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5 Best Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder

Globalization has led to an increase in people living with liver conditions. With nearly 2 million deaths caused by this disease every year, it is clear that we need better prevention and treatment methods! 

Risk factors, like heavy alcohol intake or high blood sugar levels, can cause changes within your body's natural process, leading you to severe complications if left untreated at early stages. Unfortunately, these are often accompanied by other significant problems, like chronic pain, anxiety and depression.

The liver and gallbladder are two of the most important organs in the body for detoxification and digestion. These organs can be supported and helped to function optimally with certain herbs. Here are five of the best herbs for the gallbladder.

An Important Note

Some herbs are unsafe for those with certain liver conditions. Your healthcare provider should check before adding any supplements, including the ones on this list- it's important to be aware of what can happen if you have an imbalance or reaction to a medication being administered via supplement!

What are the Best Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder?

The 5 best herbs for the gallbladder are milk thistle, burdock, ginger, dandelion root, turmeric. These herbs have been traditionally used for their gallbladder supporting properties and can help promote the overall health and function of these organs.

Top 5 Herbs for Optimal Liver and Gallbladder Health

When it comes to supporting the health of your liver and gallbladder, there are several herbs that stand out. These herbs possess properties that can help detoxify, protect, and nourish these vital organs.

Milk Thistle: A Powerhouse Herb for the Liver and Gallbladder

Milk thistle, scientifically known as Silybum marianum, is native to the Mediterranean but grows in Europe, North and South America, and South Australia.

A prickly but edible plant, milk thistle is one of the star herbs for liver support and has a history of traditional use.

Milk thistle is a powerful herb beneficial for the liver and gallbladder. It helps to detoxify the liver and gallbladder and supports their function. Milk thistle is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which help to protect the liver from damage. It also helps to improve liver function and reduce inflammation.

The silymarins, a group of active components of milk thistle, are believed to support the natural detoxification process in the liver and normal cell regeneration. Silymarins have been the subject of numerous scientific studies, suggesting that milk thistle supports healthy liver function.

However, it is not just modern research that points to milk thistle's benefits. It has traditionally been used for centuries as a liver tonic for antioxidant support and optimal liver function.

Burdock: A Versatile Herb for Liver and Gallbladder Health

Burdock is a versatile herb that has many beneficial effects on liver and gallbladder health. It is a natural detoxifier and helps to cleanse the liver of toxins and impurities. Burdock also supports bile flow from the liver and gallbladder and aids digestion. Additionally, burdock is anti-inflammatory and can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.

It is rich in powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, luteolin and phenolic acids.

As you would expect, the effects of antioxidants help reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative stress associated with liver disorders and damage. It helps to reduce the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood in patients with osteoarthritis.

In addition, it also helps to purify the blood and remove toxins from the bloodstream. A 2011 study found that burdock root effectively detoxifies the blood and helps to increase circulation in the body.

It is also known to prevent and suppress certain cancers, but research in this area is still ongoing. It is an effective treatment for cirrhosis and liver damage and can reduce symptoms of fatty liver disease.

Burdock root is also active in healing damaged liver cells caused by alcohol, acetaminophen and other liver-damaging toxins.

Ginger: A Warming Herb that Supports Digestion and Liver Function

Ginger is a warming herb that supports digestion and liver function. It can help to improve the flow of bile, which is important for digesting fat. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation in the liver and gallbladder.

Ginger is the root of the plant Zingiber officinale and is one of the most used spices in many countries. Ginger contains such active ingredients as gingerol, shogaol, zingerone, and β-bisabolene. In ancient medical practice, ginger was used to treat various diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gallbladder disease, inflammation and asthma. The main active component in ginger is gingerol, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and liver-protective effects.

Previous studies have shown that ginger and its active compounds can exhibit anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown that ginger extract can exhibit antioxidant activity and reduce pro-inflammatory biomarkers. Moreover, recent studies of type II diabetes and hyperlipidemia patients have shown that ginger can reduce insulin resistance and serum triglyceride concentrations.

Ginger is a warming herb traditionally used to support digestion and liver function. The active compounds in ginger root have also been shown to exhibit anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies have also demonstrated ginger root can reduce insulin resistance and serum triglyceride concentrations in patients with type II diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

Turmeric: A Potent Herb with Detox and Antioxidant Properties

Turmeric is a potent herb with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is a member of the ginger family, and its active compound is curcumin. Curcuma longa has been shown to have many health benefits, including reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, inhibiting tumour growth, and improving liver function.

One study showed that curcumin could reduce inflammation and improve liver function in rats with chronic hepatitis. Another study showed that curcumin could inhibit the growth of liver cancer cells. In addition, a recent clinical trial showed that curcumin improved liver function in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Turmeric extract has been studied for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, making it a potent herb for liver health. Turmeric extracts have also been found to reduce the toxicity caused by heavy metals and regulate various signalling pathways involved in inflammation and antioxidant activity. Turmeric has also effectively prevented fatty liver disease by addressing metabolic abnormalities and offering strong hepatoprotective effects against cellular damage.

Dandelion: A Bitter Herb That Supports Liver Function and Detoxification

Dandelion is a bitter herb used traditionally to support liver function and detoxification. The active compounds in dandelion include taraxacum, taraxasterol, and taraxerol. These compounds have been shown to have hepatoprotective effects, which can help protect the liver from damage. 

The dandelion is not just a weed that grows in your backyard. In fact, the dandelion has long been cultivated for its culinary and medicinal benefits, and modern science now confirms some of the ancient claims about it.

Dandelion is a familiar sight in North America, and most people are aware of it. It's a robust plant thrives in low-light areas where other plants fail. Dandelion flowers, leaves, and roots can all be used to make dandelion tea or supplements.

The dandelion greens extract also protects against liver damage caused by alcohol and other toxins. In addition, the dandelion extract has been shown to increase bile production and improve bile flow.

Find the Right Herb Option for You

When it comes to choosing the right herbs for liver and gallbladder health, it's important to consider your individual needs and preferences. While both turmeric extract and dandelion offer impressive benefits, there are other herbs that can also support these vital organs.

One such herb is milk thistle. Known for its active compound silymarin, milk thistle has been used for centuries to promote liver health. Silymarin has shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to protect liver cells from damage and supporting overall liver function.

New Roots Liver (Milk Thistle plus Alpha-Lipoic Acid)

New Roots Liver is a natural supplement that combines milk thistle and alpha-lipoic acid. Milk thistle is a herb traditionally used to support liver function and detoxification, while alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the liver from damage.

New Roots Liver is a great option for those looking for a natural way to support their liver health. This supplement's milk thistle can help protect and improve its function, while the alpha-lipoic acid offers powerful antioxidant support.

Wild Rose Liver D-Tox (15-Day Program)

The Wild Rose Liver D-Tox (15-Day Program) is an all-natural, herbal liver cleansing that helps detoxify and rejuvenate your liver. This powerful formula includes milk thistle, dandelion root, turmeric, and beetroot, which work together to help improve liver function and overall health. 

Wild Rose Liver D-Tox is the perfect way to jumpstart your detoxification journey. This comprehensive system comes with a detailed plan and guidebook to help you through each day of the program. You'll also receive a bottle of liver cleansing herbs, a toxin-absorbing fibre blend, and a powerful probiotic supplement.

NOW Liver Refresh

NOW Liver Refresh is a powerful detoxifier and liver support supplement. Its proprietary blend of herbs and nutrients helps cleanse and protect the liver while promoting healthy liver function. This makes it an ideal supplement for improving their overall health and wellbeing.

NOW Liver Refresh is formulated with milk thistle extract, a well-known liver tonic that helps to protect liver cells from damage and detox the liver. It also contains dandelion root, which has long been used as a natural diuretic to help promote the elimination of toxins from the body. Other key ingredients in NOW Liver Refresh include beetroot powder, artichoke leaf extract, and turmeric root extract. These all work together to provide comprehensive support for optimal liver health.

Botanica Liver Support Liquid Herb 

Looking for a liver support supplement that actually works? Look no further than Botanica Liver Support Liquid Herb! Our unique formula contains a blend of herbs that have been traditionally used to support liver health.

Ingredients like milk thistle and dandelion root work to detoxify and protect the liver, while other herbs like chicory root and barberry help to stimulate liver function. And because our supplement is in liquid form, it's easier for your body to absorb all the benefits!

Plus, our Liver Support Liquid Herb is safe for long-term use. So if you're looking for a comprehensive liver support supplement, Botanica is the way to go!

Renew Life Rapid Cleanse (7-Day)

During the 7-day cleanse, you'll take three cleansing formulas twice daily. The first formula contains herbal extracts and fibre to promote bowel regularity and elimination. The second formula is a rich blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support detoxification and protect cells. The third formula is a homeopathic tincture that helps reduce occasional digestive discomfort. Here's what you can expect with Renew Life's Rapid Cleanse:

  • Improved digestion and regularity
  • Weight loss
  • More energy
  • Clearer skin
  • Detoxification

Now Burdock Root

Burdock root has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to treat various ailments. It is known for its detoxifying properties and ability to cleanse the blood and lymphatic system. Burdock root is also a great source of fibre, which can help improve digestion.

Now Burdock Root is the perfect supplement to help improve your overall health. It is gentle yet effective and works great for both men and women. If you are looking for an easy and convenient way to improve your health, Now Burdock Root is the perfect solution!

Nature's Way Dandelion Root 

Nature's Way Dandelion Root is a dietary supplement that supports overall health and wellbeing. The active ingredient in dandelion root is believed to be Taraxacum officinale, which is a type of plant that is native to Europe and Asia. Dandelion root has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and is thought to possess various health benefits. 

For example, dandelion root is said to aid in digestion, promote detoxification, and support the liver. Additionally, dandelion root is sometimes used as a natural diuretic. Nature's Way Dandelion Root is available in capsule form and can be found at most health food stores.

Francis Dandelion

If you're looking for a natural way to boost your health, look no further than St. Francis Dandelion! This unique herbal supplement contains 2500mg of DHE per serving, making it an incredibly potent way to improve your overall wellbeing.

Dandelion has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy. Modern science is beginning to catch up with what traditional healers have always known - that it's a true powerhouse regarding health and wellness. Dandelion is rich in vitamins and minerals and especially high in Vitamin C, essential for a strong immune system. It's also a natural detoxifier, helping to cleanse your body of toxins and impurities, making it beneficial for conditions such as high blood pressure.

Francis Gallbladder Support 

Looking for a gallbladder support supplement that actually works? St. Francis Gallbladder Support is here to help! This unique formula contains milk thistle, a well-known herb used for centuries to support liver and gallbladder health. Milk thistle is known for its ability to detoxify the body and provides antioxidant support. Additionally, this formula also contains dandelion root, which is traditionally used to support digestive health. With these two powerful herbs working together, St. Francis Gallbladder Support is the perfect way to keep your gallbladder healthy and functioning properly. However, results from human studies have been mixed, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating this supplement into your routine.

Natural Factors LG Cleanse Formula 

The Natural Factors LG Cleanse Formula is designed to cleanse the digestive system and support bowel regularity. The formula contains a blend of herbs, enzymes, and probiotics that work together to promote bowel movements and reduce inflammation. The herbs in the formula include ginger, fennel, and turmeric, which have traditionally been used to support digestion. The enzymes help to break down food particles, while the probiotics provide beneficial bacteria that support gut health. The LG Cleanse Formula is safe for daily use and does not contain harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients.


Dear Dr.Kim

I am thinking about taking liver herbs as I heard that it might help my gallbladder. Can you tell me a little more?

T.G. Victoria


Dear T.G.

There are many herbs you can consider to support your liver and gallbladder health. These two organs are among my favourites in human health. The liver is a master organ, said to perform more than 300 functions, and together with the gallbladder, is integral to good digestion. The liver sits on the right side of the body – tucked behind the rib cage. The gallbladder, about the size of a golf ball, sits just under the liver, connected by some ducts.

Among the jobs of the liver is to receive food nutrients from the intestine, receive and process cholesterol, neutralize compounds for elimination, create bile, and store and release glucose, when needed. Some of the signs and symptom I consider as possibly pointing to liver are heartburn, intolerance for rich food, skin troubles that are not due to contact irritants, some headaches, sluggish bowels, and superficial sleep – especially persistent waking in the window of 1-3 am. The liver is also responsible for storing and releasing key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and B12, making it crucial for overall health and wellbeing.

The job of the precious pouch-like gallbladder is to store and concentrate the bile produced by the liver. The bile carries compounds earmarked for elimination (via your bowel movement), aids in fat digestion (by emulsifying the fats you consume), neutralizes stomach acids (when these fluids merge at the start of the small intestine) and acts as an antimicrobial (supporting microbial health along the digestive tract). When you eat, the gallbladder “squirts” bile into the digestive tract –at the start of the small intestine, at the duodenum. Bile is a well-balanced fluid and as optimal health declines or slips, the balance of bile contents can shift leading to thicker “sludgy” bile and possibly, eventually gallstones. Higher fat meals increase the demand on bile and this is why people with suboptimal gallbladder/liver health can have low tolerance for fatty or rich foods.

Minimize burden on the liver by keeping healthy nutrition habits, following a regular exercise or activity plan, while limiting exposure to chemical toxins. Next, there are many herbs and foods that aid bile flow and can help desludge a bilious brew. Dandelion, artichoke leaf, turmeric, burdock, barberry, garlic, olive oil, beets, and lemon promote flow of this vital fluid and aid in preventing liver fat accumulation. Garlic is the granddaddy herb for liver cell repair. I most often favour a combination approach as I like to support repair but want to optimize function and bile flow. Finally, ensure that your fiber intake (at least 30 grams per day) is up to snuff. Fibre binds bile in the digestive tract and further encourages elimination (of cholesterol, hormones, and toxins).

I hope these tips help you to keep things flowing!!

“Health from the inside out.”

Dr. Kimberly McQueen BSc, ND is a Naturopathic Physician in Victoria, BC. In addition to her clinic work she has been a consultant to the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Camosun College, Rugby Canada and Rowing Canada. P:778.433.4935 and . Kim McQueen is one of the Co-founders of the nourishing Supershake, Rumble.