Written by Maddie Laberge, BSc, CHN
In Part One of my blog series I discussed food choices that I thought were easy to add into your diet for a healthier liver, which paves the way for glowing soft skin! You can check that article out here
It is now spring and it’s the perfect time to talk about the awesome herbs that are available to you for this season! I specifically want to discuss certain herbs that are known to cleanse the liver. These herbs have a name; they’re called “alteratives”, commonly referred to as Blood Purifiers. They have an ability to help the body assimilate nutrients and eliminate waste product, they are generally high in minerals and can help to bring the body to a more balanced pH! Wow! There is a wide variety of these herbs, but the ones I will focus on will be Burdock root and Dandelion root.
I’ll start with my favourite herb to attain a robust liver… Burdock!
Burdock Root is known to be well suited to those who have dry inflamed skin. Due to its bitter component, it is capable of warming and moisturizing the body from the inside out. (This is a great way to combat those cold rainy days!) The bitter component may be helpful to those who experience constipation due to a lack of poor bile secretion. Better digestion equals better bathroom visits! Also, if you find you are getting inflamed quite easily with symptoms such as dry itchy scalp, dandruff, or burning acne and boils, then Burdock root may be the right herb for you!
An interesting fact to mention, did you know Burdock root is one of the ingredients in the famous Essiac Tea formula? I won’t make any claims, but let’s just say this product has been around for many years and was discovered by a Canadian nurse who gave it to patients with cancer with what she claims were profound positive results. Essiac tea is a well-known, respected formula and is still popular today.
If you would like to try burdock root, there are multiple ways to use this herb. I would suggest the tincture (as directed) or 4 cups of tea a day, brewed on a low simmer for at least 15 minutes. The tea can be made from the dry root which is available in some health food stores, or you could buy the tea individually packaged for your convenience. If your taste palate is not familiar with “earthy tastes” then the flavour may not put a smile on your face, but remember that we are using this as a means to an end! So conjure up your courage and gulp down that tea! (Or mix it with peppermint and honey, which will sweeten it up and help you get it down with ease!)
The next herb I want to discuss is Dandelion root.
Oh Dandelion, you wild little flower! I do not know why this myth has continued through the years, but somehow we have been led to believe that dandelions are the enemy! Nothing could be further from the truth! I know they may seem like a nuisance to you with their bold abundance in the summer and their sly way of making themselves at home EVERYWHERE! But what if we saw dandelions for what they truly are? A gentle liver detoxifier, high in potassium and Vitamin A and an assortment of other minerals!
Dandelion root is similar to Burdock root in many ways in that it helps with stagnation. Meaning if you are constipated and the body is “stagnant”, due to poor bile production, Dandelion root may help. Someone who is prone to gallstones may do well to research this herb! One of the main differences between Burdock and Dandelion is that the latter is cooling. This is something to consider, especially if your tongue is burning hot! A “mapped” tongue as they call it, which looks red and patchy, may indicate a deep seated heat that needs to cool and thin out. I have recommended Dandelion root in capsules for a client of mine with a mapped tongue and she found relief within a couple of weeks! Furthermore, this herb has also been known to help improve conditions such as varicose veins, eczema, acne, boils, age spots, and the herpes simplex virus. What a powerhouse! It can be used in the same methods I have outlined as Burdock.
Due to the heating or cooling effect of these two different herbs, consider your climate and natural body temperature when choosing which herb you want to try!
For information on the awesome uses of dandelions, please check out a blog I wrote a while back for a more thorough understanding: Read here
Warning! Burdock and Dandelion may cause allergic reactions in a few people allergic to asteraceae.
There are plenty of other options to help clean up your liver and I will discuss them in in Part Three! Stay tuned!
If you would like to book a consultation with Maddie, she can be reached by e-mail here [email protected]
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.