Liver Detox Supplements: Separating the Fact from the Fiction
Last updated: October 2020
When you have a liver disease, the prospect of taking a liver detox supplement can be enticing. One or two pills a day and the liver will become healthier, right? Well, not always.
With the rise of the information age, shopping has never been easier. With the click of a mouse, items can be delivered right to your front door! While there is a rise in easily available information and products, there is also a rise in misleading, inaccurate products, and advertising.
As an amateur science buff, I have long had disdain for products making claims that are misleading and in some cases, totally fake. I am leery of buzzwords like ‘detox' and 'cleansing’ when it comes to liver care, simply for the fact that no one product can do those things. In actuality, the liver itself performs those tasks without the help of 20-day cleanses and detox teas.
But is there some truth to the claims some of these products are making? In this series, we will investigate three products readily available online that claim to detox, heal, or restore your liver and assess their accuracy from an openminded and scientific lens.
First Review: Kidney and Liver Detox Supplement from India USA
The supplement being reviewed and discussed can be found at this link.
The first product that will be explored is a liver and kidney supplement made by a company called Organic India USA. They claim that with their combination of exotic herbs your liver will be assisted in cleansing your blood and regulating fat metabolism. The main ingredients in this supplement are: bhumyamalaki herb, katuki rhizome with root and punarnava root- all considered Ayurvedic herbs.
The Bhumyamalaki Herb
The bhumyamalaki herb, known in the scientific community as Phyllanthus Niruri, is toted in the Ayurvedic community as being an all-encompassing medical remedy, able to heal a number of ailments. Ayurvedic herbs and lifestyle practice is a whole-body holistic healing methodology that started in India some 3,000 years ago.1 The basic tenets of Ayurvedic healing are that each person is made from a combination of the 5 elements, and some people have more of one element than others.
Studies that have been done regarding the plant have largely been performed on invitro patients and on animals, with very few peer-review human trials available to read.2,3 However, studies done on Spague-Dawley rats have shown that a standardized extraction of Phyllanthus Niruri may alleviate the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).2
The second compound in the liver supplement is Katuki rhizome (Picrorhiza), another organic substance touted by Ayurvedic holistic medicine. Traditionally used in India to treat stomach upset, there has been little research to state that it performs any liver-healing functions.4 This does not mean that this herb has no benefit. It may suggest that science has yet to decisively confirm whether the liver benefits of Picrorhiza are as promising as anecdotal evidence would suggest.
Lastly, we will explore the remaining herb listed in this compound, punarnava root (Punarnava Mandura.) This herb, like its two other counterparts, is used in Ayurvedic holistic medicine. Studies read have indicated that there is a likelihood of this herb having use as a treatment for anemia, but many of the studies I explored had not been peer-reviewed.5
So, what could one reasonably conclude about this supplement? There is little research to back up the claims of the supplement. However, that does not dismiss thousands of years of anecdotal evidence. At the end of the day, the choice is in the hands of you, the consumer. Providing quality assessment and education can save you both time and money at the checkout! Tune in next week when I review another liver detox supplement!