Spring is here like a breath of much-needed fresh air!
Because Spring falls under the wood element in the Chinese Five Elements and rules the liver and gallbladder it is a good time to do a liver cleanse (especially after St. Patrick’s Day for those that imbibe.) There are many 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 or citrus in water helps to detoxify. Bitter sour herbs stimulate the liver, gallbladder, glands and digestion.
Sour action decongests, tightens, stimulates and is astringent.
Fresh Turmeric rhizome
Herbal Therapeutic Properties that treat the Liver and Gallbladder are 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 gallstones from forming.
Depuratives are also known as Detoxicants because they support detoxification. They are also called Alteratives and are known as blood purifiers.
Turmeric spice dried powder
Herbal Liver Tonics~ Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder
Hepatic restoratives and nutritives nourish and restore. The high nutrient content is good for fatigue: These herbs make a good nutritious beverage tea drink-
chicory root, nettle herb, alfalfa herb, artichoke leaf,
Hepato-protective /anti-hepatotoxics are herbs that protect and detoxify the liver:
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 2nd properties:
burdock root, wormwood, gentian root, elecampane root, marjoram herb, heal-all herb, centaury
Bitter, cool liver decongestants and cholagogues:
milk thistle seed, wormwood herb, celandine herb, gentian root, centaury root, blessed thistle herb, Oregon grape, yellow dock root, figwort herb, dandelion root, burdock root
General herbs that protect, restore, nourish and detoxify the liver.
Turmeric rhizome, milk thistle seed, wormwood herb, gentian root, centaury root, blessed thistle herb, barberry, ginger rhizome, garlic bulb, caraway, dill seeds
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.
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. Take a teaspoon a day for a couple of weeks or take these 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. Your liver will thank-you!
Springtime Liver Cleanse:
Top 5 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:
- Put a slice of lemon or lime in your water
- Eat more spring greens, green leafy vegetables and natural foods
- Add liver tonic herbs to your diet like turmeric dried spice or fresh rhizome
- Drink roasted dandelion and chicory root beverage it tastes like coffee
- Make a tea, juice, smoothie, tincture or wine with your choice of herbs and plants that benefit the liver and gallbladder