There are many ways to cleanse the liver. And there are many ways to juice for health. However, the combination of juicing with liver cleansing provides what is probably the most effective means for liver detoxification for health and healing, as well as improved liver function.
Detoxifying the liver is important these days by any measure. Our environment presents our bodies with the job of detoxifying numerous toxins. These toxins accumulate inside the body and damage our health. The liver is our primary organ of detoxification, responsible for more functions than science can describe.
We therefore look to the liver when considering how best to detoxify ourselves. Any actions you take to detoxify your liver will pay you back handsomely in better health. Or at least in a cleaner liver, which equates to more effective liver function, a greater capacity to detoxify, and (ostensibly) a less toxic you.
Performing a liver cleanse regularly (ideally 3–4 times per year, i.e., once per season) not only allows your body to eliminate many of these toxins, but also keeps your liver and other organs of detoxification in good condition, prepared to continue doing their jobs well…and keep you well.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT DURING A LIVER CLEANSE
Periodic liver cleansing with vegetable juice and liver herbs not only cleanses and detoxifies the liver, but also the entire body. For example, a liver cleanse reduces cholesterol, thins blood, removes and reduces plaques in vessels throughout the body (including the brain). In sum, liver cleansing rejuvenates your body entirely from the inside to the outside.
One of the most important aspects of a proper liver cleanse with vegetable juices is that it gives the digestive system a break, and allows for cleansing and rejuvenation of the entire gastrointestinal tract.
A program for liver cleansing can (and should) include a subprogram for bowel detoxification, which is considered by many to be a foundational aspect of detoxification. I will provide a complete liver cleanse program (below) that includes bowel cleansing herbal formulas and routines.
There are additional benefits. A liver cleanse is a good place to start a detoxification program because it the skills learned and developed in implementing it are also applicable to kidney cleansing (the subject of my next blog article) and other forms of cleansing.
A LIVER CLEANSE CAN BE FUN
Another fact to consider. Juice cleansing is FUN! Okay, it’s serious business when it comes to health. It can transform you health and your life. But fundamentally, you will eventually find yourself in a state of bliss during your cleanse. It never fails for me.
This cleanse-induced state of bliss not only relates to doing something incredibly good for yourself, but more practically, it so amazingly boosts and positively affects your nutritional status, your state of alkalinity (pH), the health and vibrancy of your liver, your brain function, and so much more…that you simply bliss out. That’s a fact for the vast majority of people who do it.
HOW TO LIVER CLEANSE WITH JUICE
EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED
There isn’t too much equipment you will need, but it is helpful to have a few items:
Blender or hand blender (see Resource section below for recommended brands)
Juicer (e.g., centrifugal, twin gear, masticator, single augur, etc.)
Citrus Press (optional)
Pot (steel or glass) to boil hot water with herbal tea
HOW TO START THE DAY
A liver cleanse involves consuming a liver flush drink (usually in the morning) followed 15–20 minutes later by a hot herbal tea containing liver healthy herbs plus several herbal tincture formulas. The tea and added liver tincture are then consumed again several times thereafter during the day. That is, drink two cups (16 oz) of liver tea 15–20 minutes after the liver flush drink, and then drink an additional 1–2 cups twice during the day. Make sure to include a dropperful of liver tincture per cup.
Fresh vegetable juices and superfoods are consumed after the liver drink, tea, and tinctures. At least 64 ounces (two quarts) of fresh juice should be consumed daily in divided doses mixed with superfoods. Preferably up to 128 ounces (one gallon) or more of fresh juice can be consumed per day.
The program can be done for as little as three days or for as long as three months (or even longer) depending on the needs of the individual. At longer durations, one week of liver cleanse can be alternated with one week of kidney cleanse, or other types of cleanse, including bowel cleansing.
Also, at longer durations, and especially after a week or two each of liver and kidney cleansing, for example, a break from herbs may be desirable. Just continue with juice and superfoods, and any additional protocols you may decide to follow.
A good, initial liver cleanse (or flush) should aim for five to seven days. This can include one day of raw foods at the start and another day of raw foods at the end. Thus, a five day liver cleanse could start with one day of raw foods (plus juices, teas, and tinctures), followed by three days of only juices, teas, and tinctures, and then finish with another day of raw foods (plus juices, teas, and tinctures). This is quite doable, even for individuals who work, because you can begin on a Thursday and end the following Monday.
MORNING LIVER / GALLBLADDER DRINK RECIPE
(Use organic or wildcrafted ingredients whenever possible)
8 ounces citrus juice (orange, grapefruit, and/or lemon/lime)
8 ounces purified water
1 clove garlic (and then add 1 clove per day up to 4–5 cloves)
1 inch ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil (and then add 1 tablespoon per day up to 4–5 tablespoons)
Juice the citrus separately and then place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Drink.
Note: citrus juice is best to use in spring and summer. In winter, you can substitute fresh apple and/or grape juice.
Each day beyond the first, add to the drink one more tablespoon of olive oil and one more clove of garlic. Thus, on day two of preparing the liver drink, you use two tablespoons of olive oil and two cloves of garlic. As you can tolerate it, increase the olive oil to 4–5 tablespoons and the garlic to 4–5 cloves (i.e., you will be on day four or five by this point).
I generally do not go beyond five tablespoons of olive oil and five cloves of garlic, even when I prepare the liver drink for seven days. Also, feel free to increase the amount of ginger, especially if you feel nauseated by the garlic and/or oil mixture. Sometimes I like to “chase” the liver drink down by drinking a couple ounces of fresh-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice (or apple juice in winter), which helps to cleanse the palate of garlic taste.
LIVER / GALLBLADDER TEA RECIPE
15–20 minutes after consuming the morning liver / gallbladder cleanse drink, consume two cups of hot liver / gallbladder tea. Add liver tinctures (2 droppers per cup) directly into the tea or else take directly into mouth or separately in a little water. Then drink two more cups of hot or warm tea twice during the day along with liver tincture.
Liver tinctures are available from health food stores or natural products companies. Liver formulas typically have names like “Liver Detox” or “Wormwood and black walnut.” Look for ingredients like milk thistle, wormwood, oregon grape, black walnut, dandelion, gentian, and garlic. You can also make your own (see instructions below).
If you don’t wish to use a tincture in your tea, HPDI offers Hepa Plus, an excellent capsule formula (with milk thistle), which you can take separately.
RECIPE FOR LIVER / GALLBLADDER TEA: Use two parts dandelion root and one part of each of all the other ingredients. You can obtain these herbs at your local natural foods store or from Pacific Botanicals (www.PacificBotanicals.com) and/or Blessed Herbs (www.BlessedHerbs).
Dandelion root, burdock root, Pau D’arco inner bark, cinnamon bark, cardamom seed, licorice root, fennel seed, Juniper berries, ginger root, clove buds, black peppercorns, uva ursi leaves, horsetail herb, orange peel, and parsley root and/or leaf.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Then place into glass jars (or other suitable containers) for storage.
Another option is to purchase liver tea premixed. Liver teas can be purchased at your local natural food store. One good brand is Yogi Tea, which makes a “Detox” tea and “Peach Detox” tea that include many of the ingredients listed above. You can use 2 or 3 teabags to brew a stronger tea in lieu of making your own tea.
Perhaps the best commercially available liver tea is Dr. Richard Schulze’s Detox Tea, which 100% organic and/or wildcrafted. It is sold in six ounce bags by the American Botanical Pharmacy (1.800.herb.doc) (www.herbdoc.com). This is my favorite commercial liver tea and the one I recommend most highly (if you don’t make it yourself).
As noted above, it is best to include a liver tincture right into your liver tea. You will do this at least three times daily by adding two droppers of liver tincture into your liver tea. You can also take the tincture in a little water or directly into your mouth, if you prefer.
There are several good brands of liver tincture. I prefer to make my own liver tincture, but my favorite commercially available formula is Dr. Schulze’s L-GB Formula.
If you wish to make your own liver tincture, here is a good recipe. Milk thistle seed (eight parts or 40%), Oregon grape root (two parts or 10%), dandelion root (two parts or 10%), Wormwood (one part or 5%), gentian root (one part or 5%), Chaparral (one part or 5%), Black Walnut (one part or 5%), Ginger Root (one part or 5%), Garlic (one part or 5%), Fennel Seed (one part or 5%). Note: parts apply to weight, not volume.
Assemble the fresh herbs. Put them into a blender in the proper proportions. (You can mix them in a bowl first if it fills more than the blender can accommodate at once.) Then add enough 80 to 100-proof vodka to cover the herbs. Then pour the resulting herbal vodka mixture into a mason jar and let it steep for at least 14 days, and possibly many months. Shake it at least once or twice per day.
Sometime after a minimum steeping time of 14 days, strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a t-shirt into a large bowl, and then pour the tincture back into jar(s) and store in the dark. Ideally, start this process on a new moon, and strain the finished tincture during the full moon. That’s a 14-day cycle. If you wait longer, the tincture will be stronger, but sometimes you can’t wait. If you do wait longer, still strain it on (or near) a full moon because the tincture will contain more of the active ingredients.
WHAT TO DO AFTER THE MORNING DRINK
After morning liver or kidney drink and herb tea, then wait at least 15 minutes before consuming juice and superfoods. As noted above, you can drink up to four quarts (one gallon) of juice daily, so don’t skimp on fresh juice. Indeed, drink juice as often you can, and certainly whenever you feel hungry.
You may find that spacing your juice intake throughout the day works best to keep up your energy. You may experience lulls in your energy at times. This is normal during a liver cleanse, but it’s also a great time to drink more juice. So, drink up!
Many individuals prefer to concentrate their intake of superfoods in the morning or early afternoon (e.g., one dose with juice at 9 am and another between 11 am and 1 pm). Superfoods can be very energizing, which may not be desirable late in the day. However, you should experiment to see what works best for you.
IMPORTANCE OF OWNING A JUICER
Juicing is powerful and an integral part of the liver cleanse experience. What juice does is provide extremely potent nourishment that requires little or no digesting. People ask me whether they can use a blender. Not for making juice on a liver cleanse. A blender is a great tool for making the citrus-based liver drink, but not juice.
For example, juice made in a blender contains all the fiber, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you’ve completed a juice flush, and are just making drinks or smoothies. You can even use a blender to mix juice (that you’ve made in a juicer) with superfoods like Rejuvenate!™ while on a liver cleanse.
But the point of juicing on a liver cleanse is allowing your body to apply all its energy for detoxification, purification, rejuvenation, and regeneration. Forcing your body to digest fiber just isn’t compatible with a juice-based liver cleanse. I tell everyone who doesn’t already own a juice and a blender to get both. They are tools indispensable to anyone serious about their health. So whichever one(s) you don’t already own…get them today!
I personally own six juicers, including a Champion, Green Star, Breville, Hurom, and Omega. I use them all depending on my daily needs. Green Star (twin gear juicer) produces the best juice with the driest pulp (i.e., better extraction), but it takes more time. It also does the best job with juicing leafy greens.
The Champion (masticator) is fast and offers the easiest cleanup, but results in wetter pulp (which both my dogs and chickens love). Breville (centrifugal juicer) offers speed and relatively easy cleanup, and works well for root vegetables. Single augur juicers (like Hurom) offer high-quality juice with reasonably dry pulp and still do a good job with leafy greens.
For individuals who worry about the cost of a juicer, I can assure you the health benefits far outweigh the costs. Juicing regularly is like health insurance, only better since it actually makes you healthy instead of just helping fix you when you’re sick (which juice also does). Yet, I know people who regularly spend a lot of money to keep their cars in shape with regular oil changes, tune-ups on schedule, and periodic preventive maintenance. But they won’t buy a juicer.
Everyone knows that taking care of your car via routine maintenance helps prevent unexpected breakdowns and keeps the vehicle in shape so that serious problems don’t occur. But not so many people extend this principle to themselves. However, a little “routine maintenance” on your body/mind/soul three or four times per year (even for just 3–5 days) makes a world of difference when it comes to building and maintaining good health.
Tip: If you or someone you know can’t afford a juicer, try your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or thrift store. I’ve seen high-quality, commercial-grade juicers in such stores for $15.00. When I find one at low cost, I usually buy it, and then give it away to someone who really needs it.
WHAT ELSE JUICE WILL DO FOR YOU
Juice nourishes, hydrates, alkalizes, and supports the entire cleansing process. It also boosts mood and can modulate pain (depending on the type juice you make). In addition, juice is sometimes to referred to as a “blood transfusion.” Think about it, juice is a fluid that doesn’t require digestion. It is full of minerals like magnesium, sodium (e.g., from celery) (which is very different than processed table salt), silica (e.g., from cucumbers), and iron (from many red vegetables). Thus, juice is well known to build low blood counts, especially when red vegetables (like beets) are juiced.
In this way, juice demonstrates its healing powers to build blood counts, whereas modern medicine will employ a blood transfusion. Juice does it naturally, inexpensively, and without complex procedures, or admission to a hospital.
Juice also provides high levels of plant phytochemicals that protect cells, act an antioxidants and Nrf2 activators, combat aging, and keep us youthful from the inside-out.
WE RECOMMEND REJUVENATE!™ SUPERFOODS
We recommend taking Rejuvenate! superfoods during your liver cleanse. I especially enjoy using original Rejuvenate! because it provides the most chlorella and spirulina, which are highly cleansing. And it tastes great in juice.
But all the Rejuvenate! formulas taste good (although everyone seems to have a preference). And while I like greens for detoxifying, all the formulas provide therapeutic levels of dietary nucleic acids, which support detoxification and are highly nourishing to the body.
Few people these days get adequate levels of nucleic acids in their diet. Dr. Benjamin Frank went so far as to argue that nucleic acids are essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. I am inclined to agree with him because I have personally feel the difference when I am getting enough nucleic acids (about 300 mg daily minimum for me) compared to times when I don’t (which isn’t often these days). That’s about the amount of nucleic acids provided by one scoop of Rejuvenate! (any version since they all provide about the same amount per scoop).
So, 300 mg (the amount of nucleic acids provided in one scoop of Rejuvenate!) makes a noticeable difference in my energy level, feelings of well being, and improved appearance. However, I try to take three to six scoops (or more) daily because the benefit continue to accrue at higher levels.
1,500 mg (the amount of nucleic acids in five scoops of most Rejuvenate! formulas) seems to be an optimal amount to take per day. More than that amount doesn’t appear to give me any additional benefits, but I definitely notice a corresponding decrease in benefits when I consume smaller daily servings.
FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS & ENHANCEMENT FORMULAS
We always recommend taking four foundational supplements daily. The four we recommend are a high-potency multivitamin (like Mighty Multi-Vite!™), essential fats, antioxidant / vitamin C formula (like Ultimate Protector™ or PRO-C™), and a Rejuvenate! superfood. I have discussed the importance of foundational supplements in other articles, including Rejuvenation Program: Part Four. During a liver cleanse, continue taking your supplements with juice. These supplements will support your body while you cleanse, just as they support health before and after it.
Beyond foundational supplements, we recommend seven enhancement supplements that are important for building and maintaining good health. These include: CoQ10 (ubiquinone) or ubiquinol, Myo-Mag (magnesium & malic acid), Hepa Plus (the liver formula I mentioned above), Nascent Iodine, echinacea, and Immune-Assist. HPDI offers all of these formulas. Your use of enhancement supplements will depend upon your individual needs, but most individuals will gain significant benefits from taking them. To learn more, see Rejuvenation Program: Part Five.
OTHER IMPORTANT PRACTICES
Other important practices to include during the remainder of the day after a morning liver or kidney drink and herb tea include: 1) bowel cleansing herbs (no need to take a break from these herbs); 2) liquids (other than liver/kidney tea), including herbal teas and pure water (try to drink at least a few quarts in addition to vegetable juices during the day), 3) exercise (preferably one hour) (at the intensity of your choice, but walking and yoga are good, especially for moving lymph fluid), 4) meditation, affirmations, prayer/mantras, deep breathing exercises, journaling, etc. to relax and center the mind.
If there is a particularly affected area of the body that you wish to heal, you may include hydrotherapy (e.g., hot and cold showers), sauna therapy, castor oil packs, or poultices (e.g., a drawing poultice).
I have detailed some of these important practices in my articles on the Rejuvenation Program, including supporting protocols for rejuvenation. I won’t go into much detail here because of space considerations, but please refer back to my series of ten articles on the Rejuvenation Program, and to the Rejuvenation Program page itself, which is on our main website.
If there are any practices or protocols that are important to you, then definitely consider adding them into your liver cleanse. I make many suggestions, but you may know (or learn) what works best for you in terms of practices that can take your liver cleanse over the top (so to speak). Listen to yourself.
While I won’t go into much detail at this point regarding many important practices that can support a successful liver cleanse, I will address the topic of bowel cleansing. Although I have addressed this topic before (see Rejuvenation Program: Part Two), I feel it is especially relevant to liver (and kidney) cleansing. (You can read what I’ve written before, but I want to present a slightly different perspective on bowel cleansing here.)
BOWEL CLEANSING IS IDEAL DURING A LIVER CLEANSE
Many natural care practitioners say that all cleansing begins with bowel cleansing. I believe they say this partly because their experience shows that just doing a complete bowel cleanse can significantly improve their patients’ health and “cure” many maladies. Certainly, cleansing the bowel before a liver cleanse is a good idea, and will help prepare the body for it.
Bowel cleansing itself no doubt is powerful. But when combined with liver or kidney cleansing, bowel cleansing can turbocharge the cleansing process, as well as accelerate the processes of detoxification, rejuvenation, and the creation of optimal health.
So, it’s true! It is always a good idea to spend at least some of the during your liver cleanse (or kidney cleanse) performing a bowel cleanse. It can easily be done concurrently with liver or kidney cleansing, or separately.
While a basic juice flush usually acts to cleanse the bowel, the ultimate goal is to facilitate the body’s creation of health by engaging in practices that act synergistically to support the most complete cleanse possible. With respect to bowel cleansing, we recommend several excellent formulas that can be used while cleansing the liver or kidneys. These formulas include HPDI’s own Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula, which acts to sweep the entire gastrointestinal tract.
INTESTINAL REJUVENATION FORMULA
We recommend you take Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula up to three times daily (away from food or juice) mixed with at least 12–16 ounces of water). Initially, you might just take it once daily at the level of one teaspoon. Eventually, you can work your way up to one teaspoon three times daily.
The key is making sure your bowel is working well at the initial levels (1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons) before increasing the dose. The reason for starting slowly is that some people may experience constipation (or reduced bowel transit time) initially do the increased fiber. The body eventually adjusts. At that point, the formula can help facilitate bowel action.
HOW IT CLEANSES THE BOWEL
Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula grabs onto materials in the digestive tract, moving them through the digestive system where they can be eliminated. The formula will sweep away various blockages, debris, hard to remove materials, and even clear bowel pockets.
The formula includes ingredients (like slippery elm and marshmallow root) known to coat and soothe gatrointestinal mucosa. In this way, it both sweeps away hardened debris, but also softens such deposits before removal, and protects the entire lining of the GI tract.
As a consequence of its capacity to latch onto materials in the digestive tract, Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula is especially effective for detoxification. The GI tract, and especially the bowel, is often the most toxic region of the body.
When blockages occur and elimination functions are compromised, the intestines are a source of toxicity. Any blockage or reduction in proper bowel activity, can create buildup of materials requiring elimination. Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula specializes in removing blockages, so that the bowel can function normally.
Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula also directly absorbs and sequesters toxins, including toxic metals (lead, mercury, cadmium), industrial chemicals (PCBs), and other poisons. In this way, it performs multiple detoxification functions (both physically sweeping away encrusted deposits (including old fecal matter), cleansing bowel pockets, and sequestering poisons that can damage the body.
Because the GI tract is responsible for assimilating and absorbing nutrients from foods, cleansing the bowel improves the uptake of nutrients by removing obstructions and blockages that disrupt proper digestion. An unhealthy GI-tract simply can’t do its job properly.
Regular use of Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula not only sweeps away what is often termed “putrefactive” materials that have not been fully digested, but also the older so-called “post-putrefactive” matter hardened on the intestinal lining. Both types of matter can reduce uptake of nutrients, obstruct proper bowel movement, and contribute to stasis, stagnation, and GI-tract dysfunction.
AN EFFECTIVE BOWEL REGULATOR
Notably, Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula is useful both for sluggish bowel action and for too frequent bowel activity. For sluggish bowels, it adds bulk and clears the digestive tract with a sweep-like action. For overly frequent bowel action (or diarrhea), it regulates flow by controlling the rate of elimination. In this latter capacity, it has been known to prevent dehydration and fluid loss from chronic diarrhea.
As you might guess, a formula like Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula can be taken regularly or periodically, and it will always act to help regulate bowels, remove toxins, and cleanse the bowel. I take it year-round with just a few breaks.
According the the Merck Manual, the majority of Americans (and increasingly everyone around the world) will suffer from bowel pockets, if they live long enough. Most of want to live a long life with a high quality of life. Taking Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula can help prevent bowel pockets and/or help cleanse bowel pockets if they already exist.
I can think of no other single reason for taking Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula than to keep the bowel free of pockets. But the other reasons for taking it, like detoxification, sequestering of poisons, and effective bowel regulation are equally compelling.
We need to continue to cleanse our GI-tract throughout our lives, and especially as we age (and our metabolism slows). Taking a formula like Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula can help extend our quality of life as we age, and perhaps extend our lives by keeping us healthy, regular, detoxified, and free of blockages and bowel pockets.
HOW TO TAKE INTESTINAL REJUVENATION FORMULA
The easiest way to take Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula is to mix it into water. I usually put it into a 16-ounce mason jar with about 12 ounces of water. Shake it vigorously until well mixed, then drink. Then you can add another four ounces of water to the jar and re-shake, then drink again. This clears the jar of any loose formula, and ensures you get the entire dose.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN EXTREMELY SLUGGISH BOWEL
Certain individuals with extremely sluggish bowels may require a stronger herbal formula to provide the body with greater support for creating movement in the bowel. In such cases of extreme bowel sluggishness, we recommend Intestinal Formula #1 (available from Dr. Richard Schulze’s American Botanical Pharmacy). If this is the case for you, then take Intestinal Formula #1 as directed (usually one capsule daily with dinner) until the bowel function is normalized. Then you can shift on to Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula in order to obtain all the benefits of a fiber and herb formula designed for sweep the entire gastrointestinal tract.
CONCLUSION: PERIODIC LIVER CLEANSING SUPPORTS OPTIMAL HEALTH
Liver cleansing is one of the best ways of improving health, boosting energy, detoxifying the body, and increasing quality of life. In fact, I believe it has become essential to cleanse your liver. Given the levels of toxins in our environment, including in foods, water, air, soils, and throughout our homes, there is every reason to cleanse you liver often. That is, to do a liver cleanse at least once or twice per year, and preferably more often, such as once per season.
Yet, liver cleansing can also be done more frequently by incorporating cleansing techniques into your lifestyle. For example, consuming more fresh vegetable juices, raw foods, liver support herbs (like milk thistle).
Remember, too, that keeping you liver clean can be aided by avoiding toxins. Read Part Two of the Rejuvenation Program series (see resources section below). Avoid or reduce your exposure to liver toxic foods, drinks, and substances. The list includes alcohol, conventional produce (containing pesticides), and artificial ingredients (food colorings, flavorings, preservatives, and sweeteners (like aspartame and sucralose). Prudent avoidance goes a long way toward reducing the toxic load that must be dealt with by your liver.
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