Or, With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemas?
By Vic Shayne, PhD
There are all sorts of articles and descriptions of enemas and colonics, so we won’t go into the logistics of the practice. Instead, let’s focus on whether these two practices are viable solutions to health problems and disease prevention.
First, for reference sake, an enema and a colonic are essentially the same thing, but a colonic reaches deeper into the bowel. The basic premise behind employing enemas and colonics is to
1. clean out the contents of the bowels and thereby detoxify the body of poisonous substances
2. ease digestion by taking stress off the bowel
3. relieve constipation
4. exercise the gallbladder
5. improve the condition of the intestines
6. indirectly heal the body and relieve symptoms
Generally speaking, water is the main ingredient of enemas and colonics. However, other substances are also suggested such as coffee, various herbs or chlorophyll solutions.
The use of enemas as a medical treatment is steeped in history. Cancer researcher Ralph Moss, PhD, writes: “The word itself comes from the Greek en-hienai, meaning to “send or inject into.” The enema has been called “one of the oldest medical procedures still in use today.” Tribal women in Africa, and elsewhere, routinely use it on their children. The earliest medical text in existence, the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, (1,500 B.C.) mentions it. Millennia before, the Pharaoh had a “guardian of the anus,” a special doctor one of whose purposes was to administer the royal enema.
“The Greeks wrote of the fabled cleanliness of the Egyptians, which included the internal cleansing of their systems through emetics and enemas. They employed these on three consecutive days every month said Herodotus (II.77) or at intervals of three or four days, according to the later historian Diodorus. The Egyptians explained to their visitors that they did this because they “believed that diseases were engendered by superfluities of the food”, a modern-sounding theory!
“Enemas were known in ancient Sumeria, Babylonia, India, Greece and China. American Indians independently invented it, using a syringe made of an animal bladder and a hollow leg bone. Pre-Columbian South Americans fashioned latex into the first rubber enema bags and tubes. In fact, there is hardly a region of the world where people did not discover or adapt the enema. It is more ubiquitous than the wheel. Enemas are found in world literature from Aristophanes to Shakespeare, Gulliver Travels to Peyton Place.
“In pre-revolutionary France a daily enema after dinner was de rigueur. It was not only considered indispensable for health but practiced for good complexion as well. Louis XIV is said to have taken over 2,000 in his lifetime. Could this have been the source of the Sun King’s sunny disposition? For centuries, enemas were a routine home remedy. Then, within living memory, the routine use of enemas died out. The main times that doctors employ them nowadays is before or after surgery and childbirth. Difficult and potentially dangerous barium enemas before colonic X rays are of course still a favorite of allopathic doctors.”
Dr. Moss writes: “Coffee enemas were an established part of medical practice when Dr. Max Gerson introduced them into cancer therapy in the 1930s. Basing himself on German laboratory work, Gerson believed that caffeine could stimulate the liver and gall bladder to discharge bile. He felt this process could contribute to the health of the cancer patient.
Although the coffee enema has been heaped with scorn, there has been some independent scientific work that gives credence to this concept. In 1981, for instance, Dr. Lee Wattenberg and his colleagues were able to show that substances found in coffee-kahweol and cafestol palmitate-promote the activity of a key enzyme system, glutathione S-transferase, above the norm. This system detoxifies a vast array of electrophiles from the bloodstream and, according to Gar Hildenbrand of the Gerson Institute, “must be regarded as an important mechanism for carcinogen detoxification.” This enzyme group is responsible for neutralizing free radicals, harmful chemicals now commonly implicated in the initiation of cancer. In mice, for example, these systems are enhanced 600 percent in the liver and 700 percent in the bowel when coffee beans are added to the mice’s diet.
Dr. Peter Lechner, who is investigating the Gerson method at the Landeskrankenhaus of Graz, Austria, has reported that “coffee enemas have a definite effect on the colon which can be observed with an endoscope.”
Another cancer researcher, Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, writes, “Coffee enemas have been discussed in the orthodox medical literature for the better part of this century. Many nursing texts routinely recommended coffee enemas, and the Merck Manual advocated coffee enemas as a stimulant in all editions from the first in 1898 through 1977. During the 1920’s and 30’s, coffee enemas were prescribed for a variety of conditions. In terms of their physiological effect, studies have shown that the rectal instillation of fluids will stimulate gallbladder contraction and emptying.” (Gonzalez)
It has been the experience of this author that enemas have had tremendous success in several case studies. First was the case of a woman in her late 40s, a college dean, who came to me with a severe case of arthritis in which she was unable to walk more than a block, was in constant pain and was progressively losing her health. I placed the woman on a Detoxification Diet adding BFood Complex, Green Nutrients and ProMin Complex (NutriPlex Whole Food Formulas products) and she did daily enemas with water followed by organic coffee. Within a few weeks she reported greater mobility; within a few months she was walking for miles without the use of a cane.
Another situation involved a 22-year-old young man with flu-like symptoms who was vomiting with diarrhea and a severe migraine-type headache without relief for five days. On the sixth day, still in pain without relief from symptoms, Acupuncture and herbs from a Chinese medical doctor did not help. I instructed him to a course of: Immune Support, CalMag Balance (both NutriPlex Whole Food Formulas) and of water enemas followed by three flushes with organic coffee. By the end of this session, all symptoms were eradicated to the complete amazement and appreciation of the patient.
The capability of detoxification with coffee enemas is not to be underestimated. But be certain to use only organically grown coffee, as the typical store-bought variety is laden with many toxic substances. The water used should be filtered and never tap water. Always be sure the temperature of the enema contents is not hot nor cold.
Moss, PhD, Ralph W., COFFEE: THE ROYAL FLUSH, The Cancer Chronicles #6 and #7, 1990, http://www.ralphmoss.com/coff.html
Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D., P.C., February 22, 2005, http://www.dr-gonzalez.com/history_of_treatment_txt.htm