How To Do An Oil Enema Without The Mess

oil enema

An oil enema is the insertion of a small volume of oil into the rectum. Oil enemas, otherwise known as sneha basti are commonly used in Ayurvedic therapy as part of a complex cleansing treatment called panchakarma.

Benefits of Oil Enema

  • lubrication of the rectum and colon
  • preparation for higher-volume enemas
  • relief from gas and bloating
  • softening of hard stools
  • relief of constipation
  • reduction of other symptoms due to excess vata dosha
  • a gentle complement to your cleansing regime

An oil enema is an effective alternative for individuals who are unable to administer high-volume enemas: pregnant women, the elderly, or people with weakness due to illness.

How to Give Yourself an Oil Enema

An oil enema can be a little messier than a regular enema, but following the advice below will help to reduce the risks of spills and leaks, and help you to get the most benefit from your oil enema.

Buy the Appropriate Equipment

Using the right equipment is very important for giving yourself an oil enema without the mess. First of all, an enema bag is much too large for the volume of oil you will need, and it will take a much longer time to clean it afterwards. But, most importantly, if you use a bag you will not be able to achieve the appropriate pressure for injecting the oil all the way into to colon. You need a syringe to inject oil; since oil is thick, it will not flow as water does through enema tubing.

There are two types of syringes available:

enema syringeBulb Syringe –  Bulb syringes range in volume from 1oz – 26oz (30-780ml). You will need nothing larger than an 8oz size (240ml) for an oil enema. These syringes are easy to find; however, they can get a little messy and may not be the best choice.  Because the bulb self-inflates when you release pressure from it, if you do not maintain a firm grip on the bulb for the entire time it is in your rectum, you will draw oil from your rectum back into the syringe. This means that you will end up with less oil in the colon than you were hoping for (you can’t squeeze it back in because then you will also inject a fair amount of air). Also, along with the oil, the bacteria, and matter from your rectum will be drawn into the syringe. That is not at all sanitary because these bulbs are difficult to clean inside.

You may not have problems using a smaller sized bulb syringe, but the larger the bulb, the more difficult it will be.  To make it easier to use, lay in a position where both of your hands can reach the enema syringe, or get assistance from another person.

You can buy a bulb syringe here.

syringe 100cc

Standard Syringe – A larger sized standard syringe is preferable to a bulb syringe, because with this type of syringe, once the oil is injected into your rectum the syringe will not draw it back in.  With a standard syringe, you also do not have the same risk of injecting air into the colon as you do with bulb syringes. These are easier than the bulbs to clean and sanitize for reuse.

This syringe is harder to find in a variety of sizes.  Sizes ranging from 30- 100ml/cc are common, but you may have difficulty finding this syringe with a larger volume than 100ml. If you want to inject more than 100ml of oil you can either refill the syringe once emptied, or fill more than one syringe and keep it within close reach.

You can buy one of these syringes with a soft tube that you insert into the rectum here.

Preparation for Oil Enema

Unlike the larger volume enemas, there is no preparation required for oil enema; however, oil enema should be done after a meal. Lunch time (between 10 am and 2 pm) is best because your body’s ability to absorb peaks at this time. Administer this enema while you still have a full stomach.

Of course, you still want to have the basics covered:

  • Make sure the room is warm, because you will probably want to be naked from the waist down
  • Choose a comfortable spot; you will remain there for 30minutes after injection
  • Place some old towels where you be laying to catch any spills or leaks

How much oil should you use?

 60-90ml of oil is enough in most cases, but more oil (up to 240ml)  can be administered safely.

What kind of oil should you use?

You can use any natural oils. Sesame, almond, and castor oil are commonly used. Castor Oil is best if you are suffering from severe constipation because it has laxative properties. Use sesame oil (make sure to use only unrefined sesame oil) if you are the type of person who is prone to becoming cold and use almond oil if you are more prone to becoming hot.

It is ideal if you can obtain medicinally prepared Ayurvedic herbal oils, as these are the most beneficial. Sacharadi thaila or Dhanwantaram thaila are the most suitable. Any Ayurvedic supplier will have herbal medicinal oils. Choose the “vasti pakam’ grade for injecting into your colon. These oils are great, but very difficult to find outside of India.

If you want to increase absorption, use the following Ayurvedic recipe for sneha vasti.  The rock salt aids the absorption of oil, and the dill seeds are a strong carminative.

Related: How to Use a Castor Oil Pack

Small oil enema

  • 60-90ml suitable oil (Sacharadi thaila or Dhanwantaram taila)
  • 15g   paste of Anethum sowa (roasted and powdered dill seeds)
  • 10g powdered rock salt
Large oil enema
  • 240ml suitable oil
  • 30g paste of paste of Anethum sowa
  • 15g powdered rock salt

Using a mortar and pestle, mix the salt, dill seeds, and oil together. Once mixed, filter through cheesecloth or fine muslin. Squeeze the cloth to get any remaining oil out.

1. Warm the oil

Heat the oil until lukewarm. The best way to heat the oil is by keeping it in another container which is filled with warm water.  You can also heat it over a low temperature on the stove. You will want it relatively warm, to increase it’s absorption in the colon, but make sure you do not heat the temperature above 104˚ F  (40˚ C); if the oil is too hot, it may scald the delicate lining of the rectum.

Fill your syringe and make sure everything that you need is in place.  You do not want to wait too long before you inject because the oil will cool rather quickly.

2. Insert and Inject

Before you begin, squeeze the syringe until a small amount of oil comes out; this will get rid of any air in the syringe. If you are using a bulb syringe, maintain your grip and make sure not to let the bulb inflate and draw the air back in.

Lay on your left side with the left leg straight and right knee bent. You can rest your head on your left arm or a pillow.  Your right hand should be able to reach your anus, if it does not, you will need assistance to administer your enema. This position is usually the most comfortable for people. If it isn’t working for you, then try the other positions outlined in ‘How to Give Yourself an Enema’.

Lubricate the anus as well as the enema nozzle and gently guide the nozzle into the anus until you have passed the internal anal sphincter (about 3 inches).  Remember to relax!  Once the nozzle is in, it is time to inject the oil; it will only take a moment to get all of the oil inside the colon.

Leave a small amount of oil in the syringe, if you inject it all into the rectum,  you risk injecting air as well. If you take in air, it will become harder to retain the enema.

3. Remove the nozzle and retain the oil

After the enema is administered, slowly withdraw the nozzle from the rectum and squeeze the muscles of your anus. Retain the oil for 30 minutes. If oil comes out before 30 minutes, then repeat the basti right away; oil which does not remain inside does not serve the purpose.

While you are laying down, massage the abdomen in a counter-clockwise direction to move the oil deeper into the intestinal tract.

After you have held the oil enema for 30 minutes, you can evacuate in the toilet. If oil does not come out, it is ok; this just means that it was absorbed into the tract. If it is going to come out, it will do so within nine hours. If nine hours has passed, then forget about it, it means it was all absorbed.

4. Be aware of post-enema leaking

Some oil may leak out, even a few hours after the enema; wear a pad or an old pair of underwear that you do not mind getting oil stains on.

Keep in mind, that if you pass some gas after your oil enema, you are likely to pass some oil along with it. Of course, holding intestinal gas is never recommended, so either make sure you are wearing something that will absorb the oil or move to the toilet before expelling the gas.

You will only have to be cautious about the possible leaks on the day which you took your enema; all remaining oil will be absorbed or expelled by the next day.

How Often Should You do an Oil Enema?

For maintenance purposes, an oil enema can be performed daily, in doses under 60ml (usually 15-25ml is plenty for daily use). Volumes over 90ml should be done on an as-needed basis, for a maximum of seven consecutive days.

Precautions for Administering an Oil Enema

Do not administer oil enema is you are currently suffering from:

  • diabetes
  • rhinitis
  • cold or flu
  • indigestion
  • diarrhea
  • obesity
  • consumption of poison

Photo: Michelle Greene

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. While this type of enema is very relaxing, calming, and effective, take the warning for Post-Enema Leaking seriously. It will be coming out for several hours after you are done, at the most inopportune times and it’s not pretty. Do not do it if you have to go somewhere important, like work.

    My suggestion: a few hours after the oil enema do an enema with baking soda and a mild, all natural body soap to rinse out the oil. Then do one more with just baking soda and water to rinse the soap out. Just my opinion and personal experience though.

    Bottoms up 😉

    • Thank you “Messy” for your comment and suggestion. Yes, leakage is an unfortunate side effect with this type of enema. The amount of leakage varies from person to person. When we practiced this in my Panchakarma training, there were some people that had no leakage at all, but most people do experience a little.
      For those that do not have the time or energy to do another enema in order to flush out excess oil, there are some things you can do to minimize leaking:
      – Rest afterwards. If your body is active you will have more of an issue with leakage.
      – Do it in the evening. Although the ideal time for absorption is is midday, administering the enema in the evening, after dinner, will be better for those with a busy lifestyle.

  2. I’m sorry but your questions are all muddled together and I am not sure what you are asking in most of them. I, unfortunately, do not have the time right now to figure out what exactly you want from your vague/unclear questions. Please do some more research on your own, I am sure you will find the answers. Sorry I cannot be of more help.

  3. I use different oil enemas all the time. Rarely ever have leaks. And if I do it’s so minute that my underwear absorbs it before it ever gets close to my pants. I usually have a 2 sheets of toilet paper in between me butt cheeks for at least 2 hours after doing the enema. I can do extreme cardio, and heavy weight lifting after an hour of the enema and be just fine. It varies person to person

  4. What is the reason oil does not absorb in the rectum but stays there?

    • A small amount does get absorbed, but it’s too much oil for it all to be taken in.

  5. All Clear in the Rear

    Very interesting. Although an avid enema user, I’ve never considered oil. I imagine it’s pretty relaxing and therapeutic.

    One question: since oil is hydrophobic (does not mix with water), and most of our food is water based, will that cause certain foods to not be digested in the colon and just slide out?

    I’m definitely going to try an oil enema now. Love your articles Michelle!

    • Hi, the oil should not cause any problems with absorption of nutrients from food. An oil enema only reaches the lower intestinal tract, by the time food reaches this area, it has gone through the digestive process, and it is just the excess water that gets absorbed by the colon.

      • All Clear in the Rear

        Ahh, I see. Good point.
        Thanks Michelle!

  6. Hi.. Just come across this .. I have severe constipation (since childhood… Now 50!) and getting worse as I get older so would like to try this… If I can’t get hold of castor oil.. What alternatives? I live in Qatar and not much choice here unfortunately …

    • Hi Julia, unrefined sesame oil is a good option, almond oil or olive oil are also good too.

    • Try a FLEET mineral oil enema,I had to get them from my step mom once a week from age 13 to 19,when I got chronic constipation

        • Can you please elaborate on what issues Fleet enemas cause with extended use?

          • Fleet enemas contain sodium phosphate, and ingredient linked to kidney failure. You can read more about issues with fleet enemas in the article Dangerous Enema Solutions. An occasional fleet enema most likely won’t effect a healthy person, but with so many other options why take the risk?

    • Extra virgin olive oil works great and it’s a very common household item! It’s my go-to when I’m constipated. Hope this helps.

  7. Oil retention enema given with bulb syringe….

    Michelle, told me today NOT to give a soapsuds enema!
    Go read on her list of enemas NOT to do. I agree with her. NO more soapsuds enemas.

    Not too long ago, I gave a small retention enema (with a rubber bulb syringe) to one of my kids.
    It worked! Gave it because of harden stools. It softened them up and made pooping easier for him.

    I was already told by another mom who had given one to hers…. to not let him get up and run around after the oil enema! Leaky !
    I gave the oil enema to him when laying on a towel on table. Laying on his tummy for it.
    Stripped from waist down. So not to get any oil on pj, undies and such. She told me was easier to give to him on his tummy. I had him retain it for as long as he could.
    Then I did as she told me, did not put any bottoms on him. Let him run around the house stripped from waist down. No sitting on couch!

    I checked him often. Wiped when needed. Finally no more oil coming out!
    I gave him a mild soapy enema followed by a warm water enema. Both were Bag enemas.

    BUT, from now on I will NOT give a soapy enema after reading on here. NOT to give Fleet or soapy enemas.

  8. Oil retention enema is very soothing and relaxing.. Very good to help with harden stool.
    Also as told on here a very good prep for a larger volume enema to be taken later.

    For those of you who have not done an enema yet I will tell how I take a warm oil enema.
    Being divorced mom, for myself I find taking a warm oil enema late at night, or mid day when the kids are in school, is best. If getting the warm oil enema at night, I have to be sure the kids are sleeping and will not want something. Especially when I am getting an enema!

    My procedure for myself: I warm the bed room. I get oil and enema bulb syringe out. I have the same blue enema bulb as shown on here. I got it a a local drug store. I think they still sell the same one. I did see another blue one that was shaped different. Does not matter which one you buy. As Michelle told, the bulb works better than the bag for the oil enema. I take the bulb to the kitchen.
    I strip the bed linen off the bed and put a towel, or two, on the bed.
    I used to put a plastic sheet on the bed and towel on top of the plastic sheet. I no longer do that since have had no mess. But always put a towel or two on the bed! Always put the towel on the bed!
    Strip from waist down. Go and prepare the oil for the enema. Best warmed in the kitchen. Fill the enema bulb up full. Do not make the oil too warm!
    I bring the filled enema bulb syringe to the bed room. Carrying it in a pan of warm water.
    To keep the oil warm in the bulb syringe, I put the full bulb in a pan of warm water. Sitting it up right side up in the pan of water. Carry the pan to the bedroom. Only once did the bulb tip over in the pan of water and I had to refill it with warm oil. Since I did not want any water in the enema.
    Carrying the enema bulb in the pan of warm water and putting it on the night stand, the oil is warm and not cooled too much when I am ready for the enema.
    Lay on tummy on the bed. Use coconut oil for lube, or gel from a vitamin E capsule, or in a pinch vaseline. Put lots of lube on the nozzle and in anus some.
    Then relax and slowly take the full bulb. The bulb I have holds 8 ounces. Same as one pictured on here.
    Squeeze the enema bulb slowly. I do as instructed on here. Do not release squeezed empty bulb syringe. So not to draw oil back into the bulb!
    I then lay on tummy for about 30 min or longer after getting the oil enema. Massaging tummy as told on here. Sometimes I expel the oil. As told on here, sometimes there is nothing to expel.

    For those of you who may be timid about getting an enema. The warm oil enema is very relaxing and soothing. Easy to give and take.

    Check with your doctor or nurse before giving, or taking, a enema.

  9. Michelle, thanks for this page and your other pages. Great helpful information on them.
    Glad you pointed out that Soap sud(s) enemas should no longer be given. (Read on Michelle’s Dangerous Enemas page.)
    My mom gave warm soapsuds enemas when needed. Believe most of the time was for constipation. So far, have not had any issues. Back then they were a very common enema for moms to give in the home. Either made with castle soap or bar of ivory swished in a pan. Warm water was used with the soap. When I saw her making a pan of warm soapy water I knew an enema was going to be given! Just prayed wasn’t for me!! LOL ugh

    I finally built up the nerve to post on here. Hope this may help others. Hope not too long….

    I read everything Michelle. what others posted on here and in books.. Very helpful. I have given a few bag enemas before. But the bulb syringe oil enema is different. Very different! I was nervous to try one.

    So, decided to try one on myself. Figured was the best way to learn how bad the “mess” would be. Short story is there is no bad “mess.”
    Other than some leaking after getting the oil enema. Well, some slow leaking. ugh Was not as bad as i thought it woul be. No spills of oil. But be ready for a spill anyway!

    How I decided…. I talked about this enema with a friend of mine. She has given enemas to her kids before with a bulb syringe. I had seen the enema bulb out in her home before but never asked about it.
    She read what Michelle and others posted on here. She suggested I use the same bulb she gives enemas with to her kids. She showed me the bulb. It is a 4 oz white Cara enema bulb syringe. She told me 4 oz is little over 90 ml so it would be a perfect enema bulb to use for a oil enemas. We both agreed with what Michelle says. The bag would not be a good one to use for a oil enema. So I purchased a 4 oz bulb at local pharmacy. Had to go to a few pharmacies to find one. Cost a few dollars. Was kinda of embarrassed asking younger clerks if they sold a Cara 4 oz enema bulb syringe. Since I had my kids in tow with me in the stores, one woman asked me if it was for “him?” I told her no. Myself. She look puzzled. And took me to the enema bulb in the store. Perfect! Found a Cara 4 oz enema bulb syringe. Now home…

    Since this was my first ever oil enema, I was concerned about using the bulb and spilling oil when trying to “reach,” My woman friend told me she would give the enema. I swallowed being shy about this and agreed to her giving me the oil enema..

    Some things I learned….hope helps other moms….

    If you are a mom with kids, best to wait until they are off to school before preparing and giving this enema. Or, if not school aged, wait till nap time. You will need to lay still and hold the oil for about 30 minutes! Not hard to do. But you have to lay for 30 minutes after getting the oil enema. If you expel too early you have to repeat the enema. ugh. So Michelle says above.

    Preparing….We did as Michelle wrote. Especially having the room warmed where the enema will be given and have lots of time to prepare the enema, give it and rest after it. Especially for small leaking! Have everything ready for the enema before hand. That includes no interruptions, the bed (or table) prepared, the enema bulb out, lube out, even stripped from waist down (I left panties on until got on the bed), preparing the oil and more, To keep warm, I stripped from waist down but left bra and blouse on. I learned that a lose fitting Tee, or sweat shirt would have been better to wear. Instead of having bra and blouse on. More comfortable and no worries about oil getting on a bra or blouse. Felt nervous walking back to the kitchen with her stripped from the waist down. With only panties on lower half! OMG But had to be done.

    Plan ahead. Ask yourself if you have forgotten anything you will need for the enema. You don’t want forget something and having to go get something you forgot while the oil is cooling down in the bedroom.

    We started…..The kids were off to school…. so we started…
    Since I have never used a bulb syringe before…to practice, she showed me in the kitchen sink how to clean the bulb first. Figured best to practice when the kids were gone. Then showed how to fill the enema bulb up full so no air remaining in the bulb. How to squeeze the full bulb. Don’t use oil for this practice! We used a pan of warm water. Best to practice using the bulb before you are going to give or get a bulb enema! This practice helped.

    heating the oil…..As Michelle told, heating the oil in a pan of hot-warm water is best way to heat, and keep the oil warm, Just to test other ways to heat the oil, we tried heating on the stove top and in the microwave. . Putting the filled enema bulb into a pan of hot to warm water was the best way. Thanks Michelle! As told above, the pan of warm water kept the oil warm while it was taken from the kitchen to the bedroom for the enema.
    Filled the enema bulb full of castor oil and put it into the hot – warm water pan. Talked for a few minutes while the oil was getting warm. Checked the oil a few times by squeezing some out of the bulb onto wrist.

    Bedroom for enema….. Decided best place for the enema was to get it was in the bedroom on the bed. That is where I will later give oil enemas at.
    As told by believe Carol or DeeDee removed all the bed linen. and put towels on the bed. Felt two were better than one towel on the bed. Had a extra face cloth out. Just incase needed to wipe the bulb or self…

    Put a small towel or face cloth on the night stand for putting the pan of water on it. Prevents water stains on the wood.

    Getting the enema…. ugh time for the oil enema. ugh Nervous! She had me remove panties and get on the towel on the bed on knees. Get in the knee to chest position on the bed. For those who do not know, that is on knees. Head down on the bed on a pillow. Weird position. But she told me was a good position to get an enema.. Especially a oil enema.
    She told me to relax and take a deep breath. I was nervous about her giving me an enema…especially a oil one. She told me stop talking and whining about the position I was going to get it in. This was best position for a oil enema or any enema. I never used this position before but will from now on.
    Once in that position, I learned I never would have been able to “reach” in this position. I tried but was too hard to reach with the bulb syringe. The oil would have spilled out to the nozzle and be a mess.
    Getting the oil enema…..OMG a very soothing enema! The warm oil is so soothing. She talked to me when giving it. She told me talking to the person getting an enema helps them relax.
    She squeezed the bulb slowly. Did not release her grip on the bulb when squeezing the enema bulb. Did not take long to give the 4 oz of oil.
    When the bulb syringe was empty..slowly removed the nozzle. Keeping the bulb syringe squeezed in. Released her grip on the rubber bulb when the nozzle was out. The bulb makes that air sound when the grip is released. Good to know that so when I am giving it I can tell the one getting it they will hear the noise and what it is.

    Just follow what Michelle instructed you to do. Squeeze the bulb very very slowly. Completely squeezed to get all the oil out of the bulb.

    While she took the enema bulb and pan to the kitchen to be cleaned with warm soapy water and rinsed well, I turned over onto back. Laid there on the towel and to retain the enema…hopefully for 30 minutes. We set a timer for the 30 minutes. She told me I had to lay there for the full 30 minutes or the enema would have to be repeated. During the 30 minutes I started to get chilled some. I asked her to get me a blanket to cover up with. She covered me up and asked how I felt. I told her great. And felt good. and getting the oil enema felt good too. Told her retain the enema was easier than I thought it would be.

    I expelled some of the enema. Not much…some. Put panties on. Then laid on bed to rest. I had a few leaks. So had to go wipe a few times. Since was only 4 oz given..not much to expel.

    I rested on the bed for about a hour. She sat in the bed room and talked. After a hour I got up and did things around the house. But still had to go wipe some. Seeing the enema bulb syringe airing out in the bathroom where she put it after cleaning…when I went to wipe the leaks….I knew a oil enema was not that hard to take or retain.

    I thanked her for her help. Made it much easier.

    Was good idea only to have panties on after expelling the enema!

    I will be giving a oil enema!

    -decide a oil enema will help and is needed
    -have a 4 oz enema bulb in the house
    -have oil in the house
    -have the lube in the house
    -have towels and a pan
    – decide which room the enema will be given at
    – warm the room
    – prepare everything before hand
    -prepare the room where enema will be given at…close blinds, soft music on helps, towels on bed..and such
    – keep the oil warm in the bulb syringe in the pan of hot – warm water
    -do not remove the filled enema bulb from the pan of water until the enema is to be given
    – have the time to prepare, give , retain the oil and relax post enema
    -if giving it to someone, tell them before hand they will be getting a oil enema. It does not hurt. It is a different enema and may drip some after getting it. She told me for the first enemas she gave she showed the bulb to the one who was going to get an enema. That helps relax them. Talking to the one who is going to get the enema helps them relax
    -stripping from waist down is best for the enema. But for top have on a lose fitting a tee shirt
    -put panties on after expelling the enema. Not your best ones! incase of oil leak…
    -If giving to a child have old undies or pjs to put on after expelling the enema. Or have a diaper to put on. Even the older ones can use a diaper. Check often for leaks !
    -be able to rest for a while after expelling the enema.
    -clean the bulb syringe with warm soapy water and rinse well. Air dry few days.

    Hope this helped some.

  10. Mom Luvs Natural Healing !

    Great pages to learn about enemas. One of the best. If not the best.

    Back To Eden and Prescription for Nutritional Healing are both good books to have in the home. I have Prescription For Nutritional Healing in the home.
    Very good list of the types of enemas that can be given in the home on these pages.

    Good that you let people know not to give a soap suds enema – found in Dangerous Enema Solutions. When researching enemas I found many older home nursing books that stated to give a soapsuds enema for constipation. Glad I read this page! Because I was about ready to give a warm soapsuds enema!

    Also, Herbal Enemas is a very good page. I will give some of those enemas when needed.

    Becky, thanks for your helpful information. I was thinking like you. To take a oil enema myself then give one. So I could experience the “mess.” And how to prepare it.

    I didn’t get around to doing one on myself. I do thank all for the comments posted! All answered some of the little questions and how to do it. Thanks !

    I gave a oil enema to one of my kids for harden stools and constipation. I studied every thing on this page and all of the comments. All helped. Thanks to all.

    I did not give it to him when he was laying on tummy. It was much easier to give him the enema when on his back. Holding legs up some in the air. That way it is easier to massage tummy some after getting the enema.

    I did take the suggestion above to give it on a table on a towel. Not on a bed. That way if there was a oil spill it would only be on the towel and the table. Both easy to clean up.

    Appreciated being told to have everything ready to give the oil enema. Everything. This was the most important step.

    I did tell him he was going to get an enema. But, did not tell him a oil enema. Told him it would be a very small enema. Showed him the bulb. I read somewhere that is best thing to do. Tell beforehand.

    After I had every thing ready and on the table, including the enema bulb sitting in the pan of warm water, I went and got him. Took him to the kitchen table where I had every thing ready on the table. Stripped him from waist down. On the table on back on the towel.
    I used the Cara Enema Bulb 8oz Number 14. Looks like the white one pictured on here. I found at Walmart ofr $8.17.

    Very easy enema bulb syringe to fill and squeeze when giving the enema. Does not leak. I read on other pages that some of the cheaper enema bulb syringes leak where the nozzle goes into the bulb. The Cara bulb syringe did not leak. Would have been a mess to clean up if it did leak.

    Appreciated the suggestion on here to not release grip on the bulb when the solution has been injected. With draw it when holding the bulb squeezed. This was the first bulb syringe enema I had given.

    The oil enema was actually very easy to give. Surprised me was so easy. I was concerned about having a big mess on my hands. No mess!

    The only thing I can pass on to other moms is during the 30 minute wait is to have something for the one who got the oil enema to do during the wait. 30 min is a long time. I let him play on the iPad while he retained the enema. And had the tv on as well. The wait was not bad. But could have been a complaint time had he not had something to do and focus his attention on away from the enema.

    I set the timer for 30 min. Told him he could get up and go potty when the bell went off. This helped!
    Having a face cloth on the table helped as well. To wipe some after the enema was given.
    After 30 min was up and the bell went off took him to expel. Not much came out. But did have a BM. Good!

    I put him to bed to rest after the enema was given. Had a towel on the bed for him to lay on.
    After cleaning the table, enema bulb, pan and towels to the dirty clothes bin, checked on him. Had to wipe a few times. Was not as bad of leaking as I thought it would be. Later let him get up to play some. But put two, don’t laugh, pairs of undies on him. Did not want oil drips in the house. Was surprised not much leaking.

    I gave him the enema mid morning. When the others were at school. As suggested above, do not have interruptions when giving an enema ! I turned the phone off and told next door neighbor friend, a mom who has a habit of coming over every morning to talk, that I would be busy giving him an enema and to come over later.

    If you had doubts about giving a oil enema because of fear of leaking, don’t be. Follow the directions on here and read the comments others have posted. All of them helped me.

    I later gave him a plain warm water enema to cleanse and remove any oil remaining. Gave the plain water enema with the bag.

    Must say please do contact your doctor before giving an enema of any sort.

    • My mom gave me enemas too ,but I never held for more than 5 to 7 minutes

  11. Mom Luvs Natural Healing !

    This is a very easy enema to give.
    The preparation is different than giving a bag enema. Must take care how to avoid spill the oil and any leaks. It is a very good natural home remedy for harden stool and constipation.
    IMHO better than giving harsh laxatives.
    I will give another oil enema when needed.
    Very glad to have found this page by Michelle.

    Most important…… talk with your doctor before giving any enema.

  12. Very, very, good article. Lots of helpful information about oil enema.

    Thanks for such a good page.

    Becky, great reply. You answered so many little questions that I had.

    I will do a oil enema.

    Thanks Michelle and all.

  13. Informative article. Best to read what Michelle says about the oil enema. The comments have also provided good information. Especially those little how to do things. Good to learn from others experiences with this enema.

    I have given and gotten a oil enema a few times. And given and gotten other enemas.

    Yep there most likely be some oil seeping out after expelling. So be ready for this.
    Lay on a towel.

    Do not give or take this enema unless you have plenty of time to do it. You, and the person getting it, have to lay and retain it for 30 minutes. Have something to do and something for the person getting this enema to do. And will not have any interruptions when preparing, giving or getting, retaining, expelling and resting post enema. Best to massage tummy when retaining this enema.

    It is a very effective enema. Feels very soothing and comforting. The drawback is the leaking oil.

    Use a bulb syringe for this enema. I think Michelle mentioned not to use the bag. Agree with her.

  14. i think i have fecal impaction. From stool softner to fleet enema and also high volume (2LITER SALT WATER ENEMA) didn’t help. Seems like i have big hard stool there which is hard to push out. I am gonna try just the warm castor oil enema. Hope this will help to soften the super hard impaction. This impaction has frustrated me so much, and i dont like to visit doctor. Good luck to me.. Any suggestions are welcome

    • Hi Manohar, for obvious reasons I can’t give advice online. I think it would be a good idea to see a doctor about this issue though, just to be sure it is just fecal impaction and nothing more.

  15. Thanks for this wonderful information Michelle. And, thanks to others who have posted replies. Learned much.

    I followed instructions given by Michelle and reading comments from others on here.

    The oil enema works! And is not a big mess. If you are careful and are ready for any mess.

    I used a 8 oz enema bulb syringe to give it. I think Michelle mentioned this bulb.

    After warming the oil I kept the oil warm for the enema by sitting the enema bulb in a pan of warm water. Kept it warm while I went and got the one who needed the enema.

    I gave him the enema across my lap. With towels on my lap. Had him lay on towels on my lap face down on tummy. Gave the enema slowly. Kept the enema bulb squeezed so would not draw oil back into it.
    Once the bulb was empty, kept it squeezed in and removed the nozzle. Then release my grip on the rubber bulb. As Michelle told…do not release grip on the bulb!

    I had him retain the oil. Then took to expel. Kept eye on him for any post leaking. Not much.

    The instructions on here were great! And glad I learned of this enema.

    Do not give this enema or any enema without first consulting with your doctor.

    Thank you Michelle!!

  16. Michelle, wonderful blog. Very good and helpful information you have written.

    I have referred many moms to Michelle’s enema pages. All well written.

    Thanks to Michelle and me telling other moms about enemas written by Michelle a few moms I know have given enemas at home now. Recently when I was telling a mom, who had her two kids over with her, her oldest one had a “oh no” look on his face when he heard us discussing enemas while I was showing her the enema bulb syringes. She told me she had the same enema bulb before. She threw it out because he would fuss so much when she told him he was going to get an enema. She did not give him an enema with the bulb syringe. You are the mom. You and your doctor decide what is the best remedy for him.

    She has given enemas since talking with me, her naturopathic doctor and reading Michelle’s enema pages. Later she told me “thanks to you and Michelle he got an enema.” “it went fine…helped him.”

    I think enemas are a great natural home remedy. Easy to give and work every time. But check with a professional medical doctor before giving enemas.

    When clicking on the link to bulb syringe omg so many types of enema bulbs are listed and displayed. Most of the ones displayed are not what you need for this enema.

    Don’t be confused with so many choices. As Michelle told, simply get a 8 oz enema bulb. That size works great for a grown up or teen.

    The 4 oz enema bulb syringe made by Cara is a good size for a toddler. But check with your doctor first.

    I have the 8 oz and the 4 oz enema bulb syringes made by Cara. Both work great. Both can be found on the link Michelle provided. You can also find the Cara enema bulb syringes in local drug stores.

    Not a medical person. And not giving medical advice. Before giving or doing a oil enema, or any type of enema, consult with your medical provider such as your doctor or pediatric doctor or nurse.

    Michelle is right advising to fill the enema syringe and make sure everything needed is in place. Have everything ready to give or take the enema. OMG yes the oil does cool quickly. So have the one who will get enema ready and everything else ready too.

    I learned this the first time I gave a oil enema. I had to reheat the oil. Which meant he had to wait for me to reheat the oil. ugh

    So, have the one who is going to get the oil enema ready for the enema. The place where it will be given ready. Have the bed, table or where you are going to sit if giving across the lap way ready. Have a towel or two out close by ready. Have some tissues there as well.

    Michelle says the bulb method of giving a oil enema can be messy. I did not have a problem. No mess.

    When I recently gave a oil enema to my 6 year old he got it across my lap. I sat on the couch when giving it to him. There was no mess. I did not rush the enema. Took my time. Had him relax. Made sure did not release my grip on the enema bulb when giving it. The rubber bulb may get oil on it and you have to be careful holding it when giving the oil enema. Placed towel across my lap. I had him retain the enema for about 30 minutes then taken to expel it. Little will come back out.

    Across the lap way….I feel this is the easiest way to give a bulb enema. As others have told, put a towel on your lap, the bed or the table.

    I prepared for the enema by stripping him from waist down. Let him run around the house while I prepared the couch, the bulb and the oil. When all was ready I took the enema to the couch. Sat it on the end table and called him.

    I have also given a oil enema on a table. But prefer across the lap way.

    I let him watch tv while he got the enema and retained it. 30 minutes is a long time to retain the enema.

    I did as Michelle recommended. I used castor oil for the enema since this is good for constipation and to soften stools.

    The enema bulb syringe was easy to clean after giving the oil enema. I cleaned it in the kitchen sink with warm soapy water. Filed it up with warm soapy water. Shook the bulb some and then squirted the warm soapy water out of the bulb. Repeated this a few times. Then rinsed well with plain warm water. Finally I rinsed the bulb out with some hydrogen peroxide. Then squirted it out. Washed the bulb in the kitchen sink but you can clean it in the bathroom sink if desired.

    Air dried upside down in the bathroom. Put the enema bulb between the wall and the towel rack bar. Left it out few days to air dry. Do not store damp. This is what causes mold. ugh the black stuff will start to grow in the bulb syringe.

  17. A good book to have in the home is Prescription for Nutritional Healing.
    Has many herbal remedies in it, and other remedies.
    Also list a few types of enemas. Such as lemon juice enema, catnip tea enema, and other enemas.

    Has great instructions how to prepare and give the enema.

    Michelle has one of the best pages — blogs — about enemas. Well written and great instructions how to prepare and give the enema.

  18. I found the best device for delivering a nice, warm, oil enema deep into my rectum is the Beauty Molly douche/enema bulb syringe (available it Walmart online). The bulb holds almost 12 ounces, and the 5 inch long curved nozzle with holes in the side is soft and comfortable. Only drawback is you need a helper to apply a “hard squeeze” to deliver the oil, then quickly withdraw the nozzle.

  19. Michelle, great great great page. You have put so much into it. Very helpful to others. Thanks!

    I read about the oil enema also on

    Annette says about the something you have written.

    I have given and gotten a few oil enemas. They are so soothing and relaxing.

  20. Why don’t you want to do an enema if you have diarrhea or diabetes? I’m just wondering bc I honestly don’t know.

    • Michelle Greene

      Hi Galan,
      Enemas are not recommended for diabetics because they can cause blood sugar levels to drop. Some people with diabetes manage ok with enemas if they monitor their blood glucose before and after, and avoid doing enemas when blood glucose levels are at their lowest. But generally, it is advised to not practice enemas with diabetes.
      For diarrhea, there is a risk of dehydration, and doing an enema on top of having diarrhea increases that risk. Some claim that doing an enema will stop diarrhea (because it flushes out the substance or organism that is causing diarrhea). To be cautious the general rule is to avoid taking an enema during bouts of diarrhea, but again it’s a personal choice and depends on the severity of diarrhea and how well a person is staying hydrated.

  21. I’m curious about the suggestion to perform an oil enema after eating, why is this beneficial? I would think an empty stomach or after fasting would be best for detoxing.

    • Hi Autumn, you are right that for a water enema an empty stomach is recommended. For an oil enema, the Ayurvedic tradition recommends to do it after eating because oil is heavy and takes agni (digestive fire) to be absorbed. After eating our digestive fire is activated.


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