Generally speaking, any kind of enema introduces a substance into the rectum in order to empty the bowel, or to administer nutrients or drugs. It is a medical procedure of great antiquity: Hippocrates, the Greek “father of modern medicine” prescribed water enemas for several conditions some 2600 years ago. In India, enemas were recommended for inner cleansing by Patanjali, author of the first written work on yoga, in around 200 B.C. According to tradition, the ibis, a sacred bird of Ancient Egypt associated with wisdom, used to administer itself an enema with its long curved beak. It is only in recent times, and mainly in English-speaking countries, that this simple and safe cleansing method had fallen into disuse.
The use of coffee as enema material began in Germany towards the end of World War I. (1914-1918).The country was blockaded by the Allies, many essential goods—among them morphine—were not available, yet trainloads of wounded soldiers kept arriving at field hospitals, needing surgery. The surgeons had barely enough morphine to dull the pain of the operations, but none to help patients endure the post-surgical pain; all they could do was to order water enemas to be used. Although owing to the blockade coffee was in short supply, there was plenty of it around to help the surgeons stay awake during their long spells of duty. The nurses, desperate to ease their patients’ pain, began to pour some of the leftover coffee into the enema buckets, figuring that since it helped the surgeons (who drank it), the soldiers (who didn’t) would also benefit from it. And indeed the soldiers reported pain relief.
This accidental discovery came to the attention of two medical researchers, Professors Meyer and Huebner, at the University of Goettingen in Germany, who went on to test the effects of rectally infused caffeine on rats. They found that the caffeine, traveling via the hemorrhoidal vein and the portal system to the liver, opened up the bile ducts, allowing the liver to release accumulated toxins. This observation was confirmed seventy years later, in 1990 by Dr. Peter Lechner, oncologist surgeon at the District Hospital of Graz, Austria, after running a six-year controlled test on cancer patients following a slightly modified version of the Gerson Therapy. In his report, he quotes independent laboratory results, identifying the two components of coffee that play the major role in detoxifying the liver. (see Chapter 8, pg. 75)
Dr. Gerson became aware of the benefits of enemas early on in developing his treatment, and they have remained a cornerstone of his therapy to this day. It is important to realize that while the patient is holding the coffee enema in his or her colon for the suggested 12-15 minutes, the body’s entire blood supply passes through the liver every three minutes, i.e., 4-5 times in all, carrying poisons picked up from the tissues. These are then released through the bile ducts, due to the stimulation of the caffeine.