Excerpted from Ralph Moss' Healing
Coffee enemas were an
established part of medical practice when Dr. Max Gerson introduced them
into cancer therapy in the 1930s. Basing himself on German laboratory
work, Gerson believed that caffeine could stimulate the liver and gall
bladder to discharge bile. He felt this process could contribute to the
health of the cancer patient.
Although the coffee enema
has been heaped with scorn, there has been some independent scientific
work that gives credence to this concept. In 1981, for instance, Dr. Lee
Wattenberg and his colleagues were able to show that substances found in
coffee—kahweol and cafestol palmitate—promote the activity of a key
enzyme system, glutathione S-transferase, above the norm. This system
detoxifies a vast array of electrophiles from the bloodstream and,
according to Gar Hildenbrand of the Gerson Institute, "must be
regarded as an important mechanism for carcinogen detoxification."
This enzyme group is responsible for neutralizing free radicals, harmful
chemicals now commonly implicated in the initiation of cancer. In mice,
for example, these systems are enhanced 600 percent in the liver and 700
percent in the bowel when coffee beans are added to the mice's diet.
Dr. Peter Lechner, who is investigating the Gerson method at the
Landeskrankenhaus of Graz, Austria, has reported that "coffee
enemas have a definite effect on the colon which can be observed
with an endoscope." F.W. Cope (1977) has postulated the existence
of a "tissue damage syndrome." When cells are challenged by
poison, oxygen deprivation, malnutrition or a physical trauma they lose
potassium, take on sodium and chloride, and swell up with excess water.
Another scientist (Ling) has suggested that water in a normal cell is
contained in an "ice-like" structure. Being alive requires not
just the right chemicals but the right chemical structure. Cells
normally have a preference for potassium over sodium but when a cell is
damaged it begins to prefer sodium. This craving results in a damaged
ability of cells to repair themselves and to utilize energy. Further,
damaged cells produce toxins; around tumors are zones of
"wounded" but still non-malignant tissue, swollen with salt
Gerson believed it axiomatic that cancer could not exist in normal
metabolism. He pointed to the fact that scientists often had to damage
an animal's thyroid and adrenals just to get a transplanted tumor to
"take." He directed his efforts toward creating normal
metabolism in the tissue surrounding a tumor.
It is the liver and small bowel which neutralize the most common tissue
toxins: polyamines, ammonia, toxic-bound nitrogen, and electrophiles.
These detoxification systems are probably enhanced by the coffee
enema. Physiological Chemistry and Physics has stated that
"caffeine enemas cause dilation of bile ducts, which facilitates
excretion of toxic cancer breakdown products by the liver and dialysis
of toxic products across the colonic wall."
In addition, theophylline and theobromine (two other chemicals in
coffee) dilate blood vessels and counter inflammation of the gut; the
palmitates enhance the enzyme system responsible for the removal of
toxic free radicals from the serum; and the fluid of the enema then
stimulates the visceral nervous system to promote peristalsis and the
transit of diluted toxic bile from the duodenum and out the rectum.
Since the enema is generally held for 15 minutes, and all the blood in
the body passes through the liver every three minutes, "these
enemas represent a form of dialysis of blood across the gut wall"
(Healing Newsletter, #13, May-June, 1986).