Bottoms Up! How & Why I finally Tried a Coffee Enema for My Hashimoto’s Disease
“What’s this?” you say. “Aren’t you the one always telling us not to drink coffee?!?!”
Yes, that’s me. And I still stand by that. If you’re dealing with adrenal fatigue and thyroid problems you shouldn’t be drinking coffee… but you might want to think about putting it somewhere else.
I have known about coffee enemas for more than three years now. I’ve read and researched its virtues and have heard plenty of first-person accounts of how people’s antibody counts disappeared after incorporating coffee enemas into their healing regimen. It was also recommended to me by integrative doctors and nutritionists.
But, I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t believe it. Was I going to have to do something like this to get better? I shuttered at the thought.
For years, I did everything else BUT the coffee enema. I had gotten better, had my energy and my life back and didn’t think there was a need to even go there. And, I had had a traumatic enema as a child and I really wasn’t open to this healing modality. However, I learned quickly this year that my liver was still congested after I moved to wine country and started enjoying a lot more wine than I had before I had reversed Hashimoto’s.
Cheers to my liver’s health
Years ago, I couldn’t drink any alcohol. If I did, I would immediately feel a yeast reaction and I would also feel the effects of just one glass as if I’d gone on a bender. I couldn’t recover from even one drink the next day so I gave alcohol up altogether for a year as I healed myself. At the time, I was giving that up with sugar because it all seemed related. And it was. But there was more….
I was also more sensitive to vitamins and supplements. Everything in this past year seemed to be throwing me off just a bit. At first I thought it was just stress from our major relocation, but as I researched and tried new things out and worked with a couple of new doctors, I just wasn’t feeling optimal.
After speaking with my new doc and describing how all his supplements were affecting me, we had a real heart to heart about coffee enemas, my liver, and what I needed to do. Our strategy was to take a break from all the supplements, start cleansing my liver with coffee enemas, and slowly add back the few supplements that would make sense to keep me on track for my unique needs.
For two years, I’ve had a coffee enema kit staring at me from our cupboard. STARING AT ME! Every time I’d go into that cupboard it would beckon me… “Why don’t you just give me a try?” it would say.
I would see it almost every day but I just couldn’t pull the trigger (so to speak!). I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But now I had the doctor telling me that this might be the key to helping me putting the final nail in the coffin on my gut troubles. While I’ve certainly reversed the leaky gut, we did find bacteria and yeast overgrowth. And, I still had ridges in my nails — a sign that I’m not fully absorbing vital nutrients.
It was time to face the brew and give this healing modality a shot.
So I did it. After several weeks of being off supplements, yet still not finding the willpower to do this thing, I decided to rip off the band-aid and just go for it! I had to psyche myself up. I gave myself a whole day’s notice. I said, “Self, you’re doing this tomorrow!” and I got everything prepped for this upcoming adventure.
WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO DO THIS?!?!?! Coffee enemas are frickin’ amazing! OMG — I can’t believe what a wuss I’d been and how that had kept me from a great tool in our healing arsenal. Coffee enemas are wonderful and here’s why…..
What this brew can do for you
Enemas, and coffee enemas in particular have been used as a healing technique for centuries — they’re even mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls! Why are they effective for detoxing and healing?
A sluggish liver is extremely common with hypothyroid, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune disorders, estrogen dominance and hormone imbalances, and coffee enemas are one of the best ways to stimulate your liver to more easily detoxify and get rid of the things making you so sick.
In an ideal health situation, your liver is your body’s filter, getting all the toxic substances out of the blood stream that your body takes in from the world around you. But in our modern era, toxins are everywhere, and the liver can’t keep up. Even otherwise healthy people can have a sluggish liver, and for those of us fighting disease like thyroid disease, not being able to get those toxins out of the body just exacerbates everything.
In thyroid sufferers, a congested liver slows down the conversion of T4 to T3. For autoimmune patients, toxins cause inflammation. And for people suffering from estrogen dominance and hormone imbalances, many times the substances contributing to the imbalance are stored up in that congested liver.
So a coffee enema is a good way to flush out (pun intended) the toxins that contribute to all these conditions.
- Enemas physically clean out the colon, releasing toxins, parasites, yeast colonies, bacteria, and any nasty debris that may be stuck in there — some substances, like white flour in particular, can harden and get stuck.
- Coffee is astringent, which means it strips away the top layer of mucus membrane in our colon, which is usually full of toxins and ready to be released anyway.
- Coffee is also an antioxidant, which is especially good for your liver.
- Caffeine is a stimulant which opens the bile ducts, flushing out toxins, and draws toxins out of the bloodstream. Coffee is also unique in being best at not allowing toxins from the bile back into the bloodstream through the gut wall.
Can’t I just do a cleanse? The difference between other detoxes and coffee enemas.
I recommend quite a few different detox methods to my clients, but none of them quite stacks up to a coffee enema.
Coffee enemas actually help your liver and gallbladder function better so that when you do a detox or cleanse using any of the other methods that might be recommended, you’ll be able to eliminate toxins so they don’t float around in the body. A detox or cleanse releases toxins stored in the body but they don’t assist the liver in processing those toxins.
So while a massage, a sauna, supplements, Epsom salts baths, dry brushing, and even regular colon hydrotherapy are good ways to support your body’s natural detox pathways, the best way to support your liver is with a coffee enema.
And no — before you ask — just drinking coffee doesn’t have the same effects. Sorry. 😉
The dangers of detoxing when your liver is congested (detox pathways aren’t open)
When toxins start to build up in the body, the body does its best to get rid of them, but when the liver gets overworked, it starts delegating. You may see your skin trying to get rid of toxins in the form of a rash, or, as is super-common with my clients, you may experience lots of tummy troubles as a result of toxins that don’t get filtered out making their way through your digestive system.
If your detox pathways are congested, toxins aren’t eliminated properly and may enter the bloodstream, causing more harm than good.
Before you start your coffee enema regime, prep your body:
- Clean up your diet to avoid toxins. That means all kinds of chemical additives including MSG, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors and colors. If you’re fighting a hormone imbalance, you need to also avoid plastics.
- Reduce intestinal inflammation before you start so that the toxins your liver releases don’t flow right back into your bloodstream.
- Watch your nutrient intake and be sure to replace what you took out with good stuff. (See below)
OK, let’s do this thing: How to do a coffee enema.
This is actually a lot easier than you might think, but it does require some prep work.
- Coconut Oil
- Enema Bucket
- Organic Coffee — It’s important to use organic, non-flavored coffee.
- Distilled water
- Pot, Strainer, Measuring Cup
- Bring four cups of distilled water to a gentle boil and add three rounded tablespoons of coffee. Let it boil for five minutes uncovered, then cover the pot, turn down the heat, and let it simmer for 15 minutes more. (If you’re doing 2 cups of water, use 1½ tablespoons of coffee.)
- Turn off the heat and let the coffee cool to body temperature — very important! Don’t burn yourself.
- Line a strainer with cheesecloth or plain white linen (a clean tea towel works) and filter your coffee. Measure again and add enough distilled water to equal a full four cups.
- Fill your enema bucket with the coffee and take it to where you will perform your enema. (See my tips below.) Set or hang the bucket about 18 inches above your body to let gravity help do the work.
- Lubricate the tube’s tip with coconut oil and gently insert it about 6 to 8 inches into the anus. Release the clamp on the tube to let the coffee flow in.
- Lie down on your right side in a comfortable position. (Some directions say to lie on your left side, but for a coffee enema, you want to lie on your right to get the coffee closer to the liver.)
- Once the bucket is empty, hold the liquid inside your body for 12 to 15 minutes.
You can also visit a professional colon hydrotherapist who offers coffee implants (that’s what these are called in the biz). This may be the way to go if you’re squeamish or don’t want the muss and fuss of any cleanup. (See my tips below!)
Replenish your electrolytes after coffee enema
After your amazing adventure is over, you’ll want to make sure to replenish your electrolytes. As I mentioned, an enema physically flushes you out, which means you lose a lot of water from your own body as well as the water you put in. Just like after you’ve been sick with a stomach bug, you want to put back electrolytes so that your blood functions properly.
That doesn’t mean you should grab a jug of Gatorade. Coconut water naturally has lots of electrolytes, as does bone broth. Some foods are even good for replacing electrolytes, like avocados, broccoli, yogurt, and apricots.
You can also whip up your own electrolyte drink, if you like. Generally you want to include lots of water, some citrus, and salt. Try this!
Super Easy Electrolyte Drink
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 2–4 tablespoons raw honey, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- banana, strawberries, blackberries or coconut milk (if you’d like a smoothie)
Blend all of the ingredients together until the honey is dissolved. (You can skip the honey if you’re avoiding sugar.) Taste test and adjust as needed. Enjoy.
What happened to me when I took the plunge!
I like to take things slow with my body. So, I didn’t do the full 4 cup enema the first time. Instead, I used 1 ½ tbsps of coffee in 2 cups water. That first enema was really cleansing and was easy to retain for the 12-15 minutes. It was also easy to hold while I transitioned from the floor to the toilet.
For all the rest of the enemas I’ve done, I’ve done the full 4 cups. And let me tell you, that’s an entirely different ballgame. See my tips for success below… and learn from my mistakes, people.
Jen’s Top 10 Tips for Coffee Enema Success
- Make sure you work with a doctor or other knowledgeable practitioner before doing a coffee enema. Make sure this is ok for you to do given your unique situation.
- Start by doing 2 cup enemas and work your way up to 4 cups slowly. I made a big mistake going from 2 to 4 too quickly! I just thought since the 2 cup was so cleansing and wonderful that 4 cups would be even better. Go slower. Try 2 cups for a few weeks then move up to 3 cups then 4 cups (if you even need to).
- Clear 1 hour for yourself to prep, receive and release the coffee and water. I like to do this early in the morning before the house is up and running.
- Put on some music and relax. The body temp water is actually quite relaxing. I use this time as meditative time and focus on “releasing what doesn’t serve me.” A true mind/body cleanse.
- Make sure your bowels are clear (if possible) before doing the coffee enema. Mine are always jammed up so a few days before I did my first ever coffee enema, I used a saline one from the drugstore. Compared to a coffee enema, those seem really aggressive. If I ever need to do that again, I’ll do a simple water flush (enema) prior to the coffee one.
- Use coconut oil to lubricate the tube – it’s natural and anti-bacterial and way better then that other stuff.
- Lie down AS CLOSE to the toilet as you can. Unfortunately, the way our bathroom is set up, our toilet is a separate little room a few feet away from the tub (where I put the enema bucket). The closer you get to the toilet, the easier (read faster!) the transition will be.
- Use towels EVERYWHERE! Holding 4 cups of water in your booty while you get up from the floor to the toilet has been impossible for me. Can you say leakage? It’s gross, I know! I hate talking about it but this is the truth of the situation. Take my word for it – you want to use old towels or towels you don’t love and line your path from wherever your bum is lying down all the way to the toilet. I had no problem “retaining” when I did the 2 cup enema so it was an absolute shock to be leaking when I did the 4 cups. I wasn’t prepared and ended up spending an hour I didn’t have deep cleaning that bathroom floor! USE TOWELS!
- Prepare for multiple waves of cleansing. This has been my experience – there’s the initial release, then 5-10 minutes later there’s some further cleansing, then another 5-10 minutes later, there’s a deep clean. Sometimes, I just sit there for 30 minutes to make sure it’s all good and sometimes, I do other things in between “rounds.” But, plan on there being more than one release.
- Replenish electrolytes pronto. I do this with a warm cup of bone broth. It’s so comforting. I’ve just taken an hour to do something wonderful for my body and finishing it off with a warm electrolyte beverage is a little piece of heaven and a great way to start the day!
I know this sounds high maintenance and like it’s a lot to do! I thought it would be too, at first. That’s what took me so long to try it. Not only was it the fear of being jittery from the caffeine (which doesn’t happen with an enema) and the trauma of previous enemas, but the process just seemed overwhelming.
Well, it isn’t! After just one time of going through the process, I was a pro on what to do. It’s actually simple and easy and so beneficial to your body, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. Don’t wait! Your body will thank you.
Got questions? Let me know in the comments! And don’t be shy: there are no stupid questions here!
Whether you’re ready to try a coffee enema or are looking for other tips and support, I provide a ton of resources on healing your thyroid naturally, including:
- Our totally free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Report and Coaching Sessions
- Right here on my blog, where I talk about what’s worked best for me and my clients, as well as the latest research and resources I come across. You can subscribe to get new blog posts delivered right to your email by signing up on the righthand side of the page.
- My book, Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally — part memoir, part instruction manual for how I personally healed my Hashimoto’s disease.
- My exclusive free 6 Thyroid Myths That Can Keep You From Healing workshop — with info on the comprehensive Thyroid Fix in 6 program, which walks you through, step-by-step, the exact actions you need to take to heal your thyroid and get your life back! We’ve seen hundreds of participants in the Thyroid Fix in 6 avoid, decrease, or even eliminate the need need for thyroid medications.
- The incredible Your Best Thyroid Life Video Bundle, in which I personally invited 27 of the world’s top health experts to share their best tips for living with and healing thyroid disease.
There are so many ways to help you heal and feel your best. Don’t be afraid to try new things!
Jen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches women how to reverse thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally. She’s helped hundreds of women decrease (or even eliminate) their thyroid medications and has helped others stay off thyroid medication entirely.
Through her free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Jen teaches easy and simple steps to thyroid healing that can fit into your busy day. She also provides print outs to bring to your next doctor’s appointment so you can get the support and respect you deserve.