Is it safe to inject water into the anus?

The enema - a tried and tested method for cleansing and sanitizing the colon

Treatment> Alternative Medicine

Dr. med. Another summer

Enemas are already since the antiquity used. Even then it was known that a properly functioning intestine is the be-all and end-all for health and well-being. Medical and spiritual experts agree that our insides also need a thorough cleaning every now and then. Whether in conventional medicine or in the millennia-old yoga practice from India - there are a wide variety of methods to cleanse the internal organs and stimulate intestinal activity. The enema is one of the easiest and gentlest ways to cleanse the organism from the inside and to combat common digestive problems such as constipation.

What is an enema?

During an enema, warm, pure and still water is usually passed through the anus into the intestine to rinse it. At Bloating, constipation, gas and a general malaise in the intestinal region, an enema usually promises quick improvement. It can be carried out with various inlet devices. In addition, this is possible both at home alone or under the professional supervision of a doctor or alternative practitioner. However, an enema should not be done too often. In the case of chronic constipation, changing your diet while increasing your fluid intake and exercising can help better and, above all, more sustainably.

Did you know that the enema ...

... is one of the oldest treatment methods and was already used in antiquity?

... is synonymous with colonic irrigation, or technically as an enema or enema?

... is used in alternative medicine as a draining procedure to accompany fasting?

What are common enema devices and agents?

You can use various enema devices for colon cleansing. While in the doctor's offices of alternative medicine professional colonic irrigation devices with two channels are used, smaller, manual and disposable enema devices are available for use at home. For example, enema syringes and balls or manual irrigators. The main enema is boiled, still water. Depending on your preference, this is enriched with various additives, such as chamomile tea or table salt. Also Coffee enemas Although their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven, they are often used primarily to clean the liver.

Enema vs. enema: the differences

As enema a simple pumping device is called, the enema syringe or the enema ball. The enema consists of a klyso pump and an enema tube. The enema is used to flush water through the anus into the intestine. The main purpose of this procedure is to encourage bowel movements. It will less water used than at the enema.

On the other hand, aenema used for more persistent and serious complaints. The intestine also becomes clear more water flushed down to the mast and colon to soften solid stools.

When does it make sense to do an enema?

Colon cleansing is always useful when the processes in the intestine no longer function smoothly, as is typically the case with constipation. Also when preparing for a fast, a liver cleanse or for general precaution, Colon cleansing can be useful. Colon irrigation can also help with diarrhea in some cases. Especially when this is due to harmful bacteria in the intestines.

In addition, enemas are often used before the birth at the request of expectant mothers. This is done using an irrigator or enema. Since the enema stimulates bowel activity, it usually also stimulates the mothers ’labor activity. This is especially beneficial if contractions are still ineffective facilitates the birth process.

An overview of the reasons for an enema

  • Constipation (acute and persistent)
  • For the administration of medication (e.g. lactulose enema for liver cirrhosis)
  • Colonoscopy
  • For diagnostics in the rectum area (rectoscopy, contrast enema, etc.)
  • Lowering of fever
  • Operations in the intestinal area
  • For relief during a natural birth
  • Colon cleansing before and during a fast
  • Sexual practices like BDSM or clinic eroticism

Can I do an enema myself?

Of course, you can also quickly and easily set an enema yourself at home. This is particularly useful for minor constipation and general digestive problems. Easy to use enema devices for home like Pear syringes, irrigators or Klyso pumps and enema sets can be bought at the pharmacy.

The choice of enema basically depends on individual preferences. Best suited still, slightly warmed water. If you want, you can enrich it with mineral and / or vegetable additives. For example with table salt, base powder or various teas. Chamomile and herbal teas are particularly popular.

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What happens after the enema?

That is different depending on the initial situation. If the enema is carried out during the fasting cure, then you simply start the fast afterwards. If it is used for intestinal rehabilitation, the intestinal flora should be rebuilt after the enema with light foods and lactic acid-rich foods. Even if the enema serves to eliminate acute constipation, a change in diet towards digestive foods should also take place.

Does an enema really help with purification, deacidification and detoxification?

Especially in alternative medicine, enemas or colon cleansings are often used for purification. For this purpose, up to 60 liters are then usually flushed into the intestine using a hose. The 60 liters can flow away through a second hose. The promised cleansing effect could, however not yet scientifically proven become. In addition, there are a number of medical reasons in favor of an enema.

Excursus: Colon hydrotherapy

Colon hydrotherapy is an advanced form of the enema that uses even more water than an enema or enema. About 10 to 30 liters of water are fed into the intestine with a professional enema device without pressure and with changing temperature. During the procedure, the abdominal wall is massaged repeatedly to stimulate the bowel movement even more. Colon hydrotherapy is generally performed two to three times in a row to thoroughly cleanse the intestines and, above all, to remove older, hardened feces. Many alternative practitioners recommend Colon hydrotherapy every year and swear by their effect, especially as a prelude to a fasting cure or in combination with a liver cleanse.

Colon hydrotherapy should always be performed by an experienced bowel specialist.

Can an enema cause side effects?

An enema can cause some body reactions. These are not side effects in the classic sense, but mostly Sequelae one too frequent or improper implementation of enemas. The most common risks and side effects of colonic irrigation include:

  • Damage to the intestinal flora (especially if used too often)
  • Cramps and scalds in the intestines (wrong water temperature)
  • Injuries to the intestinal wall or anus (improper use)
  • Infections (consequence of injuries caused by improper use)
  • Irritation of the intestinal mucosa (too high acid content in the irrigation fluid)
  • allergic (anaphylactic) shock (as a reaction to specific additives in the irrigation fluid)
  • bloated stomach or abdominal pain
  • Nausea (possibly associated with vomiting)
  • diarrhea
  • Circulatory problems (due to fluid loss, which can lead to dehydration)
Enema should be avoided in these situations:

  • Intestinal obstruction
  • For acute abdominal diseases such as peritonitis
  • In the case of congenital malformations in the colon or rectum
  • hemorrhoids
  • During pregnancy (only harmless immediately before the birth)
  • For inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis

  • Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease

How often can you do an enema?

If enemas are done too often, this can lead to a number of unpleasant and harmful secondary reactions on the part of the body. The intestinal flora can suffer, for example, or it can lead to dehydration or infections. A colonic irrigation is therefore only recommended as a preventive measure once or twice a year. In the case of acute blockages, the enema must be set specifically. However, if the condition of constipation is very common and becomes chronic, a doctor should be consulted and alternative treatments should be discussed.

Where can I buy inlet devices?

An enema irrigator, Klyso pumps, pear syringes and entire enema sets are available without a prescription in any pharmacy and partly also available in drugstores.


Mosimann, F., & Cornu, P. (1998). Are enemas given before abdominal operations useful ?. European Journal of Surgery, 164 (7), 527-530.

Kupferschmidt, F. Colon cleansing before colonoscopy: A comparison of two laxative solutions with regard to cleaning effectiveness and patient tolerance.

Rauch, E. (1960). Colon cleansing according to Dr. med. FX Mayr.depression74, 78. 

Rehmann, I. H. (1997). Colon cleansing with polyethylene glycol / macrogol electrolyte solution as the agent of choice: own recipe versus Klean-Prep®. coloproctology, 19 (1), 33-40.

Dr. med. Another summer

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