Why You Shouldn't Try the Gwyneth-Approved "Coffee Enema"

We're consciously uncoupling from this trend right now.

Gwyneth Paltrow is the modern-day guru of wellness, and it's undeniable that some of her ideas—like clean sleeping or conscious uncoupling—are brilliant and usually backed by science. Then there are those, like stuffing jade eggs into your vagina or eating sex bark, which tend to raise eyebrows.

The latest trend to get the Goop stamp of approval, however, could be downright dangerous. One of the features promoted in the site's new Beauty and Wellness Detox Guide is a $135 at-home coffee enema.

Yes. A coffee enema.

The Implant O-Rama System At-Home Coffee Enema is touted by Goop as an effective way of ridding your body of toxins. Like most enemas, it works by sticking a catheter up the rectum and then pumping in fluid—in this case, coffee, which some believe is a potent liver remedy—and then pumping out excess waste and fluid into a jar. Goop argues "that it's crucial for moving things along, particularly because our systems are over-taxed by clearing the toxins of modern day life."

Since the trend has taken off, medical experts have come forward to say that the whole thing is a really, really bad idea.

For one, experts say that a colonic of any kind is meant to be performed by a doctor prior to a medical exam or procedure, and not as a detox measure after a weekend of binge drinking.

"If you have a liver, your body is already getting rid of toxins," Roberta Anding, a lecturer in kinesiology at Rice University and a dietitian and sports nutritionist for Rice Athletics and the Houston Astros, told CBS News. "You don't need to do any cleanses."

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that "there isn't any convincing evidence that detox or cleansing programs actually remove toxins from your body or improve your health," and that "colon cleansing procedures may have side effects, some of which can be serious….[especially in those] with a history of gastrointestinal disease, colon surgery, kidney disease, or heart disease."

Michael F. Picco, M.D., writes that colon cleansing (while necessary before a colonoscopy) can cause cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting, as well as dehydration, bowel perforations, and increase the risk of infection.

Now, those are regular enemas. Coffee enemas are even more dangerous.

Picco notes that "coffee enemas sometimes used in colon cleansing have been linked to several deaths."

There have been recorded cases of people suffering from proctocolitis (aka rectal burning) as a direct result of coffee enemas.

If you do decide to get a colonic, he advises visiting a professional, giving them a full rundown of your medical history as well as any herbs or supplements you take, making sure your practitioner uses disposable equipment, and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated.

But if you're a trend fanatic, it's better to stick with the ones that are safe, like weighted blankets.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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