True History of the Four Quart Enema
Most enema users today, are unable or unwilling to tolerate the large enemas which were commonly recommended 50 to 100 years ago. Consider the following facts, for evidence of this assertion:-
In a recent survey of over 300 enema users most (56%) take between 2 and 3 quarts. Only 6% regularly take 4 quarts and 1.3% more than 5 quarts. Only 21% have EVER taken 4 quarts at a time, 7% five quarts and 2% more than 5 quarts.
Of those surveyed as many as 48% have used a soapy solutions; but the following warning should be heeded:-
Clair Boewer, who runs the leading German colonic clinic in Munich warns: "Beware of using tap water or a soap solution, especially when large quantities of water are used. Soap solutions result in unnecessary irritations of the colon and plain water risks upsetting the sugar and salt balance in the blood, which can result in great tiredness and even total collapse. Solutions used for enemas should contain a teaspoonful of [table] salt to each liter of water used."
From Forum Vol 5 No.6 1993.
What quantities have been recommended for effective enemas for adults?
Perhaps the first western man who really saw the value of the treatment was Dr. Wilford Hall, of New York City, a clergyman and scientist. Dr. Hall was broken down in health, and in his desperate endeavors to regain strength and health he experimented along many lines. Almost by accident his attention was directed towards the colon. He began to use a bulb syringe to treat himself. [This could have referred to what the English call a Higginson's syringe.]
Dr. Hall went so far as to habitually use four quarts for his regular treatments. In a short time he was again hearty, well, strong and vigorous. He then tried his treatment on some friends, with similar results. He used these large enemas regularly for over 40 years, to treat his constipation and indigestion and to stay healthy. Dr. Hall attracted considerable attention and accomplished great good by teaching that almost every person needs a large enema at least three times a week. Through his efforts thousands of families were made acquainted with the system of 'flushing the colon', but there are still millions of people who need this knowledge today and who have never heard a hint of it.
From : How Nature Cures - E.Densmore M.D.- London 1891, Plain Facts for Young and Old - John Harvey Kellogg M.D. - 1895 and ......... The Practical Water Cure - Yogi Ramacharak a.
Based on Dr. Hall's results with colon flushing, Dr. Tyrrell developed the J.B.L. (Joy, Beauty, Love) Cascade Syringe. This was a large rubber hot water bottle with a nozzle mounted on the side, which when placed flat on the toilet seat with the nozzle vertical, enabled a 4 quart enema to be taken at home by the person sitting on it. It was even considered to be safe for the use by children, as the lesser weight of the child enabled a safe pressure to be applied to completely fill the colon. Over one million of these syringes were sold between the years 1900 and 1950. The quote from Dr. Tyrrell's book follows:-
For the simple purpose of preserving health, once or twice a week will be found amply sufficient for colon flushing. Dr. A. Wilford Hall, Ph. D., LL. D. and W.E. Forest, B.A., M.D., two world- famous authorities on internal bathing, are among the thousands of physicians who have given their hearty and active endorsement and support to colon flushing [using 4 quart enemas for adults.] Experience has proved, and will continue to prove that scientific colonic cleansing, as already described can only be healthful. We have made this subject our constant study for the past 35 years. Over one million grateful patients have testified to the value of the internal bath and diet.
From The Royal Road - C.A. Tyrrell, M.D. - 395th Ed 1947.
Dr. Kloss in his comprehensive herbal manual 'Back To Eden' recommended four quart enemas for most adults, for the treatment of almost all disease conditions. He advised repeating the enemas until the full four quarts could be held for ten to fifteen minutes:-
High enemas - High enemas are recommended to thoroughly cleanse the entire length of the colon. Place four quarts of warm water in the container. ...... It is usually not possible to take the entire four quarts at one time, at least not at first. As soon as the colon is clean, you will be able to retain the full four quarts. You must try again and again until this is possible. After withdrawing the tip, fold a towel and press tightly over the anus for a few minutes to aid in its retention. Four quarts can be injected if care is used, and can be retained for ten to fifteen minutes. Repeat this several times until the returns are clear. (Long-standing or abnormal bowel conditions might prevent the patient from ever taking in the full amount. In such cases take as much as possible.)
From Back To Eden - Jethro Kloss - 1939 - Revised and expanded 1988.
The popularity of the enema in America has no doubt been encouraged by the attitude of the establishment. Several stars of stage and screen have publicly enthused about the benefits of enemas and colonic irrigations. ..............
From Forum Vol 26 No 3 1993.
When she was asked Mae West claimed that her secret for staying looking so young was taking daily enemas. Mae West took enemas of a gallon (4 liters) of water twice a day, one in the morning and one at bedtime.
From David Russell - 27/08/1998 and Blondes - Paula Yates 1983.
Veronica Lake, a slim blonde actress of the 1940's, recommended the regular use of enemas for weight reduction, consisting of a gallon of water with the juice of a lemon. From Slenderizing for New Youth and Beauty - Veronica Lake.
Dr. Kellogg (of cornflakes fame), went even further, and recommended copious enemas daily for many conditions. These enemas ranged from 4 to 6 quarts:-
The copious enema - The purpose of this mode of applying the enema is to introduce the largest quantity of water possible to fill the entire colon without overdistending it. Four to six quarts [4 to 5.5 liters] are often used. Frequently quantities of old putrefying faecal masses, semi-hardened by long retention, make their appearance after a copious enema has been thoroughly administered every day for a week or more, showing that a single flushing of the colon, no matter how thorough, is not sufficient to achieve effective cleansing. In this class of patients the copious enema should be administered daily for two or three weeks if necessary, while the patient complains of gaseous distention of the bowels and fetid flatulence.
From Home Handbook of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine - J.H.Kellogg M.D. 1903
Other therapists followed the example of Dr. Kellogg and recommended enemas of AT LEAST 4 quarts for effective results:-
The colon has a capacity of a gallon [4 liters] or more, when not filled with faeces, or the residue that will become faeces. This complete filling of the colon is absolutely essential to its effective cleansing. As a means of temporarily remedying chronic constipation, this method cannot be improved upon. It can be highly recommended when one is suffering from a sudden attack of acute disease. Frequently, attacks of acute illness can be almost immediately be relieved by this one measure. Where an acute illness is being treated and there are symptoms at all serious in nature, it is advisable to use all the water the patient can hold for a few minutes; for under such circumstances the bowels are more thoroughly cleansed and the process of eliminating poisons is continued more actively.
From Encyclopaedia of Health and Physical Culture - B. Macfadden - 1926 & 1940
(One home health guide, used in many homes in the 40s through the 60s, The Modern Medical Counselor, listed conditions and simple home treatments including large enemas. This Adventist publication, which incidently had sold more than 420,000 copies at that time and crossed well over the million mark by the 1950's, was the book in many of our homes as children. It was this book that served as a guide to our mothers in our care when we were sick. Many grew up with this book in their family library and followed its directions:-)
From 'Colon Therapy Online' Newsletter - Feb. '98 - J. Glenn Knox. BA, DC.
A large saline enema can be used as a bowel cleanser in cases where it is important to avoid irritating the bowels. Four quarts (liters) or more would be a large enema. Few patients can hold a large enema at a single injection [at the first attempt]. Instruct the patient to take in and hold as much water as possible. If possible the patient should retain the water a few minutes before discharging. Repeat until a thorough bowel movement is secured. ....... From Modern Medical Counselor - 1951.
The gravity douche is the most natural way of cleansing the colon. Results with the gravity douche can be just as good as with the special colonic irrigation apparatus and is more practicable in the private house. They can be obtained at most chemists in various capacity sizes, but it is best to obtain an 8 pint size [4.5 liters] as this can be used for lesser amounts when required, while 8 pints is the normal maximum ever taken in this way. ........ From Naturopathic Practice - Hewlett Parsons - 1985. [Note: According to The Colonic International Association, 8 pint enema bags or cans are not available anywhere in England, where this book was published.]
Some therapists, although they recognized the benefits of large enemas, warned against their use in the home by untrained persons:-
The High Enema - In the high enema the water is forced much further up the bowels and some ten pints [Imperial or 5.5 liters] of water are used, but it is wise to get this treatment under professional care, otherwise it is possible to do harm. Many people feel this type of apparatus holds the key to their health and are very disappointed when they are unable to get such treatment. Although unwilling to condemn this attitude entirely, I feel that better results could be had by a closer attention to diet.
From About the Water Cure - Russel Sneddon 1965.
Others, by contrast, stressed the need for fully distending the colon for effective results:-
I earnestly advise the "internal bath" - what is usually called "flushing the colon" - but definitely not what is known as taking an injection. Mere injections of a half to one quart of water, as usually practiced, are insufficient and ineffective. The colon is five feet in length and fully three inches in diameter when distended. To properly wash the colon, at least four or five quarts of water are necessary. The proper appliance for cleansing the colon has a capacity of five quarts to which the tube is attached. It is an important factor in my system of physical rejuvenation. I strongly urge its practice, at least once a week, though twice a week is better.
From Old Age It's Cause and Prevention - Sanford Bennett - 1912. Revised 1963.
Dr. Moser not only refutes the claim that large enemas weaken the colon, but actually recommends the daily use of one gallon enemas for several months, in order to strengthen the muscles of the colon:-
An average colon empty of new food will usually hold about 4 quarts of water. That is the average. A small colon might only hold 3 quarts, a large one might accept 6 quarts, or even more. If I were in the business of manufacturing enema bags I'd make them hold at least one gallon. You could make your own enema can from a two gallon plastic bucket with a small plastic hose barb glued into a hole drilled in the bottom or lower edge.
The difference between helpful and potentially harmful enemas lies in the amount of water injected and the frequency of use. Using a cup or two of water to induce a bowel movement may eventually cause dependency, will not strengthen the colon and may after years of this practice, result in distention and enlargement of the rectum or sigmoid colon. However, a completely empty average-sized colon has the capacity of about a gallon [4 liters] of water. When increasingly larger enemas are administered until the colon is nearly emptied of fecal matter and the injection of close to a gallon of water is achieved, beneficial exercise and an increase in overall muscle tone are the results.
Correctly given, enemas serve as strengthening exercises for the colon. This long tubular muscle is repeatedly and completely filled, inducing it to vigorously exercise while evacuating itself multiple times. The result is a great increase in muscle tone, acceleration of peristalsis and eventually, after several dozens of repetitions, a considerable reduction of transit time.
From How and When to Be Your Own Doctor - Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon June, 1997.
Finally, some therapists, not content with completely filling the colon, advocate the retention of all the water for periods as long as thirty minutes:-
Flushing the bowels is often necessary, although it is well known that habitual flushing causes a weakened condition of the large intestines. The person should lie down on the left side and allow from a gallon to a gallon and a half [4 to 5.5 liters] of moderately warm water to pass from the syringe into the bowels. While the bowels are heavily loaded in this manner, the body should not be constricted, nor should much exercise be taken until the water has passed off. To be effective the water should be retained in the bowel from 15 to 30 minutes, unless too much uneasiness is experienced, when it should be released. Once a week is sufficient for bowel flushing.
From Viavi Hygiene - Hartland Law MD and Herbert E. Law, FCS - 1910.
How Nature Cures - Emmet Densmore, M.D. - Swan Sonneschein London 1892.
Viavi Hygiene - Hartland Law MD and Herbert E. Law, F.C.S. George Putnam & Sons. London 1910.
The Practical Water Cure - Yogi Ramacharaka. L.N. Fowler & Co Ltd, London
Encyclopaedia of Health and Physical Culture - Bernarr Macfadden. Macfadden Book Company, New York. 1926 & 1940.
The Royal Road - Charles A. Tyrell, M.D.- Tyrell's Hygienic Institute Inc., New York. 380th Ed 1930 & 395th Ed 1947.
Modern Medical Counselor - Hubert O. Swartout, M.D., PhD Pacific Press Publishing Association Mountain View, California - 1951.
Old Age - Its Cause and Prevention - Sanford Bennett. Health Research, Mokelumne Hill, California. 1912. Re-printed 1963.
About the Water Cure - An explanation of hydrotherapy - Russel Sneddon Health for All Publishing Co. 1965.
Naturopathic Practice - J. Hewlett-Parsons DSc. Thorsons Publishers Ltd. London 1968.
Back To Eden - Jethro Kloss. Woodbridge Press Publishing Co 1975. Also Lifeline Books, Santa Barbara, California 1972. Also Beneficial Books, New York. 1971. Also Back to Eden Books - New revised Edition 1988.