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Ten Alternative Plants That Cleanse the Liver

Ten Alternative Plants That Cleanse the Liver

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Ten Alternative Plants that Cleanse the Liver 
By Kirk Patrickhttp://www.naturalnews.com/027117_chamomile_schisandra_disease.htmlhttp://www.naturalnews.com/027110_astragalus_chicory_milk_thistle.html(NaturalNews) The key to optimal health is optimal liver function. Responsible for detoxification anddigestion among many other tasks, the liver is the largest internal organ in the body (the skin is thelargest organ overall). The liver is also one of the fastest growing organs in the body and it can evenregenerate itself after losing 75% of its own tissue. A healthy liver will promote quick healing of mostany condition. This article, the second of a two-part series, will explore 5 lesser-known examples of natural foods that are known to cleanse and detoxify the liver. _____________________ 1)
Artichoke (leaf extract)
 - Cynara scolymus (Compositae)
 A perennial native to the Mediterranean, artichoke plants thrive in warm climates and loamy soil. Theflower heads, leaves and root are used as both food and
. Artichoke contains
sesquiterpenelactone cynaropicrin
 (a strong bitter that contains
) and the leaves contain
cynarin
 ( an
). Both are known to have liver protective properties. Similar to
, artichoke (inparticular the leaf) defends the liver against toxins and
. All parts of the plant are bitter andinduce bile secretion. Artichoke is used to lower cholesterol, treat
 problems, nausea,indigestion and late-onset diabetes as it lowers
 sugar. Fresh artichoke leaf juice is a valuableliver tonic. Artichoke has diuretic properties.2)
Astragalus (root)
 - Astragalus membranaceus (Leguminosae)
 Astragalus is a member of the pea family that has been used for thousands of years in China, whereit is called "
huang qi 
". Astragalus helps to promote the liver and gallbladder to release
(according to Chinese folklore this was to "rid the stagnant (sha or killing) qi" from the liver). With asweet taste and warming effect it is particularly suited for young and/or physically active people. Astragalus boosts the immune system, improves circulation, relieves night sweats, reduces fluidretention, and increases both strength and endurance. It is considered similar to and even superior than
ginseng 
. Despite being one of the most popular
 in Chinese medicine,
 is notwell known in the western world. Astragalus has adaptogenic, diuretic and antiviral properties.3)
Bilberry (fruit and leaf extract)
 - Vacciniuim myrtillus (Ericacea)
Bilberry is a deciduous shrub with
 that ripen to purple-black. Native to Europe and North America (and related to blueberry and cranberry) bilberry thrives in undergrowth, on moors and inheathland. The fruit and leaves are collected in the summer. Bilberry contains anthocyanosides whichhave a tonic effect on blood vessels. Bilberry also contains vitamins A, B and C. Bilberry extract has astrong effect on the liver and it reduces stress-induced damage. Bilberry strengthens capillaries,treats varicose veins, and relieves hemorrhoids along with
. Bilberry hasantioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Caution:
 Bilberry should only be used for short lengths of time due to high tannin content or it may actually damage the liver.4)
Boldo (leaf extract)
 - Peumus boldus (Umbelliferae)
 A strongly aromatic evergreen that grows up to 20 feet high, boldo is native to Chile and Peru. Theleaves contain isoquinoline alkaloids, including
boldine
 along with volatile oil and flavonoids. Theberries are also eaten as
. Known as a traditional liver tonic and remedy by the Araucanianpeople in Chile, boldo stimulates bile flow. Chiefly valued as remedy for
 or gallbladder pain, boldo leaf is normally only taken for a few weeks at a time (this is a good general strategy for allherbs). Boldo treats urinary tract infections, cystitis, and (when combined with
barberry 
 and
fringe
 
tree
) treats gallstones. A tincture or infusion of the boldo leaves are the normal method to administer.Boldo has antiseptic and demulcent properties.
Caution:
 Boldo should not be taken by pregnantwomen. Some countries impose legal restrictions on this plant (so it must be good).5)
Chicory (root)
 - Cichorium intybus (Compositae)
 A perennial with deep roots, oblong leaves, and blue flowers,
 is native to Europe where itflourishes along roadsides and in dry fields. The roots are unearthed in the spring or autumn andcontain 58% inulin along with sesquiterpene lactones. Chicory is primarily a liver tonic that is a mildbitter. Similar to
, chicory supports the stomach, digestive tract and liver along with
 the urinary tract. Used to treat arthritis and gout, chicory aids digestion and is a mildlaxative that is safe for children. Historically the juice was mixed with rose oil and vinegar for aheadache remedy. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute. Chicory has anti-inflammatory properties.6)
Club Moss (spore)
 - Lycopodium clavadum (Lycopodiaceae)
Club moss is an evergreen moss found mainly on mountains or in moorland in Europe and Russia.Gathered in summer, the moss and spores contain .1 to .2% alkaloids along with
lycopodine, polyphenols,
 and
triterpenes
. Used medicinally since the middle ages, club moss aids inthe flushing of liver toxins and kidney stones. Club moss treats chronic urinary problems, indigestionand gastritis. The spores can be applied to the skin to relieve itching and for insect bites and
.The spores are also used to coat tablets since they are water resistant and (because they igniteexplosively) they are used in fireworks! Club moss is normally used in powdered capsule form and aChinese form was shown to improve cognitive function in
 disease. Club moss hasdiuretic, antispasmodic and sedative properties.
Caution:
 Club moss is potentially toxic in highdoses. Do not take while pregnant. Use only under professional supervision.7)
German Chamomile (flower)
 Chamomilla recutita (Compositae)
German
 (similar to Roman chamomile) is an aromatic, slightly bitter flower that is familiar to tea drinkers. The medicinal uses however are not so well known. Chamomile contains the volatileoils
 proazulenes, farnesine, alpha-bisabolol 
 and
spiroether 
. Chamomile also contains the flavonoids
anthemidin, luteoliin
 and
 rutin
, along with the bitter glycoside
anthemic acid 
,coumarins and tannins.Used since the 1st century AD, chamomile has many uses including treating disorders of the liver,lung, skin and digestive tract. Chamomile helps relieve pain and nervous tension, and helps withauto-immune disorders such as Crohn's
 and irritable bowel syndrome. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and carminative properties.8)
Nettle (root)
 - Urtica dioica (Urticaceae)
Known as "stinging", nettle is native to Africa, Australia and the Andes. The sting from nettle iscaused by tiny hairs that contain
histamine
,
serotonin
 and
acetylcholine
 which burn like poison ivy.The key uses for nettle are cleansing and
, as it will encourage the elimination of wasteproducts. Nettle increases urine production and also treats skin disorders such as eczema andarthritis (often an indication of a sluggish liver). Nettle slows or stops nosebleeds and menstruation,treats allergies, and relieves hay fever and
. Nettle can be applied to insect bites to relieveitching, and nettle juice even treats the sting of nettle itself! Nettle has diuretic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.9)
Picrorrhiza (rhizome)
 - Picrorhiza Kurroa (Scrophulariaceae)
 A perennial with elliptical leaves and spiked flowers, picrorrhiza is native to the mountains of Nepal,India and Tibet. The rhizome or picrorrhiza contains the bitter glycoside
kutkin
 (containing picrosidesI, II, III and kutkoside),
cucurbitacins
 and
apocynin
 (a powerful anti-inflammatory that reduces plateletaggregation). Used in Ayurvedic
 since the earliest times, picrorrhiza induces the liver toproduce bile. Used as the antidote to snake bite venom and to treat
, picrorrhiiza is used asa bitter tonic and is similar to gentian (Gentiana lutea). Given for a wide range of liver or digestive

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