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How Do I Make a Homemade Enema?

By Christine Hudson
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Making homemade enemas is fairly straightforward as long as you have some basic equipment. You should also consider which type of solution you want to use, as many different types can be made at home. Administration of homemade enemas is similar to those bought in stores, but you do have to take a few extra precautions. For this reason, some prefer to use storebought kits and solutions.

Equipment

To make a homemade enema, you'll need a clear plastic bag or bottle, medical tubing, and something to use as a nozzle or support for the other end of the tube. You'll also need clamps to connect the tubing to the bag or bottle and the nozzle. To assemble the equipment, connect the tubing to the bag, and secure it with a clamp. Do the same with the nozzle on the other end. If you don't have a nozzle, you can insert an unused plastic drinking straw into the tubing so that it won't collapse when inserted into the rectum. Alternatively, you can buy a kit in a store and just make homemade solutions.

Solutions

There are a variety of enema solutions, many of which can be made at home. The most basic type is a warm water enema, which consists of purified water. This can help stimulate the movement of the intestines and soften hard stools. Other common types of solutions include mineral oil, molasses and milk, olive oil, and castile soap, all of which can be helpful for constipation. Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and coffee enemas can be used for cleaning the intestines.

Administration

To administer your enema, first assemble all of your equipment and make sure that it is clean and sterile. Put a clamp on the tube connected to the bag or bottle before filling it with the enema solution. Clamping before filling is important to keep the fluid from flowing through immediately. Unless you're using a squeeze bottle, you should hang the bag a few feet above where you'll be taking the enema — usually no more than 3 feet (1 m). The higher you hang the bag, the more pressure you'll experience when the solution flows into your rectum.

You should go to a comfortable place close to a toilet, and put down some towels or a rug in case of leakage. Some people prefer to lay on the floor of their bathroom, while others prefer to cover a bed in towels and lay there. There are several positions that you can take the enema in, but the most common ones are laying on the side with your top knee flexed towards your chest or on your back with your knees pulled towards your chest.

When you are ready to take the enema, you or a partner should lubricate the end of the tube and the inside and outside of your rectum. Next, gently insert the nozzle or tube into the rectum until it's about 3 in (7.50 cm) inside. When you're ready, loosen the clamp on the tube to let the water flow into your rectum. You can adjust the pressure and speed of the water by raising or lowering the bag and by tightening or loosening the clamp. Once you have inserted all of the solution or you feel full, let the solution work for up to 10 minutes, go to a toilet, remove the nozzle, and evacuate your bowels.

Precautions

It's essential to make sure that all of your equipment is clean, so if you plan on using the same equipment over and over again, you should sterilize it after each usage, and not put it away until it is fully dry. You should always check your equipment for leaks before using it, which you can do by letting a little bit of solution flow out of the bag into a toilet or sink. Additionally, you should make sure that all of the ingredients in your mixture are sterile or pure, including any water. As with any enema, you should make sure that the solution is the proper temperature, around 100 and 105° F (about 38 to 41° C), as too cold water can cause cramping and too hot water can burn. It's important to check with your healthcare practitioner before taking any enema, as using them improperly can cause dehydration or dependence, and certain types of solutions can exacerbate certain health problems in people with heart failure or renal problems.

Homemade vs. Storebought

Some people prefer storebought kits because they come pre-assembled or are easy to assemble, and are often pre-sterilized. Repeatedly buying disposable kits can be expensive, however, so those who use enemas often may prefer to make their own kits. In terms of solutions, some prefer the storebought versions because they are sterile and pre-made, but others prefer to make homemade enema solutions since they can be sure of all of the ingredients in the solution, and they can control the proportion of ingredients.

How to Determine if a Homemade or Store Bought Enema Is Best?

If you are unsure of whether a store-bought or homemade enema is best, speak with your healthcare practitioner. They can help you determine if a store-bought or homemade enema is best for your needs and can also provide guidance on how to administer the enema correctly. 

Additionally, they may have suggestions for specific solutions or ingredients that may be best for you.

What Are the Pros of Having an Enema?

Enemas can help cleanse the colon or rectum and can provide relief from constipation or diarrhea. They can also be used to administer certain medications or solutions, such as barium sulfate, into the lower gastrointestinal tract. 

A barium enema is commonly used as a diagnostic tool, as it can help visualize the lower gastrointestinal tract on an x-ray. Also, enemas can work for other purposes, such as relaxation, cancer treatment, or sexual stimulation.

The coffee enema, for example, works as a form of detoxification introduced as a part of Max Gerson's Gerson therapy. Gerson therapy is an alternative, non-conventional cancer treatment that claims to enable the body to heal itself. 

Coffee enemas are said to help with this by stimulating the liver and gallbladder, which helps move toxins out of the body. 

The coffee enema can be administered at home, but it's essential to make sure that you are using pure, clean water and coffee, as well as taking proper safety precautions. Not taking reasonable precautions with this particular enema has caused death in some cases.

What Are the Risks of Using an Enema?

While there are many benefits to enemas, there are also some risks. When appropriately used, enemas can help cleanse the colon or rectum and can provide relief from constipation or diarrhea. However, it's crucial to use enemas carefully, as improper use can lead to other health problems.

Let's look at some of the risks associated with enema use.

Dehydration

When giving yourself an enema, ensure the solution is not too hot or too cold, as extreme temperatures can cause dehydration.

Dependence

Overuse of enemas can lead to dependence, as the body may become used to the enema solution and may no longer be able to have a bowel movement without one. This happens as a result of the muscles weakening in the intestines. Physicians can help retrain natural bowel movements with medications like Miralax, FiberCon, or Amitiza.

Rectal Damage 

Inserting the nozzle or tube into the rectum too forcefully or without lubrication can cause tearing, which can lead to infection.

Allergic Reactions 

If you have ongoing allergies and are allergic to any of the ingredients in your enema solution, you may experience an allergic reaction, which could be life-threatening.

Risk of Infection

If you do not sterilize your equipment or if you use contaminated water, you may be at risk of infection.

What Is Microbial Dysbiosis?

The GI tract houses many microbial communities. Believe it or not, this includes bacteria, archaea, fungi, and even viruses. The microbiota has a massive responsibility for the overall health of an individual. In a healthy state, the microbiota and host have a symbiotic relationship. 

This means that they work together for the good of the individual. The microbiota aids in many digestive processes, such as the breakdown of food and absorption of nutrients. This relationship gets disrupted when there is an imbalance in the microbiota, also known as dysbiosis.

Microbial Dysbiosis is an imbalance of gut microbes. It can lead to several problems, including inflammation, diarrhea, and constipation. Doing enemas too often can disrupt gut microbes' balance, leading to dysbiosis. 

It is vital to use enemas carefully and only as directed by a healthcare practitioner. For women, especially Microbial Dysbiosis can cause vaginal infections, yeast infections, and UTIs. The overall health of the gut and intestinal tract are interconnected to the female reproductive system. 

Women who are pregnant, in labor, or breastfeeding can use enemas as a natural relief from constipation. However, if they suffer from ongoing constipation, they should see their doctor as this may be a sign of a bigger problem.

Treatment for microbial dysbiosis typically involves a change in diet and the use of probiotics or other supplements. In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon994386 — On Feb 05, 2016

I think more work should have been done on the solutions section and gone more in-depth, as well as objectively stating what each solution really does. I can tell you there are plenty of scientists and medical doctors that call BS on the whole cleansing idea.

I personally like how one doctor described it to me on how our digestive system is a finely tuned instrument that doesn't need to be cleansed of toxins, in that our bodies are designed to detox on their own and thinking that squirting some water -- or anything else, for that matter -- up your rectum is going to cleanse anything other then impacted stool perhaps and that using them constantly can be quite dangerous.

You don't get backed up with toxins like that and the amount of stool it would take to cause toxic effects to your body would land you in the hospital. Our bodies are not static but movable. The whole holistic thing makes it seem as if the body is static, which it clearly is not.

Now if we are talking about a constipation treatment, that's a different story. Still I thought this was a site of science and truth. The name wise geek is deceiving, I guess, if holistic heath ideas are being spread on it now just as much as real scientific stuff is. At least you didn't go on at length about the so called toxins every cleansing lunatic goes on about.

By anon324425 — On Mar 10, 2013

I lost my anal virginity at age of 8 to my step-sister, who was, 14 under her mother's supervision. It was frightening and mortifying, but in my youth as common as going to the bathroom. It was a female only prerogative/duty to perform and medically recommended. Reportedly, Marylin Monroe enjoyed frequent enemas kindly provided by a live-in maid (lucky).

By JessicaLynn — On Nov 19, 2012

@Pharoah - I'm with you. I don't think I would want to make myself a homemade enema to use. However, some people are really, really handy, so if you have the skills to make your own stuff, why not?

That being said, I hope anyone who is planning to do this follow the advice in the article to sterilize your equipment!

By Pharoah — On Nov 18, 2012

I am a pretty staunch fan of homemade stuff, but I draw the line at a homemade enema! You can buy reusable enema bags at the store for fairly cheap, and then just make your own solution. I feel like that would be a happy medium between buying a disposable enema each time and making a homemade enema bag!

I don't know why, but the whole idea just kind of sketches me out. I can't even think of what you could use for a bag and tubing in this situation!

By dean — On Sep 12, 2010

I don't think I'd want to use an enema which caused bad cramps. That's usually your body's way of saying something is wrong.

After researching the milk enema, it sounds pretty effective, but you would definitely want to follow up with an internal cleansing.

By StormyKnight — On Aug 14, 2010

There is also a lemon juice enema that it very effective for cleansing of the colon. You use ½ cup lemon juice per quart of water. The only problem with this one is that it is said that the cramps may be pretty bad.

By dill1971 — On Aug 14, 2010

@calabama71: My mother has actually used the milk enema. I’m not sure of the success of it, but she mixes 1 ½ quarts of warm water with 16 oz. warm milk and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. You can heat the milk in the microwave and then pour all of the ingredients in the enema bag. You can also add a Tbsp. of honey.

By calabama71 — On Aug 14, 2010

I know that this sounds odd, but my cousin's son was recently in the hospital with stomach problems. She said that they gave him an enema made of milk. I had never heard of such but she said it worked better than anything that she had ever seen.

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