How & Why to Use an Enema

  reading time: 7 min

Episode 15.

As with many things regarding the human body (weirdly) there is a stigma around using enemas, and I totally understand this.
For the longest time I was grossed out by – even scared of – the idea of taking an enema. During my 2 week at-home Ayurvedic cleanse I had successfully avoided the enema, but I knew that I couldn't avoid it any longer once I started my 3 month (!) Sacred Woman program by Queen Afua, which starts off with an in-depth (literally) cleansing of the internal organs – kidneys, colon, and womb.

Basically, enemas are rectal injections of fluid (usually warm water or tea) into the large intestine intended to cleanse your colon and stimulate the emptying of your bowel. While it should not be employed regularly, it is a popular practice to prepare for a cleanse or detox such as the Panchakarma Ayurvedic cleanse, therapeutic fasting or the Sacred Woman program.

I am not a physician, and the information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

What You Will Need For This Method

  • an enema bag or enema bucket (irrigator)
  • 1 – 8 cups of fluid *
  • a towel
  • coconut oil or petroleum jelly

* For cleansing enemas that are meant to be held in the rectum for a short time – usually about 10 minutes – to flush your colon, use water-based fluids such as:
- warm filtered water or saline solution (salt water that mimics your body's sodium concentration)
- Epsom salt solution
- sodium phosphate solution
- lemon juice (mixed with warm filtered water)
- apple cider vinegar (mixed with warm filtered water) 
- soap suds (castile soap mixed with warm water) 
- Bentonite clay (2 tbsp clay mixed with 1 litre warm filtered water)

For retention enemas that are designed to be held in your bowel for an extended period – usually a minimum of 15 minutes – to soften the stool, use water-based or oil-based fluids such as:
- coffee (made from unroasted coffee beans)
- garlic (mixed with warm filtered water)
- mineral oil
- castor oil and olive oil (equal parts)
- probiotics (mixed with warm filtered water)
- herbal tea (e. g. red raspberry leaf tea, chamomile tea, catnip tea)
- flaxseeds (soaked in warm filtered water)

Please be careful when using highly acidic enema solutions such as lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or coffee. It's safer to go with a more gentle solution such as warm water, saline, or oil!

The Benefits of Taking an Enema

  • it flushes out built-up waste in the colon
  • it removes toxins and heavy metals from your entire body
  • it increases you body's overall immunity
  • it stimulates elimination and relieves congestion
  • it improves skin 
  • it supports therapeutic fasting
  • it regenerates the intestinal flora
  • it helps relieve depression, fatigue, headaches, allergies, and irritability (due to built up colon waste)
  • it boosts energy levels

Do NOT use an enema in the following cases:

- pregnancy
- anal fissures
- haemorrhoids

- chronic intestinal disease (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis) 
- bowel cancer
- renal insufficiency
- intestinal obstruction
- vomiting and abdominal pain when the cause is unclear
- intestinal bleeding
- severe heart disease
- after intestinal surgery

Before taking an enema at home you should always consult a doctor, because side effects – such as digestive disorders and circulatory problems, inflammations and injuries in the sensitive intestinal tract, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, or even kidney failure! – can occur if the enema is used incorrectly.

How To Take An Enema

1. FILL THE ENEMA BAG with warm filtered water or one of the listed fluids, making sure the clamp is shut. The fluid should be warm, but not hot, and also not icy cold – body temperature is best. If you are doing this for the first time, I recommend started with a small amount such as 1 cup (250 ml) or 2 cups (500 ml).
If you've already had some experience with enemas, you may use 4 cups (1 litre) or even up to 8 cups (2 litres) of fluid per procedure.

Before inserting the enema bag nozzle, open the clamp up a little bit and drain some of the fluid into the sink so that any excess air in the tube can be cleared; this way, you won't get any gas backup in the colon with your first intake of fluid. Close the clamp again.

2. LUBRICATE THE NOZZLE, using a natural cream lubricant, coconut oil or petroleum jelly.

3. PLACE ENEMA BAG IN AN ELEVATED POSITION, such as the bathroom door handle, a towel hook, the edge of your bathtub, or a shelf. The higher it hangs, the better the fluid will flow. Place a towel on the bathroom floor and get into a kneeling, all-fours or side-lying position, lying on the left side.
You may also want to keep another towel and/or a wash cloth within arms reach.

4. GENTLY INSERT THE NOZZLE of the intestinal tube of the enema bag into the anus (so that the tap is still outside). This may be uncomfortable, but should not cause pain.
Stop if there is pain and call your doctor. Open the clamp and release a little of the fluid. Then allow the rest of the fluid to run in, or as much as you can hold.

Then close the clamp again and slowly withdraw the nozzle.

5. LET THE FLUID SOAK for 10 to 15 minutes – or as long as you can hold it – while lying down and gently massaging the abdomen with your hands. If you feel able to, you may turn over on your back for a bit, then turn to the right side and massage your colon again. If you feel advanced, you may even do some floor exercises such as the shoulder stand pose.

The first time of taking an enema, you may quickly feel pressure and the need to empty your bowels. Give in to this urge, remove the tube, go to the toilet and empty yourself. Then start another pass. You will notice that much more fluid can now be passed into the bowel and you will be able to hold it longer. At the second and third pass, try not to rush to the toilet immediately at the first pressure, but wait for about three peristaltic surges (aka the urges to defecate) before rushing to empty.

6. EMPTY BOWELS into the toilet.
Stay close to the bathroom for the next 30 to 60 minutes as it may be necessary to go to the toilet several more times.

7. REPEAT THE PROCEDURE two or three times, OR LIE DOWN AND REST for about 20 minutes, ideally raising your legs at a 45-degree angle, and massaging your colon in a circular motion to relax and calm your intestines. Don't forget to breathe :)

8. CLEAN THE ENEMA BAG by running 2 to 4 cups (500 ml to 1 litre) of hot water through it. It's especially important to CLEAN THE NOZZLE by placing it in a bowl with boiling water to disinfect. You can also add
a bit of mild soap like Dr. Bronner's unscented pure castile soap to the water.


How Often Should You Take an Enema

The frequency of taking an enema depends on why you use it. To increase general well-being, it's safe to use an enema once or twice a month
To support an intestinal cleansing or fasting cure on the other hand, which is accompanied by regular enemas, they can be done more frequently, for example one to three enemas per week. However, this should only be done once or twice a year, and no longer than two to four weeks at a time.

In any case, don't overdo it. Too frequent enemas can unbalance the intestinal flora and irritate the intestinal mucosa. In addition, the body can get used to the enema, with the result that the intestines become increasingly sluggish.
Whether you are undergoing a complete bowel cleanse and fasting cure, or whether this is just an acute one-time constipation relief, it is advisable to take a high-quality probiotic to support the build-up of healthy intestinal flora and thus the elimination of dysbacteria.
In general, enemas should not be seen as a compensation for an unhealthy lifestyle. A diet predominantly rich in vital substances, plant proteins and fibre, sufficient drinking of still water and daily exercise that promote regular bowel emptying and develop a healthy intestinal flora long-term!

An abnormal, prolapsed, constipated, constricted colon is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. If you do not have daily bowel movements naturally, please consult a doctor.
Have you ever tried using an enema? How do you feel about it? 
Let me know in the comments!
Sources: Healthline, Verywell Health (1), Verywell Health (2), Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit, pg. 99



  1. Tried enemas? Of course gotten and given many enemas!
    Feel about enemas? Love them. I tell as many as I can about the benefits of the enema!
    Good well written article you did.
    When growing up (in the late 50s and 60s) enemas were given in most homes.
    Raised by my aunt. She was a nurse and believed in the enema. Given for fever reduction, constipated child, when sick in bed like colds or flu, or if she felt an enema was needed.
    I attribute my good health today to how raised.
    Always healthy eating, no sodas and junk food, natural remedies instead of pills and OTC junk , exercise and enemas!
    The first enemas I remember getting were given with the bulb syringe. Then later when about 11 or so the bag, or the bucket as you have pictured (hers had red hose and black nozzle) was used.
    May have been good if you had mentioned the bulb syringe for the child.
    Best to talk with doctor before giving an enema. Ask doctor at what age a coffee enema can be given.
    The mild warm soapy water enema was very common enema given. Made by swishing a bar of ivory soap in a pan of warm water.
    My aunt also gave the cleansing enema you told of made with Castile soap.
    I do coffee enemas and other enemas often.
    In my opinion, far better than giving over the counter OTC junk.
    I have given, and gotten , enemas on the bed, on tables, across the lap way and more.
    Never had a mess.
    will write more later.
    Love your blog!

    1. The reasons to give an enema listed by you is very good.
      It is amazing how well the enema works and helps the patient.
      No chemicals. No harsh laxatives given.

      I am glad you told the enema is also good for irritability. When the child is grouchy, fighting, moods, crying for no reason, and such.. this is a sign of possible die off. Giving him an enema helps. It removes the harmful toxins causing the irritability.

      I know many moms, including myself, who gave the irritable child an enema. Amazing! It worked!

      May I ask where you got the inline bulb for your hose?

      Agree with you. Makes it easier to administer an enema.

      Carol A.

  2. Left some comments.
    Now don’t see them.
    Hope they show later.

    The bucket enema you have pictured is easy to clean after the enema.
    I was it, the bulb or bag enema, with mild warm soapy water. Rinse well with warm water. Then do final rinse with few drops of hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.
    Air dry leaving out for few days. Never put up damp or will get mold forming. Especially the bulb enema.

    Hope comments show up.


  3. Oh sorry…forgot to say “thanks” for your article!
    Refer many to read it and learn.

    Excellent job. Well covered.


    Carol A

    1. Hi Carol! I'm glad you approve of my article. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with enemas and your additional tips! "Exercise and enemas" is a great motto for life :)
      In the meantime I have also added a different attachment to my enema bucket (one with a pumping function similar to the bulb syringe you describe above) which makes the whole process even easier and more effective.
      All the best ~

  4. Maisy, all of your pages are wonderful. Love all of them. I am reading, and learning, article one-by-one.
    When I was married (now divorced) I lived with my ex for a year or so in Germany.
    Was surprised when I read your "about me" and discovered that you are from Germany.
    Wish I could live the now!

    When living in Germany I wanted to continue doing and giving enemas. I did not bring a bulb with me to Germany.
    I went to the store and bought an enema bulb syringe. It was red rubber and had black nozzle on it.

    My ex did not believe in natural healing, herbal remedies, enemas, massages and such. No wonder got divorced!

    So I never told him I got the bulb syringe. So had to hide it. Isn't that dumb? Sad way to live!

    Carol A

    1. Sorry for my late reply! Thank you for your kind words, Carol, it always makes my day when people find value in my blog posts :) Yes, I'm from Germany - what a coincidence that you have also lived in Germany for a while! Where are you living now, if you don't mind me asking?

    2. Hi! Thanks for your reply.

      I live in the US now.
      Grew up in Seville Spain.

      Where did you buy the bulb at?

      And blessings

    3. Hi Carol, I don't know if this is at all helpful (since it's a German website) but I got it from this online shop:

  5. I saw your reply today. Haven’t been on your pages in awhile.
    Nice to hear from you again.

    I enjoy reading your blog posts.

    Carol A

  6. Missy, thanks for the link for the enema (the German store).
    It is called higginson syringe.
    I would love to order a few things from that store. They have good items.

    I believe I can get one from

    Kristina has a very good web site there.
    You may want to look at her pages.

    I’m going to look later.

    Instead of connecting the hose to the bucket (container of solution ), you can put the hose into a large bowl or pan of solution to be given.

    Years ago I knew a woman who had and used the same bulb/hose syringe as you have.

    She put water in a large bowl and administer an enema by squeezing the bulb.
    After my divorce I stayed with her for a few months. While staying with her, she decided to give an enema.
    She administered the enema with it.

    She put water in a large bowl and administer an enema by squeezing the bulb.

    I found it an interesting device for giving enemas.
    She told one getting the enema on the table to relax and take deep breaths each time she squeezed the bulb.
    He had a bad cold and fever. Was sick in bed.
    It worked! His fever went down and he felt better afterwards.

    Ever since seeing her use it I have been interested in it and wanting to get one.
    You are the first woman since her I know that uses one.

    You asked….
    Have you ever tried using an enema? As I told you earlier…Yes. Given and gotten many times. Growing up the enema was given often in our home. Since leaving home I have given and gotten enemas. When married (now divorced) I had to not let him know of the enema or herbal remedies.

    How do you feel about it? It is an effective home remedy. Better than giving over the counter junk, laxatives and chemicals.

    Sorry you initially were grossed out with idea of enemas. Hopefully, you are comfortable with the enema now.

    You sound like me! My aunt was a nurse and I would think the same as you did.
    I had successfully avoided getting an enema from her. But she knew better.

    I couldn't avoid it any longer once she had her mind made up one was needed.

    I want to read more about your 3 month Sacred Woman program by Queen Afua.

  7. Let’s pray there will be no war in the rest of Europe.
    Carol A