Leaves, Liver and Life By Jill Davies

We’ve all enjoyed that sense of rejuvenation that spring has brought us, no doubt revelling in the varied hues of green that all the different leaves have dazzled us with. But what’s the connection with our livers?

The liver is conceptually related to the wood element and the colour green in Chinese medicine and the liver and gallbladder are the major organs for detoxifying and cleansing so during the spring, cleaning will be timely. Surges of sap move at energetic speeds whether it be huge oaks or small flowers and all serve to express the power of spring energy.

By now the majority of the leaves have fully unfolded and as this surging sappy time is coming to an end, so in traditional time frames it is a final reminder of the power of liver energy and cleansing.

The liver is the organ that works very hard these days as it is expected to process today’s environmental and food pollutant burdens and challenges. The trouble is it can get overwhelmed, overworked and slow down, failing our needs as it does. So giving it a spring ‘surge’ cleanse can really help.

Free the liver

Without the liver being able to freely do its job, much else can become congested, blocked, heated, inflamed and generally dysfunctional. And this is both in a physical and mental sense. Free up and tune in your liver and you can re-set a sense of well-being, both physical and mental, that can persist all year. (That being said, nowadays due to pollutant burdens, an autumn liver cleanse is also advised!).

Many attest to feelings of being lighter, cleaner and more invigorated once a cleanse has been completed. Whilst physically a myriad of issues seems either banished or much easier to deal with. Liver cleansing is simple for most, but even when arduous for others, the rewards are always worth the effort.

The liver is capable of complete self-renewal at a faster rate than the rest of the body. Given this ability to restore itself via good foods, rest and herbs, its meaning, ‘live’ or ‘life’ is very apt. The liver makes and releases into the body an amazing amount of useful substances and sustains us in a myriad of vital ways.

The liver also creates immune substances, such as gamma globulin, and purifies and filters the blood by neutralizing poisons. During its many chemical reactions, it produces a great deal of heat that can warm the whole body. If the liver is pushed and overwhelmed with the work it needs to carry out, perhaps because of excessive hormonal demands or toxicity, it can become ‘overheated’. This, in turn, will deleteriously affect other organs and systems. The liver also instigates some hormonal processes and inactivates others; it plays a major role in the pre-menstrual phase, menstruation, menopause and other endocrine times for women. Men too have their own needs for liver and hormone activities.

Liver Emotions

Emotionally, one can feel very depressed or even angry; sad, weepy and, at worst, jealous, if the liver is over-extended by one’s daily input. This cleansing, manufacturing and storage centre, through its influence on nutrient and energy supply as well as detoxification, has a direct link with the mind and its function. Fortunately, the liver is also very capable of making us feel happy, joyful, balanced, sprightly and energized when it is functioning well. Such drastic differences are often plainly seen before and after a liver cleanse.

Liver foods and juices

Vitally include all and any ‘cabbage family’ vegetables like kale, broccoli etc, also eat foods that contain sulphur – for instance, garlic, leeks, chives and spring onions, as they decongest the liver. Keep your intake of refined sugar to a minimum. Eat lots of ‘sour’ food, such as lemon juice which is thought to initiate enzymatic releases that detoxify the liver. Avoid cooked spices for a short period of time to see if for now its overheating you…… and test to see if raw ones are appropriate for you or not. Listen to your body and take note of its reactions over this. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, and alcohol. Search out dark green vegetables, seeds, nuts (especially almonds), juicy fruits, raw and steamed vegetables and fruit. Grapes activate the liver to stimulate glycogenic and bile secretions. Ripe mango is invigorating and stimulates appetite. Radishes and their green leaves can equally be beneficial. Drink a glass of tomato juice mixed with cayenne pepper if you suffer from a sluggish liver (heating spices notwithstanding!). Turmeric – fresh root or dried ground root added to food – is a prime Indian liver and gallbladder cleanser. Globe artichokes contain cynarine, which promotes the flow of bile and stimulates liver cell regeneration. (Keep any vegetable cooking water to drink at the time or keep it in the fridge and use the next day). All fruit, green and red peppers, carrots, sprouted grains and seeds, Spirulina, algae, Chlorella and whole seeds act as antioxidants and thereby protect the liver.

By keeping the gallbladder working properly, the liver can work less stressfully, thus relieving the bowel, the heart and the kidneys. Raw juices are great liver and gallbladder cleansers. Blend together 60% carrot juice, 30% beetroot juice and 10% cucumber or apple juice and drink 250mls a day.
Positive liver herb choices
Fresh dandelion and chicory leaves and other wild spring greens are wonderful in salads. Drink fresh or dried mint tea or make a herbal tea containing equal amounts of; lavender flowers and leaves, rosemary leaves, spearmint leaf, lime tree flowers, and hops. Rosemary is beneficial in cooking or salads, due to its bitter flavour.

1 Day, 5 Day or 28 Day Liver Cleanse Options

For those new to cleansing you may want to start with a 1 Day Cleanse so I’ve included here an outline of what a 1 day cleanse entails (for the 5 day you simply continue the same for 5 days). The 28-day version is much gentler and spread over this longer time frame which can be easier to achieve for the majority of people as it can be undertaken quite easily while still continuing a normal life. (I explain all of this and more, in our ‘Detox and Cleanse‘ section).


• Pick a day when you can relax and will be warm. Any exercise should be gentle.
• Start the morning with the homemade liver drink, see the recipe at the end.
• When you have finished the liver drink make a mug of Mullein & Star Anise Herbal Tea by following the instructions on the packet.
• Take 5mls of Milk Thistle & Dandelion Formula.
• Consume either Dr Schulze’s Superfood Plus or make a Nutri-Bullet smoothie for breakfast.
• Later on, drink spring water.


• Make another smoothie, using liver plants like beetroot, kale, ginger and apple but also other favourites you enjoy e.g. caraway seed, cinnamon powder, peppermint leaves.
• Alternatively make a huge raw salad of olives, sprouted seeds, grated beetroot and carrot, dandelion leaves (if you can find them) and any other raw vegetables that are seasonal or available. Make a dressing based on apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper with other herbs like basil, oregano and thyme.
• Take 5mls of Milk Thistle & Dandelion Formula.
• Drink spring water.

Afternoon & Evening

• Mid-afternoon have another cup of Mullein & Star Anise Herbal Tea.
• Drink more spring water
• Take 5mls of Milk Thistle & Dandelion Formula.
• Make a super healthy supper, avoid dairy and meat, this is so that no strain is placed on digestion.

Important Advice

Ensure your bowels move, ask for ColoClear samples.
Do NOT attempt this cleanse when pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do NOT attempt this cleanse if taking any prescribed medication.
Do NOT attempt if you have a weakened or debilitating liver conditions and diseases.

How to Make the Liver Drink

• 1 or 2 freshly squeezed lemons
• 200ml fresh or carton apple juice
• 200ml spring water
• 1 clove fresh garlic
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ inch or 1cm of fresh ginger root

Liquidize above ingredients until a smooth liquid. Transfer into a glass and drink slowly. Lemon juice is acidic that becomes alkaline in the stomach and thereby aids the cleansing of the digestive tract. It will also emulsify and make “creamy” the olive oil.
In total drink 2 litres of spring water per day.

Live Your Life

So finally, enjoy our verdant greenery and tune your liver for the summer. Not least it will keep you cooler when temperatures rise again.