Of all the detoxes and cleanses I’ve ever done, this one is by far my favorite. It has produced the best physical and emotional results, and really made a huge difference in my health.
Liver flushes have given me brighter eyes, clearer skin, better sleep, a positive (“euphoric”) mood, smaller waist, improved digestion, and a top-notch immune system, to name a few.
(If you find yourself skeptical about our bodies’ need to “detox” in the first place, check out my explanation here in my part one of the detox series.)
Why Cleanse My Liver?
A clean and well-functioning liver cannot be underrated. The liver is responsible for-
- blood detoxification and purification
- digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
- enzyme activation
- glutathione production (check the link for more info)
- building proteins
- processing nutrients from food
One of the most vital things that the liver does is produce bile. Bile is a very bitter, very alkaline fluid that helps break down foods in your small intestine. It also helps to restore the pH of your body. When your body is the proper pH of 7.35, it functions at its best. Research shows that you are unlikely to get ill as often, and some even suggest that this optimal pH naturally fights cancer. For most of human history, it was not as difficult as it is now to keep the body’s pH within a healthy range.
Aciditiy is a common by-product of most foods in the American diet (all processed food, even “light” and “natural” versions; fried food; meat; dairy; coffee; sodas; sugary juices, desserts and candy; cigarettes; medications). This acidity completely throws off the pH of the human body, which makes your body age much faster and prone to all kinds of diseases.
Let’s break that down into a tidbit that might interest you: proper bile flow helps slow down the aging process. That’s right.
A healthy liver is supposed to be producing 1 1/2 quarts of bile a day- and by adulthood most people’s livers are making as little as 1/2 cup. That might surprise you, and the reason why is even more surprising. Your liver is clogged with gallstones.
No, this is not a natural part of aging, and no, this is not something your body can fix on its own. The good news is, you don’t need surgery or extensive procedures to get them out. You just need a free weekend.
A little known fact is that gallstones actually originate in the liver. I’ll spare you the lengthy explanation about how this happens, but if you are interested, Andreas Moritz can explain it to you here. Cholesterol and bile make the stones lighter and flesh-colored or green, respectively, though stones can also be black (very toxic) or greyish-white (calcified).
The reason that you don’t know you have stones clogging up you liver and gallbladder is because it’s only the calcified ones that show up in ultrasounds. By the time gallstones calcify and show up in an ultrasound, you’ve been suffering with a congested liver for years too long.
Many people go their entire lives with a congested liver and gallbladder, not realizing that many of their health complaints are related to this. These complaints include disorders of the digestive system (mouth, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, intestines), disorders of the circulatory system (heart, spleen, cholesterol, lymph, veins, hormones), disorders of respiratory system, disorders of the urinary system, disorders of the nervous systems, joint problems, skin problems, reproductive problems, and many more. Congestion of this vital organ affects your whole body, and the longer it goes on, the worse things get. Liver flushes are a wonderful way to start healing these ailments in your body.
A New Age Perspective
In Eastern medicines it is believed that the liver is the seat of anger, frustration, and repressed emotions. A Greek medicine site had this to say:
Liver, Gall Bladder: Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder, which makes these two organs vulnerable to negative Choleric emotions like anger, irritability, frustration, resentment, jealousy and envy. These negative Choleric emotions are stored in these organs, and can slowly eat away at them if allowed to fester. Anger and rage can explode upwards from the liver into the head, causing a lot of havoc in their wake: headaches, migraines; red, sore, bloodshot eyes; and muscular tension in the neck and shoulders. Nervous and emotional tension and stress, as well as Melancholic emotions like pensiveness and worry, will stagnate the flow of the Natural Force in the liver, which in turn causes nervous, colicky, Melancholic disturbances of the digestive functions. This excess melancholy often accumulates under the lower ribs, giving a stuffy, distended, congested feeling in the whole chest and diaphragm area. This is the origin of the term hypochondriac.
It is not uncommon for those cleansing the liver to feel an incredible release of these emotions. This is especially true when one experiences a flush of deeper set-in stones which have been stuck in the liver for many years.
Emotional situations or feelings that are brought back up are your opportunity to work through them and move past them, once and for all. This is a time of very powerful emotional cleansing and healing, too.
Feelings of bliss and euphoria are favorite side-effects from stone release of flushers everywhere. This effect becomes more pronounced with every flush, because the first flush releases newer, smaller stones, and with each consecutive flush, the older (which are often also larger and more stuck) ones are rooted out. These correspond to more “stuck” feelings, older issues, and deeper-rooted problems. It feels wonderful to get them out of you!
If all that mumbo jumbo is not for you, you can still focus on the cold, hard facts of the matter. Getting these blockages out of your liver improves the detoxification and functioning of your entire body. The older, larger stones clog up more of the bile ducts than any of the smaller, newer ones. Getting these out makes you feel better because of the surge of energy from better functioning of all your organs overall. It’s a great feeling!
It is important to note that sometimes you will feel initially drained after the flush, with the energy and positivity coming afterwards (it always does come, though!). Your body has really done quite a bit of work through this process, and sometimes it takes a little bit to recover.
Another positive side-effect which cannot be understated is the lessening of pressure from your liver. All these stones really bulk up your liver, making it larger and harder. This can lead to a lack of flexibility in your midsection, pain in your shoulders, back, and spine, and a thicker waist. You will notice all of these problems seem to dissolve away a little more after each flush.
Prepping For The Flush
While I don’t fast prior to the liver flush (you’ll get better results if you do), it is recommended that for the five days prior to the actual flush, you take something to help soften the stones. Andreas (who prefers whole foods) recommends fresh apple juice, which has malic acid, to soften the stones. You will need to have 1 liter (32 oz.) of apple juice per day (space it out throughout the day, don’t just chug it). It is fine to drink packaged apple juice (although for your body’s sake, I would recommend getting a higher quality organic one!) as this will still work. Freshly pressed radish juice and carrot juices are also good.
Other things you can take to soften the stones- powdered malic acid, Gold Coin Grass supplement (you should take this for 2-3 weeks prior, as 5 days will not do as much), daily coffee enemas, and also asorbic acid (vitamin C) capsules (which you should also take for 2-3 weeks prior). If you are really intense, you can take any combination of these methods.
Another important thing to do is COLON CLEANSE both before and after the flush, so that no stones get stuck on their way out of your body, leaving you ill with headaches, bloating, infections, etc. from the toxins in any stones. See how to do this in my first post of the detox series here.
How To Liver Flush
The ingredients you’ll need for the liver flush are-
- Epsom salts
- 1 large grapefruit or 2 small grapefruits (can be substituted with a few lemons or limes)
- Extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil (preferably organic)
AM- Do not eat any fat or protein, if you can help it. It is a good idea to skip caffeine as well, but if you will get a headache without it, it’s okay to have a little. The idea today is to store up the bile in your liver so it will all “flush” out later tonight.
2 PM- Stop eating for the day. Do not eat after 2 PM. If you think of it, mix up your 6 PM drink now.
6 PM- Drink 1 T of Epsom salts dissolved into 1 C water. It’s a good idea to mix this up ahead of time, to make sure it gets dissolved. Having to swallow granules at the bottom is really yucky otherwise! Some people like to put this drink in the fridge because it tastes a little better when it is cold. I always drink it with a straw, I find this easiest.
(The Epsom salts will do two things. First, they will completely flush out the colon, which is good because this will ensure the stones don’t get stuck on their way out. These stones are very toxic and you don’t want them staying inside the colon to re-infect your body at all. Secondly and most importantly, they will dilate the bile ducts, which open them up so that the stones can pop out.)
8 PM- Drink a second dose of the Epsom salt mixture. (1 T ES and 1 C water). If you haven’t already, be prepared to be running to the toilet as the salts begin to flush out your colon!
9:40 PM- Prepare the 10 PM flush concoction. You want 3/4 C of citrus juice (whichever type you ended up choosing) and 3/4 C olive oil. You can squeeze the juice of the fruits by hand into a bowl or measuring cup if you don’t have a juicer. You’ll probably want to mix the ingredients until they are blended together. You can do this by blending them, shaking them in a jar with a lid, or by hand. You CAN keep them separated (oil on top, juice on the bottom) but this will be MUCH less pleasant to drink (I don’t recommend it).
Try to empty your bowel as much as possible before 10, when you will go to bed (so you don’t have to get up again and interfere with the flush).
10 PM (Bedtime)- You should be hungry or thirsty (or both) by now. That is a good sign! I recommend a straw for this concoction especially. Drink the oil/juice concoction standing up, and lie down immediately afterwards. For best results, lie on your right side. Do not move for the first 20 minutes if you can help it. You can read or watch tv or surf the internet for a while, but I recommend going to sleep early. If you MUST get up in the middle of the night to use the toilet, you may. Some people get sick from poor quality oil- if that happens to you, don’t worry, the flush will likely still work for you, depending on how long you were able to keep the concoction down!
8 AM- Have your third Epsom salt drink (1 T ES and 1 C water). You’ll soon start to see stones showing up in your toilet!
10 AM- Have your fourth and final Epsom salt drink (1 T ES and 1 C water). This will flush out the last of the stones!
11 AM- you can start eating again. I recommend light foods and things that won’t be too heavy or hard on your liver today, and for the next couple days. You flushed a lot of bile and bile salts out of the liver, and that takes about 3-4 weeks to fully build up again (although your digestion should feel normal within a day).
A Few Extra Things
Andreas Moritz and other liver flush experts say that it takes around 20 flushes (for some it’s less, and others more) to get out all of the stones completely. The standard test is three consecutive flushes without any stones. Flushers and experts alike say that by this point people experience a cure from allergies and countless other ailments (even ones you didn’t know were related to the liver!). After this point, a maintenance flush once or twice a year is recommended.
Because it takes 3-4 weeks for your body to replenish the bile salts lost in a flush, it is not recommended that you do the flush more often than this. I, myself, flush once every 4-5 weeks.
Some people claim that what you are releasing is not actually liver stones but rather a formation of the oil and citrus juice inside your digestive system, and that the green-ish yellow-ish olive oil is what turns the stones these colors. This claim is false because people have gotten stones out with many other types of oils (although olive oil is recommended because it is high in mono-unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat- this ensures a high emulsification of the oil/acid potion, minimum time in the stomach, and easy absorption in the body) and also from coffee enemas and other types of liver detoxes.
Other Ways I Like To Cleanse The Liver
Castor oil packs- On the nightly regimen of Viva Mayr, the top detox clinic in the world, this deep healing oil, with the addition of heat, penetrates into congested tissue, detoxifying your digestive system, liver, lymph nodes, and pretty much whatever organs you place it over. More info from The Tao of Dana, The Beauty Gypsy, and celeb nutritionist/detox specialist Kimberly Snyder.
Coffee enemas- I wish I could devote an entire post to the coffee enema. As bizarre as it may sound to some of you, it has been one of my favorite and most enjoyable (seriously) forms of detox. In fact, most who try it are hooked like I am. The incredible benefits on the inside and outside are enough to speak for themselves. Read what Dr. Wilson has to say about it.
Try it and let me know how a happy liver works out for you! 🙂