Resources & History

Enemas are nothing new. In fact they are recorded in most ancient cultures medical records.

Enemas have been cited in medical literature for over 150 years.

They have been used in nearly all ancient cultures as a means to purify the body.

At the Happy Bum Co, we do not claim to treat, cure or prevent disease using enemas, nor are we the creators of the idea. Enemas and specifically coffee enemas have gained much popularity for their use in the Gerson Therapy

Prior to the 1950's and the introduction of pharmaceutical laxatives, enemas were the standard treatment in hospitals, for constipation. (Shea, Way) They were also used to help cleanse the colon prior to surgery and childbirth in hospitals.

Coffee enemas gained popularity from 2 of the most well known studies.

In the 1920s, two German professors tested the effects of infused caffeine on rats. They found that the caffeine travels via the hemorrhoidal vein and the portal system to the liver, opens up the bile ducts and allows the liver to release bile, which contains toxins. The theobromine, theophylline, and the caffeine in coffee dilate blood vessels and bile ducts, relax smooth muscles, and increase the bile flow.

Doctors at the University of Minnesota showed that coffee administered rectally also stimulates an enzyme system in the liver called glutathione S-transferase by 600%-700% above normal activity levels.

This enzyme reacts with free radicals (which cause cell damage) in the bloodstream and makes them inert. These neutralized substances become dissolved in the bile, are released through the bile flow from the liver and gallbladder, and are excreted through the intestinal tract.

A Gerson patient holds the coffee enema in the colon for 12-15 minutes.

During this time, the body's entire blood supply passes through the liver 4-5 times, carrying poisons picked up from the tissues. So the enema acts as a form of dialysis of the blood across the gut wall.

The purpose of the coffee enema is not to clear out the intestines, but the quart of water in the enema
stimulates peristalsis in the gut. A portion of the water also dilutes the bile and increases the bile flow,
thereby flushing toxic bile (loaded with toxins by the glutathione S-transferase enzyme system) out of the intestines.

A patient coping with a chronic degenerative disease or an acute illness can achieve the following benefits
from the lowering of blood serum toxin levels achieved by regular administration of coffee enemas:

1) increased cell energy production
2) enhanced tissue health
3) improved blood circulation
4) better immunity and tissue repair 5) cellular regeneration

Additionally, coffee enemas can help to relieve pain, nausea, general nervous tension and depression.


A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases by Dr. Gerson, Healing the Gerson Way by Charlotte Gerson , and Liver
Detoxification with Coffee Enemas by Morton Walker, DPM excerpted from July 2001 edition of Townsend Newsletter.

Scientific Basis Of Coffee Enemas: Peatros, Jessica. Wellness Plus

Coffee enemas were included in nursing textbooks through the mid-20th century, and in the Merck Manual through the 11th edition, published in 1966.

Coffee Enemas: A Narrative Review. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 27(3):46-49, 2021. PMID 33711817.

Dr. Max Gerson

Founder of Gerson Therapy

Coffee enemas are a vital part of the detoxification process of the Gerson Therapy. The purpose of theenemas is to remove toxins accumulated in the liver and to remove free radicals from the bloodstream.

Read More

Dr. Linda Isaacs, MD Speaks About Coffee Enemas

This video by Dr. LInda Isaacs, MD on the benefits of coffee enemas, is very thorough and helpful. She discusses how they can benefit the liver and body.

Linda L. Isaacs, M.D., received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Kentucky. After medical school at Vanderbilt University, she completed her residency in Internal Medicine and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

"Is it not possible that coffee enemas have survived the anti-quackery efforts of the medical community not because of the hypnotic skills of their advocates, but simply because they make people feel better?" - Dr. Linda Isaacs

Dr Antonio Jimenez, MD, N.D, C.N.C

Hope 4 Cancer

Watch the full video on the 7 forms of detoxification and why they are a part of the treatment at Hope 4 Cancer. Coffee Enemas being an essential step.

Watch Video Here

Let Food Be Thy Medicine - Gerson Institute Background & Other Leaders

In collaboration with the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Nutrition, the Berry Good Food Foundation convenes a panel of experts to discuss the rise of comprehensive medicine and nutritional healing to treat chronic disease and maintain general well-being. [6/2018] [Show ID: 33486]

Another Perspective On Coffee Enemas

Dr. Matt Chalmers has been a chiropractor for more than 10 years. Dr. Chalmers has treated over 700 ptients with herniated discs and holds a success rate in the upper 80% of patients not needing surgery.

He holds certifications in Clinical Chiropractic Neurology, “CCCN”, as a Chiropractic Sports Practitioner, ”CCSP”, Spinal decompression, and teaches regularly on these subjects. Dr. Chalmers was featured in the book “How the Chiropractor Saved My Life” By Dr. Deborah Bain MD.

Dr. Matt Chalmers received his degree of Doctor of Chiropractic from Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas. Shortly after graduation he started postgraduate work in the field of Neurology and is now a Certified Clinical Chiropractic Neurologist.

More Resources for Your Exploration

Articles and Books

Case Reports

An Enzyme-based Nutritional Protocol in Metastatic Cancer: Case Reports of a Patient with Colon Cancer and a Patient with Lung CancerAlternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 25(4):16-19, 2019. PMID 31202206.

Linitis Plastica Gastric Cancer: A Case ReportTownsend Letter, Aug/Sep 2016:68-69.

Gonzalez NJ, Isaacs LL. The Gonzalez Therapy and Cancer: a Collection of Case ReportsAlternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 13(1):46-55, 2007. PMID 17283741. There are 31 cases, beginning on page 4.

Gonzalez NJ, Isaacs LL. “Evaluation of Pancreatic Proteolytic Enzyme Treatment of Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas, With Nutrition and Detoxification Support.” Nutrition and Cancer, 33(2): 117-124, 1999. PMID: 10368805. Click here for the abstract. Subscribe to the announcement list and get a PDF of the article.

Evaluating Anecdotes and Case ReportsAlternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 13(2):36-8, 2007. PMID 17405677.


Pancreatic Proteolytic Enzymes and Cancer: New Support for an Old TheoryIntegrative Cancer Therapies, 21:15347354221096077, 2022. PMID: 35514109.

Pancreatic Enzymes: Not Just for DigestionPrice-Pottenger Journal, 45(4):4-13, 2021. In addition to the article by Dr. Isaacs, there are interviews of three of her patients.

Pancreatic Proenzymes and Primitive CellsTownsend Letter, August/September 2022.

A Brief History of Glandular Therapy: More than Just ThyroidIntegrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, 22(2):26-31, 2023. PMID 37363152.

Glandular Supplements ExplainedPrice-Pottenger Journal, 47(3):12-19,2023.

Coffee Enemas: A Narrative ReviewAlternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 27(3):46-49, 2021. PMID 33711817.

Foreword to Nutrition and the Autonomic Nervous System by Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D. Click here for the Foreword; click here for the book listing on Amazon (affiliate link).

Gonzalez NJ, Isaacs LL. The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer: One solution to the medical enigma of our times. ISBN: 978-0-9821965-0-2. Available through Amazon (affiliate link).

Gonzalez NJ, Isaacs LL. Statistics: Why Meaningful Statistics Cannot Be Generated from a Private PracticeAlternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 21(2): 11-15, 2015. PMID: 25830274.

Isaacs LL. Dr. Franklin Shively's Multiple Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy of Cancer. Dr. Shively treated patients with intravenous enzymes in the 1950s and 1960s. The Townsend Letter published Dr. Isaacs' review of his book in their November 2021 issue.


Research Battles: Survival Tips From a VeteranIntegrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, 14(5):30-2, 2015. PMID 26770164. A discussion of the mismanaged clinical trial comparing enzyme treatment with chemotherapy for patients with pancreatic cancer, focusing on the errors in the design of the study.

Opposition from Physicians and the Media: As the clinical trial was beginning to enroll patients in 2000, a hostile article appeared in a national newspaper. Could it have affected adherence by study participants?

The Gonzalez Best Case Series Presentation to the NCI: 25 Cases, 25 Years LaterAlternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 25(4):12-14, 2019. PMID 31202205. This is a slightly modified version of the Foreword Dr. Isaacs wrote for the publication of the monograph Dr. Gonzalez prepared for his presentation at the National Cancer Institute.

Nicholas Gonzalez: Quack or Pioneer? An open response to Lancet Oncology

Tributes to Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D.

Dr. Gonzalez as a Practice Colleague: A MemoirAlternative Therapies in Health and Medicine published Dr. Isaacs' tribute to Dr. Gonzalez in their July/August 2016 issue.

In Memoriam: Nicholas J. Gonzalez, MD: This article was published in the January 2016 issue of the Townsend Letter.

Further Links

University of Manchester, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work, Coupland III, Coupland Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.

A General Practitioner. The Illustrated Family Doctor. Dunstable: Waterlow and Sons; 1934.

Allison CC. Operative Technique in Appendicitis, with Cases. West Med Review. 1896;1:152-154. Full text available at

Cachot MA. Case of Poisoning by Aconite; Enema of Coffee in the Treatment. Pac Med Surg J. 1866;9:239-240. Full text available at

Dekkers R. Apple juice and the chemical-contact softening of gallstones. Lancet. 1999;354:2171. PMID 10609857

Douglas BR, Jansen JB, Tham RT, Lamers CB. Coffee stimulation of cholecystokinin release and gallbladder contraction in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990;52:553-556. Abstract available at

Eisele JW, Reay DT. Deaths related to coffee enemas. J Am Med Assoc. 1980;244:1608-1609. PMID 7420666

Garbat AL, Jacobi HG. Secretion of bile in response to rectal installations. Arch Intern Med. 1929;44:455-462. Abstract available at

Garrison RL. Home Remedy May Help Prevent Surgery in Some Patients with Gallstones. In: Rose VL. Conference Highlights. Am Fam Physician. 1998;57:785-786. Full text available at

Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Birkholz D. (2013). Biomonitoring and Elimination of Perfluorinated Compounds and Polychlorinated Biphenyls through Perspiration: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. ISRN Toxicol. 2013:2013:483832. Full text available at

Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Birkholz D, Lobo RA. Human excretion of bisphenol A: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:185731. Full text available at

Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Lobo RA, Birkholz D. Human elimination of phthalate compounds: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study. Scient World J. 2012;2012:615068. Full text available at

Genuis SJ, Lane K, Birkholz D. Human Elimination of Organochlorine Pesticides: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:1624643. Full text available at

Genuis SK, Birkholz D, Genuis SJ. Human Excretion of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Flame Retardants: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:3676089. Full text available at

Herron RE, Fagan JB. Lipophil-mediated reduction of toxicants in humans: an evaluation of an ayurvedic detoxification procedure. Altern Ther Health Med. 2002;8:40-51. Abstract available at

Hoffman JB, Petriello MC, Hennig B. Impact of nutrition on pollutant toxicity: an update with new insights into epigenetic regulation. Rev Environ Health. 2017;32(1-2),65-72. Full text available at

Kim ES, Chun HJ, Keum B, et al. Coffee enema for preparation for small bowel video capsule endoscopy: a pilot study. Clin Nutr Res. 2014;3(2):134-141. Full text available at

Kunutsor SK, Khan H, Zaccardi F, Laukkanen T, Willeit P, Laukkanen JA. Sauna bathing reduces the risk of stroke in Finnish men and women: A prospective cohort study. Neurology. 2018;90(22):e1937-e1944. Abstract available at

Kunutsor SK, Laukkanen T, Laukkanen JA. Sauna bathing reduces the risk of respiratory diseases: a long-term prospective cohort study. Eur J Epidemiol. 2017;32(12):1107-1111. Abstract available at

Margolin KA, Green MR. Polymicrobial enteric septicemia from coffee enemas. West J Med. 1984;140:460. Full text available at

McClain ME. The patient's needs: Enemas. Scientific Principles in Nursing. St. Louis, MO: The C.V. Mosby Company; 1950:168.

The Medicinal Employment of Coffee. Sanitary Record. 1897;20:105S-106S. Full text available at

Mississippi Valley Medical Association Society Proceedings. West Med Review. 1896;1:189-194. Available at

Richards DG, McMillin DL, Mein EA, Nelson CD. Colonic irrigations: a review of the historical controversy and the potential for adverse effects. J Altern Complement Med. 2006;12(4):389-393. Full text available at

Sies CW, Brooker J. Could these be gallstones? Lancet. 2005;365:1388. PMID 15836886

Stajano C. The concentrated coffee enema in the therapeutics of shock. Uruguayan Med Surg Special Arch. 1941;29:1-27.

History of Coffee Enemas


Science is not ONLY simply what is written in published medical journals today. Science is ever evolving, requires funding and a driving force.

After over a decade of clinical practice, working specifically in gut health and detoxification, 17+ years of self practice and much research we have seen and documented the positive benefits of enemas, and specifically coffee, turmeric and other enemas on peoples health.

Many of our customers and clients send in the physical blood results showing the change in their liver enzymes pre and post coffee enemas. For some this is even done on a weekly basis. And is lifesaving. Many are working with naturopathic and integrative doctors who facilitate this. But these do not appear when you do a google search on on PubMed...yet.

At Happy Bum Co we are dedicated to collecting evidence, case studies and further resources so we can see an increase in literature and efficacy that reflects the true benefits of this practice. If you have anything from your own personal health journey, including blood results, testing, or personal testimony to help others or to add to the research collection please send it to us.