A weak liver can be the cause of many chronic health problems. Pain, constant fatigue, sleep disorders, heart palpitations, poor memory, skin problems, allergies, arthritis, thyroid problems, frequent urination, fainting and poor eyesight are a few examples of what may result when the liver is stressed.

Weak liver contributes to painful joints and muscles, and may lead to stroke, tinnitus, deafness, night blindness or blurring of the eyes, partial loss of eyesight, constipated bowels, disturbed sleep or insomnia.

The liver is the most emotion sensitive organ and its weakness is often connected to emotional sensitivity. Individuals who are emotionally sensitive are more prone to weak liver even if they do not have a poor diet or are not taken medication regularly.

Liver congestion and stagnation are common problems.  Yet conventional medicine does not understand them and has no test to detect them.  In hepatitis or liver inflammation, liver enzyme levels in the blood are elevated because of the ruptured liver cells which contain high contents of liver enzymes.  However, in liver congestion or stagnation, liver cells are still intact and liver enzyme levels in blood are normal.  Therefore normal clinical tests which rely on liverr enzyme levels as a measure of liver condition cannot detect liver congestion or stagnation.


Chinese Gentian (Lung-tanTsao) has been known for thousands of years to be useful in the treatment of  fever, rheumatism and general debility. It is also said to benefit the liver, aid digestion, strengthen the memory and give lightness and elasticity to the body. It is primarily used in the treatment of acute hepatitis, acute conjunctivitis, acute tonsillitis, jaundice and most liver disorders. It is also helpful in alleviating "sluggish liver" which can be caused by hormone therapy, medications or other problems such as stress or poor diets.

Nutritional deficiency is a common problem for individuals with liver disorders. Most nutrients pass through the body without being assimilated if the liver is weak. Supplements taken by individuals with weak livers may end up as waste products for the body to dispose because the supplements cannot be digested or assimilated.

A recommended approach to restoring liver health is with: the use of Chinese Bitters, by liver and gallbladder flush and by eliminating all liver and kidney weakening foods such as white flour, white sugar, caffeine, chocolate, deep fried foods, cold drinks and foods which chill the liver and kidneys, supplements or foods rich in Vitamin B's, C and minerals to nourish the liver and use the various Chinese herbs to increase "Chi" (energy flow) in the liver.

Daily morning exercises which involve stretching and deep breathing are also helpful. Exercise stimulates blood circulation and when blood circulates better, all organs function better.  Stretching and deep breathing exercises early in the morning provide the most benefit for anyone with sluggish liver. According to Chinese medicine, the liver works hard to filter our blood between 1 to 3 am during our sleep.  A fair amount of blood may be still retained in the liver when we wake up in the morning if the liver is congested. Early morning exercises help to bring the blood out of the liver into the circulating system.


Based on the Chinese gallbladder "meridians," gallstones may be associated with headaches, shoulder and neck pain. According to Chinese medicine, when gallstones are present, the weak gallbladder makes energy flow along the meridians sluggish and result in tense and tight feeling.  If blood circulation becomes so poor that the blood flow becomes stagnant, pain is the result. The presence of gallstones is often a contributing factor to weak spleen because the nerves on the spleen and gallbladder are connected to each other. Weak spleen may lead to hypoglycemia.

Sleep problem is another common symptom with gallstones.  In more severe cases, the gallstones may cause dizziness, bad taste in the mouth, vomiting of the bile, painful flanks, aggravation, anger and depression, insomnia and nightmares or hot and cold flushes. These symptoms are often reduced significantly after the gallstones are removed. Gallstones may take up to 25 years to show symptoms according to the American Liver Foundation. Women are four times more likely to have gallstones than men.

Gallbladder operation is the most common operation in North America. Every year, more than half a million people in the United States and more than 50,000 people in Canada undergo surgery to remove their gallbladders because of gallstones.  Approximately 80% of all gallstones show no symptoms and may remain "silent" for years. Once symptoms arise, they persist and increase in frequency. The most common triggers for gallbladder attacks are caffeine, chocolate, eggs, dairy products (especially ice cream) and greasy or deep fried foods. Symptoms may include right upper quadrant abdominal discomfort or sharp pain, gas or fullness after a heavy meal. The pain can also spread to the chest, shoulder, neck or back.  In addition to these symptoms, stones expelled from the gallbladder during contraction may become lodged within the bile duct leading to infection of the bile duct or gallbladder

Different approaches to gallbladder problems in conventional medicine all carry unwanted risks.The most common treatment, surgery, has as many as 10% of patients coming out of surgery with stones remaining in the bile ducts according to the U.S. National Institute of Health. Bile duct injury is another risk.


An alternative to surgery, is gallstone removal by chemical dissolution and gallbladder flush.  Traditional European folk remedy recommends the use of olive oil and lemon juice to flush the gallstones. A major concern is that if the stones are too big, they may not easily come out or may even get stuck on the way out. Traditional Chinese medicine recommends the use of "Gold Coin Grass" (GCG) to crush and soften the stones so that they will come out slowly.  This tends to take a relatively long time. However, centuries of experience has shown that Gold Coin Grass (GCG) can be taken safely without side effects. In most cases, alleviation of gallbladder pain is experienced within a few days of using Gold Coin Grass (GCG) in tincture form. This is a significant benefit.

I have found from my own experience (and that of many of my clients) that a combination of the following steps to be the most effective and efficient. An important difference between my procedure and that of many other flush procedures is that I use the Chinese herbal tincture Gold Coin Grass to soften and crush the gallstones before flushing. This makes the flushing easier, more efficient and complete, especially for larger stones.


STEP 1: Use Chinese Bitters for three weeks, 1 teaspoon is taken every day in the morning 1/2 hour before breakfast; mix with a small amount of water.

Step 2:  Use Gold Coin Grass (GCG) to crush and soften gallstones. Use one to two bottles of (GCG) depending on severity of gallstone problem, before doing the liver and gallbladder flush. Two bottles of (GCG) may be necessary for people over the age of 50 or who have gall bladder problems for many years. One tablespoon is taken every day in the morning 1/2 hour before breakfast, each bottle should take two to three weeks to finish.

Step 3:  Use Chinese Bitters again for three days ( same amount and times as above) Chinese Bitters should not be taken in conjunction with Gold Coin Grass (GCG) because they may be too much for the liver and gallbladder to adjust.

Step 4:  Liver and Gallbladder Flush with apple juice fasting,  malic acid in apple juice is excellent in breaking down the stagnant bile accumulated in the liver.

[I would like to caution that people with cancer, candida yeast infection, diabetes, hypoglycemia or stomach ulcer should not use this apple juice fasting procedure].


Take 2 glasses of 8 oz organic apple juice or apple cider every 2 hours from 8 am to 8 pm. Altogether 14 glasses will have been taken during this period.

Do not take any other food or drinks except plain water.

Please note that the apple juice should not be taken cold from the refrigerator; it should be kept at room temperature or mixed with hot water before use because cold drinks chill the liver. For people with lots of stagnant bile, the collapsed stagnant bile may rush out after drinking apple juice.  It may feel like having diarrhea but is actually stagnant bile (brownish yellow colour).


Repeat Day 1

At 8:30 pm, take 1/2 glass (4 oz) of olive oil (extra virgin cold pressed) mixed with 1/2 glass of lemon juice (squeezed from 3 lemons) or with 1/2 to 3/4 glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice.

Go immediately to bed and sleep on your right side.
If there is a large amount of stones, nausea may be felt after drinking olive oil but this feeling will largely disappear on the third day after taking some food.


Upon rising in the morning, take two glasses of warm water with juice from half a lemon in it.

Take 2 glasses of pure prune juice (organic preferred) half an hour after lemon juice. This step is optional.

Take vegetable broth and softly cooked vegetables only. The stones should be passed in the stool any time between midnight of Day 2 and morning of Day 4.


The Steps above should be repeated several times usually in one to two month intervals. 

The first flush cleanses out the stones close to the opening of the gallbladder through which the bile is discharged. However, the stones remaining in the gallbladder will slowly move forward and may cause the same symptoms again. These should also be crushed and flushed again. More flushes may still be needed to clean up the residual stones. It usually takes 3 flushes to eliminate the bulk of the stones. Once stones have been formed, the gallbladder tends to be sluggish. New stones may be formed again. Therefore 1 to 2 flushes a year is recommended for maintenance. Gold Coin Grass (GCG) may not be needed any more because new stones should be small and pass easily. I have been doing maintenance for years; usually around 10 to 15 small stones come out each time I do it. During the flush, Chinese Bitters can still be taken to ensure that the liver is not congested.


If the gallstones are so packed that they have difficulty moving, epsom salt, which dilates the bile duct, may be helpful. This usually happens to someone who is doing the first flush.  Nothing may come out at all. In this situation, you may have to repeat the olive oil/lemon juice procedure and eat one more day of vegetables. However, epsom salt solution, prepared by dissolving 3 teaspoons of epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) in 1 cup of warm water, should be taken about one-and-a-half to two hours before repeating the olive oil and lemon juice procedure.

A stone may get stuck on its way out it, although it is a rarity - it does happen.  In this situation, the olive oil/lemon juice flush may be repeated. Three teaspoonfuls of epsom salt in a cup of warm water should be taken 2 hours before the olive oil/lemon juice to dilate the duct. An alternative is 1 tablespoonful each of  Coptis and Curcuma  taken together. A stuck stone during the flush is different from a regular gallbladder attack. During the flush, a lot of bile is produced which serves as an excellent lubricant. The pain produced is relatively dull and mild in comparison with the very sharp pain experienced in a regular gallbladder attack.


The gallbladder stores, concentrates and secretes bile which is produced in the liver. The bile is necessary in the intestine for the digestion and absorption of fat. It is also important for lubricating the intestinal wall. Once the gallbladder is removed, the bile lost its storage space and tends to accumulate in the liver. 

The result is reduced bile flow because the liver does not contract to squirt the bile into the intestine like the gallbladder does. The reduced bile flow usually causes indigestion, constipation or diarrhea. When the accumulated bile becomes congested in the liver, it weakens the liver functions and may even lead to depression. According to Chinese medicine, depression is a sign of blocked liver energy. The combined effects of liver congestion and intestinal sluggishness may also cause sleep disorder, insomnia, or bad breath. Furthermore, the reduced bile flow could weaken the spleen and pancreas so much that diabetes may result. The spleen is connected to the gallbladder by nerves.  When the gallbladder is removed, the spleen is out of balance and becomes weakened.

Auto-immune diseases and allergies may also be the result of gallbladder removal because they are often caused by weak liver and spleen.  Other health problems that may be experienced after gallbladder removal include itchy skin, arthritis or anemia.  Allergy and arthritis are associated with weak liver and spleen. 

Itchy skin is usually caused by weak spleen if rashes (inflammation) are involved.

Our red cells live about 100-120 days.  The worn out cells are destroyed by the spleen or liver. When the spleen and liver are healthy, the broken down products would be recycled to produce new red cells. Weak liver and weak spleen that have poor capability of recycling these broken down products may lead to anemia.

When the liver is badly congested with stagnant bile which quite often happens to people with their gallbladder removed, the only relief is to stimulate their bile flow. From our experience working with many people who had gallbladder surgery, a combination of taking Chinese Bitters in the morning (to cleanse the liver) and Coptis at night (to stimulate bile flow) will help to relieve symptoms related to gallbladder removal, such as sleep problems and difficulty with bowel movement.

A helpful regimen in the morning is to start with 2 glasses of warm water, then exercise for 1/2 to 1 hour before taking Chinese Bitters.  Another 1/2 hour later, you can have your breakfast.  The warm water helps to "activate" the intestines and kidneys.

It is not uncommon for people who have their gallbladder removed to have gallstones in their liver. When the bile that is produced in the liver cannot be stored in the gallbladder anymore, it tends to get congested and become stagnant in the liver. When the bile is stagnant in the liver for too long, it becomes too concentrated; then cholesterol and bile pigments may crystallize to form stones in the liver similar to what happens in the gallbladder.

[The articles above are excerpts from “Conquering Chronic Diseases Without Drugs or Surgery,"  from written by Julia Chang, M.Sc. Chemistry and Chinese Herbalist.]

The herbs mentioned above, can be ordered from Julia Chang in Canada or from Tom Adams at this site.