Herbal remedies may improve the health and function of your organs, including your liver and spleen. The National Cancer Institute states that an organ is a part of your body that performs a specific task or function. Most organs, including your liver and spleen, perform many functions to help keep your body in good overall health. If you are considering taking herbs to help boost your organ function, consult your doctor to discuss risks, alternatives and proper dosage.
Liver and Spleen Function
Your liver and spleen are two important organs located in your abdominal cavity. Your liver is a large organ about the size of a football that is responsible for numerous functions within your body, including digesting food, absorbing nutrients and processing and voiding toxic substances from your body. Your liver is essential for your survival. Your spleen, situated in the upper left quadrant of your abdomen, is an important part of your body's lymphatic system that helps rid your bloodstream of old red blood cells and ward off infection.
Liver Support Herbs
Certain herbs may possess the ability to either protect or restore the function of your liver cells, or hepatocytes. Herbalist, author and naturopathic physician Dr. Sharol Tilgner states that a combination of herbs can help to regenerate and protect your hepatocytes and mildly stimulate your liver. Celandine, dandelion, milk thistle, artichoke, fennel, bupleurum, Oregon grape and marshmallow, when taken together, may prove helpful in improving your liver health and treating sluggish liver, poor digestion and jaundice caused by liver dysfunction.
Spleen Support Herbs
Some herbal remedies help to support your spleen health and treat spleen-related conditions. According to Dr. William Mitchell, a naturopathic doctor and author, the following herbs may prove helpful in treating splenic congestion and enlargement: dandelion, bearsfoot, New Jersey tea, Hart's-tongue fern, barberry and white oak. Dandelion is one of the most commonly used herbs in treating enlargement of your liver and spleen. Dandelion contains several active ingredients, including terpenes and coumarins.
Exercise caution when taking herbs to help support your liver and spleen health or when treating various conditions associated with these organs. Herbal remedies may help to improve your organ health, but they can also cause serious side effects if taken inappropriately. A health care professional with advanced knowledge of botanical medicine can suggest herbs that may be helpful for you and your specific health complaint. If you are pregnant, you should avoid using certain herbs. Talk with your physician before using herbal remedies.
- National Cancer Institute: Organ
- "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth"; Sharol Tilgner, N.D.; 1999
- "Plant Medicine in Practice;" William A. Mitchell Jr., N.D.; 2003