The liver is a vital digestive machine. This large organ helps keep us alive by filtering our blood of toxins and other waste products. The liver also stores vitamins for later use, and our liver secretes bile to help digest fats. This bile works like soap, coating and breaking down food as it goes into the small intestine. However, the liver can become very congested when the job becomes too big. Environmental, lifestyle and diet factors can put a huge burden on the liver resulting in impaired liver function. When the liver is working less efficiently, health problems can arise. Liver cleansing programs can help to revive a tired liver and improve overall health.

Prep Work

Most Naturopathic doctors recommend that some prep work is done first before you ever even start on a liver cleansing program. When you do this, your liver cleanse will be the most effective. The first thing you will need to do is a colon/parasite cleanse for 30 to 90 days in order to flush your body of excess waste that is stuck on the colon walls. Some good colon cleansing programs can be found at the local health food store or online (see Resources). Once you are having 3 bowel movements each day, your body should be ready to start the liver cleanse.

When to Start a Liver Cleanse

The best time to start a liver cleanse is on a weekend. You never know how your body is going to react when you first start cleansing. You will need to use the restroom quickly, as your body flushes out toxins through your bowels. Some people feel sick or tired when they first begin a liver cleansing program. The reason this happens is because the body is eliminating toxins at a very rapid rate, and these toxins might cause you to feel weak or light-headed as they make their exit.

What You Will Need

You will need a few basic things. For instance, you will need a good quality juicer, lemons, Epsom salts and a few herbs such as black walnut hull tincture and milk thistle tincture. However, you can also decide to go with a store-bought liver cleansing program, rather than making the tonic yourself.

Lemon Juice Cleanse

Fast during the day and only drink water. In the afternoon, preferably after 2:00 p.m., peel 4 to 6 lemons and juice them in the juicer. After you have a full glass of lemon juice, put 3 drops of black walnut hull tincture and 3 drops of milk thistle tincture in your glass. Take 1 to 2 tbsp. of Epsom salts with a glass of water. Wait about an hour, continue drinking water and then repeat one more time. The mixture will help to flush the liver so be prepared to use the restroom.


If you have serious digestive problems, it may be necessary to be monitored by a Naturopathic physician while you are cleansing. Sometimes during a liver cleansing the body will push out gallstones. These stones can be tiny and not cause any problems, but in some cases the stones can be quite large and result in an obstruction or irritate other organs. Always monitor yourself closely during a cleanse and, if you experience severe pain, seek medical attention immediately.

References and Resources

Colon Cleansing Program