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Enema Background, History, Enema Health Benefits, Procedure and Equipment

Enema Background, History, Enema Health Benefits, Procedure and Equipment

An enema is a procedure used to introduce water and other liquids (by low pressure) into the rectum and colon via the anus. Enemas introduce liquid by means of an enema bag to stimulate evacuation and aid cleansing and general detoxification of the bowel.

The difference between an enema and colonic irrigation is that a colonic involves multiple infusions of water into the colon whilst an enema involves only one infusion. Colonic irrigation must be carried out by a trained colon hydrotherapist but enemas can be performed at home.

Enema equipment varies, but is usually comprised of an enema bag with a wide-mouth open top, a chain, an o ring hanging device, a smooth flow syringe and hose system, a pump to deliver the enema solution throughout the colon and a clamp. With the correct enema equipment, enemas can be safely carried out at home. Different solutions can be used, a popular one being a coffee enema.

Conditions which can be helped by using enemas include ibs and constipation.

Example Enema Kit

The History of Enemas

Water enemas have been used throughout the ages and were known in China, India, Greece, Babylonia, ancient Sumeria and Egypt.  Herodotus wrote that the Egyptians used them for three consecutive days each month, although according to the later historian Diodorus, they were used at intervals of every three to four days.  American Indians made an enema syringe out of a animal bladder and hollow leg bone.  A third century Aramaic manuscript is held by the Vatican, graphically describing enemas.  It is reported that Louis XIV used over 2,000 enemas during his lifetime.  In pre-revolutionary France, an enema after dinner was common, being considered good health practice.  

An old-fashioned word for an enema is a Clyster, which was used from around the 17th Century to the 19th Century.  A Clyster is a term used for enemas administered using a clyster syringe, a syringe which has a rectal nozzle and plunger.  They were generally administered by apothecaries or servants.  Clyster syringes were replaced around the 19th Century by enema bags and enema bulb syringes. The use of enemas died out until World War I, when the use of coffee enemas began to emerge.

Dr Max Gerson MD used coffee enemas in the 1940s and 1950s for patients needing detoxification.  All major nursing textbooks listed them through the 1950s and The Merck Medical Manual listed coffee enemas until the mid 1970s.  Scientific studies were carried out by Dr Nicholas Gonzales MD in the USA and the amazing health benefits of the coffee enema are now well known.  Many health practitioners use a coffee enema with their clients to aid detoxification and enhance the process of healing and regeneration.

Why use an Enema ?

Enemas can assist in the removal of toxins and excess waste which has built up in the colon. Diets which are high in over-processed foods, low in fibre and have a high sugar and fat content can cause peristalsis to become weak.  Food may become stuck against the colon wall where impacted matter then putrefies and ferments, causing toxic overload.  Nutrients will not be properly absorbed and circulated, thereby causing the body to feel hungry more frequently.  

Food is passed through healthy intestines in the natural muscular movement of peristalsis and waste arising from normal body function is naturally eliminated through the colon.  If the walls of the colon are impacted with toxic waste, pathogenic bacteria proliferate and illness can arise.  Removing accumulated waste in the colon is an essential step to acquire a healthy body.  In order to avoid excreted toxins being recycled into the body, this should be undertaken before any detox or cleansing of the liver or lymphatic system. 

Lack of proper hydration and a diet low in the correct type of fibre can cause slow transit time of toxic wastes in the system, leading to constipation and the use of laxatives, ibs and disease.  By entering the bloodstream, these self-polluting poisonous gases can also irritate the organs and joints causing added pain and discomfort.  Regular bowel movements of three per day are necessary to avoid waste matter putrefying in the colon – anything less than this or if you are straining to perform a bowel movement, is classed as constipation.

Enema Health

Health Benefits of Using Enemas

Enemas can alleviate symptoms of constipation and ibs by thoroughly cleansing the colon and thereby reducing toxic overload.   Clearing the colon of waste material can result in improved bowel function, a strengthened immune system and restored ph balance.  Beneficial friendly bacteria can flourish promoting proper digestion and an improvement of nutrient absorption.

Coffee enemas are also extremely popular these days, first coming into fashion in the 1920’s when German scientists used them to open the bile ducts and increase enzymatic action of the liver.  The most common tissue toxins are neutralized in the liver and small bowel.  Improved muscle tone and elimination results from the increased blood supply to the intestinal tract.

If you suffer from any of the following, then an enema may be able to help: Constipation, bloating, ibs, flatulence, allergies, leaky gut, candida, chronic fatigue, back pain, depression, skin problems, mouth odour, joint pain and muscle pain, headaches, pms, anxiety, insomnia, excess weight – even flu symptoms can be alleviated.

The Enema Procedure

1. Mix and Warm the Enema Solution

Mix and warm the the enema solution to body temperature. This is necessacery as heat can stimulate the rectal mucosa (a solution temperature of 40.5-43.3 degsC for non-oil-based enemas is recommended such as a coffee enema). Cold solutions are not advised as they may cause cramping.

2. Assemble and Fill the Enema Bag

Connect the enema bag to the enema tube, and in turn connect to the nozzle. Fill the enema bag with the pre-headted enema solution. Ensure that the enema tube is clamped. Hang the enema bag at a height of about 3-4ft.

3. Get Comfortable and Position Yourself Correctly

Position yourself on the left side (similar to photo above), lying with the knees drawn up to the abdomen which eases the passage and flow of fluid into the rectum. It can also aid enema distribution and retention.  Lubricate the anus and nozzle gently insert into the anus.  Release the clamp which will allow the enema liquid to flow into the colon. 

Good results can be obtained by massaging the belly and holding the water as long as is comfortable.  As soon as there is a sensation of fullness or the bag is empty, the tubing is clamped and the nozzle removed from the anus.  The enema is retained for up to 10 minutes before emptying the bowel. 

The procedure can be repeated several times until the colon is clean.

Enema Products and Enema Equipment

There are various enema kits on the market, ranging from beginner’s kits to more complex kits.  Beginner kits are quite economical and come complete with wide open top bags to allow ease of mixing enema solutions and cleaning of the bag. They also very hugely in price which is usually dependant on the material used to make the enema bags, hoses and fixings. As with most products you get what you pay for and the best are manufacturered from rubber or silicone. When buying any health product its always best to go for the highest quality you can afford (especially as it comes in direct contact with the body)

Enema bags are made out of rubber, plastic, silicone and stainless steel, the most popular being silicone or stainless steel which do not cause sensitivity.  By switching the nozzle, an open-topped enema bag can also be used for douching. 

An enema bag is usually supplied with a clamp and a nozzle.  The nozzle has a molded tip designed to distribute the flow of water or enema solution, although some colon tubes have a rounded tip which can be used as a nozzle.  Longer tubes can deliver an enema solution deeper into the colon when attached to the standard hose which is part of a kit.  In order to see an enema solution flow from the enema bag into the body, translucent hoses are available for this purpose.  Pumps are designed to push enema liquids past blockages in the colon, also causing less leakage and cramping. 

To administer small enemas, a bulb syringe is available.  The bulb syringe is filled with the desired liquid (water, coffee, herbs, etc) which is then inserted and squeezed in order to implant the liquid into the lower part of the colon.

There is a very wide choice of equipment available.  Some of the following will give an idea of what is typically contained kits that are widely available. 

Example Enema Kit

Example Enema Kit 1

A 2.27 Litre (2 Quart) or 4.54 Litre (4 Quart) enema bag with a choice of a flex tip nozzle or a silicone colon tube or an enema retention flexible-inflatable nozzle may be suitable for some, the 2.27 Litre (2 Quart) enema bag being an excellent starter colon cleanse kit. The 4.54 Litre (4 Quart) enema bag is ideal for those wanting to cleanse the entire colon.   These kits typically include a fountain latex enema bag, a pear hook for hanging the bag, 6 feet of amber latex enema hose, a white plastic enema hose clamp and a choice of enema nozzle. A stand is available separately.

Example Enema Kit 2

A simple enema kit which includes an enema bag with hook, catheter, tube and tap, measuring jug and stainless steel sieve, comfort sheets, organic coffee, lubricant, clean-up cloth and booklet.

Example Enema Kit 3

An enema and douche kit comprising of a large 2 litre capacity bag. This bag is both collapsible and re-usable with a reinforced top for hook mounting. Enema bags of this type have a wide opening for easy cleaning inside when oils or herbs are used as enema solutions. These kits also come with an enema attachment (smaller nozzle) and vaginal douching attachment (larger nozzle). Full instructions for use are normally included as well as suggested enema recipes.

Example Enema or Douche Kit 4

A small enema/douche kit consisting of a douche bag holding up to 2 litres of fluid the fluid levels marked on the outside of the unit.  The clear tube feeds through to an easy to use tap mechanism to control of water flow. It comes with enema attachment and vaginal douche attachment. Full instructions included. 

In addition to the kits you will also need a small stainless steel saucepan and cooking thermometer, a large towel and/or mat to lie on, a washable blanket or duvet to keep warm, a pillow for your head, water – pure as possible and biodegradable washing up liquid.

Take a look at the Blue Herbs Enema Kits