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Cholagogue:Gall Bladder

Cholagogues are herbs that support the gall bladder and liver by promoting the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the intestines. Many are also choleretics (increasing bile production). All bitter herbs are cholagogues to some degree. Bitter tastes are mostly missing from the standard American diet (SAD), which may account somewhat for the billions spent on prescription and OTC anti-acids and heartburn remedies. Bitters can have an energizing effect for those who have sluggish digestion and are protective even when taken in small amounts.


  • Agrimony Agrimony Agrimonia eupatoria L. Liverwort, cockleburr, sticklewort
    Herbaceous Perennial : This most famous of the medieval wound herbs is a member of the rose family and like all it's more glamorous relatives is highly astringent. Agrimony is mild enough to use for children and strong enough stop bleeding from cuts and heavy menstruation. Agri...
  • Avocado Avocado Persea americana
    Subtropical tree : Avocados are a favorite food because of the high fat content that gives them such a creamy, luscious flavor. This puts some dieters off, however, most of the fat is monounsaturated fat,...
  • Barberry Barberry Berberis vulgaris L. Huang Lian, Chinese Goldthread, Pepperidge-bush, Daru Haridra
    Shrub : Both Chinese goldthread (native to the mountains of Szechwan province in China) and the barberry known in Europe and North America are rich natural sources of berberine....
  • Blessed Thistle Blessed Thistle Cnicus benedictus Holy thistle, St. Benedict's thistle
    Annual Herb : Blessed thistle is a bitter tonic, and as such is an excellent herb to use for both the liver and digestion...
  • Calendula Calendula Calendula officinalis Pot marigold
    perennial herbaceous plants : Calendula flower oil is one of the first herbs to consider in minor first aid applications. Particularly good treatment for cuts, scrapes, bruises, and minor wounds....
  • Celandine Celandine Chelidonium majus Greater or common celandine
    Biennial Herb : Celandine was used more extensively in the past than it is now, due to concerns about toxicity. Celandine is most often used by modern herbalists for treating gallbladder problems....
  • Centaury Centaury Centaurium erythraea Erythraea centaurium, bitterherb, centaury gentian
    Annual/Biennial Herb : bitter tonic effect on the digestive system. A gentle laxative, and an excellent remedy for heartburn...
  • Chamomile Chamomile Matricaria recutita Camomile, Chamomilla, German chamomile
    Annual herb : Chamomile is an excellent remedy for any emotional disorders that involve stress, anxiety, and tension. The apple-like aroma relaxes and calms and the tea is used home remedies....
  • Chicory root Chicory root Cichorium intybus Succory, Blue Sailors
    perennial herb : Know best as a caffeine-free substitute for coffee, chicory also has been used in traditional medicine as a bitter digestive tonic and a specific treatment for gallstones....
  • Dandelion Root Dandelion Root Taraxacum officinale Priest's crown, Swine's Snout
    Perennial Herb : Dandelion root is high in many micro-nutrients including potassium. Dandelion supports the liver and improves digestion and helps to flush toxins from the body. ...
  • Elecampane Elecampane Inula helenium Wild sunflower, Horseheal, Yellow Starwort
    Perennial composite plant : Elecampane has been used since the days of ancient Greece and Rome. Elecampane is known primarily as a respiratory tonic and is used to ease breathing....
  • Fringe tree Fringe tree Chionanthus virginicus Old Man's beard, Snowdrop tree
    Tree : The roots of the fringe tree are dried and used to treat liver and gallbladder disease in traditional American folk medicine, often in combination with barberry and other herbs containing berberine....
  • Fumitory Fumitory Fumaria officinalis Earth smoke
    herbaceous annual : Fumitory has traditionally been used as a vermifuge, to treat the skin, as a digestive tonic, and in sclerosis of the liver...
  • Goldenseal Goldenseal Hydrastis canadensis Yellow Root
    Perennial herb : Goldenseal is a folk medicine staple widely used in many herbal salves and ointments as a contact disinfectant. The root contains berberine and hydrastine...
  • Hibiscus Hibiscus Hibiscus sabdariffa Roselle, rosemallow, Jamaica Sorrel, red sorrel, agua de Jamaica
    Perennial Tropical : The calyx of the hibiscus flowers is used to make a wine red tea that is naturally high in Vitamin C...
  • Horehound Horehound Marrubium vulgare L. White horehound, marrubio
    Perennial Herb : Horehound contains the bitter principal marrubiin ,a potent pain reliever and nervous system stimulant. This mint relative is a cough and cold remedy, and a bitter tonic ...
  • Lavender Lavender Lavandula spp
    Woody Perennial Herb : Lavender can lift your spirits, help you sleep, relieve pain, kill germs, heal burns and rashes, and help keep annoying insects at bay. Lavender oil is also antibacterial and healing to the skin...
  • Long Pepper, Pippali Long Pepper, Pippali Piper longum Bengal Pepper, Indonesian Long Pepper, Java Pepper
    Flowering plant : Pippali is valued in Ayurvedic medicine and foods for enhancing digestion and metabolism....
  • Milk Thistle Seed Milk Thistle Seed Silybum marianum L.
    Perennial Herb : Whole seeds of milk thistle or a tincture made from them are now used in the United States as well as Europe, for both protection and regeneration of the liver. ...
  • Olive Oil Olive Oil Olea europea Olive Leaf
    Tree : Virgin olive oil is used for healthy cooking, and makes a great base for herbal infused oils. You can infuse olive oil with rosemary, garlic, thyme, and many other herbs ...
  • Oregon Grape root Oregon Grape root Mahonia aquifolium Mountain Grape, holly leaved barberry
    Evergreen shrub : Herbalists use the immune-stimulating and bacteria fighting properties of Oregon grape root in the treatment of bacterial diarrhea, intestinal parasites, and eye infections. Oregon grape shared many of the properties of goldenseal, but is not botanically ...
  • Orris Root Orris Root Iris germanica Purple Flag, Bearded Iris
    perennial herb : Dried orris root is used in perfumes and potpourris and sachets as a fixative that enhances other aromas, and in natural products as a base in toothpastes, and cosmetics. ...
  • Peppermint Peppermint Mentha piperita Yerba Buena
    Perennial Herb : Peppermint has an antispasmodic effect that soothes stomachaches and relieves gas. Peppermint oil is cooling and analgesic, relieving heat and inflammation while it increases blood flow to the painful area....
  • Rosemary Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
    Woody perennial herb : Amazing, versatile rosemary is valued by cooks, herbalists, aromatherapists, and gardeners alike. Rosemary oil combats mental fatigue, increasing concentration and memory...
  • St. John's Wort St. John's Wort Hypericum perforatum
    Perennial Shrub : St. Johns Wort has a demonstrated ability to act as an antidepressant, but this versatile herb also has dozens of chemical compounds that disinfect and heal wounds as well....
  • Turmeric Turmeric Curcuma longa L. Curcuma, Indian saffron
    herbaceous perennial plant : Turmeric is a mild aromatic stimulant used in the manufacture of curry powders and mustards.The curcumin in turmeric has recently been shown effective in the fight against breast cancer, Alzheimer's and arthritis...
  • Wormwood Wormwood Artemisia absinthium L.
    Perennial Herb : Wormwood is used today mainly as a bitter tonic, and in natural pest control. As the name implies, wormwood is a powerful worming agent that has been used for hundreds of years to expel tapeworms, threadworms, and especially roundworms from dogs, cats, hu...
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