Liver Cleanse – Herbs

Spring Liver Cleanse


Spring is a great season for cleaning – the house and your body! There are many ways to cleanse, some more effective than others. Some good spring cleanses are cleanses that work on cleaning out the liver and/or gallbladder. Check out the article below to see if you might want to work on your liver and/or gallbladder.

Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder

by Colleen Chafe :: Apr 2012

Click here to read an alternative method of liver cleansing!

The spring season is a good time to do a liver cleanse because in the Chinese Five Elements the wood element (spring) rules the liver and gallbladder. In the cycle of nature greens spring forth to cleanse the liver of any winter burden. There are many plants and herbs that cleanse, detoxify, protect, nourish and regenerate the liver.

The liver is a metabolism center that neutralizes toxins, synthesizes proteins, and stores glycogen (starch) and changes it back into glucose (sugar) and releases it when needed. The gallbladder stores bile for the liver to excrete.

The liver gets stimulated by sour taste that is why lemon, lime wedges or citrus juice in water helps to detoxify the liver and gallbladder. Bitter sour herbs stimulate the liver, gallbladder, glands and digestion.

Sour taste action decongests, tightens, stimulates and is astringent.

Herbal Therapeutic Properties that treat the Liver and Gallbladder are called Hepatics, Cholagogues and Depuratives.

Hepatics are liver tonics that improve liver function and regenerate liver cells. Hepato-protective herbs also called anti-hepatotoxics have specific antioxidant properties that protect the liver.

Cholagogues stimulate bile production and choleretics enhances bile quantity and quality. Stored in the gallbladder, bile helps to digest fats. Improving fat digestion reduces the burden on these organs, therefore preventing problems like gallstones forming.

Depuratives are also known as Detoxicants because they support detoxification. They are also called Alteratives and are known as blood purifiers.

Herbal Liver Tonics~ Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder

Hepatic restoratives and nutritives nourish and restore. The high nutrient content is good for fatigue and these herbs make a good nutritious beverage tea drink:

chicory root, nettle herb, alfalfa herb, artichoke leaf, dandelion root

Recipe: dandelion root and chicory root roasted and ground makes a good coffee substitute that is caffeine free, detoxifying and rejuvenating.

Hepato-protective /anti-hepatotoxics are herbs that protect and detoxify the liver. These herbs are high in antioxidants that protect and nourish cells:

Turmeric rhizome, milk thistle seed, barberry, licorice root, garlic bulb, black/green tea, astragalus root, ginkgo leaf, hawthorn leaf/flower/fruit, polypore fruiting body/ fungi, North American ginseng root, sage herb, rosemary herb

Hepato-protective /anti-hepatotoxics secondary properties. These herbs have secondary liver protective properties:

burdock root, wormwood, gentian root, elecampane root, marjoram herb, heal-all herb, centaury root

Bitter, cool liver decongestants and cholagogues: (These herbs tend to be bitter tasting)

Oregon grape, milk thistle seed, wormwood herb, celandine herb, gentian root, centaury root, blessed thistle herb, yellow dock root, figwort herb, dandelion root, burdock root

Herbs that are good for the liver are usually very bitter and unpleasant tasting like wormwood herb and barberry, but it is important to taste herbs to ensure good therapeutic action. The sour bitter taste stimulates digestion.

I like to put bitter herbs in red wine to mellow the flavour.

Macerate your choice of a single herb in red wine for a couple of weeks.

Strain out herbs, bottle liquid, label and take a teaspoon a day for a couple of weeks.

Or take herbs in a tincture for a cycle of 2-3 weeks and then take a break for a week before starting any other herbal remedy.

Springtime Liver Cleanse:

5 Great Things to do for a Liver Cleanse

Pick any two to three weeks in springtime to do a liver cleanse. Do any or all of the following:

  1. Put a slice of lemon or lime in your water
  2. Eat more spring greens
  3. Add liver tonic herbs to your diet like turmeric dried spice or fresh rhizome
  4. Replace coffee with roasted dandelion and chicory root beverage instead
  5. Make a tea, tincture or wine with your choice of herbs that benefit the liver and gallbladder

About the Author: Colleen Chafe is a Certified Aromatherapist, Herbalist, Nutritionist and Energy Medicine Practitioner. Her training includes case studies, treating clients in a supervised holistic herbal clinic and dispensary, and clinical apprenticeships. She is interested in all natural healing arts, but her main focus is on herbal extracts and essential oils. All herbs and herbal products recommended are either certified organic, organically grown or wildcrafted. They are not irradiated, fumigated or are grown from genetically modified stock. A good source for herbs: All statements in this article are opinions of the author, not necessarily opinions of

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