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Herbs that Help Your Liver

Updated on May 15, 2016

Liver Disease

I suffer with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis of the liver. It is prominently a disease of middle aged women. Ten women for every one man has the disease.

No, I am not a drinker. I started having liver problems when I got active Hepatitis B about twenty five years ago while living in a third world country where hepatitis is very prevalent. Although I recovered from the jaundice, nausea, itching and exhaustion, my liver was scarred. I take medication daily so the PBC will not develop into something worse including liver cancer.

Recently I have started taking Milk Thistle because I discovered it has been used as a herbal liver disease remedy for 200 years. There are substances (especially a flavonoid called silymarin ) that are known to protect the liver from toxins. Silymarin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and it may even help the liver repair itself by growing new cells.

The herb milk thistle (silymarin) is a premier liver nutrient. ~ Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.

Dandelion is another plant that can help the liver. I remember when I was young that we had to dig the dandelions out of our grass because they were weeds. I loved blowing the seeds when they had grown older and watch them fly in the wind. Little did I know then that the leaves and roots were traditionally used to treat liver problems, and that one day I would benefit from using them.

Dandelion leaves can be used in salads, mixed with other ingredients to make a pesto, and you can drink it as a tea. Dandelion roots act as an anti-viral agent and the dandelion leaves act as a diuretic (remove toxins through the urine). Health care providers suggest using dandelion root to promote liver detoxification. Dandelion is considered safe, but there are some individuals that are allergic to it. Your doctor should be consulted if you intend use it medicinally.

It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stony street, to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun. ~Henry Ward Beecher (Liberal US Congregational minister, 1813-1887)

Can I get you a cup of Chicory?

~ Tobacco Road 1941


Another plant similar to dandelions is chicory. Chicory is common in England and Ireland. In Belgium, they boil the tender young roots and cooked with butter make quite a delicious vegetable. Some prefer it in salads to dandelions. They often blanch it to take out any bitterness. It can be used as an alternative to coffee but relaxes rather than stimulates.

A add 1 ounce of Chicory root to a pint of boiling water and drink freely. It has been found effective for jaundice and liver enlargement.

If you have liver problems that become chronic, you should work with a qualified health-care practitioner who can order liver function tests and provide guidance as you heal. They will be aware of drug interactions with herbs and will be aware which ones would be most beneficial.

Recipe for Liver Cooling Tea: 1 part Dandelion root, raw or dried, 1/8 part fresh Ginger root, 1/4 part Licorice, 1 part Artichoke leaves, 1/2 part Oregon grape root, 1/4 part Turmeric, and 1/8 part Gentian root. Herbs should be simmered in a covered pot for 20 minutes. Steep the herbs an additional 10 minutes. You can drink a cup in the morning and one in the evening and enjoy the benefits.


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  • elayne001 profile image

    Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Your welcome Rtalloni. I appreciate your comments on my liver hub.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks for a good overview of these herbs!

  • elayne001 profile image

    Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I appreciate your comments fastfreta. It has been fun learning more about different herbs, flowers and spices in the Hubpages contest.

  • fastfreta profile image

    Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

    I just had to bookmark this one. Although I knew about Milk Thistle, and Dandelion. I didn't know that Silymarin and chicory were good for the liver. Thanks so much for sharing these, oh so, helpful tips.

  • elayne001 profile image

    Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Good for you LianaK. I hope you find the time and enjoy it.

  • LianaK profile image

    LianaK 7 years ago

    Spring is coming, I think I'll try my hand at herbs and see how it goes. Wonderful hub.

  • elayne001 profile image

    Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Glad you stopped by rwelton. Thanks for your comments. I just started growing herbs recently and plan to do much more soon.

  • rwelton profile image

    rwelton 7 years ago from Sacramento CA

    Thanks- good post. New to HubPages. I have a fair sized vegetable garden and a fairly extensive herb garden. Great for cooking and for flower arrangements at the dinner table. Fresh herbs just picked in a vase - stirs the desire for a great meal with fresh produce/herbs. I also had Hepatitis B 35 years ago from an ethnic restaurant that was shut down two days later.

    Thanks again


  • elayne001 profile image

    Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    One can never be too careful when traveling to other countries. It is a good thing now that the US government offers immunization against Hepatitis B when children are small.

  • profile image

    loriamoore 7 years ago

    Good to know. I do mission work in various third world countries, so I occasionally worry about health effects (malaria, et al). Good hub.

  • elayne001 profile image

    Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Yes, I am also learning many new things about herbs this week. It has been enlightening. Thanks Pamela99 and JannyC for your comments.

  • JannyC profile image

    JannyC 7 years ago

    Very informative. I have heard of them both but did not know it could help the liver. Wow

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Elayne, I hope the new herbal remedies are helping you get healthier. Very good hub.

  • Jen's Solitude profile image

    Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

    elayne001, what an informative hub. I appreciate learning about specific herbs for the liver. Thanks for putting this info together, as well as for sharing your personal story.

  • elayne001 profile image

    Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    You are very welcome Hello,hello. Glad you stopped by to check out my liver herb hub.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you every so much for a great advice. I strongly believe in natural remedies.