Many people realize that liver is the primary human detoxification organ; therefore, they are looking for ways to do the liver cleansing. Hundreds of websites and thousands of people are active proponents of the liver flush, mostly, with olive oil and lemon juice. Thrilled, people find so-called gallbladder stones in their stools. They feel happy. However, not all feel so great afterwards. Some start to feel pain and cramps in the upper part of the stomach, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, fatigue.
However, most of these post-cleansing reactions after the liver flush are mild, and people consider them as normal. In the worst-case scenario, a few are admitted to the hospital with gallbladder attacks or acute pancreatitis. Working in the intensive care unit for many years, I personally observed two fatal cases and many acute inflammations of the pancreas after fasting and liver flush with olive oil and lemon juice.
This article is not for healthy, young liver cleansing enthusiasts; their bodies can endure any liver flushes without reactions. By the way, the author of this article is not against the liver and gallbladder flush. He just wants to attract the attention of people with health problems to provide them with safer and gentler liver cleansing techniques to avoid any complications.
What happens when people fast without food and consume a large amount of the olive oil and lemon juice? Let us look from the medical point of view. Human cells mostly derive energy from glucose metabolism. Human beings do not have a high storage capacity for carbohydrates. During the famine, body burns fat tissues and proteins from the muscles. Burning of the fats produces a lot of ketones – very acidic substances which make the body become highly acidic. It is easy to prove that by measuring the saliva and the urine pH with litmus paper. If the saliva and the urine pH are less than 6.6, it can be the sign of the whole body acidity.
Whole body acidity badly influences bodily functions. Two alkaline digestive glands are affected the most. First, the liver that produces the alkaline bile. Second, the pancreas that releases the alkaline pancreatic juice. Whole body acidity causes harmful biochemical changes in the pH of pancreatic juice and possible activations of digestive pancreatic enzymes inside the pancreas. Activated pancreatic enzymes begin digesting own pancreatic tissues, which can lead to pancreatitis.
If bile is turning acidic, it becomes extremely aggressive, irritating, and damaging for the gallbladder, bile ducts, sphincter of Oddi and duodenum. It can cause spasmodic motions of the smooth muscles of the gallbladder, bile ducts, sphincter of Oddi and duodenum. Person can feel pain, nausea, vomiting, reflux when the aggressive mix of bile and pancreatic juice goes up into the stomach or even further in the esophagus. Drinking a lot of plain water or better, Karlovy Vary healing mineral water during the fast is the smart idea to reduce acidification.
Small amounts of lemon juice have an alkaline effect. Contrary, lemon juice, in large amounts, may have a reverse action. It can acidify the body, stimulate the production of the stomach acid, and create an acidic environment in the duodenum. Pancreatic lipase that digests fat stops working in the acidic condition; thus olive oil will be not digested in the duodenum and can result in diarrhea.
Many people do not know much about bile. Liver uses bile sort of like a garbage truck that removes fat-soluble toxic substances, heavy metals, medications, pigments, bile acids, which liver filters from the blood. Bile is an aggressive fluid with the action similar to laundry detergent that removes fats and oils from our clothes. Liver flush, in reality, is a gallbladder flush because during this procedure nothing comes out from the liver. Liver constantly release liver bile and this process cannot be speeded up by olive oil. Large amounts of the olive oil cause strong contraction of the gallbladder, intensively squeezing its content out through the bile ducts and the sphincter of Oddi into the first part of the small intestine- duodenum.
Sharp, uneven contractions of the gallbladder after drinking olive oil cause a quick release of copious amounts of the toxic, acidic, irritating gallbladder bile possibly with bile sludge and gallbladder stones into the bile ducts. In predisposed people, it can cause spasms of the sphincter of Oddi-the strategic valve between the gallbladder, bile, pancreatic ducts, and duodenum. Back up of the aggressive bile can raise the pressure in the pancreatic duct. Bile can activate digestive enzymes inside the pancreas; thus, resulting in pancreatitis.
Olive oil is a natural trigger of the strong contraction of the gallbladder. Is it good or bad? For healthy people, it may be good. Why? It can decrease the gallbladder congestion. For the last fifty years, fats have had a bad reputation due to the false propaganda. The slogan – no fat = no cholesterol, scares people, prevents them from eating butter, eggs, vegetable oils, which are all natural bile releasing substances. Congested bile can be the key factor in the gallbladder stones epidemic in the United States.
Real liver detoxification is a process that can include many healing approaches. The goals of the liver detox include:
• Increasing production of the alkaline bile
• Making this bile easy to eliminate
• Decreasing amount of the fat deposits in the liver
• Supporting proper function of the liver cells
• Decreasing amount of the toxins that go into the liver, etc
For the liver and gallbladder health, we need some dietary changes. First, we have to avoid the acid-formed foods such as sugars, red meat, white flour and white rice, and alcohol. Second, normally, to promote elimination of the bile, bile sludge, toxic waste and chemicals, and small gallbladder stones we need to eat some non-processed vegetable oils such as olive oil, flax seed oil, fish oil, avocado, and egg’s yolk. Animal fats have to be restricted. Third, we need to avoid dehydration. Drinking pure water, herbal teas, Karlovy Vary healing mineral water, and eating vegetable soups can do the job.
Let us look at the Europeans practices. For hundreds of years, doctors in Europe have sent their patients with the liver, gallbladder and pancreas disorders to the healing mineral spas. Drinking healing mineral water is a long standing, healing practice in Europe. The famous healing mineral water is from Karlovy Vary thermal spring. Because the demand for this water was high, doctors suggested evaporating the water to get the genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt 250 years ago. To obtain the healing water for home use, one just needs to dissolve this salt in pure water. Karlovy Vary healing mineral water consists of minerals, bicarbonate, trace elements, which are part of the pancreatic juice and bile. This healing mineral water promotes the production of the bile, alkalizes the bile, and makes it more fluid. It also creates gentle contraction of the gallbladder with simultaneous opening of the sphincter of Oddi; thus helping safely to remove the toxic stuff, bile sludge and gallbladder stones from liver and gallbladder.
Herbal remedies are the oldest medicine in the world. Some of the herbs are called hepatic. Hepar is the term meaning liver in Latin. Hepatic herbs are divided into three categories:
1. Cholagogues stimulate the flow of bile
2. Choleretics are plants that support the bile production and excretion by the liver
3. Hepatoprotectors are plants that support liver function and aid detoxification
Many hepatic herbs have all three actions overlapping each other.
Hepatic herbs, which have scientific, and evidence based back up are barberry, burdock, dandelion, fennel, ginger, corn silk, licorice, milk thistle, peppermint, St. John’s wort, turmeric, etc.
For people with whole body acidity, excess weight, digestive problems, diabetes, older age, chronic diseases, etc, liver flush with olive oil can be risky business. These people need gentle liver cleansing techniques including dietary changes, herbal remedies, drinking Karlovy Vary healing mineral water, restoration of the friendly intestinal flora with probiotics and colon hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercises, and nutrition supplementation.
If you need to repair your TV, car or computer you go to a specialist. By analogy, for safety, all detoxification and cleansing have to be performed with the supervision of the knowledgeable licensed medical professionals.
The information on this article is presented for informational, educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a qualified licensed professional.