Fall Detox: Liver-Gallbladder Flush Protocol
by Amanda Beisel
On my recent journey to Costa Rica I met Ryan McKenna, a very knowledgeable vegan chef, and self-taught detox expert. He inspired me to take on a liver and gallbladder flush, a simple yet powerful detoxification method created by Andreas Mortiz.
Over the past year I’ve become drawn to learning about natural methods of fasting and detox and have been led to teachers and guides who have vast personal expertise in these areas. When I say “natural” I mean using simple ingredients provided by Mother Nature, rather than pill popping cleanses.
According to Ryan, the liver and gallbladder flush is one of the most powerful ways to cleanse your body, improve energy levels and regain your health and vitality. I was immediately on board. Here is the method he wrote and guided me to follow. You will find his details below if you are needing detox assistance on this exciting journey.
Get Rid of Gallstones
Gallstones severely disrupt the performance of the liver, which has over 500 important functions. Getting rid of these stones is one of the best steps you can take to rejuvenate your body, reverse or delay the aging process and heal your body on a profound level, not only physically but emotionally and mentally too.
By doing a liver flush we can safely remove hundreds of stones at a time. It may take eight to twelve flushes, (or even more in special cases) to completely free your liver from gallstones. Once you’ve done two consecutive flushes with no stones coming out you can be sure your liver is clear of gallstones and functioning at an optimum level. After that, do a liver flush twice a year for general maintenance.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 liters apple juice*
- 4 tbsp Epsom salts
- 200 ml cold-pressed organic olive oil
- Fresh grapefruits, lemons or oranges
- 3 cups filtered water
- Enema bag (Or, book two colonic irrigation sessions for days five and six. I did daily enemas as well as two colonic sessions because a healthy colon is so important.)
- Pint jar with lid
- A buddy—I recommend doing the protocol with a friend. You can support each other on your detox journeys and even swap pictures of the little green gallstone monsters. ;)
*If you can't tolerate the high sugar content of apple juice, apple cider vinegar works well too—I like Braggs brand. Four ounces of apple cider vinegar per day has the equivalent mallic acid content to one liter of apple juice. So, altogether, you would drink three cups of apple cider vinegar during the six-day preparation period.
For six days prior to the flush, drink at least one liter of apple juice per day. Apple juice has a strong cleansing effect and its malic acid content softens the gallstones and eases their passage through the bile ducts. Drink the apple juice throughout the day and not all at once. You may also eat as many apples as you like.
Eat a vegan diet free of meat, eggs, fish, and dairy products and avoid fried foods. You may eat normal meals but keep it as light as possible and try not to overeat. The better you prepare the more effective the flush will be. It is best to avoid fat during the preparation for this cleanse as this will build up more pressure in the liver. Avoid any medications or supplements during this time unless they are absolutely necessary.
Make sure that you cleanse your colon through enemas or colonic irrigation before, and after you do a liver cleanse. Having regular bowel movements is not necessarily an indication that your bowel is unobstructed. Colon cleansing, done either a few days before or, ideally, on the sixth day of preparation, helps to minimize any discomfort or nausea that may arise during the liver flush because it prevents back flushing of the oil mixture or waste products from the intestinal tract. It also assists the body in swiftly eliminating the gallstones. Colonic irrigation is the fastest and easiest method to prepare the colon for the liver cleanse. I recommend also doing an enema every morning of the six preparation days. This will ensure that your colon is in top shape for the flush. If your colon isn't clean and you have too much impacted fecal matter, gallstones may get trapped on their way out and lead to more discomfort.
Day 6 Daytime | No Fat
On the day of the flush (day six of the apple juice preparation) what you eat is very important. Eat a light breakfast. A juice or smoothie is ideal. For lunch you may have more fruit, a salad or some basmati rice with steamed vegetables
Do not eat any fat—no butter, no eggs, no avocados, no nuts, no seeds, no oils.
Also, do not eat anything after 1:30 pm. If you break this rule, you could feel very sick when you drink the olive oil mixture.
Day 6 Night | The Flush
6:00 pm Add four tablespoons of Epsom salts to three cups of water, and split the mixture equally between four glasses. Drink one portion now. You may add a little lemon juice to improve the taste or take a few sips of water afterwards to get rid of the bitter taste. Some people drink it with a large straw to bypass the taste buds. It’s also helpful to brush your teeth afterwards or rinse out the mouth with baking soda and water. One of the main actions of Epsom salt is to widen the bile ducts, making it easy for the stones to pass. It also clears out waste that may obstruct the release of the stones.
8:00 pm Drink your second serving of Epsom salt solution.
9:30 pm If you have not had a bowel movement and not done a colon cleanse within 24 hours, take a water enema; this will trigger a series of bowel movements.
9:45 pm Thoroughly wash the grapefruits (or lemons and oranges). Juice them by hand and remove pulp. You will need ¾ cup of juice. Pour the juice and ½ cup of olive oil into the pint jar. Close the jar tightly and shake hard, about 20 times, or until the solution is watery. Ideally, you should drink this mixture at 10:00 pm, but if you need to visit the bathroom a few more times, you may delay this step for up to 10 minutes.
10:00 pm Stand next to your bed (do not sit down) and drink the concoction, if possible, straight down. Some people prefer to drink it through a large plastic straw. If necessary, take a little honey between sips, which helps chase down the mixture. Most people have no problem drinking it straight. Do not take more than five minutes to drink it (elderly or frail people may take longer). LIE DOWN RIGHT AWAY. This is essential for helping to release the gallstones.
Turn off the lights and lie flat on your back with one or two pillows propping you up. Your head should be higher than the abdomen. If this is uncomfortable lie on your right side with your knees pulled towards your head. Lie perfectly still for at least 20 minutes and try not to speak. Place your attention on your liver. You may even feel the stones traveling along the bile ducts like marbles. There won’t be any pain because the magnesium in the Epsom salts is keeping the bile duct valves wide open and relaxed, and the bile that is excreted along with the stones keeps the bile ducts well lubricated (this is very different experience than a gallbladder attack where magnesium and bile are not present).
Go to sleep if you can. If at any time during the night you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, do so. Check if there are already small gallstones (pea green or tan colored pellets) floating in the toilet. You may feel nauseous during the night or in the early morning hours. This is mostly due to a strong and sudden outpouring of gallstones and toxins from the liver and gallbladder, pushing the oil mixture back into the stomach. The nausea will pass as the morning progresses.
The Following Morning
6:00–6:30 am Upon waking, but not before 6 am, drink your third portion of Epsom salts (if you feel very thirsty drink a glass of warm water before taking the salts). Rest, read or meditate. If you are very sleepy, you may go back to bed, although it is best if the body stays in an upright position. Most people feel absolutely fine and prefer to do some light exercise, such as yoga.
8:00–8:30 am Drink your fourth and final portion of Epsom salts and water.
10:30am You may drink freshly pressed fruit juice at this time. Half an hour later you may eat one or two pieces of fresh fruit. One hour later you may eat regular food, but eat lightly. By the evening or the next morning you should be back to normal, and feel the first signs of improvement. Continue to eat light meals during the following days. Remember, your liver and gallbladder underwent a major cleanse. Take it easy.
What to Expect
During the morning and, perhaps, afternoon hours after the cleanse you will have a number of watery bowel movements. These initially consist of gallstones mixed with food residue, and then just stones mixed with water. Most of the gallstones are pea green and float because they contain bile compounds. The stones come in different shades of green and may be bright colored and shiny like gemstones. Only the liver’s bile can cause the green color. Gallstones can come in all sizes, colors and shapes. The light colored stones formed most recently while the blackish stones are the oldest. Some are pea sized or smaller, and others are as big as two or three centimeters in diameter. There may be dozens and, sometimes, even hundreds of stones of different sizes and colors. All the green and yellowish stones are as soft as putty, thanks to the action of the apple juice.
You may also find a layer of white or tan-colored foam floating in the toilet. The foam consists of millions of tiny white, sharp-edged cholesterol crystals, which can easily rupture small bile ducts. They are equally important to release. Try to make a rough estimate of how many stones you have eliminated. To permanently cure bursitis, back pain, allergies or other health problems, and to prevent diseases from arising, you need to remove all the stones. This may require at least six cleanses which can be performed at two to three-week or monthly intervals. Do not cleanse more frequently than that. If you cannot cleanse this often, you may take more time between cleanses.
The important thing to remember is that once you have started cleansing the liver, keep cleansing it until no more stones come out. Leaving it half clean for a long period of time (over three months) can cause greater discomfort than not cleansing it at all.
The liver will begin to function more efficiently soon after the first cleanse and you may notice sudden improvements, sometimes within a few hours. Pains will lessen, energy will increase and clarity of mind will improve considerably. However, within a few days, stones from the rear of the liver will have traveled forward towards the two main bile ducts exiting the liver, which may cause some of the previous symptoms of discomfort to return. You might feel disappointed because the recovery seems so short lived. But all of this shows that there are still stones left behind, ready to be removed with the next round of cleansing.
Nevertheless, the liver’s self-repair and cleansing responses will have increased significantly, adding a great deal of effectiveness to this very important organ. As long as there are still a few small stones moving from some of the thousands of small bile ducts towards the hundreds of larger bile ducts, they may combine to form larger stones and produce previously experienced symptoms, such as backache, headache, ear ache, digestive trouble, bloating, irritability, and anger, although these may be less severe than they were before. If a new cleanse no longer produces any stones, which usually happens after six to eight cleanses (severe cases may take more than 10 or 12 cleanses), your liver can considered to be in excellent condition. Still, it is recommended to repeat the liver cleanse every six months. Each cleanse will give a further boost to the liver and take care of any toxins that may have accumulated. Never cleanse when you are a suffering an acute illness, even if it is just a simple cold. If you suffer from a chronic illness, cleansing your liver may be the best thing you can do, but check with your natural health care provider first.