By Dr. Ritu Krishnatreye, BHMS
An enema is a liquid preparation that is introduced in to the body via the rectum. The purpose of giving an enema is either to produce a bowel movement or to detoxify your body.
When given for constipation, the primary goal of an enema is to stimulate the colon to contract and eliminate the hardened or impacted stool. Enemas can be given at home or under the supervision of medical personnel.
Enemas are usually recommended when other methods of treating constipation fail. Though most of us would prefer other constipation relief methods, an enema can be quite effective and usually offers rather immediate relief from the symptoms of constipation.
This is the most common type of enema. It works by drawing water in to the colon. Saline enemas are available over the counter and can be purchased without prescription.
It is administered by inserting a lubricated syringe into the rectum and injecting the enema material. Saline enemas can be prepared at home. To do so, purchase an enema bag, enema tube and distilled water.
Two teaspoons of table salt or Ionic Sea Minerals are added to one quart of lukewarm water.
To avoid the unpleasantries of an enema, you can simply take 2 or 3 teaspoons of concentrated sea minerals and then drink a full glass of water. This may offer relief in one or two hours.
A magnesium supplement works in the same fashion as an osmotic enema. It pulls water into the colon, which moistens stool and expands the colon, prompting peristalsis.
For less harsh results, take one or two teaspoons of the sea minerals each day until an effective cleansing of the colon has taken place.
Once the colon is cleaned, a maintenance dose of ½ to 1 teaspoon may be taken daily to keep the colon functioning normally. Taking the sea minerals as a daily mineral supplement may result in numerous health benefits.
Mineral oil enemas utilize mineral or castor oil. For dry, hard stools, an oil retention enema is used to soften the stool and lubricate the passage way.
This lubricant laxative coats the waste matter and the lining of the intestines to help prevent the intestines from drawing out moisture and to help lubricate stool so it slides out more easily.
A mineral oil enema is used for cases of severe constipation. It may also be administered after surgery on the rectum or perineum to prevent injuries to the sutures. Results may be seen within two to fifteen minutes of the procedure.
If a single mineral oil enema doesn’t take care of the problem, call your doctor and let him know. Only one mineral oil enema should be taken within a 24 hour period.
If you observe any symptoms, including rectal bleeding, severe stomach pain or blood in the stool, call your doctor immediately.
A Fleet Phosphate enema works by stimulating the colon to contract. These contractions push the stool through the rectum.
Fleet Phosphate enemas uses a salt called sodium phosphate. This is the most powerful type of enema. Make sure to take the exact dosage that is recommended on the label.
A Fleet Phosphate enema utilizes a nozzle and a disposable squeeze bag.
When dealing with constipation, milk and molasses can be used as a homemade enema. It’s function is similar to that of saline enemas.
To prepare the solution, thoroughly mix together equal parts of whole milk and molasses. This enema works by softening any impacted stool, which makes them easier to pass. The mixture also helps to draw water into the colon.
Enemas can provide immediate relief when stool is hard, compacted and difficult to pass. However, they can cause cramping and can be quite unpleasant, and should be used with caution, usually only after other constipation remedies fail.
Frequent use of enemas may cause damage to the rectum and colon. If you are pregnant, lactating or on any medications, talk to your doctor before taking an enema. Your doctor may recommend a different treatment option.