So what’s the big deal about bile? And what the heck is it anyway?! Bile is a clear yellow (or orange or green) liquid that is created in the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
Bile helps us:
- digest and assimilate fats
- it helps alkalize the intestines
- Excrete excess copper
- Excrete parasites and yeast
- Plays a role in excreting heavy metals and excess iron
- helps us absorb fat soluble nutrients.
- balance stomach acid and acts as a buffer for it
In a healthy person, bile is made in the liver with no issue. But for those that are deficient in crucial nutrients (like taurine) or overloaded with toxins, it is hard for the liver to keep up with the demand to produce bile. We also need sufficient fiber intake to clean out our bile which is why they are BOTH crucial for detoxing!
So keeping the bile flowing is SUPER important. How do we do that? Let me count the ways…
- Dandelion Root– You can eat dandelion roots or even have a tea made. I have a daily cup of dandelion tea with blackstrap molasses for a huge boost of potassium!
- Sunflower Lecithin: Sunflower Lecithin is not something well known yet, but it is gaining popularity. This form of lecithin is rich in phosphatidyl choline, which is a B complex vitamin that has extremely important roles in fat metabolism and liver health. It helps with stimulating bile flow and can help flush fat out of the liver, and it is also extremely important for brain health.
- Beets- You can eat beets and beet greens, or you can get a beet root powder. Beets are best organic since they are a very common GMO crop.
- Bitter herbs are especially helpful for bile flow, improving stomach acid, and helps assimilate nutrients. You can go for Herb Pharm Better Bitters spray (which has 4 flavors), Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters , or Herbalist & Alchemist have a few awesome flavors. Bitters are one of my favorite overall gut and liver healers because they help your body to MAKE bile, stomach acid, and digestive enzymes instead of just adding in what is being lost (like Hcl, ox bile, and enzyme supplements do).
- Artichokes- Helps to increase bile flow and fat digestion
- Choline- abundant in eggs, beef, poultry and fish
- Lemon Water- A great way to help the liver is to have a glass of warm water with the juice of a fresh squeezed lemon.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- ACV helps digestion in all ways. It is a prebiotic, it helps you digest your food better if you have low stomach acid, and it helps thin out the bile
- BioRay Liver Life– This is my absolute favorite liver support supplement, and it helps immensely with restoring liver function. One of the studies they have done on it says that liver function can be improved by 50% in only 15 days of use!
- Castor oil packs
- Stay hydrated! Water is also needed for bile flow. Stick with filters like Berkey or Tapmaster.
- More healthy fats- Grass fed butter, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, and omega-3 rich fish help signal to your body to properly make bile. MCT oil is a great idea for those with very sluggish fat digestion too.
- Taurine is most known for its role in making bile so fats can be properly utilized. The Liver needs taurine for proper detoxification and is a key component to prevent and reverse fatty liver disease because of its role in reducing oxidative stress. Check out this study from PubMed on liver health and taurine. Overall though, amino acids in isolation aren’t great for long term use so I’d stick with only a few months if you choose to go with taurine.
- Ox Bile would be one of the last things I’d try out. (mostly if you do not have a gallbladder, but honestly I find that bitter herbs work better as they help to stimulate the liver to create bile- ox bile just replaces what isn’t there).
There are PLENTY of ways to get the bile flowing. You can easily add a few of these tips into your daily life, or switch them around so you get a wide variety of benefits.