In This Article
The Invincible Liver?
The liver is the one organ that can take a lifetime of lickings and keep right on ticking—at least we thought so! Sadly, in recent years, the liver’s reputation for invincibility has been challenged by a growing incidence of liver and gallbladder-related concerns and conditions.
In today’s world, gallbladder concerns have become the norm. Worldwide, one out of four women over 60 will experience gallbladder issues.1 Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) is the most common elective abdominal surgery in America today, with over 750,000 per year. Gallbladder disease has increased 20% in the last three decades, costing America $6.2 billion a year in collective medical bills.2
What’s Underneath the New Liver/Gallbladder Crisis?
Processed food. The main ingredients used to preserve packaged foods are boiled, bleached, refined, and deodorized omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) or vegetable oils. These significantly extend shelf life of packaged food, but studies suggest they may shorten shelf life of those who consume them.
In one study, high consumption of these oils was linked to increased risk of liver, digestive, cognitive, and joint health concerns. In the same study, these risk rates went significantly down when consumption of refined omega-6 vegetable oils was reduced while increasing omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oils.3 In fact, intake of omega-3 fatty acids is currently being researched for potential positive effects on liver cell health in at-risk individuals.4
In the past few decades, intake of omega-6 fatty acids has risen sharply, while consumption of omega-3 and saturated fats has markedly decreased. The quickest way to reverse this trend is to read labels on packaged foods, and make an informed decision from there. If there is a vegetable oil in the ingredients, it is likely there as a preservative. You may find it difficult to find a packaged food without a refined and processed omega-6 vegetable oil!
5 Herbs to Support a Healthy Liver
Even thousands of years ago, Ayurvedic experts suggested herbs to shield the liver from toxins, poisons, stress, and the environment. Today, these herbs are needed more than ever to ward off higher levels of stress, pollutants, and toxins. Herbs that help detoxify the liver are bitter, and, sadly, many of us tend to avoid that taste.
- Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus amarus) is Ayurveda’s most revered liver-supportive herb. In one study, it supported healthy function of liver cells when exposed to oxidative stress from alcohol and PUFAs.5 In another study, bhumyamalaki enhanced liver cell recovery from mild to moderate alcohol exposure via stimulation of liver enzymes that combat alcohol-induced oxidative stress.6
- Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) are extremely bitter vitamin C-rich berries used for centuries to protect the liver and increase bile flow, while supporting healthy cell replication4 and blood sugar. Barberry is rich in an alkaloid called berberine and is a potent antioxidant and liver-protectant, reducing effects of oxidative stress from alcohol exposure and environmental toxins.7
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a bitter rhizome with literally thousands of studies suggesting benefits for skin, digestion, brain, and liver.8 For the liver, turmeric has been shown to boost the body’s natural antioxidants and liver- and brain-protectant properties when exposed to alcohol-induced oxidative stress.9,10
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) has been shown to exhibit antioxidant effects protecting both liver and kidneys when exposed to a wide array of toxins, including heavy metals, environmental toxins, and pollutants. Guduchi supports production of powerful liver-protective enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, which are all depleted when exposed to alcohol.11
- Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), or Indian Gooseberry, is a small fruit rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and nitric oxide-producing compounds.12 It has been shown to support healthy liver cells by increasing superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione.9 In another study, one of the tannoids in amalaki demonstrated protection against alcohol-induced brain mitochondrial dysfunction.13
These five herbs make up the LifeSpa formula Liver Repair, which I suggest to anyone looking for natural gentle liver and gallbladder protection. Have you tried it? What did you notice?
11 thoughts on “Dr. John’s Liver-Loving Herbal Blend: Amalaki, Turmeric, Barberry, Guduchi + Bhumyamalaki”
I’m wondering what I should do with my liver, it’s a bit hurting,= I can feel it in the morning often, with a slight pain, or pressfull feeling in that place. I do’nt use alcohol or sugar, I’m eating healthy, but I have some emotional stressfactors by now in my life. Years ago in screening they told me having had sg in my gallbladder earlier, it could be seen in pictures taken. Now I’m using some enzymes (Solgar) with bile ox. Yet some burping now and then. Dry skin and hair falling smwhat.
Maybe secundary hypothyroidism of bad liver functioning, Doesn’t turn T4 to T3, maybe????
And some heart issues, too, somewhat pressing. If i Strengthened my liver, it should help my heart according TCM, but how to do it, I have every day Turmeric-tea with my meal and love dandelions,when they start to grow here in Finland, we have ice still on the ground here. I registered to the liver detox-summit, but maybe have to look it afterwords, because it takes place in the middle of the night local time here. Thank you very much if it shall be recorded.
You may need to get a full liver panel test if you haven’t done so already and check for fatty liver. I’d also look up things that hurt your liver. Stress is one of the things that hurt your liver too. Also, if you have hypothyroidism, then you should definitely get a full liver panel test done. The liver also helps with some of the chemical processes that create thyroid hormones. You should look up and research on how to heal your liver. Also be wary of liver detoxes as they can do more harm than good. Some of them can put too much pressure on your liver.
Milk Thistle is one of the best for the liver as well
I am in desperate need of detoxing my body as I have a chemical build up in my fatty tissue that comes out even when I sweat causing severe dermatitis. One problem, I do not have a gallbladder anymore which is obviously one of the reasons I can not get the toxins out of my body. Any suggestions would be very helpful!
Hi Josi, thanks for reaching out. Start incorporating as many foods from this list as possible: https://lifespa.com/gallbladder-health-food-and-recipes/ check out this article as well: https://lifespa.com/gallbladder-or-not-10-tips-to-digest-fat/ For direct prescriptions and personal support please research the consultations we offer: https://lifespa.com/about-lifespa/ayurvedic-clinic/ Be well.
i’d depend on sulfur!
Very good one. Sulfur is used more in Europe now. Less competition, greed, backstabbing there between people, so they can open their mouths more honestly what works. Her, in USA, we like to fix people more slowly, if ever. Means, more profits in long run. Another day, another dollar. Also, don’t forget micronutrients, boron to. They are robed from us with Roundup (chelator), and with artificial fertilization.
Would this be appropriate if you have already had your gallbladder removed? Thanks!
Yes these herbs are very gentle and Dr. John has recommended many of them in other articles about digestion post gallbladder removal.
Just take it slow with the herbs and note how they make you feel.
If you eat ghee mixed with other foods and you get out green bile, does it mean you’ve flushed out valuable new bile or some of the old congested bile?
Try reading Dr. John’s Safe Liver + Gallbladder Cleansing eBook, it should answer your question.
You can download it for free here: livercleanse.lifespa.com