Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle company Goop has raised some eyebrows with one of its latest recommendations. A Goop detox guide recommended a machine made for the express purpose of administering a coffee enema in an article called “The Nuts and Bolts of Colonics.” The device basically provides a simple enema flushing the colon and rectum with coffee instead of plain water.
Colon cleansing became popular hundreds of years ago because people believed that a buildup of waste in the colon could poison the body. People also used to believe that deliberately making a person lose blood could cure diseases. The American Medical Association officially recommended against colon cleansing in 1919. When colon cleansing is done, it is typically to prepare for medical procedures such as colonoscopies.
The website for the $135 Implantorama System contains a number of claims, many of which are dubious. It describes the device as “a clean way to do coffee enemas, ozone water enemas, or nutrient implants.” The website also includes the statements “Coffee enemas can mean relief from depression, confusion, general nervous tension, many allergy related symptoms and, most importantly, relief from severe pain,” and “Coffee enemas lower serum toxins.”
Many experts agree that, unless the person has been poisoned, there is really no need to do any kind of cleanse or detox. The human body is an expert at getting rid of toxins. There’s really no need to spend money on a coffee enema because the colon cleans itself.
According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, coffee enemas can cause proctocolitis, an inflammation of the rectum and colon. There have been several cases of people who suffered adverse reactions from colonics detailed in the Journal of Family Practice. Those affected suffered symptoms including weakness, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and renal failure. Serious complications such as damage to intestinal bacteria and rectal perforation could also occur.
Goop did not specifically recommend the coffee enema itself, just the machine. Goop also put a disclaimer in its article stating that it is not “a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.”
New cleanse trends tend to emerge every year. Changing your eating habits to emphasize non-processed foods will do more to benefit your body than the latest detox wonder. Making healthy choices and breaking bad habits are the most effective ways to improve your health.