Enlarged liver, jaundice, liver disorders, inflammation of the liver, torpid liver, cholagogue and cirrhosis of the liver.

Herbal Aids:

Liver Complaints, Enlarged Liver, Dyspepsia etc.: See formula using cascara sagrada and water. [SNH p.176]

Dr. Shook's Liver and Jaundice Compound: Especially good for a torpid liver. See formula using turkey rhubarb, aloe leaf, fringetree, Culver's root, wahoo bark, poke root and nux vomica seeds. [SNH p.186]

Liver Disorders: take about 10 grains of powdered mandrake and 5 grains of powdered cloves (Caryophyllus aromaticus; Eugenia aromatica) in honey. [SNH p.196]

Dr. Nowell's Compound Liver Capsule: See formula using mandrake root, Culver's root, dandelion, gentian, golden seal and cayenne. [SNH p.197]

Inflammation of the Liver: See formula using mandrake root, Culver's root, blood root and dandelion root. [SNH p.197]

Jaundice, Torpid Liver: Culver's root may profitably be used alone 3-5 drops of fluid extract (add cayenne where the pulse is weak); or, it is beneficially combined with positive hepatic stimulants (such as mandrake or bitter root) [SNH p.206]

Liver Secretory and Excretory Problems: See formula using Culver's root, mandrake and ginger. [SNH p.206]

Liver Tonic: See formula using bitter root, Culver's root, white poplar, ginger root, golden seal and cayenne fruit.[SNH p.209]

Liver complaints: See formula using boneset and butternut. [SNH p.227]

Liver problems, jaundiced skin: See formula using lobelia, pleurisy root, catnip and bitter root. [SNH p.363]

Cholagogue (liver): Simmer 1 tablespoonful of hops for 10 minutes in 1 pint of water and drink 1/2 pint morning and evening. [SNH p.396]

Wild Yam: for Liver affections, rheumatic pains, spasms. Take 1 to 3 cupfuls of cold wild yam decoction during the day. Mix this well with saliva, one mouthful at a time. [SNH p.403]

Wild Yam Decoction: Strong decoction of wild yam for hepatic congestion. See formula using wild yam, distilled water and glycerine. [SNH p.403]

Torpid (numb or lacking energy) Stomach and Liver, with Constipation: See formula using horseradish, gentian tincture, dandelion and syrup of orange. [SNH p.423]
Castor Oil Fomentation: to draw out poisons and flush them out of liver etc. In order to get rid of hardened mucus in the body, which may appear as cysts, tumors or polyps, the following fomentation is to be used:

Soak a piece of outing flannel or baby's diaper in castor oil, squeeze slightly so it won't drip much, then place over entire frontal torso (neck to groin and side to side). Place a hot water bottle (over the castor oil application) over the liver area (the liver is on the right side just above the waist). It should be noted that a heating pad is not too highly endorsed here, unless a wet towel is placed between it and the skin--but even then, a wet heat (such as the hot water bottle) is best. Leave all this on for 1 1/2 hours; the hot water bottle may have to be refilled with hot water several times, because it cools rapidly. The next three days, over the same area covered by the outing flannel and castor oil, massage in circular motion toward the heart with olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes.

The seventh day is a day of rest, not only from the fomentation, but every part of the program, drinking only water the entire day--and every seventh day thereafter will be done the same way. On the eighth day then, begin again with the castor oil for three days and so forth, along with the mucusless diet. the herbs, etc., until healing is accomplished. In the use of the fomentation, the castor oil goes through the skin into the liver area and lymph glands and starts drawing out the poisons and flushing them out, while the olive oil goes in and helps heal and rebuild new tissue. This procedure may have to be carried on between six weeks to six months to properly clean up the system, depending on the case. [SNH p.525]

Liver and Gallbladder: Dr. Christopher's Liver-Gallbladder Formula: To speed up the blood purifying process, it is good to have a good clean liver and gall bladder area. When the liver does not function properly, the bile does not excrete freely into the intestinal tract, and so it passes off into the blood stream and throughout the rest of the system, causing a toxic condition called cholemia, causing indigestion, sluggishness, fatigue, constipation, upset stomach, chills, vomiting and fever. Why wait until it gets to this condition? A combination of barberry (or Oregon grape root), wild yam, cramp bark, fennel seed, ginger, catnip and peppermint--will help promote the relief of this condition.

Suggested dose: 1/3 Cup or one or two capsules or tablets, 15 to 20 minutes before a meal. [HHH p.183]

Castor Oil: This oil can be obtained commercially and is used for the liver fomentation to open the capillaries of the liver. It is an excellent external healing oil for discomforts of windburn and is good for massage. But we never use castor oil internally or for a laxative. [NL 3-2] We often suggest opening up the capillaries of the constipated liver by applying a cotton or flannel cloth which has been soaked in hot castor oil over the area of the liver (on the right side of the body under the rib cage). Place a wet, wrung out hot towel over this cloth and a hot water bottle over that. Keep the fomentation warm for 20 minutes and then alternate with a cold towel fomentation warm for 20 minutes and then alternate with a cold towel fomentation for five minutes. Repeat the hot fomentation and then the cold. This can be continued for about an hour and a half. This has relieved pain of congestion in the liver and other organs such as the gall bladder and the pancreas. [NL 4-5]

Juices for Liver Trouble: Carrot-beet-cucumber, apple, dandelion, grapefruit, lemon. [NL 3-5]

Cayenne: Dr. Christophers many Cayenne Combinations: There are safer ways to stimulate the gall bladder. One is by taking cayenne pepper orally. This has been reported in medical journals to trip the gall bladder reflex and promote the flow of bile naturally. As we mentioned before, bile is concentrated toxic material recycled by the liver. It acts like a natural laxative. The gall bladder (known in certain surgical circles as "the gold bladder", as we mentioned in an earlier newsletter, because of the tremendous amount of money spent on yearly gall bladder operations), is a reservoir which stores the bile for timed release into the digestive tract where it mixes with other digestive aids. When this organ is removed, the caustic bile drips directly into the duodenum and can cause duodenal ulcers. Dr. Christopher's Liver and Gall Bladder Formula [Liver and Gallbladder], composed of barberry, wild yam, cramp bark, fennel seed, ginger, catnip and peppermint, can help safely promote the rebuilding of the diseased liver and gall bladder and help them to function normally because this formula is a specific food for these organs. The liver is recognized by medical science as a highly regenerative organ. it can rebuild itself even if there is only one-tenth of it functioning. [NL 4-8]

Juice for Cirrhosis of the Liver: Drink cabbage juice and eat raw or steamed cabbage. [NL 4-12]

Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice is considered by some to be the most potent or effective single liver rebuilder known to man. There seem to be only a very few people who cannot handle lemon juice. [NL 5-1]

Dandelion Coffee: Dandelion coffee is a good coffee substitute, although some claim that it is an insult to coffee and to Dandelions too! We like it very much, however. It is quite expensive to buy, but not difficult to make. Dig Dandelion roots and clean them thoroughly. Cut them into pieces and roast them slowly in a moderate oven until they are coffee-colored and crisp. Cool completely and store in a cool dry place, well-stoppered as they prone to infestation by moths and worms, having such a high sugar content. Prepare the coffee by simmering the quantity of roots desired to taste. Strain and add honey and milk or cream if desired. Taken daily, this is an excellent liver tonic as well as pleasant drink. [NL 6-11]


1. Carrot Juice: One of the most common misconceptions regarding carrot juice is that one will start to develop orange or yellow colored skin after steadily drinking the juice because of the carotene content in the juice. This is not true. The development of yellowish skin is due to the fact that carrot juice is a great liver cleanser and the toxicity within the body is coming to the surface. Keep up with the carrot juice and the symptoms will soon disappear. The formerly constipated liver is reconditioned once again to experience a free flow of bile the excess of which is eliminated through our largest eliminative organ, the skin. I have personally experienced this phenomenon during a time when we prepared hundreds of gallons of carrot juice a week for sale. Because the juice was so abundant and available, I drank it for nearly every meal...sometimes instead of meals. My wife soon commented upon the yellow cast which my skin began to take on. I continued drinking the juice, however, and within a week my skin color was back to normal. But my liver had gone through a wonderful cleansing! It is often a surprise to me that the most learned of health authorities will try to sell you the carotene theory without any sort of proof, personal experience or background. [NL 3-5]

2. Dandelion: A classic story about the use of Dandelion is often repeated. Around the turn of the century, A Dr. Sparks wrote,"Fifteen years ago I was afflicted with the liver complaint. I used all my skill trying to cure it but failed. I then tried two physicians, Doctors Wilson and Jordan, but without success. An old nurse told me that Dandelion was an effective folk remedy for this disorder, so I decided to try it. Using Dandelion promptly restored me to health. It then became my favorite prescription for liver complaint, either by the simple extract of the herb or by taking a teacupful of a strong decoction of it twice a day. In almost every instance I have succeeded in restoring those who have used this plant." (Lucas:Herbal:35). [NL 6-11]

See Also:

Liver and Gallbladder: Dr. Christopher's Liver-Gallbladder Formula
Cayenne: Dr. Christopher's many Cayenne Combinations

"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"