Coffee Enemas

Dr. Max Gerson used the coffee enema first for tuberculosis patients, and then for cancer patients. Gerson believed that "caffeine enemas cause dilation of bile ducts, which facilitates excretion of toxic cancer breakdown products by the liver and dialysis of toxic products across the colonic wall.” (1)

Coffee enemas temporarily increase glutathione S-transferase.  This enzyme increases the detoxification mechanisms of the liver.  An animal study in 1981 showed that two substances found in green coffee beans - kahweol and cafestol palmitate - increase production of this detoxification support enzyme 600% above normal (2).

These compounds may also have additional anti-cancer effects (3, 4).

It has also been noted by Max Gerson and by Gar Hildenbrand of the Gerson Research Organization to be a very effective pain reliever (5), so there are multiple reasons for cancer patients to take them.  Although typically given a wary glance by most medical professionals (6), a description for coffee enemas was found in the prestigious Merck Manual until 1972.

Research has shown that coffee should not be overly roasted so as not to destroy the two primary medicinal compounds (kahweol and cafestol palmitate) (7).  The only company I am aware of that sells high quality organic green coffee beans explicitly for coffee enemas is Wilson’s Coffee Company.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to buy kahweol and cafestol palmitate in supplement form, nor is it feasible to ingest the pharmacologically relevant amount of kahweol and cafestol palmitate orally in the form of ingested coffee. 

“As long as the substances under discussion, which in our view could make a highly effective drug for protecting the liver, are not produced industrially and no relevant studies are planned, we have to continue administering them in the awkward form of enemas. All the more so because patients cannot be expected to consume the therapeutically necessary daily amount of at least one litre of coffee by drinking it, without risking side effects in the upper alimentary tract.” (8)

Materials for the Coffee Enema

Recipe for Coffee Concentrate (5 doses)

Combine 1 cup of Wilson's coffee and 5 cups distilled or purified water in a large pot.  Place over high heat, uncovered.  Bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes or until foam is visibly decreased.

Tightly cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 - 60 minutes.  Let cool, then strain into a glass jar.  This your coffee concentrate. You should finish with 5 cups.  If you have lost water through evaporation, add purified water to close the gap.

To Administer the Coffee Enema

Prepare your yoga mat with the old towels in a location on the floor relatively near to your toilet.  The coffee will produce green stains if spilled, so you may wish to have a set of dedicated towels for this.  If you like, bring a pillow and some relaxing literature. 

Combine 1 cup concentrate + 3 cups purified water (warm enough to make solution body temperature).  Place in the enema bucket with the clamp on the hose closed.  Loosen the clamp to allow the coffee to run out to the end of the catheter tip and re-clamp the hose when all the air has been removed from the enema tubing.

Lie down on the floor on your back or right side and gently insert the catheter. If you need lubrication, use the oils mentioned in the Materials list.  Gently release the clamp and let the coffee flow in. You can increase the flow by raising the bucket with your hand, and decrease the flow by lowering it.

Clamp the tubing off or lower the bucket if there is any discomfort whatsoever.

Try to retain the enema for up to 15 minutes. Sometimes there will be an immediate need to get rid of it and that is fine. Never force anything!  

Once you are done, wash the bucket with hot soapy water, and then rinse the bucket with peroxide.

You shouldn’t feel wired after a coffee enema.  If you do, reduce the concentrate by half for awhile.

Personally, I would not use this procedure more than once per day for any extended period without medical supervision. Beneficial side effects include increased liver detoxification, better pain tolerance, and better appetite. (5)

Safety Concerns

There is concern in the mainstream medical community over coffee enemas leading to bacterial infections if proper sanitary techniques are not followed, especially in immunocompromised patients. (6)

It is important to bear in mind that thousands of patients have used these protocols over the past half century, with largely safe usage, and only a few case reports in the literature of problems.  

Common sense goes a long way!  Equipment should be clean and sanitized, and the liquid should not be warmed past body temperature!

Wash the enema bucket and hose in hot, soapy water, followed by soaking in hydrogen peroxide.  This is essential.

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(1) Gerson M. 1978. The cure of advanced cancer by diet therapy: a summary of 30 years of clinical experimentation. Physiol Chem Phys 10:449-464. 

(2) Sparnins VL and Wattenberg LW. 1981. Enhancement of glutathione S-transferase activity of the mouse forestomach by inhibitors of benzo[a]pyrene-induced neoplasia of forestomach. J Natl Cancer Inst. 66:769-771.

(3) Miller EG, et al. 1991. Kahweol and Cafestol: Inhibitors of Hamster Buccal Pouch Carcinogenesis. Nutrition and Cancer. 15:41-46.

(4) Miller EG, et al. 1988. Inhibition of Hamster Buccal Pouch Carcinogenesis by Green Coffee Beans. #link_2916334

(5) Hildenbrand GLG, Lechner P.  May 1994. A reply to Saul Green's critique of the rationale for cancer treatment with coffee enemas and diet: cafestol drived from beverage coffee increases bile production in rats; and coffee enemas and diet ameliorate human cancer pain in stages I and II. Townsend Letter for Doctors. Retrieved at:

(6) Eisele JW, Reay DT. 1980. Deaths Related to Coffee Enemas. JAMA 244(14):1608-1609. 

(7) Lam LKT, Sparnins VL and Wattenberg LW. 1982. Isolation and identification of kahweol palmitate and cafestol palmitate as active constituents of green coffee beans that enhance glutathione S-transferase activity in the mouse.  Cancer Research 42: 1193-1198.

(8) Lechner P and Kronberger I. 1990. Experiences with the use of dietary therapy in surgical oncology. Aktuelle Ernährungsmedizin April 2(15):72-78.


The ideas in this website are not intended as a substitute for the advice of a trained health professional. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. Consult your physician and/or health care professional before adopting any nutritional, exercise, or medical protocol. Consult your physician about any condition that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Statements regarding certain products and services represent the views of the author alone, and do not constitute a recommendation or endorsement or any product or service.