Despite our best efforts, sometimes we end up getting sick. When this becomes our fate, we can shorten the duration and severity of the illness with certain herbs and therapies, but what about after that?
How can we support our liver’s “clean up” efforts in the aftermath of a virus?
The liver never stops fighting for us, especially during an illness. After our immune system has neutralized the viral threat, the liver must then dispose of the millions of “dead” virus copies, mucus, and other waste products through the eliminatory pathways. Fortunately, there are certain herbs that can support the liver in its work and make us feel a lot better, faster.
Just as “antiviral” herbs are simply herbs that super-boost our immune system’s ability to fight viruses, the following “liver” herbs simply increase the liver’s ability to function swiftly and intelligently.
A course of any one of these herbs after a cold or flu event will accelerate the healing process and help restore your body and energy to normal, if not vibrant, levels.
|Chamomile is well-known for its soothing effects on nerves and upset stomachs, |
but did you know it’s also a superb liver tonic? Chamomile is a top choice for
post-viral care precisely because it’s calming and quieting to the battered senses,
not to mention tasty.
Brewed as a strong, medicinal tea (use quality bulk herb instead of tea bags),
chamomile will gently but effectively support the liver in its crucial cleanup role.
|In studies, Turmeric increases bile output and solubility and demonstrates powerful|
hepatoprotective antioxidant activity. It is often mixed with Bayberry powder for
optimal liver health. Turmeric may be taken as a powder or a capsule, but Turmeric
paste is a great way to get large amounts of this herb into your body following an illness.
To make a turmeric paste, combine 1/4 cup of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of ground
black pepper, and 1/2 cup of water in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil until a
thick paste forms. Mix a spoonful with honey to take right from the spoon, or mix it into
|Triphala is a digestive cleanser that greatly facilitates liver function. All three herbs|
that make up Triphala (Amla, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki) support the liver in its
detoxification role and help remove wastes from the digestive tract.
Triphala makes this list especially because it will help eliminate any excess mucus
that may have accumulated in the digestive tract during the illness.
|Everyone’s favorite weed is a well-known friend to the liver, celebrated for its ability |
to resolve hepatitis and sluggish liver function. Dandelion can be taken as a tea or
capsule. It combines well with Turmeric.
Dandelion is quite gentle, yet effective, and has the dual benefit of replenishing
potassium and other mineral levels that may have been compromised during
The herbs in this list are relatively gentle and well-suited to a body recovering from an illness.
There are many other liver-friendly herbs, including Burdock, Boldo, Barberry, Bayberry, Borage (lots of B-herbs), and Milk Thistle, but be sure to tread lightly and go carefully with these herbs so as not to over-do the detox process while still in a weakened state.
If life does decide to hand you a cold or flu this season, I hope you will gain strength in your recovery by using these herbs and emerge from your illness stronger than ever!
Happy Fall : )
Hello. This is wonderful information and very timely. My daughter and I are recovering from flu/cold type virus. All the herbs explained in this article sound perfect. How do I know which one is right for us? Do we take them all simultaneously? Thank you.
Triphala is well-suited to all body types and can be taken any time with any combination of herbs.
To start out, you could take Triphala and one other herb from the list, and see how you respond. Chamomile is a good choice because it’s the gentlest and can be taken as a soothing tea. Or if you want to try Turmeric, start with 1 gram a day and move up to 2, etc. I would not take all the herbs at once while still recovering.
I hope this helps, and I hope you feel better soon!