Hepatics

Hepatics are herbal remedies which in a wide range of ways aid the work of the liver. They tone, strengthen and in some cases increase the flow of bile. In a broad holistic approach to health they are of great importance because of the fundamental role of the liver in the working of the body. An area of therapy that is well suited for herbal treatment is that of liver damage. In the unique and often infuriatingly ‘unscientific’ language of traditional herbalist’s, much attention is given to ‘detoxifying the liver’. The incredible complexity of liver chemistry and its fundamental role in human physiology is so daunting to researchers that the thought that simple plant remedies might have something to offer is both laughable and even insulting! Of course this is their problem as these ‘common weeds’ are proving to be profound tools in the treatment of diseases of pollution, both voluntary and involuntary. This blinkered perspective highlights again the limiting trap of the current research paradigm. For a more detailed look at the phytotherapeutic approach to liver disease please refer to the section on the digestive system.


There is no simple or single answer to how hepatics work. The bitters and cholagogues all act as hepatics, but then so do a whole range of remedies without such specific actions. Here is the epitome of herbal remedies that do wonders for the body, without us necessarily knowing how. This lack of biochemical knowledge does not stop them from working their wonders!


Hepatics

Agrimony

Aloe

Balm

Balmony

Barberry

Black Root

Blue Flag

Boldo

Bogbean

Cascara

Celery

Centaury

Cleavers

Dandelion

Elecampane

Fennel

Fringetree

Fumitory

Gentian

Golden Seal

Horseradish

Hyssop

Milk Thistle

Mountain Grape

Motherwort

Prickly Ash

Wahoo

Wild Indigo

Wild Yam

Wormwood

Yarrow

Yellow Dock


Hepatics that are also Alterative: Agrimony, Blue Flag, Cleavers, Dandelion, Fringetree, Fumitory, Mountain Grape, Prickly Ash, Yellow Dock



Hepatics that are also Anti-catarrhal: Golden Seal, Mountain Grape, Wild Indigo



Hepatics that are also Anti-inflammatory: Blue Flag, Bogbean, Celery, Cleavers, Wild Yam, Wormwood



Hepatics that are also Anti-microbial: Barberry, Elecampane, Wild Indigo, Yarrow



Hepatics that are also Anti-spasmodic: Balm, Black Root, Fennel, Hyssop, Motherwort, Wild Yam



Hepatics that are also Astringent : Agrimony, Barberry, Cleavers, Golden Seal, Yarrow


Hepatics that are also Bitter: Agrimony, Barberry, Bogbean, Cascara, Centaury, Gentian, Golden Seal, Wormwood



Hepatics that are also Carminative: Balm, Celery, Fennel, Horseradish, Hyssop, Prickly Ash, Wormwood



Hepatics that are also Diaphoretic: Balm, Barberry, Black Root, Elecampane, Hyssop, Prickly Ash, Wild Indigo, Yarrow



Hepatics that are also Diuretic : Agrimony, Blue Flag, Bogbean, Boldo, Cleavers, Fringetree, Fumitory, Horseradish, Wahoo, Yarrow



Hepatics that are also Emmenagogue: Barberry, Motherwort, Wormwood



Hepatics that are also Expectorant: Elecampane, Fennel, Hyssop



Hepatics that are also Hypotensive: Yarrow



Hepatics that are also Laxative : Balmony, Blue Flag, Dandelion, Fringetree, Golden Seal, Horseradish, Mountain Grape, Wahoo, Yellow Dock



Hepatics that are also Nervine : Balm, Celery, Hyssop, Motherwort



Tonic : Agrimony, Balmony, Cleavers, Dandelion, Fringetree, Golden Seal, Mountain Grape, Prickly Ash



Vulnerary: Agrimony, Golden Seal

Hepatics and Their System Affinity

The hepatics can be considered as having a system affinity for the liver and so a broad supportive effect upon the whole digestive system and blood.


Cardio-Vascular: Yarrow

Respiratory: Elecampane

Digestive: Agrimony, Boldo, Centaury, Gentian, Golden Seal

Urinary:

Reproductive:

Endocrine :

Lymphatic: Cleavers

Nervous: Hyssop

The Skin: Cleavers

Musculo/Skeletal: Bogbean, Celery

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David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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