Respectful Insolence

Blogging on PseudoscienceIn the three years that I’ve been blogging, one thing I’ve learned about myself is that I’m not very good at coming up with good April Fools’ Day posts. Yes, I have tried it before. For example, a couple of years ago, I tried to make everyone believe that I had gone soft on woo, that I had had a change of heart.

No one was fooled, for even a moment, and if there’s something a good April Fools’ Day post has to have if it’s going to be believable long enough for the “April Fool!” punchline to be surprising, it’s a plausible story. Let’s face it, Orac saying he’s starting to groove on homeopathy just isn’t going to cut it. No one believes it–not even for a second.

Given that cold, hard reality and my lack of creativity in coming up with a more plausible storyline, there really is only one thing for me to do on April Fools’ Day (besides sometimes posting EneMan pictures), and that’s to pick topics so utterly ridiculous that they are appropriate to such a fun day. I mean topics beyond even homeopathy, which, while ridiculous from a scientific standpoint, is not particularly funny. True, its adherents can be quite funny in their tortured explanations of how homeopathy can “work,” but there isn’t that “certain something,” that inherent ridiculousness that makes for inspired silliness.

Fortunately, coffee enemas have just what’s needed.

I was reminded of this aspect of that silliest of silly so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” (a.k.a. “CAM”) therapies by none other than everybody’s favorite over-the-top woomeister and conspiracy theorist, Mike Adams. Well, not Mike Adams himself, but rather his website NaturalNews.com, where I came across another article by Mary Laredo. We’ve met her before dishing out some seriously dangerous cancer quackery not too long ago. Wouldn’t you know it, though? She’s into coffee enemas as well and has penned a paean to posteriorly-administered caffeine entitled Whole Body Detoxification (Part 4): The Coffee Enema.

It just makes me yearn to read parts one through three.

Laredo, naturally, starts with the dreaded “toxin” gambit:

There is no respite or escape anywhere on earth from the toxins that stifle our planet and overwhelm our bodies. Even our best efforts to eliminate or restrict exposure are often not adequate to the task, and as our toxic load increases so does our chance of developing chronic illness and disease.

As explored in the first three parts of this series there are several methods for releasing the stockpile of chemicals and other toxins from the body in order to maintain or regain health. An alkaline diet devoid of processed foods isn’t always enough, and sometimes extreme measures are necessary to provide the level of cleansing required to keep up with the toxic onslaught.

Ah, yes, “extreme” measures. That’d be squirting perfectly good coffee in a place into which it was never intended to go:

The little understood and much disparaged coffee enema is one such method of purification that cleanses the liver – the body’s largest filter – and provides a multitude of health benefits to the ailing body. Acceptance of the coffee enema’s value may result from an understanding of its history and therapeutic benefits.

“Much disparaged”? Of course it is–and for very good reason. Not only is it a waste of perfectly good coffee, but it’s a waste done in about as undignified a manner as I can think of. Really. I just can’t conceive of how anyone thinks this is a good idea. I have no idea if this account is true or not, but according to Laredo this is supposedly how coffee enemas were started:

The time-tested water enema evolved during WWI when German medic supplies – including morphine – were in short supply and nurses were desperate to find ways of alleviating the post-surgery pain of severely wounded soldiers. Water enemas were routinely used, but anxious to find a more potent pain reliever, one resourceful nurse intuitively used leftover brewed coffee and found it to be highly effective.

So let’s see. Enemas were being used for pain relief? That doesn’t sound all that plausible–shortages of medicine or no shortages of medicine. Somehow I can’t see physicians of the time saying, “Hmmm. We’re out of morphine. I know! Let’s give these poor bastards enemas to relieve their pain!” Also, coffee was in at least as short a supply in Germany near the end of the war, thanks to the Allied naval blockade, as medical supplies. But let’s say for a moment that it is. Let’s contemplate what this unnamed nurse from 90 years ago did. There she was, going about her business, taking care of patients. There happened to be some leftover brewed coffee left over. If you were that nurse, what would your first thought be to do with that coffee? Hmmm. I wonder. Certainly the first thought that would come to my mind would not be to take it and stick it up someone’s nether regions. But, then, I’m funny that way. I also apparently don’t think the same way as “CAM” practitioners, who seem to think that putting coffee into your colon is a good idea.

In fact, let’s look at the rationale for this whole “detoxification” thing. If we are to believe “CAM” advocates, the entire lining of our colons is just chock full of old, caked-on feces and waste sitting there “poisoning” you. Never mind that this is a load of–if you’ll excuse the term–crap. Those of us who’ve actually operated on the colon have never actually seen this legendary buildup of waste and toxins that is supposedly the cause of nearly all disease and that, according to the colon cleansers, MUST BE REMOVED by any means necessary. Never mind that your colon evolved over millions of years to be a finely tuned machine designed to take care of these waste products of digestion and in general needs no help. Never mind that the whole “autointoxication” concept of disease has no basis in science. Never mind that this obsession with internal filth seems to be more of a religious concept akin to that of original sin, in which we are all somehow “dirty” until somehow “cleansed.” Never mind all that.

Ask yourself: Even if you accepted that you are filthy inside and need all that filth and all those toxins flushed out, what would you use? Water, right? Or some electrolye solution, perhaps? Would you think that maybe-just maybe–coffee would be the fluid of choice to purge all that? No? That’s because it makes no sense! But in “altie world,” nothing is too wild or crazy that somewhere, somehow, someone actually will believe that it’s revealed truth. They’ll even come up with the wildest-sounding rationale to justify how it “works”:

The Gerson Therapy explains that caffeine and palmitates (chemicals in coffee) work synergistically to stimulate and cleanse the liver and blood. Without entering the digestive tract the caffeine is absorbed through the bowel wall, via blood vessels, and makes its way directly to the liver.

The caffeine exposure causes the liver’s portal veins and the bile ducts to expand which increases the release of diluted toxic bile. The enema fluid triggers peristalsis (intestinal muscle contractions) and the efficient removal of wastes from the body.

Palmitates in the coffee stimulate and increase the production of a liver enzyme called glutathione-S-transferase (GST), which removes free radicals and cancer cells from the bloodstream and facilitates detoxification of the liver. As a result of the enema the liver becomes less congested with debris, which makes room for the filtering process of yet more bodily toxins.

This is about as full of crap as it gets. There’s no evidence to support any of these claims, and no evidence that shooting a bunch of coffee up into your colon “detoxifies” anything, much less your liver. There’s no evidence that absorbing caffeine or palmitates via the colon is any “better” than absorbing them in the usual manner. After all, the blood supply of the GI tract passes through the liver first before going to the rest of the body, be it the stomach and small intestine (the normal means) or the colon (the woo means). The only difference is that circulation to a small part of the colon (the rectum via the hemorrhoidal veins) bypasses the liver. I doubt very seriously that that small difference matters.

Most hilarious of all, there actually exists a brand of coffee custom made to be used specifically for use in enemas. It’s true. I kid you not. The coffee is called s.a. Wilsons Therapy Blend Coffee. You’d think that for such a purpose you’d just want to buy the cheapest coffee you could find, like Maxwell House or something like that, but, no, you need a special kind of coffee, and here’s why:

All the coffee used for our enema coffee is 100% certified organic. It is also bird friendly and shade grown. Purchased from small independent farmer co-operatives, the beans have been hand picked and the farmers have been paid far more for their product than they would have been paid if sold to the local coyotes (coffee brokers). In addition, s.a.Wilsons is one of the very few, if not the only, Certified Organic Coffee Processor. That means every single step in the production of our enema coffee and the operation of our facility has been certified to organic standards, right down to the products we use to clean the floors.

Because it absolutely, positively has to be organic before you can put it up your backside. But that’s not all:

s.a.Wilsons Therapy Blend Coffee is the first and only coffee that has been specifically blended and processed with enema use in mind. It is also the only coffee that has been lab tested to be more effective. A blend of 100% certified organic coffee beans have been selected for higher levels of Caffeine and Palmitic Acid. Then the coffee is put through the very special three stage process, developed by Scott Wilson after years of research. So what was accomplished with all that research? Well, independent lab tests show that s.a.Wilsons Therapy Blend coffee is up to 48% higher in Caffeine and up to 87% higher in the more important Palmitic Acid. That’s higher than any commercially available coffee. These higher levels make Wilson’s coffee the most effective coffee available, without exception.

So let’s see. We have a ridiculously implausible mechanism that has virtually nothing to do with real human physiology. Of course, that’s par for the course in CAM-world. We also have people who take one of the great pleasures in life, a fine cup of coffee, and ruin it by using it for a purpose for which it was never intended. Even worse than that, they have to make a coffee specific for a purpose for which coffee was never intended, undoubtedly a very expensive coffee.

Personally, I’m with Harriet Hall on this one. Sometimes a concept is simply so ridiculous that there’s nothing to do other than laugh at it. Coffee enemas are clearly one such concept. All that’s left is to come up with some better names for coffee brands intended to be used for this purpose. “Starbutts” may be too obvious a choice, but surely we can come up with some better ideas.

In the meantime, I’m off to the coffee bar. There are too many red blood cells in my coffeestream.

Comments

  1. #1 Coturnix
    April 1, 2008

    I like my coffee enemas the traditional way, thankyouverymuch, with the coffee flowing slowly in the cranio-caudal direction, not the other way round.

  2. #2 Coturnix
    April 1, 2008

    I like my coffee enemas the traditional way, thankyouverymuch, with the coffee flowing slowly in the cranio-caudal direction, not the other way round.

  3. #3 Sailor
    April 1, 2008

    I’ve had colonoscopies (sp?) and I’ve seen the pictures. There wasn’t anything up there.

    I tried to get the doctor to do a tonsilectomy while he was in there — “It would make medical history!” but for some reason he didn’t want to.

  4. #4 ozzy
    April 1, 2008

    Classic woo! If it was based on something from the early 1900’s it must be highly efficacious and good for you. Who needs 21st century medicine.

  5. #5 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 1, 2008

    Robin Quivers from the Howard Stern show talks about getting coffee enemas all the time.

    I have to control myself from screaming at the radio.

  6. #6 Scott Simmons
    April 1, 2008

    Hey, homeopathy can be funny! Check out today’s Questionable Content comic (residing temporarily, it seems, at xkcd.com instead of at questionablecontent.net). Even has a good theme line in there for you: “I think you’re confusing actual science with homeopathy.” :-)

  7. #7 Eamon Knight
    April 1, 2008

    I’ve also seen the insides of my own colon: yep, not much there except mucus-covered colon wall. Guess our hero EneMan took care of the accumulated whatever.

  8. #8 Niobe
    April 1, 2008

    “Without entering the digestive tract the caffeine is absorbed through the bowel wall”

    Uuuh what is the bowel other than the digestive tract?

  9. #9 Niobe
    April 1, 2008

    “Without entering the digestive tract the caffeine is absorbed through the bowel wall”

    Uuuh what is the bowel other than the digestive tract?

  10. #10 Ranson
    April 1, 2008

    Until I started perusing the skeptical medicine websites, I had never really heard of coffee enemas being used to “detoxify” anything. I had, however, heard of them being used to clear up moderate cases of constipation, on the idea that the caffeine would add a little extra stimulus to “get things moving”, as it were. It certainly seemed to work on the other end in conjunction with a bran muffin, so the idea seemed at least plausible, if a bit elaborate. Perhaps the idea morphed from this (somewhat) less insane correlation into something that the “toxin” cult latched on to as a mechanism to “clean house”.

    Me, I just drink the stuff. I like my coffee like I like my women: burned, bitter, and with a spoon in them.

    (If my wife saw that she’d probably hit me. Shhh…)

  11. #11 davidp
    April 1, 2008

    A better early 20th century enema: For constipation in hospitalised patients my Grandfather recommended a warm milk and treacle enema “very comforting for the patients although the nurses didn’t much like giving them”

  12. #12 BB
    April 1, 2008

    I guess I missed that lesson in colon-portal circulation.

  13. #13 SteveM
    April 1, 2008

    Reading the description of how the special coffee is grown, I couldn’t help but think of this famous Monty Python skit:

    Milton: We use only the finest baby frogs, dew picked and flown from Iraq, cleansed in finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and then sealed in a succulent Swiss quintuple smooth treble cream milk chocolate envelope and lovingly frosted with glucose.

    Praline: That’s as maybe, it’s still a frog.

  14. #14 SteveM
    April 1, 2008

    Reading the description of how the special coffee is grown, I couldn’t help but think of this famous Monty Python skit:

    Milton: We use only the finest baby frogs, dew picked and flown from Iraq, cleansed in finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and then sealed in a succulent Swiss quintuple smooth treble cream milk chocolate envelope and lovingly frosted with glucose.

    Praline: That’s as maybe, it’s still a frog.

  15. #15 The Integral
    April 1, 2008

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Omifreakinggosh! NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!! Since you wrote this on April Fool’s Day…….I’m on the fence still, as to whether or not to believe the stuff you’re writing about is for real. Hath woo no limits?

    I guess not. It’s a divergent infinite series……….keeps on and on and on and never results in more than brain fog…..nothing real or concrete comes out of it.

    This is, excuse the pun, some crazy shit man! Why on earth would anyone insert crap-colored stuff into a place where crap comes from in the first place? Never mind the rest…….that part alone doesn’t make any sense!

    TI of athenivanidx

  16. #16 Lilly de Lure
    April 1, 2008

    Please tell me that the woos at least have the sense to let the coffee cool down before using it as an enema?

    Normally I’d assume that they would as a given but having experienced the eye-burning stupidity on display above you can never be too sure (plus, I would not want to be the doctor on call the night that case arrives in the ER).

    Wilsons Therapy Blend coffee is up to ,48% higher in Caffeine and up to 87% higher in the more important Palmitic Acid. That’s higher than any commercially available coffee. (emphasis mine)

    It’s a shame they don’t bother to mention how this coffee actually tastes. Because when taken into the body via the more usual orifice it sounds very much like my type of coffee – insomnia in a mug.

  17. #17 SteveM
    April 1, 2008

    I only clicked on “Post” once. I promise! I got a server error 500, clicked on “Back” but that gave another server error. So then just came back here through a bookmark to find a double post. Strange.

  18. #18 Kemist
    April 1, 2008

    Quackfiles has a review on coffee enemas, and they’ve suggested a few name brands:

    Starbutts (yeah, somebody did think about that one already)

    G.I.valia

    Tushy’s

    Seattle’s Butts Coffee

    100% mountain grown Colon-bean coffee

    Laxwell House

    Nuts Chock Full O’Coffee

    Marijuana blend (for a truly high colonic)

    Innuendo (new Italian brand)

  19. #19 Phoenix Woman
    April 1, 2008

    “Without entering the digestive tract the caffeine is absorbed through the bowel wall”

    Uuuh what is the bowel other than the digestive tract?

    Exactly.

    The reason for that statement is of course because a non-trivial chunk of alties think that coffee and/or caffeine is a disgusting toxin that must be purged from the system at all costs. So the people pushing the coffee-enema woo have to pretend that somehow caffeine taken up the butt isn’t treated by our bowels in the same fashion as caffeine taken via the mouth.

  20. #20 Phoenix Woman
    April 1, 2008

    “Without entering the digestive tract the caffeine is absorbed through the bowel wall”

    Uuuh what is the bowel other than the digestive tract?

    Exactly.

    The reason for that statement is of course because a non-trivial chunk of alties think that coffee and/or caffeine is a disgusting toxin that must be purged from the system at all costs. So the people pushing the coffee-enema woo have to pretend that somehow caffeine taken up the butt isn’t treated by our bowels in the same fashion as caffeine taken via the mouth.

  21. #21 Liesele
    April 1, 2008

    You think that’s bad, look at this http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4896230.stm
    and no, it’s not an April Fool’s joke either.

  22. #22 Phoenix Woman
    April 1, 2008

    “Without entering the digestive tract the caffeine is absorbed through the bowel wall”

    Uuuh what is the bowel other than the digestive tract?

    Exactly.

    The reason for that statement is of course because a non-trivial chunk of alties think that coffee and/or caffeine is a disgusting toxin that must be purged from the system at all costs. So the people pushing the coffee-enema woo have to pretend that somehow caffeine taken up the butt isn’t treated by our bowels in the same fashion as caffeine taken via the mouth.

  23. #23 Phoenix Woman
    April 1, 2008

    “Without entering the digestive tract the caffeine is absorbed through the bowel wall”

    Uuuh what is the bowel other than the digestive tract?

    Exactly.

    The reason for that statement is of course because a non-trivial chunk of alties think that coffee and/or caffeine is a disgusting toxin that must be purged from the system at all costs. So the people pushing the coffee-enema woo have to pretend that somehow caffeine taken up the butt isn’t treated by our bowels in the same fashion as caffeine taken via the mouth.

  24. #24 Phoenix Woman
    April 1, 2008

    “Without entering the digestive tract the caffeine is absorbed through the bowel wall”

    Uuuh what is the bowel other than the digestive tract?

    Exactly.

    The reason for that statement is of course because a non-trivial chunk of alties think that coffee and/or caffeine is a disgusting toxin that must be purged from the system at all costs. So the people pushing the coffee-enema woo have to pretend that somehow caffeine taken up the butt isn’t treated by our bowels in the same fashion as caffeine taken via the mouth.

  25. #25 Phoenix Woman
    April 1, 2008

    Oh, crap (pardon the pun). I broke the server!

  26. #26 minstrel hussain boy
    April 1, 2008

    like the germans didn’t run out of coffee way before they ran out of medicines. coffee was far more prized than any other black market commodity.

  27. #27 Dangerous Bacon
    April 1, 2008

    Let’s not forget to make fun of England’s Prince Charles, devotee of the coffee enema and other end-stage woo:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/jun/27/themonarchy.medicineandhealth

    Possible brand names for enema-friendly coffee:

    Chock Full O’Feces
    EneMaxwell House
    Juan Valdez’s Special Dump
    Crappucino

    By the way, there already is a coffee brand out of Taiwan that would be a perfect sell to the enema crowd –

    Mr. Brown’s Coffee

    http://www.alibaba.com/catalog/10861975/Mr_Brown_Canned_Coffee_Series.html

  28. #28 Dr Aust
    April 1, 2008

    Spot on, Phoenix W. I love that Doublethink dichotomy the Woos have between coffee/caffeine at the top end:

    – Toxin! Unnatural! Pollutes your body! Hurts unborn children!

    …and coffee/caffeine at the bottom end:

    – Detoxifies! Works in harmony with your body! Purifies the liver!

    Can I suggest a slogan:

    “New ColoJava (R) Coffee enema: It goes in natural, and comes out purifying”

    Anyway, thanks to Orac for giving me a first-rate April 1st laugh. Unfortunately I may well now have to sue Respectful Insolence as the bit about the coffee needing to be organically grown made me laugh so hard I fell off my chair and jarred my lumbar vertebrae.

  29. #29 Bink
    April 1, 2008

    This makes me sad. My father, a college professor, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in the early 1990’s. He was afraid of doctors and got sucked into woo instead. He gave himself coffee enemas. It was stupid and disgusting and undignified and not worthy of him. And then he died.

    Suck it, “naturopaths.”

  30. #30 daedalus2u
    April 1, 2008

    I just had another image. Just as there is the respected coffee taster Juan Valdez who tastes the new harvest, ensures that it meets his very high standards and then gives it his blessing, there must be an Eneman Valdez, the “Juan Valdez” of coffee enemas who tests each new harvest of coffee for its colon and toxin cleansing properties, ensures that it meets his very high standards and then gives it his blessing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Valdez

    My how the townspeople must rejoice and laugh when Eneman Valdez (Juan Valdez’s cousin) gives the enema coffee his blessing. They know they will receive a higher price from the foolish gringos who will waste this perfectly good coffee by shoving it up their rears.

  31. #31 Blake Stacey
    April 1, 2008

    Even if you accepted that you are filthy inside and need all that filth and all those toxins flushed out, what would you use? Water, right? Or some electrolye solution, perhaps?

    Ow.

  32. #32 DavidCT
    April 1, 2008

    We should not completely disparage the possibilities for this marvelous therapy. It should have much promise in treating the dreaded and often self inflicted condition of rectal-cranial inversion. Considering how so many of the CAM crowd suffer from this condition, can there be any doubt as to why the treatment should be popular with that group.

  33. #33 Dr. Kilovolt
    April 1, 2008

    Well of course you want to use the finest organic coffee for your enema! You wouldn’t want to risk introducing even more toxins from chemical fertilizers and pesticides in regular coffee into your system through your colon, would you?

  34. #34 Ktesibios
    April 1, 2008

    There’s a high-priced specialty coffee called Kopi Luwak which is made from beans which have been eaten and pooped out by an Asian Palm Civet.

    I wonder what the kaffeklistier types would make of that.

    “Straight from the bum of an obscure cat-like mammal to yours”.

  35. #35 protected static
    April 1, 2008

    Whenever I read about coffee enemas, I’m reminded of a cartoon from an early-80’s skin mag (probably Playboy). Mr. I’ll-try-anything-once is walking down the street and sees a sign advertising enemas. With a “sure, why not” shrug, he goes in and is sold on a coffee enema. As the stereotypically buxom nurse administers the enema, he grimaces.

    “What, too hot?” asks the nurse.

    “No, too sweet.”

  36. #36 Calli Arcale
    April 1, 2008

    Oooh, Kopi Luwak enemas. There is a poetry in that. :-D

    But I must protest, Orac. You said not one of their claims had merit, but what about this?
    “The enema fluid triggers peristalsis (intestinal muscle contractions) and the efficient removal of wastes from the body.”

    Anything stuck up the butt will trigger peristalsis. (I’ve used this to my advantage when my infant was adjusting to solids and kept getting constipated. Gelatin suppositories are a reasonably safe, if someone awkward, treatment because sticking things in there tends to remind the colon that it has business to attend to.) And it is pretty efficient, really. The colon truly is a marvel for how well it moves digestive wastes out of the body, along with the stuff the liver has mopped up. ;-)

    Of course, that has zilch to do with coffee. I’ve always thought coffee enemas were one of the dumber altie ideas, but it amazes me how many altie concepts center around enemas of various types. It reminds me of a classic play by Moliere, translated into English as “The Imaginary Invalid” by the inestimable P. G. Wodehouse. The protagonist is a rich hypochondriac who eventually winds up becoming a doctor in order to prescribe stuff to himself. The final scene, where he stands for an oral examination by the medical board, is conducted in dog latin. In P. G. Wodehouse’s translation, his suggested treatment for practically everything is “givum anenema againema.”

    :-D

    Hilarious play, lampooning the state of medicine and rich upper class twits in 17th Century France. In other words, the sort of medicine the alties want to return to…..

  37. #37 Doug
    April 1, 2008

    I just hope it isn’t McDonald’s coffee. That stuff’s hot!

  38. #38 Doug
    April 1, 2008

    I just hope it isn’t McDonald’s coffee. That stuff’s hot!

  39. #39 B
    April 1, 2008

    It seems homeopathy is included in a couple of April Fools’ jokes! From a fake review on Classicstoday.com (http://classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=3046):

    Echinacea represents Xenakis’ attempt to apply the principles of homeopathic medicine to music. A chord cluster based on the notes derived from the title: E, A, C, and B (=H in German), along with some added micro-intervals for color, gets progressively “diluted” by stretching out the rests between each of its appearances. The intervals are computer generated of course, but Boulez only includes the first 15 minutes of the work. After that, the listener can time the increasingly lengthy intervals (listed in the accompanying booklet) with the help of a stopwatch until reaching the desired “dilution” of 1 part per 15 million. The initial cluster is helpfully tracked separately for this purpose, though the booklet makes no mention of the actual duration of the full piece, a serious omission. I haven’t worked it out myself, but we’re talking geological time, I’m sure.

  40. #40 Dr Aust
    April 1, 2008

    Bottoms, “motions” and bowel function generally are indeed an Altie obsession.

    I suspect this is a holdover from pre-modern medicine; back in the late 18th century when the treatments were bleeding or, erm, bleeding, looking at someone’s motions in the chamber pot was one of the few “diagnostic methods” available. See e.g. the movie “The Madness of King George”. Diagnostics have moved on since then in conventional medicine, though not that much in the Alt-Mediverse. “Dr” Gillian McKeith, if you are unlucky enough to have come across her British TV shows, places great faith in staring at the poo. I sometimes wonder whether she caught the Scrubs Poo Song and thought it was serious… ah well.

    A modern Woo ur-father who was thoroughly bowel-obsessed was Dr Harvey Kellogg (yep, that Kellogg) of movie (and book) “The Road to Wellville”.

    BTW, talking of bowel transit, “Kopi Luwak” the coffee that has been through a civet’s colon, has achieved mainstream fame since it featured as a crucial clue in an episode of CSI Vegas.

  41. #41 kevinj
    April 1, 2008

    of course it works as a pain killer. i bet most of the patients who got asked if they were still in pain after the first lot responded that it was working just dandy and they were doing just fine without a top up.
    what more evidence do you need?

    the most stupid variant i have seen of this coffee enema lark is one where paragraph 1 they were saying coffee was bad for you and shouldnt be drunk cos of the stimulants and all that crap and paragraph 2 its great as an enema.

  42. #42 Warren
    April 1, 2008

    This is about as full of crap as it gets.

    …which is what the enema is for.

    There’s no evidence to support any of these claims, and no evidence that shooting a bunch of coffee up into your colon “detoxifies” anything, much less your liver.

    Particularly if you’ve added cream and sugar.

  43. #43 SKFK
    April 1, 2008

    In Korea, coffee enemas became a pretty popular phenomenon after a movie star claimed that it helped him losing weight.

    “Please tell me that the woos at least have the sense to let the coffee cool down before using it as an enema?”

    The Japanese have come up with a solution for precisely that problem: liquid coffee in cans made specifically for enema called CafeCOLON:

    http://www.cafecolon.jp/e/products/index.html

    If you scroll down, you will find that they also sell “CafeCOLON Nature” which is for drinking.

  44. #44 kyubi
    April 1, 2008

    Lilly de Lure
    It’s a shame they don’t bother to mention how this coffee actually tastes.

    They do, actually:

    One of the comments we’ve heard is “Hey, this stuff tastes horrible.” Well, you’re absolutely right, it does taste horrible, but you’re not supposed to drink this blend are you?

    (http://www.sawilsons.com/coffee_enema.htm)

    That may be one of the only sensible utterances made on that site.

  45. #45 Fred Bastiat
    April 1, 2008

    I assume that “CafeCOLON Nature” is for drinking after it has been used as a wholesome enema. Something like 43 beans in every cup.

  46. #46 Corey
    April 1, 2008

    When I wake up in the morning, I just can’t get started until I’ve had that first, piping hot pot of coffee.
    Oh, I’ve tried other enemas…
    -Emo Phillips

  47. #47 Corey
    April 1, 2008

    When I wake up in the morning, I just can’t get started until I’ve had that first, piping hot pot of coffee.
    Oh, I’ve tried other enemas…
    -Emo Phillips

  48. #48 Corey
    April 1, 2008

    When I wake up in the morning, I just can’t get started until I’ve had that first, piping hot pot of coffee.
    Oh, I’ve tried other enemas…
    -Emo Phillips

  49. #49 tim gueguen
    April 1, 2008

    This topic wouldn’t be complete without this line from one of my favourite cartoon TV series, Undergrads, courtesy of Cal Evans:

    “Free enema? I didn’t know he was in prison, guy.”

  50. #50 Marcus Ranum
    April 1, 2008

    That’s it! I am sick of this. I’m gonna invent my own woo. I’ll see you all later – I’ll be the guy zooming by in the ferrari…

    BEER ENEMAS will make me rich.
    Tag line: “Oh you wanted a BUD light?”

    And, of course, there’s gonna be my QUANTUM HEAVY WATER therapy – replace the light water in your body with HEAVY WATER (that has been sucussated or whatever the F it is) 100 times 100 dilutions. With my QUANTUM HEAVY WATER therapy combined with a BEER ENEMA you won’t be able to be sure who farted foam.

    All this stuff is patented, copyrighted, and trademarked by me. If you steal my ideas your Qi will be Qi-Gone and your karma will run flat.

  51. #51 Marcus Ranum
    April 1, 2008

    That’s it! I am sick of this. I’m gonna invent my own woo. I’ll see you all later – I’ll be the guy zooming by in the ferrari…

    BEER ENEMAS will make me rich.
    Tag line: “Oh you wanted a BUD light?”

    And, of course, there’s gonna be my QUANTUM HEAVY WATER therapy – replace the light water in your body with HEAVY WATER (that has been sucussated or whatever the F it is) 100 times 100 dilutions. With my QUANTUM HEAVY WATER therapy combined with a BEER ENEMA you won’t be able to be sure who farted foam.

    All this stuff is patented, copyrighted, and trademarked by me. If you steal my ideas your Qi will be Qi-Gone and your karma will run flat.

  52. #52 Calli Arcale
    April 1, 2008

    Marcus Ranum, there was a guy who died recently after his wife administered a brandy enema. Seemed he enjoyed taking his alcohol via this route. It wasn’t out of any woo, though. He knew that alcohol is absorbed more readily that way, and thus that he could become far drunker that way. A fact which was unfortunately proven all too well when he succumbed to alcohol poisoning after his last enema. (Mind you, his wife did seem suspiciously blase about the whole thing, and she’s the only evidence that he liked doing this sort of thing. Hrm.)

  53. #53 Marcus Ranum
    April 1, 2008

    Calli: that’s perfect! Doesn’t really good woo have to be potentially lethal if you’re sufficiently stupid about it?
    (mental picture of lethal over-application of accupuncture deleted)

  54. #54 Tlazolteotl
    April 2, 2008

    Orac,

    Some day, I really hope you will do a post or two about the raw foods movement.

    In the meantime, couldn’t I just drink the coffee and take a few Swiss Kriss and get the same general effect?

    Aside: The Road to Wellville was an outrageously fun movie.

  55. #55 DLC
    April 2, 2008

    As it happens, I have had to make use of pre-packaged enemas before, so Ene-Man is no stranger to me. However,as Orac points out, there is no factual medical reason to shoot coffee up in there. Butt, people will try anything if they think it might work. More often than not they will simply display their ignorance.
    Meanwhile, in a slightly related story, I recently asked the pharmacist at a local grocery why they sell homeopathic junk.
    His answer was refreshingly frank : “because some people think it works”. While I consider anyone selling homeopathic junk to be a form of con-artist, I have to appreciate the man’s honesty.

  56. #56 DLC
    April 2, 2008

    As it happens, I have had to make use of pre-packaged enemas before, so Ene-Man is no stranger to me. However,as Orac points out, there is no factual medical reason to shoot coffee up in there. Butt, people will try anything if they think it might work. More often than not they will simply display their ignorance.
    Meanwhile, in a slightly related story, I recently asked the pharmacist at a local grocery why they sell homeopathic junk.
    His answer was refreshingly frank : “because some people think it works”. While I consider anyone selling homeopathic junk to be a form of con-artist, I have to appreciate the man’s honesty.

  57. #57 DrFrank
    April 2, 2008

    Wednesday is incredible repeat-posting day, it seems!

  58. #58 khan
    April 4, 2008

    Michael Landon was getting coffee enemas as part of his treatment for pancreatic cancer. He died in 1991.

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