Fantastic Fennel

 Fennel is native to the Mediterranean where it was cultivated by the ancient Romans and is now one of the most important herb crops in Europe. It was also well known to the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese for its aromatic fruits and succulent, edible shoots & root. In medieval times, Fennel was used with St. John’s Wort to protect one from witchcraft as bundles were hung over doors on Midsummer’s Eve to warn off evil spirits. The young shoots and root were eaten as a vegetable and the seeds used as a condiment. The tea made from the seed was given for respiratory and digestive complaints and Continue reading

Liver Cleanse 3 of 6- Total Body Cleanse

Wu wei tze or Schizandra; Chinese Tonic used for many purposes.

The liver is the largest gland in the body and the major organ for the elimination of toxic waste. It has many other important functions such as metabolism of nutrients, hormones & waste; production of blood-clotting factors; storage of vitamins & minerals and the formation of urea.   The liver also produces bile that helps emulsify fats and is then stored in the gallbladder.  The gallbladder and liver are interconnected with the health of one affecting the health of the other.  Diets high in refined sugars, fats & cholesterol can promote gallstones and decreased liver function.

Boldo leaf is a South American herb useful as a kidney & liver tonic.

Cleansing the liver is very important to help maintain a healthy liver.  The level of exposure to toxins- from home, workplace and environment- would determine how often cleansing is required.  There are several methods to cleanse the liver like massage, flushes, enemas and herbal therapies.  Most herbs used in herbal liver therapies are cooling & bitter and taken in teas, tincture or encapsulated forms.  The following is a short list of herbs and their affects on the liver.

Burdock, Yellow Dock, Fennel, Goldenseal                  Cleanses & Restores Function

Licorice Root, Oregon Grape, Blessed Thistle               Cleanses & Heals

Black Walnut, Borage Leaf, Fo-Ti

Boldo, Milk Thistle, Rosemary                                      Protects liver against toxins

Siberian Ginseng, Ginseng                                      Detoxifies, protects from drug effects

Turmeric, Dandelion Root                                                         Cleanses, Increases Bile

Baical Scullcap, Bupleurum, Chinese Rhubarb Root                                Liver Tonic

Wood Betony, Boldo, Schizandra Berry

Schizandra Berry is a Chinese general tonic herb with many uses for men and women.  It is sometimes called “junior dong quai” for its hormone balancing and use as a women’s tonic. Schizandra is also used to improve digestion, reduce fatigue, relieves insomnia, increases sexual activity and is  superior for colds/flu. It’s an adaptogen herb which increases the resistance and adaptation to stresses and builds stamina, making it  great for liver support.  Combine Schizandra with Licorice or Fennel and Siberian Ginseng for a great liver cleansing decoction.

If you have questions about liver herbs and cleansing, stop by Ubiquitous Journey on Tuesday from 4pm-6pm for “Ask the Herbalist”.  You may also try one of my Free University herb classes starting in March.