Questioning Liver Flush:
Quackery or Reliable Remedy?
Spirit & Agnes
CureZone Newsletter - "Educating Instead of Medicating!"
Non-Commercial Health & Wellness Newsletter
Liver Flush Skepticism and Criticism
An Interview with Spirit
Agnes: Most of our readers know what "liver flush" is. Simple protocol that involves drinking large amount of virgin olive oil with freshly pressed juice from grapefruit or lemon or some other fruit: limes, orange, apple, pineapple ... If you are not familiar with liver flush, please click here to find out more.
Internet is an important tool for introducing many different therapies, old and new, to wider public. But how do we know the difference between quackery and genuine therapy? There are tens of thousands of web sites promoting all possible cures and remedies for all possible Ailments and Illness.
Where is the Science? Can we relay on science or what can we do?
Spirit: Most Alternative therapies are not scientifically researched, and most of them will not be researched within the next 1000 years.
Waiting for someone to invest money into research of something as cheap and as simple as liver flush and to run some meaningfull research ... it will never happen. It takes billions of dollars to get a new therapy accepted by medical community.
Who is going to pay billions of dollars to get liver flush accepted?
How to get that money back?
What would be a placebo controll for liver flush?
There are no answers to those questions!
You either drink oil and you feel it's taste ... or you don't. There is no placebo! Without placebo there is no science! Strong science relies heavily on placebo controlled trials. If it is impossible to design a placebo controlled trial for a new therapy... just forget getting it accepted by the scientific and medical community.
Why are diets never accepetd as a therapy? Cause there is no placebo!
There is no placebo for diet. There is no placebo for massage.
There is no placebo for enema.
Agnes: Then, how can I find if Liver Flush is a genuine therapy that delivers results so much promoted on the internet and some books. What if liver flush is just another quackery? Who is really looking forward spending Saturday evening drinking bitter tasting Epsom salt, and preparing to drink full glass of olive oil mixed with fruit juice, hoping to spend whole Sunday morning on the toilet with severe diarrhea? Note exactly my favorite weekend, don't you agree?
Spirit: You are right, it does sound as some sick joke. Actually, many succesful therapies sound quite scary. Few examples: Enema, Colonics, Bowel cleanse, Kidney Cleansing, Amalgam Replacement, etc.
Pills are far more "exciting" then alternative therapies.
The real problem is, those "exciting" pills do not deliver 1/10 of the results delivered by liver flush. Large number of people used Liver flush as a main cure for allergies, asthma, gallstones, eczema, food intolerance, acne, psoriasis, acne, ... and usually after many promised cures couldn't deliver relief.
Agnes: There are many web sites that attempt to ridicule whole liver cleansing procedure, and are trying hard to present it as a quackery. Can you give some comments? Some of them seems to be created by people with extensive experience and knowledge ... Do you have any comment on statements made by "The Pathology Guy" on his "Ed's Guide to Alternative Therapies"?
[Ed]: "I'm afraid that they're not your gallstones. Here's why:
If you know a little basic chemistry, you'll realize what is happening. The Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, and the grapefruit contains some complex carbohydrates. When these slosh around in the stomach and small intestine, they'll form a tough film which will encase drops of olive oil. This will produce some yellowish balls which will float in the toilet."
- Real gallstones are faceted polyhedra, like the ones in the picture on the links below, or else shaped like mulberries. What you'll get from the recipe are spheres. One of my correspondents describes a friend who saved the spheres and displayed them to his friends.
- Real gallstones hurt bad when they pass through the cystic and common bile ducts.
- Real gallstones sink in water. (As an autopsy pathologist, I'm very familiar with this.) The "gallstones" you'll produce from this recipe will float, as the "alternative thinkers" themselves point out. (They claim that real gallstones float, too. Liars.)
Please read the next messages. Those messages answer the most frequently asked questions about gallstones and liver flush:
One member of CureZone web site, with username "Iris", gave good reply to Ed's article. You can read it yourself here: http://curezone.com/forums/m.asp?f=73&i=510
Stones - result of liver flush may or may not be from gallbladder. Most of those light green stones may be produced from bile and from smaller, microscopic crystals, too small to be called gallstones. Those light green stones may be produced inside intestines. It is true that all of them have not existed inside gallbladder in that size or shape.
Number? Yes, it is true that most gallbladders can't hold thousands of larger stones.
Shape? Not all gallstones formed inside gallbladder are always faceted polyhedra, as you can see on the photos below.
Photos of gallstones and gallbladders surgically removed, showing gallstones of different shape, different size, different color, different consistency. You can click on each smaller image to enlarge it.
"Real gallstones hurt" - not always. Gallstones only hurt when they reach critical size and/or shape. Before a gallstone is large, it may not produce any symptoms. Most gallstones are asymptomatic.
"Real gallstones sink in water" - not always! 80% of all gallstones are Cholesterol based gallstones, are not symptomatic, not calcified, are mainly composed of cholesterol, and do not sink in water. Cholesterol gallstones are sometimes lighter then water and may not sink in water.
But, it is TRUE that surgically removed gallstones sink in water. Why? Cause surgery is almost always performed on people with symptomatic gallstones.
Most people with cholesterol gallstones are asymptomatic.
Most symptomatic gallstones are those that are large, usually composed of protein or calcium.
But, those people who choose surgery are a small percentage of all the people with gallstones.
Agnes: Spirit, I can easily understand that skeptics like Ed and Quackbusters are against Liver Flush, because they are against any and every alternative that works, and are trying with all means to discredit values of liver flush. But how to explain the position of some prominent teachers in alternative medicine, like Dr. Weil, and Chet Day?
On his page: "Is There a Natural Way to Get Rid of Gallstones?", Dr. Weil says:
"But there are no natural ways to "remove" gallstones. The olive oil “treatment” you mention does not dissolve or remove them. This folk remedy, known as a "liver flush," requires drinking apple juice, Epsom salts, and a half-cup of olive oil with lemon juice. The day after you manage to down the olive oil, you pass green globs that you may think are dissolved gallstones but are actually the residue of the olive oil you've consumed."
On this page, Chet Day writes:
"Here's what Naturopath Kevin Murray has learned:
Chet, I wanted to point out one thing about the liver flush. After recommending this dozens of times to patients, and usually seeing a lot of benefit, there are two concerns.
One is that it can and does occasionally send people to the hospital with an attack of cholitis if a stone becomes lodged in the biliary duct. The other is that what people assume to be passing as gallstones, are actually soap stones. If you leave them out at room temperature long enough, they will melt.
Also, if you send them to a lab, which many of my colleagues and I have done, you will be disappointed. That's not to say that the treatment isn't helpful, but people should not be misinformed that they are passing gallstones. At least the half dozen sample I've sent in have all been "soap stones."
Dr. Kevin Murray, ND, LAc
Spirit: The only explanation that I have is this: lack of experience, and lack of knowledge. I will just point out to the few hard facts that are contradicting statements given by Dr. Weil, and Dr. Kevin:
Gallstones can exit gallbladder, and it happens very often. Obstruction of common bile ducts with gallstones is a common cause of acute pancreatitis. Saying that gallstones can't exit gallbladder is almost as saying that nobody gets acute pancreatitis ever ...
Dr. Kevin acknowledges that flush can move stone into "stuck" position, but still denies that flush may move stone all the way out - not very logical, I would say.
I will not debate any more previous statements, but I will try to give you several articles/messages written by CureZone members, articles that scientifically and logically contradict statements and observations given by both Dr. Weil, and Dr. Kevin:
Agnes: What about Stone getting stuck? How real is the threat of stone causing serious problems and creating need for an emergency surgery?
Spirit: It can happen, but rarely. Taking some extra epsom salt with a few glasses of water usually releases a stuck stone.
Epsom salt helps!
Another flush, the very next day helps!
Hot bath helps!
Foot zone massage helps!
How often does it really happens that stone gets stuck? In my opinion, your chances are much higher to get involved into a traffic accident, then to experience stone stuck pain. Most of us are using busses, cars, trains and plains, and are aware that it might be dangerous, but most of us will never experience any pain caused by a traffic accident, just like most of us will never experience any pain caused by a stone being stuck. As I said, stones are already "stuck inside" your gallbaldder or your ducts, and if that is not causing constant pain, then those stones will most likely not cause any pain during the liver/gallbladder flush. But, the fact is that less then 3% of all people may experience some pain, but it doesn't mean they will need surgery or will need ER treatment.
There is a long list of natural remedies that can be used in case of pain, and some of them are listed on this page: Gallstones Attack! Pain ... What can I do?
Here is one such experience recorded few days ago:
Julia suffered pain after flush, but, as she reports:
"I tried the bath and also had some of Dr. Schulze's Detox tea. Both seemed to help a lot! I don't know if it was the effects of the tea itself or the heat but what little pain was left after the bath, disappeared after the tea."
Agnes: Now, I have the last question: If the flush is so effective, and is a genuine therapy with the potential to help large number of people, how is that possible that it is not accepted by medical establishment?
Spirit: We are not living in a perfect world. Doctors must follow certain rules!
The Standard of Care. Doctors are only allowed to practice medicine as it is established by the The Standard of Care. Breaching the standard of medical care can be very costly for doctors.
It is true that Liver flush can be of great help for people suffering from heart illness, gallstones, chest pain, allergies, asthma, leg pains, arm pains, shoulder pains, upper back pains, inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer and many other illness. But, there is a major problem that will prevent liver flush becoming The Standard of Care
That problem is lack of science.
There is no acceptable medical science without randomized, double blind, place-controlled trials.
When it comes to Liver Flush, there is no money for trials. There is no placebo. There is no way to blind participants. No money, no placebo, no blinding = no science.
No science = it will never be accepted.
l give you some US statistics, just to understand how powerful actually is pharmaceutical industry, and how much money they may loose, if Olive oil and grapefruit juice would become the standard of care for Allergies:
Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the United States, costing the health care system $18 billion annually.
Each year more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergic diseases.
Approximately 16.7 million office visits to health care providers each year are attributed to allergic rhinitis.
Allergies are $18 billion industry annually.
And, now imagine people start using cleanses and cleanups and imagine only 1/2 of them get cured.
Result: Medical establishment looses $9 billion. Can you imagine how much money is $9 billion? How many jobs? How many products?
Would you like to loose $9 billion?
"A healthy population means a dead pharmaceutical industry."
In reality, liver flush and other flushes would work in over 90% of all cases, resulting loss of over $16 billion loss for pharmaceutical industry and medical establishment!
And, I was only presenting the story called "Allergies".
What about Gallstones? Cancer? Asthma? Eczema? Psoriasis? Heart diseases? AIDS? CFIDS? ADD/ADHD? Arthritis? ...
HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF $$$$$$$$$$ DOLLARS are on stake!
Did you get the picture? Do you understand why NOW? It is very simple. It's all about the Money. $$$
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year worldwide. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2001 approximately 192,200 new cases of invasive breast cancer (Stages I-IV) will be diagnosed among women in the United States. It is estimated that 40,600 deaths will occur from breast cancer (40,200 among women, 400 among men) in the United States. http://imaginis.com/breasthealth/statistics.asp
Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common skin diseases, particularly in infants and children. The estimated prevalence in the United States is 9 percent. The prevalence of atopic dermatitis appears to be increasing.
Chronic sinusitis is the most commonly reported chronic disease, affecting 12.6 percent of people (approximately 38 million) in the United States in 1996.
In 1996, estimated U.S. health care expenditures attributable to sinusitis were more than $5.8 billion.
Experts estimate that food allergy occurs in 8 percent of children 6 years of age or under, and in 1 to 2 percent of adults. Approximately 100 Americans, usually children, die annually from food-induced anaphylaxis.
If you are interested to learn more about the link between Money and Poor health care, good place to start learning is this collection of hundreds of articles: http://curezone.com/art/1.asp?C0=13
Agnes: Spirit, thank you for answering those most common questions.
Those of you who would like you read several more interesting questions, can read them here:
Liver Flush FAQ - Gallstones & Gallbladder Cleanse FAQ
This issue and all previous issues are available on our web site:
Best Of Health