The Benefit of Enemas: A Testimonial

by lydia on March 1, 2012

As a follow up to the post, ‘Enema 101’ here is a post dedicated to the real life experience of someone using enemas regularly as a way to heal the body. Patty of ‘Loving Our Guts,‘ has graciously agreed to share a post on her experience using enemas. Patty, is an amazing resource to the real food community with years of experience healing her family on the GAPS diet. I met Patty on the GAPS yahoo group. She has a wealth of excellent information, and she tenaciously seeks to continue learning everything possible to live the most healthy life she can. I highly recommend checking our her site, and gleaning from her wisdom. That shared, let’s hear what Patty has to share about how enemas have benefitted her family.

Benefits of Enemas

My family began the GAPS diet without fully understanding all that we were getting into. My youngest was in a health crisis and we needed to do something fast so I jumped in with both feet and never looked back. After we started GAPS we got both the GAPS book and the GAPS Guide book. One thing that these books talked about were enemas. In fact the GAPS Guide dedicated an entire chapter to enemas. I hadn’t ever done an enema in my life and frankly the idea did not appeal to me in the least. I had dealt with constipation off and on my whole life but it seemed to me that enemas were a drastic, extreme procedure and not something that interested me in the least.  Reading the chapter in the GAPS Guide didn’t help me feel any better about enemas but it probably did plant a seed in my brain. Thankfully my children did not deal with constipation on a regular basis and I knew how to use magnesium to keep myself regular so I put them back in my mind as something for others but not my family and went on with GAPS.

Over the course of the next few months I saw others talking about their experiences with enemas and asking for help. I may have not been considering them for myself or my family but I am curious and always looking for ideas on how to heal my family. You never know what helpful tidbit might be hidden within an e-mail about another subject.  As I read about them over and over they began to seem more normal if still distasteful.  I began to hear how they had been a big piece of the healing in some of the more severe cases and I took note.  My revulsion began to fade and I began to be more open to the idea.  I began to look online to see learn more about how they are done and what is needed for the procedure.

Then one day I discovered that we were dealing with constipation in my youngest. I realized that she needed me to help her with this. I got what I needed and gave her an enema.  She was 2 and cooperated nicely with the procedure and seemed to almost enjoy it.  I think the combination of mom reading book after book to her while she sat on the toilet and how much better she felt when it was all done made it more than worth it for her. I had also learned long ago that if I acted like something was no big deal (no matter how I felt inside) my kids were far more likely to go along with it calmly. It worked. I quickly discovered that she slept much better if she emptied her bowels that day. On the days that she didn’t do it on her own an enema would achieve the same result. NCM says to not go longer than 36 hours without a bowel movement but for her we couldn’t go past 24 or she clearly was uncomfortable and couldn’t sleep. We eventually figured out that cucumbers were triggering the constipation in her and now we avoid them and she rarely has problems. Doing enemas helped her go when she couldn’t and when we figured out the trigger and removed it from her diet she started going on her own without trouble.

I decided to go ahead and do them on myself at this point as well.  My reasoning was that if I was doing this for them I should be willing to do it for myself and quit being a baby about it.

I heard somewhere that the Chinese call a headache sh@# on the brain. I do indeed find that an enema will help me with a headache. In general however I don’t feel better or worse after doing an enema. Just no longer constipated. I have a friend who looks forward to them because she feels much better after having one. I’ll be perfectly honest, I still don’t like doing them. I will try many other measures first.  (I may still be a baby about them). My biggest complaint is that it takes a long time. I need to set aside an hour of time to do it and I can’t do it if I have to be supervising my children. (Ever notice that your kids get into a fight just as soon as you answer the phone?  Imagine what would happen if you were stuck in the bathroom for an hour…) If I find an hour, when I can go off by myself not supervising my children, I don’t want to spend it doing an enema. But still I do it when I am in need or when I feel stuck in my healing and want to try something new to get past that stuck place.

I have done enemas every day for a period of time when I felt stuck in my healing and indeed they did help me move on to a new level of healing.  So much sickness and disease is caused by or exasperated by toxins and an enema is a good way to eliminate a lot of toxins from your body quickly.

One great benefit to doing enemas is that it can help to cleanse your liver. If you are healing your body your liver is working hard to help you to get well and needs to be cared for.  Coffee enemas are particularly good for this benefit. They encourage bile flow and that is how the liver expels the toxins that it has filtered out of your blood stream.

Enemas can also resolve your constipation issues long term.  I have had times when I was in a cycle of constipation and just doing one enema will fix me up and I will be going on my own for a while afterward. I have found that too much fiber will cause constipation in me. Often, if I indulge in too many coconut fiber baked goods or other high fiber foods, I will end up needing an enema to return my bowel movements to normal. Usually it just takes one to get me regular again. I know that there are warnings that enemas will make you dependent and unable to go on your own but that hasn’t been our experience. I have read that the dependence is only a risk if you are using the chemical enemas that you can purchase in drug stores. The enemas that we do are with purified water with probiotics mixed in and sometimes some coffee.

I don’t want you to fear enemas. You may learn to love what they can do for you and look forward to them or you may simply learn to tolerate them as necessary procedure for certain times in your life. Like getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist, enemas can be an uncomfortable but worthwhile procedure to add to your healing repertoire.



Thanks so much Patty for sharing your experience with us! I hope it is helpful to others and maybe even encourage some to take the leap and give enemas a try!

To read more of Patty’s insight, be sure to check her out over at ‘Loving Our Guts‘ and on facebook @Loving Our Guts.

Also, check out this awesome post by Christine of Butter Belle about how doing coffee enemas have benefitted her.



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Starlene March 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Very helpful post. I too found that as I read more and heard more about enemas they are not as bad as I once thought.

Leane March 2, 2012 at 11:40 am

I had a terrible time with constipation after having a c-section with my son. I have another baby due in July & they will want to schedule a c-section again. This time I want desperately to avoid all of the gut-splitting pain & discomfort I went through last time. I am guessing I should do an enema before I go to the hospital.
My questions: Is it safe when pregnant? How many days ahead should I do this? Should it be several days in a row?
I have never done one before but I will do anything to avoid the pain I was in last time. Thanks for your post!

ChrisP March 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Leane –
I have scheduled C-sections at 37 weeks. With my second, the nurse insisted on an enema and I hugged her afterward. So, last time, I actually asked for an enema. The nurse left me with one (just a little Fleet enema) and I did it on my own, with my husband’s help, while trying not to laugh as he watched “Dirty Jobs” on TV (I’d hear something funny, laugh and ouch! incision!). Next time (if I ever have another baby), I plan to do a couple of enemas the night before (each with just a quart of water with a tsp each of epsom salt and baking soda). Since one goes into surgery fasting, I will be cleaned out. I will also never again be afraid to ask for one in the hospital, just to make it easier on my system. Since constipation is kind of to be expected after the trauma of surgery to the abdomen, I will also plan to up my intake of magnesium after the birth (doesn’t take much for me… when I was in early pregnancy with #3, and didn’t know it yet, I was taking extra magnesium and had diarrhea for so long that I just knew I had a parasite and the doctor ran tests finding nothing… I was only to soon after read on the bottle “may cause loose stools” – duh!). No worries any more on that count. Now the only issue would be avoiding eating hospital food. Blessings to you and your little one. :)

Randy September 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Enemas are the best old fashioned health remedy!!! They work! I use them as needed for IBS issues. I think we should be more open about this great health tool.

Liza February 12, 2014 at 7:04 am

Had acid reflux/gastritis and none of the medicines work. I had a white pasty tongue and spicy food would cause red swollen lesions on my tongue in circles. I had the worse breath. So bad people in the room with me would start to gag. It was depressing:-( so I read about the benefits of enemas and started doing enemas every morning at 5am and I would ingest a tablespoon of castor oil. After 1 day my tongue was clean, after 3 days the bad breath vanished and the reflux. Enemas are wonder drugs without the drugs.

Aly March 28, 2014 at 10:24 am

Liza, what type enema did group use? Was it a coffee enema? Thanks.

CarolMS January 3, 2016 at 4:12 pm

My mom gave enemas when needed. I hated getting one. They didn’t hurt and were soothing. But still hated them.

I forgot all about them until I read the GAPS book.

I have now given them to my three. And I get enemas as well.

I found the bulb syringe is best for the kids and the 2 quart red rubber bag (as pictured above) is best for me.

Such a good natural home remedy.

Give the enema very slowly. Take your time. You are the mom. Be firm.

Lucas May 4, 2016 at 4:06 pm

No way fiber is making you constipated, in fact it is the opposite. Try a whole food plant based diet, limiting your fat intake and emphasizing ripe good quality fruit consumption during the day. It is a lot of fiber and water making your bowel moving. I was once in Gaps and Paleo, and I suffered a lot with constipation during that time. Now, I’m cured from this, and heaving 1 to 3 BM per day naturally, normal aspect and quantity. Changed my life.

Nicole July 27, 2016 at 2:38 pm

I did my first filtered water enema. I was able to do 2 quarts. Held it in for about 10-15mins. Little cramping. I did have to urinate a lot after, is that normal? Also, now I feel a little off. Tired, a little nausea. Is this All normal? Thanks for reading this.✌

Randy July 27, 2016 at 7:25 pm

It sounds normal for a first big enema.
Did you try using a teaspoon of sea salt and baking soda in the warm water, about body temp? That explains more urine after. Fatigue, slight nausea short term is ok, but replace electrolytes and re-hydrate. I hope this helps! Good luck to you! Randy.

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