Is Liver & Gallbladder Detoxing Safe?


Recommendations for cleaning the liver and gallbladder often include fasting, herbs and supplements. The purpose for cleansing the liver and gallbladder is purportedly to remove toxic buildup and encourage overall health, but is liver and gallbladder cleansing safe?


  • Herbs such as goldenseal, chamomile, senna, dandelion and licorice are often used for liver and gallbladder detoxing programs. Herbal teas such as tumeric, green tea, lemongrass or ginger are also part of some cleansing programs.


  • Cleansing or detoxing during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not recommended. Toxins released into the bloodstream may adversely affect the fetus and herbal remedies are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


  • Because no studies have been performed to determine the safety of certain herbs on children, it is not recommended that they be given herbal supplements that are often used for liver and gallbladder cleansing. Children should use cleansing methods such as water, fruit and vegetable juices and raw foods to perform a cleanse safely.


  • Some illnesses, such as hepatitis D, can worsen if you take herbs for liver and gallbladder cleansing. It is important to talk with your doctor about any existing health conditions before beginning a cleansing program. Juice and raw food cleansing is much safer for those who are suffering from illnesses that may be exacerbated by herbs.


  • Although unsuitable for pregnant women and children, liver and gallbladder detoxification is a treatment that can be safely administered when the guidelines are carefully followed.

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