What is an enema? Is it safe and effective for treating constipation?

Enema administration is a method used for colon cleansing. A liquid is inserted into the rectum to loosen up wastes and help eliminate them.

In most cases, enemas are used to assist in treating constipation. A small container is filled with a liquid solution, like soap suds or a saline solution.

Using a sterilized nozzle, the liquid solution is inserted into the rectum. As a result, hard poop can be cleared out successfully.

When it comes to treating constipation, enemas are actually the last resort due to the potential side effects. They are safe to administer in the comfort of your home as long as you clean the tools very well and use safe liquid solutions.

You also need to own a high-quality enema kit. However, take note that most enema methods are not advised to administer at home.

Let’s dive deeper into which enemas are safe for home use and how to perform a home enema by yourself.

Using Home Enema for Constipation

Preparing a home enema is easy, as long as you have the recommended tools and safe liquid solutions. Before performing an enema, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Prepare 8 cups of hot water (make sure it’s distilled) and pour into a bowl. Note: See to it that the water temperature is between 105°F and 110°F.
  2. Place a small amount of Castile soap, mineral oil, and iodized salt into the water. See to it that you do not put more than 8 tablespoons of Castile soap). An excessive amount of soap may irritate your bowels. It is best to ask your doctor how much is safe to use for you. You also need to assure that you are using pure, natural mineral oil.
  3. Prepare a sterilized tubing and enema bag that you can use for the administration.

If you are not sure if a liquid solution is safe or your tools are sterilized, do not try to perform an enema.

Purchasing a Home Enema Kit

A lot of health stores are selling home enema kits. There are also a lot of enema kits to choose from online.

Home enema kits have everything you need for performing enemas. Each kit comes with an enema bag, tubing, and even cleansing solution. Instead of making your own enema kit, purchasing home enema kits from trusted retailers is easier because they are complete. You can use them instantly!

Home Enemas: How Safe Is It?


An enema is completely safe to prepare at home as long as you use clean tools and safe solutions.

But take note that colon cleanses generally cause symptoms such as dehydration and nausea. So if you haven’t consulted your doctor, do not try to perform a home enema by yourself.

A few precautions are needed to avoid the potential side effects of enemas. Here are a few reminders to keep in mind:

1. Enemas that are considered “natural,” such as coffee enema and lemon juice enemas, may cause more problems than solutions.

Even though many people claim that natural enemas worked for them, there is not enough scientific evidence that supports their usefulness as enema solutions. 

Studies show that the compounds in coffee or citrus may disturb that proper balance in your gut bacteria and may cause bacterial infections, rectal burns, and in rare cases, even death.

2. Some chemicals may cause negative reactions in the colon.

In a 2017 case report, two children developed colitis (also known as colon inflammation) and suffered from vomiting and diarrhea right after a hydrogen peroxide home enema. It actually takes about 8 months to fully recover from this type of issue.

3. Improper use of tools and using unsterilized tools may result in harmful complications.

Improper use of tools may damage your anus and your lower colon.

Enema tools that aren’t sterilized may become covered in bacteria. If used to perform an enema, they may cause a series of complications, such as bowel infections.

Some precautions are needed so you can avoid the possible side effects of enemas.

Step-by-Step Enema Administration

Here are step-by-step instructions to safely administering an enema to yourself:

Before you begin, drink a glass of water to avoid dehydration.

Make sure that you understand the process and the results you are trying to achieve after having consulted with a related health expert.

  1. Lay on your right side (or according to your personal preference or recommendation) on the ground near where you’ve hung the enema bucket. Bring your knees up to your waist.
  2. Apply lubricant to the insertion tip. (Tip: Coco oil is a great natural choice, or you can use any personal lubricant you’re comfortable with).
  3. Very slowly, carefully insert the tip.
  4. Gradually release clamp until the water is flowing steadily & at a comfortable pace through the hose. Take a few deep breaths and relax.
  5. Start from your lower left side, massage your stomach gently, moving slowly across to the lower right side.
  6. When the liquid solution has flowed through the silicone tube, retain for as long as you can, ideally up to 15 minutes. Continue breathing and relaxing. Be sensitive with how much liquid you are comfortable with.
  7. Sit on the toilet once you feel the urge to release.
  8. Once done, make sure that you wash all your tools with clean and warm water. Do this after each use. This is very important especially if you are using other solution than water. Stainless steel buckets may have adverse reactions to other solutions other than water. Ensure that it is dried and stored properly.

In Summary

Before attempting any method for treating constipation, consult a health professional first.

Enemas are safe as long as you use the right tools and safe liquid solutions. Unsafe solutions and dirty tools may cause more harm than good.

Make sure to take the proper precautions before administering a home enema by yourself. Review the step-to-step enema administration we provided earlier to help you self-administer a home enema safely.