Liver support

Our liver is an incredibly complex organ, it is one of the few organs in the body that we cannot medically replicate the action of (in contrast to the heart and kidney, for example). The cells of the liver, the hepatocytes, carry out a number of roles all essential to the way our body stores and uses the nutrients it absorbs and how efficiently it disposes of waste.

Cirrhosis of the Liver and Fatty Liver

If an area of the body is damaged it does its best to regenerate itself, by reproducing cells identical to those that have been damaged. However, if the damage occurs at a quicker rate than regeneration can keep up with, then repair takes place as a second best option. This means that scar tissue is formed, which repairs the organ or tissue but cannot carry out the same function. In the liver, if the hepatocytes are consistently damaged by exposure to toxins such as alcohol, then eventually a scar (or cirrhosis) forms instead, and that area of the liver becomes unable to function. A precursor to the formation of the scar tissue is a build up of fat within the liver tissue (fatty liver).

Nature’s Answer to Liver Health problems

There are two very important herbs that can help Liver function: Milk Thistle contains a substance to silybum, which helps hepatocyctes to regenerate. Artichoke, or Cynara assists the function of the liver cells, which can lead to more efficient detoxification of the body – especially after a period of overindulgence or hangover! In general, the liver is stimulated by bitter plant extracts, so increasing bitter foods in the diet (such as bitter vegetables like cabbage, lettuce and brussles sprouts) is a good idea. You can also help your liver, and metabolism in general, get started in the morning with a glass of hot water with a slice of lemon or tablespoon of cider vinegar in it. Cloudy, organic cider vinegar  is preferable.


These are small compacted particles of cholesterol and salts, which usually flow freely from the gall bladder as bile, however if the bile becomes too concentrated these stones can form, causing irritation to the gall bladder (often after eating fatty foods) leading to intense colicky pain in the abdomen (left side) that can spread to the upper back. In serious cases the gall bladder can become obstructed by one of these stones. Women tend suffer from gallstones more often than men and they can become an increased issue in pregnancy.

Nature’s answer to gallstones

A fatty diet or one low in fibre is thought to be a contributing factor to the formation of gallstones, there will often be one particular food that worsens symptoms so a food exclusion diet to rule out potential allergy may shed some light on the situation (try staying off animal products, especially eggs and milk, also coffee, citrus fruits, beans and nuts for a short while to see if this affects the symptoms). It is important not to allow the body to become dehydrated by drinking enough water, supplements of soluble fibre, flaxseed, vitamin E and Vitamin C may all help. The gall bladder is linked closely to the liver, Milk thistle (mentioned above) can help the health of both these organs.