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Monday Health & Wellness: How to Make Liver Pills

admin August 5, 2013

In my recent quest to rebalance my hormones and detox a bit, I created a “nutrient chart.”  It included nutrients that people with my particular ‘symptoms’ (which are minor) are probably deficient in, and which foods are highest in those nutrients.

One food that showed up on the chart repeatedly was liver!  Liver is high in B12 and other B vitamins, iron, copper, selenium, taurine, vitamin A, and lots more.  It is needed for brain development, immune function, energy, and so much more.

I do not care for liver.  I have put it in spaghetti sauce, taco meat, chili, and other foods.  I can always tell it is there.  It’s something about the kind of mushy, odd texture.  The flavor doesn’t bother me, although I know that is an issue for some.  Plus, to me, it’s annoying to thaw a package of a pound or so of liver just to take out a small amount to use and then try to figure out what to do with the rest of it.

A better solution to eating liver on a regular basis was to create liver pills!

You can certainly buy them if you don’t want to take the time, but they are more expensive, and you don’t know the quality of the liver.  I am seeing a price online for ‘average’ liver pills of $15 for 250.  I paid $8 for the capsules (but you can buy them for $4 on Amazon — this is an affiliate link) and about $2 for the liver itself.  So you see my price was $10 and could have been as little as $6.  Plus, I know exactly how the cow was raised and I am assured of the quality of the liver.

If you are worried about eating liver because of the vitamin A, don’t be.  Naturally-occurring vitamin A is not toxic.  Synthetic retinol is toxic.  If you are worried because of the liver’s job, which is to filter toxins, know that the liver does exactly that — it filters them.  It does not hold onto them.  Still, buy high-quality liver from a grass-fed cow.  Since most people don’t want it, you can find it for about $2/lb. which is very affordable.

How to Make Liver Pills

Making the liver pills is really simple, just slightly time consuming.

You will need:

  • 1 lb. of liver (I had slightly more than this, maybe 1.25 lbs.)
  • 250 gelatin capsules
  • Dehydrator
  • High-powered blender or spice grinder

Directions:

Thaw your liver if frozen.  Some sources recommend freezing for two weeks prior to use to kill any bacteria.  I had had mine in the freezer for awhile, so I thawed it completely.

liver in bag

I recommend getting a butcher to slice it for you.  Mine came sliced.  If yours didn’t, you will have to slice it, and this will be annoying.  It’s easier if you leave it slightly frozen while slicing.

When it is sliced, put it into a colander and rinse it with cool water.  You want to get rid of the blood as much as possible.

liver in colander

Then, lay the strips of liver on a dehydrator tray.  If you don’t have one, you can do this in the oven as low as it will go, usually 170.  Lay on parchment paper on a cookie sheet if you are using the oven.

liver on tray

Dehydrate for about 24 hours, until it’s completely dry and hard.  This is really important because if there’s any moisture left, it can go bad, and you really don’t want that.  I probably dried mine closer to 36 hours, though I don’t think it needed it.

When the liver is completely dried, rip it into smaller pieces, about 1″ by 1″.  Put these in a blender or a couple at a time into a spice or coffee grinder.  Grind into a powder and place all the powder in a shallow bowl.

placenta powder edit

Lay a small towel on your working surface — I recommend sitting at the kitchen table for this.  Place your shallow bowl of powder, your capsules, and a jar to hold your completed capsules on the towel.

Open one capsule.  Scoop it into the liver powder.  Fill the bigger part completely, and the smaller part about halfway.  Put the capsule back together again firmly.

pills in capsule machine edit

That’s it!  Drop your finished capsule into your jar.  Keep going until all the capsules are done.  This will take an hour or so.  I got 250 out of my just over a pound of liver, with a tiny bit left.

We plan to take 2 capsules each per day (adults).  Your needs may vary.

I did some math on this to figure out how much liver is really in the capsules.  So, I had about 1 1/4 lbs. liver and I got 250 capsules out of that.  It’s recommended that people get 2 – 5 oz. of fresh liver per week ( pregnant and nursing women should get 4 – 5).  1 1/4 lbs. fresh is 20 oz., which is about 600g, or 600,000mg.  Divide this by 250 pills, and it’s 2400mg per pill.  The pills hold 700 – 900mg dried, so the dried is about 3x as concentrated as the fresh.

If each pill is the equivalent of 2400mg fresh liver, then 4 pills per day is 9600mg, or about 2/3 oz.  9600 mg x 7 days a week = 67.2g, or 2.25 oz.

So, it boils down to this:

  • 2 pills/day = 1 oz./week
  • 4 pills/day = 2.25 oz./week
  • 6 pills/day = 4.5 oz/week

Take what you think is right for you, and adjust up or down as needed!  I tried taking as few as 2 and as many as 10, and found when I was taking 8 – 10 I had so much energy and so many nutrients that my appetite was low and I didn’t sleep well.  I adjusted back down to 4.  But, I tend to be extra sensitive so most pregnant/nursing women (I have an EBF 6 month old) will want to take 6 – 8.  Others’ needs may vary.

Have you ever taken liver pills, or do you eat liver regularly?  Does it help you?

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49 Comments

  1. Would you consider posting your “nutrient chart”? It would be especially helpful if you included your sources. I’d love to figure out exactly what I need in my system.

    Reply

  2. Kate this is awesome, thank you!! We are getting a cow next month and I want to use the Liver but my husband refuses to eat it LOL! This is perfect. How well do you think the nutrition stays in tact this way? And is only 2 capsules a day enough?

    Reply

  3. If you have only had frozen liver, thawed and cooked by which to judge liver, then you have not had good liver. Fresh liver that has not been frozen has a much better texture. I do not like liver that has been frozen. It takes on a completely different texture. Also, calf’s liver is much better tasting than cow’s liver. Liver is the filter of the body. A full grown cow’s liver has had more time to accumulate toxins. So fresh calf’s liver is the best. For some reason I never could get to like chicken livers.

    Reply

    • Actually, livers do not accumulate, they filter and flush. Cow liver is completely safe. Please check your resouces a b d consider where you get your info.

      Reply

  4. Could you use the powder in smoothies versus putting them in capsules?

    Reply

  5. I’m curious as well about using the powder in a smoothie! Also, if I don’t have a dehydrator and will be using my oven how long should i cook it for??

    Reply

    • I’m sure you could use the powder in a smoothie although I haven’t tried. With an oven on 170, it will probably take 6 – 8 hours — check for it to snap in half when bent.

      Reply

  6. […] are turned off by the taste or texture of organ meats, you can dehydrate them and make your own pills, or you can grind them up and add a small amount to your ground beef dishes without a noticeable […]

    Reply

  7. […] body to heal itself faster, and help the person to rest.  I would combine this with plenty of rest, liver pills, cod liver oil, and perhaps some hot ginger tea (depending on illness).  I will take about a […]

    Reply

  8. I have heard in some liver prep places that you need to peel the liver. Is that something that is needed for this process? If so, how do I do that? (Completely new to all things organ-meat.)

    Reply

  9. How can I keep my house form reeking during the dehydrate?

    Reply

  10. During the dehydrating process, will it make your house smell?

    Reply

  11. […] this pregnancy to ensure proper absorption and maximum benefit.  I use fermented cod liver oil, homemade liver capsules (which, by the way, have also contributed greatly to my energy levels thanks to the high amount of […]

    Reply

  12. […] plan to make capsules more than a few times, you should get one.  I also used mine to make more liver pills after I finished this […]

    Reply

  13. can you do this same thing with pasture raised chicken livers?

    Reply

  14. What sized capsules did you use?

    Reply

    • Hi Courtney,

      I used “00” capsules.

      Reply

      • Yeah you posted the size. That is the same size I use for myself and never could figure out how much to take. Thanks for posting that. I have twin 5 year old sons so I bought a #3 capsule machine for them. Perfect size but I still don’t know how much they are taking. But I guess it really doesn’t matter I am just so happy they like taking the capsules. I use a food processor or our meat grinder to break up the liver with but you have to have those mats for the dehydrator to pour it out on. You can spread it out thinner and it doesn’t take as long doing it that way.

        Reply

  15. […] factor that’s unexplained (see here for more information on that).  I make my own from grass-fed, dehydrated liver.  Each day, I take 4, and I give my kids 1.  My boys […]

    Reply

  16. […] does not care for the taste of liver, I’ve made capsules out of dehydrated liver following this recipe, which we take along with our other supplements in the evenings.  I give one capsule to each of my […]

    Reply

  17. Hi Kate, If possible could you, post your nutrient chart you mentioned at the top of the article? I follow your blog regularly thanks for all the hard work and providing great information.
    Regards Isha

    Reply

  18. Do you think this would work with other organ meats as well? I got a bag full of the organ meats when I ordered a 1/2 a cow this fall. Do you think it would work to dehydrate the other organ meats as well and then blend them all together then put them into caps?

    Reply

  19. First time following your above instructions. After 24 hrs, the liver is dry on the exterior, but is anything but hard and is still doughy; you can twist it. Why didn’t it completely dry out and yours did? I do not want to increase the temp as it will affect the nutrition. Only thing I could think of is extending the time to another 5 hours to see if it finally “cures”. Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Hi Tim,

      It may have been thicker than mine. If it’s not fully dry, go ahead and let it go another 4 – 6 hours until it’s crispy. If it’s not fully dried, bacteria could grow, and you don’t want that!

      Reply

    • Hello

      Just put the liver in a Vitamix (or other blender) and reduce to mush (like fruit roll). It should reduce the drying time by half.

      My 5 cents

      Reply

  20. […] food-based supplement I take is liver capsules.  I make them myself using this method.  I’ve been taking six capsules per day and can tell a huge difference in my energy […]

    Reply

  21. […] Modern Alternative Mama posted this tutorial and I knew this was my answer!  I had already been considering doing this, so when I came […]

    Reply

  22. Where do you find you liver for $2?? The cheapest I can find it is $5/lb

    Reply

    • Hi Mama2Faerie,

      I can find it anywhere from $2 – $4/lb. depending on which farm I buy from. There are several in my area. And of course if prices in general are higher where you are, liver might be too. Still, 1 lb. of liver is going to make about 250 capsules, so it’s still affordable!

      Reply

  23. I have had this on my to-do list for several weeks, but haven’t yet made the time. Recently I read a post from another blogger who simply cuts raw liver into small pill-sized pieces and flash freezes them. She then keeps them in a jar in the freezer and swallows 4-6 “pills” each day. What are your thoughts on that method? Is there any difference in the benefits of the two preparations? I love the idea of making the actual capsules, but at this point in my life time is in high demand and anything I can streamline or simplify is appreciated. However, not at the expense of health. Hope that makes sense 🙂

    Reply

  24. […] Liver pills (this makes up for the B12, heme iron, and zinc missing from the herbal supplement; I take 4 a day) […]

    Reply

  25. How many tray did you use for one pound. I have 5 pounds of frozen beef liver and 5 trays. Could I do it all at once?

    Reply

  26. Hi! Thank you so much for this! What is the shelf-life and how would you store these?

    Reply

  27. […] are all supplements I use “sometimes.”  I do not do them daily.  This is how I make the liver pills.  I will probably do the pregnancy tea more often in the later part of pregnancy, especially […]

    Reply

  28. […] also do homemade liver pills (really, they’re easy) and cod liver oil as supplements.  This helps cover all my […]

    Reply

  29. Hi,

    How long do you think this will last? Where should they be stored?

    Thanks,
    Catherine

    Reply

    • Hi Catherine,

      Several months. I store mine in a glass jar in a cabinet in my kitchen — it’s relatively cool/dry there. So, some place like that. If your kitchen is really humid, the fridge might be better.

      Reply

  30. Hello, just wanna ask, if I’m taken another supplement with high vitamin A, should I be concern about eating liver? Also, what do you think about chicken liver? And where can I find the grass fed beef liver for 2 dollars a lb as you mentioned? Thanks.

    Reply

  31. […] Now this one may be a tough one to take, especially if you are not accustomed to eating organ meats. But, organs meats are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet with ten to 100 times the vitamins and essential minerals than muscle meat. [source]  We try to eat organ meat at least a couple times a week. (Try our super delicious Chicken Liver Pate!) If you really can’t get over the idea of organ meats you always have the option of just turning them into capsules and taking them with or instead of your other iron supplements. (Here’s how!) […]

    Reply

  32. This is so awesome! I buy mine on Amazon and they really do add up the expensives! I will definitely try this and share with others! 🙂

    Reply

  33. I see this is an older post but I just had to comment anyways! I know I should be including liver in my diet but I just can’t stomach the flavor no matter how I cook it or what I try to hide it in! I had never considered taking liver pills so when I came across this post I thought, “Perfect! Why buy the pills when I can DIY it!” It’s in the dehydrator now, outside in my garage so I don’t scare my family with the smell of cooking liver! Thanks again for the great idea!

    Reply

  34. […] Dessicated liver pills, 1 – 2 per day, for iron, zinc, copper, and B vitamins (I use these, these, or make my own) […]

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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