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Liver Detox & Cleanse: Best Herbs and Supplements (#2 Is Shocking)

Your liver is the second largest organ in your body next to the skin. Its natural function is to clean your body of the toxins it fights on a daily basis.

Without your liver you’d be sick within hours. Needless to say, it is one of the most important parts of the body. The liver keeps everything running smoothly by giving a balance to your circulation, digestion and hormones, by regulating fat and cleansing the blood.


Top Herbs To Include In a Liver Detox

These supplements can help cleanse and protect the liver from toxins which could compromise your health:

  • Schizandra – As a stage one and two liver cleanser Schizandra both cleanses and protects your liver making it my absolute favorite daily tonic to promote liver health.
  • He Shou Wu – A classic Chinese herb that boosts Jing and promotes a healthy liver and kidneys. It is also famous for preventing hair greying.
  • Milk thistle: This cleansing herb helps in blocking toxins because of its strong antioxidant content. It is often taken in capsule form and is taken daily for a long period to aid in repairing a damaged liver.
  • Lemons: powerful cleansing product that is not only good for the liver, but also for kidneys, lungs, the gallbladder, and digestive tract. A little warm water and lemon in the morning will rapidly hydrate your body preparing it for a days work.
  • Black walnuts: These can be found in either capsule or powder form if you don’t enjoy eating raw organic raw nuts. Black walnuts can be consumed daily for 30 days to rid the blood and liver of toxins.
  • Dandelion root tea: Probably one of the most popular herbal teas to support the liver this I definitely recommend either this or Schizandra for people in need of liver support. My personal recommendation is to drink dandelion tea in spring when you can harvest the leaves fresh from outside your home.

The Best Solution Is Prevention

While all the above supplements and herbs are great to use, the best liver detox supplement is prevention, which is only possible by striking balance and harmony in your body. Eating a healthy diet, minimizing alcohol consumption, drinking lots of filtered water and getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night are the best way to a healthy liver.

Consuming large amounts of junk foods and alcohol can cause liver toxicity. These unhealthy substances to get caught in the liver, which can cause it to work very hard. A steady diet of junk will eventually make the liver look like a wet and dirty sponge that needs to be washed out. The liver becomes fatty, blocked, or bloated once it becomes congested since it could no longer filter blood. This could eventually lead to high cholesterol that will put the person’s health in jeopardy.

A person can only survive for a day or two once the liver shuts down. Even then, the liver is an incredible organ that regenerates new tissue even when compromised by 75%!

Liver Detox Home Remedy

Experts such as organic herbal dieticians and practitioners of Chinese medicine believe that a drastic detox of the liver is not the answer since this is the organ that works hard to rid the body of toxins.

The safest and best liver detox supplement is food. Your liver can be cleansed naturally just by not eating toxic foods and instead eating foods with high levels of natural metabolites and low calories like fruit and avoiding fats. This combined with minimal alcohol intake and lots of water can fully detoxify your liver over a 1-2 month period adding potentially years to your life.

Herbal Supplements for Liver Support

This liver detox process can be greatly improved with the help of some liver detox herbs, I know I keep telling you about Schizandra but it is just the best if you are looking for a high functioning liver. But just because I am telling you about a “secret Chinese herb” doesn’t give you an excuse to avoid your superfoods adding dark green leafy vegetables, mint, ginger, and beetroot into your daily diet are the best way to make sure your liver remains healthy and vibrant.

Next let’s learn more about the basic function of the liver and why you might want to consider a healthy liver support supplement and/or health regimen.

What is the function of your liver?

The liver is one of the body’s vital organs and the second largest next to the skin. Its function is to process all that the body eats and consumes and absorbs (including the air we breathe) and turn these into energy (glucose) to sustain bodily functions. It accumulates all nutrients and feeds them into the other cells and organs of the body. It filters the blood and cleans or detoxifies the body.

Why do people seek Liver support?

The liver is constantly subjected to battering and the stress that toxins bring together with the food that is eaten. These toxin sources are alcohol, carcinogens, preservatives, pesticides, germs, heavy metals, residues from medicines taken etc. that harm the body. These toxins are filtered out of the blood by the liver and manufacture bile to aid in digestion and secrete hormones and enzymes for sustained healthy body function.

While the liver works hard to eliminate all these toxins, some are retained. This is why the liver needs support to sustain its food processing and cleansing functions in terms of lifestyle changes and the taking of liver strengthening supplements.

In addition to liver support supplementation the following habits are the basic things you can do to maintain a healthy high functioning liver.

  • Avoid eating GMO food and conventional food treated with pesticides
  • Don’t consume fried food
  • Don’t eat transfats, and hydrogenated fats
  • Increased portions of fruits and vegetables (specifically raw and organic).
  • Reduced alcohol intake
  • Use natural household cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoid smoking and pollution

Best Liver Support Supplements

SchizandraThere are a number of supplements that strengthen the liver and/or aid in the process of detoxification.

Glutathione, an antioxidant and aids in detoxification; schizandra which is a berry-like fruit from ancient China which strengthens the liver and contains the five basic flavors of Chinese herbal medicines; milk thistle an antioxidant which promotes protein synthesis, blocks toxins, and the growth of liver cells and resists the harmful effects of cell-damaging oxidation; N-acetyl Cysteine in Glutathione which facilitates an effective and efficient and healthful detoxification process; and alpha lipoic acid a natural substance produced by cells which processes food eaten from glucose into energy for the use of the body’s cells and organs.

Growing in popularity for their effectiveness, efficiency, and safety, Schisandra and Shilajit outperform all other liver supplements available in the market. Scientific researches show that both supplements are excellent anti-oxidants which cleanse the liver of toxins, purify the blood, support kidney health and reduce the damage of free-radicals on body cells among others which include anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic , anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-aging, and the mental enhancing features for shilajit and anti-toxic, anti-allergenic, anti-depressant and anti-fatigue attributes for schizandra. Schizandra is, in fact, popularly used for the treatment of liver diseases such as hepatitis as illustrated by DBD, a schisandra-based liver treatment developed by the Chinese.

These two natural products are popularly distributed as an herbal tea and tonic drink in the Chinese, Korean, Himalayan, and Russian contexts in support of general physical well-being, the health of liver and kidney, and the enhancement of spiritual power.

Thus, as stimulants, both natural products are effective and safe substitutes for caffeine-based coffee.

Schizandra, a berry, is the best herb in the roster of Chinese traditional medicines and Shilajit, a highly-prized phytochemical, is derived from decayed plants found in the cracks of rocks in mountain sides. Purblack, a Shilajit-based product, neutralizes the effects of alcohol which is a major cause of liver ailments.

Both products can be safely consumed in recommended quantities. Caution must be exercised to ensure the consumption of purified Shilajit because of the presence of toxins, heavy metals, and gems given its origin as a natural product. Consumers are warned against the use of both supplements by pregnant women. Epileptics and those with hypertension or hyper-acidity must refrain from using Schizandra.

Benefits of liver cleansing

Do you know that your liver is your first defense against the harmful effects of toxins? Thus, it pays to ensure that your liver is clean. The most important liver cleanse benefits are the following:

  • Improved digestion for better health
  • Weight loss and management
  • Clear and healthy skin
  • Clear and alert mind
  • Control and prevention of high blood sugar
  • Stronger immune system
  • Flush out toxins in the body more effectively
  • Clear your blood of bacteria and other pathogens
  • Improve your body’s absorption of nutrients including iron
  • Boost your metabolism for more body energy
  • Maintain the good balance of hormones in your body and optimize hormonal production including your sex hormones

How to do liver cleansing.

You have many ways to do liver cleansing, but it pays to choose and start with natural methods. One of the best natural methods is to use herbs for liver cleansing.

The most effective liver cleanse herbs are the following:

  • Dandelion is a weed with multiple health benefits including cleansing your liver. It contains flavonoids that have the ability to purify the blood that lessens the load the liver has to do.
  • The WebMD lists milk thistle and schizandra as effective herbs for liver cleansing. These herbs do not only detoxify the liver, but they can also protect its cells against the damage caused by free radicals.

You can create your own liver cleansing tea using these herbs, or you may also choose to take them as your dietary supplement.

The Best Liver Cleanse Supplements

If you want convenience without compromising quality, then it pays to know how to choose the best liver cleanse supplement. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Limit your choices to supplements that come from reputable manufacturers and sellers. They have a reputation to protect, so your chances of getting high quality and genuine supplements are greater if you purchase from them.
  • Check the ingredients and make sure they are natural and effective, such as the three herbs mentioned earlier. The product should have enough studies to back it up.

For instance, milk thistle has several research findings that prove it’s effective in detoxifying and protecting the liver. However, you also have to consider the manufacturer as well as the legitimacy of the seller to be able to get the best from liver cleanse supplements.

Live Cleansing Diet

Here’s a simple water infusion recipe to cleanse your liver. This recipe is easy and quick to make:
Ingredients: about eight (8) pieces strawberries, one medium-sized lemon cut into slices, purified or filtered water.

  1. In a mason jar, mix your strawberries and lemon.
  2. Pour your purified or filtered water over the mixed ingredients.
  3. Place the jar in your refrigerator for about six (6) hours or overnight.
  4. Enjoy your refreshing drink that will also cleanse your liver.

Strawberries and lemons are rich in nutrients that can flush out toxins from your body systems including your liver. These fruits will make it easier for your liver to do its job. Why not benefit from this simple natural liver cleanse recipe?

Top 10 Ways to Protect your Liver (n.d.) Available from: www.cncahealth.com (accessed on 2 September 2014)
The Top Five Supplements Everyone Should be taking: Liver Support (n.d.) Available from: www.optimumhealthvitamins.com (Accessed on 2 September 2014)
Liver Functions and Support (n.d.) Available from: www.swansonvitamins.com (Accessed on 2 September 2014)
Top 5 Supplements to Support your Liver (n.d.) Available from: www.hepatitiscentral.com (Accessed on 3 September 2014)
Schizandra (n.d.) Available from: www.dragonherbs.com (Accessed on 8 September 2014)
Shilajit (n.d.) Available from: www.dragonherbs.com (Accessed on 8 September 2014)
Gallardo, Carlos Carrasco et.al. (n.d.) Shilajit: A Natural Phytocomplex with Potential Procognitive Activity Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles (Accessed on 8 September 2014)
Shashi, Alok et.al. (n.d.) Herbal Antioxidant in Clinical Practice: A Review. Available from: www.ncbi.n;m.nih.gov/pmc/articles (Accessed on 9 September 2014)

Lastly, I want you to know that I personally get almost all of my herbs from Lost Empire Herbs. Their sourcing is the best in the business and many of their herbs are grown in the USA. Click here to learn about their patented Full-Spectrum Extraction process and get 15% off your first order! Tip: Be sure to sign up for their newsletter at the top.

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28 thoughts on “Liver Detox & Cleanse: Best Herbs and Supplements (#2 Is Shocking)”

  1. What is the inner fresh hull of a black walnut? As far as I can see, there is an outer hull but no inner hull. Inside the outer hull is a hard shell that encloses the edible meat of the black walnut.

    • Most use the outer hull, which is thick and green and very smelly and stains, turning black over time. Perhaps you want the inner shell of that part? But everyone so far has said you make the tincture out of the fleshy, green outer hull. I hope this clears things up. I have no idea what inner hull inside the hard shell you are looking for..there has never been any in my walnuts either. I think there has been a confusion on your part, perhaps, of the hard shell one cracks with a hammer or nutcracker and the green fleshy hull. Hull and shell are not the same.

  2. Think of walnuts as peach seeds and the green hull as the peach. That’s what walnuts look like on the tree. Store-bought walnuts are ripe, compleat with hardened inner shell, which, in these walnuts, is considered the outer shell, especially by people who haven’t seen it growing on trees.
    Anyway, for those who go to the trouble to peel off the green stuff of unripe walnuts, pecans and other Juglans spp.: just slice it all up, there’s no need to divide the fruit into separate parts.

    • I get black walnuts as they fall from the trees. I remove the outer hull, leaving the nut in the shell, still wet and messy, capable of staining hands and clothes. This nut needs time to dry before shelling. Meat inside is convoluted, thus separating the meat from the shell after cracking with a hammer on a hard surface is laborious. I see the outer hull, removed in the first step, as one layer, don’t see any inner hull outside the hard shell.

  3. Don’t recall who mentioned they used black walnut tincture for Shingles, but I just had the opportunity to use it for this and it worked EXCELLENT.

    The woman came to me with a eruptive, itchy skin rash, for which I made a blend of Burdock, Nettles, Cleavers, Calendula & Chickweed internally (4-5x daily), and a salve mostly of Chickweed, Plantain & Violet, and been making slow, steady progress, but was having a really difficult time with the itching, and though she knew she shouldn’t scratch, it was simply unbearable. After a few weeks, she said she believed it was shingles, which she’d had as a child. Soon after I read the recommendation for black walnut, and had her apply the tincture topically. Since she started using it, she said the itching stopped almost immediately, and the rash is fading noticeably, and she is SO HAPPY not to be scratching all the time.

  4. The Black Walnut Hulls are harvested when the hulls have fallen off the tree and are green. Usually in the autumn. At this point – they are used as a paraciticiside and this seems to be the time(when the hulls are green) to use them to get rid of intestinal parasites. To make a tincture or salve or cream to handle skin fungus or eczema – it is best to make a tincture when the hulls are turning black. AT this time – the black gooey stuff between the walnut and the skin is the most potent. There ARE debates on this however, with some herbalists saying that ONLY the green hull should be used. The above is gleaned from Dr. Richard Schulze and Dr. Christophers notes and from (ahem) my own use where I have seen skin infections that have not had any success with various chemical remedies, vanish with Black Walnut tincture made from BLACK, GOOEY walnut hulls in alcohol. Here are some posts on it……….
    Love Penny

    Scientific Name: Juglans nigra, Juglans regiaSouthern California Black Walnut [Juglans californica Wats. var. californica]
    Other Names: Butternut, Oilnut, English Walnut.

    Medicinal Properties and Actions: Vermifuge, tonic, alterative, laxative, astringent, warming. It affects the colon, small intestine, spleen.

    Target Ailments Taken internally for Constipation, intestinal worms and parasites,warts, and mouth sores.Applied externally for: Ringworm, scabies, eczema, herpes, psoriasis,sores, pimples, athlete’s foot, jock itch and cold sores. Preparations Over the counter:Black walnut is available as tinctures, extract, dried bark, leaves and fruit rind.
    At home: Decoction: Bark simmered in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Gargle: Decoction used as a mouthwash or gargle to treat mouth sores.Extract: Rubbed on the affected area twice a day.Poultice: A poultice made from the green rind of black walnut and applied to the sites of ringworm.Habitat:Black walnut grows in many parts of North America, as well as in Europe.Traditional uses:The hulls over the nut can be used as a very mild natural laxative (Native Americans made a tea from the leaves) that will neither impair the digestive functions nor cause nausea, irritation or pain. In addition, black walnut helps with intestinal problems and relieves various skin irritations. It can also be used to treat sore throats,tonsillitis, hemorrhoids, ringworm (Native Americans used the bark…how I’m not sure), headaches (N.A. chewed the bark), sinus problems and thyroid deficiencies. Black walnut is rich in tannins and contains a large amount of iodine,which makes it a good antiseptic. Also, the herb is believed to relieve toxic blood conditions. And some evidence indicates that, if used internally over a long period, the herb will help eliminate warts caused by viruses.Leaflets are rich in chemicals called “polyphenols” that are an excellent defense against insects. These polyphenols, though, accumulate in the soils around the walnut trees (the walnut roots also secrete these polyphenols) and act as a controlling, ecological force within the soil ecosystem.Considered by many to be a good travel companion for journeys in places where food and water may contain bacteria and parasites which cause nausea, stomach pains, and diarrhea. Some herbalists feel that using the green, undried pulp is superior as a parasitic than the dried form.Further, the black walnut is currently in demand because of the theory that parasites are at the root of colon disease. The tree has been used in local herbal practices around the world and continues to be used in countries from Pakistan to the United States. While the Black Walnut has many uses for the intestinal system, it can also be used as a preventive measure before problems ever begin to appear.

  5. Black walnuts (and other Juglans species) do _nothing_ for parasites. Instead,

    they’re extremely good at clearing up ileo-cecal irritability.

    And that’s what most people with “parasites” in fact have.

    Note, the leaf works just as well as the green fruit. And note, the juice of the

    green fruit (and leaf? I forget; haven’t picked it lately) stains everything

    black. That’s _everything_. A tincture of either works nicely, but you can dry

    the leaf or slice up and dry the fruit, and use those as a tea, too.

    As for parasites: if you’ve been diagnosed as having parasites, and the person

    diagnosing you took blood and stool samples and sent them on to a lab for

    analysis (ie. reliable tests that tell you _exactly_ what organism is feeding

    off you), you should ask your MD for meds. They’re pretty reliable, but above

    all, they’re _safe_. People have died from taking herbs for their tapeworms and



  6. ALL the old works say “good for digestive upset”. NONE of them say “good for

    parasites”. Show me somebody who has a parasite diagnosis from a doctor with a

    lab and I show you somebody who has that same diagnosis after a year-long course

    of black walnut.

    As for the personal accounts, which organisms did these people have, exactly?

    Ask them which lab tests were done to confirm the presence of their parasites.

    The “walnut is for parasites” craze ran wild with and after Hulda Clarke, who

    thought that all disease is dependent on parasites… not somebody I’d trust

    with my health

    After that it was picked up by kinesiologists… not somebody I’d trust to give

    me an exact medical diagnosis. Kinesiologists can be good, but most aren’t.

    The whole “use this herb for your parasites” thing is making herbal remedies

    ridiculous for _anybody_ who knows something about parasites.

    And that means there’s more people now who say “Herbal medicine? Bah, humbug.”

    than there were before Clarke’s parasite book.


  7. I think part of the problem is that some folks either haven’t ever seen a black walnut nut in it’s natural environment or have only seen it when full ripe and ready to crack for the nut meats.

    In the case of a green walnut nut (as in not yet ripe, the part that will become the hard shell is soft and easily sliced with an ordinary kitchen knife and the nut meats have not yet formed. There is the outer green colored leathery skin layer, the inner -not-yet-hard layer and then the middle will-become-the nut meat center mass.

    You will never see this unless someone goes into the woods and picks them from the tree.

    In the fall, after the nut meats ar ripe you have a green leather skin layer that stains your hands, a hard shell layer and the ready to eat nut meats. If late fall, you have a black mush layer, the hard shell layer and nut meats full of worms.

  8. Bacteria are FAR more numerous than body cells….as in how many of each fit

    on the head of a pin? Also, as others have pointed out, digestion isn’t

    simply a matter of the gut but is a process of every cell…and every cell

    requires bacteria to digest and transform “food” into nourishment.

    In my opinion infants shouldn’t be given any herbs…menthol or otherwise.

    Any herbal effects should come from mother’s milk…which contains fats is

    digestible through the stomach lining as the rest of an infant’s digestive

    system needs time to mature. The stomach fluids (and saliva) pre-digest

    milk and fats through abundant enzymes.

    To treat infant digestive distress with anything other than swaddling.

    rocking, warm baths, and massage is to do a disservice to them…allopathic

    or otherwise. Fennel, lavender and ajwan taken as a tea by the nursing

    mother in small quantities as well as correct diet on the mother’s part will

    do more than any medicines or herbs. If the mother is stressed and produces

    stress hormones that that effect will come through the milk and overly

    stimulate the infant. So, properly taking care of the mother is an absolute

    in preventing/minimizing infant gut problems. Then also consider that the

    first experience of “hunger pangs” and digestive flow is uncomfortable for

    any baby….likely to result in inconsolable crying from fright/distress

    until the digestive system and baby’s cognitive connections are more

    developed. So, not all crying over tummy spasms is necessarily bad…it

    often is a part of the awakening body.

    The gall bladder also needs maturing and experience in managing release of

    bile…so, while it may be functional at birth, it is not necessarily

    effective at the times food goes through the gut. Also the gall bladder is

    a holding tank for bile which develops a timed release based upon messages

    from the mouth and stomach (and sometimes from the olfactory system) that

    food has entered the system and will need processing. Bile is still

    produced and enters the digestive system without benefit of the gall bladder

    …maybe not so efficiently but still in response to food triggers.

    (Giving babies soy is a risky venture as we have learned in recent years…

    due to stimulation of reproductive systems that also haven’t “learned” to

    metabolize and manage soy concentrates).

    The whole function of colostrum in the first 24-72 hours is to help the

    infant gut and other tissues with enzymes and antibodies it does not yet

    recognize” from protection in utero. You know the baby gut is more mature

    when the feces begin to take on more shape and smell. Littlest one’s feces

    are sweet smelling and soft….a Kapha trait reflecting the Kapha nature of

    infancy. The Pitta stuff shows up later on “cranking up” the heat through

    bile and more acidic components needed for more complex foods and

    nutritional transformation and absorption.

    If you give an infant menthols you are introducing salicylates among other

    things. Now, I don’t know about you, but I am wary of throwing aspirin

    effects into any body let alone a baby’s immature one.

    In my opinion, Henriette is correct in her to the point response regarding

    infants and herbs…gall bladder or otherwise.

    Best regards,


  9. I think one of the most ironic things about people obsessed with

    “detoxifying” or “cleansing” is that “treating” it is usually a short term,

    harsh process, rather than a long term, gentle one. People seem to find it

    so much easier to deal with themselves in an abrupt, forceful way than a

    sustained, gentle way. They’d rather drink a quart of olive oil to “remove

    stones” and throw up for a while than change the way they are living that is

    making them feel like they are sick. They buy senna/cascara sagrada/aloe

    “colon cleaners” they can take for a week to wring out their insides, but

    lose interest in using a gentle, nourishing alterative like Burdock over a

    long period of time because they can’t “feel it working”. Evidently you’re

    not “cleansing” effectively enough if the toxins aren’t being forcefully

    evacuated from you’re body.

    Most people are in a state of sub-clinical illness. They don’t feel alive

    and vibrant and inspired; they feel tired, depressed and disinterested, and

    their metabolism is all outta whack because of a poor diet and lack of

    exercise and too much stress… look around at the average 35-45 year old

    and you’ll see it clearly. Some will go to the doctor and get diagnosed

    with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, some will get sent for test after test

    for MS, MD, Lupus, or other terrifying names, which scares the bejesus (how

    do you spell that?) out of them and makes them feel worse. They need some

    kind of name so they can know that someone will “know what to do”. Others

    want to “be natural”, and go to someone who says “its not your fault, you

    have parasites (or candida, or “toxins”)… take this all natural formula”.

    Most of these people, in my opinion, simply don’t feel fulfilled in their

    lives, they stay at home, work, rush around, and have stopped doing all the

    things that they really love in life (doesn’t it seem like the first things

    people stop doing when they get stressed out & overwhelmed are the very

    things that they need in order to maintain their well being?). They feel

    lousy not only because of their poor habits, but because their body is

    trying to tell them to do something by feeling bad… it’s trying to get

    their attention.

    There are so many stories that we all have about people we’ve seen or helped

    that really wanted an herb to counteract the life they choose to live,

    something that would fix their problems without making them stop doing the

    things that cause them (“I’m not depressed because I’m not in love with the

    person I’m married too and I only stay in the relationship for our kids, I

    have a chemical imbalance”). I have a good friend whose 32 years old and

    starting to have all kinds of warning signs for problems down the road, but

    wants something he can just take when problems “flare up” and not an

    everyday tonic.

    I like to develope constitutional tonics for people, usually a blend of

    alteratives that will nourish them and focus on strengthening any weaknesses

    I see in them, to be used on a long term basis while a more specific

    medicinal blend is taken to address their acute complaint. They’re my

    favorite preparations ro make, each one is different, each one is custom

    formulated for that individual. Far too often, people use them till the

    acute problem goes away, then stop taking everything till the imbalance

    manifests again. Frustrating.

    That’s why I teach, because most people don’t understand the way that a

    traditional herbalist works, what “holistic” really means. They simply see

    herbs as “natural, safe” alternatives to OTCs & meds. The current trend in

    modern herbalism, led by the german/european “nutriceutical” companies and

    emphasis on clinical tests and standardized extracts, is only taking us

    farther in this direction. Almost everything the average person knows about

    herbs comes from marketing.

  10. I think the secret of tasty teas is, I know what the herbs taste like in tea,

    and can adjust accordingly. Also, if I know there’s a vile brew coming up, and I

    can’t add the top of the line taste modifier (that’s licorice root), I tell them

    they can sweeten their tea if they want to. After all, drinking sweetened herbal

    tea is better than not drinking herbal tea at all.

    The base of my teas is usually something bland, with more or less strong-tasting

    herbs thrown in on top. I pick lots of mallows, epilobiums and Galiums, for

    example. Also, most (but not all) people who come see an herbalist have “cool”

    livers, and need yellowdock or berberis, so most of my clients get that. All the

    rest is, hmmm, let’s take this … and this … and this … and a bit of this

    one …


    • That is something I would love to hear more about. I find a lot of the

      patient non-compliance issues I deal with are due to the taste. I of

      course love the taste of 95% alcohol tinctures right in my mouth,

      especially cayenne tincture, so I am just wierd i guess.

      Anyone have any favorite ways of making it taste ok without increasing

      the volume too much?


  11. That’s interesting that you actually like the taste of cayenne tincture. I

    do too, but am used to it.

    However, when it’s appropriate, I like to add cayenne to things I make for

    other people to keep them away from the “if a little is good, more is

    better” mentality. I usually ask how hot they like their food first, so I

    know roughly how much to use – enough to keep them from using too much, but

    not so much they won’t use the tincture at all. Then, to mellow it out, a

    little ginger and a teensy bit of orange and thyme.


  12. What would you use to counteract the taste of osha tincture? A smidge of

    osha in my tincture mix is as ruinous to taste as cinnamon or anise is to

    fragrance in my perfume hobby mixtures. I had hoped a smidge of wild

    cherry ally a glycerite would help, but only somewhat.


  13. Though I decidedly LOVE the flavor of Osha, I’m well aware it’s a plant

    people either love or loathe the flavor of. The ONLY formula I keep around

    pre-prepared (can something actually be “pre”-prepared? well, you know what

    I mean) is what I call “Oshanasnea syrup” – a blend of equal parts Osha,

    Echinacea & Usnea tinctures in maple syrup (REAL maple syrup of course).

    Use about 30-60 drops combined tincture per tablespoon of syrup. The Maple

    blends beautifully with the flavor of Osha, and you can even make a tasty &

    effective syrup by steeping dried Osha Root in Maple syrup over low heat for

    an hour or two.

    So: Osha + Maple = yummy!

  14. Another thing is that some used the root rather than the hull and some

    used the whole nut before the internal nut began to fully formed and

    hardened. Others used black walnut alone and yet other mixed it with

    wormwood or tansy.

    All the old time recipes and uses I found were from before 1900.

    I find this debate very interesting and use all debates as a base for

    my own research.


  15. As we all know, the major peppermint types are M. pulegium, M. piperita and

    M. aquatica.

    The essential oil composition in each of these vary. They also vary

    depending on location, climatic conditions etc.

    Generally these are the accepted main volatile oil composition of peppermint


    menthol, menthone, pulegone, limonene, cineole, isomenthone, menthylacetate,




    So, as you can see the research was carried out on rats and then

    extrapolated to humans. I know a lot of herbalists are against research data

    from animals. Well, I am not against the data. I am against the ethical

    issues. I could not see myself carrying out toxicological tests on animals,

    so I had to quit scientific research.

    Peppermint oil is not safe for babies, but it is not because of menthol.

    Pulegone in peppermint oil is metabolized by P450IIB in the liver to

    menthofuran which causes hepatocellular necrosis. Menthofuran is also

    changed in the liver to delta-ketoaldehyde which is the ultimate chemically

    reactive metabolite.

    It was proposed that the delta-ketoaldehyde formed from menthofuran

    contributed to the toxicity mediated by pulegone in two ways:

    1. the delta-ketoaldehyde can covalently bind to macromolecules resulting in


    2. it acts as a precursor in the formation of a putative ultimate toxic

    metabolite p.cresol.

    From my research, I found out that menthol and limonene oxide are highly

    potent inducers of P450IIB1. This means that they will stimulate the

    detoxication of other chemicals. So menthol is safe.

    That was my experience as a scientist.

    From my experience as a herbalist, I have successfully used menthol in

    combination with other essential oils to cure babies who were classified as

    asthmatics. I stopped their albuterol treatment and used essential oils

    instead. Menthol was the active ingredient. These are newborns and infants.

    Some of them are now 6 years and others 5 year old at this present moment.

    None of them is asthmatic. They are all very healthy with no health



    The gallbladder appears 27 – 30 after conception. During the fourth week,

    the liver, the gallbladder and the biliary duct system arise as a bud from

    the foregut. The liver grows rapidly and soon fills most of the abdominal

    cavity. Hemopoiesis(formation and development of blood cells) begins during

    the sixth week; this activity is mainly responsible for the relatively large

    size of the liver during the second month. By nine weeks the liver

    represents about 10% of the total weight of the fetus.

    The small caudal portion of the hepatic diverticulum expands to form the

    GALLBLADDER. The stalk connecting the hepatic and cystic ducts to the

    duodenum becomes the Bile duct.

    So before the baby is born, he or she has a working (functional)


    One in every 10,000 to 20,000 infants may develop biliary atresia. An

    ultrasound test may detect an absent ot tiny gallbladder.

    For the first 10 – 15 days after birth, a newborn has a relative lack of

    stomach acid. A child does not have adult values of stomach acidity (pH)

    until two years of age. This factor may lead to increased absorption of

    certain substances depending on their pH and pKa values. Furthermore,

    stomach emptying in the newborn is irregular, unpredictable, and prolonged,

    reaching adult values at about six to eight months of age. The slower

    emptying time leads to increased absorption of various medications, herbs

    etc because of increased contact time with the GI tract. This does not mean

    that most of the enzymatic digestion and absorption is carried out in the

    stomach. That function is naturally carried out in the small intestines. The

    stomach factor is a time factor.

    *NOTE: The supervisors on that research project are Prof. Walker, who was at

    the time the Chairman of the World Health Committee on Food Additives. Dr.

    Ioannides is a world leader in liver metabolizing enzymes.

    Dr. Georges-Louis Friedli, PgDip., MSc., CHt., RH., RB., Ph.D.

    Herbalist, Scientist & Hypnotherapist

  17. Sorry, what I meant was the biogenetic arrangement for the peppermint oil

    constituents of various species of Mentha. It is basically a phytochemistry

    classification for species which can be used to produce peppermint oil.

    For example: Japanese peppermint oil is derived from Mentha canadensis. Some

    Indian peppermint oil is derived from Mentha arvensis. European, American

    and Brazilian peppermint oil are mostly derived from Mentha piperita.

    The classification of peppermint type oils is based on the type of cyclic


    This is not a botanical classification.

  18. It helps to be more precise: if you say “Mentha arvensis” without adding the

    “var. piperascens” people are just going to look at you with their jaws on their

    knees. Mentha arvensis smells vile and tastes about the same. Unless, of course,

    you run across some which tastes nice – and in this case, “run across” is an

    exact term: I’ve found a patch in the wild that smells and tastes of clary sage

    – exquisite. Some of it is now in my garden.

    AFAIK, it’s Mentha arvensis var. piperascens which yields Japanese peppermint

    oil, and that oil contains 80 % (some say over 95 %) menthol.

    Again AFAIK, all other peppermint oil comes from Mentha x piperita. The British

    cultivar ‘Mitcham’ is the best of the lot; it’s simply _loaded_ with menthol.

    To me, pennyroyal is anything _but_ a peppermint plant. It’s much on a par with

    M. arvensis or M. suaveolens – yech. Unless you know of a peppermint-like

    cultivar of it, like the Mentha arvensis one?


  19. Michelle is right – the gut flora take on RADICAL changes any time you

    introduce something other than breastmilk. This accounts, in part, for the

    different smell. And of course, because breastmilk so easily digested,

    there’s very little bulk to the stool. Formula fed babies’ stools are NOT

    sweet smelling, and depending on how well their bodies can tolerate the cow

    or soy milk, they’re often not liquidy or soft.

    *We did this soy milk thing yesterday, but as far as other formulas are

    concerned, some of the change is related to the bigger quantities ingested

    through a bottle…same for bottle fed livestock. We are SO proud when the

    baby eats a lot even though tiny tummies are designed for small amounts at a


    If too much formula goes through at once it sets up an Ama condition where

    instead of digestion you have a breeding mass of the bad kinds of bacteria

    or an overgrowth of good bacteria..leading to thrush, gastritis, and other

    ills. In the “old days” people made up their own formulas with fresh cows

    milk, sweetener, even ( horrors!) egg yolk. At first it was usually milk

    and corn sweetener or molasses ( a nice laxative if meconium hasn’t passed

    completely and colostrum isn’t available). So, in the absence of breast

    milk which is ideal….some formulas can be pretty good and not produce

    digestive problems or bad smells. When in doubt, make up your own formula

    if breast milk isn’t available. I’ll best a lot of doolas and midwives are

    wise in this tradition.

  20. Natural Herbal Extracts on Streptococcus mutans

    Would you think that there is a herb that is effective against Streptococcus mutans?

    Would you think there is a herb, or herb combination that promotes the

    general well-being of the aspects of body wellness that reduce the tendency

    for Streptococcus mutans to thrive?

    Kindest regards,

    Kevin Chisholm

  21. Went to herbal detox/weight loss seminar sponsored by Standard Process (well known medicinal herb company in US.)

    During lecture on liver’s detox of chemicals, phases 1 and 2, I asked about solanine sensitivity. Lecturer said if the liver is functioning properly, normal ingestion of solanine containing foods should not be a problem, that liver should be able to render it harmless. Any knowledge or experiences on this?

    Good page outlining mechanisim of solanine’s effect on body: http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/courses/as625/1999term/andrew/toxic.htm

  22. > When you take a capsule with powdered herbs, all those
    > constituents are still in there when it will probably hit your
    > intestinal tract and be digested. I don’t have a clue whether she is
    > right or not. Anyone care to comment on this??

    What does amylase do in our saliva if not digest things?
    What do enzymes and acids in our stomach do if not digest things?
    What the gut does is take up things. But we do that in the mouth and stomach, too.

    And of course the gut also digests things.

    Things I wouldn’t do in capsules:
    – bitters – if you don’t taste them they don’t work
    – Echinacea, kava, and other herbs that work really fast through lymph nodes in the mouth
    – gut fillers like flax seed – those need lots of water in order to work, and you can’t fit enough water into a capsule

    Things I would do in capsules:
    – peppermint oil in oatmeal, or in cornmeal – because if you swallow pepperminted oatmeal without its capsules none of the peppermint will reach the gut where it’s needed
    – really disgusting herbs like valeriana (even if the tea isn’t all that bad really) and saw palmetto (except that people tell me, when I give it ’round for a taster, hmmm, yes, it’s bad, but it’s not all that bad really)
    – things that need to be powdered up in order to work, like milk thistle – because if you powder it up and leave it in a jar it’ll oxidize slowly but surely, but if you pack it by hand into capsules, tight, it won’t have all that much oxygen in there so it’ll keep a tad longer

    I don’t do all that much capsules really – I prefer teas and tinctures, or chewed-on dried roots.

  23. Cilantro is noted for its ability to remove toxic metals, such as mercury, from the system. However, the caution is that if one takes “too much” cilantro, then toxic levels of mercury can be released all at once, with a possibility of being redeposited elsewhere, and perhaps becoming lodged elsewhere in a more damaging location. On the other hand, “too little” cilantro may mobilize the mercury in a way that it can be taken up by other sites before it can be eliminated. I hope there is an established protocol that you can follow, but if there is not a presently proven procedure, I would suggest for your consideration starting with a Cilantro tea twice a day for a week, and then at the end of the week, double the strength of the tea for another week.

    It would be wonderful if you had a means of quantitatively analysing for mercury content in the urine. This would make the management of the treatment much easier and certain.

    Given that cilantro will cause mercury to be released, it will also cause the release of other elements. There may be a removal of “good elements” if the cilantro treatment it too intense, or too lengthy. What holds for cilantro would no doubt hold in principle for Ground Ivy.

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