is actually kind of
    relaxing. Since the caffeine is still being introduced to the body—it
    would still be a stimulant in that way, but supposedly not as “drastic” of
    an effect as drinking the coffee. If I try it or come up with any more
    insights, I’ll post about it!

  14. So what you are saying is that my occasional days of only drinking coffee and alcohol are not good for me….  ok… off to get some water.  🙂  I have not done the coffee enema, your info is helpful!

  15. lauren@spicedplate

    thanks for this informative post, lisa!  I used to work at starbucks and drank 3 venti cups of espresso roast a day, up to the point where one day coffee just started to taste terrible, and I couldn’t drink it for about three years.  now that I’m working in another coffee selling venue I’ve started to have super small amounts of it, maybe once a week.  It makes me feel good but I always wonder if the health benefits they claim are true.  I usually stick to herbal spicy teas, and yes, lots of kale!
    I’ve heard of coffee enemas, but have never tried it…it seems weird to have coffee in my intestines like that!  I’d try it if it would help a specific problem I had, though.
    I hope you’re well!

  16. haha oh no we are not shy to take about poo 🙂

    never tried a coffee enema, but heard good things from others that have. I rather drink my coffee.

  17. I was a coffee adddddict prior to pregnancy. I gave it up completely when I found out I was pregnant. Will I go back? Probably- but hopefully in more moderation. Im not sure about using it as an enema, but I do think drinking it for sure helps keep one regular!

  18. Yes, I would definitely try a coffee enema, using organic only. If I’m not mistaken, book authors and health experts Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, and Natalia Rose have great things to say about the coffee enema.   It’s on my “to do” list.

    It’s funny, and not a little frustrating sometimes. What is good for one condition is not good for another. E.g, red wine is good for heart health, problematic for breast cancer. (My mom and sis had BC.) Kale is great for bones (I have osteoporosis), bad for thyroid (I’m hypo, using natural thyroid). Coffee, as you point out, may have benefits for preventing AD (my dad had it), but I also have adrenal fatigue, where coffee is usually contraindicated. (Lisa, have you read Dr. Diana Schwarzbein’s books? I have The Schwarzbein Principle II and recommend it. And she says it’s OK to self-medicate with a little coffee until you are healed. Happy day.)

    You can take SO many food items and find good or bad–such as whole grains and tea (there’s the fluroide issue in non-organic teas). At a certain point, you can’t stress about it, I feel. Make decisions on the best info you can gather. (The research will change constantly anyway.) I make compromises. I have my Cabernet Sauvignon, but only on weekends and only one 4-oz glass a day.  I buy only organic, fair trade coffee and have one cup in the morning. If I have to “self-medicate” that day, I might allow myself another half-cup in the mid-afternoon.

    So many other things come into play in order to be truly “healthy.” Not stressing too much is HUGE!

    Thanks for your great posts! Love the info, the pictures and the recipes!

  19. Um, I kind of shivered actually when I read about the coffee enema…sorry, I don’t think I would unless I absolutely had to.  Ohh, I eat a lot of spinach and kale…  🙁  But also collards, and I will have to look into getting chard instead of kale.  Those beans look so good!  🙂

  20. I’ve never been a huge coffee drinker. I drink Italian espresso occasionally but that’s about it! Caffeine doesn’t really have an effect on me at all. I’m kind of interested in the Coffee Enemas you talked about. I don’t know if I’d do it, but I definitely want to read more about it! 🙂

  21. AWESOME post!! I LOVE me some coffee, but hate the common misconceptions about the topic. Your theory and approach is exactly how I feel about it. 

    As far as a coffee enema goes, I have NEVER heard of that..I started drinking coffee in the morning for similar reason, due to the help it gives my morning BM. I would most definitely try a coffee enema..hahaha. I have always been VERY open about bathroom talk, but none of the people I know are quite as open as me. Perhaps the idea of waste just doesn’t strike an interesting conversation with most. 

  22.  I LOVE coffee and see nothing wrong with it in moderation, but I honestly feel better and more energetic when I avoid it. I think it’s because I become dependent on it so easily. But it’s the same for all caffeine with me – even black tea.

    As for the coffee enemas… I’ve never heard of them before and I doubt they’re mainstream here in Canada. I find stuff like that fascinating, but I probably wouldn’t try to have a conversation about it with my friends, haha.

  23. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I did the coffee enema protocol, and it was a great liver detox. (Added bonus: it reduces cellulite!) Like most of your readers, I prefer drinking my coffee — I like mine black, since I don’t drink milk (sensitive to casein). Just celebrated one year of being cancer-free — whoo hoo!!

  24. I brought the topic up to a friend whose mother has cancer, and she looked
    at me like I had three heads ….. 🙂

    Sometimes the blogosphere is safer for topics like this!

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