- People have used enema solutions for centuries to treat constipation, bowel issues, and to cleanse their colon.
- The benefits range from improving circulation, boosting energy, losing weight, clearing the skin, detoxing the liver, and the list goes on.
- Keep reading to learn about eight different types of enema solutions and how they can keep your bowels moving and more.
People have used enema solutions for centuries to treat constipation, bowel issues, and to cleanse their colon. But the benefits of enemas stretch even further in the body. Enemas help eliminate toxins that have been stored in the body. The benefits range from improving circulation, boosting energy, losing weight, clearing the skin, detoxing the liver, improving regularity, bowel cleansing, and more.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before performing an enema at home, especially if you have a serious condition. They may not be suitable for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have certain medical conditions. If you use enemas, do it safely: Use filtered water; ensure liquids are cooled to room temperature; and do not force yourself to hold enema solutions if you are constipated.
What is an enema?
An enema is a procedure where a liquid solution is inserted into the colon via a tube through the rectum. The liquid softens stools in the colon and can stimulate muscle contractions that expel the stool from the colon. Depending on what ingredients you use in your enema kit, you can detoxify heavy metals, reverse gut disease, and boost the immune system. Popular enema solutions include hot water enemas and coffee enemas. They’re most often used to treat constipation or clear out the bowels before a medical procedure
Keep reading to find out what you need for an at-home enema.
See the steps
What you’ll need for an at-home enema
- Enema kit – You can purchase a stainless-steel enema bucket or a clear enema bag with medical grade silicone enema tubing. Popular enema kits include Medisential Enema Kit, $40, and The Perfect Enema Bag Kit, $18.
- 2-4 cups filtered water
- Ingredient of choice from recipes below (coffee, probiotics, herbs, epsom salt, etc.)
- Medium saucepan
- Fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth
- Towels, yoga mat, pillow, whatever you need to be comfortable lying on the floor. You could also settle into your clean bathtub.
- Lubricant such as organic, unrefined raw coconut oil
How to do an enema
The best time to perform an enema is in the morning after your first bowel movement.
- Prepare your enema solution and cool to lukewarm (37-40? C or 98-104? F). Be sure your solution has been well-filtered with a strainer and cheesecloth.
- Prepare your enema kit with the instructions that came with it.
- Pour your solution into the enema bag or bucket, making sure your clamp is closed before you pour.
- The bucket or bag should be placed higher than your body, such as on a chair or countertop beside you, or the bag can hang from the shower rod.
- Prepare the space you will be lying on, then lie on your right side in a fetal position.
- Unlock your enema clamp carefully to allow the liquid to fill the tubing, then clamp tight.
- Lubricate the tip of your nozzle using coconut oil and gently insert it 2 inches into your rectum. It may help to keep your right leg straight and your left leg towards your chest to make insertion easier.
- Unlock the clamp and allow the enema solution to flow. You can pinch your tube to slow it down if there is any discomfort.
When you start to see air bubbles in your tubing, stop the clamp.
- Lay in this position as long as you can. You can start out slow and work your way up to 2-15 minutes depending on the type of enema you are performing.
- Sit on the toilet and release.
Water enema for cleansing the colon
Water enemas are the simplest form of enema you can use. They help clean the colon and soften your stools. Water enemas are often used in hospitals when performing CT scans to distend the area they are viewing to detect what is going on.
Studies on water enemas for constipation and fecal incontinence in children and adults have shown invaluable results for reducing constipation. Using enema additives such as oil or vegetable glycerin significantly increases the rates of continence ability.
If you are just starting to use enemas, this is the best place to start before trying additional ingredients. It is important to use filtered water, as chlorine can kill your gut flora.
How to make a water enema
This is the simplest solution of course. All you need is a 2-4 cups of water.
Bring the water to a boil on your stove top. Remove from heat and allow to cool to a lukewarm temperature. This is important so don’t skip this step.
Coffee enemas for detoxification
For decades, coffee enemas have been used to detox the body and fight cancer; they’re an essential part of The Gerson Therapy for cancer patients, and their popularity is growing. The caffeine in coffee has been shown to open the bile ducts which increases the production and flow of bile. The coffee also stimulates glutathione production in the liver by up to 600-700% above normal levels. Glutathione is the body’s “master antioxidant” and is crucial for detoxification. It also helps to support energy, boost immune function, and bring mental clarity. Glutathione helps to neutralize free radicals, which get dissolved in the bile and excreted from the body.
While holding the enema for 10-15 minutes, the blood circulates through the liver 4-5 times!
Functional diagnostic nutritionist and holistic health coach Wendy Meyers, founder of Myers Detox, recently spoke about coffee enemas on this Bulletproof Radio podcast episode, telling Dave that they’re a great way to speed up the body’s detoxification process.
According to Meyers, people with heavy metal toxicity should cleanse with a coffee enema 2-3 times per week. Any more than that can deplete other minerals in the body. If you are healthy, she recommends once per week. Those with chronic illness have done them daily or multiple times per day.
How to make a coffee enema solution
For the coffee enema, it’s imperative that you use organic, mold-free coffee beans, such as Bulletproof Coffee, that won’t add more toxins to your system.
Brew 3 cups of coffee using filtered water and 2 tablespoons of ground coffee. Be sure all beans are filtered out of the solution. Remove from heat and cool completely before using to avoid serious injury.
Herbal enemas to heal and cleanse
Herbal enemas are believed to be absorbed by the intestinal walls and go directly into the bloodstream to support healing and detoxification. There are many different herbs you could use for this enema solution, depending on the benefits you seek. Think of an herbal enema as a more effective and potent herbal tea.
One of the most common herbal enemas you can try is chamomile. Chamomile is known for its calming and relaxing properties. When using chamomile in an enema, it relaxes the colon which can reduce intestinal cramps and spasms caused by gut inflammation. It can also ease anxiety and, if used before bedtime, help you fall asleep faster. People believe chamomile enemas also help with hemorrhoids.
How to make a chamomile enema solution
Boil a quart of filtered water and infuse with chamomile flowers, or chamomile tea bags. Strain the flowers and add another quart of cool water. Allow the liquid to cool until lukewarm.
Garlic enemas for candida and parasites
Garlic is a strong antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and antifungal. It also boosts your immune system. A garlic enema may aid the body in ridding parasites and killing candida. Garlic also helps remove mucus and toxins from the colon. Because garlic inhibits alpha brain waves and can make it harder to maintain emotional regularity, garlic is a suspect food on the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap. They can also be prone to mold, so choose high-quality garlic, and don’t use regularly. Also, if using garlic in your enema, you may want to avoid being around people as the allicin (what gives garlic its power) will absorb into your colon and you’ll soon be smelling of garlic.
How to make a garlic enema solution
Crush five cloves of garlic and let sit in 1 quart of warm, filtered water for a minimum of 15 minutes. Strain the water, then administer the enema.
Probiotic enema for gut inflammation
By now, you are probably familiar with the idea that the microbiome is a vital part of your well-being — from how your immune system functions to how your brain works. Using a probiotic in an enema solution helps colonize those healthy bacteria in the gut. This gives them a better chance of survival because they are not traveling through the digestive system.
Not only can a probiotic enema help reduce gut inflammation and colonize healthy bacteria, it can impact your brain health too. Read more about the gut-brain connection and how having a healthy gut contributes to less brain fog, better absorption of vitamins and minerals, and a better mood.
In a randomized clinical trial, an enema solution of Lactobacillus (L) reuteri was used for children ages 6-18 with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis. The patients received an enema with the solution nightly for eight weeks. Thirty-one patients completed the trial and the results showed a significant decrease in inflammation in the L. reuteri group compared to the placebo group. Clinical remission in the L. reuteri group was at 31% with none in the placebo group.
How to make a probiotic enema solution
All you need for this recipe is 1 teaspoon of powdered probiotic (Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifdocaterium lactis, and Bifidobacterium longum recommended) and 2 quarts of warm, filtered water.
Mix the powder in the water until it dissolves and use as your enema solution. Perform this enema occasionally to boost your gut bacteria.
Epsom salt enema for constipation
An Epsom salt enema is similar to a water enema but can yield more useful results for cleansing the colon and reducing constipation. The Epsom salts draw more water from the intestine into the colon which helps to relax the intestinal muscles. This is caused by the high amounts of magnesium. The magnesium sulfate also aids in detoxification of the liver.
How to make an epsom salt enema solution
This solution is a quick and easy one. Just add 4 tablespoons of Epsom salts to 8 cups of warm, filtered water. Make sure it is not too hot, and use with the enema kit.
Don’t overuse this enema as it draws out extra water and could cause dehydration. Make sure to stay hydrated when doing any enema solution.
Lemon juice enema for pH balance
Lemons are well-known for helping balance of body pH (not the pH of blood). That is one of the benefits of using lemon juice as an enema solution. It helps to balance the pH levels of the colon and may reduce pain associated with colitis. Lemon juice is a great cleansing enema for ridding the colon of excess poop.
How to make a lemon juice enema solution
Add 2/3 cup of fresh-squeezed (and strained) lemon juice to 2 quarts of warm water.Remember that it needs to be lukewarm and not too hot. Mix it up and use with your enema kit.
To avoid irritation of the intestinal lining, don’t use this enema more than once a week, and hold it in for only a couple of minutes, not too long.
How often to do enemas
If you have a chronic illness, consult your doctor about how often you can safely do enemas. Daily and up to four times a day are often recommended. But if you don’t have chronic issues and are just looking to keep your bowels moving smoothly, once a week is plenty.
- If you have leakage of water, ensure that the nozzle is inserted at least 2 inches into the rectum.
- If you get a cramp while the liquid is flowing in, close the clamp, turn from side to side, and take a few deep breaths. The cramp will typically pass quickly.
- Gurgling and squirting sounds are normal. That is your body eliminating toxins.
- If you have a serious condition, consult your doctor before performing an enema.
- Doing enemas on a regular basis could potentially cause electrolyte imbalances. Make sure you stay hydrated and supplemented as dehydration and loss of minerals can be a side effect.
- It is critical to ensure that the liquid has cooled to room temperature before doing the enema. If it is hot it can burn the rectum and colon, possibly requiring surgery. This is something many have had to learn the hard way.
- Do not force yourself to hold in the enema solution or to poop afterward if you’re constipated.