My New Year’s resolution: Many more enemas

I was on a sensitive mission as I snuck into my local Dis-Chem and whispered discretely into the ear of a store assistant. “Hey Vusi,” she shouted down the aisle filled with pre-Christmas shoppers, “show this gentleman the enema buckets”.

Vusi bounded up to me with a glint in his eye, a skip in his stride and a toothy, knowing smile. “I’m a Zulu … we know everything about enemas, man,” he proclaimed loudly in one of those Pythonesque nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more moments that brought a flush to my cheeks.

Vusi ambled down the aisle, reached for a package and started to unwrap it before me and several other by now interested customers. With the skill of a blindfolded MK veteran re-assembling an AK47, he had the equipment primed for action in a matter of seconds. After some brief instruction he sent me on my way with my package, a meter of red tubing dangling behind me like an inflamed and angry serpent.

My name is Bruce and I am an enema virgin. Well I was until two weeks ago; now I’m a pro. Inserting hard plastic objects up my bum and trickle-feeding warm liquids into my colon feels, well, almost natural, like brushing one’s teeth or driving a car.

My interest in the health benefits of enemas was sparked recently after I started researching liver detoxification, which I believe we all need as we get older and our bodies accumulate increasing concentrations of environmental poisons. The liver plays a key role in the detox process and a good gallbladder/liver cleanse helps keep the body’s detox weaponry battle-ready.

You might wonder what enemas have to do with the liver. After all, the usual reason for an enema is to flush the colon. Well it turns out that there’s a special kind of enema that is said to be highly effective as a liver/blood detoxifier: coffee enemas.

If you haven’t heard about the benefits of rectal espressos or anal Arabicas or any other cheap/snide metaphors for this interesting therapy, sit back and relax, much is revealed below:

The effectiveness of the coffee enema is thus:

1. It stimulates bile flow from the gallbladder which carries toxins out of the liver. You may have tried milk thistle or dandelion to achieve such a detox, but these are herbal lightweights when compared to the kick of coffee. The herbal remedies, while stimulating some bile production, do not prevent the bile and its toxins from being reabsorbed by the body the way coffee does (the body recycles bile several times). It’s claimed that coffee enemas will move up to 98% of bile toxins out of the body.
# 2. Two acids found in coffee (cafestol palmitate and kahweol palmitate) stimulate the glutathione s-transferase (GST) enzyme system, one of the most powerful detox mechanisms that captures and removes many kinds of carcinogens and poisons from the blood stream and then escorts them safely out of the body.

Gar Hildenbrand, a specialist in the field, says that under the influence of a coffee enema the GST system will increase its activity by 600% to 700% above normal. “No materials other than coffee are known to stimulate it as much.”

Hildenbrand works for the Gerson Foundation, which use coffee enemas as part of its natural treatment regime for cancer. The therapy was pioneered by Dr Max Gerson in the Thirties and his work continues today though Gerson clinics established by his daughter Charlotte in the USA, UK and Mexico. (You won’t be surprised to hear that Gerson and his coffee enemas have been pilloried by the medical establishment).

If all this talk about the detox benefits of coffee has you thinking you can simply drink more lattes or espressos and get the same result, alas the reverse is true: drinking coffee generally ensures the re-absorbtion of toxins.

Coffee enemas are not a quick fix. Years of toxic build-up just cannot be removed overnight; it takes time.

If you think coffee enemas might be helpful to you, please do the research and don’t undertake this therapy if you are under medical care without consulting with your healthcare professional.

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First Published in the Mail&Guardian Thoughtleader