Down the hatch, coffee can jump start a day. But, according to dubious advice from Gwyneth Paltrow’s posh lifestyle and e-commerce site, Goop, the popular brew can also kick off a whole year—when taken up the bum.
Yes, Goop suggests that a coffee enema is a “clutch” way to “supercharge” your “annual goop detox” and start the year in tip-top health. In its latest guide for “deep detoxification,” the Goop team recommends a device called an “Implant O’Rama” for squirting coffee up your keister at home. The product, sold by Implant O’Rama LLC for a bargain $135, is merely a glass bottle with silicone tubing attached.
First things first, as we’ve noted before, there’s no need to “detox”—unless you have kidney or liver failure, and/or have been poisoned recently. When in good working order, your body naturally clears any toxins you might encounter. And there’s no evidence that any DIY detoxing cleanses or diets improve health. That said, there’s plenty of evidence that coffee enemas and colon cleanses in general can cause harm.
Yet, colonic irrigation methods and the unfounded notion that toxin build-up in your body from foods (auto-intoxication) have lingered for centuries. Colonics come in various forms—from tonics, scary derriere devices, and fad diets—and are still said to treat all manner of ailments from allergies, alcoholism, and asthma to constipation, mental disorders, and ulcerative colitis.
Coffee enemas, in particular, have been around since the early 20th century and became a fixture in alternative cancer therapies. There’s a variety of unsupported rationales behind the aspresso shots, including that the caffeine in coffee can absorb through the colon and stimulate the liver to clear toxins. Again, there’s no proof of that or any of the other claims. But there are plenty of reports of harms, including two cases where frequent coffee enemas led to electrolyte imbalances that killed two patients. Another case involved severe colon inflammation. Elsewhere, reports have linked coffee enemas to burns, infections, sepsis, and rectal perforation.
Other ways Goop recommends detoxing
In a 1997 editorial in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, a British doctor referred to coffee enemas and other colonics as “quackery” and the resurgence of the practice a “triumph of ignorance over science.”
That didn’t seem to stop Goop, which is known for touting dubious and potentially harmful health advice and products.
For its part, Implant O’Rama LLC claims on its website that coffee gulped from the glutes “can mean relief from depression, confusion, general nervous tension, many allergy related symptoms and, most importantly, relief from severe pain. Coffee enemas lower serum toxins.”
But the claims are quickly followed by a lengthy disclaimer that notes such claims are “not necessarily” based on scientific evidence and its products are not intended to “treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.” The company ends by stating that by “using this site for any purpose whatsoever… you are agreeing to indemnify Implant O’Rama LLC… from any claims or responsibility for anything.”