Hello! In the beginning of 2014 I decided to start a cleansing process that really resonated with me: a liver cleanse.
At that time I had being complaining to my family doctor that I had trouble digesting, was always bloated and I could not tolerate grease or fried foods, as I would start to get headaches and tension on my shoulders and neck (in TCM this is explained by the fire of the congested liver rising).
So my medical doctor prescribed some tests to see if my liver showed any signs of congestion. It did not! Which in no way helped me digest or cope with oil (even olive oil bothered me!) any better.
So I knew that my liver was telling me, clearly, that it was overwhelmed, but I didn’t know what to do to help it function normally, as I had a pretty healthy life, ate pretty healthy food and the only stressor I really couldn’t shake was stress (and I’m sure almost everyone can relate to that!).
This went on for a couple of years, during which I found some helpful natural tinctures to help the liver and gallbladder purge, but the effects wouldn’t last long. So, by the end of 2013, I was looking for something to give me a more in-depth solution, and I found it in a blog post, on one of my favorite blogs (www.deliberateblog.com). It was a liver cleanse!
This particular liver cleanse was developed by Andreas Moritz, and he published a book called “The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse” (Amazon link here), in which he explains how and why the liver and gallbladder can be taxed by our lifestyle, what we eat, our daily routines and a lot more. If you think you may benefit from a liver cleanse, I strongly recommend this book, as it will help you understand the why’s, how’s and the what’s and what not’s of, pretty much, everything concerning your liver and gallbladder health. I’ll share my experience and a summarized version of the cleanse, so you can decide if it resonates with you or not!
Before starting the liver cleanse, Andreas Moritz recommends that we do a kidney cleanse, as the kidneys are the other major detoxifying organs that will have to help deal with the toxins released by the liver and gallbladder. This cleanse is done by taking, daily, and for a period from 20 to 30 days, 2 cups of tea made from a mix of cleansing herbs. It’s not the best tasting tea in the world, and it can’t be sweetened, but it’s not that bad either, and it packs a lot of benefits (another post in its own right!).
Then, we have to do colon cleanses, to clear the way so that everything that the liver and gallbladder will expel can go straight out, as what is expelled is toxic, and not having a clean colon could keep it in our intestines, poisoning the body.
Although there are many ways to do colon cleanses, Andreas suggests going for a professional colonic irrigation, or colon hydrotherapy. I found that this preparation step stops many people from going ahead with the liver cleanse. They’re afraid of the discomfort of the irrigation. My personal opinion is that it’s not the same as a sunshine day at the beach, granted, but it really isn’t that uncomfortable either! If the cleanse is something you want to do, just visit a clinic and ask for an explanation of the process and to see the hydrotherapy equipment! A colonic cleanse is in and of itself a powerful healing tool, and its many benefits are worth you challenging your preconceptions of the process (you can read more about them in the report “7 Quick Natural Ways to Heal Your Body and Mind”, see the right sidebar). Regarding the number of colonic cleanses, you’ll probably have to do more than one. The actual number of times we have to do this depends on the level of colon obstruction, so, it’s variable from person to person. For me it took 3 sessions to be clean enough to do the liver cleanses.
And that concludes the pre-cleanse preparations. On to the actual liver cleanse!
The liver cleanse itself is just one day, but it requires 6 days of preparation, where we avoid eating dairy, fried foods, chilled foods, and eat as less as possible of animal products. All of these require a lot of energy from the liver to dispose of so, these restrictions allow the liver to have more energy for the healing. During these 6 days we also drink, daily, 1 liter (32 oz.) of apple juice, to help soften the gallstones that will be expelled from both the gallbladder and the liver on the cleanse day.
For the actual purging, or cleanse, Andreas Moritz suggests Epsom salts, fresh grapefruit juice (or fresh orange and lemon juice combined) and cold pressed virgin (or extra virgin) olive oil.
The Epsom salts are basically magnesium (magnesium sulfate), and they’ll serve to relax the bile ducts (and EVERYTHING else too! I always feel flushed, cozy and sleepy when I take them!), so that the stones traveling down to your intestines won’t bother you at all! They also serve as a laxative, so you keep cleaning your bowels through the whole process!
The grapefruit juice and the olive oil will be combined and drank (about 250ml / 8oz!!!) in one go before lying down to sleep, and they are what causes the liver to purge.
Neither the Epsom salts drink nor the olive oil mix are pleasant to take, at all, and the gag reflex kicks in every time I drink either of them (hence the drinking “in one go”), but it’s not even an issue when I wake up the next day and purge. For the results, they’re completely worth it!
Now, “the purge”, for me, is the funniest part of the process. Since there’s so much magnesium in the body (from the Epsom salts), it becomes a great laxative, so, when we wake up in the morning and take some MORE Epsom salts, the run to the bathroom starts (and I mean run, we got to move fast!). Then “stuff” (aka gallstones) starts to pour out, and I’ll try not to be too graphic here, but you can expect to see a wide variety of little pebbles, marbles and peas, in various sizes and shades of green or white, in the toilet! I know it may be weird, but I like to count them to see how much I released in that particular cleanse. This goes on pretty much all day, and then you’re done!
A few days after the purge, Andreas suggests doing another colonic irrigation to make sure that all the stones that were on the intestines are out, it’s a “better safe…” measure.
Now, since we have many stones in MANY ducts, it’s unrealistic to expect everything to be cleared in one cleanse, so, Andreas Moritz suggests that we keep repeating the cleanse on a monthly basis, until we have 2 consecutive cleanses where no more stones come out. And that’s the YAY! moment. For me it took 8 cleanses, so, 8 months to clear the stones, and now I do them twice a year, to keep everything clean.
Now, a normal question is: does it work? It does, and very well, but it’s not a fix everything forever kind of solution, and it takes commitment to see it through. After each of the cleanses I felt better, less bloated, less prone to tension headaches, and by the end of the 8 months I felt my digestive system working in top shape. But with stress, cravings derived from stress, and daily schedules that weren’t the ones my body was asking of me, I know I started again to strain my liver and digestive system, and sometimes I would feel congested and bloated. But the fact that I could still digest what I ate fairly easily and didn’t have to resort to taking anything external, like the tinctures, is proof that the cleanses worked, and brilliantly! And I now know how to do a cleanse, so, if at any time I feel the need for it, I just do one!
I wanted to introduce this cleanse to you because of the value I received from it. It helps cleanse one of the major detoxifying organs of our body, and getting rid of toxins (and good nutrition) is the cure for almost everything physical. At the very least, it can boost our health and well-being like few other things can!
So, there you have it, my experience with liver cleanses. If it resonates with you at all, pick the book “The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse” by Andreas Moritz, read it through, and make your decision, completely informed. If you decide to do it, your body will thank you and you’ll feel all the benefits a cleanse can bring you, and these are physical, mental AND emotional benefits!