Spring is in the air!
I can see it all around as the blossoms emerge and usher in
the warmer weather. Are you ready? For me, part of getting ready this time of year
is a focus on cleansing and keeping my liver healthy.
Chinese Five Element Theory regarding the liver/gallbladder.
Spring is the best time to do a liver/gallbladder cleanse because energies to the liver and gallbladder are highlighted. It is associated with the Wood Element in Chinese medicine, symbolized by the “sprout”. According to the Chinese, the liver is about action, movement and goal orientation.
During this season, we have all the potential to move up and out to reach our goals
in the future. The liver energy brings insight, vision and clarity, which are great
attributes to utilize when planning. The Chinese say that the “liver opens to the
eyes”. This implies that when you have a highly functioning and healthy liver not
only do you have foresight and intuitive vision, but also that you will see clearly on
a physical level. When there is an imbalance in the liver, often the eyesight suffers
The largest digestive gland of the body.
The liver’s focus is with metabolism, synthesis and storage of nutrients, detoxification, balance of hormonal levels, production of body heat and bile secretion. When there are dysfunctions possible physical symptoms will be headaches, eye strain, muscle spasms, joint pain and menstrual problems. The liver governs these tissues. Emotionally, there can be restlessness, inability to get things done and general agitation. One may feel compulsive and may tend to complain. As an organ of heat anger is the emotion most associated with the liver.
Cleansing the liver.
There are a variety of ways to cleanse the liver. These include herbs, fasting, reflexology & massage, essential oils, and castor oil packs. Of course, what you choose to eat is critical for a healthy liver as well. Restricting intake of sugar, if you need tips read my article about sugar cravings. Cut out unhealthy fats and refined foods to help sustain vitality. These foods tend to inhibit proper function of the liver and could possibly bring about chronic fatigue, lack of concentration, mood and sleep issues, intestinal problems and cause a rise in blood pressure.
Essential oils for supporting and cleansing.
Massaging the abdomen in a clockwise direction with essential oils in a carrier oil can encourage detoxification of the liver. A gentle rocking massage motion on the liver will help to mobilize and strengthen the organ. Salt baths with essential oils are another way of detoxing the body. Consider foot reflexology to stimulate the production of red blood cells, cleanse the acids from the tissues and balance many body parts and organs.
Essential oils that positively effect the liver:
Helichrysum aids a tired and sluggish liver. It helps stimulate production and regeneration of new blood cells.
Lemon is a great cleanser, both internally and externally. The liver loves fresh lemon juice squeezed in water and ingested daily. The essential oil can be rubbed over the upper right side of the abdomen in the area of the liver to rejuvenate and clears out stagnation in the liver. It promotes healthy blood cells and tissue growth.
Cypress is warming and uplifting – just what a tired liver needs! It aids in relieving achy muscles, abdominal cramps and menstrual challenges including PMS and hot flashes. It also soothes menopausal imbalances (one of the liver’s function is keeping hormones balanced).
Clary Sage also helps with menopausal symptoms and can help ease nervous tension and anxiety. Clary Sage has the innate ability to bring anger up to be released (remember the liver’s emotion is anger). Use clary sage when it is appropriate to vent emotion.
Lavender and Rose are essential oils to help calm down the liver’s anxiety and aggression. They can help relieve headaches, migraines, pains in the body and most liver complaints by soothing tensions and alleviating stress.
Rosemary enlivens the spirits and stimulates the mind and body. It is a liver and gallbladder stimulant and detoxifier. Added to castor oil and use with the castor oil packs described below to help detoxify the liver.
(I support small businesses so for essential oils consider MONARA.)
Many green smoothies can also help with liver detoxification. Add parsley, kale,chard, watercress, cilantro, beet and dandelion greens to increase liver function. As long as you have a handful of raspberries or blueberries in there too, it will still taste good. It’s gotta taste good, right?
Liver Flush juice recipe
5-7 dandelion leaves
1 apple, cored
handful of parsley,
1 inch ginger peeled
1/2 cup filtered water
Blend all ingredients in high speed blender
Supports liver detox pathways, kidneys, bile production (to get rid of metabolized
hormones), and stimulates digestion.
Angela’s Morning Liver Detox Shake
handful of dandelion greens
handful of parsley
handful of cilantro
1/4 of ripe avocado
handful presoaked almonds or 2 T. almond butter
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1/2 cucumber, peeled
2 Tablespoons aloe vera juice
1 1/2 cups filtered water
Place all ingredients in high speed blender and blend until smooth
Benefits to the Body: This shake is the ideal liver cleanser. It’s stimulating and does
powerful work to keep your liver functioning at its best.
Castor Oil Pack
As I share in my book Aromatherapy for Menopause Success. When I’m feeling sluggish I do a castor oil pack a few nights a week before bed and it’s incredibly rejuvenating and beneficial for peri-menopause and menopause.
Improves Digestion, Assimilation and Relieves Constipation
Aids in Hormonal Balance (PMS for Women)
Detoxifies your Organs, Tissues, and Joints
Helps Reduce Inflammation and Pain
Supports and Reduces Stiffness and Arthritis
Stimulates the Liver, Lymphatic System, and the Immune System
small glass mixing bowl
wool flannel sheet
hot water bottle or heating pad
1 oz. hexane free castor oil
3 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)
4 drops Pink Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
2 drops Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
2 drops Thyme (Thymus vulgaris ct linalol)
2 drops Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
2 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone)
Mix all ingredients in small glass bowl and mix thoroughly.
Place the mixture onto the wool flannel sheet. Place the sheet
on your liver, which is located directly under your right
rib cage. Lay down in bed with a towel under you so that the
oily flannel doesn’t accidentally get on the sheets. Then, place
another towel over the castor oil pack before placing the hot
water bottle or heating pad on top. Use an old towel that you
don’t mind getting stained. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
Caution: DO NOT do castor oil packs during your period if you
are still menstruating. Do them before or after your period.
To learn more about maintaining a healthy liver along with other key hormones join my Hormone Balance Detox at