The liver filters toxins from the body and protects the body from infection and disease; but the liver may become overtaxed and loaded with toxins due to illness, environmental pollutants, chemicals ingested in foods or emotional stress. An infusion of certain herbs may help cleanse the liver and restore its function. However, there is no conclusive clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of liver cleansing. Talk to your doctor before using any herbs medicinally.
Your liver is located just below your diaphragm. It is responsible for producing bile to help with digestion, metabolizing proteins, fats and carbohydrates and storing glycogen from the carbohydrates. It also functions as a filter to extract toxins and impurities of the blood. An overworked liver clogged with too many toxins may negatively affect your entire body system. Symptoms of liver problems may include loss of appetite and weight, constant indigestion, a general feeling of malaise, nausea and vomiting -- especially vomiting of blood, skin rashes and bad breath.
According to "Diet and Nutrition" by Rudolph Ballentine, a seasonal liver cleanse can keep your liver healthy and clear of toxic overload and impurities. One way to cleanse the liver is through teas made of special herbs that have traditional applications as liver cleansers. Herbs are not meant to replace conventional treatments. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of liver problems, see your doctor and consult your doctor before taking any herbs medicinally.
According to "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies" by Norman Shealy, yellow dock and dandelion root teas, are both traditional seasonal tonics to help digestion and cleanse the blood and liver. They are powerful but relatively gentle and safe for most individuals. Yellow dock may ease constipation, a condition that can further tax the liver, since it prevents proper excretion of impurities. Dandelion is a classic liver tonic and is especially good for digestive problems during pregnancy.
Cleansing and Rejuvenation
Vervain tea may help reduce fever, promote digestion and elimination of toxins and tone and nourish a weakened liver. "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies," recommends vervain especially for cases of nausea and to help strengthen the liver after a long illness. Vervain may stimulate milk supply and is safe during breast feeding. However, don't take vervain if you are pregnant, as it may induce labor. Vervain is gentle enough for children. There is no conclusive clinical evidence to support medicinal use of vervain.
Milk thistle seeds contains silymarin, which may provide special protection to the liver against even very strong toxins and poisons. Milk thistle tea is a traditional European liver remedy says "The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants" by Andrew Chevallier. In fact, milk thistle may be one of the strongest herbs for cleansing and healing the liver. Milk thistle is safe for most individuals and may be especially helpful for mothers during the postpartum period to stimulate milk flow and relieve postpartum depression says Chevallier.
A tea made of dandelion, yellow dock, vervain or milk thistle alone or in combination may help cleanse and relieve symptoms of a sluggish liver. Special compounds in the plants may infuse teas made of these herbs with properties that cleanse the liver. Usually, people drink a liver cleanse tea 2 to 3 times a day for up to a week or until symptoms resolve. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbs medicinally.
- "Diet and Nutrition"; Rudolph Ballentine; 1978
- "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies"; Norman Shealy MD; 1998
- "The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants"; Andrew Chevallier; 1996