"Liver flush" tonic

The "liver flush" tonic has been around for a long time - I remember my parents drinking this back in the 1970s!  I hadn't thought about it at all until I came across a similar cleanse when I was studying herbalism.

The liver is the largest organ in the body and performs over 500 known metabolic functions.  Among other things, it detoxifies the body by dealing with any substance found in the bloodstream, from environmental toxins to the metabolic waste that the body produces naturally through its other normal functions.  The liver also metabolizes vitamins, helps to metabolize proteins, carbs, and minerals;  aids in digestion; manufactures blood clotting chemicals; and balances our hormones.

Nourishing the liver, then, will help to improve the health of our whole internal system.  Here are some easy recipes to help that organ out with the work it does every minute of our lives.


The basic "liver flush":

  • 1 glass of room temperature or slightly warmed water
  • 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp - 1 Tblsp oil, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, or flax seed oil are best


  • small pinch of cayenne
  • 1 clove of minced raw garlic


Experiment with the cayenne and see how it feels.  For some, it's fine; for others, cayenne is too much of a stimulant and can make you feel agitated or uncomfortable. 

As for the garlic, it's probably best to skip it if you're taking this drink in the morning and you have somewhere to go - garlic breath first thing in the morning is a little harsh, at least for those around you!  I prefer taking this drink before breakfast, but if you want to add the garlic, drinking it in the evening is likely the best option.


A hot version of the tonic is great too if you want something warm.  I often make it for myself or my kids when one of us feels a cold coming on (another tradition from my childhood).

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp - 1 Tblsp honey


Freshly squeezed lemonade is a great tonic as well, so enjoy it as a refreshing drink whenever you want.  Use either maple syrup or agave nectar as a sweetener rather than refined sugar.