A guide to detoxing
The Liver

Detox Part 6 - The Liver

Liver Cleansing

One of the more simple and popular cleansing techniques is known as the Liver Flush. It is used for removing excess fatty acids and other toxic substances from the liver. A healthy liver can play a crucial role in contributing to the healing of the immune system as it is an important part of digestion and plays the main role in processing toxic and allergy-causing substances in the bloodstream. The Liver Flush can be done at any time, but is commonly done in the Spring and Autumn.

Milk Thistle has a reputation of being the most powerful herb for healing and strengthening the liver. You can get a tincture or tablets of the powdered concentrate in most natural foods stores. Take approximately 150mg (3 tablets) / 3 times per day or 20 drops of tincture / 3 times per day. This can be done for a couple of weeks after performing a Liver Flush (see below) or taking a liver cleansing herbal formula for a few weeks. You can find out more about Milk Thistle by reading "Milk Thistle -- The Liver Herb" by Christopher Hobbs, Botanica Press, c1992.

A castor oil compress is usually performed every other day during the Liver Flush regimen. It is helpful in encouraging the liver to dump excess fats. Soak a piece of wool or flannel (or a baby's cotton nappy) in castor oil. Ring out the cloth so that it doesn't drip. Place over the liver area (on the right side, just under the ribcage). place a hot water bottle, not an electric heating pad over the cloth. Then place a towel over the hot water bottle. Leave on for 1.5 hours, replacing the water when necessary so that the area is kept hot (but not too hot to stand). After removing the compress, spend 5 to 10 minutes rubbing small amounts of virgin olive oil into the liver area.


A coffee enema is usually used as a part of a cleansing program in order to encourage the liver to dump large amounts of toxins. You may wish to try this technique once or twice when you are performing the Liver Flush, Gallbladder Flush or GI Tract cleanse. Do not use this technique obsessively, just on occasion when performing a cleanse.


The following Liver Flush instructions are based upon Christopher Hobbs' suggestions in his book, "Foundations of Health: The Liver and Digestive Herbal." For 10 days you do the following:

1. In the morning after a little exercise (e.g., short walk, yoga, breathing exercises, etc.), drink a liver flush mixture.
2. After drinking the liver flush mixture, drink two cups of herbal tea designed to cleanse the liver. Alternatively, take one of the liver cleansing formulas listed above as directed.
3. Follow a healthy, natural foods diet during the rest of the day. Also, remembering to breath deeply, using the diaphragm, can be helpful. A light abdominal massage once per day can also be helpful.
4. Take (or continue taking) one of the liver cleansing formulas listed above for two to three more weeks.
5. Take Milk Thistle and Red Beet Crystals for a few weeks after finishing the liver cleanse. This will help the process of rebuilding the liver.
6. Optional and helpful - Perform the Castor oil compress every other day. - Perform one coffee enema during the cleanse. - Perform abdominal massage every other day.

Liver Flush Mixture - Mix freshly squeezed citrus juices together (e.g., orange, grapefruit). Mix in as much freshly squeezed lemon (or lime) as possible. The more sour the taste, the better the cleanse. Add 1-2 cloves of fresh-squeezed garlic. Add a small amount of ginger root juice (grate the ginger and squeeze the resultant fibers to obtain ginger juice). Finally, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (use the expensive stuff from a natural foods stores). Shake or blend and drink.

Cleansing herbal tea Example 1 - Peppermint, red clover, fennel, licorice, cleavers, dandelion, Oregon grape root, burdock root, butternut bark, chickweed, parsley root, nettles. You should be able to find something similar at your local natural foods store.

Example 2 - Fennel Seed (1 part), Fenugreek (1 part), Flax Seed (1 part), Licorice Root (1/4 part), Burdock (1/4 part), Peppermint (1 part). Simmer all herbs except the peppermint for 20 minutes. Add 1 part peppermint and let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Use approximately 1 ounce of total dried tea per pint of water.

Rebuilding & Strengthening:

1. Milk Thistle Seeds (see above)
2. Herbal Formula
3. Building a healthy population of beneficial bacteria in the intestines is very helpful for preventing the building of toxins which can overwork the liver. Regularly eating fermented foods (if tolerable) or taking a probiotic supplement can be very helpful in doing this.
4. Abdominal Massage once per day.
5. Deep breathing exercises and yogic breathing exercises
6. Healthy diet without too much dairy products.

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