La depurazione epatica – I rimedi colagoghi

Liver purification – Cholagogic remedies

The importance of the liver in human pathophysiology is now an undisputed fact. The liver is the largest gland in the entire body and represents the center of the body's metabolism.

All chemical medicines that are introduced into the human body are metabolised by this gland, therefore the growing use of medicines, typical of our civilization, especially estrogen-progestins - which are sometimes administered for long periods to women - requires as a counterpart the use of remedies that purify the body, without clearly being harmful.

The plants used in the Mediterranean herbal tradition (subsequently we will also discuss those used for liver purification in TCM - Traditional Chinese Medicine - and the importance of the liver in this system of medical knowledge) perform a very significant draining function at the liver level.

First of all, it is necessary to define the difference between choleretic and cholagogue plants or phytotherapeutic products (also called cholecystokinetics): choleretic preparations increase bile secretion by acting on the liver cell, while cholagogue or cholecystokinetic preparations increase the contractility of the gallbladder, thus increasing the quantity of bile poured into the digestive tract.

In this article we will discuss the best-known plants with a cholagogue function, postponing the dissertation on choleretic remedies until the next one.

Among the most used cholagogues in phytotherapy we certainly find dandelion ( Taraxacum officinale Weber ), also called "dandelion" or "dandelion", whose root has the ability to increase vesicular contractility and therefore the quantity of bile secreted by the bladder, while the leaves have a choleretic action. Taken in its entirety, the dandelion therefore performs both functions.

Usually, when a liver disorder occurs (but in the absence of a significant liver lesion), digestive disorders, migraines, dizziness or swelling after meals occur. In these cases the prescription is 50 gtt (drops) three times a day of ei (hydroalcoholic extract) of dandelion diluted in hot water (thus allowing the evaporation of the alcoholic part) or in the form of an aqueous solution (the reference product in this case it is the dandelion extract from the Ligne De Plants company – certified organic –, available in our herbalist's shop).

Another important cholagogue capable of draining the gall bladder is rosemary ( Rosmarinus officinalis L. ), of which the leaves are used in this case, in the form of glycerine macerate. Rosemary is very useful for biliary lithiasis together with black horseradish (Raphanus sativus L. var. niger (Mill.) Kerner) , which gently empties the gallbladder without creating problems of excessively evident crushing which could close the common bile duct and reach the pancreas, causing problems to be avoided such as pancreatitis.

If it is also necessary to lower cholesterol, the use of olive trees is recommended together with rosemary and black horseradish, which has a complementary action.

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