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Yay Spring!

Gentle Liver Cleanse

July 03, 20234 min read

Your body’s rhythms are intimately connected with the rhythms of nature… the day/night rhythm (circadian rhythm), the rhythms of the moon and other planets and the rhythms of the seasons. Understanding and coordinating with these rhythms can bring you greater health and vitality, and helping you to do this is our purpose.

Yay Spring!

At the time of this post, we are moving to the season of Spring, but you can do this cleanse up to four times a year. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is the season associated with new growth & rejuvenation, and the organs associated with the Spring season are the liver and gallbladder.

The first rule

The first rule of a liver cleanse is to avoid adding to its burden as much as possible. Be sure you’re drinking enough water- half the number of pounds you weigh in ounces of water is a good rule of thumb. Other liquids don’t count toward this total; it must be water.

Of equal priority is to get your bowels moving at least one thorough time per day, but preferably 2 or 3 times a day. (More than 3 can indicate other issues might be present.) Adequate fiber, exercise, water and probiotics are the starting point for good bowel movements. If this alone doesn’t work, you can add some magnesium citrate, like Natural Calm. Other natural laxatives should be used with caution and never long term.

Processed foods are next on the list to eliminate. Even some “health” foods are heavily processed. Minimize chips, crackers, etc with seed oils. Eliminate fast foods and sodas. If you want to take this to the next level, you can do a super clean diet like Whole 30 for a month. Any step you make in the right direction is helpful!

Finally, use the Think Dirty app or go to Environmental Working Group’s database to search the products you use on a regular basis, such as cleaning, laundry and personal care products. The less toxic your products, the happier your liver!


Now for a cleanse


Using castor oil packs over your liver is an excellent, gentle cleanse and support that is safe for anyone to do. You can order a fancy castor oil pack like this one or use a simple DIY pack. For the DIY, you need an old tee shirt, hand towel or cotton flannel material. Fold your material of choice to a size that will fit over your liver, which is located on your right side at the bottom of your ribcage. The liver can stick out a bit from your ribcage toward the middle of your torso, so be sure your material will cover the area well. Wet the material with castor oil. It should be pretty wet, but not dripping. Place this “pack” over your liver, cover with another small towel and use a hot water bottle or heating pad over the pack. Relax for at least 45 minutes. You can safely keep the pack on for hours, if you like. When you remove the pack, you may store in a plastic grocery bag and reuse it up to 3 times. Then rinse well and throw in your washing machine. Be aware that castor oil can stain, so don’t let it drip on clothes or furniture. You can do this daily if you like. Use it 3 times a week minimally for best results.

Beet flush

For decades I’ve gotten great results with a simple, homemade cleanse I call the beet flush. If you’re missing a gallbladder, this might be too much for you, but it’s pretty gentle, so most people with a gallbladder can handle it just fine. Of course, if you experience pain or unpleasant symptoms, don’t push it and start with the castor oil packs. Here’s the recipe:

  • Grate 1 cup of raw, organic red beets. Add 2 tablespoons of either flax seed oil or extra virgin olive oil and the juice of ½ a fresh lemon. Keep refrigerated.

  • Stir this mixture and eat 1 teaspoon every 1 to 2 waking hours for 2 to 3 days. Make a new supply when needed.

  • After the first 2 to 3 days, eat 1 tablespoon of the mixture 3 times a day for one week.

Funny side story- One client misread the instructions and ate 1 tablespoon of the mixture every 2 hours for the entire 10 days, a huge detox!! She struggled with detox symptoms but pushed through and by the end felt fabulous. She said, “I liked my husband again!” LOL! In Traditional Chinese Medicine the liver is the seat of anger and irritability, so……… 😉

If you’re not up for either of these cleanses, an herbal liver cleanse could be the ticket for you. I put a nice one on the Wellevate site under the title “Liver Cleanse”.

You can use the castor oil packs along with either the beet flush or the herbal liver cleanse, but do not do all 3.

Happy Cleansing!


Disclaimer: This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this blog should be taken as medical advice. Discuss all medical issues with your own MD.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a naturopath?

A naturopath is a holistic practitioner who uses a system of treatment which avoids drugs and surgery and emphasizes the use of natural agents such as air, water, herbs and lifestyle improvements. At Vitality Project, we practice Traditional Naturopathy. As the name implies, this is the original practice of naturopathy and is distinguished from Functional Medicine, which uses medical labs with narrower ranges of normal than your MD considers. In Functional Medicine it’s not unusual to run lab tests that cost thousands of dollars. This is not needed in Traditional Naturopathy.

Do you treat _______?

(Fill in the blank- autoimmune conditions, arthritis, fibromyalgia, infertility, anxiety or depression, inflammation, fatigue, etc) The answer is yes, but not in the way you might think. Your medical doctor uses your diagnosis to point the way to appropriate treatment options. A Traditional Naturopath uses your diagnosis as a description of what your body is manifesting in the way of symptoms, but your diagnosis doesn’t point the way to treatment. In our philosophy, every non-optimal health condition is caused by the same 4 basic stressors that have occurred over time. These are times in your life you’ve had poor lifestyle habits, times you’ve had physical stresses (accidents, injuries, surgeries, even childbirth), times you’ve been under excessive mental & emotional stress, and times you’ve been exposed to toxins (including pollutants, infections and even medications). We then create a plan to pull out the toxins over time and support the function of your organs and systems so that your body can actually heal.

Does insurance cover this?

Regular health insurance does not, because this is not medical care. But many HSAs will cover. You can check with your provider for details.

Do you work with children?

Yes, we’ve worked with people from 1 day old infants to those well into their 90’s.

How long before I see results?

Most people will begin to see improvement within the first few weeks. Much of that depends on how willing you are to make the lifestyle changes to support your body. It also depends on your history. We do a consultation as a first step to gather some background about your situation and history, then present what would be necessary from you. For example, if it’s necessary to stop artificial sweeteners and that’s something you’re not willing to do, we will be honest about what results you could expect, and you might decide we’re not a good fit for you. We’ve had many people who do decide at a later time that they’re ready, and this is fine. The goal is to have a successful relationship.

Can you work together with my medical treatments?

Absolutely! This is called Complimentary medicine and it works very well. Our job is to get you improving, and many times you are then able to come off Rx medications. We never pull you off, though. As you heal and your condition improves, you work with your prescribing doctor to lower and eliminate medications you don’t need any more. At certain times, necessary medications (chemotherapy is one example) have undesirable side effects and we can commonly support you in such a way that these side effects are greatly lessened. It’s a beautiful thing!

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Yes, we work with people all over the world who cannot come in person. Additionally, some locals choose to avoid traffic and do telehealth.

Do I have to take vitamins and supplements?

Yes, these are some of the tools we use to aid your healing. We can work within your preferences, such as liquid vs pill. We work to make this fit into your lifestyle as simply as possible.

How much do you charge?

The initial consultation is $50, which gives us a chance to talk about what is going on with you and decide whether to work together. If we decide to move forward, the first appointment takes an hour and includes reviewing your history and doing testing. The second appointment is one week later where Debra presents a Report of Findings and we work out a treatment plan that works for you. The fee for those two visits is $450, payable on the first visit. Follow ups are from $150 to $250, depending on the length of the appointment. We usually see people at 4-week intervals, but in special circumstances you might need a recheck in 2-3 weeks.

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  • (770) 817-8028


  • 801 Bombay Lane

  • Tuesday - Thursday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Friday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am - 3:30 pm. We are closed on Sunday and Monday.

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Vitality Project is a naturopathic clinic located at 801 Bombay Lane in Roswell, Georgia.

The clinic is led by Debra MacIntyre, who has over 30 years of experience in naturopathic medicine.Vitality Project is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 AM to 5 PM, Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM, and Saturday from 10 AM to 3:30 PM. We are closed on Sunday and Monday.



Contact Us


  • (770) 817-8028

  • 801 Bombay Lane

  • Tuesday - Thursday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Friday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am - 3:30 pm. We are closed on Sunday and Monday.

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