By Danisha Bogue, L.Ac. - December 5, 2022
Categories: General

Tis the season for excess food and drink while socializing into all hours of the night instead of getting a good night’s rest and working out the next morning. And all that celebrating adds up and can result in feeling tired, irritated, and lethargic. Detoxing your liver with Traditional Chinese Medicine including acupuncture can get you feeling like your usual energetic self again. And even if you’ve been doing better than the rest of us and have been sticking to your normal health routine, a liver detox can still benefit your overall health.

Why is liver health important?

Your liver is responsible for removing toxins from the body. Acting as a filter, all the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver regulates most chemicals in the blood and excretes bile. But unlike a filter, you can’t replace your liver. This is where detoxing your liver comes in. By cleansing your liver, you allow it to regulate qi and carry it properly around the body. Qi stagnation and heat can occur when the liver isn’t functioning properly.

The liver is also home to the hun (soul), affecting our consciousness and sense of purpose in life. Keeping a healthy liver is an important part of whole-body health. Stress has a tremendous effect on the liver and can be felt throughout the body.

Signs Your Liver Needs to be Detoxed

  •  Pale complexion
  •  Acne
  •  Blurry vision or irritated eyes
  •  Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  •  Irritability
  •  Increased PMS
  •  Digestive issues

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses a whole-body approach to detoxing the liver including eating foods that detoxify and strengthen the liver, taking herbs that soothe the liver and spleen, crying to release the toxins from the body through tears, and acupuncture to stimulate the liver and encourage digestion.

Foods for Liver Detox

  • Sour Foods – Foods such as lemons, brown rice umeboshi vinegar, sour plums, and cherries nourish the liver. Lemon water is a diuretic that can flush toxins out of your system.
  • Turmeric – Turmeric improves the flow of qi and blood while unblocking the liver and removing heat from the body. You can add it to your food or brew it as a drink.
  • Ginger – Ginger is a warming food (yang) that promotes circulation and has antibiotic qualities that help your body cleanse toxins and fight disease. Adding fresh ginger root to your food will help your liver.
  •  Artichokes – Artichokes promote bile production and urination, helping to clear your liver of heat.
  • Dandelion Root – Dandelion root is detoxifying and although is usually taken in the spring, can benefit the liver year-round.

Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Jie Wei Xiao Yao Wan are herbs that soothe the liver and spleen and can help with your detox. The herbs help clear the liver and spleen of Qi Stagnation, tonify the spleen, clear deficient heat, and nourish the blood.

  • Chai Hu (bupleurum root)
  • Bai Shao (Chinese peony)
  • Fu Ling (poria)
  • Gan Cao (licorice root)
  • Dong Gui (female ginseng)
  • Bai Zhu (atractylodes)
  • Mu Dan Pi (dried peony root bark)
  • Zhi Zi (gardenia fruit)
  • Bo He (peppermint)
  • Sheng Jiang (ginger)

Emotional Health

TCM recommends crying to release some of the toxins from your body and liver. The liver is strongly connected to not only our emotions but our soul. When we hold in our emotions they can manifest into anger and frustration that can lead to Qi Stagnation. Crying is one of the natural ways our body releases toxins and stress that affects not only our livers but our entire bodies. So go ahead and put on your favorite sad song or read a book that really tugs at your heartstrings. It’s good for not only your soul but your liver.


Acupuncture can reduce liver toxicity while protecting the liver and its functions. The Taichung point on the foot stimulates the liver and encourages digestion. Acupuncture can help balance the energies within the liver and clear Qi Stagnation.

Schedule Your Appointment

If you’re feeling a little rough after the celebratory holiday season, go ahead and give me a call to schedule an appointment to see if a liver detox is right for you. I will help identify any signs you could benefit from a liver detox and find a balanced program of foods, herbs, and acupuncture treatments to get your liver clear and optimally functioning again.



This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.