Q: I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between a retention enema and a regular enema?
~Lookin' to Cleanse Out
A: A retention enema means a liquid that is held in the large intestine. Usually, 1-4 cups of liquid is held between 15-30 minutes. The purpose of a retention enema is to:
1- reinoculate the intestines or
2-add nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals (especially useful for those with malnutrition) or
3- help with parasites and candida
To reinoculate the intestines, a cup of probiotic liquid is used. This could be 1 cup of non-dairy or dairy kefir or even some watery yogurt. You could also use 1-2 capsules of probiotics added to a cup of warm water. This retention enema is best held for 30 minutes. If no bowel movement follows, that's fine, as the purpose is for the probiotic liquid to be absorbed by the intestines.
To help with malnutrition, 1 cup of a mineral-rich infusion is used. Nourishing infusions include Nettle, Oatstraw, Linden, Red Clover and Horsetail (there are other herbs that can be used as well). To make an infusion: place 1 ounce of dried herb in a mason jar. Add boiling water to the top, place on lid and screw cap and let sit 4 hours to overnight. Strain and gently warm to finger hot (see further directions below). Mint and Chamomile are two other gentle herbs that can be used to help with gas, bloating and spasms. Because they contain volatile oils, you want to make a standard tea and let the herbs sit 5-10 minutes at most. Let cool to body temperature before using.
To help with parasitic and candida activity, you want to use either 3 opened capsules of anti-parasitic herbs to 4 cups of warm water OR use 4 cups of anti-parasitic decoction or infusion. Common herbs used for such purposes are: Wormwood & Mugwort (infusion; 1 oz. herb to 4 cups boiling water in a mason jar, let sit 4-8 hours then strain and use) and Black Walnut hulls & Pau d'Arco (decoction). To make a decoction: place 2-3 TBsp of herb in a pot with 4 cups water in a glass or ceramic pot (stainless steel would be OK too). Let come to a boil, then simmer on low, covered, 20-30 minutes. Let cool and strain. Add in 2 cups of water and use (to make 4 cups total). Regardless if you are using the infusion or decoction, use 4 cups of the "tea" and hold for 15 minutes before having a bowel movement.
In comparison to retention enemas, a regular enema is used to help cleanse the intestines and move the bowels, such as for constipation or fecal impaction. Enema bottles sold in the store are a salt solution that you can easily do at home. More liquid is used in a regular enema and held for less time compared to a retention enema: 4-8 cups of liquid is used and is held briefly for 5-10 minutes. Popular enema recipes used to cleanse the bowels are:
When it comes to a coffee enema, this type of enema can be viewed as a cross between a retention and regular enema. 4 cups of coffee are held in the intestines for the duration of 12-15 minutes. Unlike retention enemas or regular enemas, the purpose of the coffee enema is to stimulate the release of bile in the liver and to increase the production of glutathione, which is an important liver enzyme needed for detoxification. The coffee enema is used extensively by the Gerson Institute in cases of cancer, candida and other degenerative diseases 1-5 times a day.
To make a coffee enema, 1-3 TBsp of light to medium ground coffee (you can grind the beans prior to making the enema) in 4 cups of water is brought to a boil, then covered and simmered for 15 minutes. Let cool then strain out the coffee grounds. Add additional water to make 4 cups of liquid, then use. If cramping occurs or the coffee "stays" in the intestines, do a retention enema of 4 cups of Mint or Chamomile tea and hold for 5-10 minutes prior to doing the coffee enema.
For all enemas: the water should be tepid/lukewarm/finger hot. Cold liquid can cause cramping in the intestines and it obviously makes sense not to use hot liquid. Place the liquid in an enema bag or enema bucket. Air may be trapped in the tube, so allow a tiny bit of liquid to pour out into the sink with the air, then close the nozzle. Lube the nozzle (coconut oil works fine) and lie on your right side. You might want to place a pile of towels on the floor and bring a book along while you are waiting. Hang the bag onto a sturdy object (or place the bucket onto a sturdy object), insert the nozzle and open the valve on the hose. Allow the liquid to pour in gently, closing the nozzle if you feel cramps and then reopening the nozzle once the cramps have passed. Once all the liquid has passed into you, close the valve and wait it out. You might want to use a clock or timer while you wait. You can also massage your intestines with your left hand while you wait, however if the movement causes cramps or makes holding it more difficult, then just lie still. Meditation at this time could be another option while waiting.
Once the time is up, you can evacuate the liquid (if it is a retention enema, there may be no need). Don't force it out, just let it run out naturally. Massaging the intestines is good to help the liquid come out: follow the path of the intestines by going down the small intestines on the left side of the body close to the navel all the way done to the pubic bone, then above the pubic bone to the right side and up the ascending colon, along the horizontal transverse colon above the belly button and down the descending colon. Essentially, you are making a large spiral by following the anatomy of the intestines, as if you were following the course of food from the small intestine to the large intestine and out the body.
One final note: enema bags are commonly made of rubber and sold at drugstores, however there are higher quality ones made of silicone available (such as on Amazon). Large enema buckets made of stainless steel are also available online and make cleaning them easy. Indeed, one of the most important things when doing an enema is cleanliness. You want to make sure the pot or mason jar you is clean and the enema bag is clean. A good rule of thumb is to clean out the bag and hose with the hottest soapy water you can stand, rinse well, then add in the liquid and use right away. Always make sure you clean the bag and hose before using.
I hope this information has been most helpful. To your cleansing success,
P.S. If you are in Malaysia or are visiting the area, you can have colon hydrotherapy using a coffee enema :)
Q: Can you help me find some herbs for my parasite problem?
A: Note that herbs in both Chinese and Western medicine are divided into hot and cold categories in order to better match the right herb to a person. Another criteria we can use to find the right herb is whether a person is strong or deficient. Using these 4 criteria, we can then talk about different 4 categories or types: strong + cold, strong + hot, deficient + cold, deficient+ hot.
To do: find which type you are. Take the herbs for 10 days on, 5 days off. Repeat 3-9 more times until symptoms of parasites are gone. Make sure you eat a low glycemic, low carb diet in order to starve out the parasites (such as the paleo diet, a grain-free vegan or vegetarian diet, or the candida diet <-inclduing the Body Ecology diet).
Herbs can be found at most health food stores and online (such as Mountain Rose Herbs).
Q: Can you recommend some anti-parasitic foods for those on a budget?
A: Absolutely! Here are 12 common foods that anyone can use to help oust out those "bad bugs."
1. Cabbage in its raw form is a vermifuge. Add to salads, juice it or make 'kraut with it. Looking for 'kraut & cabbage recipes? See HERE.
2. Raw Carrots contain a substance which has anti-parasitic action. You can parboil the chopped carrots for 2 minutes to kill off any germs before consuming.
3. Radish & Daikon Radish. Parasites are not keen on spicy (or pungent) foods. You want to eat these raw or juiced.
4. Garlic, Onion & Chives. Garlic is a common cheap food that is a well-known vermifuge. Alternatively ou can take the supplement Allicin to avoid having garlic breath and your friends will still come around. ;) A high potency supplement of Allicin is Allimed.
5. Bitter Greens such as Kale, Collard & Chard. If you're into foraging, Dandelion greens (sometimes you can find them in health food stores or farmer's markets), Sow Thistles (Sonchus sp.) and Wild Lettuces (Lactuca sp.) make excellent bitter greens. The fresh ones can be juiced or added to smoothies, while fresh or dried can be added to soups and stews. Note that parasites dislike all bitter-tasting foods.
6. Pumpkin & Squash Seeds. These are vermifuge foods and they are pretty dirt cheap. While Pumpkins only come out in the fall, you can store them for several months. All types of Squash seeds have anti-parasitic properties and you can buy Squash all year round.
The seeds do require some work, however: Wash seeds of the strings, then spread out on a cookie and dry on the lowest setting in your oven (about 2 hours). You can also dry them faster at 300F, but you'll have to watch them so they don't burn. Once dried, they are easy to handle, so get to opening them up with a seed opener (great to do while watching TV or listening to music :)). Once opened, you can soak them first and then eat them OR toast them on a cookie sheet at 300F for 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
7. Papaya Seeds. Not a lot of people think about eating Papaya seeds, but they are edible and anti-parasitic. To do: Cover seeds with water + 1-2 TBsp apple cider vinegar OR lemon juice. You can also just use apple cider vinegar OR just lemon juice. Let sit overnight. Strain and eat. The taste? Kinda like capers.
8. Sour Foods. Parasites like sweet (aka sugar), not sour. Many food choices here including Lemons, Limes, Grapefruits, Pomegranates and Granny Smith Apples.
9. Warming Spices such as Cloves, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cayenne Pepper. Nope, these aren't foods per se, but adding these pungent spices to your foods will help keep parasites at bay. Cloves have been shown to help dissolve the biofilms (kinda like force fields) made by candida and you'll often see it listed as an ingredient in anti-parasitic supplements.
10. Aloe Vera Gel. While not a food per se, cooling Aloe Vera gel is a mild anti-parasitic. This is a good one for someone who has both parasites AND leaky gut (or some kind of gut inflammation). Aloe Vera does have a mild laxative effect, so be aware if you have a tendency towards diarrhea.
Aloe Vera Gel is easy to find in health food stores and online. Just be aware that citric acid is an added preservative that may cause reactions in some individuals (if so, discontinue use). You can also take a leaf of an Aloe Vera plant, split it down the center with a knife, open it up, then scrape out the inner goop with a spoon. Taking Aloe Vera in plant form is much more potent, however you'll also notice that it has an astringent taste if you simply add it to water and take it that way.
How to take? Add 1-2 TBsp to a cup of water or add to smoothies and juices. You can also add Aloe Vera to sun teas ---> see Here to get some ideas :)
11. Apricot Seeds. Yep, if you open the pit of an Apricot, you'll find edible, anti-oxidant rich seeds. To open the pit: place the pit in a folded up tea towel or in a plastic bag. Use a hammer to crack open the pit. The seeds, besides being anti-parasitic, are highly astringent and contain B17, also known as laetrile. Since they are slightly toxic, a dose is 2-5 seeds per day.
How to eat: as is (some of the seeds are quite bitter while others are reminiscent of almonds in taste). You can also grind them and add to nut butters or throw them in your soups, stews and smoothies.
12. Avocado Pits. While not antiparasitic, Avocado Pits help to boost the immune system and are thus beneficial to help with bacterial, viral and fungal infections. They are high in antioxidants and soluble fiber and are known to regulate GI issues such as ulcers, constipation, dysentery and diarrhea.
To open the pit: place the pit in a tea towel or plastic bag, smash with a hammer and scoop out the inner part. You can also dry it out first, then peel off the outer layer and use, as explained in this video Here.
Use 1/4-1/2 of the inner Avocado pit to your smoothie recipe. You can also add it to pureed soups (e.g. blend the inner pit with Carrots for Carrot soup).
To great fight busting days,
is a Health Practitioner with a Background in Chinese Medicine. Get in Some of her Savvy Adivce When She Answers Your Health Question.
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