The Healing Powers of Coffee

August 2, 2011
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

119537709A novel way to feel good—the coffee enema approach.

Coffee is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beloved superfoods. In fact, I am currently reviewing a new book that will feature the healing powers of coffee.

New research suggests that a jolt of java has many positive benefits like lowering the risk of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cirrhosis of the liver, and memory loss linked with aging. But there are also studies which suggest that coffee weakens the adrenal glands (your body’s emergency fight or flight system), depletes calcium resulting in an increased risk for osteoporosis, raises blood pressure, and can interfere with blood sugar control among type 2 diabetics.

From my perspective, the most overlooked value of coffee is its use in the legendary coffee enema. For years I have wondered why cancer clinics and alternative cancer docs are such huge proponents of the rectal administration of coffee. It turns out that coffee has been proven to increase an enzyme known as Glutathione S-transferase or GST—which elevates the uptake of glutathione by 700%. This is no small feat when you consider that GST activates glutathione to bind to toxins from solvents, fungus, mold, lipids, antibiotics, and petrochemicals making them water-soluble for excretion.

Coffee not only increases GST but helps to dilate blood vessels and bile ducts to remove toxic overload even more efficiently. Just think of it. Daily we are exposed to such a plethora of environmental assaults—hundreds of pesticides, prescription meds, preservatives, and “xenobiotics”—that our detox pathways need extra support. Our bodies weren’t designed to detox such a huge quantity of toxic substances that have stockpiled in the environment over the last 60 years.

Before you begin, keep in mind that the coffee should be organically grown because commercial coffees are laced with herbicides and pesticides. You should be able to find organic coffee at your local health food store, and it should be made fresh every morning or the night before, and cooled down. Although any enema or douche bag can be used, I personally recommend the Kendall Seamless Enema Bucket (about $4.00 in a medical supply house) or ordered through the Kendall Company at 1-800-962-9888.

Here’s the coffee enema recipe:

• Pour one quart of pure water into a glass, stainless steel, or enamel coffee maker (never aluminum or Teflon-coated). Add three tablespoons of ground coffee. The amount of coffee that you use depends on your own tolerance for caffeine. Start with a weak coffee enema rather than a strong one. Percolated coffee is also acceptable.

• Hang the enema bag no higher than two feet off the floor. Hanging it any higher causes the fluid to flow out with too much force.

• Connect the colon tube to the enema bag and seal off the tube.

• Pour the coffee into the enema bag and allow a little to pour from the end of the tube into the toilet or container in order to clear air from the tube. This is also a good time to recheck the temperature of the coffee to make sure it’s not too hot.

• Lubricate several inches of the free end of the colon tube and insert it into the rectum, while lying on your left side. The length of tubing inserted varies greatly with individuals. Never try to force the tubing in. Expect to take several enemas before you become comfortable with the procedure.

• Unseal the tube and control the flow of coffee into the colon.

• When the flow is completed, remove the colon tube or leave it in place with the valve half open to remove gas that may be in the colon.

• Gently massage your abdomen for five minutes, while lying on your left side. Do the same while lying on your back, and then on your right side.

• After 15 minutes, sit on the toilet and expel the enema. Should you wish to do so at any time before this, do not hesitate. You should never try to forcibly hold in the enema. In fact, nothing in this entire procedure should involve force or strain.

I would recommend that you start with one coffee enema per week and see how you do. You can always add a second weekly enema, but pace yourself accordingly. If you feel headachy, depressed, or even constipated, these are signs your body is trying to move out toxins and you should proceed slowly, but surely. Simply put, the coffee enema is starting to clear layers of waste from your system. They are best administered in the morning as sometimes the caffeine can keep you awake at night. Take the enema after a bowel movement rather than before one.

In place of actually drinking coffee, I love Roasted Dandelion Root Tea. Dandelion’s medicinal use dates back to the 10th and 11th centuries. In fact, in merry old England, it was an official “drug,” and since that time it has been used extensively for liver cleansing and blood purification. Its therapeutic properties act as a diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory, and gallbladder decongestant. In fact, it’s even been used to treat hepatitis and jaundice. To lessen your toxic load, coffee enemas cannot be overlooked. In the interim, take two cups of Dandelion Root Tea daily and in about three weeks, you should be reporting better sleep, clearer skin and calmer nerves.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Lynne

    Are the three tablespoons of coffee you are recommending on the strong side or is that a weak mixture?

  2. liz

    I would start with l Tbs. and go up to 3 Tbs. I’m a big fan of coffee enemas and have had great results detoxing with them. The area around my eyes always looks better afterwards and I have more energy. I do use even more coffee than the 3 Tbs.

  3. Vickie

    Thanks for this wonderful information Ann. I have Celiac Disease and follow a high fiber diet – without seeking means to replace the breads and grains that I use to consume. Fiber does make us gassy; so I cherish your informative emails. I do not drink coffee very often, but do drink tea. I am going to try the roasted organic dandelion tea as I do have some problems with inflammation in my joints.


  4. dave

    What about copper toxic people? Isn’t coffee loaded with copper that will be absorbed from the rectum?

  5. Curious

    Is it possible to do this with organic decaf?

    • Darren

      Impossible. The caffeine is a very important part of the chaermical cocktail. This also works for migraine sufferers like myself. And neither decaf or instant will work.

  6. Administrator

    The coffee should definiely be organic and we thank you for your sources of therapeutic coffee. While coffee is a source of copper, taken rectally it acts as an anti-fungal, anti-parasitic agent helping to empty and purify the bile ducts.

  7. liz

    Organic decaf would work if it is decaffinated using the Swiss water method, otherwise it would have chemicals.

  8. liz

    On second thought, decaf coffee would not work because caffeine stimulation is an important part of the detox process with the liver and gall bladder.

  9. Wondering

    Regarding the caffeine…. I’m extremely sensitive to caffeine (migraines), and have been a bit hesitant to try coffee enemas. Is there an alternative that may be beneficial?

    • Darren

      Try powdering up aspirin and boiling them in water for an enema. Use about 1 gram per 2 quarts. Also walgreens has acetaminophen and aspirin suppositories ask the pharmacist. Or if you want to make your own use powdered spirin mixed into melted cocoa butter but the cocoa hutter cant have mineral oil or paraffin in it. Make sure the cocoa butter is pure. Melt over low heat and use a rubber glove as a mold. Insert into rectum and enjoy

  10. Administrator

    Dilute, dilute, dilute the coffee enema. The caffeine does not work as intensely as orally-derived caffeine from drinking coffee.

  11. Becky

    I didn’t see where she said to strain the coffee grounds out of the liquid. I always have. Does it matter?

  12. esther

    If you dont strain the coffee you will have a clogged enema bag! You are right, instructing every step of the process is important for all.

  13. Administrator

    The filter in the coffee maker automatically filters the grounds. Making coffee in a coffee maker is our preferred way to make the coffee. No extra work needed with the coffee grounds.

  14. Maria

    Is it important to replenish with probiotics following the coffee enema? If so, how … orally or rectally? Thank you.

  15. Sierra

    Maria, you may try 3 teaspoons daily of Flora-Key probiotic, taken orally. Do this for one week, then cut back to one teaspoon per day.

  16. James  L.

    I see no mention of taking 8 oz. of olive oil after the enemas to force the toxins out of the liver, does anyone have infro. about that procedure?

  17. liz

    I’ve always done that as a separate detox proceedure. It’s a gall bladder cleanse that inclues magnesium to relax the duct and oil to cause the stones to be pushed out. It takes at least a couple of days to do the entire detox.

  18. edie lamay

    what is the title of the new book ann louise is reading on coffee enemas ??

  19. Ester Perez

    Great article! I just did my first coffee enema and will be continuing with a few more this week on a regular basis. I have been eating a pretty healthy diet but my body feels so much lighter and cleaner after cleansing my colon and doing a parasite cleanse.
    A key radiant health is a healthy and clean colon! Thanks for all your wisdom!

  20. Christine

    How far in do you I insert the tube? I heard 3″, also 8″. Does it really matter? Also I have been using charcoal filtered water rather than distilled. How important is this. Thanks

    • liz

      It doesn’t matter how far you insert the tube. Personally I have a CWR carbonized ceramic filter, available at
      I believe it is the best because it takes out chloramines, heavy metals,bacteria and parasites.

  21. Dianne

    We don’t have water purifier at home, is boiling tap water for 20 minuits can do?…Thanks.

    • Sierra

      Yes, boil for twenty minutes and let cool 🙂

  22. Bud

    I have type two diabetes. I read the cleansing animals are not good Because it raises the blood sugar. Any suggestions would be helpful.

  23. Team ALG

    Bud, More recent research suggests that coffee enemas have been helpful for some diabetics in controlling blood sugar. It is an individual matter. You could always do plain water enemas to get a cleansing effect.


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