The Liver Files

Recipes and Lore About Our Most Important Sacred Food

Since history began, “liver has ranked above all other offal as one of the most prized culinary delights. Its heritage is illustrious–whether savored by young warriors after a kill or mixed with truffles and cognac for fine patés de foie gras.” So write Margaret Gin and Jana Allen, authors of Innards and Other Variety Meats (San Francisco, 1974).

Practically every cuisine has liver specialties. Some cultures place such a high value on liver that human hands can’t touch it. Special sticks must move it. The Li-Chi, a handbook of rituals published during China’s Han era (202B.C. to 220A.D.), lists liver as one of the Eight Delicacies. Throughout most of recorded time humans have preferred liver over steak by a large margin, regarding it as a source of great strength and as providing almost magical curative powers.


So what makes liver so wonderful? Quite simply, it contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. In summary, liver provides:

  • An excellent source of high-quality protein
  • Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
  • All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  • One of our best sources of folic acid
  • A highly usable form of iron
  • Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
  • An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
  • CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
  • A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.


Liver’s as-yet-unidentified anti-fatigue factor makes it a favorite with athletes and bodybuilders. The factor was described by Benjamin K. Ershoff, PhD, in a July 1951 article published in the Proceedings for the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Ershoff divided laboratory rats into three groups. The first ate a basic diet, fortified with 11 vitamins. The second ate the same diet, along with an additional supply of vitamin B complex. The third ate the original diet, but instead of vitamin B complex received 10 percent of rations as powdered liver.

A 1975 article published in Prevention magazine described the experiment as follows: “After several weeks, the animals were placed one by one into a drum of cold water from which they could not climb out. They literally were forced to sink or swim. Rats in the first group swam for an average 13.3 minutes before giving up. The second group, which had the added fortifications of B vitamins, swam for an average of 13.4 minutes. Of the last group of rats, the ones receiving liver, three swam for 63, 83 and 87 minutes. The other nine rats in this group were still swimming vigorously at the end of two hours when the test was terminated. Something in the liver had prevented them from becoming exhausted. To this day scientists have not been able to pin a label on this anti-fatigue factor.”


In spite of widespread tradition and abundant scientific evidence on the health benefits of liver, conventional nutritionists and government agencies now warn against its consumption. The putative dangers of eating liver stem from two concerns–the assumption that liver contains many toxins and the high level of vitamin A that it provides.

One of the roles of the liver is to neutralize toxins (such as drugs, chemical agents and poisons); but the liver does not store toxins. Poisonous compounds that the body cannot neutralize and eliminate are likely to lodge in the fatty tissues and the nervous system. The liver is not a storage organ for toxins but it is a storage organ for many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron). These nutrients provide the body with some of the tools it needs to get rid of toxins.

Of course, we should consume liver from healthy animals–cattle, lamb, buffalo, hogs, chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. The best choice is liver from animals that spend their lives outdoors and on pasture. If such a premier food is not available, the next choice is organic chicken, beef and calves liver. If supermarket liver is your only option, the best choice is calves liver, as in the U.S. beef cattle do spend their first months on pasture. Beef liver is more problematical as beef cattle are finished in feed lots. Livers from conventionally raised chicken and hogs are not recommended.

As for concerns about vitamin A, these stem from studies in which moderate doses of synthetic vitamin A were found to cause problems and even contribute to birth defects. But natural vitamin A found in liver is an extremely important nutrient for human health and does not cause problems except in extremely large amounts.

According to the authoritative Merck Manual, acute vitamin A poisoning can occur in children after taking a single dose of synthetic vitamin A in the range of 300,000 IU or a daily dosage of 60,000 IU for a few weeks. The Manual cites two fatalities from acute vitamin A poisoning in children, which manifests as increased intracranial pressure and vomiting. For the vast majority, however, recovery after discontinuation is “spontaneous, with no residual damage.”

In adults, according to the Merck Manual, vitamin A toxicity has been reported in Arctic explorers who developed drowsiness, irritability, headaches and vomiting, with subsequent peeling of the skin, within a few hours of ingesting several million units of vitamin A from polar bear or seal liver. Again, these symptoms clear up with discontinuation of the vitamin A-rich food. Other than this unusual example, however, only vitamin A from megavitamin tablets containing vitamin A when taken for a long time has induced acute toxicity, that is, 100,000 IU synthetic vitamin A per day taken for many months.

Thus, unless you are an Arctic explorer, it is very difficult to develop vitamin A toxicity from liver. The putative toxic dose of 100,000 IU per day is contained in two-and-one-half 100-gram servings of duck liver or about three 100-gram servings of beef liver. From the work of Weston Price, we can assume that the amount in primitive diets was about 50,000 IU per day.

As for liver for pregnant women, a study carried out in Rome, Italy, found no congenital malformations among 120 infants exposed to more than 50,000 IU of vitamin A per day (Teratology, Jan 1999 59(1):1-2). A study from Switzerland looked at blood levels of vitamin A in pregnant women and found that a dose of 30,000 IU per day resulted in blood levels that had no association with birth defects (International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research 1998 68(6):411-6). Textbooks on nutrition written before the Second World War recommended that pregnant women eat liver frequently, yet today pregnant women are told to avoid this extremely nutritious food. Don’t eat beef liver, cautions Organic Style magazine in a February 2005 article on diets for pregnant women, “. . . it has high levels of retinol, a vitamin-A derivative that can cause birth defects.”

A good recommendation for liver is one 100-gram serving of beef, lamb, bison or duck liver (about 4 ounces) once or twice a week, providing about 50,000 IU vitamin A per serving. Chicken liver, which is lower in vitamin A, may be consumed more frequently. If you experience headaches or joint pains at this level, cut back until the symptoms go away.

Eating Raw Liver. . .Good Heavens!

Eating raw liver is definitely not a Standard American Dietary (SAD) practice! So why in the world would a sane person even consider eating their liver raw? Most of the reasons are anecdotal with the primary one being that people who do consistently report how good it makes them feel.

  • Southern hunters have a tradition of eating the liver of their freshly killed deer as a “manly” thing to do.
  • In Argentina, cowboys eat liver (and meat) raw or very lightly cooked.
  • People who grew up on farms tell of eating the liver freshly warm from the animal and only lightly cooking it (and all the organs and glands)
  • Weston Price reported on the consumption of raw liver among African hunter-gatherer tribes. Liver was considered so sacred that they never touched it with their hands, only with their spears. They ate it both raw and cooked.
  • The physician Max Gerson used raw liver juice, extracted with a special juicer that pressed out the liquid, in his original healing protocol with pancreatic cancer patients. His daughter, Charlotte Gerson, later dropped this part of the protocol because of the unavailability of fresh clean liver without bacterial contamination. Now a crude liver extract injection or desiccated liver tablets are used in the current protocol. However, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, a New York doctor who treats cancer holistically, insists that all his patients eat raw liver.

The How-to-do-it of Eating Raw Liver

This takes some getting used to! There are two basic methods. One calls for freezing the liver for 14 days in large chunks. (Fourteen days will ensure the elimination of pathogens and parasites.) You can then grate the liver on the small holes of a grater and add it to milk or juice, or even hot cereal. A teaspoon or two of grated raw liver can be added to baby’s egg yolk, or even to mashed vegetables.

The second method turns liver into pills! Cut fresh liver into pea-sized pieces and freeze for 14 days. Swallow like vitamin pills.
For both methods, the liver should be of the highest quality available and very fresh.


You don’t find recipes for liver in many modern cookbooks but scan the internet and you will find liver recipes from cuisines around the world.

A wonderful site that features medieval European recipes is, where participants provide translations and comments on recipes in old cookbooks. Here we learn that long before the anti-cholesterol campaign, Europeans made liver into dumplings, terrines, sausages and “puddings,” and used it as a filling in meat pies and pasties. (According to one contributor, an outstanding example of a liver-filled pasty includes chicken livers, hearts, gizzards and sour cherries.)

Ancient cookbooks even describe the use of liver to thicken sauces, apparently by pressing raw puréed liver through a fine strainer and adding it to sauce that was then carefully heated but not boiled. (During Lent, fish livers served to thicken sauces!) As long as the liver flavor does not overpower the flavor of the sauce, this could be a good way to get liver into your family without them ever knowing it!

A liver recipe from a 1529 Spanish cookbook goes like this: “Take onions and cut them very small, like fingers, and fry them gently with fatty bacon; and then take the liver of a kid or a lamb or a goat and cut them into slices the size of a half walnut, and fry it gently with the onion until the liver loses its color; then take a crustless piece of toasted bread soaked in white vinegar and grind it well, and dissolve it with sweet white wine; and then strain it through a woolen cloth; and then cast it over the onion and the liver, all together in the casserole; and cast in ground cinnamon; and cook until it is well thickened and when it is cooked, prepare dishes.”

A great, high-cholesterol liver dish from an ancient Middle Eastern cookbook has been translated by Betty Cook. Note the inclusion of wonderful spices, not normally associated with liver.


14 ounces chicken livers
14 ounces chicken gizzards
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sesame oil for frying
1/4 cup lemon juice

Bring 3 cups water to a boil with 1/8 teaspoon salt, add gizzards and simmer 50 minutes. Near the end of this time, bring another 3 cups water and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil and cook livers in it 3 minutes. Drain both, cut into 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch pieces, put into a bowl and mix with egg yolks and spices. Heat oil and fry the mixture about 4 minutes, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.


The website provides this intriguing recipe for liver paté from Scandinavia. Unlike the French versions, Scandinavian patés don’t usually contain alcohol or garlic and they have a smoother texture.

Liver Paté

8-10 Portions

300 g calf’s liver or pig’s liver
300 g lean pork meat, such as pork fillet
300 g pork fat
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
300 ml milk
1 egg
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground all spice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Note: 300 grams is slightly less than 3/4 pound and 300 ml is 1 1/4 cups.

Dice the liver, lean pork meat and fat into small pieces. Set aside 75 g of the pork fat and place it in an oven dish in a low oven. Cook the fat until it has melted down. Lightly grease the sides and base of the paté container. A standard loaf tin works well.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Mince the onion, liver, pork and remaining pork fat through a mincer (meat grinder) 3-4 times until smooth.

Melt butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the flour to the butter and cook it for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the milk while stirring until you have a thick smooth sauce. Add the minced liver mixture and stir it until well combined. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Mix in the egg, ground cloves, all spice and a little salt and pepper.

Pour the paté mixture into the greased loaf pan, place in a baking pan and fill the pan 3/4 high with hot water. Place the paté on the center shelf in the pre-heated oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours. To test for doneness, insert a thin knife or skewer into the center of the paté. When the paté is ready, it should come out clear. (The center of the paté should reach at least 170°F. If you have a meat thermometer use this to test if it is ready).

Remove the paté from the oven when cooked and leave it to cool in the container. When cooled, turn the paté out onto a plate and serve it as part of a smorgasbord or use it for smorresbrod (open sandwiches) or as a starter or canapé. Mustard, cress, gherkins, grapes and chutney all make good accompaniments


A delicious liver recipe from Russia is found at

Liver with Sour Cream

Serves 4

2 1/2 pounds liver (calf, pork or beef), sliced
2 onions, chopped
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter
2 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons dill, freshly chopped
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
sea salt and pepper to taste

Wash, pat dry, and sprinkle each piece of liver with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, fry on each side in butter and remove. Sauté the onions until golden brown and then layer both liver and onions in a deep pot. Deglaze the pan with beef stock, stir well and add the sour cream, stir, then add to the liver and onions. Mix well and cover. Cook slowly over low-heat for 20 minutes. Uncover, stir well, re-cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove liver from pot, arrange on individual plates and pour sauce over the slices. Sprinkle with the dill. This is very good when served with boiled or fried potatoes or rice.


The Japanese consider liver an important food for pregnant women. The following recipe is adapted from one posted at

Nira Reba

Serves 4

1/2 pound pork liver
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 bunch nira (Chinese chives)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake (rice wine)
1 tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon potato starch
lard for frying

Cut liver into bite-sized pieces and marinate in a mixture of soy sauce, sake and ginger for 20 minutes. Remove liver from the sauce, pat dry and dredge in arrowroot. Heat lard in a deep pan and fry the liver pieces.Remove liver to a heated plate. Chop nira into short pieces and sauté in a frying pan. Add deep-fried liver and sauté with nira. Add the sauce used for marinating liver to the frying pan and stir well. Add the mixture of water and potato starch, stir quickly and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

Liver Comparison Chart

From: Nutrition Almanac, by John D. Kirschmann

Beef Lamb Veal Chicken Duck Goose Turkey
Amount 1lb 1lb 1lb 1 1 1 1
Weight: gm 454 454 454 32 44 94 102
Vitamin A 199130 229070 102060 6576 17559 29138 18403
Vitamin B1 1.16 1.81 .9 .044 .528 .062
Vitamin B2 14.79 14.9 12.3 .628 .838 2.21
Vitamin B6 14 1.36 3.04 .24 .72 .78
Vitamin B12 363 472 272 7.35 23.7 64.6
Biotin 454 454
Niacin 61.6 76.5 51.8 2.96 6.11 10.35
35 32.7 36.3 1.98 7.81
Folic Acid .99 .99 236 752
Vitamin C 140 152 161 10.8 4.6
Vitamin E 6.36
Calcium 36 45 36 3 5 40 7
Copper 12.7 25 36 .126 2.62 7.07 .512
Iron 29.5 49.4 39.9 2.74 13.4 11
Magnesium 59 64 73 6 23 21
Manganese 1.23 1.04 .083 .294
Phosphorus 1597 1583 1510 87 118 245 319
Potassium 1275 916 1275 73 216 303
Selenium 206
Sodium 617 236 331 25 132 98
Zinc 17 17 .98 2.53
Total Fat 17.5 19.6 21.3 1.23 2.04 4.03 4.05
Saturated Fat 6.8 6.9 42 .63 1.49 1.28
Unsaturated Fat 5 6.63 .5 .59 1 1.73
Cholesterol 1360 1361 1361 140 227 475


Pernicious anemia is a debilitating disease caused by B12 deficiency. Until 1926, the only treatment for the disease was blood transfusions. Shortly thereafter, Drs. Whipple, Murphy and Minot received the Nobel Price for their discovery of liver therapy for the disease. Dr. William P. Murphy recalls the discovery of the therapy:

“Dr. George Whipple of the University of Rochester had demonstrated that liver caused a rapid replacement of blood in dogs made anemic by bleeding. From his idea, we proposed that liver might be useful in treating pernicious anemia, even though this anemia was totally different from the one induced in dogs.

“With these observations, it became important to prove the efficacy of liver. But in those days, getting permission to do studies was not such an easy matter. The chief physician of Peter Bent Brigham Hospital was quite skeptical, but gave me permission with the understanding that a transfusion would never be withheld from a patient who needed one.

“I started one of my patients on liver therapy. This patient, a man in his forties, was critically ill and partially comatose. In spite of his condition, I was able to explain to him that liver might be distinctly useful to him. We found that if a patient were fed half a pound of liver per day, it would take about five days to show an increase in red blood count.

“But this man seemed more ill on the fifth day. According to the policy laid down, my patient was a candidate for a transfusion. I stayed up very late that night trying to decide to give him the liver. It was a miserable night, but around midnight I noticed that his red blood cell count had increased slightly. That gave me courage to go on with the liver. When I saw his blood count go up, I went home and collapsed into bed, slept very poorly and was back at the hospital at seven o’clock the next morning.

“I approached his room with fear and trembling, and cautiously peaked around the corner to see if he was still alive. To my great surprise and relief he sat up in bed and cheerfully asked, “What time is breakfast?” His blood count was at the maximum and he not only survived but lived many years. With that success, the staff became cooperative.

“Later, patients didn’t have to choke down liver but could receive extracts and still later, vitamin B12. . .”

For those who want to prevent pernicious anemia from ever occurring, the best course of action is to eat liver once a week, as our ancestors usually did.


Here are some suggestions from members of the Native Nutrition discussion group.

  • Marinate slices of liver in the fridge overnight in lemon juice or water with vinegar, plus lots of garlic and bay laurel leaf. After marinating, pat dry and fry in olive oil and/or lard and/or butter until well done (really brown on the outside and slightly rose inside). (Kidneys work well with this recipe also.) The key is marinating to take away any unpleasant taste. Florabela
  • The liver needs to come from a fairly young animal and be free of hormones and organically raised. Cover the liver with flour on both sides and bake with a little butter or ghee for several minutes at very low heat, otherwise it will be hard. Add a handful of sliced onion, a little vinegar and water. Increase the heat to 350 degrees for a few minutes then cook for about 20 minutes at a low heat. You can add fresh mushrooms and at the end a bit of salt. It’s usually served with noodles or rice. However any vegetable dish would work. Pia
  • My favorite cooked liver recipe is to slice the liver thin (no more than 1/4th inch) then dredge it in a mixture of almond flour, salt and lots of pepper. (Almond flour is just a replacement for those who don’t eat grains.). Fry on both sides in ghee or lard. I usually cook up the whole liver at one time then either heat up the leftovers during the week, or snack on it cold. It’s a great substitute for a power bar or other on-the-go meal. Sally R
  • Marinate the sliced liver in red wine vinegar and a couple teaspoons of honey for about 1 hour. Slice up 1-2 onions and fry in lots of tallow and butter for about 1/2 hour until onions are small and brown. Remove the onions and toss in the liver with a bit of the wine/honey mix. Fry quickly, turning frequently, and serve hot with onions and wine sauce and a side of kim chi. Paul B
  • The key to delicious liver is lots of garlic. Use lard to sauté it, and add some olive oil when it’s closer to done. Don’t overcook it. First saute 1 onion and at least 5 cloves of garlic with plenty of herbs and spices, whatever you like. Slice the liver up nice and thin, cook for about 5 minutes and flip around once a minute. Cook some bacon at the same time and cut into small pieces to serve on top of the liver along with the onions and garlic. Chris M
  • This is my mom’s delicious Jewish chopped liver recipe that “doesn’t taste like liver much at all!” Slice onion and sauté in fat until golden. Throw into a food processor. Saute 3/4 pound of chicken livers in same pan until pink inside. Let cool and put into same food processor with onions. Add 2 hardboiled eggs to food processor. Process onion, liver and eggs to a consistency you like but not too fine. Keep some lumpiness. Add salt and pepper to taste. Daphne
  • Cut liver into small pieces and roll it in beaten egg then in nut flour (finely ground crispy nuts). Fry in hot coconut oil and salt and pepper to taste. It’s out of this world! Cheryl K
  • An old but excellent recipe: Bake 1 pound beef or chicken livers and then chop up. Chop up 2 hard boiled eggs. Mix chopped eggs and liver with 1 medium cooked chopped onion (sautéed is fine). Mash and mix together with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate before eating. Robin L
  • Cut liver into strips, about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, and marinate in lemon juice. Pat dry. Chop up some onions and cook them in bacon fat and remove. Cook liver in the fat until almost solidly pink because once it turns brown, the liver flavor is stronger. This is delicious with a big serving of kale and butter and a pile of fermented carrots. Lisa
  • Sauté onions in a little butter or coconut oil, then toss in the liver (cut into big hunks) and cook for several minutes. Process onions and liver in a food processor and process until it’s all just minced. Then combine it with a hamburger dish (casserole, spaghetti sauce, etc.). Lynn E
  • Liver is delicious with a gravy or sauce. Marinate liver in lemon juice or vinegar for several hours and pat dry. Cook quickly in hot lard and set aside in a warm oven. You can make a gravy by stirring some unbleached white flour in the remaining fat and adding beef stock. Whisk until smooth and boil down a bit. You can make a clear buttery sauce by adding some wine or brandy to the fat and adding beef or chicken stock. Boil down, skimming as necessary, until it thickens a bit and then whisk in several tablespoons softened butter. Season with salt and pepper. Finally, you can make a tart sauce by sautéing capers and chopped shallots in the hot fat. (Be sure to rinse the capers well and pat dry before doing this.) Deglaze with a little white wine and add beef stock. Boil down until sauce thickens. Sally Fallon


The following raw liver drink was developed by the author and fellow WAPF member Becky Mauldin. Says Lynn, “I find that nothing works as well for giving strength when I am under stress. I am a teacher and use it when things start getting hectic at school. My husband has also found it very helpful for dealing with stress.”

1/2 – 1 ounce grassfed liver, cut into tiny chunks and frozen (it must be still frozen to blend well)
1 cup organic tomato juice
juice of 1/2 lime
dash hot sauce
1-2 raw pastured egg yolks
2-4 tablespoons fermented young coconut juice
1 tablespoon raw cream
1/4 teaspoon Concentrace mineral solution
1-2 teaspoons bee pollen (optional)

Blend everything together in a blender. You can follow with some fresh papaya if the drink gives you a livery aftertaste. You can also soak the liver chunks in sour milk or lemon juice before freezing to reduce the strong flavor.

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2005.

Lynn Razaitis, our chapter leader for Atlanta, Georgia, teaches high school biology in a public inner city school. She has found liver to be invaluable in helping her to overcome health problems and deal with the stress of her job.

51 Responses to The Liver Files

  1. Mhikl says:

    I have been consuming about kilogram of lightly cooked beef liver a week for two months now. I guess I could cut back, but I truly love liver. Heart, raw to lightly cooked, Pink Salmon (lightly cooked to kill worms) and eggs (whites cooked) make up the rest of my protein intake. I follow a paleo ketogenic diet of 80% raw beef fat or lightly braised, home rendered lard, butter/ghee and coconut virgin oil; 10% protein, 180g/6oz and 10% carbohydrates from low calorie coloured simmered vegetables, along with homemade sauerkraut and wild berries.

    I have always used my body as my laboratory to discover health benefits and hindrances. By eliminating grains, 100%, I discovered a problem with wheat that had rendered my legs insensitive (all my life) preventing walking without exhaustion, like wading through waist high water. It took about six-to-eight weeks to figure that out. When sensuality came to my legs, I was so astounded that I swore never to eat wheat or other grains again. However, I tried a little ‘wiggle room’ allowing myself either one hamburger bun, a small French pastry or a small piece of pizza on Fridays. In short order the tired legs disorder returned. I had no choice but to go totally wheat and grain (and legume) free.

    I got my sauerkraut recipe from this site. I now use a whole fresh pineapple, large chunks, and two handfuls of coloured hot chillies (no garlic or onions) in my 4L mix. Amazingly, I no longer have extremes in my constitution: regularity has become my clime for the first time that I can remember. Thank you for keeping the studies of Mr Price alive and available. He and his wife, along with Ignaz Semmelweis are the standard bearers of pure human spirit with their unequivocal care for the welfare and concerns for others.

    • mhikl says:

      I am now into raw beef beef heart. I do freeze it for a few weeks to kill any pathogens.
      I slice it as thinly as possible across the grain, and I eat it raw, savouring and then swallowing the thin slices whole. I have given up all fish because of the studies of Brian Peskin, as to the danger of their omega oils which the body forces into cells to get rid of them; and this, he says, is the cause of our cancers, heart disease and diabetes and other modern disorders. Peskin’s studies follow up those of Otto Warburg on the cause of cancer.
      This is also what I am feeding my ageing Corgi, just turned 16 years old. She has lost the use of her hind quarters and the problem is slowly progressing up towards her brain. She can not longer walk with out a girdle under her hind legs to support her moving. This diet has prolonged her use of her front legs, but the time is shortly coming when she will no longer be able to walk at all. Only when she is no longer interested in eating will I put her down. She is happy and is in no pain. I suspect the same health benefits will accrue to humans who choose their foods wisely and from careful study.
      Namaste and care,

  2. Lori says:

    Love all these wonderful recipes and ideas on how to prepare liver, I only learned to fry with onions and bacon if you had some, but it’s to expensive right now for me, never thought of adding garlic, will do next time, what are good spices for liver, we have a mix called Pappys, but would like to experiment.

  3. tatiana says:

    If the daily recommended amount suggested in this article is of 4 oz, once or twice a week for an adult. That would be between 4-8 oz a week. How can it be that the meat-based liver formula uses 2 oz a day for an infant. That would be 14 oz a week, almost double the recommended amount for an adult. This is VERY concerning! Can some one PLEASE address the issue of high levels of vitamin A found in the meat based liver formula. It would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Tim Boyd says:

      From Sally:
      If you use poultry liver, the vitamin A will be less. But we have had babies thrive on the beef liver formula.

    • Mick Vernon says:


      The type of vitamin A in supplements is synthesized and not the same as the type of vitamin A in liver, which is in the form of Retinol and more easily absorbed through being more ‘bioavailable’. I don’t know the biochemical differences, but this is what I’ve read. There are no studies that show issues with Retinol, only with synthesized vitamin A.

  4. Kayce says:

    Hello, Thank you for this wonderful article! You mentioned that it’s not recommend to eat conventionally raised chicken’s liver, but if this is the only source you have is it damaging to eat or Does it have negative implications on your health? If so, could you please list them? Thank you so much!

  5. Michael Harris says:

    Great Article. I just had beef liver at a restaurant and I truly feel so good. It was great – the portion was big and I could not finish it.

    The health benefits outweigh the negatives.

  6. Kyung says:

    I have unfortuantely experienced anxiety starting about 18 days after taking dessicated liver pills (4 a day). I don’t know why and I plan on reducing it to three or two soon if it doesn’t subside and then see how that goes. My initial motivation for taking it was to improve my dental health but if this anxiety continues, I don’t see how I will be able to continue consuming this even though I want to.

    • Rachel Powell says:

      Dessicated liver pills contain additives. It is possible that an additive in the pill is causing your anxiety. I would recommend that you consume liver in its natural form (either cooked or raw) and see if you still have anxiety.

    • Rachel R. says:

      This is a side effect commonly experienced with supplementation of the active forms of FOLATE, so I wonder if you’re getting too much folate — either from the liver itself or from added vitamins. (This seems to be due to an issue called “methyl trapping” — see Ben Lynch’s site for more information — and I don’t know if it’s relevant here or not.)

  7. rachel says:

    I would love to get some sources for the claim that freezing liver for 14 days kills all pathogens and parasites. I have also read that freezing does not kill pathogens but slows their growth. I would like some solid research to back this up before I feed raw liver to my 6 month old baby. I have been having a difficult time finding any documentation. Thanks in advance!

    • Deb says:

      I’m following you, Rachel, for the answer! I believe freezing kills most, but not all. Also, freezing does not (from what I can find) kill e.coli. I would like to see some authentic research as I am consuming frozen raw liver pills.

    • Ali says:

      We have had fear of germs drummed into us since Pasteur. Germs are not the cause of disease, they follow it. Bacteria and ‘parasites’ are part of nature’s clean-up system, gobbling up dead and decaying matter and either rendering it harmless or even beneficial. If paramedics are present at an accident, would we assume they had caused it?

      Healthy people will not have a problem with microbes. But the sicker we are the more riddled with ‘germs’ we become. Germs are all around us. Everything we touch is teeming with them. If germs made us sick, we’d all be sick all the time!

      The most powerful way to deal with any excess germs or ‘parasites’ we may come in contact with is a strong digestive system, immune system and body. And the best way to get that is through our germ-laden diet……

      We need to use common sense, and freezing the liver is useful, but the health-giving benefits far outweigh any potential issues, IMHO.

      • Kim Lambdin says:

        LOVE!!!Thank you for you reply!

      • Margaret says:

        Ali: Yes… This is true,
        but Its still a Valid question. Also, lets consider that there are plenty of people with weakened immune systems that should exercise caution against exposure until their biological defenses are more intact,
        And Babies are still developing their immune systems in the first place and are quite vulnerable, which, I believe, is why things like honey and bee pollen are not recommended for the babies in their raw form.
        Rachel’s question specifically indicated that she was asking for the sake of her 6 month old baby, so we should still be on the look out for how potential pathogens can be eliminated before consumption.

        Rachel: I have noticed that a lot of liver recipes use some form of alcohol in the cooking process, or even marinading the livers in alcohol for several hours before cooking. I’m sure this could be done if raw too (though harder to evaporate the alcohol unless your dehydrating the liver).
        Essentially I am wondering if the alcohol acts as a killing agent for microbes, etc.
        does anyone have any knowledge about whether this would be effective?
        If not, do you know why alcohol is such a common liver pate or sauted liver/other liver recipe ingredient? is it just for taste?

    • Cynthia says:

      marinate the raw liver in kefir. The acid preserves it. I feed it to my infant grand daughter.

  8. Kate says:

    My son is 14 months old and I’ve been feeding him raw liver since he was five months. I also give him a raw egg yolk everyday and he drinks raw goats milk. It is scary at first but I weighed the risks against the advantages to his health and he is a thriving, active, healthy, sharp little human. Don’t fixate on the raw factor. Make sure you are getting quality, organic products and handling them properly and there shouldn’t be any problems. You can get salmanila from lettuce. There is risk in every decision. You have to decide what’s best for you and your baby. For me the thought of giving my babe store bought formula with corn syrup and excessive heavy metals, giving him milk that has had the life boiled out of it was way riskier than feeding him quality raw products I acquired locally. I get milk and liver from a farm down the road from my house so I know where it comes from and that it is fresh and sanitary. I feel good feeding my son this food and he clearly feels good consuming it. I encourage you to explore these food options and am confident you will be pleased with what you discover.

  9. Chrissy says:

    11 years ago diagnosed with a huge fibroid tumour given 50/50 chance of survival . I took matters into my own hands researched at library and realised the only organ that renews itself is our own liver so I had to think will it work to put my red blood cells high so i dont die. I am greatful for my research as i did survive i ate liver a lot but i love i am advocating liver as a great food i never really got fatigued even on chemo for 9 months any one reading this please tell others dont delay love and angel blessings to all

  10. jim says:

    raw liver has parasites not safe to consume raw!

    • Ali says:

      See my comment above.

      I’ve had parasites myself (not from liver), and what has had the most impact on dealing with them has been strengthening my whole body, digestive system and immunity by eating plenty of beef fat and protein and liver, cooked and raw.

      I did fear my parasites for a long time (systemic worms) as their activity was pretty relentless, keeping me awake and hugely disrupting my life, until I realised they were only there because they had a job to do. They were busy trying to clean up my weak decaying body. As my body and health has started to strengthen, they have virtually disappeared. Eventually they will no longer be an issue…..

    • Shira says:

      Parasites are inevitable. We get them from shaking hands, walking barefoot, having sex, petting animals, using restaurant silverware…even breathing! The parasites that can inhabit the liver are called liver flukes and we contract them through the air just by breathing. What is more important is doing a parasite cleanse once a year, not avoiding a nutrition powerhouse out of a fear of something that cannot be avoided.

  11. Ann says:

    I cannot find chicken livers in any local store-in southern California. Even the pricier ones do not sell them, as far as I know. Calves’liver, same thing. My nephrologist recommended I eat them to boost my blood, but…I take iron. She says this will really help. Would appreciate any help. The only thing I have found is cat food with chicken liver-no wonder there is none available for humans any more!!! Other than buying an organic chicken, will have to do without.

    • ErinDubs says:

      Find a decent size Asian grocery stores they almost always have fresh chicken livers.

    • Rhonda says:

      Whole Foods sells grass-fed beef liver and organic chicken livers. If they don’t have it on the shelf, they can order it.

    • Pam Brown says:

      Forget finding them in the grocery store….go to a fried chicken place and order them….they are killer and way better than I can fry them up…last week I ate some and was wondering why i had tons of energy and then last night i ate some and well, 4 hrs later, again, up with tons of energy….they must have some magical powers..they say the japanese and many other cultures eat them as a delicacy and…the vitamins they have listed above…everyone should know about this, I sent this article to my sister-in-law…natural CoQ10 for the heart….wow!!!!!

  12. larry schad says:

    good recipe for smoking venison 0rbeef

  13. larry schad says:

    what is a good recipe for smoked liver

  14. judith says:

    quick and easy:
    i sautee grass fed beef liver in olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper. the whole pepper pods are more flavorful, the powdered will do very nicely.

  15. Pablo says:

    I am from Argentina and we eat lightly cooked liver with lemon. One minute each si de con a pan. Delicious.

  16. Michael Douglas says:

    I have been making raw calves liver juice the same way max gerson made it.

    What vitamins will be in the juice? Will vitamin A make it? I ask because i don’t want to take too much


    • Nima Kian says:

      How do you juice the liver? What kind of juicer do you use? I own an Omega NC900HDSS SS Nutrition System (a masticating juicer). Dr. Gerson, when he used raw liver juice, recommended several cups a day. How much liver do you juice at a time? How many ounces does it yield? How many ounces do you drink at a time? How many times per day?

      Thank you for your response!

  17. Shonagh Home says:

    I drink raw liver 3X a week by grating 2 tablespoons of frozen liver (from 100% grass-fed local cows). I put the liver in a glass and add a few ounces of tomato veggie juice and a squeeze of fresh lemon and drink it down. The frozen liver doesn’t have a taste to it, which makes it very easy to get this down the hatch.

  18. Jose says:

    Doing the calculation, in order to get 10,000 IU of vitamin A for adults I should eat aprox. 25g of beef liver per day?

    • Phoenix says:

      That’s about right, but there’s no problem with just eating 100g every four days (or 175g once a week), or whatever works for you. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin so we don’t need to ingest it every day like with water-soluble ones.

  19. Maria says:

    Hi, you write that the liver should be frozen for a minimum of 14 days. How long can it be frozen and still be safely consumed raw?

  20. Pam Brown says:



    i know low red blood cell count invites cancers and other bad things so I thought I’d look up the myth that chicken livers were toxic and full of junk since it processed the chickens body…gladly to my surprise it does exactly the opposite…it helps you and I am going to eat it every week twice a week now and see if most of my issues disappear…ringing of the ears is my main problem right now….it came on quickly and is crazy at times….hope this cures the problem. Will see and report back in a few weeks.

  21. Pam Brown says:

    I LOVED THIS ARTICLE, NOW I KNOW WHY I AM WIDE AWAKE AND NOT TIRED…looking up how bad chicken livers are for you and found out that they are tremendously good for you! Wow, I saw many of the same articles on internet on how good they are for your body, even one doctor wrote how a patient was almost dead and had very little red blood cells….on his death bed and after 6 days of chicken livers his red blood count was high as it could be and the man lived for many years later and he sat up in bed and stocked the whole staff at the hospital who thought he was gonna die. I will make sure I eat them every week for many months to come and report back later with any affects. Go to your local chicken place and ask if they have Livers…most don’t advertise it or show it on their menu boards…I was surprised last week when after visiting Kings Chicken for years I asked if they had livers and wow, they are awesome fried….better than Fried Chicken Breast! When I was 16 I was diagnosed with Anemia, (low iron and the doctors 39 yrs ago told my mom to feed me Liver). Of course, I said yuck…but mom fried the beef livers in flour/oil and added onions and then some water after it was all cooked and made a gravy and it was killer…with mashed potatoes. I made it for years and then stopped for the last 25 yrs. I love Liver…it is so smooth and creamy!

  22. Claudia says:


    I’m 5 weeks pregnant and I am following Weston A Price recommended diet along with cod liver oil. I don’t have access to fresh liver and I am taking 6 pills of desiccated liver daily mainly for folate. Is that too much liver for early pregnancy? The foundation recommends 3-4 oz fresh liver per week.I would really appreciate some advice. I really can’t find the pros and cons regarding daily intake of desiccated liver and pregnancy.


  23. Adriane Suhayda says:

    I would like some clarification about the Folic Acid in liver. It’s my understanding that folic acid is not a very usable form of the nutrient and that Folate is actually what we need to be taking. So is Folate in liver or is it in the form of Folic Acid? Thank you for your help!

    • Phoenix says:

      Folic acid is the synthetic version. It’s best to avoid it where possible as it can contribute to tongue ties in babies and is just generally bad for anyone with an MTHFR polymorphism (up to 60% of the population!). Liver contains folate, the naturally occurring form. Unfortunately, many sources conflate the two.

  24. Curious says:

    My husband is anemic with haemoglobin as low as 8.2. The iron pills gave him reaction. I started him on goat liver. How much liver should he be eating to be able to get his haemoglobin levels back up? Is it safe to eat liver every day?

  25. Chris Pike says:

    Does freeze dried liver retain all the nutrients of raw liver? If the water is removed from the meat in the freeze drying process I wondered if any nutrients (in particular the water dissolveable B vitamins) might also be removed?

  26. Rachel R. says:

    How long should desiccated liver keep? It’s shelf-stable, but…it’s meat. haha So I’m not sure if it’s sort of an indefinite keeper or if after a while it needs to be pitched for safety’s sake.

    • Renee says:

      Hi I was chatting to my well trusted butcher where I get my liver from and he said that if it goes icy then u need to throw it away but u can keep it for as long as u would lamb or beef. He chops my liver up and pops them tnto small criovac bags so they are easy to get to then once opened I wrap it all in glad wrap and put it into a tuppawear container before placing back into the freeze. I hope this helps 🙂

  27. Anna says:

    Does anyone know about different colors of chicken livers? I have seen everything from pale pink to yellowish to dark red with black on the outside. I heard they should be a dark reddish brown but are the other colors bad to eat?

  28. Renee says:

    I love raw liver smoothies!! A friend recommended it to me as I was always tired since I have started eating it every day I no longer need to have a coffee!!!!!! I know it seems unbelievable but it makes u feel bright and energised. Best smoothie recipe.
    I piece of frozen liver about thumb length and 2cm thick
    2 desert spoons natural pot set vanilla yogurt
    3/4 to 1 cup frozen blueberries
    1 to 2 ice cubes of frozen coconut milk or cream
    1 heaped table spoon organic coca powder not coco powder or hot coc mix
    1 to 2 cups fresh oj
    Blend until smooth
    Yum yum yum

  29. Andrew Mikesell says:

    I have been drying Baby Calves liver and wonder if this delicious food is good for consumption. I sprinkle it with various spices (mesquite, garlic, salt, cumin, onion, Italian herbs, and fresly ground cayenne chillies) and let it stay in an oven at 170 degrees for a few hours, It comes out like beef jerky. Sometimes I flip it over after a few hours and roast it some more until it is really dry. Does anyone have any comments on this type of eating liver?

  30. Nichole says:

    I know someone who consumes 8oz a day of raw beef liver smoothies.
    Is this safe?
    If it’s not safe then why? Is it bc the high vitamin A, copper or iron?

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