Dangerous Enema Solutions

While enemas, in general, have health benefits, there are some dangerous enema solutions that you should avoid. Here are four types of enemas that are potentially hazardous to your health:

Tap Water Enema

Most of the water from public water supplies is chemically treated to eliminate microbes in the water. Chlorine is the most common additive. Since chlorine is added to kill bacteria, it is certainly not advisable to administer chlorinated water into the colon where various forms of good bacteria reside.

You don’t want to kill off the friendly bacteria of the colon. Good bacteria creates a healthy fermentation process in the colon, and they also produce enzymes that aid the digestion of foods and the assimilation of nutrients. When the good bacteria are no longer present in the colon, instead of the food fermenting properly, the food rots and creates toxins. In addition to assimilating nutrients, the good bacteria also create some nutrients for our bodies including vitamin K and folate. Friendly bacteria also play an important role in the modulation of the immune system as it creates an environment which prevents pathogenic microbes from taking over.

What if your tap water is not chemically treated? Even worse. If your water is not treated, using this water in an enema may introduce pathogenic bacteria and parasites into your system.

Do not prepare any type of enema using water directly from the faucet. Use only filtered or distilled water in you enema solutions. While plain water from the tap may seem benign, you can see why tap water is actually a dangerous enema solution.

Fleet enemas

Fleet enemas contain sodium phosphate. The dangers of sodium phosphate are well known due to the prevalence of kidney failure in people taking sodium phosphate. While oral sodium phosphate preparations have been discontinued, fleet enema solutions containing sodium phosphate remain available.

Sodium phosphate draws water into the colon; repeated use of a fleet enema may result in dehydration or fluid imbalance. Fleet enemas have also been shown to cause deteriorated renal function and electrolyte imbalance including elevated levels of phosphate, decreased levels of calcium, and low levels of potassium in the blood.

Deaths have been reported from the use of fleet enemas in elderly patients and fragile individuals; it is not advised to take a fleet enema if you are in fragile condition.

One fleet enema may not cause any noticeable disturbance in young, healthy individuals, but multiple consecutive enemas or more than one fleet enema in a 24hr period will significantly increase the risks. With such a wide variety of safe enemas that can be used at home, there is no need to resort to using fleet which is a potentially dangerous enema solution.

Soap Sud Enema

Soap sud enemas were once a common medical procedure; their use has been discontinued since a link between repeated soap sud enemas and colon cancer was discovered.

Soap sud enemas cause irritation and destruction to walls of the colon. Putting soap in the colon destroys the phospholipid bilayer surrounding the cells of the colon wall. This double layer of lipids protects the cells, if it has been stripped off by soap or other detergents the cells are left vulnerable to all kinds of toxins, bacteria and parasites. Damaging the protective lipids also leaves the cells more prone to cellular damage or mutations which can lead to severe conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.

Most soaps contain antibacterial substances or chemicals which kill the good bacteria in the colon. Commonly used soaps also contain ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate which is damaging to the mucosal wall of the colon.

Although there are more pure soaps such as castile soap which does not contain harsh ingredients, castile soap is still a detergent which will strip away the protective lipid bilayer and the mucosal layer of the colon. Good bacteria reside in these layers, once these protective layers are gone, so are the friendly bacteria. Just because something is natural does not mean it is safe to use in an enema.

Alcohol Enemas

Alcohol enemas seem to have become a dangerous trend. These enemas are not administered for health purposes, rather, they are taken to become intoxicated faster than one could by drinking alcohol.

The alcohol is absorbed through the colon walls and goes directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach and liver which play a vital role in breaking down the ethanol to make it less toxic.

Alcohol enemas bring the blood alcohol level up quickly and to dangerous levels. Many deaths have been reported from alcohol poisoning induced by alcohol enemas. Once the alcohol has been absorbed through the colon, the body cannot reject the toxin. A person may still vomit, but there is no alcohol in the stomach to be expelled. This type of enema is clearly a very dangerous enema to administer.

Which Enema Solutions are Safe?

If you are looking for safe and effective enema solutions, see “7 Natural Enema Solutions You Can Use at Home” and “Herbal Enemas for a Happy and Healthy Colon”. For detailed instructions on how to perform an enema safely and efficiently see “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Giving Yourself an Enema and Were Afraid to Ask”.


Photo: Kzenon


Michelle is passionate about holistic health and self-discovery. She received her training in Nutrition, Herbalism, and Bodywork from the International Academy of Natural Health Sciences in Ottawa, ON. She studied Ayurveda and Yoga in India and later continued her Yoga studies on Koh Phangan in Thailand. Michelle truly believes that good health involves body, mind, and spirit. She loves to spend her time in walking in nature, meditating, painting, writing, and learning more about health and wellness.


  1. I am a perfectly healthy physically fit 165 lb male. My system doesnt seem to take very much enema solution. One or two cups.
    Is this okay?


    • You can try it, but if you have troubles with 2 cups, then there is a reason your system is not taking to the enemas and I can’t tell you what it is, but I would not advise continuing enema use if your body does not agree.

  2. I still do daily enemas even tho my body rejects the solution. I give myself 3 really very strong coffee enemas and I force myself to do them

  3. what are the contradiction of the 7 types of enema?

  4. the phospholipid bilayer is the wall of the cell, it’s like the cells skin, or for a more accurate depiction like he cell is a water balloon and the bilayer is the latex of the balloon, if you disrupt it you don’t “expose the cell to all kinds of toxins” but you kill the cell and like a water balloon it bursts and all the cellular material inside is left in the extra cellular matix floating free. We have many layers of cells so this is okay, however you are right that doing this repeatedly increases the risk that, in building more Tissue by division of cells nearby to help repair the damaged areas or lining of the colon, an error could occur and cancerous cells could arise.

  5. I have been taking daily tap water enemas for almost 14-15 years and enjoy the feeling of the “need to express”. I goon vacation with friends each year for two weeks and bowl movements start normally usually after 2 days depending on how much I eat. I enjoy the use of liquid soap and have never had a bad experience. I always make sure to wash ALL the soap out and all this while I stand in the shower. That being said enjoy.

    • That sounds dangerous. The chlorine & heavy metals found in the tap water would be absorbed directly into your colon causing damage….

      • Em says, that is exactly what happend to me. I did tap water enemas for about 2 years and now diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis – Proctitis. The first 3 cm of my colon are inflamed. I did use anti-inflammatory meds twice, but the inflammation keeps returning. I am desperately searching for a way to restore my rectum flora. If anyone has an idea, please let me know.

        • I also had Ulcerative colitis. I began taking Macao Keapoboro Opexa (pine oil). I get mine from Amazon it is for stomach ulcers, but I take 3 teaspoons per day and am seeing great results. It is expensive, but worth every dime. Also good for keeping colds away. Hope this helps you.

  6. I am dangerously ill after using a tap water enema. The water being filtered and even boiled. This has happened once before. I don’t have this problem with colonics. Every one is different. Live and learn and some of us the hard way!

  7. Chamomile is the best for me. Pleasant, easy, excellent for my asthma (I reduced 70% my medicines for asthma with a weekly chamomile enema). Taken after relaxation and a lot of yoga. Taken fully relaxed. I think that relaxation is the key for a successful enema, even with small volume.

    • Thanks for sharing Debby. It’s great to hear of your success and experience with the Chamomile enema.

      • I have had Chronic constipation since age 14,I had to get weekly fleet enemas from mom.till age 19.
        Can getting enemas too frequently lead to dependence on enemas for life?

        • Hi Patrick, frequent enemas over an extended period can cause dependency in some individuals, but I would not say it would lead to dependence on enemas for life. With proper diet and lifestyle habits chronic constipation can be relieved. Regular exercise, adequate dietary fibre, and healthy intestinal bacteria are all essential in preventing and treating constipation.

  8. Is baby shampoo safe to use?

    • Michelle Greene

      Personally, I’d stay away from using any kind of detergents in the colon.
      Baby shampoos are still detergents. The only difference is that they are formulated to be more gentle, and that doesn’t mean they won’t contain any chemicals.
      Castile soap is the purest detergent that can be used, and even that has negative impacts on the phospholipid bilayer.


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