The Liver

Majid Ali, M.D.

It is one of the profound ironies of prevailing drug medicine that there is no concept of liver detox among liver specialists. Treatment of most liver diseases in the hands of gastroenterologists and hepatologists is confined to the use of immune-suppressive therapies, such as steroids, chemotherapy drugs, large doses of agents such as interferon, or liver transplants. Otherwise, medical texts recommend "supportive treatment," which is a euphemism for symptom suppression with drugs. In most patients with nutritional, ecologic, immune, and heavy metal toxicity disorders, liver blood tests are often considered "within normal limits," and no attempt is made to prescribe nutritional, herbal, and natural detox therapies.

In contrast to gastroenterologists and internists, naturopaths nearly all develop an abiding lifelong interest in this organ. That is so because the use of liver-friendly nutrients, herbs, and liver detox is emphasized as the core strategy in their schools. They recognize the clinical benefits of liver detox therapies, not only in patients with known liver diseases but also with chronic immune, nutritional, and ecologic disorders. Many of them are awkward in describing their concepts of the structure and function of the liver. And yet, their clinical results are superior to those obtained with drug therapies, except in cases of advanced liver failure.

The Liver Has a Guardian Angel: the Bowel

The above statement is based on my work in surgery, pathology, and integrative medicine over four decades. As a pathologist, I examined more than 14,000 bowel biopsies, 5,000 stomach biopsies, and 2,000 liver biopsies. In my clinical work, I have cared for about 10,000 patients with chronic health disorders. I realized some individuals recovered from chemical and microbiologic liver injury expeditiously while others developed long- lasting liver disorders. I also recognized people in the latter group suffered from mold allergy, adverse foods reactions, prolonged bowel transit time, increased bowel permeability, and altered gut microbiota. Those observations led me to conclude a robust alimentary tract guards the liver against indolent liver injury.

I emphasize the bowel/liver dynamics here to underscore the importance of undertaking mesaures to restore bowel ecology in all instances of liver detoxification. I discuss this subject at length in Integrative Nutritional Medicine, the fifth volume of The Principles and Practice of Medicine.


Once all indigenous cultures had healing rituals that provided people with purpose and structure for physical and spiritual renewal. A language of silence was an integral part of most rituals. We now live "fast." What the benefits are of the time saved is unclear to me. Those healing rituals have fallen victim to the pace of modern life. Today we need healing rituals far more than ever. In clinical medicine, I recognize the absolute need for regular periods of physical and spiritual renewal that include the language of silence, physical exercise, and detoxification measures.

We live in the age of toxic environment, toxic foods, and toxic thoughts. These toxicities create a state of molecular and cellular burn-out. From the evolutionary perspective of oxygen/inflammation/liver dynamics presented above, it should be evident that the liver bears the brunt of such toxicities. For that reason, I consider it essential to diligently assess the health of the liver in all my patients with chronic and subacute disorders, and recommend a robust liver detox program to serve my overarching goal of restoring
oxygen homeostasis.

Castor-Cise is my term for an integrated program of: (1) a castor oil liver detox based on the ancient Indian tradition; (2) a castor oil bowel detox based on the ancient Chinese tradition; (3) a sesame oil oral detox based on its empirical benefits; and (4) limbic, non-competitive, meditative exercise. Below, I describe my own routine of Castor-Cise three times a week. I regularly prescribe it for all my patients and strongly urge them to be innovative once they have learned the basic routine.

For most patients, I also recommend: (1) a lemon juice-maple syrup "spicy lemonade" fluid fast once weekly, which can be done on a scheduled Castor-Cise day; and (2) Dr. Ali's breakfast five days a week (comprising two tablespoons of granular lecithin taken with two tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseed and high-quality protein powder mixed with 16 ounces of organic vegetable juice).

* Liver Health

* Hepatitis