Does the “amazing liver flush”
really work? My detailed review.Many of you have been following me on Twitter and requested a full blog post about the effects my liver flush (also known as a liver cleanse or gallbladder flush) had.
For years, I have been suffering from myriad stomach problems — namely gas, bloating, and cramps after eating. After keeping a food journal, I discovered that garlic, onions, red meat, and milk were bothering me the most. Sure, I could use Pepto-Bismol or Lactaid pills, which cured the symptoms, but the only foolproof way to avoid painful cramps was simply to avoid these foods.
Red meat and milk weren’t too bad to cut out, but the garlic and onion problem really bothered me. I enjoy both foods, and garlic in particular is used to flavor a lot of food. If I ordered an entree with garlic, I’d simply pop a couple Pepto pills and suffer, since I liked it so much.
Then, while I was browsing Steve Pavlina’s forum, a few people mentioned that they had done liver flushes. I had never heard of a liver flush, but it immediately jumped out at me as something I needed to learn more about.
After doing some research, I bought the definitive guide on liver flushes: Andreas Moritz’s The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush. I read the entire book, gleaning background information on why people choose to cleanse or flush their liver.
Moritz makes some amazing claims in the book, claiming that people have cured everything from lower back pain to acne by doing a flush. The flush apparently can even clear the dark “liver spots” we get on our faces and necks as we get older. Several testimonials in the book shared a radical point of view — that this liver flush can actually prevent most gallbladder removal surgeries. Moritz believes that if we all did liver flushes on a regular basis, we would no longer need the surgery at all. Since 20% of people experience gallbladder problems at some time in their life, this is a pretty big claim!
After reading the book, I was ready to take the challenge. Was this liver flush quack science or did it really have an effect?
I started by making a list of every problem I had that Moritz claimed the liver flush could cure. The list is ordered from problems I thought the liver flush was most likely to cure to problems it probably wouldn’t cure.
- Garlic/onion intolerance
- “Brain fog”/lack of mental clarity
- Inability to eat spicy food, such as peppers (I’m not even able to tolerate green peppers)
- Problems eating red meat
- Lower back pain
- Poor circulation in my extremities
The actual flush
The actual flush consists of a week of drinking extra apple juice at certain times of the day, followed by a colonic (which you have to schedule with a local clinic), then an overnight fast and drinking a strange concoction. Finally, you drink some laxatives and go to the bathroom.
Cautionary note: I will be purposefully vague about the actual procedure in order to discourage you from doing a liver flush simply after reading this blog. There are a LOT of nuances, allergies, and a strict time schedule you should adhere to. Several pages in the book go through what ingredients you need, as well as what specific times you need to perform each function. The liver flush can fail on timing if you’re off by as little as 10-15 minutes in certain cases. If you plan to do the liver flush, buy the book FIRST! It’s a small investment in your good health.
One more quick note: There are “liver flush recipes” online. You can read them, but there are many nuances that are NOT mentioned online (I looked closely, yet I had an issue that would not have been resolved had I only looked online.) Use the book as your manual and the Internet as a supplement to the book.
The first 6 days
During the first 6 days, I drank the apple juice as recommended. Due to my sensitive stomach, however, it caused me bloating and discomfort. I opted after a couple of days to instead dissolve some malic acid powder in apple juice. I cut the apple juice amount in half (2 glasses instead of 4), opened 1x800mg malic acid capsule, and dumped its contents into each glass. This works fine, so if you have a weak stomach and can’t deal with the apple juice’s laxative effect, do that.
On day 6, I had a colonic at a local clinic. This was my first-ever colonic, and it was definitely a strange experience! Two colonics are required during the liver flush; I strongly recommend you do them instead of taking an enema. After having two of them, I can attest they get far more out of your system than an enema will, and they are not painful — just weird.
Day 7 — The fateful day!
On day 7, I followed the instructions in the book exactly, except that since I go to sleep at midnight, I did each step exactly 2 hours later than the times he recommended in the book. Just before I was ready for bed, I drank what may the worst thing I’ve ever tasted — the “flush tonic” of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and extra virgin olive oil. It was kind of like drinking earwax, or maybe armpit sweat. I managed to get the whole thing down in record time, and appreciated the advice of having honey readily available to suck on after each mouthful. One word of caution: the oil will get on your lips and feel strange; resist the temptation to lick your lips! It brings the awful taste back. Just keep a napkin nearby instead.
I laid down immediately, but since I wasn’t really tired, I listened to the clearing audio instead. (I love that audio track — it has gotten me through a lot of rough nights when I couldn’t sleep!)
One of the things the book described that I was highly skeptical of was that when you lie down after drinking the tonic, you may be able to actually feel the stones moving around in your gut. Sure enough, I put my hand lightly on my liver and felt something fluttering down there. It’s really hard to explain, but it felt like something was opening and closing inside me. Then I felt several stones moving around my body and toward their eventual exit.
That was the moment when I knew it was going to work, and I was positively triumphant! All of the apple juice and the tonic were worth it; something was going to come out of me in the morning! I went to sleep.
I got up early in the morning, excited! As soon as I got out of bed, though, I felt like a freight train had hit me. The book had mentioned “detox symptoms” might hit after drinking the liver flush concoction, but I wasn’t expecting this. I hadn’t felt so sick since I had scarlet fever as a kid. I was running a fever, shivering, and cold sweat was running down my entire body. No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get warm. I normally don’t sweat a lot, so this was unreal. Nevertheless, I knew I had to continue, so I drank my magnesium citrate and a few glasses of water, and went back to bed. I thought I was going to be sick, but some deep breathing and meditation helped me hold it all in.
Two hours later, I woke up again to take the final laxative and wait. I tried to do some work, but I wasn’t feeling that great, and ended up aimlessly surfing the Web for a few hours. I drank some more apple juice and ate some fruit, as the book suggested, but my stomach was cranky and didn’t really want any food.
The actual stones
Finally, I felt the urge to go to the bathroom! I ended up going a total of 5 times over the next few hours. I looked forward to it, since every time I went, I felt better. I counted the stones I could see, and I ended up passing a total of 65 stones!
The stones are bright green and easy to spot in the toilet. Most of mine were about the size of Nerds candy. Some were even smaller — just tiny specks of green. The two largest ones were the size of a pea and a raisin. I was blown away! By the afternoon, I was ravenously hungry, and ate a lot of bland food and fruit. By dinner, I was eating normally, except I went light on the meat.
Throughout the entire day after the flush, I felt the best I had ever felt in my life. Even though I weighed myself periodically during the flush and did not lose or gain any weight during the week, I felt lighter. In fact, I felt amazing! I was putting together ideas much more quickly than normal, and I needed less sleep. It was completely worth the tonic and the few hours of feeling feverish.
After the flush — Did it cure my food intolerances?
As the book recommended, I had another colonic two days after the flush. I was hoping to spot more stones, but there weren’t any. I had gotten them out!
As a test, I decided to eat something that before would have had me on the floor in agony — a bagel coated in garlic. I bought some garlic spread (it’s basically just garlic suspended in a light canola oil) and smeared enough on the bagel that my boyfriend nearly gagged on the smell when I toasted it. I then ate this…aromatic…concoction with him looking on in disbelief.
I am shocked to say that I had no ill side effects when I ate it! In fact, besides garlic breath (which I had forgotten about, since it had been so long since I had eaten that much garlic!), I felt fine!
This is the result I was hoping for, but not one I could bring myself to expect. Yet there it is — my garlic and onion allergies, totally cured!
As for the rest of the list? The most obvious side effects were the complete reversal of my garlic/onion symptoms, and the clearing of my mental fog. (Trust me — even if you don’t think you have mental fog, you do!) I also was able to eat peppers somewhat more easily. Certainly, I adjusted to green peppers quite well, although red peppers still bothered me.
I can’t say my acne has really disappeared. My massage therapist says my lower back needs less massage work now, but I don’t feel a day-to-day difference. My feet and hands still get cold. I tested eating a pastrami sandwich and some pork, and they still made me feel exhausted, so I doubt I’ll go back to eating red meat. Milk still makes me gassy, but fortunately I have Lactaid pills for that. I do feel like I have a higher tolerance for dairy, however.
The bad news
One of the things mentioned in the book is that, after doing the flush, you’ll know it worked if your original symptoms reappear within a few days. The reason is that the flush gets all the stones in the front of your liver out, but within 3 days to 2 weeks, stones from the back move toward the front, and your problems come back.
Not to worry — the solution is simply to wait a month and do another cleanse. You’ll know you are done when two consecutive cleanses don’t flush out any stones. For most people, this is after 8-12 flushes. Moritz then recommends a “maintenance cycle” of 1-2 flushes a year.
I am sad to report that already, my garlic and onion sensitivities are back. It took about 6 days for them to come back. The good news is that I can eat more garlic than I was previously able to. This means my liver is making more bile than it was able to previously. I plan to continue doing the flushes every month as suggested in the book.
I do believe that I will again get to the point where I can eat garlic and onions without having to take Pepto-Bismol. That is a radical change! Currently, I know of no modern doctor who would have been able to solve this problem for me. After doing this, I have two opinions:
- There are alternative cures that work as well or better than modern medicine in certain cases. The liver flush is an amazing tool, used correctly. I encourage you to try it if you have developed food “allergies” or intolerances. It may or may not fix your problem, but it will surely make you healthier.
- Our typical American diet has unintended consequences. Moritz is a strict vegan and mentions in the book that he does the maintenance flushes once a year, but nothing ever comes out. The stones are typically made of cholesterol and fat — two things that people in our culture eat quite commonly, but that our digestive systems aren’t able to process well. If we all ate better, we might not ever need a liver flush. But since we don’t typically feed our bodies easily-processed food, periodic liver flushes are essential.
After seeing these results for myself, I have to say Moritz’s claims have a lot more credibility in my eyes. Imagine a world with no expensive gallbladder removal surgeries and fewer digestive issues. What a remarkable change! I would hope that more doctors would get on board with this simple preventative program.
Do we all have stones? If you live in a society technologically advanced enough to read this blog post, I’d say it’s likely that you do. The only way to know is to try the flush yourself. In my opinion, it’s something we all should do. I’m a big fan of preventative maintenance now instead of emergency surgery later.
Have you tried a liver flush, or do you plan to? Leave your comments here! If you write a post or review about your liver cleanse experiences, I’m happy to link to it.
- Andreas Moritz’s The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush The definitive guide to a liver flush. Do not cheap out and rely solely on the Internet–read this before attempting a flush!
- Nature’s Life malic acid capsules. The exact capsules I used in my apple juice. Buy them here (online); they’re much cheaper!
- Liquid magnesium citrate laxative. I used this instead of the epsom salts due to my sensitive stomach. It worked just fine, and I would recommend it if you are likely to not be able to hold the Epsom salts down. Remember to buy the liquid, not the pills!