Your gallbladder and liver—two intimately connected organs—form a complex system that has all sorts of jobs in your body. Caring for these two organs can include taking herbs for gallbladder and liver support, which is exactly what we will discuss in this article.*
To begin, we’ll do a quick review of your gallbladder and liver so you can better understand their function in your body. Then we’ll discuss herbs for gallbladder and liver health and a few supplements that you can add to your wellness regimen to support these important organs.*
Your Gallbladder and Liver
Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that “more than 500 vital functions have been identified with the liver.”1 We certainly won’t discuss all of those functions in this article. Just remember that your liver has important jobs to do, and it is hard at work every single day, as is the gallbladder.
How exactly are the two connected?
The liver, around the size of a football, is located on your right side below your rib cage. Meanwhile, the gallbladder is smaller (around the size of a pear) and sits under your liver.
One of the liver’s jobs is to produce bile (a digestive fluid), which is then moved to the gallbladder, where it is held before being released into your small intestine.2
To sum it up, we can say that the liver helps your body digest food, regulate chemical levels in your blood, and get rid of toxins.1
Although your gallbladder and liver work together, your body can function without the gallbladder, so sometimes it is taken out.
With those things in mind, we’ll discuss herbs that support gallbladder and liver health, since they are so closely connected.
6 Herbs for Gallbladder and Liver Health*
1) Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle, scientifically known as Silybum marianum, is native to the Mediterranean but grows in Europe, North and South America, and South Australia.
A prickly flowered yet edible plant, Milk Thistle is one of the star herbs when it comes to liver support and has a history of traditional use in supporting the liver.*
It’s believed that silymarins, a group of active constituents in Milk Thistle, support the natural detoxification process that happens in your liver, as well as its normal cell regeneration. Silymarins have been the subject of numerous scientific studies, many of which suggest that Milk Thistle supports healthy liver function.*3
However, it’s not just current research that points to the use of Milk Thistle. It’s been around as a liver tonic for centuries, with traditional use for antioxidant support and helping keep the liver operating at its best.*3
As far back as the first century AD, Pliny the Elder reported the use of Milk Thistle for liver health, and later, in 1650, an English herbalist named Nicholas Culpepper discussed the efficacy of this herb for liver support.*
Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is native to Southeastern and Eastern Asia and is well-known for its yellow color.
It is a standout herb in general, but in addition to Turmeric’s use in supporting healthy inflammatory function in healthy individuals as well as the immune system, it’s also used to support healthy digestion and liver function.* It is thought to have antioxidant properties, too.*
Its use dates back to 600 BC, when it was reported in Assyrian herbal accounts, yet it is still commonly used today.
Thanks to the antioxidant properties that we mentioned earlier, this herb is believed to help protect your liver from damage.*3
Taraxacum officinale, commonly known as the Dandelion flower, is much more than your average weed. Its roots and greens are not only edible but are also nutritionally dense and have served as a food source in various cultures.
Dandelion functions as a source of:
- Vitamins A, B complex, and C
- And more
It also has a history of use as a traditional herb. Native Americans used it to support the skin, stomach, and healthy urinary excretion.* In addition, it was traditionally used as an herb for gallbladder and liver support.*
The College of Naturopathic Medicine notes, “Dandelion root helps to promote the secretion of bile (to enable the correct breakdown and metabolism of fats), stimulate digestion, and aid liver detoxification.”*3
Burdock (Arctium lappa) is a common plant that is found in many areas of the world, including North America. You may even have seen this large plant on the roadside.
This tasty plant is prepared as a food in some countries, but it also pulls its weight as a traditional herb. It’s often classified as an “alterative,” plants that support the blood and lymph.*
Plus, it can support healthy digestion, liver function, and your body’s natural detoxification process.*
The last herb for gallbladder and liver support that we will mention is Schisandra, scientifically known as Schisandra chinensis. This powerhouse plant provides antioxidants and is an adaptogen, supporting your body's natural resistance and ability to adapt to stress.*
Its Chinese name, Wu Wei Zi, comes from the five distinct flavors found in this berry, which are connected to the five phases or elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine: sour (wood), bitter (fire), sweet (earth), acrid (metal), and salty (water).
Within Traditional Chinese Medicine, Schisandra is used to support the endocrine and digestive systems as well as the liver.*
This herb supports enzymes in the liver and helps maintain healthy liver cell growth.*3
6) Turkey Tail Mushroom
Like many mushrooms, they contain beta glucans. Thus, Turkey Tail mushrooms are used for immune health and have been for some time within Traditional Chinese Medicine and Native American herbalism.*
Beta glucans also support a healthy inflammatory response in healthy individuals and normal cell growth and turnover.* And, of course, Turkey Tail mushrooms help protect the liver and have traditionally been used in China to provide liver support.*
Unlike some of the other delicious mushrooms you know and love, Turkey Tail mushrooms can be tough and aren’t necessarily palatable. This is why we recommend taking them in supplement form.
Herbal Supplements for Gallbladder and Liver Support*
You can also opt for Turkey Tail mushroom in capsule form or a blend of herbs, which we’ll share about below.
Turkey Tail Mushroom
First off, we’ll mention Gaia Herbs Turkey Tail Mushroom capsules.
To support healthy liver function, aid your body’s natural cleansing process, and provide natural antioxidant support, these capsules contain 100% Turkey Tail fruiting bodies with no fillers, starch, grains, or mycelium.*
The Turkey Tail mushrooms we use in this supplement are organically grown and sustainably sourced as well as hot water and dual extracted for optimal bioavailability, absorption, and digestibility.*
Gaia Herbs Liver Health is made with a blend of herbs traditionally used for maintaining a healthy liver.* With Milk Thistle, Turmeric root, Schisandra, Licorice root, and Chinese Skullcap, this supplement is designed to provide daily support for overall well-being.*
At Gaia Herbs, we are firm believers that the quality of an herbal supplement can only be as good as the quality of the herbs that go into it. That’s why many of the herbs in our products, like Chinese Skullcap, are grown on our farm, where we can cultivate them exactly the way we want.
For plants used in our supplements that we cannot grow on our own farm or in the quantity that we need, our network of organic and sustainable communities allows us to source herbs from where they grow best.
You can learn even more about the herbs in your product and where they came from by visiting meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability platform. Here, you will discover the origin of your herbs; learn how they were grown, harvested, and extracted; and see validation of your product’s purity and potency.
Gaia Herbs Liver Cleanse is full of the liver-supporting herbs that we discussed in this article: Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Dandelion, and Burdock root, as well as Fenugreek, Red Root, Rooibos, and other herbs used to support your body’s natural cleansing process.*
This blend is designed to help maintain healthy liver function and provide everyday liver support.*
Liver Cleanse Herbal Tea
If you prefer to sip your herbs for gallbladder and liver support in a warm cup of tea, turn to Gaia Herbs Liver Cleanse Herbal Tea.*
This caffeine-free tea contains a harmonious blend of herbs traditionally used for maintaining healthy liver function and your body’s natural cleansing process.* Liver Cleanse Herbal Tea is perfect for when you occasionally overdo it with food and drink.*
The Power of Herbs for Gallbladder and Liver Support*
Your liver and gallbladder have important functions in your body. Provide gentle, natural support with herbs for gallbladder and liver health.*
Put herbs like Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Dandelion, Burdock, Schisandra, and Turkey Tail mushroom to work by taking pure, potent herbal supplements.*
The right herbs can help your liver and gallbladder continue to excel at their job day in and day out.*
1. Johns Hopkins Medicine, accessed on June 22, 2021, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/liver-anatomy-and-functions.
2. Christina Lindenmeyer, MSD Manual, October 2019, https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/liver-and-gallbladder-disorders/biology-of-the-liver-and-gallbladder/overview-of-the-liver-and-gallbladder.
3. College of Naturopathic Medicine, accessed on June 22, 2021, https://www.naturopathy-uk.com/news/news-cnm-blog/blog/2021/03/15/how-to-improve-liver-health.