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What Is a Milk and Molasses Enema?

Some people experience abdominal pain when doing a milk and molasses enema.
A reusable enema bag.
Molasses being poured from a spoon.
Milk.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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A milk and molasses enema is sometimes used to treat severe cases of constipation, especially if an impaction has developed. Liquid milk can be used, although some prefer to use powdered milk and water in combination with equal parts of molasses. Blackstrap molasses is generally used because it is the strongest form of molasses available. Extreme caution should be employed when using this type of enema, as it tends to create severe cramping. This treatment method should not be used for anyone who has a dairy allergy or is lactose intolerant.

In order to make the enema, equal parts of milk and molasses are mixed together and then slightly heated so that the molasses mixes easily with the milk. Care should be taken so that the mixture is not hot enough to damage skin tissue. The mixture is then placed into an enema bag. Just before using the enema, the bag should be shaken gently to make sure the contents are completely mixed together.

The end of the enema tubing should be properly lubricated and then gently inserted just a few inches (or centimeters) into the rectum. The bag should be held high until all of the fluid has entered the rectum. The patient should try to hold the fluid inside the rectum for as long as possible before defecating. This process may be repeated every six hours until the bowels have been sufficiently emptied.

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The enema usually produces results almost immediately. A retention nozzle can be used when delivering the fluid into the rectum so that the liquid does not begin to leak out before the desired amount has been used. Some people may also want to use a retention plug to hold the mixture in long enough to produce the desired results.

Many people have reported extreme cramping and abdominal pain when using a milk and molasses enema due to the large amount of intestinal gases formed by the use of this constipation remedy. Anyone with dairy allergies or sensitivities will need to choose a different type of constipation remedy. Although relatively rare, there have been some serious complications reported among those using this type of remedy. For this reason, any questions or concerns about the safety of the enema mixture should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

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anon355952
Post 9

Interesting. I was going to try using Kefir to return some of the beneficial microbes after a couple lime juice enemas the last week, which released 13 days worth of constipation. But the gas and bloating sounds nasty.

I'll stick with salt water (as I'm still constipated four days later) and hope that does the trick. Keep drinking the kefir and maybe the colon will begin to heal.

anon348428
Post 8

I had a milk and molasses enema to cure a large impaction, and it worked wonders. I did have some residual gas the following day, but it was worth the relief. It was administered under doctor's orders by an RN.

I am an RN myself, and usually administer soap suds enema when needed. I had never heard of milk of molasses, but when I talked to a fellow RN at another major hospital, he touted the benefits.

anon339847
Post 7

My wife is having one right now. She is having it in the hospital, under orders from her neurosurgeon. The RNs weren't familiar with this type of enema, but the doctor ordered it for her after four days of pain meds following fusion of L1 to S1.

burcidi
Post 5

Are there any alternative milk and molasses enema recipes?

ZipLine
Post 4

I tried a milk and molasses enema but it didn't work. It caused a lot of gas and I think it helped to soften the stool, but it didn't trigger a bowel movement like I had hoped.

I've heard of so many people using it on a regular basis. I don't know how it works for them.

serenesurface
Post 3

@alisha-- Actually many hospitals use the milk and molasses enema for constipation. I know because my uncle got one recently at the hospital after 4 days of constipation.

I think that you might have a sensitivity to milk or molasses and that is why you experienced too much side effects. It may also be that you used too much of the mixture or didn't get the proportions right.

I personally prefer and advise using powdered milk than actual milk for this. I mix 3 ounces of powdered milk with 8 ounces of warm water and 4.5 ounces of molasses. You can put less molasses if you feel that it is too much.

Clearly, this enema is not suitable for you. But I do think that it is suitable for many people. And like I said, it's necessary for there to be some gas and cramping for it to work.

discographer
Post 2

@anamur-- I had a horrible experience with the molasses and milk enema. There was so much gas and cramping that I was in pain for several hours after I used it.

I don't have a lactose intolerance either. But milk and molasses both cause a considerable amount of gas when they are consumed. And I think that applying so much pressure and force on the intestines is not a good idea. I know constipation can be dangerous too, but I'd rather go to the hospital and have them do a proper medical enema than trying this at home.

What if something had gone wrong and I had damaged my colon? I don't think it's worth the risk personally. I understand some people have good results with it, but it's not for everyone.

serenesurface
Post 1

I have done the milk and molasses enema a couple of times. It does produce a lot of gas but I think that's necessary to start a bowel movement. I don't have any lactose intolerance or sensitivity to milk or molasses so the gas I experienced wasn't really bothersome for me.

Even though the enema recipe I had said to use the enema several times to get a reaction, once was enough for me every time. It worked really fast and was very soothing. I had little to no cramping and did not develop hemorrhoids as I usually do after constipation.

This is actually a pretty old recipe. My grandmother said that they used to do this for babies that had constipation. It's nothing new, but it's a proven recipe and it works.

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