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.
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.
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?