Time is a puckered circle. What was once old and stinky has worked its way back around the temporal rim to be reborn anew, two-ply clean. I am of course talking about the coffee enema. Every five years, like clockwork, the coffee enema re-enters the collective consciousness; in 2013, a couple on the Learning Channel show My Strange Addiction couldn’t stop coffee colonic’ing, and then in 2018, it was Gwyneth Paltrow trying to convince you to pay $135 to Gooper your pooper. And now, it’s the TikTok teens who have gone head over heels—or more correctly, heels over head—for the coffee enema.
But doctors are still unsure if you should red eye your brown eye.
For those who haven’t been following along with this particular quinquennial cycle, the coffee enema is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: injecting brewed coffee into your rectum to clean out your colon. (Which one could argue that consuming coffee the old-fashioned way does a pretty bang up job of already.) Its supposed benefits include relieving constipation, feeling better in general, boosting immunity, and helping with symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, gas, and bloating.
As reported by ABC13 in Houston, this most recent Columbusing of the coffee enema by the TikTok generation is due to a belief that it is a “deep detox that helps with weight loss.” But medical practitioners are cautioning against the practice.
Speaking with ABC13, Dr. Muhammed Nathani, a gastroenterology at the Kelsey Seybold Clinic, states that while there is no proof that coffee enemas have any positive benefits, the potential negative side effects are very real. The most common downside for your downside is irritation of the rectum and burning, caused by not waiting for the coffee to cool before shooting the moon.
At this point I would be remiss to not include my favorite coffee-adjacent butthole-burning quote, from esteemed actor Josh Brolin after he tried another social media trend, perineum sunning: “My pucker hole is crazy burned and I was going to spend the day shopping with my family and instead I’m icing and using aloe and burn creams because of the severity of the pain. I don’t know who the fuck thought of this stupid shit but fuck you nonetheless. Seriously.”
Still, Dr. Nathani states the consequences of the coffee enema could be worse than a missed day of shopping and a delicate aloe vera application. He notes that different studies have shown “at least three deaths” related to coffee enemas. Dr. Nathani’s professional medical advice is to avoid them, full stop.
So before you take your ass crack to second crack, go full city on your seat-y hole, maybe consider putting down the butt-chugaccino. There are better ways to detox—maybe just grab a green juice or something—and there are certainly better ways to consume coffee.