Community Supported Herbalism
Liver + Gallbladder Detox
Prepared by Amber Friedman
YEAH! the second basket of the Spring Detox Program is here!
‘Your liver is one of the largest organs in your body, second only to your skin (also a detox organ), and it resides near your stomach in the upper right section of your abdomen. It acts as a gatekeeper, tirelessly filtering toxins in the blood coming from your GI tract before allowing it to enter the rest of the body. Later it filters old blood to clean it of metabolic waste.
The filtered waste and toxins are turned into bile, stored in your gallbladder, and then released in your digestive tract as the next meal flows into your intestines. (If your gallbladder has been removed, bile trickles out slowly throughout the day.) Some of the bile’s compounds get reabsorbed into your bloodstream as it gets processed and waits for elimination in the gut, but most bile waste is excreted in your feces. Your liver isn’t just focused on detoxification. It also plays a key role in the metabolism of various compounds – sugar, vitamin D, iron, cholesterol, fats, and much more – shuffling things to and from storage and inactive to active states, creating them, and breaking them down. Bitter-and sour-tasting herbs stimulate your liver to produce and excrete more bile.’ Maria Noel Groves – Body Into Balance
In my herbalism practice I use herbs that help the liver to function more effectively and clear toxic overload of the liver, in almost every formula I make for people who are suffering from; sleep problems, PMS, mood swings, upset stomach, grief, depression, and anxiety.
I believe that our culture is lacking in liver support and that if we have more of it, we will be healthier and more conscious humans. When you look around at what herbs grow in our area you will see that it is full of bitter herbs that are for your liver. If we lived off the land and needed to eat what grows around here we would be eating a lot more bitter herbs than we are nowadays. Here are a few lists of my favorite bitters to add into your diet. You will notice from the following list and the list of herbs from last month, that there is a lot of crossover between herbs that work on your Kidneys + Bladder, Liver + Gallbladder, and Lymphatic System.
Herbs to Purify Blood
- Dandelion Leaf and Root, Burdock Root and Seed, Cleavers, Chickweed, Turmeric, Schizandra, Echinecea, Nettles, Red Clover Blossoms, Sarsaparilla, Red Root, Yellow Dock, Ococtillo, Alder, Celery, Parsley, Violet, and Oregan Grape Root.
Detox Friendly Foods
- Bitter Vegetables, Diuretic Vegetables, Cruciferous Vegetables, Asparagus, Avocado, Beets, Berries, Sour Citrus, Cranberries Pomegranate, Garlic + Onions, Mushrooms, Green Tea, Flax and Chia Seeds, Walnuts, Water, Culinary Herbs.