Happy familyBanner EverythingEssential Everything about Essential Oils   learn, ask, share
ATTENTION: You will see a number of changes as we make this website compliant with some regulatory requirements. Our apologies for inconvenience.
Health Issue                 return to A to Z

liver disease (hepatic disease)

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also Hepatitis, Jaundice

Liver locationThere are a host of different liver diseases that damage the liver in a variety of ways. Inflammation from toxins and infection is the major factor. Obstructions can develop that inhibit proper passage or flow of bile and blood. Direct cellular damage can come from chemicals and minerals as well as cancerous cells can develop damaging the liver and threatening life. Acute liver failure (failure that occurs in less than 48 hours) is rare, the more common failure happens over months or years and often results in a chronic condition. While the liver is the only organ in the body that can easily replace its own cells at some point this cannot continue. When damage to cells can no longer be reversed it is termed as cirrhosis of the liver. 

LiverThe liver besides being the largest organ in the body is an important gland that does a number of incredible tasks. It is located strategically close to the heart and the stomach on the right of the abdomen. It receives blood directly from the heart through the hepatic artery and also receives nutrients from the intestines and the spleen through the portal vein. Its primary function is to filter the blood but beyond this it produces bile that is then stored in the gallbladder to be delivered to the duodenum to aid in digestion. The liver also produces certain proteins, enzymes, cholesterol and glycogen required for normal body functioning.

Alcohol: The most common form of liver disease in North America is alcoholic hepatitis caused by the intake of alcohol.

Following are other common causes of liver disease (much of this was condensed from MedicineNet.com):

Drugs and medications: Among those that are mentioned are an excessive amounts of acetaminophen (Tylenol, Panadol), or normal amounts of statin medications (Lipitor, Crestor, etc) or niacin also used for cholesterol control can cause liver problems. Many other antibiotic, autoimmune and cancer drugs produce adverse side effects involving the liver. Disulfiram (Antabuse) is used to treat alcoholics and is also mentioned.

Excessive amounts of some herbs and vitamins such as kava kava, ma-huang, comfrey and vitamin A plus some mushrooms can damage the liver as well.


  Infectious hepatitis (Hepatitis A, B,C, etc) is discussed separately (see Hepatitis).

  Other viral and non-viral infections, mononucleosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and valley fever for example, can cause inflammation of the liver along with their other symptoms.

  Amebic liver abscess is caused by the parasite that causes amebic dysentery that can be carried from the intestines to the liver.

  Pyogenic liver abscess – a pus filled abscess in the liver

Other diseases: Many other failure mechanisms occur. This is a summary list with a very very abbreviated description:

  NASH or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (fatty liver) – an accumulation of fat

  Hemachromatosis – an inherited metabolic disorder with elevated iron

  Wilson's disease - an inherited metabolic disorder associated with copper

  Gilbert's disease – a benign condition with abnormal levels of bilirubin

  Cancer – two common forms are hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma

  Metastatic cancer -secondary cancer of the liver that begins in another organ

  Autoimmune hepatitis – immune cells mistake the liver’s normal cells and attacks them

Blood flow related:

  Budd Chiari syndrome - blood clots form in the hepatic vein. Causes include polycythemia (abnormallyelevated red blood cell count), inflammatory bowel disease, sickle cell disease, and pregnancy.

  Congestive heart failure - poor heart function causes irregular blood blow

Bile flow related:

  Gallstones – can obstruct ducts that drain bile from liver causing inflammation

   Sphincter of Oddi – damage/abnormal valve for bile into the intestines

  Primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis –scarring of bile ducts Biliary atresia - blockage in the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder

Liver malfunction that cause problems in other parts of the body: 

  Hepatic encephalopathy: Increased ammonia can cause confusion, lethargy and coma.

  Abnormal bleeding: If the liver is compromised blood clotting may not be normal

  Protein synthesis – Lack of proteins made in the liver can affect many bodily functions

  Portal hypertension: Liver damage can cause spleen swelling and varices (swollen veins) in the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the anus


[search helps: cholestasis, coccidioidomycosis, extrahepatic ductopenia, progressive obliterative cholangiopathy]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends: DDR, GrapefruitC, LemonE, MyrrhC, Detoxifying BlendC

Essential oils based products: Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV), TerraZyme, Zendorcrine Detoxification Complex

Also consider: CloveC, Digestive Blend, GeraniumC, GrapefruitC, RosemaryEC

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

see also Hepatitis, Jaundice for other helpful information.

As has been noted there are a many root causes for liver disease and knowing the root cause will help establish a helpful protocol. Diet and lifestyle can have a great impact so it is important to not compromise the liver with alcohol, drugs and pharmaceuticals (see Summary tab above) that are known to be harmful. Also reduce or eliminate sources of toxins such as additives to household and personal care products, insecticides, etc.

In general to cleanse and strengthen the liver the following have been suggested. Note that most liver conditions have developed over long periods of time and rebuilding will take consistent application with patience over weeks and months.

  Cleanse the liver using the Detoxifying Blend Detoxification Complex tablets daily with 3 - 5 drops of the Detoxifying Blend to liver area daily. 

  Note: The Detoxifying Blend includes  Clove, Geranium, Grapefruit and Rosemary that can be used individually if Detoxifying Blend is not available.

  Topically apply 2 - 5 drops of Myrrh across the back (about the bra line for ladies) daily.

  Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) for balanced nutrition as a foundation.

Consider these additional helps:

  Sufficient hydration with 1 - 2 drops of Grapefruit or Lemon added to each glass of water.

  Periodic Massage Blend Technique will promote homeostatis.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Rachel - I have a friend who's 14 year old son is losing pigmentation in his skin.  He is very skinny, is growing, but doesn't seem to get nutrients from his food.  She was told by an energy guy (not sure what that means) that it is her son's liver. Any thoughts?  Suggestions?  Experience with this?  I was thinking Detoxifying Blend supplements and Detoxifying Blend EO.

Amelia - Detoxifying Blend was my first thought as well. If it were me I would take the supplements as directed and apply the oil directly over my liver area 2x/day. I would do this for 30 days and reevaluate. If possible I would also drink 6 drops of Lemon oil in lots of water daily.

Sherrie - I would also add LLV and TerraZyme with every meal to promote the nutritional absorption aspect.

DQ – I would also suggest DDR to repair DNA. Inside and on the skin is what I would do in addition to Detoxifying Blend and TerraZyme.  Detoxifying is great and crucial but not enough to do the repair work.  Perhaps Cilantro would be beneficial too depending on what kind of toxins he has or has been/is being exposed to.


Editor's note - The following is a long discussion but included because of the helpful insights shared.

Ileen - My doctor recently ran routine blood tests for me.  The results indicated that the liver function test was "a little high".  The doc wanted to check the LFT again to rule out false positive results.  Another test was run two weeks later, and the results were still "a little high."  I went in again today, one week later, and they drew 4 vials of blood!  The only medications I am on are 1 aspirin a day, daily levothyroxine (I have had a total thyroidecatomy in 1977), and paroxetine (Paxil) which I am currently weaning off from.  

 I have been taking the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) Pack supplements for about 1 1/2 years.  In August I did the GX/Probiotic Defense Formula for the third time in a row trying to combat Candida overgrowth.   I did a spit test this morning and it is still positive--some saliva remained on top of the water, there were some "legs" and the rest was on the bottom of the glass.  This is an improvement since the end of July when all the saliva dropped to the bottom of the glass.  In August I also took the Detoxifying Blend capsules 2 x/day for 30 days.   For about the last month I have been oil pulling morning and evening with virgin coconut oil with 2 drops of either oregano or clove oil.   I use 1 drop lemongrass oil night and morning on the bottoms of my feet in  hopes of "fixing" a pinched nerve in my cervical spine, and within the last week or so I have used Topical Blend (original formula) on callouses on my feet.   AND I have recently started using Anti-Aging Blend on the bones around my eyes for cataracts. (Mmmmm....  I didn't realize I was using so many oils!) Do you see anything listed above that could be causing problems with the liver?

Ropmel - I have had the same type of problem as you, but mine started before I used any (...) products.  I am on a low dose of synthroid, and a few other meds, but nothing that should cause problems with the liver.  Routine blood work showed that my liver functions were elevated.  It is very frustrating!  I don't drink alcohol and I don't take Acetaminophen, (those are the first two things they ask you).  I had an ultrasound that was inconclusive, so I had a MRI w/dye, and it still showed nothing.  My levels elevated more on some tests, and remained about the same on others.  They decided to do a biopsy, as a last resort, to try to figure out what was going on, and that also came out inconclusive!  Not even fatty tissue!  A few months back, I was introduced to (...).  I started taking the LLV, and I have done a few GX and PB cleanses. When I am not doing a cleanse,  I take Detoxifying Blend supplements, and I use Digestive Blend topically every night. Within 3 months my liver functions dropped dramatically, almost in half.  One is even on the high end of normal, now.  Obviously, I have no scientific data to prove that (...) supplements and oils have improved my condition, but they certainly didn't make it worse!  Hopefully things will improve for both of us!  Best Wishes!

DQ - If you have cataracts you have calcification issues.  I don't see that you are using Detoxifying Blend or Lemon oil both of which are great options for that and your liver.

Ileen - Thank you both for your comments.  I have done several cleanses with GX/PB and a couple months of Detoxifying Blend capsules (though not recently), and I have not used the Detoxifying Blend oil yet.  

I had planned to do GX/PB monthly to see if that will clear up the Candida.  Is it a good idea to do the Detoxifying Blend capsules at the same time as the GX?  Or should I do the Detoxifying Blend capsules now and the GX/PB next month?  I've neglected lemon oil lately.  I'll get back on that.

DQ - Yes, you can use Detoxifying Blend oil anytime. I did it daily until the bottle was empty and have not experienced any liver issues since.  I used to get occasional pain in it.  I've had rave reviews from others about it too.

Heather - Myrrh across the bra strap area- layers it’s an easy way to treat the liver.  The oil does go past the lungs to the liver where it's wanted.  Grapefruit oil in water.  I have seen some issues turned around with this.  Detoxifying Blend oil is also very helpful as is Lemon in your water.  You should be putting grapefruit or lemon in your water to break down those toxins your pulling out of your system.

Oregano from my understanding pulls a lot of toxins out but does not break them down. Using Oregano too often can cause toxic build up in the liver.  It's why it's said not to use more then 5-7 days consecutively and then give your self a break.  I'd try upping your water intake if it's low adding lemon or grapefruit to every bit of water you drink.  Detoxifying Blend cleanse and oil are great but Myrrh is my go to oil for bad liver issues.  Does the middle of your back hurt?  That can be pain from the liver. Apply Lemon or Grapefruit, Detoxifying Blend oil or Myrrh every time it hurts and it should erase the pain and help heal it up.  Your liver is one of the quickest healing organs.

Ileen - Thank you!  Yes, my back does hurt, right across my shoulder blades.  It  begins in the morning as a tired feeling and  by about 1:30 pm it hurts so bad I have to lie down for an hour or more.

Amelia - Wow my husband has major pain in his mid upper back mainly between his shoulder blades and nothing seems to help consistently, but he has been told his liver function is not the best so it would be worth trying this for his pain. My question is for the Myrrh application should it be applied on the person's back between shoulder blades or actually where our bra straps would be? Thanks for sharing this!

Pat - I would apply it to the painful area, but I would also use Detoxifying Blend directly over the liver area.

Heather - To the painful area and the liver area.  Either Myrrh or Detoxifying Blend.  Muscle test for which will work better.  I've found the Myrrh works when the Detoxifying Blend does not for myself and others.

The back breaking feeling at the end of a flu can be from this as well and a quick rub of Lemon has gotten folks out of bed.  The worse it is the heavier hitting oil you need for it. My degrees of heavy hitters for the liver rub are -lowest to highest: Lemon, Grapefruit, Detoxifying Blend, Myrrh. Detoxifying Blend was developed for the liver and I'm sure there are likely great results with it.  

For water I use 1/2 of body weight in water with the Grapefruit or Lemon oil added to it. The toxins need to be flushed out and you can't skip drinking the water and just rely on the oils for a quick fix. Note also you can apply oils to the front as well as the back although I like to concentrate on the back.

Linda - Just a little testimony.. I have had elevated liver enzymes from a medicine I have to take. The Detoxifying Blend tablets and oil have lowered my numbers! Yea!

Ileen - I started the Detoxifying Blend capsules two weeks ago, and within a day or two the pain in my back began to subside.  Yesterday was the first day in months I haven't needed to lie down in the afternoon because of back pain.  I have also had more energy and can do more.  This looks to me like the Detoxifying Blend capsules are helping, but the LFT results don't show any improvement.

I saw my doctor again yesterday and my liver function test is still "a little high".  Would all the cleansing I have been doing put added stress on my liver--perhaps more die-off/detox than it can manage at one time?

Linda - Detoxifying Blend capsules and Detoxifying Blend oil, taken each once daily, brought my LFTs down. It took about 6 weeks. I'd say that you are on the right tack. I cannot imaging that anything in (...) products is causing the elevated LFTs. Mine is caused by a life saving med that I must take. I'm thankful that (...) made something to counteract that. I would also say that the increased LFT may indeed be from the detox and it will probably resolve but I am not a doctor.

DQ - Great to hear you're feeling so much better after only two weeks!  Keep it up. The problem didn't likely occur overnight and the liver needs time to regenerate.  The liver likes fresh made veggie juices, lightly steamed veggies, enzymes with all meals, medicinal mushrooms (Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps are all great for liver), easy to digest protein (Trimshakes, chia, quinoa), good quality raw coconut oil and no other oils, Lemon or Grapefruit essential oils to name a few.  Eggs, particularly the yolks lightly cooked (warmed, not hard boiled!), if you're not allergic are also very healing.  Just make sure they are organic and from chickens that live outdoors and don't eat GMO corn.  Raw foods without additional enzymes may be too hard to digest. It's a bit pricey but MAP is a good product to regenerate with amino acids.  When oils aren't effective I find it is often due to an amino acid deficiency. 

Heather - Yes- if you detoxify too much too fast without enough water intake to flush it all this can take a toll on your filter organs. Filter cleaners are Detoxifying Blend and TerraZyme and don’t take the TerraZyme with food

Glad your feeling better. Previous medications and life issues can be toxic to the liver. Flushing,  cleaning and caring for it should make it happy.  If there is something else going on I can't speak to that, but with a cleanse of a highly toxic body it does not surprise me that you are having elevated levels and having pain.  The liver heals wonderfully.


Editor's notes - The following experiences were shared before (...) introduced the DDR, GI Cleansing Formula/Probiotic Defense Formula, TerraZyme and Detoxifying Blend products and blends.

Penne - My daughter just called to ask me which oil(s) would be good for doing a liver cleanse.  I don’t know, and don’t know what the protocol would be. I  would appreciate your guidance!

Jessica – I know I advocate Helichrysum for everything but in this instance ... it is the oil. I have stopped Gall Bladder attacks and liver pain in a moment with good old Helichrysum! By the way...as I am entering a Naturopathic program, I am asking a lot about cleansing, and I have adopted a new approach, I think we do too much cleansing and we need to focus more on nourishing and Helichrysum fits that bill as well.

Kathy -  My experience is that helichrysum/clove, helichrysum/grapefruit, and rosemary are all excellent during a cleanse.  I would apply any or all of them topically over the liver 3 times daily. Also, consider the Burrough’s diet for liver detoxing. Drink lemon and grapefruit in your water.

Pat - Lemon is a great liver cleanse. Maybe someone else knows a better one.

Samara - I've heard lemon and peppermint together are a good liver cleanse.

Penne - Should the oils be administered topically or in a capsule, or both?  If capsule, any idea how many drops?

Samara - I heard a drop or two of each just in a little water and drink it.


Skipper - I am new to EO and to (...) and I had the opportunity to share about oils today with a patient (I am a dental assistant).  He asked me to help him with a plan to detox and mentioned his liver. Could someone guide me.  Thank you!

John - I use the Burroughs diet for liver detoxing.  I also apply grapefruit and clove topically to my liver area and drink lots of lemon oil in my water.

JJ - Stan Burroughs is a very good cleanse I use it every 6 months whether I have symptoms or not.  Dr. Hulda's is more aggressive if you are severely suffering from liver problems or kidney and gall bladder stones.  You can find these both on the Internet.  As for oils to help supplement your efforts Grapefruit, Lemon, Clove and Peppermint.  Drink and apply topically.

Protocols folks recommend for children



Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils


What Science & Research are saying



Essentials of the Earth
Best Books, charts and
labels, go to:


How to buy essential oils.
Please visit EverythingEssentialOils.me
Click Here

Need help with "generic" blend names? Our companion website everythingessentialoils.me may help. click here

Essential Oils from the heart of plants are “Nature’s Medicine Cabinet”. The quality and purity of Essential Oils are vital to a positive experience.

Essentials of the Earth

NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.