Colon Cleanse for Bowel Problems

The colon cleanse may be uncharted territory for many readers, but Healthy Girlfriend wants you to consider the fact that cleaning out your bowels cannot only heal many diseases, but also goes a long way toward warding off illness and keeping you in great health. If you want to take a detox to the next level, you'll want to read on.

When most people hear "colon cleanse", they imagine that the old-fashioned enema is something akin to torture. Nothing could be farther from the truth, at least in our opinion. For starters, there are different ways to approach colon cleansing and enemas are only one of the options. First, we want to give you a little history on the colon cleanse and then we'll get into the details of how you can do bowel detoxing at home for very little cost.

A Brief History of the Colon Cleanse

It all started with the Ancient Egyptians, or at least that's when it first appeared in historical literature. This advanced culture believed that when food decomposed in the bowels, toxins formed.These toxins were the cause of all manner of disease and if one did not regularly irrigate the colon to remove waste, illness would surely follow. 

The ancient Greeks also practiced the colon cleanse to keep the internals clean. Fast forward to the French King Louis XIV who popularized the enema during his reign in the 17th century. Parisians were known to do enemas several times a day to keep themselves in good health.

Later in Europe, during the 1800's, the practice of the colon cleanse was a common recommendation in the conventional medical literature. European doctors such as Max Gerson brought the practice to America in the early part of the 20th century. In fact, the coffee enema was listed as a treatment for pain and constipation in the Merck Manual, a reference book for physicians, in 1917.The Merck Manual is still widely used by doctors and pharmacists, but the coffee enema disappeared from it in 1972.

Also in 1917, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg who founded the Battle Creek Sanitarium, published an article in the Journal of American Medicine where he stated that he used a colon cleanse on some 40,000 patients. All but 20 of these folks had been cured through the use of enemas along with a cleaner diet and exercise. The doctor had to perform surgery on only 20 of those people.

Dr. Max Gerson, who was German but came to the United States in 1938 made the coffee enema famous (along with juicing and raw foods) as a cure for tuberculosis, cancer, diabetes, and many other diseases. Though many people, including Dr. Albert Schweitzer, were healed from serious illness, Max Gerson was vilified by the conventional medical establishment who were more interested in promoting the pharmaceutical industry. After all, coffee enemas, fresh fruit and vegetables don't reap any profit for investors, and so after the 1930's the practice of colon cleansing fell by the wayside among conventional medical practitioners. Only naturopathic doctors and other natural health adherents have kept the remedy alive all these years. 

The Benefits of Colon Cleansing

OK, so if you read our detox page, you know we live in a toxic world. Not to stress out about it, but everyday we are exposed to food preservatives, pesticides, cell phone radiation, carpet vapors, pollution, toxic cosmetics, jet fuel, chlorine and fluoride. If you listen to the news or engage with negative people, that contributes to toxic thinking which affects our health as well. 

Doing a regular colon cleanse can do wonders for your body. If you have anything that M.D's have labeled "irritable bowel," "colitis," "Crohn's" etc,  flushing out your bowels goes hand in hand with  removing allergenic foods. Of course, Healthy Girlfriend doesn't promise cures, as we aren't in the sick-care system, but as we've stated elsewhere on this site, in order for your body to heal and maintain optimal health, you must detox. Colon cleansing helps rid your body of the waste that accumulates in the tissues. It's even worse if you're constipated. Who knows how many years of junk you're carrying around if you don't cleanse. People who do enemas and colon hydrotherapy for the first few times are known to have released years-old crusted fecal matter, parasites, medication, and other poisons that have been stored in the colon for a long time. One lovely woman we knew who was a former hair stylist could smell perm solution being released from her body!

 Doing regular colon cleansing can result in the following benefits:

  • clearer skin
  • more energy
  • greater wellness
  • improved blood sugar
  • shrinking of tumors
  • weight loss
  • bowel regularity
  • back aches disappeared
  • headache/migraine relief
  • arthritis symptoms lessened or eradicated
  • better digestion
  • faster healing from colds and flu
  • general feeling of well-being
  • liver detoxification
  • pain relief
  • depression and anxiety relief
  • removal of parasites

Many of these benefits, especially pain relief and liver detox, is correlated with the use of the coffee enema only. It is up to you if you'd like to use plain, distilled water, spring water, or dilluted coffee. 

Of course, if you don't want to do a home colon cleanse, you can also visit a colon hydrotherapist. Colon hydrotherapy, also called colonic irrigation, is said to go deeper into the intestines than an enema can. For more information on colonics you can visit the Hippocrates Institute's  page on that topic.

How to do a Coffee Enema

Dr. Max Gerson believed that adding diluted coffee to the enema water was essential to the healing experienced by so many of his patients. Before modern times, no one really understood why irrigating the colon with coffee was so effective. Today we know that the kahweol and cafestol palmitate in coffee dilate bile ducts in the liver and cause it to release detoxifying enzymes which neutralize free radicals in the bloodstream.  Theophylline and theobromine, other important components of coffee, dilate blood vessels, reduces inflammation, and assists with the removal of toxins dumped into the small intestine. 

Water alone will clean out the colon and help with constipation, but diluted coffee helps the body release toxins such as prescription and recreational drugs, and disease-producing, toxic free radicals. Coffee also delivers a dose of antioxidants and minerals into the bloodstream through the colon wall. Happily, coffee taken rectally does not cause a caffeine rush, anxiety, or irritate the stomach like drinking it does. 

If you don't want to include the coffee component (although we suggest you do) simply leave it out and instead heat distilled/spring  water to body temperature before using. So here's how to do the coffee enema:

  • Prepare the bathroom by laying a towel down on a soft rug. You may want a small pillow for your head. Some people like to play soft music, others have a book to read. Allow about half an hour for the first time. When you get used to the procedure, it will take only 15-20 minutes at most. Do the enema anytime after you've had your biggest bowel movement of the day. If you're constipated, you will want to do a plain water enema and get your colon as empty as possible before doing a coffee enema.
  • Get a rubber enema bag that comes with a hose and tip (the smaller tip is for enemas while the larger tip is for douching.) It will also have a hook for hanging the bag.Start with 2 or 3 cups of distilled or spring water (never use tap water unless it's filtered.)
  • Put water in a saucepan along with 1 or 2 tablespoons of organic, caffeinated coffee. Never introduce pesticide-laced coffee into your colon. You shouldn't drink it either.
  • Boil the liquid for 12 minutes only. Strain out the grounds and let the coffee cool down.
  • When the coffee is comfortable to the touch, fill the enema bag and attach the hose and tip, making sure to have the tubing clamped shut so the coffee won't squirt out.
  • Hang the bag on a towel rack or anything that is a couple feet higher than the floor.
  • Lubricate the tip with coconut or olive oil.
  • Lay down on your right side and gently insert the tip into the rectum, straight up from the legs to a depth of two inches.
  • Relax and release the clamp to let the coffee slowly flow into your body. Clamp the tube shut if it feels like it's flowing too quickly and you can't hold it. If you have gas or feel a little cramping, change positions and allow the feeling to pass. It will. Release the rest of the water.
  • When all the coffee is inside, elevate your hips to help get it higher. You're aiming to get the coffee all the way up to the portal vein so it can do its job on the liver. Some people get onto their elbows and knees and stick their bum in the air, others pile some towels up to rest their hips on and lay on their backs. You can use a slant board or inversion table if you have one. 
  • Hold the coffee inside for 12-15 minutes. Relax, read, listen to music and know you are doing your body a huge favor.  If you start feeling like you have to defecate, change positions, rub your belly, move your hips, whatever it takes! If you simply can't resist the urge, go ahead and sit on the toilet and let it all out. With practice, you'll get better at holding it for the full time. Again, if you're a beginner, you can do a water enema first which will get the stuff out. Then follow it with a coffee enema and it will be much easier to hold it.
  • After 12-15 minutes have passed, get on the toilet and let it all out. Sit there for awhile until you're sure you've released all the coffee/water. It's normal to feel a bit crampy initially. 
  • If you feel light-headed, eat a banana or drink some coconut water to replace electrolytes.

Enemas are a relaxing way to colon cleanse. Most people, including Healthy Girlfriend, feel a sense of well-being and calm following an enema. Those who were in pain before report a big reduction afterwards. After all, coffee enemas were a standard pain-relief procedure for European soldiers who had been injured in battle during World War One.

Next time you do a dietary detox, try colon cleansing. Many naturopathic practitioners strongly suggest having colonic irrigation or doing enemas to relieve the toxic burden and make your cleanse easier. Healthy Girlfriend suggests it, too. The sicker you are, the more you need to practice the art of the colon cleanse.