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Questioning Liver Flush - Quackery or Reliable Remedy?

Questioning Liver Flush:
Quackery or Reliable Remedy

Spirit Stojkovic & Agnes Tiller

CureZone Newsletter - "Educating Instead of Medicating!"
Non-Commercial Health & Wellness Newsletter

Liver Flush Skepticism and Criticism

An Interview with Spirit Stojkovic

Agnes: Most of our readers know what "liver flush" is. Simple protocol that involves drinking large amount of virgin olive oil with freshly pressed juice from grapefruit or lemon or some other fruit: limes, orange, apple, pineapple ... If you are not familiar with liver flush, please click here to find out more.

Internet is an important tool for introducing many different therapies, old and new, to wider public. But how do we know the difference between quackery and genuine therapy? There are tens of thousands of web sites promoting all possible cures and remedies for all possible Ailments and Illness.

Where is the Science? Can we relay on science or what can we do?

Spirit: Most Alternative therapies are not scientifically researched, and most of them will not be researched within next 50 or 100 years, most likely not even then. Waiting for professors and universities to come with scientific backup is usually waste of health and waste of time. Instead, I suggest using brain and getting some basic knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Physics and Mechanics ... and then all that spiced with a grain of logic, a pinch of common sense and a will and desire to understand!

Agnes: Then, how can I find if Liver Flush is a genuine therapy that delivers results so much promoted on the internet and some books. What if liver flush is just another sick joke, intended to disqualify Alternative therapies and intended to scare anyone away from them?

Who is really looking forward spending Saturday evening drinking bitter tasting Epsom salt, and preparing to drink full glass of olive oil mixed with fruit juice, hoping to spend whole Sunday morning on the toilet with severe diarrhea?

Note exactly my favorite weekend, don't you agree?

Spirit: You are right, it does sound as some sick joke.  Actually, many succesfull therapies sound quite scarry, just to name a few: Enema, Colonics, Bowel cleanse, Kidney Cleansing, Amalgam Replacement, Ozone Therapy, ... Alternative therapies sure sound very scary. I am sure that pills are far more "exciting". The real problem is, those "exciting" pills does not deliver 1/10 of the results delivered by liver flush. Large number of people used Liver flush as a main cure for allergies, asthma, gallstones, eczema, food intolerance, acne, psoriasis, acne, ... and usually after many promised cures couldn't deliver relief.

Agnes: There are many web sites that attempt to ridicule whole liver cleansing procedure, and are trying hard to present it as a quackery. Can you give some comments? Some of them seems to be created by people with extensive experience and knowledge ... Do you have any comment on statements made by "The Pathology Guy" on his "Ed's Guide to Alternative Therapies"?

[Ed]: "I'm afraid that they're not your gallstones. Here's why:

  • Real gallstones are faceted polyhedra, like the ones in the picture on the links below, or else shaped like mulberries. What you'll get from the recipe are spheres. One of my correspondents describes a friend who saved the spheres and displayed them to his friends.
  • Real gallstones hurt bad when they pass through the cystic and common bile ducts.
  • Real gallstones sink in water. (As an autopsy pathologist, I'm very familiar with this.) The "gallstones" you'll produce from this recipe will float, as the "alternative thinkers" themselves point out. (They claim that real gallstones float, too. Liars.)
If you know a little basic chemistry, you'll realize what is happening. The Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, and the grapefruit contains some complex carbohydrates. When these slosh around in the stomach and small intestine, they'll form a tough film which will encase drops of olive oil. This will produce some yellowish balls which will float in the toilet."


  • "Extensive experience and knowledge" may be a good way to sell yourself, but I prefer to call it "lack of knowledge and experience". This Ed's article have been often used and quoted by "Skeptics", trying hard to find any bit of information against Liver Flush.
    Good news: Ed is wrong. One member of CureZone web site, with username "Iris", gave good reply to Ed's article, and I mostly agree with her reply. You can read it yourself here:

  • Stones - most common result of liver flush are not always stones from gallbladder (but few stones may be from inside gallbladder). Actually, most of those stones are formed inside bile ducts, "intrahepatic" stones, and they are not faceted polyhedra.

  • Number? Yes, it is true that gallbladder can't hold thousands of stones, but liver is far larger organ. Do not forget that liver and gallbladder are able to produce new stones within few weeks! Even stones formed inside gallbladder are not always faceted polyhedra, as you can see on the photos below: Photos of gallstones and gallbladder surgically removed, showing stones of different shape. Click on the image to enlarge.

Gallstones - Click to Enlarge Gallstones - Click to Enlarge Gallstones - Click to Enlarge Gallstones - Click to Enlarge Gallstones - Click to Enlarge

  • "Real gallstones hurt" - not always. Many people passed stones - no pain, and again, I would like to repeat that most of the stones are NOT from gallbladder, they are from bile ducts.
    Pain is reported in less then 1-3% of all people who passed stones.

  • "Real gallstones sink in water" - not always! Large majority of gallstones are not calcified, are mainly composed of cholesterol, and does not sink in water. Over 99% of all intrahepatic stones are not composed of calcium, but are mainly composed of cholesterol, and cholesterol is lighter then water.

Agnes: Spirit, I can easily understand that skeptics like Ed and Quackbusters are against Liver Flush, because they are against any and every alternative that works, and are trying with all means to discredit values of liver flush. But how to explain the position of some prominent teachers in alternative medicine, like Dr. Weil, and Chet Day?

On his page: "Is There a Natural Way to Get Rid of Gallstones?", Dr. Weil says:

"But there are no natural ways to "remove" gallstones. The olive oil “treatment” you mention does not dissolve or remove them. This folk remedy, known as a "liver flush," requires drinking apple juice, Epsom salts, and a half-cup of olive oil with lemon juice. The day after you manage to down the olive oil, you pass green globs that you may think are dissolved gallstones but are actually the residue of the olive oil you've consumed."

On this page, Chet Day writes:

"Here's what Naturopath Kevin Murray has learned:

Chet, I wanted to point out one thing about the liver flush. After recommending this dozens of times to patients, and usually seeing a lot of benefit, there are two concerns.

One is that it can and does occasionally send people to the hospital with an attack of cholitis if a stone becomes lodged in the biliary duct. The other is that what people assume to be passing as gallstones, are actually soap stones. If you leave them out at room temperature long enough, they will melt.

Also, if you send them to a lab, which many of my colleagues and I have done, you will be disappointed. That's not to say that the treatment isn't helpful, but people should not be misinformed that they are passing gallstones. At least the half dozen sample I've sent in have all been "soap stones."

Dr. Kevin Murray, ND, LAc

Spirit: The only explanation that I have is this: lack of experience, and lack of knowledge. I will just point out to the few hard facts that are contradicting statements given by Dr. Weil, and Dr. Kevin:

  • Freshly made olive oil soap is always liquid, stones are solid.

  • Freshly made olive oil soap is water soluble, stones are not

  • Dr. Kevin acknowledges that flush can move stone into "stuck" position, but still denies that flush may move stone all the way out - not very logical, I would say.

  • If you still think and believe that stones are actually the residue of the olive oil, you can easily prove yourself wrong in a single flush, as suggested in Dyeing to know the answer by Andy:

"Next time you do a flush, add an extra ingredient: some harmless organic food coloring of a kind that is not affected by digestion, but is oil soluble and water soluble, and will color all ingredients: olive oil, juice, water mixed with Epsom salt.

Suppose you use red food coloring. Then when the stone-like objects come out, if they are truly from the liver/gallbladder, cutting them open with a knife should reveal that the stones have green or brown interiors but are green or stained on the outside with red. If they are red inside, they were formed in the intestine during digestion, and they are actually the residue of the olive oil/juice."

My addition to this idea:

I have tried it myself, and few of my friends tried it with "red beat juice" and "red pepper powder".

Boiled red beat juice gives strong red color that colors stool. Dry red pepper powder gets easily mixed with oil and all other ingredients. Together, those 2 natural colorings give both red stool, and red urine.

Result of al Dyeing Flush Experiments: Green/yellow stones. I am looking forward to get a single stone colored red, to be able to accept that maybe, some part of flush ingredients does get involved in creation of at least one single stone.

I will not debate any more previous statements, but I will try to give you several articles/messages written by CureZone members, articles that scientifically and logically contradict statements and observations given by both Dr. Weil, and Dr. Kevin:

Agnes: What about Stone getting stuck? How real is the threat of stone causing serious problems and creating need for an emergency surgery?

Spirit: All stones inside liver and inside bile ducts are "stuck stones".

They are occupying some parts of the ducts, preventing free bile flow, causing bile stagnation and are responsible for the creation of new stones. Those stones will stay at the same position until they totally move out - into intestines, while doing flush - or until they move down the tubes - down the bile ducts - and take some other position - "new position".

As tubes are not use to having stone in the "new position" , it can cause and produce pain or uncomfortable feeling.

Epsom salt helps!
Another flush, the very next day helps!
Hot bath helps!
Foot zone massage helps!

How often does it really happens that stone gets stuck? In my opinion, your chances are much higher to get involved into traffic accident, then to experience stone stuck pain. Most of us are using busses, cars and trains, and are aware that it might be dangerous, but most of us will never experience any pain caused by traffic accident, just like most of us will never experience any pain caused by stone being stuck. As I said, stones are already "stuck inside" your ducts, and if that is not causing constant pain, then those stones will most likely never cause any pain during flush. But, the fact is that less then 3% of all people may experience some pain, but it doesn't mean that will need surgery or will need ER treatment.

There is a long list of natural remedies that can be used in case of pain, and some of them are listed on this page: Gallstones Attack! Pain ... What can I do?

Here is one such experience recorded few days ago:

Julia suffered pain after flush, but, as she reports:

"I tried the bath and also had some of Dr. Schulze's Detox tea. Both seemed to help a lot! I don't know if it was the effects of the tea itself or the heat but what little pain was left after the bath, disappeared after the tea."

Agnes: Now, I have the last question: If the flush is so effective, and is a genuine therapy with the potential to help large number of people, how is that possible that it is not accepted by medical establishment?

Spirit: We are not living in a perfect world. There is a standard called
The Standard of Care, and doctors are only allowed to practice medicine as it is established by the The Standard of Care. Breaching the standard of medical care can be very costly for doctors.

It is true that Liver flush can be of great help for people suffering from heart illness, gallstones, chest pain, allergies, asthma, leg pains, arm pains, shoulder pains, upper back pains, inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer and many other illness. But, there is a major problem that will prevent liver flush becoming The Standard of Care

That problem is Greed and Money!

I will give you some US statistics, just to understand how powerful actually is pharmaceutical industry, and how much money they may loose, if Olive oil and grapefruit juice would become the standard of care for Allergies:

  • Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the United States, costing the health care system $18 billion annually.[1]

  • Each year more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergic diseases[1].

  • Approximately 16.7 million office visits to health care providers each year are attributed to allergic rhinitis.[5]

  • Allergies are $18 billion industry annually.

And, now imagine people start using cleanses and cleanups and imagine only 1/2 of them get cured.

Result: Medical establishment looses $9 billion. Can you imagine how much money is $9 billion? How many jobs? How many products?

Would you like to loose $9 billion?

"A healthy population means a dead pharmaceutical industry."

In reality, liver flush and other flushes would work in over 90% of all cases, resulting loss of over $16 billion loss for pharmaceutical industry and medical establishment!

And, I was only presenting the story called "Allergies".

What about Gallstones? Cancer? Asthma? Eczema? Psoriasis? Heart diseases? AIDS? CFIDS? ADD/ADHD? Arthritis? ...

HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF $$$$$$$$$$ DOLLARS are on stake!

Did you get the picture? Do you understand why NOW? It is very simple. It's all about the Money. $$$

  • According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year worldwide. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2001 approximately 192,200 new cases of invasive breast cancer (Stages I-IV) will be diagnosed among women in the United States. It is estimated that 40,600 deaths will occur from breast cancer (40,200 among women, 400 among men) in the United States.

  • Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common skin diseases, particularly in infants and children. The estimated prevalence in the United States is 9 percent.[9] The prevalence of atopic dermatitis appears to be increasing.[10]

  • Chronic sinusitis is the most commonly reported chronic disease, affecting 12.6 percent of people (approximately 38 million) in the United States in 1996.[2]
    In 1996, estimated U.S. health care expenditures attributable to sinusitis were more than $5.8 billion.[12]

  • Experts estimate that food allergy occurs in 8 percent of children 6 years of age or under, and in 1 to 2 percent of adults.[13] Approximately 100 Americans, usually children, die annually from food-induced anaphylaxis.[14]


If you are interested to learn more about the link between Money and Poor health care, good place to start learning is this collection of hundreds of articles:

Agnes: Spirit, thank you for answering those most common questions.
Those of you who would like you read several more interesting questions, can read them here:

Liver Flush FAQ - Gallstones & Gallbladder Cleanse FAQ

This issue and all previous issues are available on our web site:

Best Of Health
CureZone team


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