Enemas 101

In the world of detox, poo talk is commonplace. Our colons are one of the top spots for stagnation in the body, and thus, is a huge focus for many people looking to heal and cleanse. There are many ways to detoxify the bowels, including herbal formulas like the GI Broom, but when it comes to really getting clean, it’s not just about what you put in your mouth. It’s what you put…ahem…elsewhere. So, let’s discuss enemas!

What Are Enemas?

Enemas are a popular tool in the realm of detoxification, especially when tackling chronic dis-ease. After all, Hippocrates is credited with saying, “all disease begins in the gut.” Most of us have bits of undigested food, some amount of inflammation, and of course, decades of impacted material and mucoid plaque hanging out in our bowels. And when you consider the potential of things like sulfur deposits, it’s no wonder that bowel cleansing must be handled with patience, and a multi-pronged approach.

Enemas vs Colonics

An enema is the act of inserting liquids into the lower digestive tract (the colon), in an effort to stimulate a bowel movement, or help the body’s detox processes. There are many different types of enemas, which we will explore here in a moment, but the basic idea is the same. This is a type of colon therapy that can easily be done at home, in the privacy of your own bathroom. It’s important to note that enemas are different from colonics- a term you may have heard before. Colonics use specialized equipment, and must be administered by a trained colon hydrotherapist. Colonics typically use gravity-fed warm water to cleanse the bowel, and often will reach higher than a home enema. Both enemas and colonics can have their place in detoxification, but I’ve found that DIY enemas are usually sufficient for most people.

Enema Benefits

Everybody responds differently to enemas, based upon their own level of toxicity, but generally, many people report the following benefits:

  • Reduced constipation
  • Relaxation of the gut muscles
  • Better mental focus
  • Improved sleep and ability to relax
  • More balanced microbiome/gut flora
  • Promotion of weight loss
  • Reduced allergies and skin irritations
  • Reduced headaches and body pain

Granted, whenever you’re detoxing years of old, stagnant waste, you’re likely to see some improvements. Many people feel immediately better after an enema, while others see benefits after doing them regularly.

How To Do Enemas At Home

So, what are the main types of enemas? The first thing to note is that enemas are broken up into two categories, based upon how long you hold the fluid in your colon:

  • Cleansing enemas are short- usually only a few minutes- and are designed to flush out debris
  • Retention enemas are longer- you’ll hold in the enema fluid for up to 20 minutes in some cases

For most enemas, the equipment required is the same. You can easily purchase an at-home enema kit online.

Here are some of the basics you’ll need:

  • Enema bag or bucket- this will hold your liquid before/during insertion
  • Tubing – goes from the bag/bucket to you, with a tip for easy insertion
  • Blankets and towels- you’ll want to lie on the floor, and be comfortable and warm. Also, make sure you have a towel under your bum, in case of leaks
  • Coconut oil or other safe lube for the tip of the tube

Let’s dive in, and explore the types of enemas that you can do at home!

1. Water

That’s right, plain ol’ water is the most common type of enema. It’s cheap, easy, and requires very little prep time. Using distilled, spring, or other purified water, you can gently cleanse the bowel and relax your gut muscles. This is a safe enema to do for most people, and can be done every day (sometimes more than once per day, in chronic cases). Just like running warm water through pipes to break up debris, you can use plain water to start to soften and break up plaque and other hardened junk in your bowels. This is a cleansing enema, and doesn’t need to be held long.

2. Herbal Tea

For a deeper cleansing or balancing effect, you can do an enema with an herbal solution. Depending on the herbs you use, you can increase the detoxifying effects of the enema, and pull more mucus or parasites out of the gut. Many people love to use the Our Healing Tea for an enema preparation. You simply prepare a larger batch of tea on the stove top, and wait until the mixture cools to around body temperature before straining and adding to your enema bag. This is a retention enema, being held for 5-10 minutes on average.

3. Coffee

A popular detox method in many circles, coffee enemas are purported to enhance liver functioning and stimulate even the most constipated colons. A coffee enema is a retention enema, meaning that you hold the solution in your bowels for 10-20 minutes. While coffee enemas are becoming more common, they may not be right for everyone. If you are struggling with adrenal weakness, neurological issues, or extreme fatigue, the caffeine may be too stimulating for your system. It might be best to bring in an endocrine support herbal formula first, and go with a different type of enema.

4. Lemon Juice

For an extra cleansing boost, some people like to add a squeeze of lemon juice to their water enema. Because lemons are powerful astringents, they can help pull more mucus out of the colon, as well as dissolve biofilms and help expel microbes. Simply prepare your enema water, then add the juice of ½ lemon (you may work up to 1 whole lemon after a few weeks) to the water, making sure not to get any seeds or pulp in there. This is designed to be a quicker, cleansing enema, similar to a water enema.

5. Probiotics

The probiotic enema seems to be a new emerging trend, with the idea that swallowing probiotics won’t reach down into the lower intestine and thus, putting them in *backwards* is the way to go. This type of enema involves adding high-potency probiotic powder to a water enema preparation, and holding it (retention enema) for 10-20 minutes. In some severe cases of ulcerative colitis or IBS, this may provide some temporary relief.

Some general enema tips:

  • Void your bowels (if you’re able) before you do an enema
  • Make sure the liquid you’re using is around body temperature- too cold it will be a shock, and too hot may burn you
  • Gravity is your friend- elevate your rear end higher than your heart while holding your enema
  • Prepare to spend several minutes on the toilet afterwards. Don’t get up until you feel you’ve expelled all the liquid

Cleansing the bowels with at-home enemas can be a wonderful healing and empowering practice. Find the right method for you, and get ready to take your detox to a whole new level!