Janice knew her liver needed help, yet she had tried popular cleansing kits and found they were a shock to her system. Persuaded by a friend who knew the gentle approach of homeopathy, she agreed to try this 200-year-old natural medicine.

Homeopathy is by nature gentle because it treats liver problems–or any other problem–by treating the person as a whole and each person individually. Sensitive persons require altogether different remedies and dosages than robust types. And while most of us can use a change in diet to clear out the excesses we eat, homeopaths treat liver sluggishness when it presents a symptom picture.

Here are some common homeopathic remedies made from minute doses of plant, mineral, and animal substances, each chosen to carefully match the symptoms a person experiences according to the age-old principle that like remedies cure like diseases.

Chelidonium was helpful to Janice, who complained of nausea, gas, and cramping pain radiating to her right shoulder blade. She became intensely irritable and would lie on her side and draw up her legs to ease the pain. Although her appetite was poor, she craved hot drinks and felt better after eating.

Lycopodium lessened Michael’s bloating, which would start immediately after eating anything. He disliked tight belts around his waist and felt terribly sluggish in the morning, barely able to drag himself out of bed. While he presented a superficial arrogance, underneath he doubted himself and felt insecure. This helped pinpoint the remedy, and he did well emotionally as well as physically.

Natrium sulphuricum worked wonders for Susan, who came to me because of her elevated liver enzymes. Her main symptoms were bouts of intense cramping pain, improved only by constant rubbing, and sudden attacks of “horrendous” gassy, early morning diarrhea. Feeling exhausted overall, she complained of having lost her drive. Natrium sulphuricum is often helpful for overly responsible, serious types.

Nux vomica helped ease John’s irritability and emotional sensitivity, which was associated with an overworked liver, due to several months of binging on junk food and alcohol. He complained of indigestion, cramps, and reflux with constipation, which improved with the remedy.

Since liver sluggishness tends to be a subtle, chronic condition that begins slowly and lasts a long time, choosing remedies is complicated and typically requires the help of an experienced homeopath. To find one near you, log on to www.homeopathy.org or www.homeopathicdirectory.com.

Typical Signs of Liver Sluggishness

  • Morning tiredness, irritability, low confidence
  • Digestive headaches, morning headaches
  • Aching under the right lower ribcage, right shoulder pain
  • Gas, bloating and indigestion; sensitivity to rich or fatty food
  • Constipation (may alternate with diarrhea)
  • Yellow skin or itchy skin, skin problems

Skeptical?

Studies continue to dispel myths. One such study published in the June 2005 issue of Complementary Therapies in Medicine concluded that out of almost 500 patients, better outcomes were reported with homeopathy as compared to conventional treatment.

About the Author

Nicole Duelli, CCH, RSHom (NA), enjoys sharing her love for homeopathy. She is a certified classical homeopath, trained in Germany as a naturopathic practitioner now practising in Vancouver, BC. Reach her through editorial@alive.com.