Herbs to Detoxify and Cleanse the Liver and Blood

Toxins seem to be everywhere and since we can’t get away from environmental toxins, it has become necessary to eat foods and drinks that support the liver and blood. It is also important to drink living water; not in plastic bottles, and to take herbal remedies which specifically cleanse the liver and blood of excess toxins. Many are not aware if the liver is over burdened with excess toxins it causes hormonal imbalances and negative emotions such as:

Physical signs:

  • Digestive issues
  • Hormonal imbalances in both female and male such as:
    Skin problems, Low libido, Low energy
  • Tight jaw or clenching or grinding at night. Tight upper back, shoulders and neck
  • Constance body aches and pains or body pain that comes and goes

Emotional signs:

  • Anger and/or rage
  • Irritable and/or impatient
  • Moody
  • Feel uptight
  • Feel tense a lot

The body is amazing in how it can find balance and flow when nourished with wholesome foods and having a good balance in daily life. This is a five element chart which shows how our body’s organs can take care of one another and keep a healthy flow. If we are not receiving what we need it will show up as discomfort physically and emotionally.

  • The Generating Cycle allows each organ to inter-promote one another
  • Controlling Cycle allows each organ is kept stable by another so there can be balance.

The body is incredible at how it can, when properly nourished, take care of you!

The benefits of food and herbs which supports the liver and blood is how it makes us feel inside and out.

Physically:

  • Cleanses toxins from the liver and blood
  • Aids in digestion, especially fats
  • Relaxes tight muscles and jaw
  • Clears skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rashes, fungus
  • Balances hormones
  • Keeps parasites from taking over
  • Keeps Candida yeast overgrowth for taking over

Emotionally:

  • We feel calm
  • We feel focused
  • We feel grounded
  • We wake up in the morning feel alert and ready to go
  • We have the will and drive to start and complete projects, classes…
  • Digestion is strong
  • Elimination is regular and bowel movements are good

A big part of liver health is choosing foods which supports digestion; it is how we receive the nutrients from what we eat.  While eating our digestive system breaks down food into micro-nutrients which is assimilated into the bloodstream through the small intestines. The type of food we eat depends on how many nutrients are assimilated into the bloodstream feeding our body’s systems. It is best to focus on food that is grown on nutrient rich soil and raised on pastures of grasses and wild plants. These foods are packed with nutrients such as antioxidants, minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids.  Ruminant animals provide us with both amino acids (proteins) and omega-3 essential fatty acid, a necessary fat. Without these nutrients we see arthritis, hormone imbalances, a decline in brain function… many aren’t aware of how important essential nutrients are which we must get from the food we eat.

Plants and food are incredible, they have so much to offer in assisting the body in acute and chronic illness. Chronic conditions by allowing the herbs and food to work with the body in layers to heal the root of the chronic illness. 

A happy liver means strong health; immune, hormonal and digestion. Here is a list of herbs which can be blended for liver, digestion, hormone and blood health.

The herbal dictionary is at the bottom of the page is for you to learn the healing properties of these plants.

Barberry rootCinnamon barkMilk Thistle seedPau d’ arco bark
Burdock rootDandelion rootOrange peelSage leaf
Chamomile fowersFennel seedsOregon Grape rootTurmeric root

Clearing the liver of toxins supports our emotional well-being from negative thoughts

The herbs listed in the herbal dictionary can easily be blended into a formula. The carrier/assisting herb is at the bottom with an asterick.

Herbal Dictionary

Barberry Root, berberis vulgaris Part Used: root Taste: Bitter Energetic: cold Effective form/Preparation: decoction, capsule, tincture Properties: Alterative, antiseptic, hepatic, laxative, anti-inflammatory, bitter tonic, vermifuge Medicinal Use: A bitter tonic which helps purify the blood and bile creation.  Has mild laxative properties and is beneficial for skin conditions; psoriasis, eczema and herpes when undernourishment and constipation are the cause.  Prevents parasite infestation, aids in digestion of fats and proteins and helps keep the spleen healthy and strong
Burdock Root arctium lappa. Part Used: root, seed (fruit), leaf Taste: bitter Energetic: cooling Effective Form/Preparation: decoction, capsule, tincture, tea, compress, poultice  Properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, anti-histamine, anti-biotic, alterative, anti-fungal, diuretic, mild laxative, 45% inulin (a prebiotic important for metabolism of carbohydrates), high amount of Vitamin C, A, B complex, bioflavonoids, minerals; iron, sulphur, silicon, copper, iodine,  potassium, calcium, and zinc. Medicinal Use: Regulates blood sugar, helps with diabetes & hypoglycemia Blood tonic. Blood cleanser and helps with water retention.
Dandelion Root Taraxacum officinalePart Used: entire plant (leaf, root,
flower).  Taste: Bitter Energetic: cooling Effective form/Preparation: decoction, capsule, tincture, roasted, tea, compress.  Properties: Anti-inflammatory, a good source of potassium. High in inulin which is known as a prebiotic; encourages and enhances the growth of beneficial intestinal flora, cleanses the liver and is a tonic herb. Medicinal Use: Used in formulas for cleansing the liver and stimulates bile secretion in the gallbladder and production of enzymes from the stomach lining.
Chamomile Flower maticara recutita  Part Used: flowers Taste: bitter Energetic: neutral Effective form/Preparation:  infusion, tincture, capsules, tea, compress Properties: nervine, tonic, sedative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-fungal, high in calcium and magnesium. It contains potassium, iron, manganese, zinc and some beta carotene.  Medicinal Use: Helps with sleep. Soothes a nervous stomach caused by stress and relieves indigestion, gas and flatulence. 
Aromatherapy:
German Chamomilematricaria chamomilla – antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, supports the liver, sedative.
Roman Chamomileanthemis nobillis – analgesic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, supports the liver, supports the immune system, sedative
Milk Thistle Seed silybum marianum  Part Used: seed  Taste: bitter Energetic: cooling Effective form/Preparation:  ground, tincture, capsules, tea Properties: hepatic tonic, bitter tonic,demulcent, antidepressant Medicinal Use: A specific in liver regenerating formulas. Helps with jaundice and cirrhosis; by increasing secretion and flow of bile from gallbladder, helps with lactation for breast-feeding and aids in liver detoxification.
Oregon Grape Root berberis aquifolium  Part Used: root Taste: bitter Energetic: cooling   Effective form/Preparation: decoction, tincture, capsules, tea  Properties: alterative; strong blood cleanser, liver detoxification, can release stored iron in the liver, used for chronic degenerative diseases such as arthritis. Medicinal Use: Used in many liver detoxification formulas. Helps improve blood conditions; eczema psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis, jaundice and mononucleosis
Pau d’ Arco Bark tabebuia impetiginosa  Part Used: bark  Taste: bitter Energetic: cooling  Effective form/Preparation: decoction, tincture, capsules, tea, cream, ointment Properties: antibiotic, anti-inflammatory,  anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal. Medicinal Use: Enhances the immune system, it is anti-fungal for thrush, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, candida albicans yeast overgrowth and ringworm. Helps with digestive issues; colitis, gastritis and stomach ulcers and is a blood purifier.
Turmeric: Curcumae longa or c. aromatic; Zingiberaceae – In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Jiang Huang, Pian Jiang Hugan Part Used: rhizome Taste: bitter/pungent   Energetic: warm (rhizome)  Preparation/Effective Form: decoction, extract, powdered, whole root Properties: alterative analgesic, antiseptic, astringent,carminative, cholagogue, emmenagogue stimulant, vulnerary Primary Use: Liver, digestion, spleen, musculoskeletal system. Turmeric is one of those herbs which can be used internally for liver and digestive stress and externally for tumors, joint pain and more.
Orange Peel citrus aurantium Part Used: peel Taste: bitter Energetic: cool Effective form/Preparation: decoction, extract, oil, tea,  Properties: astringent, carminative, expectorant, rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids Medicinal Use: Abdominal pain with bloating. Indigestion and gas  
Aromatherapy: anti-depressant, antispasmodic, lymph stimulator, mildly sedative, stomachic.
Sage Leaf salvia officinalis Part Used: leaf Taste: pungent/spicy Energetic: warm Effective form/Preparation: infusion, tincture, tea, poultice Properties: anti-infective, astringent, diaphoretic,carminative, antispasmodic, antidiarrhteic, nervine,  promotes natural healthy estrogen, anti-depressant, important herb for blood cleansing formulas, anti-galactagogue; helps stop lactation during weaningMedicinal Use: Emmenagogue; promotes regular menstrual flow, used in formulas for chronic cystitis and as a poultice for tumors.
Aromatherapy: Sage (Spanish) salvia lavandulaefolia – antidepressant, anti-infectious, emmenagogue, stimulant, antisudorific; reduces sweating
Fennel Seed: faeniculum vulgare Part Used: seed Taste: pungent/sweet Energetic: warm Effective form/Preparation: decoction, extract, oil, tea Properties: carminative, expectorant, anti-inflammatory Medicinal Use: Helps relieve gas. Assists and improves digestion. Helps with bladder or prostate infections is used as a tea for eye washes to relieve conjunctivitis and inflammation of the eyelids, relieves pain and expels mucous.
Aromatherapy: antiseptic, antispasmodic, detoxifier, diuretic, insecticidal, stimulant 
*Cinnamon Bark: cinnamomum verum  Part Used: bark, twig Taste: pungent/spicy Energetic: hot Effective form/Preparation: powder, tincture, oil, capsules  Properties: stimulant, astringent, diaphoretic, carminative, antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant Medicinal Use: Helps strengthen digestion. Increases circulation, is a tonic and uterine stimulant. Oil is antibacterial, anti- fungal.
Aromatherapy: Cinnamon leaf is used and has antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, digestive, insecticidal, stimulant, stomachic

Excellent reference books on learning how to make your own herbal blends are by

  • Linda Page, N.D. Ph.D How to Be Your Own Herbal Pharmacist
  • Leslie Tierra, L.Ac., Herbalist The Herbs of Life
  • Michaela Tierra, C.A., N.D., L.Ac., O.M.D. The Way of Herbs
  • Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac., Ph.D. Natural Therapy for Your Liver
  • Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac., Ph.D. Medicinal Mushrooms and Exploration of Tradition, Healing and Culture

I learned how to use herbs in my life by seeing practitioners who were also herbalist and taking herbal classes. I purchased reference books with herbal dictionaries (Materia Medica) and how to blend a formula. We can all learn how to use food and herbs for good health!

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