There is so much written about herbs and liver which is not surprising as all that we eat passes through the liver. The flow of bile is a cycle from the liver and gallbladder, into the intestines, to the portal vein, into the liver and around again. In particular the cholesterol in the bile attaches itself to minerals and acts as a carrier.
The difficulty with herbs is that the condition must be accurately diagnosed and matched to the remedy. Even so only about 10% of people will swear that the remedy worked, 15 % that it was useless and the remainder would like to think it worked but just don't know if it did.
Food is one answer. Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, especially salad is an excellent cholagogue. A cholagogue increases the bile flow from by gallbladder contraction where a choleretic increase the flow of bile from the liver. Also; cholekinetic meaning increased bile flow.
Many herbs have a potent nature that cause imbalances and side effects and shouldn't’t be consumed indefinitely. Some herbs are poisonous so it is important to be wary. It also important to think health rather than treatment and move away from the dependence on pills be they, prescription drugs or herbal remedies. Tablets in most form are for short term use unless they is a cast iron case. Although it sounds incredible sanctimonious; life style and nutrition is the route to health.
The most effective way of increasing bile flow is the increase the hormone called
cholecystokinin. Three foods used as herbs have a good reputation; Turmeric, ginger and dandelion are all effective and safe.
Dandelion root has been used for liver and bile complaints for centuries. The therapeutic properties of dandelion are due in part to its bitter substances taraxacin and inulin. The bitters stimulate the digestive glands and the liver and activate the flow of bile. Two studies, one dating back to 1938, have demonstrated that dandelion successfully treats hepatitis, liver swelling, jaundice and indigestion in those with inadequate bile secretion. Dandelion is reported and increasing bile flow more than any other food if my memory serves me correctly.
The most active component in Turmeric is curcumin and it is useful for treating liver and gallbladder problems, relieving liver damage, and for stimulating the production of bile. Curcumin has good antioxidant activity, comparing well with vitamin C. It is interesting to note that curcumin has good anti-inflammatory activity that is comparable to steroidal and non-steroidal drugs.
Ginger's nausea reducing actions have been attributed to its ability to increase digestive fluids, plus absorb and neutralise toxins and stomach acid. Ginger has been shown to increase bile secretion, as well as increase the action and tone of the bowels. Limited studies have suggested ginger may reduce morning sickness, as well as nausea after surgery. Ginger has a protective effect on the liver and the stomach, making this rhizome a good spice for people with liver or digestive problems. It is a helpful medicinal food for diabetics; ginger activates pancreatic and intestinal enzymes. Ginger also helps lower lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, in the blood.
The artichoke also has anti-cholesterol and cholagogue Action. The choleretic, cholekinetic, diuretic and significant serum lipid lowering properties of artichoke have been substantiated in animal and clinical studies. Artichoke increases the rate of bile flow by 20 -40%. It is also very effective in eliminating dyspeptic symptoms, including pain, nausea, retching, meteorism (flatulent distension of the abdomen with gas in the alimentary canal).
A diet rich in raw green salad leaves such as radish greens, beet greens, rocket etc are beneficial. Eating radishes, cabbage and raw beetroot is also very good. Raw beetroot (Grated and mixed with apple cider vinegar) have a long reputation for healing the biliary system.
Milk thistle's is best known for its use as a liver protectant and decongestant, which can be traced back to the Greeks around 50 AD. In 1968, a group of German scientists discovered the active flavonoid complex silymarin, which provides milk thistle's medicinal benefits. Since then, hundreds of studies have been done on silymarin, and it is approved in the German Commission E Monographs (the most accurate information available on the safety and efficacy of herbs) as a supportive treatment for inflammatory liver conditions such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty infiltration caused by alcohol and other toxins.