Taking care of the liver is one of the best ways to ensure good health. Major organs including the heart are nourished and vitalized with high quality blood produced by the liver. Conversely, a poorly functioning liver can be a major contributor to virtually any disease in the body. It’s hard to imagine that any disease can be fully resolved without a healthy, functional liver. Perhaps because pain is not often associated with a malfunctioning liver – except in the case of an inflamed gall bladder – not much attention is paid to this connection between many diseases and an unhealthy liver. In modern cultures, it’s easy for the liver to become overloaded from processing bad food and other chemicals that make their way into the body.
Functions of the Liver
The liver is the largest gland in the body and is actually an endocrine gland. It is the conductor of detoxification processes. The liver’s primary responsibility is blood formation. Other functions of the liver include:
- Transformation of proteins and fats
- Biologically transforms materials prior to use for cell and tissue building and maintenance
- Neutralizes toxins and certain poisons
- Produces certain enzymes
- Regulates bodily functions
- Produces particular substances needed to help the body establish and maintain its ability to fight infection.
Should there be deficiencies in any of these functions, toxic overload and hypersensitivity can result. Signs of this dysfunction are generally expressed by rheumatism, hives or asthma. With the help of bile, the liver neutralizes toxins. However, even a small amount of toxin processing can fatigue the liver – or worse. An overloaded liver cannot perform its defensive function and the unprocessed toxins go into the blood stream where they are circulated to – and degenerate – organs and nerve centers
The liver prevents hemophilia and coagulates the blood by regulating the amount of iron in the blood as well as the rate at which blood clots. The liver also stores and transforms a substance carried to it by the blood. This substance is then released by the liver and is delivered to the bone marrow where it supports creation of red blood cells. A congested liver cannot store this substance and an overloaded liver cannot transform it. One result of this can be anemia.
A traditional method of treating anemia is to eat animal livers. The idea behind this is to provide a hepatic, i.e. liver-related hormone which the sick liver is unable to produce. According to Dextreit, an enormous amount of liver would need to be eaten to get a small amount of hormone. And of course, as the principal organ of detoxification in both people AND animals, the liver itself contains a large amount of toxins. It doesn’t make sense to consume a toxic substance to help remedy conditions brought on by toxic overload! Additionally, the results are temporary. What’s required is to return the liver to proper functioning through methods that include detoxification.
As the body’s largest gland, the liver creates its own hormone. In addition, the liver effects transformation of steroidal hormones. The liver also regulates the production of folliculin, a protein that is believed to be a tumor suppressor. Excess folliculin reduces calcium in the blood. Symptoms of this condition, according to Dextreit are hypersensitivity, anguish, constipation, hemorrhoids or dark and insufficient urine.
The liver regulates iron in the blood stream and helps to maintain a constant body temperature. When there are parts of the body experiencing congestion, the liver regulates circulation. The liver helps remove excess unwanted substances, such as cholesterol. An overactive liver will have a person overly warm and uncomfortable in the summer. Conversely, those that are barely able to tolerate cold may have deficient liver function. Changes in the composition or density of blood brought on by liver dysfunction often results in small red dots that come and go on various parts of the body.
Consequences of a Malfunctioning Liver
Yellow coloration of the skin and membranes are caused by an excess of biliary (i.e. from bile) pigments in the blood. There are many types of jaundice, the most well-known being classic jaundice. In addition to yellowish skin, the urine is darkened by excess bile. Gastric problems may also present along with nausea and vomiting. The individual may shiver with cold, even in temperatures in the 90s. Headaches, hives and joint pain may also be present.
Normal elements in bile such as cholesterol or pigments that were not eliminated by the liver solidify in the gall bladder. Pain is sensed at the site of the gall bladder, most often at the level of the right breast. The pain can radiate out towards the right shoulder and is most acute at 3:00 AM. Breathing in can be difficult and nausea and vomiting may also be present. The mouth has a bitter taste and is sticky inside. These attacks can last three days, with body temperature sky rocketing on the second day. Some attacks last longer, as evidenced by a persistent fever – the body’s attempt at fighting the problem.
The liver can be the source of slow-growing abscesses in the body. Pain is felt at the site of the abscess and fever is present as well.
Cirrhosis is a proliferation of cells such that the liver expands. There are many types of cirrhosis, with the most well-known AND most common is alcoholic cirrhosis. This is evidenced by liquid in the abdomen. Although the body becomes thinner, the abdomen remains large. Often, the legs are swollen and the tissue is soft and insensitive. The mouth and skin is dry, the tongue bright red, and urination becomes less frequent. Another type of cirrhosis is hepatitis. Contamination is caused after a vaccine, blood transfusion or other injection into the blood by needle, such as IV drug use.
Drinking Bentonite Clay
The French homeopath Raymond Dextreit wrote that clay “absorbs impurities, revitalizes the organism and stimulates glandular function. Clay is an excellent healer of the liver and therefore must be included in every natural treatment.” Mix our Drinking Powder one part clay to eight parts water in a glass or food-grade plastic bottle and SHAKE WELL. (This ensures the clay and water blend well and make it easier for drinking.) Drink one ounce of this clay water per day for the first week. Beginning in week 2, drink two ounces of clay daily. Since the clay will settler overnight, simply shake the bottle before drinking the clay water the following day. Two ounces per day is a typical amount of clay to consume for general health and wellness. Some people may wish to consume more clay beginning in week 3 and beyond. Please read our testimonials to learn how others have used our clay and in what amounts.
Dextreit writes that a deficient liver may not be able to tolerate clay on the first attempt. If this is the case, he recommends mixing 1 teaspoon of clay in ½ cup filtered water and letting the mixture sit awhile. (He does not specify for how long.) After sitting awhile, filter out the water from the clay (which will have settled some, depending on how long it’s allowed to sit) and drink the clayish water. Our recommendation would be to drink 1 ounce of this per day for the first week and in week 2, drink two ounces of clay daily. This filtering method cuts back the amount of clay being consumed. Dextreit notes that should constipation occur to drink clayish water described in this paragraph along with an herbal laxative decoction.
Bentonite Clay Poultice
Dextreit claims that one of the best methods of stimulating liver function is to apply a clay poultice or compress to the liver at least two hours after eating. Our Bath Clay can be used to make clay poultices. As the body becomes accustomed to the clay and liver function improves, the poultice may be applied soon after eating. According to Dr. Dextreit, it’s best to warm the clay pack before applying to the liver. He suggests warming the clay on a radiator or more practically in modern times – in a double boiler. Since prolonged exposure to metal is to be avoided it’s best to create a modified double boiler by placing an oven proof bowl on top of a pot of hot water. If clay liver packs will be done regularly, it might be worth investing in a glass double boiler which can be readily purchased on eBay. Do NOT microwave the clay. Microwaving changes the molecular structure of everything subjected to it, so this is a no-no. Alternatively, place the clay poultice in a zip lock bag and warm it in a bowl of hot water or a sink.
Initially the clay poultice be applied at a tepid temperature. If results are not forthcoming, the poultice may be applied to the body at a warmer temperature. It can be left on for 2 hours or more. The clay poultice can even be left on overnight provided it does not dry out, become cold or cause an adverse reaction such as increased pain, nervousness, excess heat or cold within the body. To start with, it may be necessary to apply a thin ( less than 1/2“) poultice and work up to a thicker (3/4 “ – 1) one.
Dextreit writes that poultices may be applied daily for three weeks to a month. In the case of gall stones, the daily poultice may be applied for several months. However, should there be any sign of fatigue, the practice should be stopped until strength is regained. Once this so, the poultices can be resumed. It’s interesting that he notes that sometimes the opposite happens, i.e. the clay poultices GIVE strength. In this case, they may be increased up to three in a 24-hour period. He also recommends massage of the area after the poultice with olive oil.
The liver is the conductor of not only the body’s natural detoxification processes, but plays a pivotal role in many other critical bodily functions. The liver is the organ responsible for blood formation and revitalizing virtually all other organs and systems. With all the unclean food, toxic body care and household products in our world, it’s easy for the liver to get overwhelmed.
Raymond Dextreit writes “Clay is an excellent healer of the liver and therefore must be included in every natural treatment.” Fortunately, bentonite clay can help rid the body of toxins and other noxious substances, leaving less garbage for the liver to process. Whether used internally, externally or both, calcium bentonite clay is a safe, natural remedy to boost liver function.
Dextreit, Raymond Our Earth, Our Cure. Swan House Publishing Company, 1974. Print