Wed | May 23, 2018

Keep your liver clean

Published:Tuesday | March 12, 2013 | 12:00 AM

THE LIVER is a large and important organ located in the upper right side of the abdomen, below the rib cage and diaphragm. It is dark red in colour and holds about one pint of the body's total blood volume at any given time.

This organ regulates the levels of many substances in the bloodstream, and all the blood flowing from the digestive tract must pass through the liver to be processed. Experts have identified more than 500 vital functions that the human liver performs, and this includes cleansing the blood and body. All the food and drink we consume, the drugs we use and all the environmental chemicals that enter our body, pass through the liver for detoxification when necessary.

In the process of detoxification (making toxins harmless), it creates a dark green liquid called bile. The bile is then passed into the small intestines where it helps to digest fats while carrying away waste products from the liver.

Our modern lifestyle and diet with its toxic load puts a great burden on the liver. A periodic liver-cleansing programme is of great benefit in maintaining optimal health. Individuals with chronic illnesses like cancer or who are on long-term medication or who live or work in a toxic environment, will particularly benefit.

The following is a suggested plan that helps to detoxify, protect and help regenerate this important organ, the liver:

Five day liver cleanse

It is convenient to have day four and five on a weekend or at a time when you can stay at home.

Days 1, 2 and 3: Drink 4 glasses of apple juice during the day and eat a healthy diet emphasising fruit and vegetables.

Day 4: Eat no sold food after lunch time. Drink lots of clean water, coconut water, herbal teas and fruit and vegetable juices.

6 p.m. - Take one level tablespoon of Epsom salt in a glass of water;

8 p.m. - Take another tablespoon of Epsom salt in a glass of water.

By this time you may be making repeated trips to the toilet;

10 p.m. - Mix one half glass of virgin olive oil and three quarter glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and shake the mixture vigorously in a closed container to mix it well;

Go to bed immediately after drinking the mixture and lie on your left side. You will probably have bowel movements during the night.

Day 5: Try to make this a quiet, restful day. Consume mostly liquids like herbal teas, shakes, coconut water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices and vegetable soups;

6 a.m.: Take another tablespoon of Epsom salt in a glass of water;

8 a.m.: Take one last tablespoon of Epsom salt in a glass of water.

You will see in the toilet several bright green gallstones of various sizes that you have passed out from the liver. These gallstones are formed in the liver from bile and can quietly clog the organ and contribute to many health problems. This liver cleanse can be done on a monthly basis until no more gallstones are passed, indicating that the liver is clear.

Other liver cleansers

Fortunately, the liver is endowed with a tremendous capacity to repair and renew itself. Surgeons have continued to be amazed at the liver's capacity to regrow itself after large parts of the organ have been surgically removed. The combination of the herb milk thistle and the antioxidants alpha lipoic acid, selenium and vitamin C is an extremely powerful combination for healing and restoring the ailing liver. Cilantro and chlorella can also help eliminate toxins, especially heavy metals, from the body.

Coffee enemas, Epsom salt and colon hydrotherapy help dilate the bile ducts and so encourage the release of bile and toxins. The regular daily consumption of a tablespoonful of virgin coconut oil daily helps to maintain a good bile flow. Beetroot juice and turmeric are also healthy for the liver and encourage bile flow.

Reduce your toxic load

Besides detoxifying your liver, it is important to cleanse your environment as much as possible of pesticides, herbicides, volatile household cleansers, air fresheners and other common man-made chemicals. Seek to keep to a minimum your consumption of prescription medication, over-the-counter and recreational drugs. These create an additional toxic burden on the liver. Alcohol is particularly harmful to the liver and should be totally avoided if your liver is ailing. Mercury amalgam dental fillings and root canal implants can also be the source of toxins that chronically pollute your body and liver.

You may email Dr Tony Vendryes at or listen to 'An Ounce of Prevention' on POWER 106 FM on Fridays at 8 p.m. His new book 'An Ounce of Prevention, Especially for Women' is available locally and on the Internet.