Your liver is the major detoxifying organ in your body. Your liver sorts through all the junk, waste, and toxic chemicals that get into your system and filters them out. Breaking down toxins chemically, your liver turns these wastes into liquid that is eliminated through your sweat, urine or stools.
Many factors can slow down the liver’s ability to function at its best. Eating a diet high in fat and chemical preservatives, makes the liver work harder. When you consume too much alcohol, are exposed to a lot of environmental toxins like pesticides or have a major hormone imbalance, your liver may not be able to keep up. Other factors like aging and exposure to heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, can all slow down the liver’s detoxification process.
The extra toxins your liver couldn’t process are stored in your fat cells and tissues in an attempt to safely remove them from your bloodstream where they could cause immediate serious damage. When highly toxic substances, particularly heavy metals, remain in the liver and other tissue, this can lead to uncomfortable symptoms and eventually disease. For example, heavy metals that accumulate in fat and tissue can lead to dysfunction in the brain.
When the Liver Becomes Sluggish
Symptoms that show up can be hard to connect directly to a liver problem. For example, premenstrual discomfort can come from too much of the hormone estrogen circulating in the blood which occurs when your liver is not breaking down the excess.
The liver has two pathways for detoxification:
Toxins, which are a poisonous substance that can cause damage to cells are first taken on by Phase 1 of Liver Detoxification, this phase involves using enzymes to transform these lipid-soluble toxins into less harmful substances that Phase 2 can now handle.
Phase 2 of Liver Detoxification involves pairing these battered up toxins with other molecules which increase their water-solubility so they can be safely removed from the body through the means of elimination.
When the liver becomes sluggish, toxins are no longer able to leave the body and are instead stored in fat tissue (since they are lipid-soluble) and they will hang out there until liver function improves and they can be safely eliminated. This can be a huge factor as to why you aren’t shedding extra weight even with a healthy diet and exercise.There is a variety of tell-tale symptoms of a stressed out liver, regardless of the degree of your symptoms, by taking holistic approaches and preventative steps you have the ability to improve your liver function and improve your quality of life (because you deserve to feel good).
If your liver is overloaded and stressed, symptoms may show up as:
- Chronic fatigue or lethargy
- Negative Emotions
- Difficulty in concentrating (brain fog), reoccurring headaches, irritability
- Dull Headaches Improved with Rest or Headaches/Migraines Behind Eyes
- Chronic Joint or Muscle Pain
- Excessive Perspiration
- Problems with digestion including poor absorption of nutrients, bloating, and constipation
- Difficulty with blood sugar
- Rashes and other skin problems, including brownish spots appearing on the skin, often called “liver spots”
- Gas, Bloating, Abdominal Pain, Constipation, Diarrhea
- Hormones being off balance including premenstrual complaints that are worse then usual
- Anxiety and Depression
- Chemical Sensitivities
- Wakefulness at night between 2 – 4 am
- Unexplained Weight Gain
- Difficulty losing weight, despite dieting
- Dark circles under the eyes and low energy
Since the liver is responsible for filtering cholesterol out of your blood, ensuring your liver is clean decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke. The liver eliminates toxins, poisons and waste from your blood. When the liver becomes congested with toxins, they have nowhere to go but back into the bloodstream where they can affect cell growth including cancer cells. Preventing disease by keeping your body’s filters running clean makes sense since it’s a lot easier and cheaper to maintain then trying to heal a critical health condition.
Amazingly, your liver is the only internal organ naturally capable of regenerating its own damaged tissue. While this is a testament to the healing power of the human body, there are limits to the abuse your liver can take. There are things you can do to assist your liver when it is stressed
Outlined below are all the parts we recommend for a full liver cleanse including herbs, foods, and further steps.
Herbs Specific for the Liver
One of the key products in any liver cleanse program is a combination of specially selected herbs that encourage your body to heal damaged liver cells, strengthen your liver’s ability to provide vital functions and stimulate flushing of wastes from your liver and gallbladder.
Milk Thistle seed, Dandelion root, Burdock root, Gentian root, Parsley root are some of the traditional herbs proven to enhance liver function. Different properties are extracted from herbs depending on if they are concentrated in alcohol, or in water infusions. We recommend using both in formulas that are alcohol extracted and made into a hot herbal tea thereby getting the full spectrum of benefits.
Our Liver Cleanse Concentrate comes in liquid tincture form and is taken throughout the day while cleansing your liver to target areas that need support for healthier liver function. We recommend putting the concentrate in the Liver Cleanse Tea to get the full effect from the herbs. The herbs in this tea stimulate, cleanse and protect your liver and gallbladder while making an unfriendly environment for any parasites that might be living in those systems. Plus, this tea smells and tastes great, and can be used as a wonderful coffee or black tea replacement!
Best Foods for Your Liver
There are certain foods with a well-earned reputation for supporting and cleansing the liver. Adding any of these to your daily diet will provide extra nutritional support for this cleansing program.
- Lemons Fresh lemon juice is the best food for helping your liver make more enzymes. The fresh juice has a chemical structure very similar to many of the body’s own digestive enzymes so it is great in providing raw materials for the creation of liver enzymes. As an antioxidant, lemon juice can work on and stabilize free radicals that are released into the bloodstream during digestion. An antiseptic, it also helps neutralize harmful bacteria. Fresh lemon juice squeezed into water is easy to take and is the top daily diet addition for cleansing and stimulating the liver.
- Beets and beet tops are excellent for toning and rebuilding the liver. Beets are the richest food source of betaine a natural liver detoxifier and bile thinner. They also increase the liver’s efficiency in processing fats. Beets are good sources of easily assimilable iron, B vitamins, and antioxidants. Shredded raw beets combined with a little lemon juice daily make a fantastic liver support dish. Beets can be boiled, roasted, grated raw or steamed in salad, or juiced with other vegetables.
- Turmeric is spice strong in antioxidant lwhcih protects the liver and aids in liver regeneration. Use it in sauces, dips, stir fry, on vegetables and in stews and soups. A traditional Indian flavor.
- Garlic activates liver enzymes responsible for absorbing nutrients and cleansing waste and toxins in liver tissue. The selenium and allicin in garlic are vital for correct liver functioning. Garlic also contains the amino acid methionine that aids the liver by cleansing pollutants through the urine.
- Leafy Green Vegetables like chard, kale and collards, and Broccoli, Cabbage and Brussel sprouts are high in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals that the liver needs to produce enzymes for the detoxification process.
- Avocados supply the liver with the antioxidant glutathione which it uses in detoxification and for repair of its own liver tissue.
- Artichoke stimulates bile and contains antioxidants which help protect the liver.
- Apples Gallstones can form from too much cholesterol in your bile which causes it to solidifiy. The pectin in apples is high in soluable fiber which binds with fats and cholesterol. Pectin also helps bind heavy metals thus lightening the load on the liver for their detoxification.