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Herbs for Healthy a Body.

Updated on April 5, 2012

Liver Supporting Herbs

Milk Thistle in bloom.
Milk Thistle in bloom. | Source
Yard of Dandelions.
Yard of Dandelions. | Source
Red Sandalwood shavings.
Red Sandalwood shavings. | Source

Herbs for Liver Care

Dandelion root is one of the greatest herbs to support liver health. Every part of dandelion is beneficial to the liver and body.

You can harvest dandelion from the wilds of someone's yard and use the entire plant. Be careful, there are other weeds that resemble the dandelion. The other danger is weed killer. Dandelion is not the easiest plant to clear your yard of. Plants do absorb the toxins, rendering the dangerous to use.

The leaves are harvested and dried prior to the bloom. The blooms are harvested and dried before they turn to seed. The roots are harvested during August, dried, and used in capsules or tea.The parts may be combined to create a complete tea.

Milk Thistle seeds are used to create a powerful liver tonic. Ground and powdered and capsulized for easy swallowing. Or use the seeds as a tea, infusion, or tincture.

Red Sandalwood is a little unknown liver care herb. Traditionally used in Chinese medicine, it helps to staunch blood flow, cleans the liver, and ease pain. The other traditional use has been as a dye. Use caution as it has been known to cause skin irritations. The other caution is to ensure you are using the correct red sandalwood, not the aromatic sandalwood.

All herbs are made into powder, tea, tincture, and infusions. Each one has a different benefit.

Powder is either placed in capsules, for those who do not mind swallowing capsules, or used as a tea. Another way to use powdered herbs is to mix a teaspoon to tablespoon full with a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal with a teaspoon of honey. Some herbs do not taste good, in which case capsules are the better choice.

Tea is the process of boiling water and steeping the herb for three to five minutes. Sipping and relaxing are great ways to enjoy your tea. An average three to four cups of tea daily is required to receive the full benefit. Dandelion leaves and blossoms make a great sun tea. Fill your jar with herbs and water, seal and set in the sun for three to four hours.

Tinctures are created by soaking herbs in apple cider vinegar (organic) or 99% proof alcohol for four to six weeks. The benefit to using herbs and apple cider vinegar is both ingredients are beneficial to the body. Fill your jar half full of herb, cover with apple cider vinegar. Both should be organic. If you are using a canning jar, the lid should not be metal, or place a piece of waxed paper between the jar and lid. Vinegar will corrode metal lids. Place in a dark, cool spot for 6 weeks. When ready, strain and squeeze the herb dry. Store in a cool cupboard. Use a tablespoon each day or make a salad dressing. Be creative. An alcohol tincture is made the same way. Use only a few drops at a time. Do not use alcohol tinctures if you have liver problems.

Infusions are easy. Fill your jar about half full, pour boiling water to cover the herbs. Let stand for eight to 12 hours. Herbs that are stimulants can sit over night for use during the day. Strain and squeeze the herbs dry. Refrigerate, serve over ice with lunch. If your drink tastes too strong, dilute with water to taste. Use the herbs in your compost or garden.

The infusions and teas may be used with honey or stevia. Do not use artificial sweeteners or sugar. You defeat the purpose. Use one herb at a time. If you have an adverse or allergic reaction you will know for sure which one it was. Mixing herbs without knowing if you are allergic is not wise. Plants have their hazards when not respected. Always remember less is more when using herbs.

Pregnant and nursing moms, should not use any herbs without consulting a doctor first.

If you have had problems with your liver, have a liver disease, do not use herbs without consulting a naturopathic doctor or your doctor.

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    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 11 months ago from Peru, South America

      I feel it's important to cleanse the liver regularly, although I do my best to eat cleanly. Milk thistle is my herb of choice. I've never heard of using red sandalwood for that purpose. Thank you for sharing!

    • connieow profile image
      Author

      Connie S Owens 3 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      dali48, My deepest apologies. Did not realize there was a spam folder to sort through, all your comments ended up in the spam folder. Just happened to be looking through different parts here and found them. Thank you for your insights and suggestions on using dandelion and nettle. I use a nettle infusion nearly daily and tincture with apple cider vinegar. Thank you again.

    • connieow profile image
      Author

      Connie S Owens 3 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      Vespawoolf, my apologies in approving this. I have been distracted for some time. I have found herbal remedies far safer and easier to use, less to no side affects. Thank you vespawoolf.

    • connieow profile image
      Author

      Connie S Owens 3 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      Benjamin, thank you for your comment.

      My grams told me when she was a child they were sent into the areas surrounding their home to pick dandelions for a salad. Her fond childhood memories.

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 3 years ago

      Great content connieow. Thumbs up, useful and awesome. Never knew Dandelions can be used to improve the health of one's liver. I have also not heard of Red Sandalwood before, but I am now more informed about it. The hub makes it more clear that nature has most of the health solutions we seek in artificial medicines.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I've always wondered how tinctures are made! I'll have to keep my eye out for dandelions here in Peru. I've seen them in some places, I think. A friend of mine took powerful medicine to kill parasites and ended up with a damaged liver. With regular use of milk thistle, she is slowly recovering. I've always used black walnut and wormwood for parasites. Thanks for this helpful information. I look forward to more of your articles!

    • connieow profile image
      Author

      Connie S Owens 5 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      Thank you dali48 and Stephanie for your kind comments. Dali48, I did not consider freezing them. Kewl. :)

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 5 years ago from New Jersey

      I just starting buying my herbs for the season yesterday. I love learning information about natural ways to make our bodies fit and healthy. Thanks.

    • connieow profile image
      Author

      Connie S Owens 5 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      Thank you jaswinder64. Your comments are appreciated.

    • jaswinder64 profile image

      jaswinder64 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada.

      A great hub with a lot of useful information about herbs. So many benefits from dandelion, I never knew before.Thanks for writing. Good hub!

    • connieow profile image
      Author

      Connie S Owens 5 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      Thank you Olde Cashmere. I appreciate it.

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Great writing and loaded with useful information. Getting more into tinctures and teas is something I could see myself doing. Milk thistle and dandelion are really getting me curious. Thank you for a great hub and keep up the good work (: Voted up and useful.

    • connieow profile image
      Author

      Connie S Owens 5 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      I have yet to find the dandelions, but where I use to live nettles grows weedy everywhere. Brought seeds with me to use here. I love having them with my salads.

    • connieow profile image
      Author

      Connie S Owens 5 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      too late, did not realize I added too many links. but thank you. Got over zealous.

    • Randy M. profile image

      Randy McLaughlin 5 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      I have used Mountain Rose Herbs as a resource before and they are a good company to work with. But you might want to be careful about over-promoting on this page. More than one link to the same place will be flagged. Thanks for your information.